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Col. Thomas F. Berry 

The Harlow-Ratliff Company 

Oklahoma City. Okla. 





AiTop;, Lts.:x a-«<C 

Copyright 1914 

By the Harlow-Ratliff Company. 

and Thomas F. Berry. 


This oath-bound order, the badge of which is shown on the 
title page, originated in Rock Island Prison in 18fi3 as the result of 
the efforts of seven patriotic Confederate soldiers confined there, who 
were actuated by high ideals of duty, fidelity and patriotism to tlie 
Southland, foi- the purpose of stopping tlie tide of desertions thtn 
taking place in the prison, the deserters taking the Yankee cath of 
allegiance and joining the Federal army for the frontier service. 
This beautiful badge of the Seven Knights of the Confederacy is a 
star with seven points, seven links and sevc-n letters. The fir:st let- 
ters of the seven words of our motto are emblomatic of the seven 
cardinal virtues, taught by our order, and also are emblematic of 
the seven grades of officers in military organizations. The letters 
are the initials of the Latin motto, "Dulce et decorum osi pro 
patria mori" ("Sweet and fitting it is to die for the fatherland"). T 
was chairman of the originators of the order and its first commander. 
Its membership from liist to last included about :!000 men. 

T. V. P.. 


A man's book is the visible sign of the spirit that 
is within him. Again, it is his brain-child, over which he 
often yearns in love or pity, for thoughts expressed be- 
come living things, to live forever in the blame or praises 
of men, or slain in the arena of public opinion. Truth 
should make a man's book triumphant. 

I desire to say here that the contents of this volume 
were not dictated by malice, by captious criticism or by 
vindictiveness, but solely to entertain and amuse, and 
to instruct and inform the rising generation of the true 
history of our struggle in the beautiful Southland, as 
we saw it, and as it was evolved under our personal 
observations and experiences during that terrific and 
bloody struggle, known as the Civil War. 

It is my purpose, also, to rescue as far as possible, 
the good names and fame of my comrades and^ especially, 
of one who was dear to me by reason of his many noble 
qualities of mind and heart, as well as by ties of blood, 
my brother, Captain Samuel O. Berry, who was known 
to many as *'One-Arm" Berry. It is my wish to correct 
if possible, some of the many false ideas and mis- 
conceptions about my brother. 

Those who have studied the abuses of our institu- 
tions know that human affairs, like many diseases, have 
their acute and chronic developments, their climaxes 
and their extreme delirium. 

These records are taken from a diary kept during 
my service in the Confederate Army, under Generals 
Morgan and Bedford Forrest, and are, therefore, simply 
my personal experiences and recollections. I have con- 
fined my narrative largely to my brother's career, to 
his final fate as a Federal prisoner after the war, and 


to myself. I have described my thirteen thrilling escapes 
from the Yankees — seven times from prison vvralls, and 
six times on my way to prison; also, in a brief manner, 
my service in Mexico with General Joe Shelby, my 
short service there under the French General Dupin, 
the centre guerrilla commander, and under Prince Maxi- 
milian, Emperor of Mexico, adding a short romance 
and an account of two duels while there. 

There will be found an account of a certain inter- 
view between General Sheldon, the honorable secretary 
of war for the Confederacy, and Captain Charles Quan- 
trell ; of the causes that led to the various organizations 
of guerillas in the various border states, and also of the 
Home Guards. The career of my brother. Captain 
Berry, appears in the record of his service in the army, 
and as a recruiting officer, and in the story of his sur- 
render and parole, his re-arrest, trial and sentence to 
death, and his commutation of sentence by the president 
to ten years' solitary confinement in a prison at Albany, 
New York. 

All these incidents are simple facts of personal ex- 
periences during my service in the Confederate Army. 
There may be persons, perhaps, who will doubt some 
of these statements. Nevertheless, the facts remain. 
In writing these reminiscences it was not my purpose 
to engender strife or to wound any person's feelings, 
but solely to enlighten my fellow men upon one of the 
many phases of our civil struggle, and to explain some 
of the elements that were floated to the surface by this 
upheaval — phenomena largely due to our institutions 
and their abuses. I harbor no belliii'ereiit feelings to- 
ward individuals. The occurrences of this period were 
inherent and fundamental, and bound to appear, sooner 
or later, as we should know if we have studied the pri- 


mary facts and the diverse interests and purposes of the 
early peoples who settled this continent. There were 
few things in common between them, then or now. 

I am a grandson of a Revolutionary soldier and 
was taught by him to believe that the States were free, 
independent and sovereign, within themselves. That 
our forefathers fought to establish this, and did so estab- 
lish this condition, and that all the early representative 
statesmen and commentators and writers so regarded 
this question, in this light. There are many people who 
have a false conception or idea of the Federal Union. 
There seem to be very few people who understand this 
matter clearly, as shown by the assertion in many so- 
called histories, which contain the statement that the 
Southern soldiers fought to destroy the Union; this 
statement bears upon its face its own falsity. In the 
first place there was no Union until it was established 
by mutual consent and concession after the states had 
won their independence, as sovereign and independent 
states. There is no Union, nor can there be any, if it 
must be held together either by wrangling or fighting. 
The principle, or question, of secession was understood 
and agreed upon by all the States when they entered 
the compact of federation. 

The Southern soldiers fought only to preserve, to 
retain their sovereign rights under this solemn obliga- 
tion. When the Federal government sent troops to in- 
vade, to coerce, the South, this was a ruthless viola- 
tion of the sovereign rights of the States. In years 
previous to this time several of the Northern states advo- 
cated secession on a number of occasions, especially 
during the war of 1812; also, when Texas was asking 
admission into the Federal Union. To thinking men, it 
is a well known, an established fact of history, that 


the Southern states were loyal to the Union as long as 
its terms were faithfully observed or lived up to; there- 
fore, no blood was shed to save the Union. The estab- 
lishment of it was by peaceful means by a mutual agree- 
ment. The South fought to preserve what their fathers 
sought to establish. Therefore^ the claim that we fought 
to destroy the Union is hypocritical, and manifestly 
malicious, trumped-up charges of histories. Many of 
these so-called histories are the result of ii^norant 
prejudice to discredit and blacken the character of both 
the living and the dead all over the southland, and to 
champion a few jealous, envious, corrupt and misguided 
politicians who sought to destroy the people and to plun- 
der their country. These degenerate sons of hypocritical, 
bigoted and fanatical men, whom the Civil, or I might 
say, "Uncivil" War, floated to the surface, and who di- 
rected its progress, stand without a parallel in history for 
brutality and vindictiveness. There was nothing coo bru- 
tal or beastly or cruel for them to do, to stagger or 
stop them. 

All honest thinking men now know and admit the 
Southern states were justified in their action from both 
principle and authority and also by precept and prece- 
dent. Yet, we are stigmatized as rebels to satisfy ignor- 
ant fanaticism. If it be treason to fight and repel by 
force a horde of conscienceless plunderers of one's home 
and country. I glory in the name. The grandest and 
best and greatest of our country were so called by their 
silly enemies. By the noblest, these are called patriots, 
and such they are, to my mind. 

The purest, the most sacred obligation of human 
affairs in any generation is to strive to transmit to pos- 
terity the grand idea of civil liberty, unimpaired. And 
it was for these ideals and principles that the southland 


shed the best blood of the world. We of the elder genera- 
tion of Southern men are made sore and sensitive by 
the everlasting, long-continued slanders and wilful, often 
malicious, misrepresentations of so-called histories, writ- 
ten by ignorant fanatics, many of whom love a negro 
better than his own race, or at least pretend to do so. 
Such men as Ben Wade and Thaddeus Stephens and 
old John Brown, and all their fanatical bruod, are a dis- 
grace to any age or country. It is a well known and 
understood proposition of the two schools of politics 
of the North and the South, of Hamilton and Jefferson, 
of Patrick Henry and the Tory leaders, of the early 
days of the Confederation. These differences were in- 
herent, fundamental and sprang from personal and ra- 
cial differences. There was not and could not be any 
permanent and mutual sympathy or understanding be- 
tween these divers racial elements — the fanatical, bigoted 
Puritan and the Roundhead, and the conservative, lib- 
erty-loving Cavalier stock. These diverse elements were 
certain finally to clash ; as well might we try to mix 
two acids, or water and the fixed oils ; it simply can't 
be done. 

Patrick Henry, the grand old man, foresaw^ this, and 
w^arned his compatriots of the dangers involved. 

The genesis of the various treaties made between 
these States was similar to the genesis of treatie-^ made 
between other nations whose desire was to protect them- 
selves against invasion. This alliance was intended also 
to regulate their relations with one another and did not 
make these States a single nation. It was upon this 
proposition the Southern states were to fight the great- 
est and the bloodiest war of all history, a fight to the 
deatli^ to maintain their sovereignty, that it might be 
preserved to our posterity. 


b^roni my standpoint, there was no rebellion, nor 
was there a civil war, between 1861 and 1865, out ihcre 
was a war between two sections of the American States. 
This war was waged between the American sovereign- 
ties. This silly twaddle about rebellion and rebel is the 
veriest rot ; those who talk thus show their ignorance of 
the fundamental history of their own country. Patrick 
Henry, this grand old patriot, stood firmly and fearlessly 
against the doctrine of centralization, the Federalism of 
Hamilton, whose efforts were all towards the centraliza- 
tion of power in the Federal Government. This is now 
an accomplished fact, as predicted by the immortal 
Henry, and this fair land is now ruled by a mongrel 
l)reed of despots. It is no wonder that enlightened and 
awakened public conscience all over this country and 
the outside world has repudiated the so-called histories, 
and school text-books. They desire and demand the 
truth and nothing but the unvarnished, the whole truth. 
All honest people hate liars, especially those who wil- 
fully and maliciously utter them, and thus mislead the 
young and unsuspecting. 

To those who by reason of ignorance or wilful 
prejudice may regard these lines as harsh or severe, 
I answ^er that I know whereof I speak from personal 

I ask the indulgence of the boys who wore the 
Gray^ to whom I affectionately dedicate this book, in 
vindication of the truth of history. 

Adjutant Chickasaw Brigade and Surgeon-General, 
O. D., U. C. V. 

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma. 
June 22, 1914. 



Ancestry and Childhood 1 


The Beginning of the Struggle .__ _ _. 8 

Kentucky's Position During the War 19 

In Camp With Morgan 27 

Real Warfare ..- 38 

With Morgan About Nashville 43 

Battle of Shiloh or Pittsburg Landing 53 

A Dash With Morgan into Tennessee and Kentucky 66 

I Am Ca])tured and Escape 81 

Lrove and Sorrow 97 

Revenge 106 

Guerrilla Warfare 113 

Back in the Regular Army 124 

Battle of Perryville _137 


Again Wounded and Left Behind 146 

Very Busy 153 

The Guerrilla in the Civil War 159 

Fighting With Morgan 173 

Some of Morgan's Daring Exploits 182 

The Campaign in Kentucky, 1862 187 

The Christmas Campaign, 1862 194 

Miraculous Escape at Tullahoma — 20: 

Morgan's Invasion oi Indiana 221 

Before Chickamaaga 233 

Chickamauga 238 

After Chickamauga - — -249 

With Forrest - - - —262 

Morgan's Escape __ __ 278 

My Last Service With Morgan — 286 

Back to Forrest 289 


Rock Island 294 

Back to the Southland- -_- 307 

Escape from Camp Morton 320 

Last Days of the Confederacy 330 

With Shelby in Mexico _344 

Eucarnacion 366 

Bill Anderson 379 

Back to Kentucky 394 

Quantrell 401 

Quantrell's Last Campaign 422 

Surrender 446 

Four Years with Morgan and Forrest 



My ancestry — I visit South America — Join Lexington Rifles — 
Accompany my father through the Mexican war — Return to 
Lexington and rejoin the Rifles. 

I have often thought since the late civil struggle 
that I would at some future time give my personal ex- 
perience in the four years' contest and the impressions 
w^hich it made upon me. 

It may be of importance to my children and my 
friends to know something of my family histor3^ My 
great-great-grandfather was a soldier under Marlbor- 
oug'h and was in all the battles in the Netherlands and 
the Levant under the Iron Duke. He was born in France, 
of Scotch-Irish parents, and was a protestant in faith. 
In 1702 he immigrated to this country with his family 
of ^x sons and three daughters. Settling first in or 
near Williamsburg, Virginia, he afterward moved to 
Westmoreland County.,/ My grandfather was born in 
J7243L at this place. On the breaking out of the Revo- 
lutionary War, he joined the army under Washington, 
and gallantly bore arms until peace was declared. By 
promotion he rose through the various grades to be a 
captain. He married a Miss McGraw^ daughter of a 
distinguished Revolutionary soldier.' After peace was 
ratified, he and soldier friends moved on the tide of 
immigration to Kentucky. 

My Grandfather Berry settled with the first of the 
pioneers in the virgin territory of what is now Wood- 


ford County. Grandfather McGraw settled in Boyle 
County. At that time all these lands were known as 
the County or Province of Kentucky, and belonged 
to the Territory of Virginia. They obtained their pat- 
ents and grants from the State of Virginia. 

My ancestors, both paternal and maternal, were 
in the numerous and bloody battles fought with the In- 
dians during these early days. Grandfather Berry was 
seriously wounded at the battle of French Lick Springs. 
He was saved from the savage tomahawk and scalping 
knife by the heroic devotion of a comrade. 

Grandfather Berry was the father of nine children, 
six sons and three daughters. The sons were : James, 
Louis, Younger, John, Samuel Oscar, and Gardner. My 
father, Samuel Oscar, was the youngest of the boys. 
There were two sisters younger than he. My aunts, 
Susan, Mary and Martha all died before I w^asjioni^ 

My father, Samuel Oscar Berry, was born in West- 
moreland County, Virginia, in 1760, and died in Lex- 
ington, Kentucky, in 1869. He married Miss Elizabeth 
McGraw of Boyle County, daughter of Major John ^Ic- 
Graw, a Revolutionary soldier, who was widely known 
for his courage, benevolence, and charity. Six children 
were born to them, namely : Samuel O., William W., 
Susan, Minnie, Thos. F., and Alex Berry, four boys and 
two girls. Sister Minnie died in early infancy. All 
these children were born in Woodford County. 

My mother died in 1835, leaving five small children. 
My father was disconsolate over his loss. He received 
a letter saying that his brother, W^illiam Berry, had 
been seriously wounded in battle at San Antonio, and 
that on the same day Col. John Milam, his brother-in- 
law, had been killed. Father moved Uncle Williajr' 
Berry to New Orleans and left him there in the care u^ 


surgeons. He was soon restored to health. My father 
returned to Texas and took part in several skirmishes 
and battles in the early troubles of that territory. 

Before leaving home for Texas he placed all his 
children with his brothers and sisters. I was placed 
with my grandfather, Xohn McGraw, of Boyle County. 
Brothers Sam and William were placed with Uncle Jim 
and Uncle Younger ; my sister, Susan, was placed with 
Uncle Louis Berry. Father left his business affairs 
in the hands of his brother, Younger. Father was 
in several battles with General Sam Houston and was 
present at the battle of San Jacinto, when the Texans 
gave Santa Anna and the Mexican army such a drubbing 
that they have never forgotten it to this good day. This 
ended the struggle for Texas independence. 

Father returned home a much changed man. He 
married a second time, and settled at V^ersailles, moving 
afterwards to Lexington. He resumed his business and 
tried to reassemble his children, but Brother Sam and 
Brother William had now about reached manhood and 
were making- their own way. Sister Susan was the 
only one of the children that he could induce to returrt 
to him. I was content to remain with Grandfather. 
Father took up his residence at Versailles, Woodford 
County, remained there for two years and then removed 
to Lexington. At this time I entered the home of my 
uncle, John ^McGraw, a professor of geology and was 
with him for two 3-ears. We took a trip t.j South 
America, visiting Peru, Bolivia, Columbia, Paraguay, 
Brazil, Yucatan, Mexico and Guatamala. We ^\'ere ab- 
sent two years and eight months, studying the p;eology, 
fauna and flora of these countries. We brought back 
many beautiful and valuable specimens. On our return 
from this trip, we went to live in Lexington, where Uv»^-^ 


John was professor of geology in Transylvania Uni- 

At the beginning of the Civil War I joined Captain 
John H. Morgan's company, the famous Lexington Rifles, 
Company A, First regiment, Kentucky State Guards. 
Captain Morgan served in the Mexican War as a lieu- 
tenant under Captain Perry Beard in Colonel Humphrey 
Marshall's regiment. I was living in Lexington when 
war was declared between Mexico and the United States, 
in 1846. Volunteers were called for, and my father 
joined Captain Beard's company. They were ordered 
to New Orleans^ and started for that place in February, 
1847. > 

I had formed a strong attachment for & boy much 
older than myself, who had joined Captain Scarce's 
company of the same regiment. I was in great distress, 
and felt that I could not lose my boy friend, so he con- 
cocted a scheme to smuggle me aboard the boat and 
keep me hid from the officers, and especially from my 
father. We sailed from New Orleans to Corpus Christi. 
The vessel remained there only one day, and 'vas or- 
dered to Point Isabel, on Brazos Island, where the 
American army was concentrating. We were disem- 
barked at night. I was kept out of sight intil all the 
boats had sailed away for more troops and supplies. 

The surprise of my father may be imagined when 
I emerged and showed myself to him. His firsr impulse 
was to whip me soundly. My chum, James A. Camp- 
bell, had kept me closely concealed and supplied with 
food. All the soldiers begged my father not to punish 
me. I was 14 years old, and well developed. 

I was not disturbed on the march and rode on the 
supply wagon or behind some of the soldiers. 

At the first battle, Palo Alto, Texas, the advance 


guard of the army encountered the Mexican cavalry. 
After a spirited skirmish, the two armies met about 
2 o'clock and sharp fighting ensued. The Americans 
steadily advanced without a check and drove the Mexi- 
can army, under General Ampudea and General Arista, 
from the field, following them closely for several miles 
in the direction of Brownsville, on the Rio Grande river. 
I picked up on the battle field several grape and canister 
shot made of copper ; also, fragment of copper shells of 
different sizes. These missiles produced a wound of a 
serious nature, poisoning the flesh and making a wound 
difficult to heal. Many wounds made by these never 
heal. The Mexicans, having retreated to Resaca de la 
Palma, some miles south, again took position, on the 
south side of the lagoon. 

General Taylor buried the dead and cared for the 
wounded, numbering respectively 192 and 63. He 
pushed flanking columns against the enemy in his new 
position^ attacking furiously. After about two hours' 
fighting the Mexicans were driven in confusion from 
the field. These two battles cost the enemy in killed, 
wounded and captured more than 1,300 m.en. The Mexi- 
can general now rapidly retreated across trie Rio Grande 
river, some miles above Brownsville, and sent a detach- 
ment to attack Fort Brown, which was soon driven off. 
There was but little fighting after these two battles, 
though there was spirited skirmishing with the enemy s 
cavalry during the intervening months. 

General Taylor now made all necessary pTans to 
invade Mexico. Crossing the Rio Grande, he advanced 
leisurely upon Monterey. His forces approached this 
city from three directions, surrounded it, and drove the 
Mexicans into the city. The Mexicans used the houses 
for covering breastworks, fighting from the tops 


of houses and windows. The American soldiers tun- 
nelled through the walks to reach them, and gradually 
drove them towards the center of the city, or public 
plaza. After two days' hard fighting the Mexicans were 
forced to surrender. After a brief rest^ the American 
Army marched toward Buena Vista, Vera Cruz, Molino 
del Rev and Chapultepec. 

From the latter place I was sent home with my 
chum, Campbell, who was wounded. We stayed somt 
time at Vera Cruz, in the hospital, where there were 
quit a number of sick and wounded. We were away 
from home twenty-six months. I was in six battles, 
and thought it was great fun. Returning to Lexing- 
ton, we settled down to the humdrum of civil life. I 
now felt myself quite a man. I rejoined Captain Mor- 
gan's Lexington Rifles, and went to school. The State 
Guards of Kentucky, composed of four regiments — 
three of infantry and one of cavalry, with two batteries — 
met annually for military instruction and drill. 
We were drilled constantly, almost nightly, during the 
winter of 1860-186L 

I saw little of my father or my family, though at 
this period I was with them at home. We were all 
fully aware at this time of the certainty of a civil war 
between the North and the South over the slavery ques- 
tion, as there had been much hot, belligerent discussion 
in Congress on this subject long before this period. 
All felt sure that we should be, called upon to defend 
our guaranteed rights under the Constitution ; that 
events were rapidly hastening to this end was patent 
to us all. 

In 1858 my Brother Samuel left home, having gradu- 
ated at Lexington from the State normal school. He 
was called to accept a position as teacher in a country 

WINTER OF 1860-61 7 

school in Mercer County, Avhere he proved himself worthy 
and competent. He joined the Christian church and won 
the esteem, confidence and love of his neighbors and 
acquaintances. He was regarded as a sincere, conscien- 
tious member of his church. I state this fact to show 
that he was trying to live a Christian life, until the intol- 
erant bigotry of a fanatical or abolition party drove the 
people of Kentucky and the South to take the only means 
left to honorable men to protect themselves ; namely, the 
appeal to the sword. My second brother, William, was 
in the South with a drove of mules, where he helped his 
employer during the fall and winter of 1860-1861. 



The crisis of 1861 — Federal arms are shipped into Lexington — 
We determine to seize them — We leave for th€ south with 
Morgan — Mustered into the Confederate service — Morgan and 
his methods — Defense of Morgan and his comrades. 

In the spring of 1861 the crisis was rapidly shaping 
itself. Mr. Abraham Lincoln was elected by the aboli- 
tionists ; the time was rapidly approaching for him to 
take his seat as president. There were many remark- 
able events transpiring throughout the country; many 
Southern states were taking steps to secede from the 
Federal Union. I shall never forget the whirl of excite- 
ment and feverish anxiety of the older citizens during 
this period. All seemed to agree that war was inevitable. 
I distinctly remember that Captain Morgan went South 
during the Spring of 1860 and was gone until late in 
the summer months, returning about the end of August. 
While he was absent from Lexington there occurred 
an event that stirred the citizens to the highest pitch of 

The state had declared through her representatives 
that she would not take part either for or against the 
North or the South ; that neither would be permitted 
to invade her soil, and she would repel with force such in- 
vasion. This was seemingly accepted by both the North 
and the South^ both would respect Kentucky's position. 
But what was the surprise, nay, the indignation of the 


state, to be ruthlessly undeceived. During all these 
months the Union elements in this state were organiz- 
ing for self protection, ostensibly; but really to be pre- 
pared for the event that occurred at this time at L,ex- 

They had formed a camp of instruction at Camp 
"Dick" Robinson and were organizing companies and 
regiments. One bright morning the citizens of Lex- 
ington were aroused from their slumbers by the sound 
of Federal bugles at their very doors. These soldiers, 
all Kentuckians, had come to Lexington to receive arms 
shipped by Federal authorities into the state, thereby vio- 
latmg the pledge to respect the neutrality of the state. 
Colonel Bramlett had come to tlie city with a regiment 
of loyal citizens to see that the loyal state of Kentucky 
sliould remain in the Union, and also to disarm the Lex- 
ington Rifles, Capt. John Morgan's company, who were 
disgracing this state and the United States by their dis- 

What was to be done? The soldier boys did not 
want to be disarmed in this way. They discussed this 
in groups and squads. Our captain was away ; had not 
returned from the South. We called on our officers. First 
Lieutenant Robert W. Wooley, Second Lieutenant Reice, 
and others, with a number of the most promment citi- 
zens of Lexington. Our determination was not to sur- 
render the State Guard arms to Bramlett's mountain 
renegades. We even discussed the feasibility of cap- 
turing the arms^ five thousand in number, at the Lex- 
ington depot. There were mustered in the company's 
armory ninety-seven men ready for this hazardous en- 
terprise. Our company was a hundred and four strong 
but we were persuaded from this course by such men 


as the Hon, J. C. Breckinridge, Jas. B. Beck, Chas. 
Wickliffe and others. 

By this time we were all marked for arrest. It was 
determined to seize the armory and arms. The time had 
arrived to act with promptness and vigor. I and ten 
other young men were summoned to Colonel Bramlett's 
headquarters, to explain our connection with the demon- 
stration at the armory. That same evening I received 
a note from Capt. Morgan on very important business. 
I called on him and found several young men already 
there. It was determined to load the guns, already in 
boxes, into wagons immediately and take them south, 
to join our fortunes with the people of the South. We 
then and there took an oath to stand by our arms till 
death. We hurriedly left with Morgan and began our 
preparations; by 11 o'clock p. m. were on our road 
south, with one hundred minie rifles. 

We took the pike to Versailles, crossed the Ken- 
tucky river to Lawrenceburg, thence by country roads 
to the Chaplain Hills to a camp nearly midway between 
Bloomfield and Bardstown, which we named t^amp 
Charity. We were accompanied by Capt. Morgan for 
about five miles from Lexington where he left us, saying 
that he would join us in two or three days, which he did. 
At Camp Charity we stayed seven days. When we 
broke camp we found there were over seven hundred 
recruits in line^ with several ammunition and supply 
wagons. There were about seventy dismounted men. 
We threw out scouts, videttes in front and on each flank 
with a rear guard, so as not to be surprised by any 

There was at Bardstown at this time a regiment oi 
Federal troops stationed there to watch Morgan. Our 
column moved about 3 o'clock p. m. We bade farewell 


to home and friends. I never saw my sister or step- 
mother again. I was about 27 years old, strong and 
vigorous. This first march was the hardest and most 
trying of all the early trials I experienced as a soldier. 
We marched continuously all night, starting at about 
3 o'clock, p. m. We stopped a short time to feed the 
horses and then resumed the march. While crossing 
the Cumberland Mountains this night we encountered 
forest fires which we mistook for the enemy's camp-fires. 
We were halted and formed in line of battle; videttes 
were sent forward to see if the enemy was in our front. 
I shall never forget the impression this produced on me. 
There was no enemy, and we marched forward without 
noise. At daybreak we struck the turnpike. About this 
time there was considerable excitement, as several shots 
had been heard at the front of the column. We were 
ordered to quicken our pace. Our advance had encoun- 
tered some Home Guards, whom they charged with 
promptness and dispersed. 

Oh, the tingling excitement of anticipated battle 
which set me on tiptoe ! We marched on in silent 
thoughtful array, little dreaming of the tremendous strug- 
jjle before us, nor of the immense import of the struggle 
then in its incipiency. Our destination was Woodson- 
ville. where the Confederate advance forces were camped, 
under the command of Col. Roger Hanson, Second Ken- 
tuckv Volunteers. Tbis point was reached late in the 
evenine, after a march of one hundred and seven mi'Ies, 
in twenty-six hours; not a bad showing for raw recrufts. 
We were mustered into the Confederate service for three 
years. Many of the voune men joined other commands. 

At this plare we organized Company A, of the old 
squadron afterwards so famous in the annals of war- 
fare. We remained here recruiting and doing camp 


duty, picketing, scouting through this section until near 
the end of December. There was no election of officers 
until our company was full ; that is, until we had" eighty 
men. Of course, Captain Morgan was looked to as 
commander. When we were mounted we elected our 
officers, which were as follows : John H. Morgan, 
captain; Basil W. Duke, first lieutenant; Jas W. West, 
second lieutenant; Jas H. Smith, third lieutenant; the 
non-commissioned officers were appointed, also the quar- 
ter-master sergeant during this formative period. We 
were almost constantly scouting. Cavalry drill also was 
a part of the daily routine of camp life at this time. 

In my account of this formative period of our com- 
mand of Morgan and his men ; his service and individual- 
ism ; the peculiar and heroic mould of the young and 
daring spirits who where flocking to his standard — I 
shall endeavor to state the bare facts as they occured. 

This command formed by Capt. Morgan was 
created out of the sons of the best families of Kentucky 
and Tennessee, and was the nucleus of his command, 
the old squadron, the first regiment. It was constantly 
increasing in numbers from this time forward, it. was 
easy to foresee that this command was destined to be 
an important factor in the bloody drama of war. There 
were many daring spirits here who were anxious to at- 
tain distinction and fame on the field of glory. They 
were eager to establish their true character in the field 
of actual service, and to show they could serve bravely 
and faithfully to the end of the great struggle. 

Gen Morgan's career throughout the whole war 
was so remarkable and often so sursprising that the 
public accustomed to the contradictory newspaper ac- 
counts of his exploits received them with incredulity. 
His movements were so rapid, so crowded with excit- 


ing incidents, that they attracted widespread attention 
and elicited comments from both sides ; all of which 
kept the public in constant whirl of excitement. It was 
Morgan and his command that first originated this sys- 
tem of warfare. His methods were celerity of move- 
m€^nt; concentration on the. enemy's weak points; hard, 
telling and unexpected blows at remote places. Early in 
his career, with a comparatively small command^ he 
first demonstrated to his astonished enemies, friends 
and the world in general, this new thing in actual war. 

Gen Morgan's command was composed principally 
of Kentuckians like himself. They were all uninfluenced 
by public opinion in the State in which they resided ; 
they surrendered fortune, home^ friends, all that was 
dear, to assist the people of the South in desperate and 
vital struggle for freedom which their action provoked 
and to whom they were bound by blood and convictions. 
They felt that the South had an imperative claim upon 
their services. These men pledged their all in this cause 
and identified their names with every phase of the con- 
test until the bitter end. Such devotion of such men to 
such services can never be forgotten. It is impossible 
that the memory of these can ever fade from minds of 
men in the beautiful land for which they fought, bled 
and died. The traditions which will indicate where they 
struck their foes will also preserve their memories in 
undying affection and honor. The men of this gener- 
ation which knew them can forget them only when they 
forget the fate from which they strove to save them. 
Their memory belongs to the history of the race and 
cannot die. 

So general and intense was the interest which Mor- 
gan excited among the young men of the State that he 


obtained from every county in the State, recrufcs who 
ran every risk to join him. When another leader could 
not enlist a man, the whole state was represented in his 
command. Many Kentuckians who had enlisted in the 
regiment from other vStates procured transfers to his 
command, and it frequently happened that men, the bulk 
of whose regiments .were in prison, or who had become 
irregularly detached by some of the many incidents ot 
which the volunteer, weary of the monotony of camp 
life, is prompt to take advantage, would attach them- 
selves to Morgan. 

Morgan and his men were bitterly assailed during 
his life and since the war for certain acts for which nei- 
ther he nor his men w^ere in any wise responsible. A cor- 
rect representation of a certain series of events sometimes 
leads to a proper understanding of many more. If the 
veil which prejudice and deliberate misrepresentation 
and falsification have thrown over some features of the 
contest be lifted, a truer appreciation may be had of 
others of greater moment and interest. I may add that 
no one has been more bitterly assailed than my brother, 
Samuel O. Berry while living, also after death; in like 
manner has Gen. Morgan been assailed even by his own 
people and from mv standpoint very harshly and un- 
justly by persons knowing absolutely nothing of the 
facts and conditions. Let those who are disposed to 
judge hastily or harshly place themselves in like sur- 
roundings and conditions — let them stand in the place 
of those they so glibly condemn. 

No man's memory should be more peculiarly sub- 
ject to justification and vindication than that of Gen. 
Morgan or that of Samuel O. Berry, the latter known as 
"One-Armed" Berry by his friends. But there are 


Other and cogent reasons why this vindication and tri- 
bute should be rendered to them by one who, devoted 
to them while living^, should in the interest of the 
truth of history rescue their fair names from infamy. 
The cruel treatment and ingratitude which embittered 
the last days of both these men renders their friends 
sensitive regarding the reputation they left behind them, 
and has made their memory all the dearer to the many 
who were true and constant in their love and esteem 
for them, and they feel that they should be justly de- 
fended. The fame which they deserved shall be ac- 
corded them, since the reward which they both strove 
for is theirs already, in the glory won in the tremendous 
and unequal struggle, in the affection of the people and 
the pride with which they speak the names of the dead 
and martyred heroes. 

The Southern people possess treasures of which no 
conqueror can deprive them. There rests upon some 
one who was identified with this command the oblig- 
ation of denying and disproving the frequent grave and 
false charg:es of crime and outrage which have been 
preferred against Gen. Morgan and his soldiers. So 
persistently have these accusations been made that at one 
time an avowal of allegiance to Morgan was thought 
even in Kentucky tantamount to a confession of high- 
way robbery. At this day, doubtless the same opinion 
prevails in the North and yet when it is considered how 
this was produced it is surprising that it should last 
so long. 

I do not pretend to defend or explain or deny any 
inexcusable excesses committed by any of the camp 
followers of the command. All armies have thieving 
buccanneers in their wake. Unfortunately for the good 


reputation and honor of both armies there were many 
bad, infamous characters following the two armies lor 
plunder only, but wherever these lawless acts were 
brought to the notice of Morgan or "One-Armed Berry" 
it would be difficult to prove that such practices of 
plundering and cruelty did not meet with prompt rebuke 
and punishment of the guilty ones from Morgan and his 
officers. Lawless acts were not characteristic of his 

It has often been said that there was a total lack of 
discipline in this command. This absolutely is unfound- 
ed, as the character of the services performed proves. 
We were constantly in the enemy's country and were 
of necessity compelled to have discipline. I do not pre- 
tend to say we were as carefully drilled as regulars, but 
when we met the carefully disciplined enemy we were 
well drilled enough to take them to camp with us. 

I am sure that this command of rough riders 
could not have been made a mere military machine. 
They were were all high-born freemen and gentlemen, 
possessing that pride-element of true soldierly quality — 
personal self-respect. They were intelligent, courageous 
and had a quick apprehension of the duties to be per- 
formed ; too proud to desert or leave a comrade in dan- 
ger or distress. They were ever ready to meet all emer- 
gencies. Such men do not require the rigid discipline 
of regulars to make them soldiers. These men possess- 
ed all the highest qualities of true men and they had 
a just cause to fight for. Morgan had very decided 
military qualities — really he was a talented leader, the 
very man above all men for such a daring band. 

I have heard it said that he was simply a partisan 
leader of a small command. It is not difficult to dis- 


abuse the minds of military men or even intelligent men 
of any class, of this false impression. It will only be 
necessary to review his campaigns and give the reasons 
for his movements and the attendant facts, and it wUi 
be seen that he had in an eminent degree many of the 
highest and most necessary qualities of a general ; what- 
ever may be said of this man, this merit must be ac- 
corded him. To him belonged the credit of having dis- 
covered uses for cavalry or rather mounted infantry to 
which that arm w^as never applied before. While othej 
cavalry officers were all adhering to the traditions oi 
former wars and the systems of the schools, howevei 
inapplicable to the demands of their day and the nature 
of the struggle^ he originated and perfected not only a 
system of tactics, a method of fighting and handling men 
in the presence of the enemy, but also strategy as effect- 
ive as it was novel. 

Totally ignorant of the art of war, as learned from 
the books and in the academies, and imitator m nothing, 
self-taught in all that he knew, his success was not 
more marked than his genuis. The creator and origina- 
tor of his own little army, with a force that at no time 
reached over four thousand, he killed and wounded near- 
ly as many of the enemy and captured more than fif- 
teen thousand in one engagement at the battle of Harts- 
ville, Tenn. The author of the far-reaching raid, so 
different from the mere cavalry dash, he accomplished 
with his handful of men results which otherwise would 
have required armies and the costly preparations of regu- 
lar and extensive campaigns. When the means at his 
disposal are considered, the results he effected will then 
be understood. Generally his connection with the oper- 
ations of the main army and the strategic importance 


of even his seemingly rashest and most purposeless raids, 
in their bearing upon the grand campaign of the west, 
were not understood. To rank with the best of the many 
active and excellent cavalry officers of the west; to have 
had confessedly no equal among them except in Gen. 
Bedford Forrest, argues Morgan to have possessed no 
mean or common ability. 



1 have often marvelled at the position assumed by 
Kentucky at the inception of the struggle. Her con- 
duct at this time and throughout the civil strife excited 
surprise of both sections. Both alike doubted her good 
faith and both complained of her actions. All such senti- 
ments as she then promulgated were scoffed at by the 
North^ and the South was bitterly disappointed. But all 
these were soon forgotten by the latter and have be- 
come intensified into bitter, and undisguised anrmosity 
upon the part of a large portion of the population of the 
former. The reason is patent. It is the same which^ 
during the war influenced the Confederates to hope for 
large assistance from Kentucky, and caused the Federals 
on the other hand to regard even the loudest, most zeal- 
ous profession of loyalty as secessionists in disguise, or, 
at best, unionists only to save their property in slaves. It 
is the instinctive feeling that the people of Kentucky, on 
account of kindred blood, common interests and identity 
of ideas in all that relates to political rights, and the 
objects of political institutions, may be supposed likely 
to sympathize with the people of the South, but a variety 
of causes and influences combined to prevent Kentucky 
from taking a decided stand with either of the combat- 
ants, and produced the vacillations and inconsistency 
which so notably characterized her councils and para- 


lyzed her efforts in their direction and, it may be added, 
so seriously affected her fair fame. 

Her geographical position, presenting a frontier ac- 
cessible for several hundred miles to an assailant com- 
ing from either the north or south, caused her people 
great apprehension, especially as it was thought lo be 
an absolute certainly that her territory, if she took pan 
with the South, would be made a battleground and sub- 
jected to the disasters, horrors and devastation of war. 
The political education of the Kentuckians also dis- 
posed them to enter upon such a contest with extreme 
reluctance and hesitation. The state w^as chiefly set- 
tled by immigration from Virginia, and so her popula- 
tion partook of the characteristics of these people, and 
was imbued with the feelings which so strongly pre- 
vailed in the mother commonwealth. It was from this 
same source that the first generation of Kentucky states- 
rnen derived those opinions which became the political 
creed of the Southern people and which were promul- 
gated in the celebrated resolutions of '98, giving shape 
and consistency to the doctrine of States Rights, and 
popular expression to the general government under the 
federal constitution, so earnestly insisted upon by the 
master minds of Virginia. 

The earlier population of Kentucky was peculiarly 
inclined to adopt and cherish such opinions by the 
promptings of the nature which seems common to all 
men descended from the stock of the Old Dominion — a 
craving for the largest individual independence, and a 
disposition to maintain in full measure every personal 
right, a sentiment which has always made the people 
of the southern and western states so jealous of outside 
influence with their local affairs. It was natural, ani 
mated by such a spirit, that they should push their pref- 


erence for self-government even to extremes and that 
they should esteem their most valued franchises safe 
only when under their own entire custody and control ; 
that they should prefer that their peculiar institutions 
should be submitted only to domestic regulations and 
that the personal liberty which they prized above all 
their possessions should be restrained only by laws 
enacted by legislators chosen from among themselves, 
and executed by magistrates equally identified with 
themselves, and appreciative of their instincts. The 
Southern people were strongly attached to their state 
government, and were not inclined to regard as bene- 
ficient, nor even exactly legitimate any interference with 
them upon the part of the general government ; they de- 
sired to see the powers of the latter exercised only for 
the common defense .and welfare. 

This decided and almost universal sentiment was 
first shaken, and the minds of the people began to 
undergo a change, about the time of, and doubtless in 
consequence of, the- detection of the Burr conspiracy. 
Burr had been identified with the party which advo- 
cated the extreme States Rights doctrine, and his prin- 
cipal confederates were men of the same political com- 
plexion. The uselessness of Burr's scheme, even if suc- 
cessful, and the small prospect of any benefit to any 
one, unless to the leading adventurers, had disposed all 
the more 'sober-minded to regard his plans with distrust. 
The people, whom it had been a part of the plan to 
flatter with hopes of the most brilliant advantages^ im- 
mediately conceived for it the most intense aversion. 
The odium into which Burr and his associates became 
involved in some measure attached to the political 
school to which he belonged, and men's minds began 
at this time to be unsettled upon the very political ten- 


ets in the validity of which tliey had previously so 
implicitly believed. The able Federalist leaders in the 
state pursued and improved the advantage thus offered 
them for the first time in the history of Kentucky. 

About this time Mr. Madison attempted to explain 
away the marrow and substance of the famous resolu- 
tions of '98, but the effect was injuriously against the 
States Rights party everywhere, and contributed at a 
still later day to weaken that party in Kentucky. But 
the vital change of the political faith of Kentucky was 
wrought by Henry Clay. The spell which the great 
magician cast over his people was like the glamour of 
medieval enchantment. It bound them in hopeless but 
delighted acquiescence to the Avill of the master. The 
undoubted patriotism of Mr. Clay and the spotless in- 
tegrity of his public course so aided the effect of his 
haughty will and superb genius, that his influence 
amounted to fascination. Although he himself in early 
life was an advocate of the principles of the Jeffersonian 
democracv. he was gradually, but thoroughly, weaned 
from his first opinions and became a convert to the dog- 
mas of the school of politics w"hich he had once so ably 
combntted. The author of the American system, the 
tariff, the advocate of the United vState's bank, the cham- 
pion of the New En^^land manufacturing and commer- 
cial interests, with protective tariff bounties, and mo- 
nopolies, could have little sympathv Avith States Rights. 
Mr. Clav fairlv and emphaticallv announced his politi- 
cal faith. He declared paramount allesfiance to the 
whole union : a subordinate one to his own state. He 
taup'ht his o-eneration to love the Union and at the same 
time he was sowing the seed of disunion. He sincerely 
believed that in the union of the states resided the 


surest guarantees of the safety, honor and prosperity 
of each. 

In 1851 John C. Breckenridge was elected to Con- 
gress from Mr. Clay's district. From this period Mr. 
Clay's influence waned. One of his warmest personal 
friends was defeated in this race. Under the leader- 
ship of Breckenridge, the Democratic party rallied, and 
rapidly gained ground. Again, in 1856, Kentucky cast 
her vote for Buchanan and Breckenridge by 7,000 strong. 
Breckenridge's influence became predominant and was 
felt in every election. The troubles in Kansas, the agi- 
tation in Congress over the slavery question and ren- 
dered the Democratic element in Kentucky more de- 
termined and the more strongly inclined to take a 
southern view of all the debated questions. The John 
Brown affair exasperated every slave-holding commun- 
ity, and led to the organization of the Kentucky State 
Guards, created because of the strong belief that similar 
raids would be made in Kentucky. These attacks were 
expected to come from the North. 

This belief was confirmed and intensified by the 
language of the northern press and pulpit, and by the 
commendation and the encouragement of such enter- 
prises as the Harper's Ferry raid. 

On the 17th day of February, 1861, Governor Magof- 
fin called the State Tegislatur;e in extra session. At 
this time seven states had seceded from the Union and 
had formed the Confederate government. It was time 
the people of Kentucky should know what they were 
going to do. The governor addressed them in a mes- 
sage advising them to call a convention. This the legis- 
lature declined to do, but suggested the propriety of as- 
sembling a national convention to revise and correct 
the federal constitution, and recommended the "Peace 


Conference" which was subsequently held at Wash- 
ington City. 

In certain resolutions adopted by this legislature 
relating to resolutions passed by the states of -Maine, 
New York, Massachusetts and other northern states, is 
the following: "The governor of the state of Kentucky 
is hereby requested to inform the executives of said 
states that it is the opinion of this General Assembly 
that whenever the authorities of these states shall send 
armed forces to the South for the purposes indicated in 
said resolutions, the people of Kentucky uniting with 
their brethren in the South, will as one man resist such 
invasion of the soil of the South at all hazards and to 
the last extremity." Rather strong language for Union 
men and a loyal legislature to use. Many of these 
members, Union men, held commissions at this time in 
the armed forces sent to invade the South. It was 
proven by subsequent events that these men were insin- 
cere. They were playing for time. 

This same legislature, on the 11th of February re- 
solved that *'we protest against the use of force or coer- 
cion by the general government against the seceded 
states, as unwarranted and imprudent and tending to the 
destruction of our common country." 

A Union convention of the state was held at Louis- 
ville on the 8th of January. Certain amendments to the 
federal constitution were recommended, and it was re- 
solved "that if the present disorganization of the pres- 
eift Union is not arrested that the states agreeing to the 
amendment of the federal constitution shall form a sep- 
arate confederacy with power to admit new states under 
our glorious constitution thus amended." It was re- 
solved also that it was "expedient to call a convention 
of the border free and slave states, and that we deplore 


the existence of a union to be held together by the 

This of itself proves the insincerity of the union 
men^ and almost takes breath away from honest men, 
even to read it. Theirs sounded like strong secession 
resolutions. "If this disorganization of this union is nol 
stopped ;" the loyal union men would also help it along. 
The reader is left to draw his own conclusions. 

On April 16th Governor Ma,s:offin received a call 
for troops from Kentucky from the President. His re- 
ply was as follows : "Your dispatch is received. In 
answer, I say emphatically that Kentucky will furnish 
no troops for the wicked purpose of subduing her sister 
states. — B. Magoffin, Governor of the state of Ken- 
tucky." The state had declared its neutrality by reso- 
lutions some months before. 

In the early months of summer, Gen. S. B. Buckner, 
commander of the Kentucky State Guards, held an in- 
terview with Gen. George B. McClelland, who com- 
manded a department embracing territory contiguous 
to Kentucky, if, indeed the latter was not included in his 
commission. Gen. Buckner received, as he supposed, a 
guarantee that the neutrality of Kentucky would be 
observed or respected by the military authorities of the 
United States. He communicated the result of his in- 
terview to Governor Magoffin, and immediately it be- 
came a matter of official as well as popular belief, that 
Kentucky was safe for all time to come. But the dream 
was very short lived. Soon after this the federal g -^r- 
ernment began recruiting in Kentucky; camps were 
organized, and citizens arrested, etc. At first this pro- 
duced high excitement and distrust, and in some in- 
stances, resistance. This invasion had its counterpart 
in the occupancy of Columbus, Kentucky, by the Con- 


federates, under General Leonidas Polk. Thus was the 
neutrality of the state ignored by first one side, then 
by both. 

About all the Southern states by this time had 
joined their fortunes to the Confederacy, except Ken- 
tucky and Missouri. It was at about this time that 
Colonel Bramlett issued orders for the arrest of many 
members of the Lexington Rifles. There was intense 
excitement throughout the state. Many Southern sym- 
pathizers had left and joined the army in the South; 
many were leaving under serious difficulty. I have told 
of the attempted seizure of the state guard's guns at 
Lexington ; the hard march to Camp Charity ; our tire- 
some and laborious tramps to Green River, where we 
met the advance of Sidney Johnston's army, commanded 
by the redoutable Colonel Hanson, that magnificient 
soldier who gave his life for the South, the first com- 
mander of the splendid Second Kentucky Regiment, 
which was considered one of the finest regiments in 
the Confederate armies, both as to drill and also in 
fighting qualities. This reputation was a just tribute 
spontaneously given after many bloody and severe con- 
tests on field of battle and drill camps, and Hanson was 
the guiding genius in all. 



My first scout — We move to Bowling Green, Glasgow Junction 
and Schob's Tavern — Meet the Home Guards — Adventure of 
Jeff Sisson in securing meat from Schob — I resent an insult. 

Arrived in camp the serious business of soldier-life 
began in sober earnest. Camp duties were familiar to 
most of Morgan's old company, as they had followed 
him from home to try the realities of soldiering upon 
the field of glory. I shall never forget my first scout 
on the 2nd day of September, 1861. Morgan, having 
some forty or fifty men in his company at this time, 
determined to try conclusions with the enemy. The 
monotony of camp and picket duty, devoid of all ex- 
citement^ did not suit him or his men. Calling for 
twenty volunteers, he declared the fact then, that cav- 
alry can be employed to far better advantage if kept 
well out upon the front and flank of the enemy, than 
if kept performing picket duty for the army ; that cav- 
alry should be the eyes and ears of an army. This fact 
was so completely demonstrated by him that comment 
is unnecessary. 

At this call for volunteers the whole company 
stepped forward ; he chose thirty men. He merely stated 
to them that he wished to gain some information of 
the enemy, who was now camped near Nolin Bridge, 
some twenty-one miles up the railroad. We made our 


way to near the enemy's outpost, sometimes going near 
their camps, to learn from our friends what transpired. 
These excursions occurred three or four times weekly. 
Sometimes we would have exciting times on reaching 
the enemy's lines, as some of these countrymen were 
in the pay of the Federals, or were in sympathy with 
them and would report our approach and would start 
at break-neck speed, pursued by our foremost riders. 
They soon found that we were mounted on fleet horses, 
and when pressed too closely they would leave their 
horses and take to the brush ; these abandoned horses 
we took possession of. They then adopted a less ex- 
pensive mode of carrying information ; they travelled 
on foot, having conch shells which they blew, others 
answering from hill to hill, and thus informed their 
friends of our approach far in advance. 

We were compelled to change our plans. We would 
start from camp an hour or so before sundown, reach- 
ing the enemy's lines after dark. We would prowl 
around their camps all night. When day returned the 
scouting party would take a position on the line of 
retreat at a convenient distance, but safe from sur- 
prise from the enemy^ to rest and refresh men and 
horses. We had some friends living near who piloted 
us around. Many were the secret conferences we had 
in the shade of the woods and with faithful informants. 
They would close their reports with emphatic "for the 
love of God." We would never breathe their names. We 
were thus unconsciously becoming familiar with danger. 
Once we were guided safely out of a dangerous situa- 
tion by an intensely loyal man who thought he was 
assisting some friends who had lost their way in the 
dark. There were six of us with Morgan upon this 
occasion. After twenty-four or thirty-six hours' close 


observation we knew if there was any unusual move- 
ment in the hostile lines. 

After three or four weeks of this sort of service, 
relieved by frequent skirmishes with the enemy, about 
the last week in October we were called to horse by 
bugle note. Having mounted, we turned our horses' 
heads to the north. Proceeding some twelve miles from 
camp in the direction of Nolin Bridge, the advance of 
our column suddenly discovered a body of Federal in- 
fantry moving down the road towards us. Their bayo- 
nets glistening and just perceptible above a little rise 
three or four hundred yards off, notified the videttes 
of their vicinity. We immediately dismounted and post- 
ed ourselves in the thickets on both sides of the road, 
sending our horses to the rear under the charge of nine 
men. The Federals had not as yet discovered us. No 
plan of battle was adopted. Every man acted as his 
own commander. This being his first real battle with 
infantry and cavalry, Captain Morgan fired the first 
shot. The battle lasted about twenty-five minutes. The 
enemy retreated, and took shelter in a two-story log 
house, having lost thirteen men killed, and nine wound- 
ed. Our loss was three men wounded slightly. We 
were in no danger during this fight, as the enemy seemed 
to be shooting at the tops of the trees. During the 
battle one of the horse-holders informed us that the 
enemy was receiving reinforcements and was at that 
moment flanking us. This intelligence necessitated the 
withdrawal of our forces, and every man withdrew after 
his fashion and at his own time. 

Services of this character kept us constantly occu- 
pied^ and shortly after this we moved to Bowling Green, 
where we were sworn into the Confederate service, the 
company numbering eighty-five privates and four com- 


missioned officers. After completing our organization, 
we received orders to repair to Glasgow Junction, scout- 
ing and picketing the various roads. From there we 
fell back to a place known as Schob's Tavern, midway 
between Glasgow Junction and Bowling Greeii, wnere 
we camped for some time. Scouting the country north 
to and beyond Green River, we made a raid into Butler 
County and to Morganficld. 

While preparing to cross Green River on rafts, wc 
were attacked by two companies of Home Guards, aiid 
compelled to cross the river under a galling fire. Sev- 
eral horses were killed and three or four men woundea. 
Lieutenant Van Sellers was seriously w^ounded. When 
we had landed and placed our wounded under sheitei 
of the river bluff, we raised the rebel yell and charged 
the Home Guards with a whoop. In the excitement 
I found myself in the van or lead of these rough, enthu- 
siastic riders, which made me the object of admiration, 
compliments and honors, for they placed me in com- 
mand of the scouts in place of Lieutenant Van Sellers. 
He was sent back to camp under an escort while we 
pressed forward to Morganfield. We met and disposed 
of over 179 Home Guards and captured 12 prisoners, 70 
horses, and 20 guns. 

I was in high favor with my comrades and Captain 
Morgan. W^e, by this time, became a squadron or bat- 
talion of three companies : Companies A, B and C, 
with Captain Morgan in command of Company A, Cap- 
tain Tom Allen, of Shelby County, of Company B, and 
Captain Jas. Bowles, afterward Colonel Bowles, of Com- 
pany C. All had their full complement of men and 

While at Schob's Tavern we ran short of rations 
and our company devised a scheme to obtain from Mr. 


Schob necessary supplies. A committee was appointed 
to wait upon him to solicit the poor, but necessary, privi- 
lege of buying supplies from him. He was a strong 
Union man. He was sorry, he informed our commit- 
tee, that he could not and would not let them have what 
they wanted. He asked for a guard from Captain Mor- 
gan. The captain informed him that he did not need a 
guard at his house as no one could leave camp because 
there was a camp-guard round his soldiers. Schob had, 
Morgan reminded him, a large half-breed bloodhound 
in his yard to protect his property ; therefore, it was not 
necessary for him to have a soldier on his place. 

After several days' scheming by my company, we 
concocted a plan of procedure. I called for volunteers 
to carry out this plan. We then held a meeting to de- 
termine who should perform the various parts of the 
work necessary to be done in this undertaking. The dog 
must be disposed of or entertained while this work 
was being done. We must also have some one to crawl 
under the meat house and hand out the ham, shoulders 
and sides of bacon ; there must be others to pry „j^ tlie 
corner of the meat house ; others to carry tne meat away 
to a place of safety. All these details were settled by 
drawing straws. 

We selected a tall, slender beech tree, cut it down 
close to the ground, then trimmed the limbs close to 
the body. This was cut off twenty-four feet long; 
then we cut a short block to place on the ground as a 
pry block. To Leek Arnett fell the duty of entertain- 
ing the dog with eight pounds of fresh meat ; to Jeff 
Sisson, the dangerous duty of crawling into the meat 
house ; the others were placed where there was the most 
need of them. All were assigned to places so that the 
scheme would be a howling success. The time was set. 


It fell on a dark night. All was ready, everything ar- 
ranged and emergencies provided for. 

The meat house was about twenty feet in the rear 
of the residence, which was on the north side of the 
turnpike ; a garden, a grape arbor and an orchard with 
sweet potato ridges were on the west and north sides. 
We are on the ground. All is now ready. Arnett is 
doing his duty by the blood-hound, entertaining him 
royally with fresh meat ; we have pried up the corner of 
Schob's meat house. Jeff Sisson has entered the sacred 
and forbidden place and is handing out the hams^ should- 
ers and sides of meat with lavish hands. Ten. twelve, 
fourteen, sixteen ! "Boys, this is enough." "No," says 
some one ; "let's have an even twenty." Twenty it shall 
be. S-sh! s-sh! h-st ! What's that? The dog? Why, 
the dog, of course! He refuses longer to be entertained 
by the friendly stranger in soldier clothes. He will see 
what it all means. He scouts his domain, he finds 
something very strange and unusual going on under the 
very nose of his master. A low threatening growl, a 
fierce, snappish bark, a furious rush at these intrucrers of 
the master's sacred domain. What was done must needs 
be done quickly, and it was. The invaders fled in hot 
haste. Where was the meat? Gone. Where was Ar- 
nett? Gone^ on very urgent business down the road. 
Where were all the other men? Gone, across the gar- 
den and woods with the precious store. Someone RS-ks, 
"Boys, where is Jeff Sisson?" 

It is remembered that at the first onslaught of the 
dog the men on the prize-prop leaped from their perch, 
the prop being thrown violently into the air from the 
immense weight upon it. The noise was like a cannon 
shot, when the corner fell into its former position and 
poor Jeff had been caught in the trap. Heavens, how 


Startled he was! "A scurvy tricky this, by my com- 
rades. I shall await de\'elopments," said he, easy and 
lov/, and he did. 

In the meantime the boys were not idle. They hid 
the meat securely in a hole dug in the ground, covered it 
with a brush heap in the woods, while Jeff was re- 
flecting on the uncertainties of his position. The dog 
kept him informed of his presence. He charged round 
and round the meat house like mad. In a few minutes 
Sisson heard the voice of our friend Schob, hissing the 
dog on. A light was brought, the place examined and 
the prop found. The dog w^as still uneasy, alert, growl- 
ing and barking, fiercely rushing around the meat house. 

"Let us examine inside the meat house. Tige seems 
very uneasy. I believe there is someone in the house," 
says Mrs. Schob ; *1:)ring the light and also the key." 

The key is placed, the' lock flies back. At this time 
Sisson has placed himself close beside the door. When 
the light is thrust in, Schob says^ ''Who's there?" At 
this moment Sisson blows out the light, rushes past 
and over Schob, shoving him aside. In one desperate 
rush he leaps past the astonished family group, and 
at one bound he clears himself of all entanglements, 
leading the dog, who was hissed after him. Across the 
potato ridges, through tangled vines, on he rushes to 
liberty and anxiously awaiting friends. At the cross 
fence in this mad rush for liberty he loses his red artil- 
lery cap and one shoe. Sad mishap. He reaches the 
fence, tries hard to clear the top rail. Oh, the fates 
seem to be against him ! He only gets one leg over. 
The rail breaks with his weight and he falls backward 
and the dog is upon him ! He calls for help from his 
comrades. The dog is snarling in his face and seems 


to want more fresh meat from Jeff. His comrades rush 
to his rescue and drive the dog away. 

Next morning we had an unceremonious call at our 
camp from our neighl^or. He calls upon Capt. Morgan. 
Makes his complaint. Our gallant captain told him that 
if he could find one single trace of the guilty i)arties, 
he would punish them till Schob said it was enough. 
The squadron was drawn out into line. A squad was 
detailed to go with Schob and search the tents ; the\ 
started down the line with Schob in the lead, holding 
Sisson's red artillery cap and No. 10 shoe in his hands. 
He scrutinized each soldier closely but failed to find 
any one the shoe would fit. Sisson had found another 
shoe and cap. Schob finally went back to Sisson, placed 
the shoe before him and said, ''If this shoe don't fit your 
foot and this cap is not yours, I don't know whose they 
are." But Captain Morgan decided that this was not 
sufficient evidence on which to punish a man. Forever 
afterward this was a source of gibe and jest. Sissor. 
never heard the last of it during the entire service. 

We remained here some weeks. During our stay 
we had established a rule that was ever after adhered 
to, and that was when any one felt themselves insulted 
or aggrieved they were not permitted to quarrel or to 
fight with weapons, but must settle the difference with 
their fists or acknowledge themselves a coward. A se- 
vere condition for the weak and physically small ; but 
this had to stand. The officers made them form a ring 
round the belligerents, and they fought it out there and 
then to a finish. There were several of these private 

I took part in one. There were two of my school- 
mates in the same mess that left Lexington with me. 
They were chums and fast friends, always together. 


They announced that a quarrel with one was with both 
and they would jointly resent any insult the other might 
receive. Since my recent, distinction at the hands of my 
comrades, these two ambitious sons of Mars took spe- 
cial pains on every occasion to show their disgust, envy 
and dislike at the favors shown me. I took all their 
petty insinuations and slights until one day I was griev- 
ously and outrageously insulted. 

My father was present at the time. This called for 
blood. My father looked on for a few moments. He 
then very quietly asked me if I was a coward. I said, 
"No, father, I am not, but I don't wish to destroy my 
chances for promotion. I want to fight these two en- 
vious imps, both at the same time. You know the ru^ 
established. I shall certainly demand satisfaction and 
have it at all hazard." A great hue and cry was raised 
about this time. "Form a ring! form a ring!" could 
be heard all over the camp. A great crowd gathered. I 
told my friend, Jack Wilson^ from Woodward county, 
to challenge Ben Drake and Billy Spencer. They must 
either apologize publicly or fight. 

While this w^as being arranged for, the officers 
came forward to know what the trouble was. My father 
was my spokesman in the case. He told them every 
thing from beginning to end. Captain Morgan and 
Lieutenant Basil Duke decided that the provocation was 
great and of serious nature to a proud person. Yet 
there should not be any duelling. If this was once al- 
lowed there would be no end to the practice ; therefore, 
we must settle our differences with Nature's weapons. 
They informed us of their decision in the matter, telling 
Drake and, Spencer that they must either apologize or 
light me at once ; all must agree beforehand to accept 
the. result as final, as there should be no quarreling. 


For my part, I was ready' and willing to accept 
any terms where there was a prospect of thrashing my 
tormentors once for all. We all stripped for the scrap. 
They wanted to try their skill, and at the same time 
humiliate me in the eyes and opinion of the command 
and shut off any remote chance of promotion or honors. 
I had learned something of the use of the gloves and 
felt confident that I could hold my own with either 
or both of them at the same time. It was arranged that 
they should fight me singly. They evidently did not 
relish this arrangement ; seeing which I insisted that I 
would rather fight them both at the same time. Having 
agreed to this, both parties entered the ring. Captain 
Morgan asked me if I thus deliberately invited sure 
defeat by fighting both men at once. I said, "If they 
whip me, I will accept it like a man and a soldier ; but 
they will know they have had a fight." 

We faced each other without ceremony. The fight 
was brisk and furious. I attacked Spencer and j)ressed 
him closely. I knocked him silly in short order. The 
claret poured from his nose and mouth. He was carried 
from the ring helpless. I turned on Ben Drake, now 
thoroughly aroused. He had been the cause and aggres- 
sor, and was the better man of the two. \ had some 
hard fighting to whip him; he was cautious and g:ive me 
some severe blows. I pushed the fight with the determ- 
ination of one aggrieved. I finally got in a hard blow 
on his ear that settled the matter from that time for- 
ward. My status was recognized. I had no further 
trouble. I was always on hand for any and all enter- 
prises. I had a good horse, and treated him kindly, even 
tenderly and he seemed to, and did, appreciate my atten- 
tions. He was always glad to see me coming. 

We were now^ fast becoming inured to camp life. 



I felt comparatively content. My father was with me. 
He had to leave home to avoid arrest as did thousands 
of southern sympathizers in the state, leaving^ every- 
thing behind. He was 99 years, 10 months and 20 days 
old at this time, and lived through the war, to the age 
of 108 years, 4 months. Winter was now^ upon us, with 
rain, snow and sleet. 



We are ordered to the front— Battle of Green River — Morgan 
harasses the enemy's pickets — Burning the Bacon Creek 
bridge — We raid the Federal stores at Lebanon. 

We were again ordered to the front, reporMng to 
General Hindnian, who commanded a strong body of 
infantry and cavalry, abotit 3,500 men, upon the extreme 
front of our line. The headquarters were at Bell's Tav- 
ern, twxnty-five miles from Bowling Green and thirteen 
miles from Woodsonville. The latter place w^as ther 
occupied by the enemy, wdio had advanced to Green 
River, ten days after we had left there. While camped 
at Bell's Tavern there was a call for volunteers for a 
scout to the extreme front, as General Hindman had 
received information that a strong body of the enemy 
had crossed the river, and he desired to ascertain if this 
movement was preliminary to an advance of the enemy's 
entire army. 

General Hindman moved forward with a large part 
of his army. He took us along to show him the country, 
as we had scouted over the ground frequently. 

He sent forward two pieces of artillery and Colone' 
Terry's Texas Rangers^ cavalry regiment, to reconnoiter 
and when about three miles from the river he discovered 
the enemy advancing, and supposing the latter to be 
stronger than his own forces he determined to engage 
at once. When first seen, the enemy was unaware of 
the whereabouts of General Hindnian. who had screened 
the bulk of his force behind a large hill on the east 
side of the Bowling Green road, the summit of which 


he occupied with skirmishers. His artillery was posted 
farther back, where it was partially concealed, and yet 
swept the road over which the enemy was advancing. 
Colonel Terry was instructed to skirmish in his front 
and draw him on till his flank should be exposed to the 
infantry masked behind the hill. It was the intention 
then to attack vigorously with all the infantry, a part of 
it in the enemy's rear and between him and the river, 
while Terry charged him on the flank. One part of 
Colonel Terry's regiment under his immediate command 
was on the right of the road at a considerable distance 
from any support. Another, commanded by one of his 
officers, was posted nearer the infantry. Hindman's 
plan was to bring his whole force rapidly into action, 
cut off and capture at least a part of the enemy's forces. 
This was frustrated by Terry's impatient order, who, 
after a very brief retreat before Willich's regiment of 
infantry, turned and charged furiously. The officer, see- 
ing his colonel engaged^ also charged, riding around the 
federals. Of the latter 18 or 19 were killed, 48 wounded, 
pvd ]7 taken prisoners. Many were lassoed in the charge 
and dragged from their ranks. Colonel Terry was killed 
at the first volley. His death rendered his men almost 
frantic. The loss of Colonel Terry was a hard, sad 
blow. He was a brave, gallant and dashmg officer of 
much promise, and his death was regretted by the en- 
tire army. We had 11 wounded and 5 l^illed in this 
en<?a<?'ement, which was the severest that we had wit- 
nessed. There were 46 of Morgan's men in the fight. 
They were complimented by General Hindman for gal- 
lant and meritorious conduct. 

We were now real soldiers, having seen a real bat- 
tle ; we were actors in actual war. The whirl of the 
headlong charge, the hiss of flying bullets, the mad and 


dashing cavalry charge, the exultant rebel yell, all made 
one forget the danger or rendered him indifferent to 
it. At first, 1 was somewhat uneasy and wished that I 
might find some honorable way out of it. Oh, the con- 
temptible, corrupt, tricky politicians on both sides ! I 
thought if honest men could only stand aside and let 
them fight it out how much l)etter it would be for the 
whole country. But we were in for the war. The merry 
dance of death is in full swing, and woe to the hapless 
widows and forlorn orphans, — how piteous is their cry ! 
the demon of liate, murder, bigoted intolerance, is 
abroad in this fair land and must be satiated, gorged, 
before it will be satisfied. How many innocent ar;d 
blood}^ victims will he claim? God only knows. 

The enemy withdrew hastily and recrossed the river. 
From this time forward the squadron was constantly 
close upon the outskirts of the enemy, sometimes in small 
scouting parties, at others, the entire squadron. We 
had no regular engagements except now and then some 
picket fights. The enemy seldom left camp exceot in 
large bodies, and then only for short distances. Mi)rgan 
was never idle and seemed never to tire when he could 
annoy the enemy, w^hich was kept in continual ferment 
by his forays. He was attacking their pickets, scouting 
entirely around their camps at night, comperimg them 
to turn out and form line of battle. At these times the 
long roll was beaten, the bugle-note sounded clear and 
distinct above the din. This was done to develop their 
]'(sition and strength. 

The practice of firing on pickets, attacking them in 
camp, was at this time much condemned by Federal 
officers, but they could give no good reason for this 
condemnation. It is true that at first sight it does not 
appear to affect the final result, but it does help in a 


General way to decide, by assistiiiiJ: to make a campaign 
successful. Every soldier killed or wounded or by any 
means weakened by constant attack, worries and dis- 
courages an adversary and thereby weakens his strength, 
and keeps him in doubt. If these are toDe condemned, 
then for the same reason must sieges, pitched battles, 
and all strategem be condemned. There are certain rules 
of war whose observance humanity and the spirit of the 
age demands. Prisoners ought not be killed or mal- 
treated, unless in retaliation ; the terms of capitulation 
and surrender ought always to be faithfully fulfilled; 
war should not be made on non-combatants, but the sol- 
dier ought to be content to take his chance. It certainly 
is more soldierly to teach a picket to fight when he is 
attacked than to complain of it. And a picket who 
will allow himself to be surprised on his post ought to 
be shot ; for he is supposed to be the eyes and ears of 
a sleeping army. At the time of which I write the Fed- 
eral army at Green River bridge had no cavalry, or had a 
cavalry that was useless. 

We now had an adventure that attracted much at- 
tention. It was the burning of the Bacon Creek bridge, 
a wooden structure across this creek, small it is true ; 
but was necessary in the operation of the railroad. The 
Federal army lay in camp about three miles north. 
Their pickets were scarcely half a mile from the bridge. 
We believed it would be strongly guarded, as the Feder- 
als had burned this same structure before railing back 
to Bowling Green. We expected to encounter some 
force at the ford at Woodsonville, which, unfortunately, 
was not guarded. We dispersed a company of Home 
Guards^ which, ignorant of our approach, had assembled 
in the town to carry off some Southern sympathizers. 
Marching rapidly on, we reached the bridge about mid- 


night and to our surprise and satisfaction found it un- 
guarded. Having entirely destroyed it, we fell back 
across the river. 

On the 25th of January Captain Morgan, with five 
men, of whom I was one, left Bell's Tavern, crossed 
the river at an unguarded ferry, and on the 
following day we rode into Lebanon, some sixty 
miles from his camp. Several hundred Federal 
troops were camped near this place and a large 
amount of army stores were in two large buildings. Sol- 
diers off and on duty were frequently passing through 
town. We captured these and made them set fire to 
these stores. We took 30 prisoners. Some of them we 
released, reserving their blue overcoats with which to 
disguise our men. By this means we were able to quietly, 
pass through some dangerous situations, and bring back 
nine prisoners, a large flag and several .other trophies. 
Two companies of cavalry pursued us but we eluded them, 
being familiar with the country. Next day we reached 
Glasgow with the United States flag flying in front of 
our column of ''blue coats." We scared the citizens and 
some straggling Confederates horribly. They were al- 
most demoralized at the sight of us, but were soon re- 
assured. We turned over our prisoners. This was the 
first flag captured. It was a proud record for the gal- 
lant rangers, left of this period, but they paid dearly for 
it, and I fear that few remain of those who used to roam 
and fight so recklessly. 


We leave Kentucky — At Nashville and Murfreesboro — Scouting 
about Nashville — Morgan's methods — We visit Nashville^ — 
In ambush at the asylum — An exchange of prisoners — We 
got a hot reception, but escape. 

The time was now approaching when we should 
leave these scenes and the region with which we had 
become so familiar. With sad hearts we turned away 
when the signal was sounded. We had confidently hoped 
that we should be ordered to advance instead of retreat 
and it seemed to us like a march to our graves, and so 
it was to many poor fellows.. We had hoped to be or- 
dered to press forward that wt might win victories that 
would give Kentucky to us forever. It was but natural 
that Ave should regret leaving the country in which we 
had passed pleasant months, and seen stirring service and 
where we had led free, active lives, spiced with danger. 
These are not the kind of reminiscences that the poetical 
and the romantic sigh over, but every man has a right 
to be sentimental after his own fashion, and we always 
felt this way about this Green River country, where we 
were baptised as soldiers. 

In the latter part of January it became clearly evi- 
dent that we must leave Kentucky. This was known 
to even the private soldiers. Gen. Albert Sidney John- 
ston, chief commander of the Western armies, had been 
for months making his disposition to meet the threat- 
ened points of attack. The battle of Mill Springs on 
this right flank had been fought, with serious disaster 
to the Southern cause, near Summerset, Ky. In this 


battle General Zollicoffer was killed. His death was 
itself an irreparable loss. The evacuation of Bowlinj; 
Green on the 14th of February, 1862, took place. Many 
soldiers had been sent to reinforce Fort Donelson. A 
battle was raging there. The weather was bitterly cold. 
The troops suffered intensely on the retreat. All the 
bridges had been destroyed by our command on orders 
from General Johnston. 

News received by us from Donelson on our retreat 
was favorable to our arms during the ■ first few days 
of conflict. We were the rear-guard of the army. The 
late news from Donelson came like a thunder clap, tell- 
ing of the surrender of several thousand men. This was 
indeed a disaster that none looked for, but after a few 
days the news was more reassuring. It was learned 
that Col. Bedford Forrest had refused to surrender and 
'had cut his way out with his entire regiment and was 
then on his way to Nashville. He reached the city 
two days later. His command was recruited along the 
border of Tennessee and Kentucky. It was a mixed 
command. He afterward became famous as a dashing 
cavalry commander, and is yet regarded as one of the 
most remarkable of the many remarkable men the war 
developed. Our stay in Nashville was of short duration 
but it is impossible to convey an adequate idea of the 
confusion that existed for a week or two after the fall 
of Fort Donelson. Soldiers and citizens were almost in 
panic. Forrest was called on to clear the streets. There 
were large stores of ordnance and army supplies of 
every description, only a small amount of which was 
saved to the army; much of it was given to the citizens' 
who carried it away. 

The army halted at Murfreesboro, thirty miles south 
from Nashville ; rested for a few days. Here it was 


joined by the remnant of Zollicoffer's forces under Gen- 
eral Crittenden. After recruiting, reorganizing and dis- 
ciplining his army, General Johnston resumed his re- 
treat, crossing the Tennessee River at Decatur, Alabama, 
to Courtland, Tuscumbia, luka and to Corinth, the goal 
of his march. 

Every straggler had been driven out of Nashville. 
The evacuation was complete. Morgan's squadron was 
the last to leave, as we were required to remain in the 
rear of the army and pick up all who had evaded the 
rear guards of the infantry. Our scouts that were left 
behind witnessed the arrival of the Federals and their 
occupation of the city, but not without a parting salute 
by way of protest and to remind them that we still held 
the right of defense. 

We fell back to Laverne, a small town about 16 
miles from Nashville, where we remained three weeks, 
scouting and picketmg the various roads, which radiated 
in every direction. It Avas from this central point that 
we carried terror and nightly disaster to the men of 
General Mitchell's army, now advanced to the insane 
asylum grounds. Our attacks were made from every 
direction. Many of his soldiers were captured in sight 
of their camps in daylight. When they placed thr' 
pickets for the night they said their prayers and crossed 
themselves. A chain of pickets was thrown out to 
better protect themselves from attack. 

Our method of attack was simple enough. We 
would select, say, forty men ; divide these into four or 
five unequal parts and give each its special number, then 
station them at points corresponding to their special 
number. After all had been so placed or assigned, we 
would send an attacking party down the pike about mid- 
night and charge the Federals furiously at their out- 


posts^ driving them past the places of ambush, where they 
were g-iven volley after volley. Many times their own 
men would fire on them, thinking Morgan was charg- 
ingr their camp. This often occurred twice nightly. 

This section of country was admirably adapted to 
this mode of warfare, ])eing densely covered with cedars, 
which hid the operations from view/ if it became neces- 
sary to retreat. It was only a few yards to absolute 
safety, so dense was the forest of cedars. 

We learned before retiring that General Mitchell's 
army had been reduced fifteen hundred during three 
weeks. Hearing of this, Morgan determined to try con- 
clusions elsewhere. He selected fifteen picked men 
for a visit to Nashville. Avoiding the highroads we 
were conducted by a faithful guide through the woods 
to the Lebanon Pike, which struck the road about a 
mile from the city. This vicinity favored, rather than 
endangered, Morgan. He rode into the streets without 
attracting hostile attention. A patrol of twenty or 
thirty cavalry was making the rounds. After reconnoit- 
ering a short time he formed his plans. 

He sent all but six of his men to a thicket a short 
distance away, to await his return. Keeping a sharp 
lookout with those whom he kept with him, he made 
them dismount and lead their horses along the river 
bank, until near the reservoir, about opposite a govern- 
ment steamboat that was anchored in the river. It was 
his wish to set this boat on fire and let her drift with 
the current into the midst of a number of other trans- 
ports which lay a few hundred yards below and were 
then crowded with troops and provisions. Three of us 
volunteered to do the work. We found a canoe and 
paddled out and set her on fire in full view of the 
trpops on the transports. We nearly fell into the hands 


of the enemy. The canoe, being leaky and rickety, was 
almost unamanageable. After watching the hissing 
flames and the consternation of the soldiers on the fleet, 
with three cheers for John Morgan, Jeff Davis and the 
Southern Confederacy we rowed rapidly away to rejoin 
our comrades. Cavalry was sent in pursuit but failed 
to overtake us. We gained the Alurfreesboro pike, 
where we encountered a body of cavalry which we drove 
pell mell into Nashville. Here we lost one man, killed — 
a fine soldier. We now fell back to Murfreesboro. 

Only a few days after this Morgan determined to 
pay his old friend General Mitchell a visit at the asylum. 
He selected thirty men and penetrated by bridle paths 
through the woods to the immediate vicinity of Mitch- 
ell's headquarters. With his men stationed in the thicket 
along the road at various places, he arranged to catch 
everything that should come along. There was a great 
deal of passing to and from headquarters to the 
various camps of commanding officers. No one thought 
of danger — they went unsuspectingly into the trap pre-' 
pared for them. In about an hour 84 men were taken 
and seven wagons captured and burned. The animals 
were used as mounts for prisoners. We also captured 
45 loose horses, after sending the prisoners away under 

Morgan and two companions rode down to the 
forks of the road, where there was a sergeant with ten 
men. He placed himself between them and their guns 
and represented himself to be an officer of high rank 
and berated them for neglect of duty and finally marched 
them off^ prisoners. They evidently thought they were 
being taken to headquarters, but they were soon dis- 
abused of this idea. 

This constant boldness increased the alarm of the 


Federal commaiuler. General Mitchell determined to 
march ai^ainst us with his entire force. At this time 
we had 97 prisoners. Morj^an decided to effect, if pos- 
sible, an exchange of prisoners. We had lost six men, 
captured in the various forays with the enemy. We 
started under a flag of truce. General Mitchell put his 
columns in motion for our extermination or capture. 
We met his advance not far from Laverne. There were 
surprises for both parties. They immediately formed 
in line of battle. They would not or could not or pre- 
tended not to believe Morgan sincere in his ialentions, 
wherefore Colonel Woods rode forward and added his 
presence and statement to those of Morgan, backed by 
the 97 prisoners. Would he be convinced now that this 
move was not simply one of Morgan's ruses to escape 
him? Mitchell had all his brigade — infantry, artillery 
and cavalry — in full force on the ground. He finally 
acknowledged very reluctantly that he was again de- 
feated by this wily chief of the gay, rough riders in 
'gray from old Kentucky. 

We had on this trip only enough men to safe- 
guard the prisoners, many of whom, be it said^ were 
fine fellow^s. There were formed at this time many 
mutual ties of friendship that have lasted until now. 
When all the preliminaries were agreed to we were 
escorted back to Mitchell's headquarters, where it was 
arranged that we. should exchange our 97 prisoners for 
the six Confederate soldiers held by the Federals, sub- 
ject to the ratification of each government. In the 
meantime the prisoners on both sides should be paroled, 
pending the action of the tw^o governments. We now- 
had a good dinner, and parted with mutual good wishes 
and handshakes on both sides. 

Two days later Lieutenant Duke was dispatched 


with twenty-eight men from Flat Rock, on the Shelby- 
ville pike, to capture the enemy's pickets and foraging 
parties, who were seizing cattle and arresting private 
citizens. We were to press in as close to Nashville as 
possible and learn the position of the Federals. On 
arriving at these points w^e found that the enemy had 
withdrawn their picket base. They had evidently been 
informed of our approach. We moved three miles fur- 
ther down the pike in the direction of Nashville before 
coming upon the enemy, although a day before their 
pickets had been thick in this ciuarter. It was evident 
that some plan for our reception was on foot, which 
caused this change ; therefore, unusual vigilance and 
caution became necessary. Here we had heard of and 
hoped to find some officers in a house behind the picket 
bases, where they would believe themselves secure, and 
capture them. But in this we were disappointed. None 
of the citizens had seen any one ; they wourd tell us 
nothing, and seemed alarmed at our presence. Their 
evident desire to get rid of us showed plainly that they 
knew of the proximity of danger. 

We rode down the road a short distance, turned to 
the right into the brush and, going a quarter of a mile 
into a dense thicket, halted and secreted men and 
horses. We were sure that we were within the lines 
and not far from General McCook's division in camp. 
It was now quite dark. Leaving five men to take care 
of our horses, and to remain there until our return, we 
started to find the enemy, Lieut. Basil Duke leading, 
all in single file, Indian fashion. We entered a wide 
meadow. While crossing this we heard a challenge of 
a picket: ''Who goes there?" It came from their 
camp, not far away. I judged from the words that it 
was the officer of the day making his rounds. We reached 


the Shelby villc pike. Our guide told us there was a 
public or county road crossing the pike a short distance 
away. We could now see dimly outlined the enemy's 
white tents a short distance ahead. Soon a negro came 
down the road towards us ; we captured and questioned 
him. He answered very glibly. He had come out to 
be captured, with a made-up tale. His story seemed 
incredible. It simply aroused our already confirmed 
suspicion. He evinced no fear and seemed anxious to 
answer our questions and talk. We were surely be- 
tween the enemy's picket lines and camp. We sent the 
negro to the horses, under guard. We were now not 
more than three hundred yards from a large camp. We 
were convinced that it was a part of a plan to capture 
any scouting party who might attempt to raid their 
picket base. We at least had found an enemy. He it 
was certain had laid a trap. There was little hope of 
accomplishing the object of the scout, but we could at 
least spring the trap, and there was a chance of sur- 
prising an ambush at close quarters. We were then 
a fair match for three or four times our number, as we 
were all armed with double-barrel shotguns, loaded with 
twenty-four buckshot in each barrel ; also, a pair of pis- 
tols. Each w^as a proper weapon in such an affair. 

We were ordered to keep open space between files 
in single file and all of us to keep together and not 
reload, but, after firing both barrels of our shotguns, then 
use the pistols and make our way bacl^ to the horses. 
Lieutenant Duke ordered us to follow him. We started 
in the direction of the enemy. We were mstniciecl to 
hold our fire until challenged then half was to fire, 
all kneeling, and all must fire low. We made little 
noise marching down the pike, each soldier seemed to 


be afraid that he might tread on and break some eggs 
that might be lying around loose on the pike. 

We were soon convinced by a chorus of coughing 
which at this moment broke on our ears as we neared 
them, that a pretty large crowd was before us. When 
we had almost reached the point where the road 
crosses, a sergeant and ten men at his back sprang up 
so near us that we could have touched them, by making 
another step ; they ordered us to halt, in a low voice, 
evidently taking us for friends. Our answer was a 
shot. All fell into line at once. In an instant a line of 
fire from three directions greeted us — in our front, to 
our right, and from the direction we had come, all from 
the fence corners. We had passed them unseen in the 
darkness. The blaze of our guns met. Our men could 
be seen kneeling. The low firing- did dreadful execu- 
tion. The bulk of the enemy was stationed on the left 
or west side of the road^ and must have been asleep until 
alarmed by the firing. They sprang up at the sudden 
uproar. They aimed at the blaze of the guns, endan- 
gering their own men more than our own. At ev^ery 
flash from our guns there followed agonizing groans, 
curses and the commands of officers ; the mingled up- 
roar was terrific, almost deafening. It was noticed at 
each flash that the w^ounded and dying were writhing 
in agony, and that the fire of the enemy was high, pass- 
ing over our heads. 

Our weapons emptied, ammunition expended, we 
sprang over the fence on the east side of the pike and 
ran at top speed for our horses. A chained picket which 
had been posted on the Shel])yville pike sprang forward 
and opened fire on us. Those we had left behind and 
bidden farewell redoubled this fire. All was confusion. 
When we regained our horses, we were nearly sur- 



rounded. Parties liad come down the road from the 
woods Ijehind us and our retreat, hy the way we had 
come, was blockaded. ( )ur signal to call in lag-^ards 
as we prepared to leave was answered from every di- 
rection by the enemy^ but the friendly woocfs protected 
us, as it had many times before, and we escaped under 
its shelter. Strange as it may seem, not a man among 
us was killed ; only one was slightly wounded, in the 
fleshy part of the left arm. 

This same night a similar occurrence took place on 
the Franklin pike under the immediate command of Cap- 
tain Morgan, though earlier in the evening, in which he 
captured some thirty wagons and two sutler's wagons. 
The latter were taken to camp, the others burned, and 
the horses and mules driven to camp to remount men 
whose horses were broken down by continuous hard 
service for months past. The Federals were puzzled 
and uncertain whether to believe him really ubiquitous, 
or the commander of two or three thousand men. In 
reality, Morgan at that time had only three companies, 
about 300 men all told. 


Morgan rejoins the army — Is attached to Breckenridge's division. 
Under Albert Sidney Johnston — Morgan commissioned as 
Colonel — Marching from Corinth to Pittsburg Landing — The 
battle— Death of General Johnston — Confusion in Northern 
army — We retreat to Corinth. 

About the middle of March Captain Morgan re- 
ceived orders to rejoin the army as soon as practicable. 
But desiring to leave an impression upon our enemies 
of his ubiquity, after he had gone, which might be use- 
ful to his further plans, he called for twenty-five volun- 
teers from each of his three companies. There was a 
great scramble by all for a place. He left Murfreesboro 
about mid-day, his objective point being Gallatin, Tenn., 
situated on the Louisville & Nashville railroad, about 
thirty miles from Nashville; at that time it was of no 
special military importance. There were numerous 
roads radiating from it. The distance to Murfreesboro 
was about sixty miles. ]\Iorgan wished to place him- 
self where he could receive any news of importance that 
might be available. 

Crossing the Cumberland River at Canney Branch 
ferry early next morning, we reached Gallatin about 
9 o'clock and he found the town not garrisonecr. There 
were four or five quartermasters' clerks which we cap- 
tured. Morgan left fifty of his men behind at the river. 
We took charge of the telegraph office and the opera- 
tor. Morgan also represented himself as a Union offi- 
cer^ desiring information from Nashville, as he was just 
from the interior of Kentucky. After obtaining the 
news, the conversation turned on Captain Morgan. The 


"clerk of the lii^hlniiiL;" said thai he had not disturl)e(l 
them yet — lie had better not. lie told the story ot 
Morgan's coming to Mitchell's lines with a flag of truce 
which it seemed had raised great excitement, and de- 
clared that he ought to have been shot then and there. 
"The scoundrel," he said, brandishing his pistol, "had 
I been there he could never have left alive !" Before 
he could say more, a pistol was shoved into his face by 
Morgan, who said, "Give me your pistol, my good fel- 
low ; I am Morgan." The operator's consternation was 
extreme, and his apology, when he foiuid his tongue, was 
polite. It was accepted and he w^as placed under guard. 

We remained two days longer, captured four offi- 
cers, an engine and loaded freight cars and two loaded 
wagons of government property. The cars and wagons 
were burned. Six transports loaded with troops from. 
Monticello passed down the river toward Nashville. 
Our boys left behind on the river bank did not dare 
fire on the troops on these boats as it might endanger 
Captain Morgan, and those w^ith him, nor did these 
troops know who the cavalry w^ere on the bank. We 
now rejoined our men at the river and hastily returned 
with our prisoners to Murfreesboro, thence to Shelby- 
ville, wdiere we found our friends anxiously awaiting our 

In our absence we had received orders to hasten 
our march through Fayetteville, thence to Huntsville. 
Our fame had preceded us. Along our line of march 
people flocked to see the rough riding Kentucky soldier- 
boys. Huntsville w^as the birth place of Captain Morgan 
and she received him like a mother. Her gates and 
doors were thrown wide open, not only to him, but 
to all his soldiers. We remained there four days. We 
were the recipients of unwearied kindness and attentioi 


and unstinted supplies of food or "square meals," as the 
boys called them. Lea\'ing our good friends behind, we 
continued our march to the Tennessee River, crossing 
it at Decatur, and reached Byronsville, a few miles from 
Corinth, after five days' marching, having passed 
through Tuscumbia and luka. 

It was now the third day of April. We found here 
the division of Gen. John C. Breckinridge, to which we 
w^ere attached. The wdiole army was astir and concen- 
trating to attack the enemy at Pittsburg Landing. This 
was a glorious sight to my eyes, these soldier boys in 
gray. Looking upon Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, I 
thouht : What a glorious specimen of all that is great ! 
The peerless man^ the magnificent soldier ! Look at him 
in his manly, vigorous and splendid physical develop- 
njent, symmetrical proportions, excelled by none, and 
equalled by few. He sits his splendid white charger 
with unequaled ease and grace. A born leader of sol- 
diers. He greets all with kindness, unrestrained by for- 
mality. He inspects our command and compliments our 
chief and ourselves, and tells us he is proud to com- 
mand such soldiers. He shows that he means what he 
says. He gives our captain a commission as colonel, to 
take effect at once, April 4, and also gives our colonel 
the assurance that after the coming battle he would be 
permitted to act independently and again follow his 
favorite service with a stronger force on a larger scale. 

None of the many ardent and high strung young 
men went with so much zeal and high hopes and en- 
thusiasm into that fight as did Colonel Morgan, for he 
saw beyond it a career of excitement, success and glory 
that might satisfy the most energetic and daring nature. 
Oh, little did we think then that the magnificent, superb 
Sidney Johnston would be slain, leading his victorious 


army in its last grand assault against Grant's demoral- 
ized and ])roken columns on iihe very brink of the river. 
That he should so soon be slain on the very verge of a 
glorious triumph none of us thought, even remotely, 
would be his fate. But I forestall events. 

Our commander-in-chief w^as in high spirits, he 
seemed to communicate his ov^n energy and vitality to 
his army. After months of hard work he was now 
beginning to see tangible results, and for his army, he 
doubted not there would be glorious victory. He moved 
among his troops with a smiling face and a kind word 
for each soldier, who cheered him lustily wherever he 

The infantry started from Corinth on the third of 
April with the artillery and cavalry following, all con- 
verging toward Pittsburg Landing, where General 
Grant's army lay, flushed with the victory at Donelson, 
wholly unconscious of the gathering host, insolent with 
triumph ; and disturbed by no thought of danger. 

General Johnston formed his plans for attack on 
the fifth, but owing to heavy rains on the third and 
fourth, the march from Corinth was slow. The artil- 
lery often stuck fast and the struggling horses failed to 
move the guns until the cannoneers applied themselves 
to the heavy mud-clogged Avheels. 

On the evening of the fifth, about 3 or 4 o'clock 
everything was at last concentrated upon the high 
ground near Shiloh Church, where General Johnston 
proposed to establish his line of battle. The disposition 
of his forces was at once commenced. It was said that 
owing to the lack of promptness on the part of some 
of the division officers, or the miscarriage of orders, a 
delay of one day was occasioned in the disposition of the 
forces. It is a well known fact that General Johnston 


had made his arrangements for attack on the fifth, 
instead of the sixth. He was informed that General 
Buell was marching rapidly to reinforce General Grant, 
and he desired to crush Grant before Buell arrived. He 
knew the importance of this and was preparing to act 
accordingly. At a conference of all the officers this 
matter of delay was considered. It was the opinion of 
General Beauregard that the attack, having been so 
long delayed, ought to be abandoned and the army re- 
tired to Corinth. He said it was now extremely hazard- 
ous to attack. The army might be confused by the 

General Johnston listened to every argument with 
courtesy, but was unm.oved. He resolved to rfgnt them 
on the morrow. He believed the offensive, once as- 
sumed, ought to be maintained at all hazards. His army 
was in high spirits. They believed in their commander, 
and that he w^ould lead them to sure victory. He trusted 
that vigor and audacity would enable them to win on 
the first day. His faith in his gallant soldiers was too 
strong for him to be shaken from his purpose. 

The ground selected for the battle was between 
Owl and Lick creeks, which ran nearly parallel with 
each other, and emptied into the Tennessee River. The 
flanks of the two armies rested upon these two little 
streams, and the front of each was just the distance as 
their respective positions between the two creeks. The 
Confederate front was, therefore, a little more than three 
miles long. The distance between the creeks widens as 
they approach the river. 

General Johnston's available effective strength was 
35,000 men; that of the enemy, 45,000. The Confed- 
erates camped in order of attack. To General Hardee 
was assigned the first line, to General Bragg the second, 


and to Cicneral Polk the third. General Hardee's line ex- 
tended from one creek to the other^ as his cor])s was 
fully deployed. . To him was given the honor of bei^in- 
ning- the l)attle. Thus disposed, the men slept on the 
field. Brai^i^s' corps was formed similarly to Hardee's, and 
General Polk's corps was formed in columns of brigades, 
both at close supporting distance of each other. Gen- 
eral Breckinridge's division, over 6,000 strong, consti- 
tuted a reserve, and was close up to General Polk's 
corps. Morgan's squadron was formed with Breckin- 
ridge's command. Other bodies of cavalry were formed 
promiscuously alou": the lines of l^attle. All were to 
move simultaneously at or before early dawn, each in 
close supporting distance of the other. 

At early dawn on Sunday morning Hardee, in ad- 
vance, attacked the Federals in the first camps, and drove 
this line back upon the second, where they were now 
hastily forming. As he closed upon the second, a long 
line of steel and flame met him, staggering and for 
a while stopping his advance. But this gallant corps was 
too fresh to be held back by an enemy that had not yet 
recovered from the effects of its first surprise. For 
a while it writhed, closed its ranks, and gathering it- 
self dashed irresistibly forward. The enemy was beat- 
en back. These hardy western men, though raw and for 
the first time under fire, could not be forced to positive 
flight, and at this stage of the battle could not be routed. 
They had little discipline, but plenty of staunch courage. 
They turned for another stand, and the Confederates 
were upon them again. Once more they gave way be- 
fore an impetuous charge of bayonet. 

The ground was now covered with niaiiv a corpse 
in gray or blue. At half past seven the first line began 
to show signs of exhaustion. It was now time for Bragg's 


superb corps to move to its relief. It did so in serried 
ranks. This was the first sign of slackening on the part 
of the Confederate advance and it seemed to add vigor 
to the enemy's resistance. But bravely as they fought, 
they never recovered from the stun of the first surprise. 
Their half day's battle was out of joint at the beginning 
and they never got it right that day. They were mak- 
ing desperate efforts to retrieve lost ground, when 
Bragg's tornado burst upon them. The shock was met 
gallantly, but in vain. Another bloody grapple, and an- 
other, was followed by retreat of the Federals ; again our 
lines moved on ; still another bloody grapple, in un- 
broken lines, and a wild yell would break forth from the 
gray lines. A mad^ fierce charge, a horrible din, then 
another rapid forward move. It seemed like some tre- 
mendous machine with regular stroke. 

We had now passed four large encampments. About 
half past ten o'clock General Polk's corps was ordered 
to advance and take part. One brigade was also sent to 
each flank by General Johnston. The battle was now re- 
newed. The enemy had called into action all his avail- 
able force. The battle was urged all along the line with 
greater vigor than at any time during the day. The 
enemy fought as if determined not to accept defeat, and 
their stern leader was not the man to relinquish hope, 
although his lines had been repeatedly broken, and the 
ground piled with his slain. 

The corps of Hardee, Bragg and Polk were now 
abreast or mingled with each other. Each brigade com- 
mander was ordered, when disengaged or detached, to 
seek and engage the nearest enemy and to press the 
flank of every hostile force, which his neighbors could 
not move, and to press forward at all hazard. General 
Johnston was continuously at the front. He more than 


once assumed command of brigades in person, and led 
them where they could fight with effect. Our success 
was not without very costly sacrifice and, the carnage 
was heavy upon both sides. 

Morgan's squadron was moving along wiin General 
Breckinridge's reserve. We had passed over many dead 
and wounded men^ both gray and blue. The sight was 
ghastly. I listened to the hideous noise, and thought how 
much larger was this engagement than the skirmishes 
on Green River, and at Nashville. We were now for- 
cibly reminded that we were close upon the enemy, as 
the bullets whizzed past with rapidly increasing num- 
bers. It Avas about this time that our advance was re- 
ceiving its first serious charge, on our right. While our 
left was still advancing, the right and center were re- 
pulsed before a strong position w^hich the enemy held 
in strong force. They were posted on an eminence in 
front of which were thickets and an intervening undu- 
lating depression. Plenty of artillery, strongly supported, 
crowned this eminence. Hardee's utmost efforts to carry 
it were foiled. So furiously played the batteries of the 
enemy that nothing could be seen of the enemy's posi- 
tion, save sheets of flame and clouds of smoke. At every 
advance, there was a shower of bullets. It was finally 
carried by the impetus given the line by the arrival of 
the reserve under General Breckinridge. He had moved 
forward on both sides so far that he had flanked the 
enemy's position, and the advance at this point was thus 
suspended. As the squadron approached. General Hardee 
sent an aide to know what cavalry it was. Upon learn- 
ing that it was Morgan's, he expressed himselt as much 
pleased. He would use us to take that battery. 

Upon being informed of this compliment, so gratify- 
ing to our vanity, we bore ourselves with becoming 


sobriety. We felt that our time had come. For the 
first time since my enlistment, I felt that I should much 
prefer that I was somewhere else ; that I had not lost 
any battery, and that I did not want that one, espe- 
cially while it was in such rapid eruption as it then 
was. As we formed for the charge, I heartily wished 
that I was some where else. We were told that the 
charge would be ordered immediately. We were not so 
sanguine of the result as General Hardee seemed to be. 
The general sat on his horse near vSchoup's battery, re- 
plying as best it could to the vicious rain of grape- 
shot and shell that poured from the hill. He seemed 
wholly indifferent to the terrible firing and only anx- 
ious to capture those guns. We were ordered on the 
charge and were moving forward. Noticing a slack- 
ening of the enemy's lines, Ave saw, to our intense relief 
that he was rapidly retreating. At the same time our 
infantry regiments dashed forward and poured deadly 
volleys into the Federal ranks, which were in imminent 
danger of now being flanked, and captured. Twxnty of 
their guns were abandoned. It was now evident that 
the enemy's plan was to mass his forces upon our left, 
to keep a way open for an escape passage down the 
river ; the drift of battle showed that he was already 
being hemmed in on all sides and forced toward Pitts- 
burg Landing. 

General Hardee ordered Colonel Morgan to take 
his command to the extreme left of the line, and to 
charge the first enemy he saw. Reaching the left of 
the line, we met some of the Kentucky brigade charging 
across an open field. We entered this field at a sharp 
trot. Our left flank was exposed^ and the enemy was 
in strong force, moving where one of their camps wa.- 
situated. The Kentucky brigade charged upon them so 


closely that it seemed as if l)ayonets must cross befpre 
the enemy o:ave \va\-. 'I'he roar of musketry in this 
charge was so tremendous that it drowned the thunder 
of artillery. The Federals withdrew rapidly to the 
cover of the woods near l)y, hjllowed closely by the 
victorious Confederates. The squadron and the Eii^hth 
Texas Rangers were close up. We lost several men in 
this charge. It was here we encountered Captain 
Byrne's battery, whose men were being picked off by 
some concealed sharp-shooters. We went forward at a 
headlong charge against some skirmishers, and captured 
and killed a number, causing their hasty retreat through 
the woods. We followed closely and suddenly came 
upon the infantr}^ This regiment, in scrambling 
through the v/oods, had lost its compact formation; for- 
tunately for us, we were close upon them before they 
fired. They delivered one stunning volley, the blaze 
almost reaching our faces, and the roar rang in our ears 
like thunder. Next moment we rode through their 
ranks. Some of our men, in trying to cut down the 
enemy with sabers, made ridiculous failures, though 
doing real execution with their pistols and guns. We 
lost in the charge 7 killed and 13 wounded. The affair 
was soon over. 

The Federal loss here was 27 killed, 69 w^ounded, 
and 117 prisoners. The Texans, as we prepared to charge, 
asked what we were going to do. "Go in," we an- 
swered. "Then we will go in, too,'' replied the Texans. 
They formed on our left, shouted, and charged into the 
woods with us. The enemy was now rapidly retreating 
to Pittsburg Landing. It was now that the most stub- 
born stand was made. His flanks had been driven in. 
The word was passed along the lines, "Let every order 
be forward!" In tliis stand Major-General Prentice and 


3,700 of his division were captured, with 26 field pieces 
of artillery. His troops stood until the advancing Con- 
federates closed in upon him. His escape became im- 

Our advancing lines were now near the river and 
victory, absolutely complete and decisive, was just with- 
in its grasp. General Johnston had exposed himself 
from the commencement of the fight. He had been in 
the van, adding spirit to the charge, cheering the men 
and giving new energy to the batteries that had been 
checked. Once he had ridden along the rear of a brave 
Arkansas regiment, which had recoiled before a terrible 
fire. "Where now," he said, tapping some of the men 
encouragingly upon the shoulder, "are the Arkansas boys 
who boasted that they would fight with their bowie 
knives?^ You have a nobler weapon in your grasp; will 
you dare to use it?" He spoke to men who could not 
hear such words spoken in vain — they rushed forward 
and won the position. At another point General Strath- 
em's magnificent brigade had faltered, seeing which 
General Johnston, hat in hand, with hand elevated, rode 
out in front of this brigade, and called out to them to 
follow their general to sure victory. 

His dress, majestic presence, imposing gesture and 
large gray horse, made him a conspicuous mark. A 
ball pierced his leg, severing a large artery. He paid 
no attention to the wound, but continued to lead his 
troops, who incited by his heroic example had charged 
while their last charge was successful. Suddenly, he 
grew faint from loss of blood, and reeled in his saddle. 
His staff came too late to his assistance. They bore 
him to a ravine for shelter, and in a few moments he died. 
If only he 'could have lived a few days longer! 

Shortlv after this great disaster our lines were 


pressed forward ra])i(ll\- at all ])nints. Our troo])s were 
still filled with tlie spirit of our lost leader. His t^^enius 
had prefaced results accomplished after lie was Lonc. 
The left had swept around the center, where the latest 
check harl been felt: when l)y hard fi^htini^ the oppo- 
sition here was completely overcome. For many miles 
we had driven the enemy throu^di his camps, rich with 
blood-boui^ht spoils. His brave resistance had at lenc^th 
been broken. After immense losses he seemed ready to 
yield. It is an indisputable fact that for an hour and 
a half at least, before the Confederate advance was 
checked bv orders from the commanding: general, it was 
meeting with no sort of check. Even the Northern writers 
— who shortly after the battle described it — one and all 
depicted a scene of utter confusion and consternation 
as prevailino; in the Northern army, crowded upon the 
banks of -the river. Avith scarcely a semblance of re- 
sistance or discipline remaininc:. Other writers main- 
tained thnt in reality they were ready to surrender. 
Hundreds of the fugitives, unable to force their way 
upon the boats, plung^ed into the river and w^ere drowned. 
This w^as witnessed by at least one hundred of on- 
scouts on the river banks. 

We were astonished at the lull in the battle, wdiich 
had almost ceased. We had learned of General John- 
ston's death, but had not thought that we should thu' 
abandon the results of a splendid victory. All felt that 
there was a great blunder somew^here. There were hun- 
dreds of straggling soldiers, prowling in the various 
camps. ; 

Early the next morning we received orders to scout 
the encampment and collect the stragglers. Shortly 
after starting, we heard rattling musketry fire. There 
was some severe fighting for several hours. W^hen we 


heard the army was retreating, we were very much 
surprised, but were informed that Buell had reinforced 
Grant's army with something like 30,000 fresh men. So 
our army slowly retreated to Corinth. General Breck- 
inridge was left in charge of the reserve rear-guard, and 
held a portion of the battlefield five or six days. He 
remained in undisputed possession from this time; our 
cavalry was still further to the north for more than 
ten days^ during which time only two or three skir- 
mishes occurred. Thus for the second time within a 
year were the fruits of splendid victory thrown away. 



I am made a lieutenant — We leave Corinth — Fight at Hunts- 
ville — I receive my second wound — Crushed at "Lebanon 
Races" — Morgan's mare "Bess" — Reorganization at Sparta — 
About Bowling Green — We capture a train — Squaaron be- 
comes a regiment at Chattanooga — A very remarkable char- 
acter, Lieutenant-Colonel Grenfels — -On the march — Fighting 
at Tompkinsville and Bear Wallow — I am wounded — Mor- 
gan's body-guard — I meet my brother at Harrodsburg — 
Through Lawrenceburg, Versailles, Midway and George- 
town to Cynthiana. 

Our squadron was now relieved of duty at the 
front. Colonel Mor^^-an sought and obtained permis- 
sion to dash into Tennessee and Kentucky. He wished 
to pounce upon the rich prizes of the enemy in the rear. 
He reorganized the squadron, as all the companies had 
suffered severe loss during our stirring engagement. We 
had lost a number of gallant officers and fine soldiers. 
I was elected a lieutenant. 

There were numerous transfers from otrier com- 
mands to us, three companies of detached cavalry being 
assigned to us, making our effective force about 650 men. 
All was activity and excitement, especially in camp was 
there cooking of rations and the shoeing of horses and 
mules, the latter for carrying the extra ammunition. This 
pack train was dubbed "Frank Leather's Mule Train." 
It was often said of Leathers that he made more noise 
driving his mules than was necessary to align a division 
for action. All Avas now ready. 


We left Corinth on April 26th, reaching luka, six 
miles from the river^ early next morning. We imme- 
diately began crossing the river which was high from 
recent rains. There was nothing but a small horse 
ferry, capable of carrying twelve men and horses. The 
crossing took us two days and a half. During this period 
the boys had the "gunboat fever," as we expected to see 
one coming any minute, for they patroled the river for 
some miles above this point. Leaving here on April 30, 
we reached Lawrenceburg, Tenn., that night. Resuming 
the march next morning about 10 o'clock, we reached 
Pulaski and Huntsville. Here we learned that about 
400 Federals had passed through town. Moving 
rapidly forward, we attacked them, charging with 
vigor. We encountered them behind some slight breast 
works on the 'side of the hills, carrying their entire line 
with a whoop. We captured over 100, killed 20 and 
wounded 9. Our loss was 2 killed, and 4 wounded, I 
among the number, this being my second wound. Up 
to this time twenty loaded wagons had been captured, 
here six more, loaded with cotton, were taken ; all were 
burned. The prisoners were paroled. We halted a few 
hours for rest. 

The citizens were wild with joy and we were r" 
reived with delight by the fair ladies. Morgan's cele- 
brated "Black Bess" came in for her share of admira- 
tion ; they crowded around her to feed her with dain- 
ties, for which she had a weakness. Her glossy mane 
was in great demand. For the first time in his life 
Morgan had to oppose the wishes of his lady friends, 
fearing that Bess would be shorn completely of her 
mane and tail. He tore her away and sent her to the 

From this place we moved in the direction of Mur- 


freesl)oro, near which place we camped for the night. 
On the third of May, the column reached Harrington. 
Here much cotton was burned. General Beauregard, in 
accordance with orders from the war department, or- 
dered that all cotton likely to fall into the hands of the 
enemy should be burned. Arriving in the vicinity of 
Murfreesboro, we drove in all the pickets on the roads. 
.We captured some videttes, burned some cotton and cut 
the telegraph wires. We reached Lebanon late at night 
and picketed the roads. A heavy rain fell during the 

Companies A^ B and C were quartered at the Col- 
lege, and D, E and F at a hotel. Colonel Morgan took 
with him on this raid a telegraph operator, named Ellas- 
worth, who became famous afterwards for his ingenious 
deceptions of the Yankee operators on numerous occa- 
sions during the war. 

Early next morning we were aroused, and befc.^ we 
had completed saddling our horses, we heard the clat- 
ter of horses' feet. Taking about twenty men, I rode 
forward to ascertain the cause. We were greeted with 
a volley of bullets. The enemy had passed our pickets 
unchallenged and were pouring into town at a rapid 
rate. I formed my men across the street to oppo'=ie them, 
and sent notice to Colonel Adorgan and the command af 
the College. We opened a rapid fire on the advancing 
columns. It was still raining and still quite dark. 
Several of the Federal officers, in the confusion of the 
fight, rode into our lines, mistaking us for their own men. 
General Dumont, chief in command, w^as one of 
them ; also, Colonel Woolford, who were made prison- 
ers. A chaplain who was taken, on becoming aware 
of his mistake, asked that he might be permitted to 
return to his command "to pray for his men." ''The hell 


you say," responded a member of Company A ; "don't 
you think Morgan's men need praying for as well as 
Woolfords?" There was fighting now in various direc- 
tions in the streets. Morgan with about 250 men cleared 
the streets at the front. vSeveral small detachments of 
his men were surrounded in another portion of the 
town by superior numbers. General Dumont had about 
2,500 men. The fighting lasted about two hours. 

Morgan, finding that it would be impossible to 
accomplish much, withdrew, slowly at first, but soon 
followed by rapid flight; The Federals charged us 
furiously. There was, however, some show of discip- 
line, and a fight for several miles. When our ammuni- 
tion was exhausted, we had to make a run for it. The 
enemy pressed the pursuit vigorously. At Rome they 
abandoned it, probably on the supposition that we were 
about destroyed or all scattered. Many of the horses, in 
fact most of them, were broken down ; they were aban- 
doned and the men took to the woods, and made their way 
on foot to Sparta. There were only fifteen fit for duty 
left. About 100 of them were left on the south bank 
of the Cumberland river, twenty-one miles from Le- 
banon. Here we found a small ferry boat with which 
we crossed about eighty-five men. We begged Colonel 
Morgan to take Bess, but he said he would leave her 
with the rest; that if we had time we could bring her 
afterwards. I volunteered to bring her but Sergeant 
Tom Quirk leaped into a boat, to cross the river and 
bring the mare over. When Quirk was about half way 
across the enemy fired upon him, riddling the boat, but 
fortunately. Quirk escaped unhurt. 

I have never seen any account of this magnificent 
animal in any of the official records. She was too con- 
spicuously identified with Morgan's early career to be 


dismissed witlicul description. Jslie was a faxorite and 
a great pel with the men of llie old scjuadron. \Vc all 
loved her. Slic ^vas gentle, intelligent^ and seemed to 
understand everything said to her. vShe was the most 
perfect model of beautiful horse flesh tliat I ever saw 
e\'en in Kentucky. She was not quite 15 hands high. 
The immense power of her short back, broad withers, 
loins, thighs — all muscles — enabled her to carry Colonel 
Morgan, who weighed 185 pounds, as if he were a feather- 
weight. Her head, broad between the eyes, was as beauti- 
ful as ''a poet's dream" is popularly supposeo? to be. 
She had large^ intelligent eyes and her head tapered to 
her muzzle, which was small enough to have picked a 
lady's pocket. The way it was set on her matchless 
throttle might well "haunt one's imagination for years." 
Her straight, superbly proportioned neck, her shoulder 
and girth, might have fascinated the eye forever. Her 
beautiful hindquarters, and the speed and power they in- 
dicated, the arch of her back, her flank, her clean legs, 
with firm dry muscles and tendons like steel wires; her 
hoofs, almost as small as a clenched fist, all baffle de- 
scription. Her coat was glossy black, soft as satm and 
without a white hair. From her Canadian sire she in- 
herited the staunchest constitution, and her thorough- 
bred dam endowed her with speed, game, intelligence 
and grace. What a loss to us when we parted with her ! 
It was like parting wath some dear friend. We naturally 
hoped she would be treated with kindness and 'vvould 
not be subjected to ignoble uses. The civilized world 
will scarcely credit that a Yankee subsequently travelled 
her about the country showing her at 25 cents a r.ight. 
Poor Bess, her spirit must have been 1)roken, or she 
would have kicked the brute's brains out. 

Most of the men surrounded in Lebanon were cap- 


tured, about 65 in all. Seventeen were killed and 26 
wounded; the balance escaped to the brush and joined 
us afterward. Our total loss was 180, of which 90 were 
subsequent to the fight. The loss of the enemy was 
79 killed, and 64 wounded. Thus ended what to us was 
afterward dubbed as the ''Lebanon Races." 

Colonel Morgan now made his way to Sparta, Tenn., 
remaining there four days. By this time many of the 
men made their way back to him. He now found that 
he had about 300 men. He left Sparta on the 11th of 
May, and directed his march toward the territory of his 
former service, the country about Bowling Green. He 
hoped to find some points weakly guarded, and the 
garrisons in disorder, due to the impression that his 
severe defeat a few days ago had finished him. We 
travelled rapidly, reaching Hamilton Ferry, sixty miles 
from Sparta. We crossed the river and camped. On 
the following day we reached the vicinity of Glasgow, 
passing through. We sent scouts to ascertain the strength 
of the garrison at Bowling Green. They reported a 
strong force there. After riding all night and capturing 
some stragglers, Morgan now determined to strike the 
railroad between the river and Glasgow Junction. Trav- 
elling all night again, we reached the railroad near Cave 
City. Here we stopped and tapped the telegraph 

While this v/as going on a train came along. We 
had the good luck to capture it. It seemed at first to be 
carrying troops. Three cars were loaded with labor- 
ers, repairing the road. We found twenty soldiers on 
this train. There were forty-eight cars and a fine en- 
gine. In a short time the passenger train would l^e due. 
Morgan had hoped that he would be able to capture 
the train that was conveying his men captured at Le- 


banon to prison, but they had ])een sent off by the 
river. The passenger train from Louisville was heard 
coming-. A cow gap was filled with upright ties to stop 
the train. Some men lying in ambush near by were to 
place another obstruction after the train went past, to 
prevent its return. Women notified the conductor of 
his danger, to which he gave no heed, and pressed on 
more rapidly. He was soon made aware of our pres- 

\\^e found Federal officers aboard. Major Coffee, 
Major Hilvite, Captain Long and tv.'<3 others whose 
names I have forgotten. We took charge <.{ them. 
There were a great many women passengers. One young 
staff officer was accompanied by his wife. This lady 
approached Morgan, weeping, and implored him not to 
kill her husband. She had been told that Morgan and 
jiis men were a bloodthirsty set of cut-throats. "My 
dear madam," he replied, bowing, and vrith an arch 
smile, which none who saw can ever forget, "I did not 
know you had a husband." *'I have; here he is. Don't 
kill him !" *'He is no longer my prisoner," said the 
Colonel ; **he's 3^ours." He released this officer uncon- 
ditionally, bidding him console his wife. This train was 
not burned ; Colonel Morgan begging the ladies to ''ac- 
cept it as a small token," etc. The sum of $8,000 in 
greenbacks — government funds — was captured. We now 
sat down to a sumptuous dinner, after which we burned 
the train of box cars, and also destroyed the fine engine. 

Colonel Morgan again directed his march for the 
Cumberland. Colonel Coffee was paroled on condition 
that he would exert himself to procure his own ex- 
change, and that he would report again as a prisoner 
if he failed. 

Returning through Burksville, on county court day, 


we captured some Federals, made many horse trades, 
after which we crossed the Cumberland on our way to 
Chattanooga. On the way we picked up thirty-five 
more survivors of the "Lebanon Races." Reachins: 
Chattanooga, Colonel Morgan left Lt.-Col. Duke in 
charge, and started for Corinth, to see what could be ef- 
fected in the way of obtaining permission to make an- 
other expedition into Kentucky ; also equipments of 
horses and guns and to recruit his regiment. Here he 
found two fine companies of cavalry^ commanded by 
Captains R. M. Gano and John Hoffman. They re- 
quested to be assigned to Morgan. Their request was 
granted and they at once marched to Chattanooga. We 
remained here recruiting and reorganizing. Gano and 
Hoffman now reached our camp. The Texans were 
greeted with enthusiasm. About 300 men of the First 
Kentucky Infantry, which had been disbanded in Vir- 
ginia, their term of service having expired, came to 
join us. Very many new faces and new companies were 
now here; in a word, we had become a full grown regi- 
ment, with nine full companies. It was composed of 
men from almost every state in the United States, and 
nearly all had seen service. 

The field officers were now appointed : Colonel, 
John H. Morgan; Lieutenant-Colonel, Basil Duke; 
Major, G. W. Morgan; Adjutant, Gordon E. Niles, once 
editor of a New York paper, a gallant man, who died 
a soldier's death shortly after his appointment ; Surgeon, 
Capt. Tom Allen ; Assistant Surgeon, Dr. Edlen ; Quar- 
termaster, D. H. Llewelyn; Commissary, Hiram Reese; 
Forage Master, Capt. Ostrand O. Birney ; Capt. Cassel, 
Co. A; Capt John Allen, Co. B; Capt. Bowles, Co. C; 
Capt. Castleman, Co. D ; Capt. McFarland, Co. E ; Capt. 


Hutchison, Co. F; Capt. Gano, Co, G; Capt. Dickinson, 
Co. H. 

Recruits were coming into our camps every day 
with every promise of filHng- two more skeleton com- 
panies. We broke camp and marched for Knoxville. 
While waiting for arms at this point we were joined 
by a gentleman from everywhere or nowhere He 
was the most unique devil-may-care creature it has ever 
been the lot of any man to meet ; whose life from his 
earliest boyhood had been one of curious, extraordin- 
ary and exciting adventure. He came to see something 
of our war. This was Lieut. Col. St. Leger Grenfel^ of 
the English service. Of all the very remarkable char- 
acters who have figured in this age, outside popular 
novels, he was the most remarkable. He will receive 
the suffrage of our western cavalrymen for pre-eminence 
in devil-may-care eccentricity. 

He had commenced life by running away from his 
father because the latter would not permit him to enter 
the army, and in doing so showed the good sense he 
really possessed, for the army was the proper place for 
him — provided they went to war often enough. He 
served five years in a French regiment in Algiers ; quit- 
ting that service, lived a number of years in Tangiers, 
where he did a little business with the Moorish batteries, 
when the French bombarded the place. He served four 
years with Abd-el-Kader, of whom he always spoke in 
the highest terms^ as having been everything that a 
man ought to have been, except a member of the Church 
of England. Having exhausted life in Africa, he looked 
elsewhere for excitement, and passed many years in 
great happiness and contentment amid the pleasant 
scenes of the Crimean war, the Sepoy rebellion, and 
Garibaldi's South American service. Having no more 



chance for pleasing occupations there, he came to lend 
his aid to our cause, taking a fancy to Morgan, and 
had come to join him. "Would he graciously accept his 
sword?" There was nothing that made him so happy 
as the exhibition of a headlong charge upon an enemy. 
He became General Morgan's adjutant. 

On the march he bathed himself in almost every 
stream we crossed. He brought with him four very 
curious swords and always wore a fiery red silk cap 
with cord and tassels of finest Indian silk. He was tall and 
gaunt ; straight as an arrow shaft ; every inch a sol- 
dier ; always ready for duty ; methodical^ and was usu- 
ally in good temper when matters were active. I never 
saw him hilarious but once and that was the day after 
the battle of Hartsville. He had just thrashed his land- 
lord and had doubled up a brother Englishman in a set-to 
about a horse. He was indeed the only gentleman I 
ever knew who liked to fight with his fists. He was 
always happy, cheerful and contented when he could 
shoot and be shot at. He certainly would have been 
a holy terror if he could have been the commander of a 
brigade of men like himself. 

We set out from Knoxville, July 3, 1862, for Ken- 
tucky, taking the road to Sparta. We Avere frequently 
fired upon by bushwhackers, during our two days' 
march. Here I first saw Champ Ferguson, of whom 
it was said that he never asked or gave quarter. Fer- 
guson killed some 93 men during the war. He hated 
all Union men, by whom his family had been shock- 
ingly and shamefully mistreated. He killed all who were 
engaged in this inhuman act. 

Continuing our march, we reached Tompkinsville, 
where we encountered a Federal force of 500 men under 
Colonel Jourdan. We tried to surround them, only to 


find that they had ])ccn apprised of our approach, and 
were prepared to receive us. We opened on tliem. The 
battle did not last long. We captured the camp, 20 
wagons, 60 prisoners, killed 46, wounded 109. Our loss 
was four killed. Colonel Hunt's leg was shattered, the 
wound causing death in a few days. 

From this place we moved toward Glasgow, press- 
ing forward to a little place called Bear Wallow. At this 
place we had a brisk skirmish. Our scouts had frequent 
encounters with bands of Home Guards. Reaching 
Rolling Fork bridge, we found this naturally strong po- 
sition well guarded. 

We were fired upon, and I received a severe wound 
in my leg. I remained on my horse, but dismounted my 
men, and sent for the "Bull Pup," from wTiich a shell 
went whizzing through the covered bridge. I charged 
through with a platoon of my advance and cleared it 
of the enemy. Marching rapidly toward Lebanon, Ky., 
we surprised the enemy's pickets. On the road, a mile 
away, could be seen the town. Ordering forward several 
companies^ right and left, we waited for them to reach 
the roads entering town from opposite directions. Thv.n 
we moved up and sent a demand for surrender, which 
was complied with. A company belonging to the force 
was absent on a scout, and upon coming suddenly back to 
town, attacked us vigorously. We charged them 
prornptly, killing twenty, wounding ten and compelling 
them to surrender. We found here large supplies ot 
arms and ammunition stores of all kinds. We took 
heavy supplies of ammunition, guns of better caliber 
and pistols in large numbers. The command was now 
better armed than at any previous time. 

Before leaving Knoxville Colonel Morgan had or- 
ganized what was known as the advance guard of the 


command. This body was selected from the picked men 
of the entire force. These men were exempt from camp 
or picket duty. They were also the body guard to Col- 
onel Morgan, hence to serve in his command became an 
honor eagerly sought and only bestowed as a reward for 
meritorious service and gallant conduct. This advance 
was organized as follows : Captain, Tom Quirk ; first 
lieutenant, Thos. F. Berry ; second lieutenant, Chas. 
Rogers. This guard was composed of 60 men and reg- 
ularly m.arched at a distance of 400 yards in advance of 
the column, with three videttes, 100 yards at its rear, 
whose duties were to transmit information and orders 
between the guard and the columns, to regulate the 
gait of the column, so that it would not press too closely 
upon the latter, and to prevent any straggling between 
the two forces. Six videttes were thrown out in front of 
the guard, four at intervals of fifty yards, while at a 
considerable distance ahead of the fourth two guards 
rode together at the extreme front. These two were 
consequently at a distance of 250 yards in front of the 
body-guard. These advanced videttes were required for 
examine carefully on all sides in passing cross-roads. 

Passing on through Springfield, we marched in the 
direction of Harrodsburg, entering that place next morn- 
ing. This was one of our strongholds of friends and 
sympathizers. Here I met my brother, Samuel Oscar 
Berry, better known as ''One-armed" Berry, whom I 
had not seen for two years or more. He had married 
a beautiful, sweet-faced woman. He informed my 
father and m3^self that it was a very hard matter now 
for a Southerner to live in peace in the state. All 
Southerners were liable at any time to arrest. He told 
us frankly that he thought of joining our command. 
Father and I both persuaded him not to do this, re- 


mindinc;- him of his duty to his beautiful little wife, sayin^^- 
that he should tr; and stand almost anything for her 
sake. He said that he had been goaded almost to des- 
peration by the taunts of the Home Guards who had 
arrested him three times already. He was tired of this. 
His wife's father was a strong Union man, very bitter, 
and was the source of his troubles. I was almost sure 
then that he would in self-defense cast his fortunes with 
the South. He owned a small piece of property, a nice 
home. His avaricious father-in-law wanted this. He 
cared nothing for his daughter's welfare or happiness 
as it was subsequently proven that he had been the 
cause of his son-in-law's arrest. We now left him, 
begging him to stay at home and protect his lovMy 
wife. He replied that he would stand it as long as he 
could. When we again met it was under very diffei- 
ent circumstances. 

We marched from Harrodsburg to Lawrenceburg, 
Colonel Morgan sending detachments toward Louis- 
ville, Frankfort and around Lexington, with instructions 
to burn all the bridges on all the roads leading to those 
places. The main column moved towards Lawrence- 
burg, reaching there about mid-day and from thence to 
Shyrock's Ferry. The column was delayed here. The 
ferry boat had been sunk, and must be raised, to let ar- 
tillery and cavalry pass. We had now travelled over 
350 miles in eight days, and had dispersed killed and 
wounded over 1,000 Federal soldiers. We were now in 
the thickest of our foes ; almost encompassed by su- 
perior forces. The command was in exultant spirits. 
Colonel Morgan had created the impression among 
friends and foes alike that his force was three or four 
thousand strong. Our scouts were now riding in every 
direction. On returning, they reported a very general 


consternation among our foes. We reached Versailles 
late at night. Aly wound was sore and painful. 

Leaving this place for Midway, our friend Ells- 
worth, or "Lightning" as he was called, befuddled utir 
friends, the enemy, by his peculiar methods of tele- 
graphing. They are all at cross-purposes. Leaving 
Midway for Georgetown, we arrived just at sundown. 
A small force of Home Guards had mustered to oppose 
us. Morgan sent them word to surrender promismg 
that they should not be hurt. The leader of this band 
is said to have made them a speech of singular eloquence 
and stirring effect. He told them that Morgan, with 
his marauders and murders — the accursed of the Union 
men of Kentucky — was coming upon them, that every- 
where prevailed terror and desolation; in his route the 
smoke of the burning towns was ascending; the blood 
of murdered patriots was streaming; the wails of 
widowed women, and orphaned children was resound- 
ing; in his front Home Guards were flying; that Tom 
Long reported him at the edge of the town v/ith 10,000 
or 12,000 long-bearded men around him, armed with 
butcher knives. He thought they had "better scatter 
and take care of themselves." And, accordingly, they 
did scatter at full speed. 

Many Southern sympathizers were confined in the 
court house, among them a man whom many Kentuck- 
ians have a lively recollection of — poor Will Webb. 
Upon seeing the Home Guards flee for their lives he 
thrust his body half through the window, and, pointing 
to the stars and stripes, still flying, thus apostro- 
phised in terms that the fugitives ought to have made 
a more stubborn fight : "Are you going to desert 
your flag?" he said. "Remain and perform the pleasing 
duty of dying under its glorious folds, and afford us the 


agreeable spectacle that you will i)resent." This touch- 
ing appeal was of no avail. We remained at George- 
town three days, taking a much needed rest for our 
horses. We sent out detachments every day, and our 
friend of the lightning was still at his old tricks. 


Battle at Cynthiana — I am severely wounded, left behind and 
taken prisoner — Yankee surgeons wish to amputate my leg. 
I resist successfully — In love with my nurse — I refuse to 
accept a parole — ^Planning to escape — Taken to Cincinnati 
and Camp Chase — Attempting to tunnel out — Make a friend 
of an officer, whom I resemble — I impersonate him and 
escape — Back to Cynthiana. 

It was high time now that we were getting a move 
on ourselves. We had recruited four fine companies 
since reaching Kentucky, greatly increasing our force. 
We marched to Cynthiana on the morning of the 18th. 
General Morgan despatched parts of two companies to 
drive the scouts and pickets into Lexington, thus acting 
as shield and screen to his real intentions on Cynthiana. 
This place was occupied by 400 Home Guards and 450 
soldiers of Colonel Mitchell's cavalry, about 850 men 
all told. 

Captain Billy Glass had come from Cincinnati with 
four brass twelve-pounders. He went to wor-: wftH 
these guns as if he was putting out a fire. There is a 
long, narrow bridge across Licking river at this place, 
and nearby the only ford for a long distance in either 
direction. These were the only available crossing 
places. Morgan had made all of his dispositions before 
reaching Cynthiana. All his officers knew their places 
in the line of attack. Each point was taken as soon as it 
was reached. 

I had a curious experience the night before this 
battle, and spoke of it to my father. I dreamed that I 


was in battle, leading the eharge with my friend, Gren- 
fel, and that 1 was badly wounded in the right leg 
below the knee. My father laughed at me about it. i 
felt the pain of it distinctly, and described it to him. A 
very curious dream ! 

We all marched to our respective positions. Our 
two pieces of artillery^ familiarly called our "Bull Pups," 
opened the battle with vigor. The dismounted men 
pushed forward rapidly under cover of the battery. 
When they reached the eastern bank, we were ordered 
to charge across the bridge. Each alternate company, 
on leaving the east end of the bridge, was to charge 
through the streets, one east, the other north. Colonel St. 
Leger Grenfels and myself leading the van. We were 
both wounded in this charge, he in the neck, a slight 
wound, and I in my right leg below the knee, severely. 
We both remained on duty till the battle ended, which 
lasted about forty-five or fifty minutes, being short, 
sharp and decisive. W^e captured 500 prisoners, killed 
68 and wounded 37. The hottest of the fight was around 
the railroad depot. W^e also captured the artillery and 
the line horses that came from the Cincinnati fire de- 
partment. Our killed was 9, and wounded, 23. I was 
left behind with the other wounded, and was taken 
prisoner two days afterward. 

Colonel Morgan left for Dixie land. Could I have 
forseen the future before me I would have been ap- 
palled. I did not then even remotely think of the sui- 
fering and extreme anguish of spirit, I should be called 
to undergo. I did not know that I would not see my 
command for months. This was my fourth wound, all 
received inside of ten months. I felt more grievously 
the prospect of remaining behind than I did the bullet 
wounds in my leg. I had at least cause to think of the 


Strangeness of my dream the night before the battle, and 
reflect upon the vicissitudes of a soldier's life. My first 
thought after I received attention to my wound was of 
my sister. 

I had been taken into a private house near the Lick- 
ing bridge. The family were all very kind to me and 
were Southern in their sympathies. My wound was 
inflamed and painful. Mr. Grennan and his family, two 
sons and a daughter, were very patient and kind. His 
wife was a fine nurse. I asked Miss Sallie to write 
to my sister and step-mother, and inform them and my 
brother of my condition. The Yankees came in to see 
if Morgan's men had horns like other cattle, as they 
were sometimes called. Miss Sallie wrote and sent let- 
ters to my friends. The Yankee surgeons now called 
on me by order of Colonel Landrum, who commanded 
them to examine my wound and determine whether or 
not I was too badly wounded to be moved to Cincinnati. 
They said that it was very necessary to amputate 
my leg at once, to save my life. They told this to Mrs. 
Grennan and Miss Sallie, but did not inform me. I had 
considerable fever. They informed Miss Sallie that 
they would be back at 10 o'clock, p. m., the next day 
to take my leg off. She told me and asked what I 
thought of it. I simply told her that it could not be 
done, unless the surgeons first amputated my head ; 
that I would not submit to such brutality, and would 
die before I would allow any Yankee surgeon to cut 
off my leg. 

They were on hand at the appointed hour. They 
came into the bedroom and gravely informed me that 
it was necessary to remove my leg above the knee ; 
that the bone was seriously injured and my life in jeop- 
ardy, and that they must do the best for me that they 


could. They were now ready to perform the operation. 
I told them that I felt grateful to them for their in- 
terest in my behalf; I also felt a like interest in myself, 
and that they could not take my leg off. They replied 
that they must do their duty and that they were going 
to remove it whether I consented or not. I said, ''Gentle- 
men, T will not consent to this outrage, and if you at- 
tempt it, you do so at your peril. I will kill any one 
that tries to remove my leg. If you must do an opera- 
tion^ you must first amputate my head, for, by the 
eternal, my leg shall remain. I am your prisoner. Vou 
may have my carcass, all of it, but I will not lose 
my leg, at least, not now." 

They sent for Lieut-Col. Landrum and told him 
what I said. He tried to prevail on me as one brave 
soldier to another ; referred to my high fever and flushed 
face, and ended by saying that the surgeons wanted to do 
their duty towards me. It was too bad to sit by and 
see a young man in his first bloom of young manhood 
die for want of a well-known duty. This was six or 
seven days after the battle. The same so-called sur- 
geons sacrificed the arms and legs of four or five of 
our men at this time. I absolutely refused to submit 
to such infamy. They now placed a guard about the 
house so that I might not escape. The days passed 
into weeks and the weeks into m.onths. It was now 

The Grennans were exceedingly attentive and kind. 
Miss Sallie was sweet charity and gentleness itself. I 
watched and listened almost constantly for her gentle 
foot-fall or her sweet voice, I often grew impatient, 
waiting for her to come. I had never. before been in 
such a frame of mind. What is it? I asked myself. 
I wanted this beautiful creature at my side and was 


very miserable when she was out of sight. She had 
dressed my wound twice a day, brought and gave me 
my medicine. My wound was now heaHng, and I was 
recovering rapidly. The surgeons were talking of send- 
ing me to Cincinnati for safety. They had a talk with 
Miss Sallie^ which I overheard. They asked her if she 
thought 1 was well enough to be moved. She replied 
in the negative. I had been very restless, and to move 
me now might make me worse. The doctors did not 
mention this to me. I knew instinctively that there 
was some move on foot for my especial benefit. 

After the doctors left. Miss Sallie came to me and 
told me of the talk she had had with them. She looked 
distressed and anxious. Her beautiful eyes showed half- 
shed tears, almost ready to flow. Her face was flushed 
and she seemed nervous and ill at ease. I regarded 
her for a moment and asked her what she was thinking 
of. She replied very frankly, "Of your absence, when 
they take you away from me — or us — ." Our eyes met 
at this moment. She flushed or blushed deeply and 
averted her eyes. 

1 was nervous with excitement in a flash. The 
question came to me, ''Does, oh, does she care for me ; 
shall I say it — does she love me?" She, in maidenly 
modesty^ kept quiet, looking out of the window. Dur- 
ing those few moments I was thinking over an age. A 
thousand questions were asked and answered. The first 
was, ''Do I love her, or is this a passing fancy, and it 
so, what should or must I do? Would I be doing the 
right thing to tell this lovely creature my thoughts, my 
feelings? Should I wait for a more tangible evidence of 
my regard or love? Love! What do you know about 
it? Is this love?" 

She now tvirned her face toward me and asked, 


"What are you thinkini^ about?" "Tlie same as your- 
self." This l)rought tlie blood back to her downy 
cheeks. "Why do you think so lightly as this of leav- 
ing us?" she said, with downcast eyes. "I always have 
to leave my dear friends, Miss Sallie," I said. "Do you 
know or have any idea when they are going to send 
me, and my comrades, away?" "They have already 
sent six or seven to Cincinnati," she replied. "I told 
them this morning that you were not able to be sent 
away. Was that right?" "Yes, of course, it was; any- 
thing you do is right." "Do you think so?" "You heard 
me; yes." 

I received a letter from my sister and mother; also 
one from Brother Sam. He said his life and surround- 
ings were becoming unbearable ; that he had been ar- 
rested and compelled to give a heavy bond, with his 
father-in-law as surety. The Home Guards had stolen 
two fine horses and three milk cows and five hogs and 
some sheep. When asked to pay for them, they told 
him to charge it up to Uncle Sam, prove his loyalty and 
then he might expect to be paid for what was taken ; 
that if he did not want to land in prison he had better 
join the army or keep his disloyal tongue in his head. 
These were things that I knew he could not do. 

The next day Miss Sallie came into the room and 
said in her sweetest tones, "Oh, Lieutenant Berry, Gen- 
eral Lee has whipped the Yankees again in a terrible 
battle^ the fiercest that has been fought." Then turn- 
ing her beautiful eyes and looking into mine, said, "Oh, 
I do wish this horrible war was over." I said simply, 
"So do I, but on one condition only." "What is that?" 
"The absolute independence of the Southern Confed- 
eracy." "I greatly fear, Lieutenant, that that will never 
be," she replied, regarding me intently. I said, "i wish 


it was over for more reasons than one." "And what 
are some of them, pray tell me." "Are you sure you 
really care to know them?" "I would be pleased to 
have you tell me the one that is of the most interest to 
you." Looking her full in the face I said, "I should be 
willing to do anything that was reasonable and right 
for your sake. I have recently discovered that you 
are very dear to my heart. I am sure that I love you. 
While you are out of my sight I am miserable ; but being 
a soldier, I thought it would not be right for me to tell 
you of my newly-awakened passion. I have no wish 
to add a care to your life. Will you pardon me for 
thus bluntly telling you?" At this point my tongue re- 
fused to act. She said, simply, sweetly, "You know !" 
laying her hand in mine. 

How radiantly lovely and beautiful she was at this 
moment. It was ever thus through the ages. Love is 
ever young, hopeful, truthful. I said, "Dear, I have 
been thinking of making my escape from these beautiful 
blue coats. I despise them. They thought to maim 
me for life, so that I could not again fight them. I be- 
lieve now firmly that this was the* prime reason for their 
wanting to amputate my leg." "I believe so, too," she 
said. "I know they were sorely disappointed at being 
baffled in their plans. Do you really think of trying 
to make your escape?" she asked. "I was thinking of it." 
"You could not stand much travel now." "A man can 
stand anything when he has to." "There may be some- 
thing in that." "Everything," I replied; "would you 
really care very much to see me go?" "Wh3% you 
dunce, no ; of course I would not." This softly, boxing 
my ears lightly, and pouting. "You men are so pre- 
sumptuous; you are all alike, I believe." "What do you 
know about them?" "As much as I want to know," 


she replied. "Come, come, dearie; don't let us have a 
lover's quarrel. I am so happy. I have somebody to 
lo\e me. I ha\e no room for anything else." "Who said 
they loved you, did I ?" "Well, yes." 

I was hobblinjs: around on my crutches now, and 
feeling that if the Yankee doctors should see lae they 
would surely bundle me off to Cincinnati or Covington. 
I am certain that they regarded me with some suspi- 
cion and distrust. 

I met a gentleman at this time who lived in the 
country, six miles from town^ Mr. John Carter. He 
said to me that he was a friend and wanted to do some- 
thing for me. I was a little suspicious of him at first, 
but he proved his loyalty, and we became fast friends. 
I had two derringer pistols which i kept secreted for 
obvious reasons. No one had seen them, not even my 
sweet little nurse. I told Carter to luring me a Colt's 
army pistol. He brought it all right. He often brought 
or sent buckets of fruit. We often discussed my escape. 
He thought it would l)e hazardous in my present con- 

I was required in the future to call at the doctor's 
quarters. One day while there Colonel Landrum asked 
me if I was willing to take the oath of allegiance to 
the government. I replied, "No, one is as many as a man 
can serve at one time !" He replied that he thought 
perhaps I had had enough of it. He understood I had 
been wounded four times within a year. "That is true, 
but still I have not had enough." He said, "We will 
not discuss this any longer. Will you accept a parole of 
honor and keep it sacred?" "Do you doubt that I 
would keep it if I should accept it?" "I don't know," 
said he. "If this is your opinion of me, why, don't you 
give it. I cannot accept it now, Colonel." "Take one." 



"No, Colonel, I cannot do it now under any circum- 
stances ; you must excuse me." ** You are obstinate !" 
"Yes, Colonel, I am ; have it as you will." Next day I 
was sent to Covington. 

When the hour of my departure came, my dear 
little sweetheart was broken-hearted, and as for myself, 
what anguish of spirit now came to me none can appre- 
ciate except those who have suffered like experiences. I 
bade all my newly made friends a sad farewell. I was per- 
mitted to write only once a week and my letters or our 
letters were examined and read. I slipped several letters 
through to my darling, but this did not last long. I 
was taken to Cincinnati^ whe^e I stayed 20 days and from 
there to Camp Chase, near Columbus. My wounds were 
now healed, but the bone was still very tender and sore. 

I sat about laying plans for my escape from this 
den of vermin, sickness, and death. There were some 
2,000 citizen sympathizers from all over the country, 
both north and south, all arrested for opinion's sake. 
There were many old men among them. We formed 
a club of ten to tunnel out. We called it the Gopher 
club, as we wanted to dig a hole from under our bar- 
racks to the outside of the fence. We dug three, but each 
time we were discovered, and some of us were caught 
at work in the hole, and punished. A double guard 
was then set over the ground. This effectually put a 
stop to any further digging. The bleak winds of No- 
vember were blowing through the marrow of the Con- 
federate soldiers, all thinly clad in light summer cloth- 
ing. There was much suffering and many deaths among 
them. I was almost frantic to get away from this Yan- 
kee dungeon. How could this be done? 

To escape should be my business and thought from 
this hour until it became an accomplished fact. There 


had been several prisoners shot while trying to scale 
the walls, by sentries who had accepted bribes to let 
them pass over. Hundreds of the most prominent men 
from all o\cr the United States were here, simply be- 
cause their sypmpathies were with the South ; there was 
never a charge against them, not the semblance of a 
trial or hearing. Was there ever such tyranny prac- 
ticed upon a people? Many had lost property; their 
captors called it confiscated a new name for stealing. 

I had written to my brother that I had been sent 
to Camp Chase. There were at this time only fourteen 
of Colonel Morgan's men here — Morgan's horse-thieves 
— we were called. Nearly all had been wounded, and 
were captured while helpless. We were naturally 
drawn together by common ties and suffering. I re- 
ceived a letter from my dear little sweetheart, telling 
me she had been sick for two weeks, and how dreary 
and lonesome she had been, and asked me when 
I would return again. She sent me her picture. 
How lovely and smiling it was! If there is anything 
on earth that would tempt or make a man desert a cause 
it certainly is a beautiful, sweet woman ; but all true 
and noble women despise cowards and traitors. Death 
would be far preferable than to have the name of de- 
serter or traitor thrown in your teeth. 

The icy breath of winter fixed its chilling touch 
upon us and with it comes a nice box of warm under- 
clothing and socks and home provisions. Dainties like 
these were indeed a welcome relief from prison grub — 
hard tack, side bacon, tough beef, rice beans, and some- 
times stale baker's bread. Also, a nice roll of green- 
backs that has escaped the lynx-eyed inspectors of let- 
ters, clothing, boxes and packages. In fact, everything 


sent to the prisoners is examined, and, in many in- 
stances, kept from those for whom it is intended. 

In these degenerate days^ I have frequently thought 
the war was started, maintained, continued, and length- 
ened to the farthest limit solely for the greed of selfish 
plunder, as it lasted just so long as the greedy plun- 
derers could obtain fat contracts surreptitiously dupli- 
cated from the government and a chance to rob the 
Southern people through the wdiole country traversed 
by the Union armies, and an army of camp followers. 
As long as the pickings were rich, the plundering went 
on. When it became poor, the war ended. 

On the 31st of December I w^as invited to dine 
with Lieutenant Hulin of the Fourth Ohio Volunteers. 
I met this young man at General Mitchell's headquar- 
ters w^hile on the trip under a flag of truce with Gen- 
eral Morgan around Nashville, Tennessee. We became 
friends then. Why not be so now? So it was, the for- 
tunes of war had placed me in his charge. We can be 
friends if we do have political views and differences. 
Would I com.e? Yes, and thank you, too, and would 
take great pleasure in renewing old friendships. I went. 
He was a genial host, kindly and attentive. There w^ere 
a number of invited guests. 

The lieutenant was very solicitous for the pleasure 
of his company. He had me sit next to him and after 
dinner told the guests when he had first met me, and 
under what conditions. He then called upon me to give 
my versions of the matter for the entertainment of the 
guests. It was a short history of the operations around 
Nashville, Laverne, and also of the "Lebanon Races." 
They were highly pleased with the recital. I then 
asked him to tell us how he came to be assigned to duty 
at this prison. He told the following story: 


He belonged to Buell's army, in General Mitchell's 
division and was on duty in and round Nashville, and 
engaged in many of the battles and skirmishes with 
Morgan around Nashville and Laverne. After serving 
actively with his command during its stay in that vicin- 
ity, he was ordered to move with his command. They 
marched with General Buell's army to reinforce Grant at 
Pittsburgh Landing or Corinth. During the battle of 
the second day on this bloody field, he was seriously 
wounded^ April 7th, in a cavalry charge upon Colonel 
Bedford Forrest's regiment of cavalry. His left arm 
was broken and two fingers^were shot off. He lay m a 
hospital for three months. When discharged he was 
assigned to duty at Camp Chase, and was there when I 
arrived. It was often remarked that we were very much 
alike in personal appearance, so much so that we were 
often taken for kin. In truth we were enough alike in 
personal appearance to be twin brothers. About the 
same age, size and height. Our military step was also 
similar. Even our eyes and hair were of the same 
color. In a word we were each other's doubles. We 
were now much together. I became very intimate with 
this young lieutenant and very much attached to him. 
He possessed many striking qualities, and was of a 
genial, social nature. He often said to me, ''Berry, if 
you were not a rebel and were not trying to break up 
this government, I could love you like a brother." To 
which I sometimes replied, ''Hulin I know I could 
love you if you and your friends were not Yankees, and 
trying to kill all my friends^ and steal all the negroes 
and property in the South." At this he would laugh 
heartily. He was indeed my good personal friend, and 
but for his kindness life at Camp Chase would have 
been miserable for me. 


•Although the time passed very pleasantly I chafed 
constantly at the restraint prison life imposed. When 
I received my roll of greenbacks I placed $60 of it 
in the keeping of Lieutenant Hulin. I drew small sums 
of this from time to time. I had access to his quar- 
ters at all time, as these were within the enclosed 
walls of the camp. There were but very few men stir- 
ring about the prison grounds on these cold days, i 
had now drawn all my money, except thirty dollars. 
I was sitting in the lieutenant's quarters on a very cold 
morning thinking I would like to be out of prison. On 
this day Lieutenant Hulin was officer of the guard. 
He had made the rounds of the guards on duty. He 
had told me a few minutes before that he was going 
to Columbus on private business, and would be gone 
about three hours or until it was time to make the 
rounds of the guard again. Would I take charge while 
he was gone? Certainly, I would gladly serve him 
in this way. 

The weather was very cold, and a short time after 
he left, the snow besian to fall in blinding sheets. I 
quickly dressed myself in the lieutenant's uniform 
wearing his sash, also his cap. I sallied out, went the 
rounds of the guards, and saw all at their posts^ through- 
out the entire camp. No one was passing. The guards 
did not detect the difference. They evidently believed 
me to be Lieutenant Hulin, as they saiuted me with 
deference. I walked out of the gate, was saluted at the 
guard house by the officer of the day. I passed on 
through the camp of the soldiers, some of whom sa- 
luted me, believing me to be Hulin. It was snowing 
furiously. I quickened my walk, taking a path leadin' 
to Columbus, through the fields and patches of wood^ 


No one was stirriiii;- in this snow storm. This was 
indeed a* God-send to me. My tracks were covered as 
quickly as they were made. My heart was beating 
hard and fast. I was laying my plans for the future, as 
to the route I should take south, revolving these 
thoughts in my mind as I walked. I came now in sight 
of the city of Columbus, and reached a stable or shed 
covered at three ends. I entered this and hastily re- 
moved the lieutenant's uniform^ for I wore my citizen\s 
suit under the uniform. I rolled the uniform in a neat, 
compact bundle, tied the sash around it securely and 
placed the bundle under my arm. I then took the 
road into Columbus, I entered the first hotel I saw 
and asked for a room. The clerk told me to register 
I wrote "Thomas H. Henderson, Evansville, Indiana,' 
took the key and followed the servant to my room. 
Once there, I dismissed him and then called him back 
and asked for pen, ink and paper. He returned shortly, 
placed them upon the table and left me to myself. 1 
sat and rapidly wrote Lieutenant Hulin a note, thank- 
ing him for his kindness, and hoping that at some future 
time I might be able to return wath interest his many 
kind attentions. I told him that I had not intended to steal 
his uniform, cap and sash, nor to do him a scurvy trick. 
I was but doing my duty as a soldier, even as he woulc! 
if placed in my surroundings and in like conditions. li 
he would call at the hotel, 507 State street, Columbus, 
Ohio, he. would find his uniform cap and sash. Wish 
ing him a very happy life with his ambitions satisfied, 
I subscribed myself very truly, his lasting friend 
Thomas F. Henderson, First Lieutenant, Company A. 
Morgan's Cavalry. 

After placing a card on the bundle, I passed out of a 
side door of the hotel and made a bee-line for the depo 

(Just after his escape from Louisville piison.) 


Reaching it, I found I had forty minutes to wait. These 
minutes seemed hours. I stepped into a barber's shop 
and had my hair cut close to my head, and had a shave, 
leaving: the mustache, and imperial on the chin. This 
greatly changed my appearance, which the barber no- 
ticed. Having bought my ticket for Cincinnati, I wr 
now ready to be off. When the train pulled out T 
breathed easier. I was confident Hulin had not yet 
discovered my ruse as I saw him pass the hotel with 
some officers when I was on my way to the depot. 

I determined to mail the letter at some place near 
Miami. /\t Miami we stopped for supper. I placed the 
loiter in the mail box. and with light heart, foi I was 
ao-ain free, my own master, and would shape my own 
destiny as conditions might dictate. My wounds were 
entirely healed. T enjoyed my liberty immensely. We 
arrived in Cincinnati after midnight and I took a room 
at the Burnett House. I was an early rise.^ these day^ 
and was up betimes next morning. 1 sent a note to m^- 
old friend, Seth Thomas, asking his presence at his 
earliest possible convenience at my room. He came 
post haste. His first words were, ''Holy Moses ! Where 
did you come from? Everywhere but here!" Vv'e talked 
of the bygone days v/hich would never return. At las' 
I said, 'Xet's don't be sentimental, Seth. I am here 
for business. I want six Colt's dragoon pistols, 50C 
cartridges, a belt and scabbard, one pair of cavalry 
boot, high tops. No. 5's, a good hat with a broad 
brim, and a ' heavy overcoat." "Do you want the 
earth?" "Yes." "Anything else?" "I want many things, 
but these are enough for the present." "Where are y<r 
going?" "Don't know, do you? I may go to the other 
country. Can't tell. Be off, time -flies and waits for 


no man. Here's some money, begone, quick! Hold, 
Seth. I need a valise, a grip-sack. Bring me one." 

My friend Thomas brought the articles I needed. 
I first pulled on the boots, then the overcoat. 

We loaded all the pistols, and I buckled on two of 
them under my great-coat which was large and roomy 
and put the remaining arms and ammunition in m} 
valise. I felt more like myself than I had for some 
time past. Seth took me down to a restaurant where 
we had refreshments. Here I left him, and taking a 
cab to the ferry crossing, reached the Lexington depot 
just in time to catch the train going south. I had 
bought a ticket for Lexington, but on reaching Cyn- 
thiana I jumped off the train before it stopped and 
made my way unobserved through alleyways to Mr. 
Grennan's house. 



My meeting with Miss Sallie — Marauding Union soldiers — Henry 
McGruder brings a message from my brother telling of the 
murder of my sister — I secure recruits and join my brother. 

Great was the astonishment and pleasure of my 
dear old friends upon seeing me. "Where did you come 
from? Did they release you?" were their first questions. 
"Not much," I replied. The tale was soon told as to how. 
when and by what means I had escaped. I had simply 
called to pay my devoirs and be off. The Vankees 
would surely and certainly trail and track me here. "I 
must go tonight to a place that I shall name to you 
only," I whispered to Miss Sallie. "I am sure none has 
seen me come here, as I got off the train before it 
stopped, and came through the alleys. \ met no one 
on my w^ay ; it is best, however, to be on the safe side 
all the time. It would be harrowingly painful for me 
to be captured here. But mind^ dearie, T would rather 
die than be captured again, especially in your house and 
presence. Really I would not be taken. I would di- 
first. It would involve all of you in ruin." "Here is the 
pistol John Carter gave you. Are you armed?" asked 
Miss Sallie. "Armed ^" I answered; "well, yes: see 
these, six of them, aren't they beauties?" "You don't 
expect to use all of them?" "Yes." "Can I find a 
way to go out to my friend John tonight?" "I will 
see," said Mr. Grennan. Then I asked Miss Sallie, "Can 
I see you alone?" "Certainly," she replied. I said to her 


when we were alone: "I have been away from ' ou now* 
not quite four months. During that time I have had 
ample time for thought, and I have come to tell you 
frankly, my dear Miss Sallie, that you are the very 
first and the only woman I have ever loved. I at first 
sight loved you and I love you now. Absence has only 
tended to increase my admiration tor you. Please don't 
i-top me now. Time presses. I want to say here and 
now that I have been a most miserable creature since 
I was sent away to prison and left you behind. I am 
a soldier. Duty calls all true men to aims in defence 
of home and right. I have enlisted for three years, or 
during the war, with the Confederate army. My duty 
lies there with her struggling sons. I am young, 
27. You are young. We can afford to wait. It 
would not be right to ask you to be my bride now, and 
then go away, and perhaps be killed in my very first 
battle. I ask you now, do you, can you love a soldiei 
like me? You need not answer me now, unless yor 
desire; but I should like so much to know this from your 
dear, dear lips before T leave, perhaps never to returr 
to look into those dear eyes again, to hear that sweet 
low voice. May I take hence the sweet assurance 
of your love from your own dear self? It shall be m^ 
talisman of hope and cheer, and shall buoy me in the 
strife of battle. I have done." 

Quietly laying her hand on my own, and with 
streaming, downcast eyes, she gave her answer. I shn^' 
not say what, but the readers may guess ,if they will. 
We parted. I left that night. She was too noble, good 
and oentle. God took her home. She died two vears 
afterwards from injuries received in a runaway acci- 
dent. I received letters from her at intervals during the 
two years she lived. She was a queen among her sex. 


Tall and o-raceful, fair, with a complexion clear, soft, 
downy, peachy ; beautiful, soft, large brown eyes ; a 
mouth small and sweet as newly blown roses ; lips th 
would put to shame all the rose tints in richness and 
sweetness combined. Her nature was all that is most 
lovable; she possessed all the noble graces. Peace be 
to her ashes. 

I went to my friend Carter, bidding this generous, 
noble family farewell. I reached his house about 4 
o'clock in the morning, not having slept for two nights. 
I was now safe from pursuit and among my friends. 
I slept nearly twenty-four hours. I found refreshments 
on a table by my bed when I awoke. I remained there 
until I heard from my brother, Samuel O. Berry^ and 
received such friends as my protector thought fit should 
call. I was solicited to raise a company in this county 
for partisan service. I requested my brother to write 
to me under the nom de plume of Tom Henderson, and 
enclose his letter in an envelope addressed to John 
Carter, Leesburgh, Harrison County. 

While here I receive a daily paper giving an account 
of an outrage perpetrated by some marauding bands of 
Union soldiers near a small place called Foxtown, upon 
a defenseless family, the house being plundered of such 
articles as they fancied. It was also said in the same re- 
port that they had not stopped at plundering the house 
but that they had assaulted a member of the family, 
a young girl, 19 years of age. Of the truthfulness of 
this report they would not vouch. After a few days 
there was an additional account confirming the reports 
first received of the plundering of a house in the neigh- 
borhood of Foxtown between Nicholasville, Camp Dick 
Robinson, and Richmond. There seemed to be no doubt 
of the truthfulness of the report and the serious in- 


jury of a member of the defenseless family a young 
woman, l)y these plundering, thieving marauders. Said 
this report: "If defenseless families and helpless non- 
coml)atants of this state are to be subjected to such 
brutal and inhuman insults, and infamous treatment as 
this last one, it is high time for all self-respecting men 
to buckle on their arms and drive these fiends from our 
soil." To v^hich all honest men could but say, Amen. 

About this time I received a visitor, a traveler, 
worn and dusty. When he was presented by John 
Carter, he looked about him and asked if we were en- 
tirely alone. I assured him we were. Then he said : 
"These are squally times. Walls sometimes have ears 
and it behooves all men to be careful Such times try 
men's souls to the utmost." He drew from an inner 
pocket a letter from my brother. It told of the terrible 
and infamous assault upon my sister, of the robbery and 
plunder of the house, trunks drawers, etc. The object 
of the raid was robbery. Upon leaving my home in 
Lexington for the Southern army, I had left with my 
sister a chronometer watch and a sw^ord presented by 
my Grandfather McGraw to me at the time of his death. 
This sword he had captured at the storming of Stony 
Point, under Mad Anthony Wayne ; the watch his father 
had presented to him. I had also left in her care my 
uniform. This was the finest company uniform in the 
state. All these articles were left with my sister, to 
be preserved as relics and heirlooms of our family, and 
had excited the cupidity of their friends. All were taken. 
While trying to save this fine sword, my. sister was 
bayonetted in the right side from behind. Passing 
through the lower lobe of the liver, the bayonet came 
out in front. She lived five days, leaving to her be- 
reaved family a bloody legacy, a horrible infamy, that 


a life time of penance could not atone^ nor in any way 
satisfy the just reprisal of her wronged brothers. My 
brother wrote that she pleaded with him not to seek 
revenge, or* wreak vengeance upon her murderers, as 
God in his own good time and way would punish them. 
Sam w^rote that he had obtained the names of all the 
cowardly scoundrels who were in the party, and would 
preserve them for future reference and disposal. 

The young man who brought me this letter sat 
before me watching every varying expression on my 
face. Brother Sam declared that he would devote his 
entire life in trying to wipe out the infamy thus perpe- 
trated not only upon our sister, but upon the wives, 
daughters and sisters of the state, in avenging his 
own wrongs as well. Now that sister was in her grave, 
this should be his life's business. 

Having finished reading this letter I sat thinking 
what should be done. I felt at this moment that my 
sister Avas but another victim added to the already long 
list of such cases all over the South ; that there was 
also an added duty for me to perform in this case. 1 
|iad been rapidly thinking of the most direct way to 
my heart-broken mother and brother. I had almost for- 
gotten my visitor in my agitation. T turned to him and 
said, "Has my Brother Sam any plans for the future?" 
•'Yes," said this silent^ observant young man, "he de- 
sires me to pilot you to his camps." 

This young man was Henry McGruder, as the let- 
ter informed me, the noted fighter who afterward be 
came famous throughout the country. He was at thai- 
time but a boy, but alread}" a veteran in courage. We 
were soon on most friendly terms. I hastened my plans, 
for it was time for vigorous action. I called in my 
friend Carter and informed him of the brutal killino- of 


my darling sister, and told him then and there that I 
must l)e off instantly, and that I, of necessity, 
must have at least eighteen or twenty recruits. I wanted 
him to see them for me at once so I could b'e about this 
business. I then informed McGruder that I wanted him 
to go to Georgetown and buy me forty Colt's pistols and 
a thousand rounds of cartridges. I gave him a letter to 
an oldtime friend of mine in Georgetown, asking his 
aid. McGruder was gone two days, returning with the 
arms, wliich were sent as a small contribution to the 
good cause. 

In four days all were ready to move. I had the 
good fortune to welcome two of my old comrades un- 
der Morgan. They had been wounded at the battle of 
Cynthiana. We all had good horses^ my ow^n, a thor- 
oughbred bay of noble appearance and a fine specimen 
of his race, was a present from John Carter. 

We left my dear friend Carter's early in the even- 
ing when the shadows of night w^ere falling as a curtain 
to hide our movements. Riding rapidly we were soon 
many miles away on the road to join my brother. Skirt- 
ing around Lexington, as we pushed forward, we found 
ourselves in the Kentucky river cliffs near Shakertown 
at daylight. Hiding our horses, we fed them and cur- 
ried them off while they were still warm. Placing pick- 
ets and lookouts as a precaution against surprise, we 
composed ourselves for a short nap : but finding this 
impossible, I joined some of the pickets and we kept a 
sharp lookout for the Home Guards. I told the men of 
the brutal butchering of my sister, of the service they 
had now entered upon, and of the plan to meet my 
brother. I allowed no fires because they might attract 
attention, and consequently investigation. There was 
plenty of provisions among the men. About four o'clock 

("One-Arm Berry") 


in the afternoon we were again astir. I swore these 
recruits into the Confederate service, sixteen in all, with 
my two old comrade veterans. 

The travelling was now slow as the roads and by- 
paths were rough. We passed quietly through vShaker- 
town in Mercer County. Crossing Dick's River we 
were now near my brother's camping place. We rode 
forward into a large woodland and halted. McGruder 
advised us to wait for day, saying to me, ''Your brother 
is in this pasture somewhere." Having dismounted the 
men, we hitched our horses in a sheepfold and waited 
for daylight. What bitter anguish I experienced as 
thoughts came trooping through my mind! I had be- 
come an old man in less than eighteen months. The 
war had claimed already its thousands of bloody victims, 
and my sweet, gentle sister, so bright, bouyant, and 
lovely was among these, a sacrifice to the brutal greed 
of hirelings. Was life worth the living under such con- 
ditions? Must a man who regarded his honor and the 
safety of his loved ones, tamely submit to such outrages? 
Bow his neck and receive the infamous yoke, an abject 
slave to tyrants? These were the thoughts that surged 
through my brain as I waited. Morning came at last. 
I told the men to keep a sharp lookout. We should be 
gone in but a short time. 

McGruder led the way into a dense thicket. About 
half a mile from its edge we were halted by a picket. 
Having given the countersign we were passed in three or 
four hundred yards. Further on we were met by a man 
and I asked him where my brother, Samuel Berry, was. 
He led me to a small log house hidden among the brush. 
I entered. There lay the object of my long ride, sleep- 
ing in his blankets, the sleep of a tired soldier. I touched 
his hand. He sprang up suddenly, clutching his. pistol 


handle. I said, "Sam, don't you know me?" "Well, 
Tom, I am indeed J?lad to see you. I was afraid you 
had been captured ap^ain." The tears stood in his eyes. 
He regarded me a moment then threw his arms around 
my neck, sobbing like a child. He at last said: "Oh, 
Tom, tears are for women. The iron has entered my 
soul since T saw you last. We did not think then that 
it would be thus when we should meet again." "No, 
Sam, 'vve did not ; but war is a terrible thing, you know, 
and if you don't know it now you wall soon learn." He 
did not speak of sister. He simply said, "We buried 
her." I said, "She is far better off now than we are. 
We have a sacred duty to perform. Shall we perform 
it like men?" "We shall," was all he could say. 

He had five men wdio had been hounded from home, 
hunted like w^ld animals. One of them was George 
Enloe, whose house was burned, and his horses, three 
wagons and stock all driven off by soldiers from Camp 
Nelson while he w^as hauling stores and provisions to 
this camp. He w^as the first person to tell of the outrage 
upon my sister. He met the party wdio were engaged 
in it and knew them all. He Avent to camp and com- 
plained of the infamy to the commander, Colonel Jacob, 
I believe. For this he was brutally beaten by the guilty 
parties. He fled for his life. His property was de- 
stroyed. What was he to do? Where should or could 
he go and be safe from such cowardly and brutal assas- 
sins? Like all other hunted men, he could not attend the 
funeral of my sister. He sought my brother's protec- 
tion. A\"ere these crimes and. infamous brutalities any 
provocation to men who love their friends? Reader, 
ask yourself this question. Think over it seriously and 
answer on your own conscience. See what the answer 
will be. I leave it with all men. 



The other three men with Sam were men who had 
had similar experiences. There were forty men present 
at the house when my sister was assaulted, all equall\ 
guilty with the vile wretch who did the deed. 


The recruits are sworn in — Our oath — We lay our plans for re- 
venge and elect officers — Capture and execution of the mur- 
derers — Sixteen more — Finishing the score. 

Our first care now was to swear these new recruits 
into the Confederate service, which was done. I sent 
for the soldiers who had come with me. They were 
ready for any emergency. Having rested here two days, 
shoeing horses, we now formed our plans to reach the 
murderers. It was understood that we were all a band 
of brothers^ and we took a solemn oath to stand by each 
other under all circumstances, to protect with our lives 
at all hazards any and every one, to carry away any 
wounded comrade who should be unable to ride or to 
protect himself and in case any comrade failed to pro- 
tect the wounded it was the duty of all the others to 
report the fact, and if found guilty of such conduct or 
neglect of duty the offending party should be shot. 

All having pledged themselves, plans were now 
discussed. They were few and simple. We were to 
keep constant watch about the enemy's camp on all 
roads leading to or from it ; we were to divide into two 
or three squads as might be required; if any pickets or 
camp guards should have camps we should follow them ; 
watch for an opportunity to engage any one or two 
stragglers in conversation when outside of camp and 
shoot them in the forehead. This should be our mark. 
We should all provide ourselves with blue overcoats and 


trousers. It would then be easy to go about without 
causing suspicion. Having adopted the quiet plan of 
having twos, threes and fours meet the unsuspecting 
enemy on the roads outside their camps, all of us being 
dressed in blue, we had roads assigned to each squad, 
sometimes far from the camp, sometimes close to it. 
Each squad had i<-s chief^ with signs that all understood, 
and all had a common place of meeting after a certain 
hour of the night, to report the day's doings to the cap- 
tain and receive instructions for next day. Having de- 
termined upon this simple plan of action, the question 
was put to the comrades as to wdio should be their of- 
ficers. They elected Samuel O. Berry captain, Thos. H. 
Henderson, first lieutenant; Henry McGruder, second 
lieutenant ; George Enloe, guide and scout. It Avill be 
remembered that I had assumed the name of Henderson 
at Coluumb'us. It was agreed not to be seen on the road 
leading to the enemy's camp. 

We moved close to the enemy's camp at Dick Rob- 
inson. Enloe piloted us around the camp and showed 
us the various bridle paths and private roads. He had 
already two pairs of blue trousers and two great coats. 
We traversed the country in every direction, learning its 
topography and selecting the best places to meet, at 
springs and in ravines. After familiarizing ourselves 
with all these things we were ready for the severe work 
of killing everyone whom fortune might throw in our 

There were three roads that ran to or centered close 
to their camps. We therefore divided into three squads, 
eighteen men in each squad. It was arranged that all 
the men in each squad should place fourteen men in 
ambush and let two men patrol the road in opposite di- 
rections, keeping a sharp lookout for the enemy. Should 


there be more than three or four in sight, they should 
not stop them but should let them pass. These videttes 
should not let themselves be seen, but should disappear 
into the woods. If there were only three or four, they 
should capture them without noise, take them into the 
thickets or ravines and shoot them or hang them to the 
first convenient limb. All was now arranged to the sat- 
isfaction of the different chiefs. 

On the second day, while patroling the road leading 
to the Harrodsburg pike, Sam Berry was fortunate 
enough to meet with six of the very wretches who were 
with the party who killed our sister. Enloe was with 
him at this time, and recognized them at once. They 
were disarmed, taken into the woods and placed under 
strict guard. Sam did not shoot them there, as it Avould 
raise an alarm and frustrate our plans. All the road^ 
were watched, closely w^atched, for more. Late that 
evening McGruder took four men, three of them being 
of the party that killed our sister; the other was the 
very fellow who had so brutally beaten Enloe and burned 
his house. I was about to repair to the designated place 
of meeting for the whole party, passing through a small 
glade in the woods, when I met a villainous looking man 
in butternut suit. I captured him, taking him along. 
He said. "Why do you want to treat me this way? I 
am going to camp the nearest way." "Let's go this way, 
it is nearer," I said. I took away his arms. Moving 
rapidly through the woods w^e reached our destination. 
The other two squads were already there. We were 
about two miles from the Kentucky river. After con- 
sulting awhile, w^e determined that it was best to take 
all our prisoners nearer the river, to a deep gorge in the 
cliff. Reaching the spot we halted. Everything was 
quiet. Enloe came to me and said, "Lieutenant, you have 


made the king strike of the day." ''How so?" 1 asked. 
"You have caught the scoundrel that murdered your 
sister, he is the very one." 

All the blood in my body seemed to rush to my face. 
My hands clenched my pistol handle instantly. My 
brother, seeing this, placed his hand on my arm and 
said, "Wait for a few minutes. This is too important a 
matter to be done hastily. Let's be sure of this before 
we act." "All right, my brother, as you will," said I. 
We then placed all the prisoners in line and brought my 
man before them. Sam asked them if they knew this 
man. They all answered that they did. Not one of them 
knew that we were other than Federal soldiers who wxre 
playing practical jokes on them. They were soon unde- 
ceived. They were tied together. We told them who we 
were and what we intended doing with them. They beg- 
ged for their lives and said, "You surely are not going to 
kill all of us for one man's crime? There is the man who 
killed the young woman ; shoot him, not us." "Was he not 
in your company?" "Yes, he was in our company, but we 
are not responsible for his crimes." "Are you sure you 
tell the truth?" All said that he was the guilty man. 
We then asked him what he had to say. He was sullen 
and defiant. He said, "I did not mean to kill her, but 
meant to scare her." "You really did kill her, then?" 
"I did not intend to do it." "Tell us, yes or no. Qid 
you kill the young woman?" "I suppose I did — yes, I 
did. What are you going to do about it?" "We intend 
to shoot you like a dog, and let the buzzards pick your 
bones." We nov/ were satisfied that we indeed had the 
right man. Taking the entire party down under the 
bluff to the bottom of the ravine we shot them, leaving 
their bodies, and departed from the scene. 

A fine days work for the first. We hunted the 


roads, woodlands, valleys and the next day we cap- 
tured three more and shot them. I suggested that we 
move up closer to camp — we might be more lucky. But 
not being successful we took our course through the 
woods eastward. Crossing the road into a wide valley, 
we reached a high cliff, where we could command a view 
of the country for several miles. While here the whole 
command dismounted and let their horses graze; I sent 
out some videttes. We had been on this spot about an 
hour and a half wdien I discovered through my field- 
glasses a scouting party approaching. I said to those 
about me, *'Boys, I see some game approaching; we 
must bag it." I handed the glasses to my captain. 
•'There are sixteen of them," I said. ''What do you 
make of them, Sam?" "Yes, that's right. They are 
about two miles away. There is ample time to make 
preparation to bag them." 

We called the videttes — tightened our girths and 
looked to our weapons. We had nothing but army 
pistols, .44 calibre, the best weapon at close quarters. 
W^e proposed a plan, which was accepted. It was to 
allow these troops to meet us in the road, where our 
captain was to salute their chief, w^hile our lines divided 
allowing their column to pass between, and at a given 
signal each man was to face inwards, covermg with 
his revolver one of the enemy. 

We timed our pace so that we met this scout at a 
small stream in the road in a narrow^ lane. We car- 
ried out this program to' the letter, and it worked like 
a charm. We captured the entire party; not one of 
them escaped to tell the tale. They, too, belonged to 
the same company as had the men we had killed. There 
was not a shot fired in making the capture. It was 
hard to make them believe we were enemies and meant 


to shoot them, without first telling them who ^ we were 
and for what they were being shot. -Th'z made thirty 
men disposed of in four days. 

About noon the following day we met seven men 
on the road scouting. They asked us what regiment 
we belonged to and Sam said, ''Bramlett's." "Humph!" 
said the officer : "I belong to that myself, but I don't 
recall your faces. I have but recently joined the regi- 
ment. I wish to inquire if you have seen any small 
scouting parties in this vicinity in the last few days? 
Some have been sent out lately but they have not re- 
turned. I have been sent to scour the country for them." 
Sam asked him, "Did they belong to your company?" 
"They did," was the reply of the lieutenant. "Then you 
are my prisoners, surrender!" At the same instant they 
were all covered with revolvers. When they were look- 
ing into the muzzles of pistols, how surprised they were ! 
We informed the lieutenant of our mission. This officer 
was in command of the company when my sister met 
her death. He told us again the tragic story. He would 
have prevented it, he said, if he could, but declared it 
was done before he had time to interfere. "But," said 
Sam, "you did not punish the man or friend who did the 
cowardly deed, and for this you deserve to die the death 
of a dog — the same death he has died." Thus thirty- 
seven of them died in a week. 

From this forward we had to fight for the small 
margin we gained. We had stirred up a hornet's nest. 
The enemy was aroused and scouts were on all roads. 
We met and charged them at headlong pace, killing 
tw^elve four days later We did not have time to take 
prisoners. On the tenth of February we met and 
charged a company, killing twenty-three of them ; on 
the 19th we captured their pickets and surprised seventeen 


men at djnncr. We entered the house with pistols in each 
hand, killing :':'J:een out of the seventeen. One made 
his escape by jumping out of the window, through the 
carelessness of one of our own guards. A few days 
after this we were entirely surrounded by three com- 
panies of Colonel Jacob's cavalry before we knew there 
was an enemy within five miles of us. Our pickets had 
been surprised by these troops and but for the fact of 
the mettle and speed of their horses would surely have 
been captured. The first volley they fired at the enemy 
gave us warning. We quickly moun(ted and were 
ready to receive them. They followed our men into 
our midst, and the cool courage and steady nerve of 
these bold riders saved us. We gave them two volleys 
in their very, faces, under which they recoiled. We 
charged them with the old rebel yell, breaking through 
their lines. They were firing too high, entirely over 
our heads, while our bullets had emptied twenty saddles. 
After these exciting scenes we concluded to hunt 
a secure hiding place to rest our tired horses and have 
them reshod. We accordingly made our way into the 
Anderson county hills, having killed all of the cowardly 
wretches who had so cruelly butchered our sister. 



across the river — We scatter for a rest — General Kirby 
Smiths operations — ^Battle of Richmond — Recruiting at Lex- 
ington — Reassembled — Running fight from Fairfield to the 
Chaplintown pike. 

Captain Sam Berry now had some thirty-five men 
who were anxious to be led against a company stationed 
at Fairf.eld. But before leaving camp we reorganized 
the company. Sam Berry was made captain ; Thos. F. 
Berry, alias Tom Henderson, first lieutenant ; Henry 
McGruder, second lieutenant ; Tom Henry, first ser- 
geant ; Bob Taylor, second sergeant ; Texas, third ser- 
geant; Jake Smith, first corporal; John Brothers, second 
corporal ; Jim Toler, third corporal ; Jerome Clark, Sam 
Avery, Bill Marion, Rough Smith, Enloe, Jim David, 
Pat Calahan, Oscar Jones, Henry Johnson, Bill John- 
son, John Cunningham, Henry Anderson, Billy Wilson, 
Herbert Spencer, James Trabue, Henry Todd, Burke 
Sanders^ Frank Hawkins, Clarence Hutchinson, Ben Al- 
len, James Conrad, John Hays, Ashbrook, Henry Sims, 
Jim Peyton, Silas Long, privates. 

The new organization was about to be baptised. 
We received word that Captain Bridgewater was raid- 
ing the country between Samuel's depot and F'airfield, 
Nelson county. Bridge water's company was first 
equipped as Home Guards and was afterward enlisted 
in the Federal army. Their operations included the ar- 
rest of private citizens, plundering private houses, rob- 
bing hen roosts, insulting women, and searching for 
rebels in band-boxes. At this time they numbered 
seventy-five men. Sam Berry had thirty-five in his 


company. Now we were face to face with the Federal 
freebooters. Sam halted his men and asked which shall 
it be boys, "a fight or a foot race?" One and all said, 
*'Fight." "Then, close up form in fours; charge!" The 
Federals were loading corn and hay with no picket 
out. The hay-stacks and corn-pens were in a large, 
wide field, and beyond an open woodland was a grass 
pasture. We charged the surprised Federals, firing but 
one volley. It was then hand to hand, body to body. 

Captain Bridgewater tried in vain to rally his men. 
After firing their wads, they fled in every direction, 
with the boys in gray in close pursuit. Jones, Clark, 
Toler, McGruder, Spencer, Long, Texas, Brothers, all 
killed right and left as they pressed hard and fast after 
the panic-stricken plunderers. Reaching Fairfield, they 
tried to rally, but we were in their midst. Death helps 
him w^ho fears him least. He who dodges is in most 
danger. Fortune's great uncertain eye looks down upon 
the world and brightens when it falls upon the bravest. 
The quickest is the safest, the coolest is the least ex- 
posed. Enloe's and Clark's practice bore abundant fruit. 
They each killed six; Toler, five; Texas, five; Clarence 
Hutchinson, four; Jones, four; others, three and two 
each. We pushed the frightened Federals to the pro- 
tection of Bardstown, where there were 300 of the 
enemy. Our loss in this first real battle was three 
killed — Herbert, Bell and Spencer — all young men of 
fine promise and splendid soldiers. Four of our men 
were wounded. The Federal loss was 27 killed and 12 
wounded, which, by four, amounted to more than our 
entire number. 

This was a good day's work. But it was not over. 
Finding we could accomplish nothing against 300 shel- 
tered in the fortified court house, we withdrew rapidly. 


We found 200 following us to revenge the drubbing 
we had given their friends. While fighting them off from 
our rear, our front videttes encountered a wagon-train 
with supplies for the garrison at Bardstown^ escorted by 
a guard of thirty soldiers. AVe were now between two 
hostile forces. What should we do? Charge, and charge 
quickly. Calling in our rear guards, we charged the 
wagon guards with a rebel yell that sent them flying 
across the country before us. We rode in their ranks 
for miles, killing thirteen and wounding six, while not 
a man of us was hurt. After burning the seven wagons, 
Lieutenant McGruder galloped up to us. Sam said, 
"Mac, this is a fine day's work, being the first for two 
weeks. We shall now go into the river hills and camp." 
We moved off under the cover of darkness and had a 
good night's sleep. 

While we slept, the enemy found and followed our 
trail. We had pickets out, but while we were eating 
breakfast, shots commenced to rattle in our camp. Salt 
river was in front of us. Fortunately, our horses were 
saddled, and we mounted at once. Reconnoitering, we 
found that we were surrounded by three or four hundred 
Federals. We received a flag of truce, demanding im- 
mediate, unconditional surrender. Forming quickly, we 
charp-ed with a yell, having answered that we did not 
know how to surrender. We could not break their lines, 
as they were behind trees and logs. Not discouraged 
at this repulse, we made another charo-e. and still an- 
other. Finding that we were effectually hemmed in we 
withdrew to a place near the river, which we found to 
be almost bank full. The enemy pressing us, we divided 
into two squads, determined to hold the enemy back, 
while one squad crossed ; when they had reached the 


other shore, they would protect the other while crossing. 
Up to this moment no one had been killed. 

The melee now became fierce ; the woods rang with 
the shouts of the combatants. We were completely 
hemmed in, fighting for every inch of ground. Our am- 
munition was almost exhausted. We were forced up 
the river a short distance, with 300 Federals hammering 
aw^ay at us from three sides. The banks or the river 
were at least twenty feet high, and almost perpendicu- 
lar at this point. Sam cheered the men to renewed 
resistance and ordered me to take fifteen men ana cross 
the ri\'er as quickly as possible. Twice my horse re- 
fused me, but lifting him a third time by spur and at 
the same time giving him a cheering cry, he sprang over 
the steep embankment. The men followed quickly. 
We formed on the other side, taking shelter behind trees 
and shouted to our friends to follow. They leaped the 
perpendicular bank, while we poured in volley after 
volley upon our foes, with exultant yells. All were now 
safe with the exception of five men killed and seven 
wounded, my brother among the latter. The Federal 
loss was 19 killed and 28 w^ounded. 

We pushed for the Bullit county hills, to scatter and 
after a rest of ten days to reassemble at Merrinan's 
farm. I was taken to Colonel Stower's place, to a 
cave, until my wounds could heal. Dr. John Conn, who 
lived near Samuel's depot, on the Bardstown railroad, 
attended me. This Christian gentleman's hand and 
heart were always open and ever ready to respond to 
calls from the defenders of the South. Her brother, Mr. 
Nimrod Conn, constantly protected and fed Confeder- 
ate soldiers and sent boxes of provisions to the various 
prisons in the North. We received twelve recruits dur- 
ing this period. 


The Federals were scouring the country with small 
detachments. Many Southern sympathizers, a number of 
women included, were arrested and carried off to prison. 
It was designed by this wholesale outrage to strike terror 
to non-combatants. Vain hopes ! There were still some 
men in Kentucky who believed that by taking the oath 
0-f allegiance to the government they and their slaves 
and property would be protected, but the Avar having 
been instigated for robbery and plunder, and continued 
and maintained for that purpose, the robbers who were 
now in full swing had no wish to be deprived of any 
chance afforded them. 

After disbanding the command, we sent McGruder, 
Jerome Clark and Billy Wilson to Louisville to obtain 
a supply of ammunition. The men were instructed to 
devote some part of each day to pistol practice on 
horseback and to leaping fences, ditches, fallen timbers 
and other obstructions, so that when such feats should 
be required of them they could perform them without 

The enemy was now falling back before the ad- 
vance of the Confederate armies. General Bragg in 
the southwest and E. Kirby Smith in the eastern part 
of the state, were pushing rapidly into Kentucky. It 
was a race between these armies and a questfon of 
who should first reach the goal of the Blue Grass re- 
gion. The Confederates under General Smith overtook 
the Federals at Big Hill and forced them to fight. 
While this was going on, the cavalry under Colonel 
Scott, Duke and Morgan, on different roads, by forced 
marches was passing around the retreating enemy. Hav- 
ing formed a junction, they placed themselves across 
the path of retreat. General Smith pressing him closely, 
overtook him at Richmond and fought a decisive battle ; 


he killed and captured the lar.^er portion of his army, 
seriously wounding- the commanding officer, General 

The Federal government was now conscripting 
men in Kentucky, compelling them to enter the army or 
to furnish substitutes. There were thousands of men, 
both Union and vSouthern, hiding in the brush or 
leaving the state, going to Canada and the northern 
states. There was a general stampede in all directions. 

It may be well to give here an account of General 
Smith's operations. He had collected at Knoxville and 
other points in Tennessee, some 20,000 men of all arms. 
Leaving General Stevenson with 8.000 men in front of 
Cumberland Gap, then occupied by the Federals under 
General G. W. Morgan, with 12,000 men and 35 pieces 
of artillery, he pressed through Big Creek, and Rogers 
Gap in the Cumberland Mountains and marched rapidly 
for the Blue Grass country. Once master of Lexing- 
ton, he would have the terminus of the two railroads, 
and, indeed, one-half of the state of Kentucky. A defeat 
of the forces in this regiou would clear his way to Louis- 
ville — in one direction and to Covington in the other. 
He was in no danger until forces were collected and 
organized in sufficient strength at Cincinnati to march 
against him. As for Buell's army, it was General 
Bragg's duty to take care of that. General Smith had 
about L800 cavalry under Morgan, Duke and Scott. 
Colonel Scott's being the advance column, met the 
enemy at Big Hill under Colonel Metcalfe, and defeated 
him. Their comparative strength was : Colonel Scott's 
regiment, 700; Metcalfe's, L200. Big Hill was about 
fifteen miles from Richmond. 

Even after this affair, the Federal commander at 
Richmond remained in ignorance of the approach of 


any force besides the cavalry under Colonel Scott, until 
General Smith, having pressed forward with wonderful 
celerity and secrecy, was within a few miles of Rich- 
mond. Then every available man was concentrated at 
Richmond and pushed out to meet the invading column. 
A battle was fought on August 29, 1862. General Smith 
had marched rapidly and his men fared badly, having 
subsisted for ten days on green corn ; their feet were so 
cut by the rough stones that they could be traced by 
the blood. His column was scattered and straggling, 
consequently, he could put into this fight only about 
6,000 men. It is true that General Heath was com- 
ing forward with supports a few miles in the rear. The 
attack was made with a rush. He drove them before 
him pell-mell, and although three stands were made, 
his advance was never seriously checked at any point. 
The last stand was made in the outskirts of the little 
town of Richmond itself, and when the enemy was driven 
from the town his rout was complete. The commander. 
General Nelson, was wounded, with a loss of 1,000 killed 
and wounded, and 6,000 prisoners taken. Colonel Scott's 
cavalry pressed the enemy for many miles. Of the 
Federals there was no single command that maintained 
its organization ; in fact, the rout was followed by 
complete disintegration. The streams of fugitives poured 
through Lexington all Saturday and Sunday nights to- 
wards Cincinnati and Louisville. Thus, for the time, 
was finished this decisive campaign on the part of Gen- 
eral Smith, with all that part of Kentucky in possession 
of his forces. 

Taking Lexington on September 1, he dispatched 
General Heath with 6,000 men toward Covington. Gen- 
eral Smith issued strict orders for the maintenance ot 
order and discipline among his soldiers, for the preven- 


tion of excesses, maltieatmeut of citizens, or bad con- 
duct of any description. To such a state of discipline 
had he ah'eady broui^ht his army, that these orders were 
little needed. Recruits, ready to join the cavalry ser- 
vice, formed many new regiments. Great efforts were 
made to induce the Kentuckians to enlist in the infant- 
ry arm of the service. There were some few regiments 
formed, all wanting to ride. As a people the Kentuckians 
are fond of horses, and, forced to go to war, they thought 
it a hardship to go a-foot. Many gallant spirits flocked 
to our forces, among them being Captain Abe Buford, 
formerly of the regular United States army, a graduate 
of West Point, well known and popular, who received 
a brigadier's commission. Colonel Butler, Smith and 
Grigsby Shelton and Bowles recruited regiments. All 
these young men had been hiding in the woods. Com- 
panies and regiments had in many instances bespoken 
their men, who were ready to enlist as soon as a favor- 
able opportunity should occur. Many also had made up 
their minds to join Morgan when he next came through 
the country. Had a decisive battle been fought and 
won by General Bragg at this time, there is little doubt 
that the majority of that class of men who were wait- 
ing for such an event before enlisting would then have 
enlisted in the infantry, with many others who had been 
debating the matter. But this grand opportunity was 
thrown away by General Bragg. 

At the time appointed, our men assembled at old 
man Merriman's with horses rested and shod, and better 
equipped in every particular, as each man was now 
armed with cut-off shotguns and four — some with six — 
pistols in holster and belt. We had fifty-six men. When 
my brother, Sam, rode in front of the men they called 
for a speech. Facing them, he briefly told them that 


speech-makino- was not a part of a soldier's duty. The 
time for close-handed, continuous fighting had arrived; 
there were many enemies to conquer in every direction ; 
it was our duty to help in this work — we had work be- 
fore us. Speech-making was not only not necessary, 
but out of place at this time. ''Men," he said, "we 
have plenty of work for you. Forward, march !" 

Passins: rapidly from the hills, we struck the Fair- 
field pike three miles from Samuel's depot. About one 
mile from Fairfield, we encountered Captain Harper of 
Colonel Halicy's regiment, with 125 men, his own com- 
pany and that of Captain Terrill. Both commands were 
in rapid motion when we discovered each other. 
"Charo-e !" was the order given. AVe were descending 
a gradual steep. From a walk, we started on a dead 
run toward the enemy. We closed with them before 
they could fire a single volley. It was now a question 
of speed and endurance. It was a continuous charge 
through Fairfield, through Bloomfield. Four miles be- 
vond this place the Chaplintown pike joins the Tay- 
lorsville and Bloomfield pike. Here the flying Federals 
met Captain Bridsfewater's company of forty men and 
made a stand which checked our advance until our 
rear could close up. Our column had* lengthened out 
some distance in a run of eight miles and some of the 
men diverged from the main road to follow about 
twenty Yankees, who had fled across the country at our 
first volley. These men came up. We had been skir- 
mishing- Avith the Federals. Thinking that we were 
falling back, they now took the offensive. There was 
a lull in the firing", due to the fact that Confederate^^ 
were reloading. The enemy charged us. Every man 
held his fire until they were in close pistol range. Double- 
barrel shotguns were brought into effective use ; at each 


discharge there was an empty saddle or a dead horse. 
The charge spent itself before reaching our lines. After 
discharging our shotguns, we drew our pistols and troop- 
ing to the center, charged the Federals furiously. The 
enemy broke, retreating rapidly. We charged their left 
and crushed it. then turned to the right and rear, found 
tlie enemy coming upon our rear and met them in a 
counter charge. A brief hand to hand combat followed : 
the guerrillas had the advantage, as the revolver volleys 
were continuous. We could fire twenty-six shots with- 
out reloading. We forced the fighting and compelled 
them to fall back through the w^oodland into the pike, 
charging them vigorously they had no time to form. 
We poured volley after volley into their ranks as they 
fled precipitatelv down the pike through Smileytown. 
A mile from this place they took shelter in Wakefield's 
barn, which the guerrillas set on fire. Their flight con- 
tinued toward Taylorsville in Spencer county, we at 
their heels, shooting the hindmost ones of their flying, 
broken ranks. Sam Berry, Clark, McGruder, Enloe, my- 
self and others were in close pursuit. Reaching Salt 
river bills thev scattered in every direction. 

Thus ended one of the most desperate and hotlv 
contested fiehts of the w^ar, considering numbers. The 
Federals had at the commencement of the fight 125 men, 
-^nd ]pter received 40 men and reinforcements under Cap- 
tain Bridfrewater, at the Chaplintown pike. This in 
creased their number to 165 men. The guerrillas had 
58 men when they entered this fight. Captain Harper, 
a gallant soldier, exposed himself recklessly during the 
fieht. He seemed to bear a charmed life. A number 
of the finest marksmen in the companv fired at him 
freauently. He was finallv killed, while trying to rally 
his men, who had been driven from the woods. Out 


of the 165 Federals, there were killed during the running 
fight from Fairfield to Bloomfield, 71 men ; between 
Bloomfield and the Chaplintown pike, five more %vcre 
killed. In the terrific struggle at the junction of the 
Chaplintown pike they lost 22 men and their wounded 
amount to 11. The guerrilla's loss was 6 killed and 
15 wounded. Captain Harper w^as given this command 
for the express purpose of exterminating "One-Armed" 
Berry and his band. He had orders to kill all he cap- 
tured ; bring no prisoners to Louisville. The battle- 
cry of the Guerrillas was, ''Remember the slaughter of 
the innocent !" 

In some respects these contending commands were 
equal. The guerrillas had twenty-four, or I might say, 
twenty-six shots, as each had four pistols and a shotgun, 
and at close range these are very deadly. Most of them 
had insults, wrongs and grievances to avenge, desolate 
homes to fight for, and life to protect. On the other 
hand, the Yankee soldiers were fighting for plunder, to 
free the negroes and for $13 a month; their numbers 
about balanced the advantages of the guerrillas. All 
these soldiers were Kentuckians and were butchering 
each other for the edification of a cowardly lot of sancti- 
monious, snivelling hypocrites at the North. Old men, 
gray-haired, feeble with age, at most, tottering on the 
verge of the grave, were being ruthlessly arrested and 
torn from their homes, and many women, young and 
old, insulted and made to cook for these prowling bands 
of robbers. Numbers of women sent with the old men 
to prison were separated never to see, or even hear from 
each other again. And for what? Ostensibly, for opin- 
ion's sake, or for disloyalty or for aiding and abetting 
rebels. But, really, they were sent off for a better chance 
to be robbed. Nothins: else. 


"The Buell-Bragg races" — My brother and I each recruit a com- 
pany — Spirit of the Nelson sisters — My brother and I join 
our companies and join Morgan's command — I again meet 
Miss Sallie — On the scout as we withdraw from Cincinnati — 
Seven men capture seventy — Preparing to leave Kentucky. 

General Bragg's and General Buell's armies were 
now in Kentucky. Each marching along parallel lines, 
their objective point bein^: Louisville. It was a question 
which should reach that place first. Bragg's soldiers 
dubbed this march through Kentucky, "The Buell — 
Braver races." They were so ea.^er to reach the goal ot 
their hopes, the blue grass region, that they could hardly 
wait for its consummation. It was said and was believed 
by some that these generals met and discussed plans 
to avoid a collision between the forces. It was known 
that they were brothers-in-law. This fact gave color 
to such reports. Both were putting forth all their en- 
ergies to accelerate the advance. Gen. Kirby Smith had 
fought and won a battle at Richmond, Kentucky, and 
was pushing his victorious columns towards Covington 
and Cincinnati. He had occupied Lexington and Frank- 
fort and his men were in high spirits and all looked 
forward with sanguine hopes to a glorious campaign 
and certain victory. With another victory added to our 
laurels, Kentucky would be occupied by the Southern 
armies, which would in turn invade the North, as their 
armies had the South. 


"One-Armed" Berry, having defeated his enemies, set 
about recruiting- his own company, which had suffered 
severe losses. We were both wounded. This was the 
second time he had been wounded and the sixth for me. 
Our object was for each to recruit a company, be ready 
for service w^hen we should meet our old comrades with 
Morgan. I was retarded in the work because of my 
wound which healed slowly. The anxiety of not being 
ready to meet Morgan doubtless retarded my recovery. 

An event showing the high courage and spirit of the 
Kentucky ladies occurred at this time. There was a 
family of Nelson county people consisting of three sons 
and two daughters. The two eldest sons were with Gen, 
Forrest : the 3'ounger boy w^as at home attending 
school. The two young ladies were keeping house for 
their parents. The old gentleman was of old Revolution- 
ary stock; a strong Southern sympathizer, who prayed 
for the success of the Confederacy every night. These old 
people had raised their children to fear God and to love 
their native state and its institutions. A frugal, happy 
family. Misses Roberta and Alice, God bless their nurs- 
ing, were ever ready to do a kindness or a heroic act. 
Their old father had been dragged from home for his 
sympathy with the South. Miss Rhoda had gone to 
Washington herself to intercede with the President for 
her father. He and Mr. Lincoln had been friends in their 
early days and the President issued a peremptory order 
for his immediate release. Miss Rhoda brought the order 
herself to Louisville and took him home with her. A few 
days later Capt. Ed. Terrill — who by the way was a de- 
serter from Morgan's command, but more of him here- 
after — rode up and called for Dr. Evans, who was 
sick, suffering from ill treatment received in prison. The 
surgeon at Bardstown had given strict orders for Dr. 


Evans not to be disturl)ccl under any circumstances. 
This brutal marauder was not to to be stopped by a 
woman. He tried to push her aside and attempted to 
go into the house, against her protest. He roughly 
took hold of her. She drew a six shooter from under her 
apron and stepping back a few steps shoved the pistol 
into Captain Terrill's face, saying, "Go, at your peril. I 
will shoot you like a dog, if you take another step to- 
ward that door." Her eyes were now fairly blazing. 
Captain Terrill, looking, at her for a moment, said, "You 
don't mean this. If you kill me there are my men. They 
will avenge my death." "Go, leave this house, I say. I 
shall not tell you again." Terrill, seeing the terrible light 
in her eyes, slowly backed out, as pale as death, quailing 
before this high-spirited young woman. I asked her 
afterwards if she really meant to shoot him. She said, 
"Yes, the cowardly brute had insulted me once before, 
and I had made up mind to defend my honor and home, 
if he ever afforded me the opportunity." 

Miss Rhoda and Miss Alice were splendid shots 
with pistol and practiced every day. There were few 
better shots in the army than they. They brought me 
food and medicine and recent newspapers at night, some- 
times sending their young brother Elijah, who often 
stayed with me. He and his sisters did most of my re- 
cruiting while I was unable to leave my hiding place in 
the cave, my wound being more serious than I had at 
first supposed. These three recruited for me 58 men, 
and enrolled them as honorary members in my company. 
This was a noble, generous family ; many suffering and 
sick and wounded soldiers on both sides received help 
from them. Miss Rhoda made many perilous journeys 
for the cause and did -what few men could or would do 
in those perilous times — times that tried men's souls. 


My wounds were nearly healed when I received a 
message from my brother that he was about ready to 
move his command. He informed me that he had re- 
cruited 79 men, and that if I would join him at Camp 
Charity, Morgan's old first camp, we would move to- 
ward Lexington. We now had definite information that 
Gen. Morgan's command was at Hustonville, some 14 
miles from Danville. I had 75 men in my company when 
we joined our two companies at the old camp. Here 
we organized, the men electing their own subordinate 
officers. Henry McGruder, Jerome Clark and Geo. Enloe 
were each chosen first lieutenants ; orderly sergeants 
and corporals were also elected. We moved toward a 
small place on the pike between Harrodsburg and Law- 
renceburg, rough and ready, where we encountered a 
company of ninth Michigan cavalry. Our pickets and vi- 
dettes were driven back upon the marching columns ; my 
company was in front and we charged with the old rebel 
yell. This meeting was unexepected to us, and evidently 
to the federals. We were on the pike, hemmed in on 
both sides by fences. The enemy retreated before the on- 
slaught; a part of them formed across the road; we 
formed fours and went at them with vigor; as their rear 
guard rode through a gap we made for them ; they gave 
us a volley almost in our faces, but the monentum from 
the rear pushed us through and over them, carrying 
everything before us. We pressed them to keep them 
from reforming and hurried them through Lawrence- 
burg at a rapid gait. Here we had the pleasure of re- 
ceiving the surrender of 25 of them, and also of meet- 
ing a scout sent out by Col. John Scott, who brought us 
glorious good news. 

This was September 4th. I had been in the service 
one year, had been captured and sent to Camp Chase; 


had made my escape ; had been wuunded six times ; was 
reunited with my old comrades and hoping to see dear 
old father again. Surely this was enough to make glad 
the heart of a heathen. If not a man in age, I certainly 
was in experience. I had lived ages in this one short 
year. I was walling, yea, anxious, to perform my duty as 
I saw it. 

Leaving Lawrenceburg, we moved towards Schri- 
coks Ferry on the Kentucky river. Fortunately, the 
boat was intact and we crossed without accident or de- 
lay. Moving forward we reached Mortonsville, in Wood- 
ford county, where we camped for the night. But 
there was little sleep for me ; reflecting upon my year's 
experience drove all thoughts of sleep from my eyes. 
Closing my eyes, I could almost hear the voice of my 
sij-ter, now hushed forever in death. This spot, my na- 
tive heath, where my sister and I first saw the light of 
day ; this place so near the home where we played to- 
gether in our childhood; and she now gone forever! 
How could I sleep? I went to my brother's camp. There 
I found him pacing backward and forward. I said, 
"Sam, I have been living over my whole life again to- 
night" He simply said, "So have I." His voice sounded 
husky. I could not see his face. "Let us make the 
rounds of our camps," he said. As we moved along to- 
gether the guards halted us, and found us a miniature 
army, self sustaining and supporting. I said, "Sam, I 
believe that some men are born soldiers." "I think so, 
too," was his reply, "and I also believe that every gener- 
ation of men is formed for the peculiar duties of its age." 
I agreed with him. 

Having made the rounds of the guards we conferred 
on a matter that was to affect our future. We both 
naturallv w^ished to be near our father in the same com- 


mand. I told him that if this could not be arranged I 
intended to make application for independent partisan 
command and that if he would join me in this application 
in case we should not be assigned to Morgan's command 
I wanted him to be the chief of the squadron, he being 
the older; there was a sister and a brother born between 
us. This being settled, streaks of dawn showed in the 
fai east, the men were aroused and the camp filled 
with bustle and activity. Having fed our horses, and 
eaten our meager fare, the clear shrill bugle sounded ''to 
horse." It was twelve miles to Lexington. 

Moving out slowly, we took a road across the 
country to Sligo, about seven miles from Lexington, 
where we captured some Home Guards, taking them 
along with us, with our Michigan friends, the enemy 
captured at Lawrenceburg, as a free-will offering to 
Gen. Morgan. "How was it that this grand, glorious, pro- 
ductive country could foster and nurture such brutal, in- 
famous (in my eyes) creatures as these Home Guards?" 
were my reflections as I rode along. The beautiful land- 
scape spread out before me, the early morning breezes 
stirred the leaves and caused them to fall in variegated 
colors; the fat sleek cattle browsing in the blue-grass 
pastures, looked at us in a lazy^ mild-eyed way, seeming 
to say "Why stir so early, friends?" The thought came 
unbidden, "The man who would not fight for such a 
country is not worth killing." We could see the spires 
of Lexington in the distance. We now threw out pick- 
ets who met some blue coats who were not disposed to 
let us pass. Some of Col. Scott's men came forward. We 
passed once again into a Confederate encampment, 
amidst enthusiastic demonstrations and congratulat- 
ions, waving of handkerchiefs, hearty handshakes, and 
greeting of old friends and comrades, my father among 


the number. He was very much surprised to see me 
here in such surroundings. 

We were received by Gen. Morgan and compliment- 
ed on our enterprise, and were assured that both myself 
and brother Sam should be assigned to his command. 
We turned over our prisioners to Gen. Kirby Smith. 
Recruits were now coming in to join the army. There 
was rejoicing and great enthusiasm. A number of cap- 
tains and lieutenants were given authority to raise bat- 
talions and companies and- also regiments. Some pri- 
vates were promoted to command. Maj. Gano, was 
granted a commission to raise a regiment ; Capt, Law- 
rence Jones, a battalion; Capt. Billy Breckinridge and 
Second Lieutenant Alexander were permitted to raise a 
company. Gano and Breckinridge each made their 
company a nucleus for their battalion, as did Lawrence 
Jones. Capt. Desha, who was a fine officer and had recruit- 
ed a company on Morgan's first raid, was permitted to 
raise a regiment of infantry. There were many more who 
raised companies and battalions. These were busy times. 
Organizations and equipment went forward apace. A 
brigade was formed of the regiments recruited. 

Brother Sam had received word before leaving 
camp, that the stockade on the south side of Salt River, 
on the Louisville and Nashville railroad which com- 
manded the bridge there, was garrisoned by 150 men. 
This stockade was built of logs 10 feet high above ground, 
set on end, the logs being 12 or 14 inches in diameter, 
pierced with loop holes. Such structures were imperv- 
ious to small arms. On reaching Lexington he reported 
this to Gen. Morgan. Three days later three companies 
were sent to reduce this place, as it was important to 
destroy this bridge so that it would be useless to the 
enemy. This duty was assigned to Major, formerly 


Captain Hutchinson, of Morgan's command and my 
brother Sam's company, as most of the men who be- 
longed to om- two companies were familiar with the 
roads in Spencer, Nelson and Bullit counties. This 
bridge was in Bullit county. Maj. Hutchinson was 
a singularly active and energetic officei and possessed 
the shrewdness as well as the daring which eminently 
qualified him for the command of such detachments. 

We made a tremendous march and on the evening of 
the second day reached our destination, having left Lex- 
ington about 4 o'clock the evening before, stopping on- 
ly long enough to feed our horses once. After having 
placed his men around the stockade and planted his 
two mounted howitzers to command it, Maj. Hutchin- 
son sent Capt. Bowles to demand the surrender of the 
garrison, allowing but 20. minutes for negotiations. The 
captain opened the parley under a flag of truce. The 
garrison was quite willing to surrender in 20 minutes, 
provided one strange point should be conceded, that is 
that the bridge should not be burned. To prove to them 
the folly of such a proposition, the twenty minutes truce 
was allowed to expire. Hutchinson, who was very literal 
in observing all that he said, immediately caused his ar- 
tillery to open without waiting for the return of his en- 
voy. Two shells burst above the stockade, wounding one 
of the inmates. This might have caused the death of the 
bearer of the truce flag, as the garrison then had a perfect 
right to shoot him. The effect on Bowles, who was one 
of the very few men who I believe never felt fear, was 
to render him indignant that his embassy should be inter- 
rupted just as he thought he was about to be success- 
ful. He came galloping back at full speed, waving the 
flag, at his own friends, shouting, ''Don't shoot any more ; 
they'll be all right directly !" The garrison at the same 


time came pouring out without regard to rank, waving 
pocket handkerchiefs. As soon as the howitzer opened, the 
skirmishers advanced in accordance with Hutchinson's 
instructions, firing as they went forward, driving the 
enemy back into the stockade. Soon however, all mis- 
takes were rectified and adjusted amicably and the pris- 
oners were paroled. 

We were now assigned to Morgan's immediate com- 
mand, sent to a point opposite Cincinnati to act as 
scouts at Gen. Heath's front. On our way down, I 
turned over to my First Lieutentant, Jerome Clark, ob- 
taining permission from Col. Hutchinson to revisit my 
dear friends at Cynthiana, staying with them four or 
five days. I found Miss Sallie radiantly beautiful and 
sweet. How lovely she looked now ! I had not seen 
nor heard from her for nearly nine months, but had 
written to her several times informing her of my doings. 
She was glad to see me, or seemingly so. Time flew fast. 
Those dear, sweet, happy, fleeting days. They were so 
brief! When my five day leave was past, I dragged 
myself away to join my company at the front. This 
was the last time I ever saw her. She died in a year 
from this time. Thus was ended the most blissful, happy 
period of my life. I had nothing now left me to love but 
the South. 

We were close enough now to look into Cincinnati. 
The enemy's forces were active and numerous. Accessions 
of regular troops were arriving every day. We had sev- 
eral skirmishes with their out-posts. Gen. Heath was 
about to attack their outer work and had made prepar- 
ation to do so on the following morning, but during the 
night received orders not to do so, but to hold himself 
in readiness to march at short notice, as Gen. Smith had 
received instructions from Gen. Bragg saying he must 


be prepared to return to reinforce him to prevent Buell 
from entering Louisville. At this time our spies report- 
ed that fifteen or twenty thousand veteran troops had 
arrived at Cincinnati. 

General Heath now withdrew his whole force, di- 
recting- his march to Georgetown and Frankfort, Col- 
onel Hutchinson bringing up the rear. General Morgan 
was directed to co-operate with General Humphrey 
Marshall to cut off and capture General George Mor- 
gan, a Federal general, who was retreating through 
the mountains. Arriving there, he was to intercept him 
on his march to the Ohio River. He had evacuated 
Cumberland Gap two days before, and had two days' 
start. It was General Smith's desire that General Mor- 
gan should blockade the roads in the enemy's front and 
use every effort to retard his progress. By uniting with 
General Marshall's forces, it was hoped that in that rug- 
ged, almost impassable country the enemy might be 
stopped altogether or until another body of troops could 
be thrown upon its rear. As it was, Marshall remained 
inactive. After some days of laborious scouting, felling 
trees across the roads, climbing over mountains and 
sticking close to the enemy's column, we had the mor- 
tification of seeing him getting away. We now re- 
turned to General Heath's command, having been gone 
two weeks. 

We were sent to the front near Falmouth, meeting 
with several scouts and detachments of our command. 
Reaching camp, we expected to rest, but not so. The 
enemy, as we understood, was on the move. We had 
to saddle up and march. It proved to be a false alarm, 
but being desirous of gaining information we sent 
scouts to ascertain as nearly as possible the exact posi- 
tion of the pickets and the condition of everything about 


the encampments. Our instructions were not to fire 
upon or in any way to alarm the pickets or do any- 
thing to make them suspect our vicinity. We learned 
from citizens who lived near the enemy's encampment, 
that they were encamped between the Covington and 
Independence pikes. We were confident that we would 
be able to get to the Georgetown and Covington pike, 
by a country road which runs into it from the Indepen- 
dence pike, without alarming the main body, and then 
reach the point where the cavalry was encamped ; and 
defeat it before the infantry could come to the rescue. 
We were sure the infantry was about two miles north 
of Walton, and this by-road came into the pike about 
1,000 yards from the encampment and between the en- 
campment and Walton. We had marched ten miles. 

Just at sunrise we reached the Georgetown pike and 
saw ten cavalry pickets standing in sight of the point 
where we would enter. The column was at once halted. 
A brief reconnoisance showed an infantry regiment. Ar- 
rangements were made to capture these pickets, who 
had not seen us, without alarming the camps. There 
-was now no hope of passing this point without being 
discovered by the main body and it only remained to 
make the most of our situation. Lieutenant Messick of 
Company A and Lieutenant Clark of Company K were 
who were captured without firing a shot ; Lieutenant 
Clark, commanding the advance guard, was sent with 
a portion of it to try the same game with the infantry. 
He went right into the midst of them. The column 
moved forward at a gallop, as soon as the pickets were 
disturbed, and turned in the direction of Walton. The 
rear company rushed at full speed to the assistance of 
Lieutenant Clark. One of the howitzers was planted 
had his pistols at the head of the commanding officer 


demanding the surrender of his men, and threatening to 
blow his brains out if he did not do so at once. Hays, 
sent to the left ; Lieutenant Messick, to look after pickets, 
at a point where we entered the pike, to cover our re- 
treat, if were were pressed. When we reached the little 
squad of Lieutenant Clark, the company which we took 
to arrest it, or rather a fragment of it, was in a situation 
which perhaps was never paralleled during the war. 
Clark was further down the road toward the encamp- 
ment with a portion of the detachment, picking up strag- 
glers. Surgeon Hays was in the midst of a company of 
sixty-nine Federal infantrymen, who stood sullen and be- 
wildered, with their rifles cocked and at ready. Clark 
with six men grouped round him, stood ready to shoot 
down any man who raised a gun. It was, in fact, the 
finest sight ever seen — an exhibition of high courage and 
nerve. There is not recorded a cooler, more daring 
scene than this. The arrival of the company made the 
infantry decide to surrender. The caps and bayonets 
having been removed from their guns, the men marched 
away under guard. Clark had gone into the infantry 
camp, captured one company and had run the balance 
back into their camps. The men were raw recruits. 

The long roll was beat. We saw the various 
reg:iments form at a double quick into line of bsttle. 
The artillery was hurried up into position and behind 
the whole was the cavalry, peeping over the shoulders, 
as it were, of the infantry — those whom we had taken 
so much pains to see. My company was sent away 
with 89 prisoners, taken here without firing a shot. We 
carried them to Georgetown, and turned them over 
to General Heath. 

We were detailed and sent to the Ohio River, as 
some companies of Home Guards were organizing near 


Carrolton. We had orders to disperse or capture them. 
While on our way down, we encountered my brother's 
company, sent on the same duty. We joined forces, 
dispersed these companies of Home Guards and en- 
countered one company of Colonel Buckley's regiment. 
We had some sharp skirmishing, driving them towards 
Covington. Upon reaching the river one afternoon about 
3 o'clock, we saw three transports loaded with troops 
going down the river toward Louisville. Watching 
them pass, we rested our horses a couple of hours. We 
turned our horses in the direction of Frankfort, where 
we arrived next day and found the army on the move 
toward Lawrenceburg. 

This was the first intimation we had that we were 
going to give up the state without an effort to win. 
This was indeed a bitter thought, but we all devoutly 
hoped that we should return after a short absence. Vain 
hope ! There was every indication of preparation for a 
general battle. Every one was moving to a common 
center and from reports hourly received from scouting 
parties, that center must certainly be near Harrodsburg, 
Danville or Perryville, because the two armies were 
converging towards these points. We reached Law- 
renceburg at about 10 o'clock, and were immediately 
pushed forward to meet the threatened attacks at the 
extreme front. We were greeted with whizzing bullets, 
eruptions of our old friends, the Ninth Michigan cav- 
alry. We pressed them for a closer acquaintance. We 
soon saw that there was a trap fixed for us, and sent 
back for reinforcements. Our whole force moved forward ; 
flanking columns were sent forward and we charged 
and forced them to develop their lines, and fall back 
rapidly. It was a force sent to mask the position of Gen- 
eral Buell's advancing army on the extreme right wing. 


At 10 o'clock on the morning of the 7th of October, 
1862, among the browning woodlands, with the smoking 
curtains of Indian summer covering the landscape, 
brooding over the corn fields, pastures and stubble, that 
skirted the banks of Chaplain River's dry bed. General 
McCook, with his staff, formed the center corps of the 
Federal position. Chaplain Hills of bloody fame and 
woe ! For here took place one of the most deadly and 
bloody struggles of the war. 

General McCook could have been crushed and cap- 
tured if he had been attacked on the 7th. This was 
the opportunity for Confederate attack, but was thrown 
away by waste of time. McCook had no supporters on 
this day. 

General Stackwater's division and General Lyle's 
brigades, formed on the right and left, with twenty-five 
regiments, and thirty-six pieces of artillery, the latter 
on the high crest of the rugged hills that lay behind 
the bottom lands. Between them and the dry channels 
of the river was an interval of some 300 yards on the 
right of McCook's position. Sheridan's division of six 
regiments and twelve pieces of artillery, occupied the 
wooded sides and ridges and ravines in front of the 
Confederate left. In addition there was General Good- 
ing's brigade, a Wisconsin battery, General Mitchell's 
division, with eight regiments and three batteries and 
the First Ohio cavalry. This cavalry and a brigade 


was held ready to re-inforce either win,2: of the Yankee 
army. There were 23,400 additional Federal infantry 
approaching on the Lebanon Pike, only ten miles away, 
and would arrive before night. This would make sixty- 
four regiments of infantry and eighty-two pieces or 
artillery and six regiments of cavalry that stood in line 
of battle on the morning of October 8th, in readiness 
for the word to advance, whereas, the day before there 
were only about 18,000 Federals present. 

The Confederates on October 7th were 36,800 strong, 
with 23,400 within three hours' march of this battle- 
field. The Confederates' position along the verge of 
Chaplain River and among the rugged hills and gorges, 
could be traced by the gray uniforms and bright bayo- 
nets. Their lines were formed among the low project- 
ing banks. This was a fine position for defense, but 
might prove a veritable slaughter-pen in a successful 
flank movement, which could have been made by the 
right wing of the enemy's approaching columns. 

The Confederate advance, or right wing, was led 
by that peerless, matchless and dashing soldier General 
Frank Cheatham, and his division was composed of two 
Georgia, ten Tennessee^ one Alabama and one Louisiana 
regiment, and eighteen pieces of artillery. General S. 
B. Buckner's division was on his left, with 4,500 men 
and three batteries of six guns each. On the ex- 
treme right of our line was General John H. Morgan 
and General Whorton, with 1,800 cavalry, and on the 
left, General Wheeler with 1,200 cavalry. Thus the 
two hostile armies confronted each other. 

The Confederates assailed the Federal lines with 
vigor and enthusiasm. The fourteen infantry, fifty 
pieces of artillery and twenty-eight hundred horsemen — 
six thousand eight hundred and ninety Confederate sol- 


diers — menaced thirty-five thousand three hundred Yan- 
kee soldiers who were avoiding a general engagement, 
until General Craddock's Corps should arrive on the 
field to assist in this battle. This little Confederate 
army stood proudly awaiting the fight and inviting its 
opponents to come on. One o'clock came and no ad- 
vance from the enemy. Two o'clock came. Long gray 
lines with bright bayonets emerged from cover. The 
right, marching by columns of brigades, echelon forma- 
tion, moved quickly into line of battle and assailed the 
Federals who were posted behind rocks and fences, 
thickets, hills, ravines, in woods, upon heights, oehind 
trees and at the rear of open field — a position for battle 
almost impregnable. 

In a very few minutes the whole force was in act- 
ion. The air was full of flying missiles of death. The 
resistance to the Confederate advance was savage in the 
extreme. The infantry and artillery seemed to cut down 
or slay whole companies at a single discharge. But 
the gray lines pressed up to the very muzzles of the 
guns with ringing cheer upon cheer, driving all before 
them at the point of the bayonets. 

General Hardee ordered General S. B. Buckner to 
charge the enemy's center. His advance was so im- 
petuous and daring upon the Federal center that they 
were forced back with heavy losess and confusion. He 
more than redeemed himself from his misfortune on Fort 
Donelson's bloody field which cost the Confederacy its 
General and opened the way which soon broke in twain 
the premature nation. The v/liole Confederate line now 
dashed forward, Cheatham, Bushrod, Johnson, Pat Cle- 
burne, Buckner, all hotly engaged, dashed with irresist- 
ible and distinctive impetuosity, which nothing could stay 
or check, against the enemy's salient angle of position. 


At the crossing of Doctor's Creek, Generals Jones, Brown 
and Mat Adams' brigade joined General Cheatham and 
assailed General Sheridan's division. 

In this supreme movement jMorgan and Wheeler's 
cavalry, charged with great fury and enthusiasm riding 
over stone walls, fences, and ravines, through the woods 
and up to McCook's lines, capturing many of his men on 
his flanks, General Wheeler turning his left flank among 
the retreating enemy. The Confederate lines moved 
amidst the thunder of one hundred and forty pieces of ar- 
tillery, and the constant roll of infantry volleys. They 
charged the enemy's line with deafening yells and cheers 
and enthusiastic, intense ardor and unmistakable pluck, 
their lines were unchecked, they advanced straight to 
the enemy's salient and left front. 

At this moment Liddell's division of reserves were 
hurled at the retreating foe ; at this supreme moment 
those of the good bishop, General Leonidas Polk, were 
leading. At this time the twilight of evening was fall- 
ing on the scene and in the dim smoke of battle Polk 
rode into the disordered line of the enemy. In the 
darkness and confusion he immediately made his way 
back to his rapidly advancing lines. He met General 
Liddell's solid brigades, pointing in the direction he 
had come, he cried, "Fire," and an unbroken sheet of 
flame relighted the fading twilight, quickly followed by 
another, and another, completing the rout of the enemy, 
who fled in v/ild confusion under cover of darkness. 

Their commanders reformed them some four miles 
from the battle field. The Confederates ceased pursuit 
by reason of darkness. General I\IcCook lost his bag- 
gage, his papers, and man}- of his colors were captured. 
He, like Lucullus, had to retreat, compelled to do so by 
reason of the close and rapid fighting of the Confederates. 


They now lighted their camp fires on the hard-won 
fields, and planted their pickets in the very teeth of the 
retreating foe, with one fifth of their number killed and 

Three thousand two hundred Confederates under 
General Cheatham whipped three thousand seven hun- 
dred ninety nine Federals under General McCook, in 
sight of Generals Gilbert's corps, and drove them from 
the field in confusion. They turned to the left flank 
and whipped half of the latter corps within hearing of 
General Crittenden's advance, seeking the field of bat- 
tle, not so fast as Blucher, nor so slow as Grouchy. "I 
was badly whipped," said General McCook, on oath 
before the Buell commission, which exonerated that gen- 
tlemanly soldier from blame, for the disastrous results of 
this terrific battle. 

Such daring was seldom eyer witnessed, Massena 
fought not more recklessly at Saragossa, nor even 
Marshall Ney at Waterloo. For boldness and dash, the 
General who ordered the attack excelled even Napoleon 
in his first campaign in Italy, for pure, unqualified cour- 
age, for perfect faith in his soldiers and in absolute 
risk to do the impossible, in the capacity that mounted 
with the occasion. 

This depleted, sore-footed, tired army of Confeder- 
ates will live in the history of this country and its praises 
be sung by sages and poets as long as valor shall fur- 
nish themes, to ^race the pa,G:es of history, to the re- 
motest times. 

I must not forget or pass over an episode that took 
place on the bloody fields on the day following this bat- 
tle. While covering the retreat the Confederate cavalry 
was slowly withdrawing over the Chaplain Hills. Two 
Confederates, lingering in the dry bed of Chaplain 


river, stopped near a pool of water to water their horses 
and take another parting- shot at the advancing Federals. 
Seeing those darino- Confederates, a colonel with two 
aides from the Federal side advanced to cut off the 
rebels. Down across the hillside and valley near the 
river bed they dashed, the three together ; they were con- 
cealed from view by the banks of the river. When with- 
in sixty yards of the two Confederates, they struck a 
dirt road running near and parallel with the river and 
near a low fence. Leaping the fence they reached the 
road and turned down to the banks of the river. 

James Elliot, private soldier, and Captain Shaw had 
ridden to the top of the river bank, and saw three Yan- 
kee horsemen officers galfoping across the w^oodland 
and intervening valley, on the left. Elliot said, "Captain, 
we shall fi^ht them here ; they are only three to our two. 
We can kill or capture them." As the Federal colonel 
with his two aides turned into the road, the two Con- 
federates faced toward them. They spoke to each 
other and flashed significant glances and words of 
encouragement, and other tokens of determination, 
wherein daring deeds are done. Their pistols clicked in 
readiness for quick use, the advance stopped short, the 
retiring army halted to watch this hand-to-hand com- 
bat all breathless, expectant and excited, their horses 
champing bits and prancing beneath their riders. 

On came the brave Federals like a whirlwind ; at 
close range the colonel fired at Elliot, who returned the 
fire at the same moment, and spurred his horse to closer 
quarters with his antagonist. Again the pistols cracked, 
so closely that they were hardly distinguishable. The 
first shot clipped the colonel's epaulet from his shoulder, 
and the bullet had clipped the rim of Elliot's own hat. A 
third shot was aimed at a yard's length ; the colonel saw 


the steady unquailing^ deadly, glistening, liquid, brave 
eyes of Elliot flash along the barrel of his pistol. His 
time had come unless he surrendered. Throwing up his 
hraid with his silver mounted pistol glistening over his 
head, he shouted, "I surrender, I'm your prisoner." Their 
horses' bodies had touched. "Hand me your pistol," de- 
manded Elliot slightly l6wering his own ; the colonel 
seemed to obey slowly. Elliot seized him by the collar. 
With his left hand tne colonel thrust his pistol under 
his left arm, fired upward and burned Elliot's face. He 
now saw the gleam of contempt blaze from the mad- 
dened eye of his generous foe. When he had missed fire 
the colonel's heart sank within him. The desperation 
of unfair advantage, foiled, seized his soul and with re- 
doubled strength he tried to throw his antagonist to the 
ground, but the fates were against him. Elliot was a 
skilled Kentucky horseman, and was not easily unhorsed. 
His pistol at the head of his wily, treacherous foe, loud 
rang the shot, the colonel fell dead from his black stal- 
lion, which had borne him into his last fight. 

As he fell from his horse his head caught in the 
reins of Elliot's bridle and his body was dragged to the 
bottom of the dry bed of the river. 

In a pool there Captain Shaw stood knee deep in 
the water^ with empty pistol, strangling into submission 
one of the aides who had been thrown from his horse 
into the water during the desperate struggle. Captain 
Shaw covered him with his empty revolver, Elliott 
shouted, "Surrender." The lieutenant, almost broken- 
hearted, with tears in his eyes, submitted, not knowing 
their pistols were empty. He was disarmed. With falter- 
ing, broken voice he said, "You have have killed my Col- 
onel." Elliot dismounted and unbelting the gold hiked 
sword and pistol, remounted his captured stallion. Com- 


pelling the two officers to do likewise, he galloped away 
with them as trophies of soldierly prowess. 

On reaching the crest of the ridge, we were in full 
view of the two armies, who had witnessed the duel be- 
tween Captain Shaw and Elliot. They were cheered lust- 
ly, for their gallantry and heroism. These two typical 
Kentucky Confederates with bowed heads and thank- 
ful hearts modestly received the plaudits of their com- 

Thus ended one of the most desperate and bloody 
battles of modern times for the number engaged. There 
is nothing in the annals of war like it. This period was 
the high tide of Confederate success. This grand op- 
portunity was thrown away. Bragg failed to follow up 
or to utilize this great battle. Its benefits were entirely 
lost to our arms, never to return again. 

I was not in this battle, as the field was so located 
that the cavalry could not be used to advantage, the 
country being broken and hilly. The result of this en- 
gagement was simply to check the advance of Buell's 
army and was barren of any advantage to the Confeder- 
ates except this : Gen. Buell's movements completely 
mystified Bragg and he was placed on the defensive. He 
was the victim of every rumor ; alternately exhilarated 
and dejected. When the distance between them increased 
he became bold and defiant; when a collision was immin- 
ent dejected, he could see nothing but disaster — of that 
kind of fear which provides against future dangers, he 
knew nothing. He, at this time, at least, was ignorant 
of the courage which kindles when the hour of final is- 
sue has arrived. Gen. Bragg had, as a subordinate, no su- 
perior in bravery, but as a commander no bravery at all. 

I do not pretend to be a competent critic of military 
movements or military ability, yet Bragg's hatred and the 


wrongs he did Kentucky and Kentuckians, the malignity 
with which he bore down on his Kentucky troops, his 
bitter, active antagonism to all prominent Kentucky offi- 
cers, have made abhorrence of him part of a Kentuckian's 
creed. There was not an officer or private in his army 
who did not expect to and who was not anxious to fight 
while the two armies were confronting each other for 
ten days. As to the small disparity between their num- 
bers, Bragg's lack of numbers was more than made up 
by his having more seasoned veterans than did Buell. 

There appears to have been a strange fear on the 
part of Bragg to risk a battle at this time which was not 
felt by any one in his army. Once the armies were not 
more than three miles apart. There was throughout his 
stay in the state a marked vacillating policy and a timid 
hestitancy in all his maneuvers. Of this campaign much 
was expected ; had it been successful it would have in- 
calculably benefitted the Confederate cause. There can 
be no doubt that this period was the turning point in 
the war and that the best and last chance to win the war 
was thrown away. All subsequent events were but the 
dying agony of a great cause — the tremendous struggle 
carried on by a gallant, heroic people. 



Bragg in Retreat — Morgan remains behind — He secures a guide 
— Fight at Lexington — I am wounded and left behind — ^With 
the help of friends I get away — Back with Morgan. 

After the battle of Perryville, Bragg began his re- 
treat from the soil of Kentucky. With what bitter dis- 
appointment we turned our backs upon our homes can 
better be imagined than discussed. Failure was written 
upon tree, bush, stones, houses, land and water; every- 
thing spoke, hissed it in our ears. The army fell back 
to Bryantsville. General Kirby Smith took the road 
to Big Hill and Cum.berland Gap. The bulk of Bragg's 
army was retreating by way of Lancaster and Sequatchie 
Valley to Murfreesboro. At this time Morgan's com- 
mand consisted of three regiments and two battalions, 
about three thousand men and six rifled six-pound can- 
non. General Morgan obtained permission to remain be- 
hind the army and select his own route out of Kentucky, 
and to annoy the enemy by destroying the bridges, rail- 
roads, and his supply trains, then retire by the shortest 
route when it became necessary. On the 17th of Octo- 
ber the column was put in motion from Gum Springs. 
We had information that a regiment of cavalry, our old 
friends the Fourth Ohio, occupied Lexington. We cross- 
ed the river below Clay's Ferry. We must have a guide 
as it was important to approach the town through by- 
ways. Morgan's address was equal to the emergency — 
he represented himself as Col. Wolford of the Federal 
service, as in this region, which was strongly Union, the 


people refused to give any aid or act as guides. Finally 
he rode to a house where Morgan said he was Col. Wol- 
ford, a great favorite with the man of the house, who 
declared his joy at seeing him and his willingness to 
guide him anywhere. We were piloted safely through 
the country to within three miles of Lexington; his loyal 
spirit was warmly applauded. We were within two miles 
of the enemy's camp. The command was halted and plans 
perfected for a simultaneous attack to be made at day- 
light. Colonels Gano and Breckinridge were detached to 
attack the force stationed in the city. When our worthy 
guide discovered his mistake, his amazement was only 
equalled by his horror. During the night he had said 
many hard things to Wolford, as he thought, about Mor- 
gan which greatly amused the so-called Wolford, who 
had even encouraged him to indulge himself in that 
way. Suddenly the merry, good-humored Wolford turned 
out to be Morgan, and Morgan seemed for a few min- 
utes to be in a bad temper which made the guide's flesh 
creep. I^e expected to be shot, or perhaps scalped with- 
out ceremony. The general told him, in consideration of 
his services, he would not be hurt or molested. Finding 
that he was not to suffer, he grew bolder and assumed 
the offense. He pleaded for his horse. Morgan 
turned him loose, horse and all. He was advised point- 
edly to be careful in the future how he confided in sol- 
diers, as appearances were sometimes deceptive. 

Colonels Gano and Breckinridge moved forward to 
assume their part in the enterprise before them and the 
main column set forward on its mission. The force at 
camp near town was the Fourth Ohio cavalry. The 
main body was at Ashland, two miles from the town, 
encamped in the eastern portion of the woods, in which 
the old Clay mansion stands. As daylight approached 


the column was put into motion. My brother Sam's com- 
pany and mine were detached to enter the town from the 
east, to capture the two companies of provost guards. 
Two more companies were sent to enter the city irom the 
north and place themselves between the main camp and 
town, to intercept the enemy in case of retreat before we 
could surround the encampment ; also, in the event of our 
having to engage other forces not bargained for, and to 
maintain communication with the whole force. Day came 
and the attack was made promptly. The camp, surround- 
ed as it was, surrendered after two or three deadly vol- 
leys. At this camp twenty-seven Federals were killed and 
sixty-one wounded. Morgan's loss was five killed and 
fourteen wounded. The fight with the provost guard 
at the court house was more serious. They finally sur- 
rendered when the artillery was brought forward. I 
received a serious wound in this affair and my brother 
Sam was slightly wounded. Our loss was five men killed 
and eleven wounded. We captured over eight hundred 
prisioners and some arms and ammunition. 

I was again left behind to nurse another wound, the 
eighth, through the lung. How I hated this ! I was taken 
four miles into the country and stored away in a snug 
little farmhouse at Cowgell's. With this shelter I 
hoped soon to be able to be in the saddle again. The 
family were assiduous in their attentions. I hoped that 
I should not be disturbed in this hiding place. After 
a few days' rest, I felt comparatively easy. My wound 
did not cause me much pain. There was scarely any in- 
flammation and the suppuration was slight. The days 
dragged along. I sent for a Doctor Steele to examine 
my wound. I had begun to think that the lung was 
not injured. Dr Steele examined the wound carefully 
and said that the lung was injured. It was now Novem- 


ber 13 ; I was wounded on the 18th of October, twenty- 
six days had passed. I was becoming restless and 
greatly feared that I should be discovered and either 
sent to prison or shot if I should be recognized. The 
young ladies, Misses Gracie and Josie, were constant in 
their kindness and attention. They had two brothers 
with Morgan. They were both brave, gallant troopers. 
Strange to say even the negroes had not discovered my 
presence in the house as I kept close to my room. 

I finally told my good friends that I felt that I was 
strong enough to ride. They insisted that it would be 
hazardous to do so, in my condition. They sent for 
Dr. Steele, He came and said that I might be able to 
ride, but should be careful. I asked him if he would 
undertake to furnish me a good horse. He promised 
to do so, and kept his word like a true gentleman, but 
the Doctor was a Southern man, and constantly watched 
by government detectives, who had followed him to 
the house. The horse was sent and hitched in a ravine 
behind the house. I had already sent Miss Gracie 
to town to procure my four pistols and ammunition. 
Having arranged everything for my depature, I belted 
on my pistols, put on my heavy blue overcoat and hast- 
ily bidding my dear friends farewell, I went out and 
mounted my horse and as I passed through a gate lead- 
ing from Mr. Cowgell's back field into a private by-road. 
I was halted by two men ; one came forward, placing 
his hand on the bridle, saying at the same time, "You 
are my prisoner, we want you." In an instant I covered 
them with my pistols, "You are mistaken. What do 
you want with me? I don't know you. But I shall not 
surrender. Give me your arms quick, both of you, or 
I'll kill you." Having disarmed them I turned them 
loose. I at first was strongly tempted to kill them. 


but reflectino^ that this mi_G^ht ii^et my ,2^ood friends into 
trouble, I rode rapidly away. I continued riding during 
the night and at daylight found myself shelter in the 
barn of my old friend Nim Conn. I was tired and sore. 
I w^aited patiently for him to make his appearance, as 
I did not care to be seen. The Yankees were every- 
where and more insolent than ever. I had not long to 
wait. The weather was chilly and while waiting for 
my host I occupied my time rubbing down my horse. 
The doctor had sent me a most excellent, noble steed. 
I named him Steele. He was almost a thoroughbred 
animal fifteen hands high, had a splendid head and fine 
eyes. He possessed an intelligence that was marvelous. 
He was the finest picket in the army and saved me 
from capture many times. 

Uncle Nim soon came. On seeing who its was, 
he was very much surprised. I made known my wishes. 
He informed that eight of my old soldiers were down 
in the brush, waiting for an opportunity to go south. 
These men had been wounded in the battle at Chaplin- 
town pike, near Bloomfield. Their wounds were now 
about healed and they were anxious to be in the saddle 
again. Uncle Nirn had two small nephews, children of 
a dead brother, a Confederate soldier. They were ten and 
twelve years old, bright, sharp-witted little fellows 
named Ed and Lighter Conn. He would send these little 
fellows to the woodland pastures to feed corn from a 
basket to the cows, but beneath the corn was food for 
the wounded soldiers, hiding in the brush. Remaining 
a day longer to give the old soldiers time to see others 
who might be able to go south, on the third night all 
was ready for the long ride before us. There were thir- 
teen in the party. Uncle Nim brought us a guide. We 
bid this generous nobleman farewell, he saying, "If you 


ever find yourself in trouble, come again." We made 
our way through Bullit, Meade and Barren counties 
during the first three nights. On the third night we 
reached the vicinity of Leitchfield and camped in the 
brush. The next day we saw a squadron of cavalry pass 
on the road. They were unconscious of our presence. 
There were 300 of them, moving in the direction of 
Morgantown. z\t this place I passed myself and com- 
rades off as Federal scouts, sent from Elizabethtown 
with private dispatches. In this way we found a guide 
to pilot us to a secret private ferry across Green river, 
as the other ferry had been destroyed by Gen. Morgan. 
After crossing this stream we were comparatively safe 
and could travel in the daytime. We all had blue over- 
coats as a precaution. We traveled by-roads crossing 
public roads only when it became necessary. On the 
fifth day near Tompkinsville we rode into a squadron of 
Federals who where scouting. They asked me what 
command I belonged to. "Wolfords," I replied without 
stopping to talk. We moved rapidly on, my flesh creep- 
ing on my bones ! After leaving this column we turned 
west into a by-road, marching through farms for sev- 
eral hours ; the enemy's scouting party were on all the 
main roads. We passed around Bowling Green late at 
night. About 11 o'clock we went into camp, tired and 
weary. We found forage for our horses, and rubbed 
them do«wn before taking to our blankets ; we went sup- 
perless and breakfastless too, for that matter; early next 
morning, before day, we fed our horses giving them an- 
other good rub while they ate to keep down any soreness 
in their legs. We mounted and rode away from this 
dangerous locality. We saw as we crossed the Nash- 
ville pike at daylight that we had camped in sight of the 
Federal picket post. We had a hard day's ride, mak- 


ing sixty-five miles. We met during the day a company 
of Colonel Averill's scouts saluting each other as we 
passed. We were bearers of dispatches from General 
Buell. Late in the evening we were near Springfield, 
Tenn., in Robinson county. We Avere glad to be with our 
old comrades once more. The welcome we received was 
sincere, cordial and hearty, as only soldiers can give. 
My old father showed his regard and appreciation ; also 
my brother was g:ratified at my return. I reported for 
duty next day and was assigned to my company, Col. 
Gano's regiment, Company G. There is no rest for sol- 
diers at the front. 


The fight at Tyree Springs— I capture two officers — Fight at 
Gallatin — I am shot in the mouth. 

On reaching Gallatin, Tenn., on the retreat from 
Kentucky, we marched to Hartsville, and took up our 
camp there. There was plenty of work for all, scout- 
ing, and fighting alternately between Gallatin, Hartsville, 
Lebanon, Nashville and Tyree Springs. In fact, from 
every direction, the entire command was kept busy, as 
Colonel Gano expressed it, seasoned. 

We had not been in this region more than two days 
before our scouts brought us news of the approach of 
Rosencrans' army. I had been on scout to watch his 
approach which we reported. They were marching to- 
ward Nashville on the Scottsville pike. The Louisville 
and Bowling Green pike was watched to keep in touch 
with them, and report their numbers as far as possible. 
Crittenden's corps was in the advance, with Col. Stoke's 
cavalry leading. Having learned all that we could, we 
slowly retreated, reporting to General Alorgan that the 
enemy's advance were at Tyree Springs. 

Morgan selected some three hundred men from the 
different regiments and found an excellent position for 
ambush, on the east side of the pike in the thick brush. 
We lay down, resting upon our arms. The night was 
cold and the boys grew tired of waiting. We were be- 
tween the cavalry and infantry columns. Suddenly, we 
were called to arms! The enemy were near. Some 


straj^glers came along, talking and laughing. Two sut- 
lers' wagons came up, which were captured and sent in- 
to the woods. In a few minutes a small advance guard 
passed by unmolested. Then came the web-feet infantry 
moving along laughing and singing. Suddenly, we hear 
a clear, calm voice, "Ready! Aim! Fire!" A second later 
a \'olley from shotguns. The enemy recoiled, then 
rallied. A third volley at close range reached their ranks, 
with deadly effect. We could- hear and see distinctly, 
officers reforming their men, and deploying them 
into line. They charge the hill. We again greet them 
with a sheet of fire ; the artillery is brought forward. 
Saluting them again with another volley, there is a ter- 
rible din ; the artillery opens on us with grape and can- 
ister, we are away to other fields of enterprise. 

Morgan now moved rapidly through the woods to 
reach the extreme rear of his columns, making a wide 
detour. Before doing this, he had sent his prisoners 
and sutlers' wagons to camp under guard. We reached 
the pike some three or four miles from Tyree Springs. 
We captured some two and thirty prisoners and eight 
commissary wagons. After reaching our line, he paroled 
these prisoners, and they started for Kentucky, all seem- 
ingly glad to be thus relieved. They took good care to 
go by a road on which they would not meet any of their 

On our way back to Gallatin we avoided the main 
roads, knowing that General Woods and Van Cleave's 
divisions were marching towards that place. Approach- 
ing close to the pike we discovered the advance of the 
enemy marching down the road. They were coming 
over the hill thick as fleas on a dog's back. The artillery, 
consisting of twenty-four twelve-pound steel pieces, 
passed us ; it was the same that had lately fired at us so 


viciously with o^rape and canister. The whole of Van 
Cleave's division passed us. 

We saw two staff officers approaching.' I asked per- 
mission to capture them. "Do you think you can take 
them without giving the alarm?" "I think I can, gen- 
eral ; I am willing to try,' I said. Captain Quirk was 
given permission also. I said, ''Captain, you drop be- 
hind and I will go in front of them. I guess we can man- 
age it." The captain crept through the brush until he 
was behind them. As they rode up, I halted them, plac- 
ing myself before them and asked them to what command 
they belonged, saluting them at the same time. They 
told m.e they were officers on General Woods' staff and 
asked "What command do you belong to?" I replied, "To 
General Morgan's," and drew my pistols, one in each 
hand, saying, "You are my prisoners, surrender." Cap- 
tain Quirk came forward, took their arms from them and 
turned them over to General Morgan, Major Stanton and 
Captain Shelton. 

We again hastened toward Gallatin. At a distance 
of two miles we heard the "Bull Pups," our mountain 
howitzers, open on the advancing columns of the enemy. 
We quickened our march into a long, swigning gallop and 
reached a hill half a mile north of Gallatin, where we 
had a fine view of the situation. Morgan had cautioned 
Colonel Hutchison the evening before on leaving camp to 
keep a sharp eye on all the roads, to keep his scouts out, 
warned him of the approach of the enemy and cautioned 
him not to risk a fight with any force, save such as he 
could handle. Sending the brigade out on the Lebanon 
road to cross the Cumberland river, he retained only the 
advance guard one hundred strong, and the "Bull Pups," 
to salute the enemy as they entered the town. His guns 
were planted on an eminence on the Lebanon road just 


outside the town. As the head of the infantry column 
entered the town, these guns opened on them, causing 
the column to recoil. Several well-directed shots 
were made but with little impression. As the lit- 
tle pieces were being limbered up to move off, 
a blue line of infantry was discovered drawn up in the 
road in the rear of the guns ; it had taken position very 
quietly. General Morgan, Quirk and myself rode for- 
ward to observe the shelling of the town and stood eager- 
ly w^atching the result. Presently the infantry deployed 
and the firing ceased ; then the sudden movement of Col- 
onel Hutchison and Alsten, Breckenridge and Ganoe. 
Every field and staff officer of the command was in the 
trap. They tried to escape along another road ; they 
found that blockaded also. Finally the howitzers and the 
advance guard were sent across a pasture into the 
Springfield road. Hutchison w^ith the numerous filed offi- 
cers made the best of his way across the country, taking 
with him the "Bull Pups" and rejoined the brigade. The 
advance guard and the howitzers dashed gallantly past a 
large body of the enemy without being checked ana with 
the loss of only one man killed and eight wounded. 

The retreat of the others attracted the attention of 
the enemy as was intended, and they now rattled down 
the pike at a brisk trot, confident now that they were 
not surrounded, and that they could whip a moderate 
sized brigade. General Morgan, Captain Quirk and my- 
self and companions, fifteen in number, making a wide 
detour to avoid any chance of capture reached the river 
as the last detachment was crossing. This was a highly 
exciting ride; we were in the saddle twenty out of the 
twenty-four hours. It appears almost incredible that 
men under the stimulation of highly exciting influences 
can undergo so much fatigue and enjoy it. 


We went into camp six miles from Lebanon at a 
cross-roads, picketing and scouting in every direction. 
We discovered on the 10th of November a foraging 
party of the enemy with six wagons loaded with corn, 
hay and fodder. Moving up to them quietly while they 
were driving along we set the wagons on fire. There 
were four mules to each wagon. Soon the flames envel- 
oped the wagons. The mules took fright, and away they 
went down the road. 

The Yankee soldiers were in the house taking a free 
lunch off the man they were now plundering. Hearing 
the racket outside, they came pouring out of the house. 
We opened fire upon them at a lively rate, charging them 
furiously. They divided into two squads. While pur- 
suing one of these I received a shot in my mouth, knock- 
ing out two teeth. I thought sure I had gotten my fur- 
lough, my final discharge, for good. I managed to keep 
my saddle. Lieutenant Clark took charge of the detach- 
ment and sent a soldier with me to the rear, towards 
camp. We encountered a detachment of thirty Yankees. 
I said to my comrade, ''Keep close to me; do as I do." 
The Yankees came up and took us prisoners. I repeated, 
"Close to me ; do as I do." I rode into their ranks, and 
as I turned about I jammed my spurs into my horse's 
sides and said, *'Now !" I leaped my horse over the 
fence, clearing it at a bound. My comrade followed. 
At the .same instant came a volley and shouting. We 
were into the thick cedars and woods; all was over; we 
were out of sight, safe. The Yankees had emptied their 
guns at us. Suddenly a sharp volley, a crashing sound, 
greeted our ears. Lieutenant Clark, returning from the 
chase heard the volley intended for me ; heard the shout- 
ing of the Yankees, and saw them approach. He fixed 
an ambush and these worthies walked right into the 


death trap. Hark, a volley! Another volley followed in 
quick succession. This detachment has also received its 
furlough ; that is, many of them have. 


The development of the guerrilla — Remarkable interview be- 
tween Quantrell and Sheldon — The contre-guerrillas and the 
American squadron in Mexico — ^The American guerrilla. 

I shall here try to ^ive some of the causes that led 
to or produced the guerrilla in the border states in the 
Civil War. 

It is the province of history to deal in facts which 
produce certain results ; it has not the right to condemn 
the phenomena which caused them. Neither has it the 
right to decry or complain of the agency that directed it. 
Providence always raises up conditions to restore the 
equilibrium of eternal justice. Civil war might well 
have made the guerrilla but only the classes of the civil 
war could make of him the untamable, unmerciful crea- 
ture history finds him. When he first went into the 
business of war he was somehow imbued with the old- 
fashioned idea that soldiering meant fighting and that 
fighting meant killing. He had his own ideas of soldier- 
ing, however, and desired nothing so much as to remain 
at homxe and meet its cruel despoilers upon his own 
premises or ground. 

Not naturally cruel, and averse to invading the terri- 
tory of any other people, he could not understand the 
patriotism of those who invaded his own territory. Pat- 
riotism such as his could not spring up in the market. 
He believed, indeed, that the patriotism of John Brown 
and his compeers was merely the patriotism of highway 


robbery, and he believed the truth. Neither did the 
ouerrilhi become all at once merciless. Pastoral in his 
pursuits and reared amongi^ the timid surroundings of ag- 
ricultural life, he knew nothing of the tiger that was in 
him until death had dashed into his face the blood of his 
own kin, in numberless and brutal ways, as in my broth- 
er's case. The fury of passion came to him slowly. It took 
him some time to learn the system of saving the Union 
by the methods in vogue. It was a truly brutal and an 
infamous system, which bewailed not even that which it 
crushed. It belied its doctrine by its tyranny and stained 
its measures and methods in blood. It arrogated right 
by its violence and dishonored its vaunted struggles by 
its executions. 

Before the days of breech-loaders and revolvers, 
armies moved in fields almost wholly unfit for cavalry. 
Thev fought when they best liked it, and -were more 
formidable in reputation than in prowess. The Ameri- 
can's capacity for war can be estimated by the enter- 
prising nature of his individual efforts as a guerrilla. He 
can guard defiles, surprise cantonments, capture convoys, 
disappear in the mountains, and make a safe retreat. The 
difficulty is not so much in fighting him as in finding 
him. He discovers and holds his own passes; learns the 
secrets of nature so that the rain or snow storm will 
be his ally, fog his friend, and be sure seeds for a 
harvest of armed men, that need only the cultivation of 
discipline to become a remarkable growth. 

Before the great civil struG^ele began, nothing like 
a guerrilla organization had ever eisted in the history 
of this country, and yet the strife was scarcely two 
months old before prominent in the field were leaders 
of guerrilla bands, more desperate than those of La 
Vendee, and organizations and fiG:hters more to be de- 


pended upon, and more bloodthirsty than the Fra Diava- 
los of Italy. 

Take Ouantrell and Berry, Anderson, Todd, Mc- 
Gruder or Pool, Cole Younger, the two James Boys, 
Frank and Jesse, or Jerome Clark ;who ever heard oi these 
Americans fighting less than twice, often three or four 
times, their own numbers, without holding their own? 
Recall the Centralia fight in Missouri — the Federals, 
under Colonel Johnson, numbering 315 men, and the 
guerrillas, under Bill Anderson, with 182 men. This 
was a supreme test of pluck and valor. 

Who shall say that the experiences of Fra l^iavalo, 
El Empecinado are not repeated in history? We have 
a number of such, for instance, Charles Quantrell and 
Coleman Younger. The white, set face of a maimed 
sister or a slain brother always make tense the muscles. 
Scenes like these are never absent from the mmds of 
Capt. Sam Berry and T. F. Berry, whose sister was 
butchered by brutal vandals. 

The noted Missouri guerrilla leader. Captain Charles 
Quantrell, went to Richmond to prevail upon Secre- 
tary of War Sheldon for a commission as colonel under 
the partisan rangers'^ act, w^hereby he would be ac- 
corded in his operations any protection the Confederate 
government might afford. Quantreli was prepared to 
recruit and equip his own men. This was in October, 
1863, at which time I had gone to Richmond to report 
concerning the recruiting operations ol my brother and 
myself in Kentucky, and I was present at the interview 
between Quantrell and Sheldon. General Lewis F. 
Wigfall, then a state senator from Texas, was also pres- 
ent at this interview, and from him the newspapers of 
that time obtained the facts and published them. 


Secretary Sheldon told Quantrell that his proposal 
was barbarous and desperate. 

"Yes," replied the guerrilla; "everything in this 
struggle is desperate, very desperate, and very bar- 
barous. The cause is desperate, beyond a parallel in 
history, and we must use desperate means to w^in." 

Quantrell was told by Secretary Sheldon that war 
had its immunities, even refinements. 

"Yes, its refinements of brutality," answered Quan- 
trell ; "and its cruelties, all in this nineteenth century. 
It is barbarism crystallized." 

Quantrell's eyes blazed like coals of fire, and his 
whole attitude and bearing at this moment were terrible. 
Looking into the eyes of the Secretary of War, he said: 

"Barbarism," he repeated twice, "is war, war is 
barbarism." Very vehemently, "Barbarism means war. 
Mr. Secretary, since you have touched upon this sub- 
ject, let us discuss it a little. Times as well as men 
have their crimes. For over twenty years this w^ar 
cloud has been gathering ; for over twenty years inch 
by inch and little by little the people called Abolition- 
ists have been on the track of slavery. For over twenty 
years the people of the South have been robbed, here 
a negro and there a negro. For over twenty long years 
hates have been engendered, and wrathful feeling, and 
things have been said and done and laid up against 
this day of wrath. This day is now upon us. The 
war cloud has burst. Do you condemn this thunder- 

The secretary, leaning back, bowed his head. Quan- 
trell leaving his own seat and standing over him, as it 
were, went on : 

"Who are these people you call Confederates? 
Rebels. Unless they succeed, they are outlaws, traitors, 


food for hangings, for gunpowder." He went on, stand- 
ing over the old man : ''There are no great statesmen 
in the South, or this war would have happened ten years 
ag^o, no men of vision or it would have happened not 
less than fifteen years ag-o. To-day the odds are 
fearful, desperate. The world hates slavery, and the 
world is noAv fio;htino- you. To-day, Mr. Secretary, 
the ocean belongs to the Union navy, and there is a 
recruiting officer in every foreign port. I have killed, 
and killed many, who did not know one word of the 
English language or tongue. Mile by mile, the cordon 
is being drawn around us. The granaries of the South 
are gradually falling into our enemies' hands. Missouri 
w^ill go first, Kentucky next, Tennessee next, then Ar- 
kansas and Mississippi, and then we must put gloves 
on our hands and honey in our mouth and fight this 
implacable enemy as Christ fought the wickedness of 
this w^orld!" 

Still the secretary did not speak and perhaps Quan- 
trell did not wish him to. 

''You ask an impossible thing, Mr. Secretary. This 
secession or revolution, or whatever you may choose 
to call it, cannot conquer or succeed without violence. 
Nor can those who hate it and hope to stifle it strike 
without vindictiveness. Every struggle has its phil- 
osophy. But this is not the hour for philosophers. Your 
young confederacy wants, must have, stout champions, 
not judges. We want victory as well as philosophy. 
Men must be killed, to impel the people to passion. 
There must be some sin ming^led with the truth. To 
marshal them and stir their blood to enthusiasm some- 
thing out of the ordinary or natural must occur. That 
medium should be a crusade or conquest in the name 
of liberty and that something out of the natural should 
be the black flag:. You, all of us, must do this to win. 


The Federals come to you with an oath of loyalty in 
one hand and the torch in the other, as I have seen 
them in Missouri. Bound hand and foot, by this Christ- 
less thing called consideration and amenities of war, 
look round you and see bleeding- Missouri and Kentucky 
and many others. They should each of them have two 
hundred and fifty thousand men fighting for their lib- 
erty. There is to-day less than twenty thousand in one 
and fifty thousand in the other." 

''What would you do, Captain Ouantrell, were yours 
the power and the opportunity?" 

"Do, Mr. Secretary? Why I would wage such a 
war and have such a war waged by land and sea as 
to make one shudder with horror. I v.'ould cover the 
armies of the Confederacy all over with blood. I v/ould 
invade the enemy's country and rew^ard audacity with 
the highest honors. I would exterminate. I would 
break up foreign enlistments by indiscriminate mas- 
sacres. I would wan the independence of our people, 
or find for them all an early grave. And what about our 
prisoners? Do they take prisoners from me? Sur- 
rounded, I do not surrender ; surprised, I do not give 
way to panic ; oiiltnumbered, I rely upon common sense 
and stubborn fighting. Proscribed, I answer by procla- 
mation. Hunted, I hunt my hunters in turn. I feel 
my power. Hated and made blacker than ten devils, I 
add to my heels the swiftness of a horse and to my 
horse, the terrors of a savage following. It matters 
little when or where a man dies, or is killed. As for 
Kansas, I hate her. I feel she should be laid waste at 
once ; pillage and slaughter for her many crimes, sub- 
jugated with pitiless hand, such as they have given Mis- 
souri. ]\Iy enemies have taught me these things, and 
these are my every day experiences. You now have 


my ideas, ^ Mr. Secretary, and I must say that I am 
sorry they do not accord with your own, nor with the 
ideas of the government, at Richmond, which you have 
the honor to represent so well." 

Without his commission as a partisan ranger, Ouan- 
trell bowed himself out from the presence of the secre- 
tary of war, and departed from Richmond. 

After Quantrell had gone the secretary turned to 
General Wigfall and said : 

"That is a very wonderful and unusual man, is he 
not? We shall hear of him again." 

In Mexico under Maxmilian, the French had an 
organization known as contre guerrillas, that is to say, 
Imperial guerrillas, who fought when they could, and 
exterminated when they could. The republican-3»Iexi- 
can guerrilla. General Dupin, commanded them. He 
miore nearly resembled Quantrell in his manner of fight- 
ing than any other leader in history. General Dupin 
was desperately cruel, but he fought fast and hard. 
Distance was nothing to him, no fatigue nor odds, nor 
difficulties of a position to assault. He had the flexi- 
bility of the tiger and panther together, and the grip 
of the bull dog. Nothing alive ever lived after he once 
laid hold upon it. Past sixty, bronzed as brown as a 
bag of leather, with a school girl's face, covered with 
decorations, straight as Tecumseh's arrow, he led his 
squadrons through ambuscades, sixty miles long, and 
made the court martial bring up the rear. Eternally in 
the combat, any weapon fitted his hand just as any 
weapon fitted the hand of Quantrell, of Clark, the Berrys 
or McGruder. A born soldier, he used all his ability 
to terrify and exterminate. 

With Dupin in Mexico was Captain Ney, Duke De 
Enghien, and a grandson of that other Ney, who, when 


thrones were tumbling and fugitive kings flitting througli 
the smoke at Waterloo, cried out to Delsio, "Come and 
see how a marshal of France dies on the field of battle." 
Ney had under him an American squadron, swart, stal- 
wart fellows, seasoned in many a border battle, and 
bronzed by sunshine and stormy weather, all hiding 
themselves in the unknown beyond the Rio Grande. 

These cool, calm men asked one another no ques- 
tions of the past ; nothing of retrospect remained. Con- 
tent to march and fight, and be prodigal of everything, 
save brag or boast, they carried no black flag, and often 
gave no quarter. And how they fought ! Dupin took 
note of this. Once when a day of battle opened ominously 
and when from the far front the story came back of 
repulses, savoring strongly of disaster and aereat, i}C 
chose this little band alone for a desperate charge and 
patched with it swiftly the riven ranks of his routed 
troops. When the hottest of the battle was over, when 
nowhere in street or town or chapparal an enemy strug- 
gled, he bade the balance of the regiment to defile past 
the guidon of these Americans and salute it, and sloping 
the standard toward us, to the sound of victorious musi'^ 
they saluted us. 

In that day's fierce melee of America's best and 
bravest, thrice was the sword of Captain Ney put out 
to wave the foremost, bravest back, it being a point of 
honor with all French officers to permit no subaltern to 
pass him in a charge. Thrice did he cry aloud and warn 
the boldest that if they must pass him they would do 
so at their peril. 

There were many of these bronzed, scarred veter- 
ans of the Southland, who joined these contre guerril- 
las in Mexico. Captain Ney's was the center company 
of the many dauntless spirits of these old Confederates, 


who fought recklessly, as of old, because it was fash- 
ionable in the old days agone. One of these, yea two 
dozen, thrice three dozens, more than twelve dozens, 
pressed close behind the gallant Ney, among them being 
John C. Moore, of General Marmaduke's staff, with 
whom Joe Shelby and some of Morgan's and Forrest's 
giants struggled for glory and renown. War found 
them and him an enthusiast, and left him a philosopher. 
Moore was also the center of a group of choice and 
dauntless spirits who dreamed of empire in the land 
of the Aztecs, and who never for a moment lost faith 
in the future or saw need for despair in the present, until 
imbecility rose up and mastered resolution, and forced 
Maximilian from a throne to a dead wall. 

There were no "guerrillas in days of the American 
revolution, for in no sense of the word could General 
Francis Marion and his men be considered as such. He 
never severed communication with government forces, 
nor relied for a moment upon resources other than those 
of the departments regularly organized for military 
supremacy. As a part of the national army, he was 
an important factor in the plans of every campaign. 
His sw^amp warfare made him formidable, but never 
ferocious. He rarely killed, save in open battle, and 
being seldom retailiated upon, he had nothing to retaliate 
for in the way of equilibrium. 

It required, indeed, all the scenes of the Civil war 
of 1861 to 1865 to produce the genuine American guer- 
rilla. More enterprising, more deadly, more capable 
of incessant or increased physical endurance, more fitted 
by nature for deeds of reckless hardihood and daring, 
given over to less of penitence when face to face with 
the final end than any French, or Spanish, or Mexican, 
or Italian guerrilla ; notorious in song and story, he 


simply lived the life that was in him, and took the worst 
or best as it came. Circumstances made him unsparing, 
sometimes, but not from any predisposition or mode of 
reasoning. He fought fire with fire. He made of the 
infamous badge a birthright and boasted of it as an in- 
heritance, while flaunting it in the face of civilization, 
which denounced criminals, while condoning the crimes 
that made them. One half the country believe that 
these men were highway robbers, crossed upon the 
panther. The other half, that they were the gallant de- 
fenders of their home and nation — of their native South- 
land. One half believed them to have been ordinary 
avenging nemesis of their rights; the others, a forbidding 
monster of assassination. History cannot hesitate, how- 
ever, and abandon him to the imagination of the ro- 

In Kentucky, as in all the border states, the original 
Abolitionists were so-called Union men, and most of 
them were an imported or mongrel breed, or were in- 
digenous to the mountains or the poorer sections of 
these states. There always belonged to this type a 
chronic longing for his neighbor's goods and chattels, 
a chronic case of chills and fever, a starved cow and a 
pack of poor, half-starved dogs, mangy, like himself ; 
also, a Sharps rifle, or a squirrel rifle, wdien they could 
have them at somebody's else expense. He owned a 
Bible for hypocrisy's sake, affecting something that sa- 
vored of the real presence of the Book, that it might 
give backbone to a sniveling, canting pretense in man- 
ner. A mountebank, villian, scoundrel, thief, a conscience- 
less plunderer, a merciless, brutal murderer of helpless, 
old men and women, this class of creatures was pre- 
eminently fitted for the brutalities of a civil war, which 
always produces more adventures than heroes. His hands, 


large, red and hairy, were proof of grasping greedi- 
ness ; his shambling ungainliness added to his weak, 
hesitating walk, made a figure once seen, never to be 
forgotten. They were all of a type or kind. The mouth 
always wore a calculating smile, especially when con- 
scious of being watched, the only remaining gift of a 
Puritan ancestry. When looked at closely, this calcu- 
lating smile became sanctimonious. Slavery concerned 
these worthies, only when the slave-owners were sup- 
posed to be rich. Born to nothing, and eternally out 
at the elbows, just so long as Beecher presided over Aid 
and Immigration Societies for stealing negroes, preached 
wholesale highway robbery, and defended political mur- 
der, and sent something in real fruits or funds, surely 
there was some good in Israel. John Brown and Beecher 
were high priests. Chance kicked the country into civil 
war, and gave these and their kind a high license to 
rob and have a good time; a chance to plunder their 
betters ; wholesale business to beggars and bummers. 
When this high priest of republican fanaticism, John 
Brown, stained his hands in innocent blood and was 
handed over to a just punishment, all the howling, fa- 
natical horde cried aloud that he was a martyr to honest 

The memories of this bloody period linger in the 
mind, wrathful and accusing. IMemory recalls this 
period and the canting, snivelling hypocrisy of these 
brutal thieves, and also the misery of their helpless 

AVe know that blood is as contagious as air. The 
fever of civil war had its climax, its delirium. When 
the guerrilla awoke under stress, he was a giant. He 
took in at a single glance all the immensity of the 
struggle. He was hunted, proscribed. He had neither 


flao^ nor country, not even government. ?Ie enjoyed 
neither the rights nor the amenities of civilized war- 
fare. These were not to be his, and a dog's death awati- 
ed him if he surrendered, even in the extreme agony 
of battle. Thus, the house which sheltered him had to 
he burned ; the father whom he succeeded had to be 
butchered ; the mother who prayed for him, had to be 
insulted ; the sister who carried him food had to be im- 
prisoned or killed ; the friend who sympathized must be 
robbed and insulted ; the neighborhood which witnessed 
his combats had to be laid to waste ; the comrade shot 
down by his side had to be put to death like a wild 
beast. Then only did he lift up a black flag in self 
defense and fought as became a man and a hero. 

Unstinted abuse has been heaped upon the guerrilla 
organization, because in its nam^e bad men plundered 
the helpless, pillaged friend and foe alike, assaulted non- 
combatants. The murder and assassination of the inno- 
cent was not the guirrella's work. It fitted all too well 
the hands of those cowards crouching in the rear of 
either army, courageous only where women defended 
what remained to themselves and their children. Des- 
perate and remorseless as he undoubtedly was, the guer- 
rilla killed in the name of God, and his country, and 
saw shining down on his pathway a luminous patrioism. 
The nature of his warfare made him responsible, of 
course, for many monstrous things, in which he had no 
personal share. Denied a hearing at the bar of public 
opinion, the hete noir of all loyal jouranlists, painted 
blacker than ten devils, and given a countenance that 
was made to retain the shadows of all the death asronies 
he had seen, is it strange in the least that his fiendish- 
ness became omnipresent and that he assailed omnipo- 
tently? The cruel acts of Federal soldiers, five times 


more cruel, were laid at the door of the guerrilla. Stand- 
ing at bay, he died, always as a wolf dies, backed against 
the rock. Both officers and men were daily made fa- 
miliar with these bloody scenes. These hell hounds 
made his enemies fear and hate him. From all their 
bomb-proof places his enemies slandered him, fired silly 
lies at him at long range, and put afloat monstrous and 
unnatural stories. 

A few guerrillas believed that retaliation should be 
a punishment, not a revenge, and when an execution 
v/ps unavoidable they gave to it the solemnity of law, 
receiving the endorsement of civilization. The ma- 
jority, however, always killed without ado. They had 
passwords that only the initiated understood, and sig- 
nals that meant anything or nothing. A night bird was 
a messenger, a day bird a courier; to their dialect they 
added woodcraft, and to the condition of the proscribed, 
the cunning of the Indian. They knew the name and 
the number of the enemies' regiment by the shoes on 
the horses, and told the nationality of the troops by the 
manner in which the twigs were broken along the march. 
They could see in the night like other hunted beasts 
of prey, and hunted when it was darkest, caring not 
for a road so long as there was a trail and caring not 
for a trail if there was direction. When there v^-as no 
wind, and when clouds hid the sun or stars, they trav- 
elled by the moss on the trees. In the daytime they 
looked with their eyes; in the night time, with their 
hands. Living much in fastnesses, they were rarely 
surprised. In solitude they developed a more acute in- 
stinct of self preservation. By degrees, a caste began 
to be developed and was established. Men stood forth 
as leaders as if by inherent right, by the unmistakable 
right of superior address and undaunted courage. There 


was a kind of brotherhood of courage, an aristocracy 
of daring, wherein the humblest among them might win 
a crown, or establish a dynasty. And there were many 
of these, respect for personal powers begat discipline, and 
discipline strengthened by the terrible pressure of out- 
side circumstances, was kept in the midst of an organiza- 
tion ostensibly without a government, and w^ithout a flag. 
Internal feuds came rarely to blows. The men were free 
to come and go ; bound by no enlistment and dependent 
upon no bounty. Hunted by one nation and apologized 
for by the other, prodigal of life and property, foremost 
in every foray and dying last in every rout, they were 
content to die savagely and at bay, when from under the 
dead steed the w'ounded rider could not extricate himself. 
Unmerciful rarely and merciful often ; loving liberty in 
a blind, idolatrous fashion; half superstitious, holding 
no crime as bad as cowardice in battle ; courteous to 
women amid all the wild license of pillage and slaughter; 
steadfast as faith to comradeship and friends; too se- 
rious for boastfulness and too close or near to the un- 
known to deceive even themselves ; with sanity, eminent- 
ly practical, being constantly environed; starved today 
and feasted tomorrow ; victorious in this combat or deci- 
mated in that ; receiving no quarter and giving none, is 
it strange then that Christians looked in amazement at 
the shocking, blood-stained, sable garments of civil war 
and wondered at a perpetual cut-throat ambuscade? 


Capturing the garrison at Gallatin — Lightning Ellsworth's ex- 
pedition — Burning a tunnel — Revenge at Bald Knob — Battle 
at Castillian Springs. 

It was now planned that General Morgan should 
set out to surprise the Federal garrison at Gallatin, a 
distance of seventy-five miles. He had also received 
orders to destroy the railroad between Nashville and 
Louisville. Pressing forward through Hartsville, 

stoping only long enough to feed, the command left the 
main road a few miles from Gallatin to avoid the pickets, 
which were captured by scouts sent after we had avoid- 
ed their rear. As we entered the town a small party 
was sent to capture Colonel Boone, the Federal com- 
mander, who as we had learned, was in the habit of 
sleeping in town. Captain Desha reached the house, 
surrounded it and sent three trusty men to capture him. 
We found him asleep in bed. We aroused him. He at- 
tempted to reach for his pistols on a table near by. We 
covered him and warned him not to try any violence, as 
he was our prisoner. 

Captain Desha sent him to Morgan, who advised 
him to write a letter to the officer at the camp urging 
him to surrender, as they were surrounded, to spare 
tre effusion of blood. Colonel Boone consented to this 
?nc] liis letter was sent under a flag of truce. It had the 
desired effect, as the entire garrison fell into our hands 
v/ithout firing a shot. Two companies had been sent 
away. Colonel Boone and his command was paroled — 


450 prisoners with a good many officers, 500 fine Spring- 
field rifles were capured ; also, a train of wagons, and 
several cars with about 100 fine horses on them. Many 
stores were also seized. The next day a train loaded 
with forage for the cavalry was taken. 

A very funny thing happened at this time. Our 
Comrade, ''Lightning" Ellsworth, was immediately put 
in possession of the telegraph office and he went to 
work with more than his ordinary ingenuity. It was 
the peculiarity of this "truly great man" in his line to 
be successful only in his own department. If he at- 
tempted anything else, he was sure to fail. He took it 
into his head to go after a notorious and very dangerous 
bushwhacker and bring him to camp. Our best scouts 
had tried in vain to capture him. Without telling any 
one of his intention, he took Colonel St. Leger Gren- 
fel's horse, upon which was strapped a saddle, which the 
owner prized very highly, and behind that was tied 
a buff coat, equally prized, and in this coat was all the 
gold the colonel had brought with him when he joined 

Thus equipped he started out with one companion 
to take the redoubtable Captain King. He went boldly 
to that worthy's house, w^ho, seeing only two men com- 
ing, scorned to take to the brush. To Ellsworth's de- 
mand to surrender he answered with several volleys from 
his shot gun, severely wounding his friend and putting 
Ellsworth to flight. King pressed the retreat and Ells- 
worth brought off his wounded companion, but lost 
horse, saddle, coat and gold. St. Leger w^as like an ex- 
cited volcano, and sought Ellsworth, to slay him in- 
stantly. Four days were required to pacify him, during 
which time the operator had to be kept out of his sight. 
He never fully forgave Ellsworth for the loss of his 


saddle and great coat, which had been his companions 
for many 3'ears — he had tiiem in nearly all his wan- 

The truth was, Ellsworth was out of his element 
when he tried soldiering, but when seated at the keys 
he was always master of the situation. No man could 
match him at that work. See him catch without a boggle, 
''signals" — ''tariff," and all the rest, fool the regular 
operators, baffle with calm confidence their efforts to 
detect him, and even turn to his own advantage their 
very suspicions. He was unquestionably a genius. As 
if to demonstrate incontestably his own superiority he 
has since the war closed invented a plan to prevent 
just such tricks as he used to practice at every station. 
Much of the success of General Morgan's operations 
was due to this man's ready wit and genius. The sol- 
diers of Morgan's command dubbed him "Lightning." 

While at Gallatin we destroyed the tunnel by run- 
ning a train of cars into it and setting tire to them. This 
tunnel was situated six miles from Gallatin. A great 
deal of wood work lined it ; huge beams and cross ties 
were placed to support the roof which was of a pe- 
culiar rock, and liable at any time to disintegrate and 
tumble doAvn. The hre once kindled would smoulder 
for weeks. 

Returning to Gallatin after four days' absence we 
found everything in confusion and distress. The women 
and children were in the streets wringing their hands 
and crying at the top of their voices. They told a very 
distressing story. During our short absence 300 infan- 
trymen had come to Gallatin, and on that evening had 
arrested every man and boy they could find in the town, 
and had driven them off like a drove of cattle to Nash- 
ville. The women were in terrible distress over their 


loss. This was done because of the kind reception given 
us on a recent occasion. We found that one of our com- 
rades had beei*! captured, and then kicked and cuffed 
to death, also shot, to be sure he was dead. We saw 
his blood on the bridge where he was killed. His body 
was a mass of bruises. Our men became furious and 
could hardly be restrained. We started in pursuit of 
the brutal, cowardly miscreants, overtaking them at 
Bald Knob. They had heard the roar of our horses' 
hoofs and had turned loose the prisoners; though some 
of them were shot, and beaten over the head before 

They all fled for their lives down the road, across 
the fields and woods. Some hid themselves in cul- 
verts, under bridg:es, in brush-heaps, in shocks of fod- 
der — anywhere to hide from the just vengeance of out- 
raged humanity. There were about 100 who made some 
show of defence and fought with that desperation born 
of despair, knowing full well that they had forfeited all 
claims to civilized war. We charged them furiously and 
shot them without mercy. The officers tried in vain 
to restrain our infuriated men. The rattling shots told 
of deadly work bv the maddened soldiers. Few were 
left when Morgan came and sternly rebuked the men 
for such excesses, and threatened to have the first man 
shot who should dare fire another shot. I asked him then 
and there how he would like to have his sister butchered 
or his young brother or father brutalized in the way 
some of the rest of us had. He did not reply to this 

The war spirit and blood was now up in these men. 
Thev demanded to be sent against the stockade. The 
first one encountered w^as reduced without trouble. The 
gates were open and some of the Yankees outside. It 


was a race who should enter first. We entered to- 
gether, Reb and Yank, side by side. We captured the 
place without firing: a shot. The others were reduced 
after much severe fighting and loss of life. We lost 
several fine officers and men before they were cap- 
tured. This was an exciting; and eventful day. Our 
loss in these affairs was 22 killed and 17 wounded. The 
enemy lost 300 killed and 35 prisoners. The citizens, 
prisoners, old men and boys not over ten years old were 
gotten together and mounted behind some of the men. 
Others of the soldiers had dismounted and placed from 
two to four old men and boys on one horse and walked 
alongside them. Returning we met the people of the 
adjacent country, coming with every description of ve- 
hicles to convey their escaped relatives and friends back 
to their homes. The rescued were weary and footsore, 
many of them hardly able to drag one foot after the 
other. When Ave reached the town there was a wild 
scene of joy and congratulation. 

We camped in the fair grounds that night. Our 
scouts reported that a formidable Federal force had 
passed through Hartsville on the previous night and 
was then camped at Castillian Springs, ten miles from 
Gallatin. The pickets were strengthened in that direc- 
tion and the scouts were sent to watch. They returned 
and reported the enemy rapidly approaching. We 
formed line on a gallop. Sure enough, they were ad- 
vancing on us in fine array, forming in line of battle, 
with artillery in sight. 

Colonel Gan.o v/ns ordered to attack on horseback. 
There were two batallions dismounted on theright of line, 
three on the left, each with supports in close distance, 
and our artillery was in the center. Gano's three battal- 
ions v/ere in the extreme rear of the column. Each 


l)i'.Ualion defiled to ri^ht and left as they came up. 
Gano's was now forminiLi- in column of fours right for 
ward. After all had taken their places a gap was left 
in our line. The enemy seeing this started to enter. 
T' cy were met by Gano in a furious, head-long charge, 
It was so sudden, impetuous, and determined that it 
caused the enemy to recoil. At this moment companies 
D, I, K, and G were forming. On the left of the 
Hartsville pike and east of Scottsville road was a wood- 
land of some tw^enty acres. Company H was formed 
here and cleared it of the enemy and kept it clear until 
the line advanced. To the left of this woodland was 3 
meadow, five or six hundred yards long and some 
three hundred broad. 

Belie\ing that Morgan was trying to escape or 
avoid battle, three or four hundred men dashed across 
this meadow wnth draw^n sabres flashing in the sun- 
light. It was indeed a grand si :ght as they rode toward 
the horses which they saw in the road beyond. Com- 
panies A, B, C, E and F were by this time dismounted, 
and here dropped on their knees behind a stone fence 
on the east side of the road. The enemy came rush- 
ing on. We held our fire until the enemy were in 
thirty yards, then we opened on them. Now^ w^as seen 
the terrible effect of a volley from that long, thin line 
w^hich looked so easy to break through, and yet whose 
fire was so deadly. Every man took deliberate aim at 
an individual foe, and as the blaze left the guns two- 
thirds of the riders, as wxll as horses, went down. The 
cavalry recoiled. Our men sprang up and poured such 
another volley that the rout was complete. 

On the right, Gano had not been idle. After 
checking the enemy's advance, he had re-formed his 
squadron. Hutchinson and Bowles had driven back 


the enemy, which noAv had re-formed for another charge. 
The companies on the right had taken a position where 
they could enfilade the enemy's line as it strove to ad- 
vance. Both our wings were now engaged in a hot 
contest all along the line. The melee grew fierce. The 
artillery took part with a few discharges of grape and 
cannister. The enemy was forced back everywhere. 
Gano charged again with three companies, Captain 
Sam Berry's, my own own, and Captain Shelton's. Ga- 
no pressed them closely, killing many of them. 

After retreating about a mile. General Johnson, 
comm.anding, rallied his men, and re-formed on a hill. 
Gam readjusted his lines and charged. Again the 
enemy retreated in disorder. A number of prisoners 
and all the wounded fell into our hands. General John- 
son retreated some three miles and sent in a flag of 
truce, pr(.>posinfT an armistice that he might bury his 
dead. General Morgan replied that he could not enter- 
tain any proposition, but an unconditional surrender. 
General Johnson replied to this, that catching came be- 
fore hanging. Morgan was now in swift pursuit. Di- 
viding the command into three columns, he sent each 
in a special direction, being thus more certain to en- 
counter the enemy. We struck them about six miles 
from the first battle-field, our flanking column closing- 
in upon them from all sides. Charging them, the fight 
lasted only a few minute^. General Tohnson, with the 
remnant of his command, surrendered. His killed was 
69, wounded 107. 

General Johnson's force was a command of twenty- 
four companies taken from the various cavalry regi- 
ments of Buell's army, and sent by him to destroy or 
capture Morgan and his force. Johnson was appointed 
to this command upon his own earnest solicitation, and 


when passing through Hartsville told the citizens he 
was going to Gallatin to capture Morgan and bring him 
back in a band box. 

A few incidents of a personal character will illus- 
trate some of the many curious experiences in the life 
of a soldier. When we had repulsed the enemy the 
first time they re-formed for a charge. Captain Leabo 
of the Second Indiana, dashed down upon our line and 
coming on himself after his men turned back, was made 
a prisoner; still another soldier was made a prisoner 
in the same way, although he did not come with the 
same intent which inspired the gallant captain. 

The wildest looking fellow, perhaps, in the Yankee 
army came rattling down the pike on a sorrel horse, 
which was running away with him ; his hair standing 
on end, his mouth wide open, his shirt collar flying 
by one end like a flag of truce, and his eyes glazed. 
He was caught by the greatest wag in the command, 
perhaps in the western army, the celebrated Jeff Ster- 
ritt. With a look of appalling ferocity Jeff exclaimed, 
**I don't know wdiether to kill you now or wait until 
the fight is over." *'For God's sake," said the captive, 
"don't kill me at all. I am a dissipated character and 
not prepared to die at this time!" 

Our sturdy rough riders had their gaieties, frolics, 
and pleasures; in fact, there was but one, or perhaps, 
two things that caused them trouble. First, continuous 
stationary camp duty ; second, and not the least import- 
ant of the two, restraint or rigid discipline. These were 
to them a holy horror. All the command had that co- 
hesive, instinctive discipline or personal self-respect and 
intelligence that make of the volunteer American sol- 
dier the highest type of the efficient, destructive sol- 


dier on earth, and this command possessed them in an 
eminent degree. 

It will be impossible for the men whose lives were 
staked upon so many field's ever to forget this period 
of active, stirring scenes. The beautiful country, the 
blue-grass pastures, and the grand, noble trees, the en- 
campments in the shady forests, through which ran the 
clear, cool Tennessee waters, the lazy enjoyments of 
the bivouac, changing abruptly to the chase and hot 
conflict, and the midnight moonlit rides amidst the 
lovely scenery cause the recollections which crowd our 
minds when we think of Gallatin and Hartsville, to min- 
gle almost inseparably with romance. In this country 
lived a people worthy of it. In all the qualities which 
Vv'in respect and love; in generosity, honesty, devoted 
friendship, zealous adherence to what they deemed the 
right, unthinking support of those who labor for them, 
in hospitality and kindness, the Creator never made a 
people to excel them. May God bless and prosper 



Escape at Tyree Springs — \'isiting Buell at Nashville. 

General Morgan was remarkable for his ability to 
extricate himself from dangerous situations. His esca- 
pades of daring fired his men with a spirit of emulation, 
and were largely responsible for the romantic renown 
that attaches to his command. 

I recall a startling experience that occurred shortly 
after the campaign of General Bragg in Kentucky. 
Morgan did not follow the line of retreat pursued by 
the Confederate army, which marched out through the 
mountains of southern Kentucky and Tennessee; he 
dashed along the rear of the Federal columns, as they 
passed southward toward Nashville and middle Tennes- 
see. He inflicted considerable loss and annoyance upon 
the enemy, by taking their route, making many con- 
siderable captures of prisoners and stores, and finally 
after completing a circuit of all Federal forces, reached 
and took position at Gallatin on the Louisville and 
Nashville railroad, before any of them had gotten so 
far on their march to Nashville. It was his object to 
impair and render useless the railroad to such an ex- 
tent, at least, as the limited time in which he had to 
do such work, would permit. The masses of the Federal 
army — then commanded by General Rosecrans, Buell 
having been removed — was so close upon him, however, 
that he was not only compelled to perform hastily the 


task of bridge burning and track destruction, but fre- 
quently abandoned it, to pay some attention to the ap- 
proaching enemy. 

Such occasion was when he prepared an ambush 
of 200 men for General Crittenden's corps at Tyree 
Springs, about twenty-five miles from Nashville. After 
a sharp fight with the head of the column, he made a 
wide detour and again reached the road on which it 
was moving, three or four miles to the rear. Dispersing 
his men in small detachments, he put all to work to 
capture stragglers. With Lieutenant Quirk, myself 
and four others General Morgan had collected a num- 
ber of prisoners and disarmed them and was escort- 
ing them down the road to be turned over to the guard, 
which had been detailed to remain near the road and 
take charge of the various captures. 

Suddenly his dangerous undertaking was sum- 
marily interferred with, and the conditions came very 
near being reversed. By some means the information 
of what was going on reached the Federal officer in com- 
mand, and he sent Colonel Stokes' regiment from Tyree 
Springs to put a stop to it, which, because of the small 
number of men engaged, it might readily do. This 
regiment struck General Morgan's small squad at a 
sharp turn of the road, Morgan, Quirk and myself, in 
the advance of the prisoners, came right face to face 
with the Federals who had no notice of our presence or 

General Morgan, as were his men, was dressed in 
the Confederate uniform. He determined to deceive the 
enemy into the belief that he himself was a Federal offi- 
cer and, strangely enough, succeeded. He was, of 
course, halted and questioned. He answered promptly, 
with great frankness. He stated that he was a Colonel 


of a Michigan cavalry regiment, which was only a short 
distance away, and that the prisoners were his own 
men, whom he had arrested for straggling. He expiated 
at great length and with much heat and enthusiasm upon 
the evils of straggling, pointing out how detrimental 
it was to discipline and also how dangerous it was when 
the enemy was in the immediate vicinity, and con- 
cluded by urging his auditors to follow his example 
and to scatter at once, in search of other such offenders. 
The prisoners who believed he himself would he cap- 
tured, listened with broad grins on their faces, with- 
out saying anything. 

Those to whom his remarks were addressed were 
much bewildered, but strongly inclined to doubt the 
truth of his story. They asserted that his dress and ad- 
dress, and general appearance, was a very strange one 
for a Federal officer. The rebels, they said, ver}^ often 
masqueraded in blue, but none of them had ever heard of 
any of their officers wearing gray. The colloquy became 
quite warm and decidedly personal, and one officer final- 
ly suggested that Morgan should go with him to Colonel 
Stokes, and repeat his story to him. At this General 
Morgan grew very indignant. He announced in a very 
hearty tone that he was not accustomed to having his 
word questioned and would not submit to it; he said he 
would bring his entire regiment to testify to his identity 
and convince them that a Michigan colonel was in- 
capable of telling a lie. With that, calling on us to 
follow, he suddenly wheeled his horse and galloped 
away before an effort could be made to stop him. He 
leaped the fence at full speed and dashed with his com- 
rades into a neighboring brushy thicket, wher^- wq were 
safe from the shots that came from the enemy in pur- 


It is probable that none other than Morgan could 
have escaped, at least but few. But not only his audac- 
ity, but his self possession, quickness of apprehension 
and thought, and adroitness of suggestion and expedi- 
ence in the presence of danger were literally perfect. 
I have known several similar escapes where the chances 
seemed strongly against it, but in each case there was 
some circumstance to either intimidate or mystify the 
enemy or in some manner contribute to the aid of the 
party imperiled or escaping. 

On this occasion everything was adverse to our 
escape. We were all dressed in full Confederate uni- 
form. The enemy knew that a Confederate force was 
in the immediate vicinity, and it was reasonable to sup- 
pose that he belonged to it, as they had been fighting 
in the advance. The prisoners could have told their 
story, and disclosed his true character, notwithstanding 
his clever fabrications. He could rely only upon his 
absolute self-poise and address, which never failed him, 
and a quality that was mesmeric. I can describe it only 
as the power to subject to his will nearly everybody 
who came near its influence. 

While on this subject I shall give another very re- 
markable and daring incident concerning this very re- 
markable man. While camped at La Verne, during the 
stay and operations of General ^litchell's forces south 
of Nashville, Morgan took it into his head to go into 
this city and with the help of seven picked men set fire 
to the accumulated commissary stores and transports 
and destroy them at night. We all dressed in ragged, 
dirty, patched clothing; were to fire the storehouses at 
a certain hour at night, then to make our way out of the 
city. He dressed himself in a rough, farmer's suit, ob- 
tained a double ox team, loaded a large hay frame with 


hay and driving into Nashville, called for General 
Buell at his headquarters and would not be put off. 
He must see the general himself to sell him his hay. 
He finally had his wish and saw the general, talked to 
him in the long, drav^ling speech of the backwoods 
countryman, got his money, obtained the information 
he sought and came back to us with a pass through the 
lines. He could impersonate any character he wisher^ 
His resourcefulness was almost unlimited. He never 
sent men where he would not lead ; he often appeared 
reckless even to foolhardiness, but his plans with few 
exceptions always worked out. His very remarkable 
escape from the Ohio penitentiary, described later, is one 
of the most daring in the annals of the world. 

After we made our escape in front of Colonel Stokes' 
regiment, we found the command several miles away. 
They had been informed that General Morgan and 
those who were with him had been captured, as some 
of our soldiers had seen us meet the Federal column 
and thought we were surely captured. During this 
day our command had destroyed the railroad train on 
^^-^ Xashville railroad, thus blocking traffic. 



Reorganization of the command — Expedition on Hartsville — I 
am examined by the surgeon — Attack on Hartsville — Mor- 
gan commissioned brigadier general — His marriage. 

Before starting on the campaign into Kentucky, 
there was a reorganization of the entire command. We 
had been on a continual, hard campaign and had suf- 
fered a heavy loss of men in killed and wounded and cap- 
tured. Many changes had occurred. Many of the old, 
familiar faces had disappeared. At this tinhe, Novem- 
ber, 1862, the command had attained the proportions of 
a brigade of somxC five regiments, notwithstanding the 
heavy loss. Many of the privates of the old squadron 
were now commanders of com.panies and battalions ; 
those that still survived, who were hot assigned as 
above were formed into a company with all who had 
disting^uished themselves by bravery in battle and as 
expert shots. All were exempted from camp and picket 
duty, were distinguished as scouts, and were always in 
the advance of the command when on the march. They 
were a select body of men and were often called "the 
old guard." The scouts were almost constantly in the 
saddle during the fall and winter months. 

On the 6th day of October, 1862, General Morgan 
received orders at Lexington to place his command in 
communication with General Kirby Smith's command 
and operate with him in the coming conflict. Taking 
Duke's, Gano's and his own command, we moved down to 


A number of noted Kentuckians joined us here for 
the purpose of making the campaign to Hartsville. Col- 
onel Hanson and his magnificient regiment had been ex- 
cl:an.Lied to the second Kentucky. All these veteran 
soldiers had been captured at Fort Donaldson. General 
Bragg was concentrating his army in the vicinity of 
Murfreesboro, receiving constant accessions to it. All 
was preparation and bustle in the camps. 

I had a leave of absence of ninety days but did not 
care to leave my father. I visited all the camps, es- 
pecially the Kentucky division. I had many warm, per- 
sonal friends among these soldiers. My wound was 
healing nicely. There was some soreness in my throat 
and lung in the region of the bullet. 

We crossed the Cumberland river and found the left 
wing of the Yankee army camped near Gallatin. Harts- 
ville and Rodney were occupied by detachments of Mc- 
CooVc's and Crittenden's corps, with several miles inter- 
vening. We reported this to General Morgan. General 
Bragg's headquarters were at Murfreesboro. 

General Rosecrans occupied LaVerne, Shelbyville 
and Clinton, west of Murfreesboro. On the east and 
immediately in front, on the right wing of Bragg's army, 
the enemy had established garrisons at Gallatin, Harts- 
ville and Castillian vSprings, on account of the supplies 
it afforded his army and also for the purpose of shutting 
us out. 

These garrisons were supposed to be in supporting 
distance of each other, Gallatin being six miles from 
Hartsville and twelve miles from Castillian Springs. This 
entire region is a beautiful farming country, the garden 
spot of middle Tennessee, and very much like the blue 
grass region of Kentucky. A Confederate force march- 
ing to attack any one of the garrisons must necessarily 


expose to attack its flanks, and also its rear from Nash- 
ville. The Cumberland river was also a natural protec- 
tion. Consequently these garrisons felt safe from attack. 
Our camps were at Black's Shops and near Woodbury, 
Tennessee, and our regiment at Lebanon. Morgan and 
his men had great affection for Sumner county; many 
of her gallant sons were in the command. Upon learning 
the enemy's situation, Morgan, at his request, was al- 
lowed to select two regiments of infantry from the Ken- 
tucky brigade to attack Hartsville. He chose Cobb's 
battery, which was the finest in the army; the noted 
Second Kentucky, Hanson's ; the Ninth Kentucky under 
Colonel Trabue. Hunt commanded the Second Ken- 
tucky on. this campaign. Hanson had been made a 
brigade commander. Colonel Trabue did not accompany 
his men. We were familiar with this entire region. 
General Morgan expressly requested that Colonel Hunt 
should command the infantry. 

The cavalry under the immediate command of Col. 
Basil Duke, consisted of the regiments of Cols. Gano, 
Bennett and Clark and Chenault's and Steam's battalions. 
The infantry who joined us, about seven hundred strong, 
were as fine soldiers as ever trod the earth. The entire 
force amounted to 2200 men. We set out on the morn- 
ing of December 1, 1862. The weather was bitterly cold, 
ice and snow covering the frozen ground. We marched 
all day and all night, reaching the river about one o'clock. 
The infantry crossed in boats, with ice fringing the river 
banks. The cavalry was compelled to swim the icy 
water. It was arranged to let the infantry ride alter- 
nately with the cavalry, a portion of the cavalry dis- 
mounted and e:ave up their horses, but the infantr}^ 
soon clamored to dismount and walk as they were thor- 
oughly chilled and their wet feet nearly frozen ; in a like 


manner the cavalry suffered intensely. The darkness 
caused some confusion in returnin^^: horses to the rio:ht 
owners. The infantry denounced the cavalry service 
with all the resources of a soldier's vocabulary. 

I asked General Morgan for the poor privileji^e of ac- 
compan3-ino^ the brigade. He referred me to the sur- 
geon who stripped me to the waist and examined me 
critically. He thumped me with the fingers of his right 
hand. The ends of his fingers, striking my ribs and 
chest, caused a sound like a kettle drum. He listened, 
with his ear to my chest for some minutes, turned me 
over and repeated the same manner on my shoulder 
blade (scapula). He handled me as if I w^ere a vinegar 
barrel. His methods, I found to my disgust, had not 
improved with practice since our last meeting. He 
looked me over and scratched his head, incidentally look- 
ing very wise, and said, "Percussion shows some crepi- 
tus and frictional sounds. I don't like this." I stumbled 
backward into a seat. ''Doctor," said I, "am I as bad as 
these things seem to indicate, wdiatever they are? Are 
they very dangerous." I had now aroused his Scotch- 
Irish blood. He eyed me for a few minutes w^ith evident 
disgust and said, "God damn you, you make fun of me in 
the discharge of my duty ! I care not whether you live or 
die. Get out, you imp, you scoundrel, out of my sight ; I 
don't believe anything can kill you, anyway; out with 
you". I had been riding about for three weeks. I had 
the laugh on the surgeon at any rate. I was sorry after- 
ward that I did not remain in camp, according to his 
advice, as the weather was intensely cold. 

When all were across, each detachment moved to 
its appointed position. All the Yankee outposts were 
captured without noise or alarm. The command was di- 
vided into three sub-divisions, one to march swiftly and 


silently to the west of Hartsville and there guard the 
roads leading to this place; one to the east of Harts- 
ville to guard the roads leading west to this town ; the 
central, or third division, was assigned the duty of cap- 
turing the brigade camped near the town of Hartsville. 

The astonished enemy was awakened from slumber 
at early dawn with the rattle of musketry from every 
direction and met with volleys of leaden bullets. The 
battle lasted just sixty minutes, but it was lively while 
it lasted. We captured 4870 prisoners, killed 163 and 
wounded 400. We seized six 12-pound cannon that had 
never before been used in battle, and 5000 stands of arms. 
Our loss was thirty-two killed, sixty-nine wounded, 
twelve missing, some of whom were drowned, and three 
frozen to death. 

We were now compelled to make a rapid march for 
the river and cross it with these prisoners, as we now 
had at least 20,000 of the enemy at our heels. It re- 
quired some swift marching and sharp fighting to stand 
the Yankee soldiers off, to retain the prisoners and to 
recross in safety. We used the captured artillery on 
them with telling effect until our men were all safely 
over. They did not attempt to follow. 

This action was considered by the army to be the 
most brilliant thing Morgan had accomplished. Cen- 
tral Bragg, in his congratulatory orders to the army 
on our return, spoke in the highest praise of the conduct 
of the troops, especially of the remarkable march of the 
infantry. He said to Brigadier General Morgan and Col- 
onel Hunt: ''The Ceneral Commander tenders his 
thanks and assures them of the admiration of this army. 
The intelligence, zeal and gallantry displayed by them 
will serve as an example and incentive to still further 
honorable deeds, to the other brave officers and men ac- 


companying this expedition. The General tenders his 
cordial thanks and congratulations. He is proud of 
them, and hails this success, and is charmed by their val- 
or, and as a procurer of still greater victories each corps 
engaged in this action will in the future bear upon its 
banners the name of this memorable field." 

At this time General Morgan was formally made 
Brigadier General and handed his commission. There 
are some who have doubted that he was ever commission- 
ed as such. I personally saw the commission. 

Another event happened which I have always 
thought, with many others, materially affected Morgan's 
fortunes; his marriage to Miss Ready, at Murfreesboro ; a 
lady to whom he was very much attached and who cer- 
tainly deserved to exercise over him the great influence 
she was thought to possess. 

The ceremony was performed by General Leonidas 
Polk, by virtue of his commission as Bishop, in full Ma- 
jor General's uniform, at the residence of the bride's 
father, Charles Ready, which that night held a happy 
assemblage of distinguished guests. It was one of the 
few scenes of happiness that house was destined to wit- 
ness before its memories of joy and gaiety were to give 
place to heavy sorrows, and the harsh insults of the in- 

The bridegroom's friends, brothers-in-arms, the com- 
mander in chief, and Generals Hanson, Breckinridge and 
many others, felt called upon to stand by him upon this 

Colonel St. Leger Grenfels was in a high state of 
delight although he had regretted the General's marriage, 
thinking it w^ould render him less enterprising. He de- 
clared a wedding at which an Episcopal bishop militant 
clad in a General's uniform officiated, and at which the 


chief of an army and his corps of commanders were 
guests, certainly ought not to soften a soldier's temper. 
On his way home that night he sang Moorish songs to 
his comrades, with a French accent, to English airs. 

In the engagement at Hartsville a number of noble 
Kentucky youths served as couriers and staff officers un- 
der General Morgan, for whom he and his entire com- 
mand had great fondness. A loss deplored by all was 
the death of Major Gervaise Peyton. This boy was the 
most favored and petted in the command. He was a 
highly intelligent boy, twenty years of age; gentlemanly 
and fearless, the soul of honor. His integrity and sense 
of propriety were marked. His daring and gallantry un- 
der fire was superb. There was not an officer in the 
command who would not act upon a verbal order from 
him. Daring, even to recklessness, he would lead a 
charge at any time. Exposing himself in this battle 
at Hartsville, he received such a wound that he could not 
be moved. With us he was made a prisoner and abso- 
lutely fretted himself to death inside of twenty days. 



Departure of Grenfels — ^Again on the march to Kentucky — 
Skirmishes at Glasgow and Bear Wallow — Capture of 
Elizabethtown — Death of Colonel Halsey — I am snoi through 
the lung and captured — 1 escape at Louisville — ^Back to the 
command at Liberty, Tennessee — ^We meet our first negro 
troops — Battle at Woodbury — Colonel Hutchinson killed and 
I am wounded at Big Springs. 

The day before staring on what was known as the 
"Christmas Campaign" in 1862, the first brigade had in 
its ranks about 1800 men, the second brigade 700, and in 
the two other regiments, Chenault's brigade, 2000. This 
included the artillery. There were about 200 un- 
armed men, all mounted. These had been recently ex- 
changed as prisoners ; a/rms had not been provided for 
them. We expected to capture arms for them from the 
enemy. They were not so useless as it might appear, 
at first thought, as they were detailed to hold horses dur- 
ing the battle. The division now included the Quirk's 
scouts. General Morgan's report of his strength to the 
commander was 3900 men. At this time my friend, 
St. Leger Grenfels. severed his connection with this com- 
mand, having accepted the appointment of Inspector- 
General of the cavalry of the western army. His saddle, 
bridle and buff overcoat were captured at the battle of 
Hartsville, and were returned to him. It had been cap- 
tured by a noted Home Guard, Captain King, several 
months before, from our man "Lightning," Morgan's tele- 
graph operator. St. Leger was overjoyed at recovering 



his old time relics. He served with the western army to 
the close of the struggle, was captured, and with a num- 
ber of other prisoners, who were charged with some spe- 
cial crimes, doubtless falsely, as many others had been at 
this period, was sent to the barren, sandy island of Dry 
Tortugas, off the coast of Florida. 

He tried to escape in a small open boat at night dur- 
ing a storm at sea ; this craft was washed ashore by the 
tides. No one has ever heard or seen him since ; his fate, 
therefore, remains a mystery. He certainly was one of 
the most unique and interesting characters that our civil 
strife floated to the surface. Peace to his memory, soul 
and ashes. Amen. 

There now comes to us a young man of fine execu- 
tive ability, James Magginiss of New York state. He 
was made adjutant-general to the command, after St. 
Leger Grenfels resigned this office. This young soldier 
was killed six months later in a battle at Gordons Mills, 
Tenn. He died doing his duty as a soldier, and died as a 
soldier should die. There were many magnificent soldiers 
in this command, many of them the pick of the youth 
and young manhood of Kentucky, the flower of the cour- 
age and chivalry of the state. No commander ever led 
a more magnificent body of men to action nor were men 
ever more nobly led. Our officers were enterprising, dar- 
ing and skillful ; many of them became leaders of regi- 
ments or of detachments. Of the seven regimental com- 
manders, five became brigadier-generals. The other two 
gave their lives to the cause. Colonels Bennett and Chen- 
ault dying soldier's deaths in battle,Bennett in January 
1863, and Chenault on July 4, '63, while leading his men 
gallantly in a fruitless charge upon fortifications. 

Morgan was ordered by Bragg again to proceed 
at the earliest moment to Kentucky, and again destroy 


the Louisville and Nashville railroad bridges, in the rear 
of Rosecrans' army, also the telegraph communications. 
On December 29, 1862, the division took up its march 
for Kentucky. Morgan had under him, at this time, the 
largest number of troops he had ever led. Receiving 
marching orders, they slowly filed out of the woods. 
After some hours' marchino- a cheer at the extreme rear 
was heard ; it rapidly came forward, increasing in vol- 
ume and intensity. 

General Morgan, followed by his well mounted staff, 
dashed by with hat in hand bowing and smiling his 
thanks. Morgan on horseback was a striking figure. 
There were few men in either army, who possessed 
the easy graceful poise and striking proportions. His 
easy management of his horse, made him appear almost 
a harmonious part of the animal itself. Six feet tall, 
finely, almost exquisitely proportioned, he had handsome, 
regular features, blue-gray eyes, and small foot and 
hand for a man. His was the air and manner of a pol- 
ished gentleman, the noble bearing of a born leader, and 
a soldier. Straight as an Indian arrow shaft, always 
neatly and tastefully dressed, elegantly mounted, he was 
superb, the ideal cavalry officer. 

At this moment he was at the height of his fame, 
and happiness — married only 10 days previously to an 
accomplished lady, made a brigadier general, justly, de- 
servedly, in command of the finest cavalry division of 
the army, beloved almost to idolatry, by his men, re- 
taining their devotion by an extraordinary great confi- 
dence in their valor and prowess, conscious of his own 
great powers, yet wearing this with modesty. This was 
John H. Morgan's situation on that December morning. 

Ah, what is fame? What is ambition? A shadow, a 
hollow empty thing. 


This column marching all day, reached the sand 
shoals on the Cumberland river, just before dark. The 
first brigade crossed, and camped for the night. At 
early daylight next morning this division made thirty 
miles, and wheru within five miles of Glasgow, Colonel 
Breckinridge sent Captain Will Jones forward as a scout. 
He encountered a battalion of Michigan cavalry, three 
com.panies, which he drove out of the town. Our loss 
was 4 killed and 7 wounded. Captain Jones died of his 
wounds received here. 

On the following morning, Christmas day, pushing 
forward the advance, we encountered one hundred of 
these Michigan cavalry and charged and routed them, 
killing nine of them. We reached a place known as 
Bear Wallow, where we had a brisk skirmish. Our 
scouts had frequent encounters with small bands of home 
guards. Two regiments were sent to make a feint upon 

I shall never forget this day because we came across 
and captured the largest sutler's wagon I ever saw, load- 
ed with all kinds of Christmas good things. The sutler 
was going to Glasgow. This was the most enormous 
outfit I have ever seen and was drawn by 20 large perch- 
eron horses. I believe this wagon would hold more than 
the largest railroad car and it was loaded with a fabulous 
variety and quantity of everything good to eat. What a 
tempting prize to hungry soldiers ! This wagon belonged 
to a Yankee army sutler. He met eager customers who 
prepared themselves for a much longer credit than 
he anticipated. I believe there was enough to furnish 
every man in the command a Christmas dinner and sup- 
per for three or four days. 

On reaching Rolling Fork Bridge, a natural forti- 
fication and a very strong position, we found it guarded 


by some two hundred and fifty men in two impregnable 
stockades. We being in the advance met with a stub- 
born resistance. Having received a very severe wound in 
the right leg I remained on my horse because I could not 
dismount, but dismounted my men and sent for the ar- 
tillery to reduce the place. After placing several shells and 
solid shots into these stockades and the covered bridge 
we induced the garrison to surrender. We charged 
through the bridge and cleared the road on the north 
side of the creek. Marching rapidly forward, we surprised 
and captured twelve Yankee pickets. On this road 
near the town of Lebanon, Kentucky, some two miles 
away, General Morgan sent two regiments to the right 
and left and waited for them to reach their positions; 
then from the opposite direction we entered the town, 
and sent a demand for a surrender. Colonel Dick Han- 
son's regiment occupied the town. The demand was 
refused, a company of this regiment which had been out 
on a scout was returning to town and coming suddenly 
upon our men, attacked us vigorously. We promptly 
made a counter charge and compelled them to surrender, 
killing 30 and wounding 17. 

We now captured the town and moved on the freight 
depot ; from all directions these soldiers fought us for 
several hours, until they were forced to surrender some 
six hundred men. Our loss was serious. Lieutenant Tom 
Morgan, brother of General Morgan, was killed. Our 
loss in killed was 39, wounded 47. We found here large 
supplies of fixed ammunition, arms and commissary 
stores of all kinds. Our command was better armed now 
than at any previous time. We marched to Springfield 
and here my company was detached to guard the pris- 
oners while they were being paroled by our Adjutant 
General and his assistants. As they recefved thcrr pa- 


roles, they were turned loose to ctq home. It took us un- 
til night to get through with this duty. When Colonel 
Alston finished the work, we followed the command. 

Now we moved toward Woodsonville on Green 
River, thence north along the Louisville & Nashville rail- 
road capturing some provisions after a sharp fight at 
Nolin Bridge at Bacon Creek. We reduced the stock- 
ades there and at various other places along the line of 
railroad. We captured about a hundred prisoners, pa- 
roling them to be exchanged. The command moved up- 
on Elizabethtown where an unusual and very ridiculous 
thing occurred. 

The advance met a large body of men under a flag 
of truce. The officer, a very talkative pompous fellow, 
handed our Captain a letter from the Colonel command- 
ing the town to General Morgan demanding our imme- 
diate and unconditional surrender. He said we were 
now amidst the thickest of our foes; that we were 
practically surrounded and to prevent the unnecessary 
effusion of blood, it was best that we should surrender at 
once with all our forces. General Morgan came forward 
and glacing over the contents of the letter, said, to the 
officer, with a very polite bow, a ludicrous smile on his 
face, "Give the Colonel my compliments and say to him 
I should much prefer to discuss this matter with him per- 
sonally in Elrzabethtown." We moved forward upon 
the town. General Morgan had already sent forward 
two regiments to surround the place on the north and 
east sides. Dispositions being made, we attacked the 
town vigorously and after a sharp two hours* fighting we 
compelled them to surrender. There were about eight 
hundred prisoners captured here, eighty killed and one 
hundred and twenty-six wounded. The doughty Colonel 
fled at the first fire, and left his soldiers to their 


fate. Our losses here were six killed and thirteen wound- 
ed. Moving along the line of the railroad we destroyed 
the two light trestle bridges across the gorges m Mul- 
draugh's Hill to the mouth of the tunnel, and also the 
bridge across Rolling Fork. We crossed this creek with 
much difficulty as the banks were precipitous and boggy. 
We were attacked there by a large force, necessitating 
some heavy firing. General Basil Duke received a seri- 
ous wound in this engagement. We lost five soldiers. 
Having crossed over we moved to the small town of 
Boston and sent out detachments along the railroad to 
destroy the bridges as far as Shepherdsville. The main 
command marched on to Bardstown, Nelson county, 
where we captured a small force and stopped for a day. 
We received frequent complaints of brutal and tyran- 
ical conduct of one Colonel Halsey, who had arrested 
many of the best citizens of the country and sent them 
off to languish in Yankee prisons. We marched toward 
Springfield. We built our camp fires and drove in the 
enemys' pickets both here and in Lebanon, seven miles 
away. Leaving a small number of men at each place 
with pickets, the command moved in a wide detour 
away from these places because the enemy had concen- 
trated all their available forces in this region to crush 
or capture our whole force. General Morgan made sev- 
eral feints, as if to attack this position ; the pickets' camp- 
fires kept up the impression that Morgan would attack 
early in the morning. 

After marching all night, the command was twenty- 
five miles southwest of Lebanon, clear of the entangle- 
ments the enemy had fixed for our benefit. Our pick- 
ets silently disappeared. 

How strange is destiny. A few of our men who 
had been detached on special duty, were returning along 


the wake of our detour near the ford or crossing of 
Beach ford. Colonel Halsey with fifty men while scout- 
ing struck our trail. He saw this small detachment and 
charged down upon them. The Confederates saw them 
and stood their ground, and when the charging Yankees 
were close upon them they fired at close range with shot- 
guns, emptying twenty-five saddles at the first fire and 
nine more at the second fire. They then retreated to 
the creek. Colonel Halsey not satisfied and still unhurt, 
ordered a charge ; the Confederates had stopped in the 
bed of this stream. There Colonel Halsey encountered 
them. The impetus of his horse carried him among 
our men; the first man he met was George. Eastin; they 
were side by side ; they clinched each trying to draw his 
sword first. Failing in this, they tried their pistols. Both 
released their holds and drew their pistols, but Eastin 
was the quicker of the two. He shot Colonel Halsey 
from his horse and dismounting took his sword, which 
was a fine one, also his pistol and horse. The Colonel's 
men did not follow him ; they had had enough. Eastin's 
comrades did not ^fire, because they were liable to kill 
him. They rode forward and overtook the command 
near Columbia. 

My wound was still painful and at this place I was 
detached and sent with twenty men to a small hamlet 
near Marrowbone on the Burksville Fishing Creek road. 
Our commissary officers had collected some cattle and 
supplies and needed a guard to escort them across Cum- 
berland river. We arrived there all O. K . and started 
on our return south. Near Withers Crossing we were 
attacked by three companies of the enemy. We hurried 
the beeves and wagons to the river under whip and 
spur, packed the wagons, and thus fortified, held the 
enemy at bay until the cattle were safely over. We 


crossed the supply wagons, one by one, until all but two 
were out of danger. Ten volunteers remained with these, 
while twenty men crossed the wagons to the south side, 
and protected us, while we should cross. While mount- 
iny my horse he was killed under me, and I received a 
minnie ball through my right lung. We lost five men and 
six wounded, but got the supply train and beef cattle 
safely away. 

I was captured, being badly wounded. They sent 
me on the transport to Nashville, and placed me in a 
hospital there. I was wounded on the twenty-ninth of 
December, this being ten times to date. I was sent to 
Nahsville, Jan. 6th, 1863, and was in the hospital there 
twenty-one days, was then sent to Louisville and placed 
in the hospital near Oak Street, between Second antl 
Third streets, near the officers' quarters. My wounds 
were healing nicely, but I pretended to the surgeon that 
I was very ill and could not eat, and complained contin- 
ually. I had an object in this. 

The hospital was near the officers' stables, and the 
ward was on the ground floor. I could see the officers 
coming and going. I watched closely for the best and 
most spirited horse ; I also noticed that often they would 
leave their pistols in their holsters, and sometimes would 
leave a sword hanging on the saddle. Keeping my eyes 
continually on these matters I made my plans for a get- 

On the evening of Feb. 5th, 1863, I dressed myself 
hastily and made my way to the stables. There were five 
horses standing in the stalls; three had saddles on. I 
quickly selected the best and mounted him in the stable. 
I found a pair of Colt's pistols behind the saddle and a 
fine rain coat. I rode into the alley, looked about me 
in every direction. Then I rode slowly to an intersect- 


ing alley and crossed Second street to another alley lead- 
ing- southward. I reached the city limits, and took a 
country road. 

I was now quite dark. I traveled all night and 
reached safety and generous friends, my old-time faithful 
standbys, in the tirne of trouble, Nimrod Conn of Nelson 
county and his two bright, intelligent boys, Sid and 
Lem. I remained here in seculsion until March 1st. 

During this time eighteen Confederate soldiers who 
had been wounded at the battle of Perryville made ready 
to leave for the South. My brother Sam had joined the 
army under Colonel Grigsby ; was made orderly sergeant 
of Company D. We must needs be very cautious, as 
numerous scouting parties of the enemy were all on the 
main roads. There were many Home Guards and the 
town all garrisoned with provost guards. The Federal 
conscription was being enforced in every county. The 
woods were full of hiding men and refugees too cowardly 
to fight for their country and homes. We soon made 
our way back south. 

I found the command camped at Liberty, Tenn. The 
advance was at Alexandria, some at Dry Creek, Snow 
Hill, Smithville and McMinnville. The command had 
been very active during my absence of three months, 
and occupied the extreme right wing of the army. It 
had fought almost daily, engaging in two battles at Alex- 
andria, two at Snow Hill, one at Smithville and one 
at Black's Shops. The battle of Murfreesboro had been 
fought, when I was in Kentucky. On Bragg's retreat 
from that State the two armies readjusted their lines to 
conform to the new positions. During this period the 
weather was very cold, and developed much pneumonia. 

The first negro troops or soldiers we encountered 
was during this period. We were met between Alex- 


andria and Lebanon, Tenn. When our boys learned 
\vc were before these negroes, they would not be con- 
trolled and charged the negroes furiously and drove 
them back and through the white soldiers. We gave 
them no time to reform their lines. The Yankees fled in 
confusion. A short time afterward we were sent by Gen- 
eral Morgan to destroy the bridges and trestles between 
Murfreesboro and Tullahoma. We had twelve hundred 
men, detachments from the different regiments, under 
Colonel Hutchinson one of our most gallant, enterpris- 
ing and dashing soldiers, also Lieutenant Colonel Martin 
of Adam Johnson's regiment. We destroyed a number 
of structures and were returning to our former position, 
when we were confronted by a strong force who threw 
themselves across our line of march, confidently expect- 
ing to capture the entire command. While both sides 
were maneuvering for position. Colonel Jim Bowles 
made his appearance on the scene, this force was two 
hundred strong, making the Confederate strength four- 
teen hundred. The Yankee force was thirty-six hundred 
strong. Here were pitted two picked forces of seasoned 

Colonel Hutchinson rode down the lines with his 
hat in his hand, smiling and said to the soldiers, "Boys, 
we must whip and take these Yankees to camp with us 
or all die on the field together." He placed himself at 
the head of his old company and led it in a headlong 
charge. Lieutenant Colonel Martin also followed in these 
charges, counter charges, hand to hand fights, personal 
encounters, twos, fours, sixes, tens, twenties, in broken 
detachments, etc. Colonel Jim Bowles came into the 
fight like a cyclone and carried all before him. Colonel 
Hutchinson called his bugler to him and had him sound 
the rally. The boys came to him from all directions 
to the number of four hundred. Thus he charged the 


ranks of the enemy. It was at this moment that the ar- 
tillery had a chance to enter the action. The two 
contending forces had been so closely engaged that this 
arm could not be used. The field was strewn with the 
dead and wounded. We killed, captured and wounded 
one thousand nine hundred and seven. This was one 
of the most hotly contested battles of the war for the 
number engaged. There were prodigies of valor, and 
personal heroism shown by all these soldiers. I have 
been in 97 battles and skirmishes to date first and last; 
but I have never witnessed more dash and gallantry on 
any field. This battle was fought near the village of 
Woodbury, Tenn. 

We camped on the field and gave aid to the wound- 
ed of both sides. We marched next day at noon, after 
burying the dead, taking such of the wounded as could 
be safely moved ; more than half of our men received 
wounds that were more or less serious. I received two 
wounds in this battle, making eleven up to this time. 

There was little fighting for some weeks. We 
were scouting most of the time during the winter and 
spring, but during the month of May a picked force 
was sent out to destroy a large trestle over a gorge not 
far from Tullahoma. Here was a strong stockade near 
this for its protection. Colonel Hutchinson requested 
permission to take this force and destroy it. Reaching 
this place it had to be reduced with steel Parrott 12- 
pounders before we could destroy it. Having completely 
wrecked it we retraced our steps and went into camp near 
Big Springs, six miles from Woodbury. 

During the small hours of the morning, my fine 
Kentucky thoroughbred mare, which I had taken from 
the stable at Louisville became very restless and kept me 
awake, by pawing the ground almost continuously. I 


went up to her twice and tried to pacify her. We had a 
dog with us, he also kept up a constant whining, sniffing 
and growling, showing much uneasiness and concern. 
I finally concluded there was cause for these demon- 
strations. I first saddled my horse and found a watef 
bucket and went to the spring for some water. After 
drinking I sat down on the roots of a big tree. I heard 
a low cough not far from me, on the side of the hill. 
Looking intently I thought I saAV the glint of a musket 
not over 75 yards away. Snider our dog came to me 
and growled. At this I hurriedly left the spring, went 
to the camp and awoke my first sergeant and told him 
what I had seen and heard, how my horse and dog had 
acted all night. He at once awakened the company, got 
them under arms and saddled the horses. I sent soldiers 
to the different captains and went myself to Colonel 
Hutchinson and told him, warned him of our danger, and 
informed him of what I had done. When I returned to 
my company, they were ready to mount at a moment's 
notice. The entire camp was astir. I had told the Col- 
onel that I should make for the McMinnsville road if it 
became necessary. 

It was now breaking day and many outlines of ob- 
jects were plainly visible. I mounted my company and 
was about to move them toward the road, when we 
heard and saw the enemy moving on our camps through 
the woods. They were entirely around us, acfvancmg 
rapidly. The first fire wounded several men. Jeff Sis- 
son's gun was shot from his hand as were those of Leak 
Arnetts, Jack Wilson and John Edgar. Sisson said, 
"Captain, our guns are useless ; what are we going to 
do?" There were some small mess axes lying near. I 
told these soldiers to take them. They were the very 
weapons we needed. They did so. I took them to the 


head of the company, and formed them with eight men 
armed with shot-guns loaded with 20 buckshot in each 
barrel. We charged the enemy in this formation. The 
shot guns opened a gap in their ranks. These boys 
with the mess axes cut down nine men. We soon made 
a passageway for the company to pass through. There 
was some very severe fighting while it lasted. We cut 
our way out, and left them scattered and badly crippled, 
but it was a very serious loss to us, as Colonel Hutch- 
inson was seriously wounded and died on the field, like a 
soldier doing his duty. He was one of the most active 
and enterprising soldiers in the army ; ever watchful and 
careful in looking after the welfare of his men. His loss 
was irreparable and seriously felt by all. I received a 
serious wound in my hip on the right side and was again 
knocked out, this making twelve wounds received to 
date. I was on the sick list for six weeks. 


I again report for duty — Sent to General Bragg — On a dangerous 
errand — Captured at Tullahoma — Sentenced to death as a 
spy — I escape in the storm — Fight at Turkey Neck Bend — 
At Green River Bridge — Capture of Lebanon. 

At this time, June 1863, having recovered from my 
v^ound, I reported ready for duty again. While camped 
near McMinnville, Tennessee, I received orders to re- 
port at headquarters at once for special duty. Having 
reported, I received instructions to select eighteen picked 
men, well mounted. I went to camp and called for vol- 
unteers for detached special duty, at the same time telling 
the men and nature and great hazard of the duty they 
were called upon to perform. Over 140 came forward 
and volunteered. As only eighteen men were needed 
we had to resort to drawing straws to decide who should 

This being settled, I reported to General Morgan, 
ready for duty. He simply instructed me to report to 
General Bragg's headquarters without delay and handed 
me a sealed order not to be broken by me until we had 
passed our outpost pickets. We reached General Bragg's 
headquarters. I handed him the orders from General 
Morgan and asked for instructions. 

After reading these orders General Bragg regarded 
me for some minutes with a hesitating, searching glance, 


and then asked: "Are you Lieutenant Berry?" My an- 
swer was, ''Yes, sir, I am a first lieutenant in Morgan's 
command." "You seem quite young to command an ex- 
pedition like the one in hand." He then informed me of 
the nature and importance of the errand on which he 
was sending me, and told me frankly that I and all of 
these young soldiers with me in all probability would 
fall by the enemy's bullets, or, perhaps, be made pris- 
orners of war, or be shot or hanged as spies, if found 
with the orders on our persons. 

I believed then that General Bragg was trying to 
get in his bluff on me. 

These orders were to proceed by the most direct 
route to Johnstown on the Tennessee river and deliver 
the dispatches to the commanding officer. Our small 
body was to be sacrificed to save this division. The 
country we had to traverse to reach this place was prin- 
cipally occupied by General Rosecrans' army, with his 
scouts, pickets and men moving in every direction. I 
could not hope to escape or avoid them all; I surely 
would meet some of them on my journey. I was di- 
rected to deliver the orders with the least possible de- 
lay and to spare neither men nor horses, but to get there 
as rapidly as possible. If I should lose a man or a 
horse I was to leave them to their fate; only to be sure 
that the dispatches were carried forward. 

I proceeded on my errand of death. All turned out 
well the first eighteen hours. Then our trouble began. 
The enemy were on all the roads, public and private, 
in by-paths and fields. I tried to avoid them, and did so 
on several occasions. On the morning of the second day 
they finally became informed of our presence. When 
this fact became patent to us, we were compelled to 
take desperate chances. We traveled through the thick- 


ets and woods. When this could not be done we took 
the roads. 

It was understood that if the man who bore the 
dispatches should be killed, the nearest soldier was to 
take them and carry them until he met his fate, and 
so on, and if captured, he must chew them up and swal- 
low the pieces. They must not fall into the hands of 
the enemy. 

On this day we met and charged forty-five men in 
a narrow lane, killed the captain and eight men and 
scattered the others, taking some of their fresh horses. 
We lost five of our eighteen men in this charge, leaving 
me thirteen men. We reached Johnstown late in the 
night of this day, and delivered the dispatches. 

We now rested our horses for two days and started 
on the return to our command. We met no enemy until 
after crossing the railroad between Tullahoma and Duck- 
er station where we encountered a scouting party of the 
enemy's cavalry, one hundred strong. Having only 
thirteen men I made a run for it, and fought them off 
for some miles until our ammunition was exhausted. 

We were compelled to take to the woods for pro- 
tection. I had three men wounded and four killed and 
received two wounds myself, one serious, as were the 
injuries to my wounded men. I had my horse killed 
under me. I took to the woods on foot, guided during 
the night by the stars and the moss on the trees. I was 
very tired, having traveled all night. My companions 
disappeared during the night and I never heard of them 
again. Early the next morning I was surrounded and 
captured by the enemy and was taken to Tullahoma. 
Having a blue overcoat over my gray suit, I was taken 
before General Rosecrans and questioned as to how I 
came by this coat. I told him I had captured it from 




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a soldier, as we had to fight our way through their lines 
both coming and going. We had killed several and 
wounded a number, of which he had been informed. He 
ordered me into confinement. I was notified late that 
evening that I was to be tried by military court martial 
early in the morning. 

I was brought before this tribunal at 9 o'clock a. 
m. and placed on trial for my life on a charge of being 
a spy inside the Federal lines. I had no chance to prove 
the contrary. The charge, according to their evidence, 
was proven. They informed me that I would be ex- 
ecuted at 5 :30 o'clock that afternoon. I felt that my 
time had surely come and that General Bragg had 
spoken truly as to the probable fate of us all. But 
somehow I did not despair. I would wait and keep my 
eyes and ears wide open. 

They gave me a good dinner, and treated me kindly, 
but placed a double guard over me. I watched Ihe 
slowly passing hours which seemed ages to me. Toward 
evening, about 3 o'clock, I noticed a very black threaten- 
ing cloud to the southwest of the camp. It seemed to 
gather rapidly and to increase in volume as it approached 
the camp, which was in the low bottom land of Duck 
river. Along its banks for three or four miles j^ome 
of these lands were low and flat, and subject to overflow. 
I watched with intense interest the approach of this 
black cloud, as I felt that perhaps it might be the last 
one I shculd ever see. It might, too, be made the means 
of my escape. I could now see it was rapidly approach- 
ing, black and angry looking, and not very far away. 

It was now 4:30 in the afternoon. One more hour 
to live, I thought. While watching the cloud T saw 
a young staff officer from headquarters approaching. 
His beautiful Kentucky thoroughbred horse wa.-^ pranc- 


ing under its rider. What would I not g:ivo to be upon 
his back. I turned my attention wholly to him. How 
handsome he was, I thought, and his horse, how p^race- 
fully he did step. How full of life, strenc^th and cour- 
age. Oh, if I could only capture him and ride him away 
to liberty, and my friends how happy I should be ! These 
were my thoughts as he came up. The animal was in- 
deed a beautiful specimen. The officer came to my guard 
tent and told me that I would be hung at 5 :30 that att- 

While he was reading the sentence of the court there 
came, from the angry, black cloud large drops of rain. 

Then came vivid, blinding flashes of forked lightning 
and sheets of lightning played over our heads. The black 
clouds drew^ nearer. The rain and thunder roared nearer, 
lightning played round the camp. The very heavens 
seemed to open and torrents of rain fell ; the spirited 
charger became restless and frightened. He broke loose 
from his rider who had been giving final instructions to 
the officer of the guard as to my execution. I saw all 
that was transpiring. I saw the beautiful horse loose, 
turning and running to protect its eyes from the rain 
and the vivid lightning. Now black as midnight; now 
bright as morn, was the day. Here was liberty in this 
rain and darkness ! On this horse they could not hit me. 
I would prefer to be shot like a soldier than to be hung 
like a dog. If they did hit me, it was but a soldier's 
death. I shall not die nor be hung like a dog. Go, you 
fool ; this is the hand of God and his message. Go, and 
be a free man ! These thoughts chased each other through 
my excited brain. 

I acted upon this impulse with exceeding prompt- 
ness. I jumped from the tent, seized the horse's mane, 
and was in the saddle and off like a shot from a cannon. 



The rain by this time was falling in sweltering 
sheets, mingled constantly with the ever increasing 
flashes of lightning and deafening thunder. 

I turned the horse's head toward the river, reached 
its brink, plunged into its waters and guided my horse 
down stream. When I reached the other bank, I turned 
my eyes back upon the camp in the bottom of the swollen 

I shall never forget the sight that met my gaze. 
There was not a tent left standing. Thousands of men 
were struggling in the water. Hundreds of horses were 
belly deep. Tents were blown away and many soldiers 
were wadins: about in the water. 

Prudence admonished me to be away. The cloud 
burst had passed on to the northeast, leaving in its 
wake destruction. The sun came out bright and beauti- 
ful — it looked to me like a new sum shining above a 
new earth. This was eight times I had escaped. I must 
get away at once. I took to the woods and brush, under 
whose friendly cover I made my way by circuitous route 
back to Bragg's headquarters at Chattanooga, as the 
Confederates had retreated to this place. 

I rode all night and all the next day, stopping but 
twice to feed my horse. I had been abou": twcive cfays 
away from my command. I had lived an age in this 
time. I was received by General Bragg cordially, but 
with evident surprise which was pictured on his rugged 
face. It had been reported to him that I had been killed 
with all the men under me. He congratulated me on my 
safe return, and recommended me for promotion, which 
I received in due time. I was truly glad to return with 
my hide intact. These men had been sacrificed to save 
a division. These comrades were as true and as fine 
a body of soldiers as ever drew a blade or fought tor a 
noble cause. Peace be with their ashes and memory. 


On my return from my desperate escape from an 
ignominous death at Tullahoma. I joined my command 
encamped at Turkey Neck Bend on the Cumberland 
river. The first brigade was crossing at this point, the 
second brigade at Burkesville. The river was very high 
and swift, rendering the passage difficult and dangerous. 
General Judah's brigade of Federal cavalry was only 
eight miles distant at Marrowbone. His scouts had been 
seen at Burkesville on the day before. Late in the even- 
ing of July 2nd the force moved up to attack us. He 
was too late, as most of our command had crossed the 
river. We attacked his force vigorously on two roads, 
and forced him to retreat. General Morgan took five 
companies of Gano's regiment and charged the enemy, 
driving them in confusion, back upon his base at Marrow- 
bone, where we encountered his artillery, and four regi- 
ments of infantry. We were thus enabled to finish 
crossing unmolested. In this melee we had two killed, 
while quite a number of officers received severe wounds 
and had to be sent back, among them being Captains 
Tom Quirk, Mitchell and Cassee. 

On the morning of the 3rd of July, the divisioa 
pushed on to Columbia, Kentucky, with scouts well for- 
ward, and on the flanks of our column. In the evening 
we came upon the enemy near this place. The skirmish- 
ino: was brisk for a short time. Four companies were 
sent forward to charge the enemy, who were infantry 
and a finely drilled body of men. They formed a hollow 
square in an open pasture to receive the charge. Out 
artillery poured grape and canister into their ranks just 
before our charging column reached them. Our head- 
long, swinging impact was more than they could stand. 
They were broken and their ranks thinned by the close 
range volleys of the charging squadrons. They were 


captured here and paroled. Their cavalry fled pell-mell 
through the town and some fought us from the houses. 
The enemy's losses were severe for the time they were 
engaged; thirty-nine killed and twenty-one wounded. 
Our losses, seven wounded and four killed. 

We camped ten miles from Columbia, moving at 
early dawn of the morning of the 4th. We encountered 
a regiment at Green River bridge, where the road from 
Columbia crosses the Lebanon and Campbell roads. Our 
scouts reported that during the entire night they heard 
the crashing of falling trees, and the sound of axes. We 
were destined to learn what this meant. The advance 
received a salute as it came near the bridge. The enemy 
had been cutting down trees and forming abattis work 
across our path and from which they greeted us 
with volleys. Upon a demand for a surrender from Gen- 
eral Morgan, Colonel Moore, the Federal officer in com- 
mand, returned for his answer that it was a bad day for 
a surrender, it being the 4th of July, a national holiday. 
His position was the strongest natural one we had en- 
countered during the war He had fortified it with skill. 
The abattis work, ditches, and banks of earth, and the 
sharpened ends, limbs and branches of trees had made 
this natural fortification impregnable. All who are fa- 
miliar with a position of this kind will agree that a small 
force could hold it against vast odds approaching from 
either direction. 

Green River here makes a wide bend for half a mile 
and returns so that it forms a narrow peninsula at this 
point, not more than one hundred yards wide. The 
bridge is located here. Colonel Moore had constructed 
three forts besides the earth and abattis work across 
the road. In front of the skirt of woods was an open glade 
about two hundred yards in extent. South of this clear 


ground ran a ravine with steep and rugged descent ren- 
dering access to it very difficult except by this road. 
The road did not pass directly through this cleared space, 
but to the left of it. On all sides were thick woods, 
and on the east and west sides the river banks were 
steep and impassible precipices. At the extremity of 
the open ground, and facing and commanding the road, 
were rifle pits, about one hundred yards long; also, the 
stockade from which the enemy poured a destructive 
and concentrated fire as our men rushed across this open 
space into the woods beyond. The sharpened limbs or 
branches wounded many while pressing over the rifle 
pits and up to the stockade. 

Colonel Duke led his men on the left and Colonel 
Chenault on the right, both assaulting columns. Colonel 
Chenault was killed, ten feet from the stockade, his men 
falling fast around him. They were forced to retreat and 
reform. Still another and another fruitless charge was 
made. The loss was more than human endurance could 
stand, to carry this stronghold. Therefore, it must be 
abandoned. Our losses were thirty-six killed and fifty- 
four wounded, all in less than half an hour's fighting 
so close and deadly had been the fire. The enemy lost 
nine killed and thirty wounded. There were among our 
killed some dashing officers and soldiers who were great- 
ly missed; among them being Major Brent, Captain 
Treble, Captain Cowan, Lieutenants Halloway and Fer- 
guson and several others whom I have forgotten. Col- 
onel Moore was as human, as he was brave. He ren- 
dered our surgeons every facility and assistance in car- 
ing for our wounded. 

Passing around this position and crossing two miles 
below, we resumed our march toward Lebanon, Ken- 
tucky. We camped 5 miles from here, where Colonel Han- 


son's Federal regiment, the Twentieth Kentucky, was 
camped. We drove in his pickets from the roads, and 
sent scouts to confuse the enemy at different points, 
such as Jimtown, Harrodsburg and Springfield. Early 
in the morning of the 5th of July we moved upon Le- 
banon, reaching it about 5 o'clock. A short, sharp 
picket fight, a forward rush ; surrender was demanded 
and as quickly refused. The line being formed, an as- 
sault was made from four directions upon this position. 
The fighting was brisk and furious for four hours. The 
artillery was pushed close to the depot into which the en- 
emy had been driven from the streets and houses. An 
extensive breach was soon made in the brick walls of 
this shelter, and bricks and mortar were knocked about 
the enemy's ears in lively fashion, from first one side and 
then the other. The artillery slackened its fire, and while 
this was being done an assaulting column was be- 
ing formed. The latter rushed for the breaches in the 
walls, and toward the two ends of the depot, to take it 
by storm. When we entered the building the enemy 
hoisted a white flag in tokea of surrender. 

The battle being over Colonel Hanson drew out his 
regiment in line, showing six hundred and forty men. 
These surrendered their arms and a large quantity of 
stores and fixed ammunition fell into our hands as tro- 
phies in this battle. There were many stands of Sharpe's 
and Springfield rifles. Our losses were quite severe, as 
many acts of daring heroism were performed. Captain 
Franks led a party to set fire to the doors of the depot, 
carrying bundles of dry wood and hay, placing the fire 
in a storm of bullets. He was seriously wounded which 
made the fourth officer in three days who occupied the 
position of commander of the advance guard. These 
were all members of the old squadron, from which the 


advance was formed. The heaviest losses of the battles 
were amono^ these old veterans. The gallant and la- 
mented Ferguson performed a most gallant deed on that 
day. A messmate lay wounded in the broiling sim, ex- 
posed to a galling fire. Tom Logwood was begging 
water. Ferguson went to him through this leaden storm 
and carried him on his back amid the cheers of both 
friends and foes. 

Poor Walter Ferguson was one of the bravest of 
the brave of the old veteran squadron. He was soon 
afterwards captured near Lexington, Kentucky, placed 
in prison, and was taken from there and hanged by Gen- 
eral Burbridge's order without a trial. 

There were many casualties in this fight at Lebanon, 
and Lieutenant Tom Morgan was kiUed in an assault 
upon the depot, falling into the arms of his brother, Cal 
Morgan. Our loss was twelve kiPed and thirty-six 
wounded. All our wounded who could be moved were 
placed in army ambulances and taken with the command. 
We took Colonel Hanson and our prisoners to Spring- 
field and paroled them, which occupied several hours. 
I was detailed with my company to help in this service. 
We did not more than get through with this duty be- 
fore General John Judah, Federal, came up and took 
an active interest in us, saluting us with a broadside of 
shrapnel and grape shot. We came very near being 
made prisoners ourselves and but for the darkness would 
have been captured. We now pushed on our w^ay to 
rejoin our command. 

While moving slowly along the pike, some time af- 
ter midnight we were suddenly halted near Beach Fork 
stream by the challenge, ''Who goes there?" "Friends 
with the countersign." ''Advance one man and give the 
sign." One man passed forward and was received into 


the Yankee ranks, and was hustled to the rear. The 
Yankees rose up all around us, greeting us, *'Men do you 
surrender?" I being in advance answer, "Yes," know- 
ing full well that we were now in the hands of our enemy, 
as their language betrayed them. I had granted thirty- 
seven of my men leave of absence until next day noon 
and had only about 16 or 17 men with me at the time. 
We were taken in charge, disarmed and our horses' heads 
turned back to Springfield. We were in a big bunch of 

Soon my brain was in a whirl of thought to devise 
some scheme of escape. I was in the hands of the com- 
mander, a Major Thornton, of the Michigan cavalry. We 
soon fell into a pleasant and spirited conversation. I 
finally told him in bantering manner that I did not like 
his company one bit and intended at the very first oppor- 
tunity to leave him, to make my escape soon as possible. 
He came close to me and said earnestly : "Johnny Reb, I 
do not want to be compelled to kill you ; which I will 
certainly do if you try to make your escape." I told him 
I was a soldier, his enemy, that it was my duty to get 
away from him at the first opportunity, and that I should 
certainly try if even half a chance was presented. 

Riding thus, and talking all the while, day light ap- 
peared in the east. I said, "Major, I am very thirsty for 
a drink of water." He replied, "There is no water to 
be had now." I then told him of a splendid cool spring 
about one mile ahead on the side of the pike, where we 
could water the horses, and get a good drink for our- 
'selves. He made no reply ; we finally reached the spring 
and pool ; I said "Here is the place." Our horses started 
over to where the water was bubbling from the hill-side. 

By this time objects were visible at a distance. 
We dismounted and drank from the same spring. We 


Stood up about the same time ; the command was busy 
drinkint^-. I spoke to a soldier ; he replied that it was 
almost day and asked how far it was to Springfield. I 
told him it was about six miles. At this moment a Yankee 
soldier rode up, and asked for the officer in charge. He 
handed the Major a note*; now was my time. I was 
standing about four feet from this officer. I secretly 
punched my mare in the flanks. She kicked a clear space 
around her ; he was reading the note by a lighted match, 
which blinded him somewhat. I suddenly mounted my 
horse and raised my broad-brimmed hat with an ostrich 
feather on it, both covered with heavy dust. The Major 
looked up ; I slapped him in the face and eyes with my 
hat, and said, ''Good-bye, Major, I am gone." Planting 
my spurs deeply into the side of my mare, I was off like 
a shot out of a gun. I cleared a space to the pike. The 
ranks were in sudden confusion and before they could dis- 
entangle themselves I was out of reach moving like the 
wind to gain my liberty again. I learned afterwards, that 
the Major said he thought I was only joking. 



Crossing the Ohio — In Indiana — Capture of the command at 
Buffington — 'I escape en route to Cincinnati — Back in Ken- 
tucky — I am pressed into the Federal service — Placed in 
command of the advance guard — Back among friends — Se- 
curing fresh mounts — Again to the South. 

Morgan now moved to invade Indiana's sacred soil. 
He was the first Confederate to invade this state. 

We rested on the banks of the Ohio for thirty-six 
hours, in the meantime crossing some troops under the 
fire of four small cannon. Becoming tired of this annoy- 
ance, Morgan ordered two twelve pound Parrott guns on 
the high hill above the town to silence these and to com- 
mand the river above and below the town. 

Along in the afternoon we saw steaming down the 
river a curious looking craft. Captain Towsier conclud- 
ed to interview them as to their destination. He there- 
fore sent two solid shots on this polite errand. One 
these went half a mile beyond the second and the last 
struck the cabin and knocked it into the river. The 
captain became very much disgusted and would not in- 
sist on any further interview and withdrew very prompt- 
ly from that vicinity. 

We moved on toward Corridon, Indiana. Here we 
were welcomed with many evidences of affectionate re- 
gard ; at least it was a vigorous demonstration. They 


fired many small arms and a number of cannon shots 
here. After a short, sharp skirmish we captured about 
two hundred home guards and charg^ed over some rifle 
pits. A few hundred of these featherbed soldiers fled 
at the first fire. We were detained here about forty- 
five minutes. Moving forward, our scouts had frequent 
collisions with militia. 

We camped near a small place called Posey; passed 
on through Hampton, and Sharpsburg, meeting many 
companies mustering to stop us. We passed ourselves 
for regulars and then affiliated with them. At a given 
signal we would level our guns in their faces and de- 
mand a surrender, taking their arms and breaking them. 
We did this often. 

We had stirred up a hornet's nest; there were thirty 
thousand men on the march to head us off. We were 
constantly under fire. As we approached the towns and 
villages the people fled in terror, leaving homes open, 
with hot bread, biscuits and steaming hot coffee. 

The command was now marching by parallel roads 
to a central point. Meeting here these would fix another 
common center, again take parallel roads. Different de- 
tachments would take the advance, which met and cap- 
tured many militia. 

We were crossing a river at three fords and the ar- 
tillery was being ferried over in boats, when about a half 
mile from the river we heard firing ahead of us. The 
scouts had reached the river, made a raft, placed their 
clothing and guns on this craft and, perfectly nude, 
were now swimming the river. When about two-thirds 
over they were fired upon by some Yankee scouts. These 
had not seen our artillery, who had reached the north 
and west bank of the stream. Our boys made for the 
shore, caught up their guns and drove the Yankees off, 


and our artillery opened on them also. I am sure this 
was the most unique and unusual battle that occurred 
during the Civil War. Four of our boys were wounded 
in this battle, which was near Burksville on the Cumber- 
land river. 

Our advance and a small detachment of the scouts 
encountered a Yankee force near Marbone, which was 
near our line of march. Captain Quirk charged them 
and chased them for three miles, coming upon General 
Hutchison's brigade, drawn up in line ol battle across 
the road. Here they were checked by a heavy volley 
and grape shot from a masked battery. Captain Quirk 
received a serious wound. Our soldiers fell back upon 
the main body of our troops. 

Sometimes we would travel forty-five and even fifty 
miles daily, stopping only long enough to feed our horses. 
We had guides and would travel far into the small hours 
of the night. Most of the boys would sleep on their 
horses for hours at a time. The reason for this was that 
Morgan traveled faster than the news could reach the 
outside world, thus baffling the enemy, who could not and 
did not know where to meet or find him at any certain 
time. These different detachments also tended to be- 
wilder them and kept them confused during this hard 
campaign. The Federal authorities heard of us at one 
place, then in a few hours at another place fifty miles 
from this. The only rest we had during this continuous 
ride was at Georgetown, Ohio, and Versailles, Ohio, and 
a short rest at Hamilton, Ohio. We traveled on an av- 
erage daily fifty-one miles by night travel; when we left 
Hamilton, Ohio, we made a continuous ride of ninety- 
one miles without stopping. We this night rode around 
Cincinnati, and reached the Ohio river a few miles above 


this city, following the course of this river to Buffington 
Island, which we reached on the evening of July 18th. 

I had now been continuously almost day and night 
for five weeks in the saddle. It seemed an ag^e to me. I ■ 
had escaped an ignominious death in a most miraculous 
way ; surely I had no reason to complain at my fate. I 
was in comparatively good health. True, my last wound 
still troubled me at times, but this could not be helped. 

We went into camp near a ford just above Buffing- 
ton, and could have crossed. That evening or night we 
found a small fort here garrisoned with ninety men. 
We quickly surrounded it and went to General Morgan 
and informed him of the situation. We sent in a flag 
of iruce, saw the captain and induced him to surrender 
without any bloodshed ; thus we held the key to the 
crossing. We camped in a beautiful valley covered with 
shocks of wheat. 

But, alas for human hopes, we lingered too long 
here. The men had ridden a long, weary distance. There 
was liberty over there, less than half a mile away, just 
across the water. But Morgan said, "These men are 
tired to-night ; it is dark, we can cross early in the morn- 
ing." When morning came a thick, heavy, wet fog cov- 
ered the bottoms nearly to the tree tops, on the high 
hills. This fog lasted to 10 o'clock. The ford cannot be 
found. Oh, the fatal delay! 

We sent some of our scouts back upon the hills. 
The Yankees were thick as fleas and on the move, too. 
Our columns were put in motion to forestall our ene- 
mies. I got my company in line and examined the cart- 
ridge boxes, and found only five rounds to the man. 
Other officers found the same conditions, only some of 
the men in other companies had only three rounds to the 

O Si 
'J ^ 

< - 

X ^ 

y s 

O M 


man. This was reported, but no matter, we got in mo- 

The foo;- heg-an to lift. Some of our troopers, stoop- 
in^^ close to the ground, saw, not twenty feet away, the 
blue line. General Duke leading, halted, cried, "Kneel ! 
Fire ! Charge !" The thin gray line moved forwarcl 
with a wild rebel yell, firing as they advanced, driving 
the heavy mass of the enemy before them while the 
ammunition lasted. In the meantime Morgan with 
about 1800 men moved up to the ford and about five 
hundred of them crossed in safety. General Morgan 
now retreated up to the river with about twelve hundred 
men. We had exhausted our ammunition. The con- 
stant jolting up and down had worn the wrappers of 
paper off the balls, and thereby rendered it useless. 
Thus ended one of the most remarkable campaigns in 
ancient or modern history. 

We were now facing an army of some forty thou- 
sand men, regulars, seasoned soldiers and state militia, 
without any means of defense. The only solution soon 
came in the shape of surrender of General Duke's small 
brio-ade. This being over we were now all marshaled 
back up the river to the head of the island, and the 
arms that had carried us through so many brilliant and 
bloody scenes taken from us. 

I had already made my preparations for this. I had 
found a fine suit of citizen's clothing, and had kept them 
rolled up in a tight roll to keep the dirt from them. I 
asked permission to take a bath at night. Taking this 
roll of clothing ^vith me I- bathed nicely and dressed 
mvself in these, placing my soiled clothes on over these. 
The dunrd could not see me, to know what I was doing. 
Wc returned to camp and next day we were placed on 
br»ard two transports for Cincinnati, arriving there on 


July 21st, 1863. I)urin<^ the trip down to the city at 
night I had a shave and a haircut. My hair had grown 
long, hanging low on my shoulders. This I had clipped 
close to my head, and my whiskers were also long and 
matted with dust and grime. These were shaved off, 
le'^ving only a moustache and goatee. I now stripped 
off my dirty soldier uniform and dropped it from the 
splashboard of the wheel house of the moving boat and 
waited for my opportunity, which I knew would come 
soon. I sent for my dear old father and told him of my 
hopes and plans for a speedy escape and asked him to 
go with me. He looked at me in amazement and dis- 
couraged the attempt, telling me that he thought it a 
very desperate thing to try. I handed him fifty dollars 
and told him I was going or die in the effort ; if we do 
not risk something we shall never gain anything. 

The time had now come. I made my way to the 
forward deck where some citizens had already come 
aboard. I stepped up to a young lieutenant In charge 
of the guards and said to him, "Can I give this five dol- 
lar bill to that young soldier standing there?" He 
turned to me in a very impatient manner, looking me in 
the face, then said in a very positive, imperative tone, 
"No, you cannot. Leave here. Leave this boat at 
once. Guard, make all these citizens g-et off this boat, 

get into the yawl and leave d quick. Guard, clear 

these decks and keep them clear of citizens." 

He pushed me towards and into the small boat him- 
self. I said to him, "I did not wish or intend to break 
your rules. I asked you first, sir. Please excuse me." 
Leaving the boat I jumped down into the yawl and 
pushing it away was rowed swiftly to shore. 

I did not linger. Tumping on shore I sprang up 
the wharf. 1 hunted my old time, standby friend, Seth 


Thomas, and told him my wishes, handing him a roll oi 
bills. He scolded me some, but went and brought what 
I needed — two pairs of heavy dragoon pistols, one hun- 
dred rounds of ammunition, a pair of riding boots, a 
long duster, a hat and some socks. I changed my suit 
quickly and was off again. 

I returned to the river and saw my comrades leav- 
ing the boats, passing on into the city. How I did 
wish my father was with me. I passed on down and 
boarded a boat for the Kentucky shore. My heart beat 
fast and my brain was in a whirl as I bought a ticket for 
Lexington. I heard many persons speak of Morgan and 
his men. 

I did not stop at Cynthiana this time. My little 
darling had passed to the great beyond where there is 
no sorrow,^ no fighting, no sin or suffering. Passing on 
to Lexington I met an old friend who told me all the 
particulars of the death of my dear sister; also that 
Brother Sam — one-arm Berry — was recruiting in the 
state. I started that very night to find him. I did not 
find Captain Berry at the place designated. I then re- 
turned to Lexington. I was stepping into a carriage 
when I was tapped on the shoulder by a lieutenant who 
said, **We want you." 

"For what?" 

"To repel an attack on the city by the rebels, who 
are now advancing from Richmond ; they are now nearly 
here. We are pressing every man that we can find into 
the service." 

I hesitated, deliberating whether to kill him or go 
with him. I scrutinized his face for a few seconds, and 
concluded to go with him. I was sure that he did not 
know me, but I knew him instantly, for he was none 

j)j>s I'^oriJ vi:aks wi'i'ii mokcan and kokkkst 

other than IJciiU'iiant Hale, formerly of General Buell's 
staff, the identical officer I had met in Tullahoma, Tenn., 
on June 19th, when 1 was about to be hang^ed as a spy. 
I was inside the Federal lines and if this turned out to be 
a capture it would be three times within six weercs, 
hence my close scrutiny of this young officer's face. 
Having determined to keep my eyes open I followed 
with several others that he had gathered up. He had a 
guard with him and marched us into the city to the 
headquarters of General Steve Burbridge. 

All was excitement, confusion and rumors. Hun- 
dreds of citizens were forced into the ranks in two days. 
Colonel Scott had captured Richmond, made a feint upon 
Lexington and was now moving towards Winchester. 
A reliable "grape-vine' telegram said that Colonel Sco.t 
was to make a demonstration in favor of General Mor- 
gan, toward Cincinnati. The next day "\^e were all 
mounted and placed in a regiment of Indiana cavalry, 
Colonel Crawford's, and started in hot pursuit of Scott's 
command. When I found that I was again in their toils, 
I began at once to devise some plan to take French leave. 
I could not think of any way to take advantage of the 
situation. I now had a line chance to improve my for- 
tunes. I was mounted on a good horse and carried a new 
Springfield rifle. T had kept my two pairs of Colt's pis- 
tols hid under my duster. 

I soon became convinced that these Hoosiers did 
not care to catch up with this fighting, doughty old war- 
horse. The general in command, D. H. Johnson, had 
already learned his mettle on former occasions, and to 
his entire satisfaction. We had followed Scott five days, 
always half a day's march behind him. W^e advanced 
on to Winchester. When near this place there were 
calls for volunteers for the advance. I was the first to 


volunteer, and was placed in command of sixteen men. 
Having organized them, 1 received instructions to keep 
the general posted on conditions at the front, every mile 
^r two. We resumed our march for Winchester. Every 
mile or two I sent a courier back to the colonel as to the 
status of affairs. 

On reaching the vicinity of Winchester I saw 
Colonel vScott's advance coming from the south. I halt- 
ed the men and took six men and rode forw^ard. The 
recruits seemed to be very uneasy. I quieted them by 
telling them that these were Federal soldiers. I rode 
into the ranks of vScott's advance and asked for Colonel 
Scott. He came shortly and recognized me instantly. 
I told him of my experience and of Morgan's capture, 
and especially of my recent experience with the Yankees. 
He laughed heartily at this and commended my service. 

I now told the six men w^ho I w^as, that I w'as gofng 
with this command south, and they could go or stay 
with us or go back, as they chose. There w^ere five of 
these joined us here, one only returned home. Colonel 
Scott now^ sent a detachment out to meet the advance 
of my late companions, and gave them a chase for sev- 
eral miles. I now told Scott of the capture of General 
Morgan's command, except four or five hundred men. 

I was now again once more among my friends. We 
moved southward towards Pound Gap, in the Cumber- 
land Mountains, and had a short skirmish with a small 
cavalry force at or near Estell Springs. I was the first 
soldier who carried south news of General Morgan's 
capture. I left Colonel Scott's command at or near Pound 
Gap. I met some of my old company and they had been 
detached and sent to Tamsey, on special duty. I was 
indeed glad to meet these old comrades. 

We now made our way over the mountains to Spar- 

).;() I'oiK vi:ai:s wrni MoudW and i'okrkst 

la, 'J'cnn. For live clays we traversed this wild region. 
When near this place we learned through friends that 
there was a large force of Yankee cavalry near this 
place; had come last night. 1'here were ten of us. We 
concluded to have some fun with these people. We were 
all familiar with this entire country. Our friend took us 
to a hill overlooking the whole country. This was about 
ten o'clock, and on reaching this position we saw General 
Long, the commander, and his staff riding into the barn- 
yard to feed their horses. All went to the house nearby 
and sat down to a nice dinner, prepared for them. 

This was our opportunity. Wliile they were en- 
joying a good dinner we could remount ourselves on fresh 
horses. There wxre seven superb Kentucky thorough- 
bred horses in that stable. It would be a lasting dis- 
grace on all Morgan horse thieves, as we were called, 
to let this chance slip by and not get them. Quickly 
placing the barn between us and the house, two of the 
boys reached the high fence and laying it down quickly 
we entered the barn, placed the bits in the horses' 
mouths, mounted them and slipped through the gap in 
the fence. All now through we moved rapidly away 
without being discovered. The boys laid up tiie rails 
again. We left our tired horses in the w^oods. I got 
the general's horse and rubber blanket lined with a fine 

We all now pushed southward ; leaving the roads 
and travelling only by-paths, we rode far into the night 
by country roads. W^e met a native and pressed him 
to pilot us. We stopped and fed our horses about 3 
o'clock and after resting about one and a half hours we 
moved away rapidly towards the Tennessee river, about 
twenty miles south. We kept a vigilant outlook now 
for we were in the hot nest of Union men, or bush- 


whackers. This was in the neighborhood of London 
bridge. We had traveled hard ahiiost continuously since 
capturing these fine horses, and had fed them but once. 
About five o'clock in the evening w^e found some fodder 
and corn hid in a cove in this mountain gorge ; here we 
rested and fed and rubbed down our tired steeds, then 
moved once again towards the river. About dark we 
met some of our cavalry going to Knoxville ; wq were 
now safe within our lines and soon we went into camp. 
The next morning, July 29, 1863, we entered Knox- 
ville, Tenn., and met Mrs. Morgan, the general's wife, 
and told her of his capture. She was very much dis- 
tressed ; we tried to console her all we could. We re- 
mained here some three weeks in camp, doing nothing 
but loafing and eating hard tack with worms in it and 
sowbelly, and it was sour at that. Finally Colonel Scott 
was ordered west to Dalton Georgia, and from there to 
Missionarv Ridge, near the Tennessee line. 


Missionary Ridge — Ringold's Gap — Remains of Morgan's division 
assigned to Forrest — Cavalry fight at Ringold's Gap — F'or- 
rest pleased — We refuse to be dismounted. 

At tliis time tlie two armies were again concentrat- 
ing". The Federal army was at Chattanooga at the 
foot of Lookout Mountain, some near Rossville, south 
of this. General Rosecrans was crossing' the Tennessee 
River and making his base at this place. Every one was 
now expecting an early battle. The armies were mov- 
ing to a common center. General Longstreet's corps 
from the A'^irginia army was now arriving as a reinforce- 
ment for Bragg's army, in fact General Forrest had sev- 
eral skirmishes with the enemy, one near Rossville gap. 
It was known that the enemy were nearing Missionary 
Ridge in force. .The Confederates w^ere advancing also. 
They finally came to a clash about the last day of Aug- 
ust and fought the bloody battle of Missionary Ridge. 
General Polk's corps did the principal fighting here. 

Our forces retired for a short distance and Patrick 
Clebourne's division formed here at Ringold's ga]) in 
ambush. This ga]) is a narrow pass in the steep hill- 
sides. He massed his troops so that they had an en- 
Hiadini; tire from the ciirliii^ hills, concentrating their 
fire upon this central ])(>sition. 'i'he Federals advanced 


and when the head of their columns were almost through 
this gap we opened upon them with deadly effect. One 
whole brigade and a part of another was almost de- 
stroyed in this gap, so much so that the passage on and 
along the sides of the road was blocked. Many were 
killed and wounded and the rear of this column was 
forced to retreat. This terrible concentrated fire of Cle- 
bourne's completely checked the enemy's advance at this 
point. I have never witnessed such terrible havoc in so 
short space of time. It was late in the dusk of evening, 
but the fiery, continuous flash of infantry and artillery 
fire lighted up the horrible scene of blighting destruc- 
tion. The cries and moans of the wounded, the fierce 
yells and shouts, the orders of the officers of both armies 
and the din of this daring, gallant struggle were simply 
awful. The ground, the very hills, shook under the feet. 

Night put a stop to the carnage. The Confederates 
held this gap and camped near the scene, moving off 
next morning unmolested. 

The two armies were now shifting positions daily. 
Our cavalry w^as watching the flanks, during the inter- 
val between this and the coming conflict, destined to be 
fought at Chickamauga, one of the most, if not the 
most bloody battles of the Civil War, if not of tx*ic world. 

At this time about five or six hundred of our com- 
mand of those who crossed the river at Buffington 
Island, and while Duke was fighting at this place, and 
also about two hundred men who w^ere wounded and 
left in our convalescent camp came into our camp. They 
were under the command of Major Fitzpatrick and were 
at this time ordered to report for duty to the redoubtable 
General Bedford Forrest, the magnificent and uncon- 
querable, the brilliant, now unmatched soldier of the 
western army. 

2;y\ I'M Hi; vi-;Aiis WITH moimjan and foukest 

General Longstrcet's corps had now arrived. Gen- 
eral Wheeler's and General Forrest's cavalry were al- 
most in daily combat with the enemy's outpost, show- 
ing plainly that a general engagement was imminent 
at any time. 

The remnant of General Morgan's division, with 
the sick and wounded who had been left behind and some 
prisoners who had been exchanged, were collected at 
Cjaines\ille, Ga. These were under Lieutenant Colonel 
Kilpatrick and in effective force nine hundred and twen- 
ty strong. They received orders to report to General 
Forrest at Warrenton. Reaching this place Forrest or- 
dered us to Dalton. On the evening of September 17th 
General Forrest rode into our camp with his bodyguard. 
We were drawn up in line and inspected by him. He 
complimented us, but said that he had some hard work 
for us ; that the enemy were on the move and we must 
help drive them back, as they were then massing in 
front of us, and in a few days he should then try the 
mettle of this small band of Morgan's men. "We shall 
move to the front in the morning," he declared, "and I 
want you near me." 

On the morning of September 18th, while one hun- 
dred and ten of us were scouting we encountered a regi- 
ment of Pennsylvania cavalry, near Ringold Gap. For- 
rest was leading us. The enemy had no advance guard, 
but were moving slowly. Our videttes discovered them 
and fell back, unseen, to our main column. General For- 
rest placed fifty men in ambush, and instructed the of- 
ficer in charge not to fire until he had heard three guns 
in front of him. At this signal they opened upon them 
rapidly. He now sent me forward to meet and attack 
them with ten men, slowly falling back. We charged 
them so suddenly that we created considerable confusion. 


Forming quickly they rushed at us with yells. We fell 
back through the ambushment. Forrest now assailed 
them at close range and fired almost in their faces. They 
followed us through the ambushment, shooting at us al- 
most in our ranks. Forrest rode forward, leading the hity 
men ; drawing his sword, which flashed in the sunlight, 
.with a clear, ringing command charged into the advanc- 
ing enemy's ranks, cutting the leader's head open at one 
powerful stroke. This first victim was a captain. They 
recoiled under the impetus of this charge. We pressed 
the fight. The first grapple was short, fierce and deadly. 
We killed twenty-one of them. They fell back slowly 
at first, but the onslaught was so fierce and persistent 
that soon they fell back rapidly. Receiving a number 
of deadly volleys from the ambush, they retreated pell- 
mell, almost frantically. General Forrest cutting down a 
number in their rear. The pistol practice went on. At 
Ringold Gap they tried to rally. Our dismounted men 
had now gained their horses. We resumed the charge. 
The enemy gave way and fled. We drove them across 
Chickamauga creek, four miles from where we met them. 
We captured eighty-five prisoners on the run, killed 
sixty-four and wounded forty-nine. Our loss was four 
killed and eleven wounded. 

While returning we met Forrest's old regiment com- 
ing to see what had become of us. Recrosjing the bridge, 
we went into camp two miles from Gordon's Mill, with 
his whole command. 

On our return one of the general staff asked For- 
rest how he liked and what he thought of the remnant 
of Morgan's old command. Forrest was noted for his 
sparse praise of troops, but we all considered his reply 
a high compliment. He simply said, "Any man could 
make a reputation as a fighting general with such men 

2^(, I'oru vi-:Aiis wnii .moiuiax and korrest 

at liis back. If this is a sample of their methods, I am 
satisfied with tlicm. With such men I could drive the 
Yankees out of this country." We all felt assured that 
we had a friend in General Forrest. Reaching our 
camps we found our army advancing. Our outpost pick- 
ets were placed along the Chickamauga creek, which is 
very tortuous and crooked, and is spanned by a number 
of bridges. 

General Forrest received orders to dismount all the 
remnant of General Morgan's command and turn their 
horses over to the artillery and send the men to the in- 
fantry, after the battle. General Forrest sent for all 
the field officers of Morgan's old soldiers and read the 
orders to them. He asked the question, "What are you 
going to do? Are you willing to go to the infantry?" 

All were silent ; all seemed unwilling to be the first 
to speak. Forrest said, "Gentlemen, what are your in- 
tentions? Answer for yourselves; this order can not 
reduce your commissioned officers to the ranks. What 
is your pleasure?" 

All were still silent. I now spoke for myself. 

"General, I will say that I will not be dismounted. 
I have never drawn a dollar as pay from the Confederate 
government, nor has our government ever been at a 
cent's cost for equipment, rations, horses or clothing 
for these men. These men in my company, these private 
soldiers, have not really been sworn into the service. 
W^e are not willing to permit this indignity. I have 
furnished, first and last, one hundred and eight revolvers 
for equipment out of my own pocket, also the ammuni- 
tion. All our horses are our own private property. I 
earnestly protest on niv own 1:»ehalf and of this remnant 
• if my old comrades and \eterans, some forty-six in num- 
ber. As for these gentlemen ])resent, they can speak for 


themselves; but if these old veterans are to be dismount- 
ed and deprived of their private property and without 
their consent, I shall tender my resignation now. I did 
enlist for the war, but my commission entitles me to this 
privilege of resigning. As my comrades cannot do this, 
I shall remain with them. I have done." 

I noticed that the general watched me closely, his 
gray eyes piercing me through. It w^as the unanimous 
opinion that the officers, thirty-one in number, should 
sign a remonstrance against this vandalism, not to say 
robbery, by the commanding general. General Forrest 
himself said that these orders were an outrage, and that 
he would refuse to carry them out when the proper 
time came ; that he would resign his position first, and 
seek to obtain an independent command from the sec- 
retary of war. I asked him if I might call the men and 
inform them of the matter. After conferring with each 
other, it was thought best that we should not tell them 
of this order until after the coming battle. I insisted 
and did tell my comrades that evening that General For- 
rest promised to do what he could to help us in this 



About nine a. m. Gen. Forrest received orders to 
advance iov an attack at early dawn. He had under 
him thirty-nine hundred men, encamped some two miles 
from the bridge, which was near Gordon's Mill. About 
one a. m. our out post pickets were driven in and re- 
ported that the enemy was advancing in strong force 
along our front; our a(lvance-])ase picket lines and 
skirmishers were strengthened. We were very tired 
and lay down to take a short nap, if possible. About 
three o'clock a. m. our camp was aroused by heavy 
firing all along our front. The command was hurried 
into line quickly, the pickets and skirmishers slowly 
falling back ; in a short time our infantry came up. 
We heard the dead limbs and brush crackling under 
their advance in our immediate rear. All was still 
as death, sa\e but a few picket shots at long intcr^■als. 
Both armies were waiting for the dawn to commence 
this bloody battle. General Longstreet had come from 
Virginia to reinforce Bragg's army with his magni- 
ficent corps of nine tliousand men. 

Some of our immediate comrades were asleep, 
resting on their arms. I fell asleep myself, be- 
ing very tired from the battle of the day be- 
fore. I was awakened by the terrific explosion of a 


shell behind our lines, the first ^un fired in this blood- 
iest of the many bloody battles of the war. It was al- 
most day ; I had slept almost an hour and a half, but 
it seemed to me five minutes. It was five o'clock. 
I heard a rattling, crackling sound in our immediate 
front, a silence, then a roll of heavy and prolonged 
musketry fire. "Forward March," the stern command 
which puts the whole army in motion. Skirmishers 
were thrown forward in increasing numbers ; they were 
met by fitful, irregular showers of whizzing bullets. Our 
advance was slow, but steady and continuous. We pass- 
ed through cultivated fields of corn and cotton, and 
through thick, tangled undergrowth of the woods, which 
necessitated a halt to adjust the lines. 

General Buckner arrived from Knoxville with his 
corps, leaving Knoxville to uncertain mercies of a brutal 
soldiery. Major General Wheeler had the immediate 
charge of the left wing of the cavalry arm ; General 
Forrest the right wing. General John C. Breckenridge 
was close behind Forrest and Buckner close up be- 
hind General Wheeler, followed by General Pope, Gen- 
eral Hardee, General Cleburne and General Cheatham, 
General Wallthal and General John Helm, in columns or 
brigades as a reserve at close supporting distance. Gen- 
eral Bragg went into battle with 62,700 effectives. Gen- 
eral Rosecrans' force consisted of 98,698 effectives. 

At early dawn these two hostile forces were in 
motion, both seeking the offensive, moving across a 
level but thickly wrioded area, and in many places open 
plantations, along the devious and sluggish Chickamauga 
Creek. As the advance quickened the shrill notes of the 
various bugles acted as a stimulus to the cheering reb- 
els. As the .mists of early morning, which at first 
mingled thickly with the smoke of battle and obscured 


the scene in our front, cleared away, the great orb 
of day peeped above the horizon, blood red, and seem- 
ed to stand still, as if in protest and horror at the bloody 
drama to be enacted on the Chickaniauga, the river of 

General Forrest all aglow seemed transformed as he 
rode along the lines, grim, fixed. He was now entering 
the fray, his eyes all ablaze with the prize of battle. We 
reached a wide opening. With a sweep of his field-glass 
he surveyed the scene in front. There was the enemy 
in serried battle array, the rifles blew white smoke m 
fitful puffs from each regimental line as the men dis- 
charged their yolleys. There were at least ten thous- 
and blue coats in sight. At their rear was the Chick- 

Our advance was checked, and thirty-six pieces of 
artillery brought u]). A storm of shot and shell, shrap- 
nel and canister, intermixed with grape shot was now 
rained upon the massed forces directly before us, near 
Gordon's Mill, which was riddled with bullets. The 
enemy took shelter under the banks of the river. The 
entire valley was hidden under a thick veil of drifting 
smoke. During this cannonading, General Forrest had not 
been idle. He sent an aide to inform General Breckenridge 
that as soon as firing ceased he could charge the position 
with his entire cavalry force. Having collected the ad- 
vance and skirmishers he formed his lines ready for 
the dash. The enemy was falling back rapidly across 
the stream. 

At the head of his command General Breckenridgc 
swept across the open field at a headlong charge. Form- 
ing hollow squares, the enemy met us, a short, deadly 
grapple; a hand to hand combat with bayonets and 
swords, we soon thinned their two squares which were 


broken. We captured six hundred prisoners in this 
contest at a severe loss. Many saddles returned with- 
out riders. Neither side could use artillery as this 
would endanger friends and foes alike. 

While retreating, the enemy recrossed the river 
which was deep, marshy and very boggy, with dangerous 
quick-sand in its bed. The weight of a man's body 
would sink him out of sight in a few minutes. 

Turning our prisoners over to the field guards, 
General Forrest sent for his six regiments and two bat- 
talions, massing them in the edge of the w^oods. He 
held a short conference with General Breckenridge. Our 
battery opened again, playing upon the two bridges 
which crossed the stream, one above and one below 
the mill. The battle was now raging all along our 
front. About three-quarters of a mile to the north of 
our position was another crossing of large logs which 
barely showed above the surface of the water. To this 
point General Breckenridge sent a brigade under Gen- 
eral Helm, to attack the flank and rear of the enemy, 
who were engaged in our front ; when he should hear 
the signal of three guns in our immediate front, he 
was to attack the position which was the key or salient 
point of both armies ; if General Rosecrans was driven 
from this position his line of retreat from Chickamauga 
would be in danger, as also the water supply for his 
army which of itself was very important to fighting, 
struggling soldiers. Our lines were adjusted, the as- 
saulting column massed and the leading officers assigned 
to their places. General Forrest chafing under his re- 
pulse, rode in front of our line and in a short speech 
told us this position must be taken by direct assault 
and by the hardest fighting; that we must cross that 
bridge at all hazards ; that we must cross that bridge 

242 I'^orii vi:aks wri'ii mokcan and i'okimost 

like a U'lnpcst, a tornado or a wliirlvvind. He called 
for volunteers for this hazardous but glorious work. 

1 was the first of the five hundred and seventy 
volunteers to ride into the front ; General Forrest sur- 
veyed this gallant little force critically for a few minutes. 
He rode up and saluted us with his sword and said, 
"Captain you are the first to volunteer and being an 
officer, 1 assign you the first post of honor. You shall 
lead these men across that bridge ; I shall be close be- 
hind your heels. Once across, deploy right and left, at- 
tacking anything and everything in your front." 

The enemy had now massed fifty pieces of artillery, 
commanding approaches to these two bridges, the 
infantry in the lower bottoms was lying flat on the 
ground. This was our old friend, General Crittenden's 
corps ; massed four lines deep. As instructed we formed 
the advance columns of four by right of companies. At 
them we went, in a furious headlong charge. Our col- 
umn was close to the bridge when the enemy's guns 
opened upon us; there were three planks removed from 
the bridge on the other side, but our horses cleared this 
at a bound, each company deploying right and left as 
they passed the bridge. On rushed the charging squad- 
rons. A rain of iron and lead, mingled with flame and 
garnished with a wall of steel, met us on this plain. 

Fragments of shell and grape with canister in a 
withering storm smote our advance ; the cheering shouts, 
the stern commands of officers, the clashing of steel 
swords and the butts of muskets, the long continued 
roll of musketry, the hoarse savage roar of half a hun- 
dred field artillery all added to the horrid din. We 
fought in eddying circles of hand to hand combats 
and fierce grapples in widening areas. The infantry 
coming up, charged bayonets. General Helm attacked 


the flank and rear, the Confederates had also gained a 
footing at the lower bridge and were now in a death 
grapple. Our lines constantly gained ground. The 
earth was covered with dead and wounded. Wider and 
wider the battle extended, the two armies sending for- 
W'-ard re-enforcements one after another. The wild and 
exulting rebel yells broke forth all along the lines, an- 
nouncing the success of. our attack. We gained some 
important successes also on the wing, pressing back the 
enemy's lines. Our artillery under Colonel Rice Graves 
caught the enemy in the flank with terrible effect. 

The Confederates forced the fighting along the en- 
tire line, the enemy contesting every inch of the ground, 
retiring only after a fierce, tenacious battle. Many on 
both sides were killed or wounded with bayonets as the 
bridges were crossed. The Confederates rushed forward, 
crushing everything before them. The wildly neighing 
horses, wild and frightened, were running in every direct- 
ion ; the whistling, seething, crackling bullets, the pierc- 
ing, screaming fragments of shells, the whirring sound 
of shrapnel and the savage showier of canister, mingled 
with the fierce answering yells of defiance, all united in 
one horrid sound. The ghastly, mangled dead and hor- 
ribly wounded strewed the earth for over half a mile up 
and down the river banks. The dead were piled upon each 
other in ricks, like cord wood, to make passage for ad- 
vancing columns. The sluggish stream of Chickamauga 
ran red with human blood. It was in fact, the "river 
of blood." I had been in sixty battles and skirmishes 
up to this time, but nothing like this had I ever seen. 
Men fought like demons, as if determined to conquer or 
die. It was late in the evening as dusk began to gather 
and the sun was sinking upon one of the bloodiest fields 
of historv, that the enenr\' commenced slowlv to with- 

244 KOrii YKAKS WITH mo kg an ANM) FORREST 

draw. Many of the brigades were under enfilading fire, 
as the two wini;s of the army had been forced back upon 
each other. In the last charge upon the retiring foe, 
Colonel Kicc (iraves was hit by a twelve pound shell 
which cut him in twain and killed his magnificient 
charger. He was leading his splendid battery to an ad- 
vanced position to answer a furious cannonade from the 
enemy's battery covering their retreat. The grand, the 
magnificient career of this born soldier, ended licre. 
His death was a very serious loss to the entire army. 
His voice w\ns of such a quality and force that it coul'l 1)e 
distinctly heard above the roar of infantry roll, and the 
fierce bellow of the artillery. His voice was stilled for- 
ever, but he was only one of the many brilliant soldiers 
tliat Kentucky offered upon the altar of their country on 
this bloody field as a sacrifice to the Confederacy. The 
^hndows of nioht brought with them a cessation of the 
linf^-ering, fitful and spiteful roll of musketry. 

Of the 570 I led in the charge across the bridge 
v362 were killed or wounded, about two-thirds of the 
whole number. I suffered from a gut wound and a 
wound in my left leg, which was crushed below the 
knee joint. T received these wounds about an hour and 
a half after crossing the bridge. The gut w^ound was 
received while on my horse, and the wound in the left 
leg while on the ground. Two horses were killed from 
under me. Our losses were very heavy, but those of 
the enemy greater. The losses of the enemy in the first 
day's battle, on the 19th of September was 8278 wounded, 
2279 killed, with 1500 prisoners. 

On September 20th the battle was renewed at early 
dawn ; although my hurts were serious I was very in- 
terested. We could easily guess how the struggle was 
going; the constantly receding ebb of battle told us that 


the enemy was being driven farther and farther from 
the stricken field of the first day's battle ; the roll of the 
musketry could be distinctly heard and the sonorous rebel 
yell, mdicating continued success. About noon the Con- 
federates gained a notable victory in the capture of 
Missionary Ridge, with seven thousand prisoners, and 
a .field battery of tw^ent3'-four Parrot guns. General 
John C. Brecken ridge's division made three separate 
charges before capturing this ridge as it was fortified witV; 
numerous rifle pits and redoubts. Near this position 
General Helm was killed, while gallantly leading his 
men. The Confederates also broke the center of the 
enemy's line. 

The earth seemed to tremble from the tremendous 
vibrations and shocks of battle. The continous and in- 
creasing volume of musketry and artillery fire told of 
the titanic struggle, fierce and bloody. Hoarse grew the 
roll of receding musketry above which could be heard 
the exulting rebel yells of victory. At a distance this 
yell had in it some quality that made it terrible — when 
mingled with the storm and din of battle, its intensity, 
its savage, exulting, ringing tones cannot be described. 

After the capture of this position and Snodgrass 
Hill, the enem\^ receiving fresh troops under General 
Thomas, concentrated and stormed the position to pre- 
serve its line of retreat. General Thomas held this 
|/Osition with bulldog courage and grit. While General 
Rosecrans w^as conducting a disorderly retreat of the 
broken and beaten fragments of his army to Chattanooga, 
General Forrest charged the straggling masses a number 
of times, capturing some four thousand of them. He 
asked General Bragg for 8000 men to press the enemy 
before the hitler could rally his routed army, but General 
Bragg, with his usual imbecilit}^ of methods and slow, 


hcsitaliiii; action, let slip tliis greatest upportunity. His 
whole army, with few exceptions, despised and hated 
him, and iusth' su, as on more than one occasion he 
had soldiers shot without usual formality of trial, for 
ihe most trivial offenses. A soldier with a chicken in 
his possession that during" the fierce battle had flown 
far into the woods at least a mile away from any house, 
met General Brac;-.<( and staff and body £>uard. The .^-en- 
eral ordered this youn^- recruit shot, then and there. 
This soldier was a recruit, not familiar with the regu- 
lations of army life or of its sterner duties. He was 
from Kentucky, and this was doubtless enough for Bragg 
to know. Bragg's unpopularity became so marked and 
universal in his own army that he was removed. Shortly 
after this battle his incapacity for supreme command 
became evident. He was superseded by General Joseph 
E. Johnston. Bragg had absolutely thrown away three 
battles, the last chance of the struggling Confederacy, 
namely : Perryville, Murfreesboro and Chickamauga. 
His campaign in Kentucky was an absolute failure, 
and his glaring inexcusable delay and his failure to fol- 
low up the grand victory that his soldiers had gained on 
the 19th and "20th of September emphasized his incap- 
acity in a most decisive manner. 

The refusal of Bragg to permit Forrest, with his 
cavalry and 15,000 infantry to follow the retreating Fed- 
eral army to Chattanooga, made Forrest furiously angry 
and caused him to denouce Bragg to his face. 

Bragg ordered Forrest under arrest. Forrest refused 
t3 be arrested. A bitter personal quarrel followed and 
I'orrest half drew his sword from its scabbard and doubt- 
less would have cut Bragg down but for the interference 
(^f staff officers. Gen. Forrest now offered his resignation 
and vowed and swore he would not serve under Bragg 


any longer. General Bragg had sometime before this 
ordered Forrest to report to General Wheeler for duty 
or orders. Forrest refused to do so. General Wheeler, 
when he was assigned to the supreme command of all the 
cavalry was but twenty-four years old and very few of 
our cavalry men or commanders had heard of him. He 
proved to be a gallant soldier. General Forrest called it 
cowardice to refuse to follow up this splendid victory. 
Jle felt that Perryville, Murfreesboro and this third vic- 
tory in less than one year were practically thrown away 
by this tyrant. 

Forrest's valuable service, little short of brilliant, 
could not be spared. All the brigade division and corps 
comanders went to him and implored him not to leave 
the service. President Davis was present at headquar- 
ters. He granted Forrest an independent command, free 
from interference, after a futile effort to patch up mat- 
ters. Forrest, now free, collected some eight hundred 
men. From this nucleus he soon formed a fine body of 
young men from many quarters. Everywhere and every- 
time he met the enemy he defeated him. 

He rose supreme to every situation ; everywhere he 
astonished friends and foe alike. 

The fighting was over, and an order was received for 
the remnant of Morgan's old command to be dismounted 
and sent to the infantry. This General Forrest absolute- 
ly refused to carry out over the protest of both officers 
and men, and the order came very near causing a mutiny. 
The remnant of our command was given its choice to join 
General Forrest, or stay with General Wheeler's com- 
mand. Most of our boys went with General Forrest, for 
it was at this time thought proper to reorganize the army. 
An order was issued that the soldiers should be reorgan- 
ized, placing the men from different states in companies, 


rej^imcnts and hrii^adcs, thus liaxiii;^ tliem with their 
own state's trooi:)s. It was thought that this was an un- 
wise and also an unnecessary proceedine;-, causmg much 
dissatisfaction and confusion. 


Wounded and unconscious on the field — Aroused by a robber — 
Help comes — Left to die — Forrest and my father come and 
save me — Abandoned by the hospital surgeons — My father 
saves my life — I operate on my own wounded bOAvel — Grati- 
tude for my nurse — Convalescent— "Aren't you my papa?" — 
In love with my nurse — Back to the service. 

When the roar of Chickamau^f^a had rumbled into 
silence, I realized that my dream of being twice wounded 
had become a painful reality, and that my actual wounds 
were much like those that I had seen in vision of slum- 

I led this charge (on the bridge) and reached the op- 
posite side and reformed the small remnant left of the 
advance that started on this dash, some seventy re- 
maining out of li\'e hundred and forty. At this supreme 
moment, I received a wound in my left side, at the 
same place the pain had struck me in my dream. I 
reeled in my saddle, but steadied myself and, leading 
my men, dashed into the ranks of the enemy; not think- 
ing that I was much hurt. I now received another 
wound, this in my left leg below the knee, just as I 
had felt it in my sleep. My horse was also killed at 
this same time. 

With my shattered leg, I tried to rise but could not. 
My wound in my side was also serious. I fell among 
the manv of these dear, gallant S(^ldier boys. If T died 
it would be a soldit'i's death in a sacrt'd i-aiise. The cx- 
cessi\'e h>ss of l)l<»()d caused nic to lose ruiisciousness. 


1 heard the roll of nuiskctrv and tlic thunders of artil- 
lery gradually receding;- further and further away in my 
vSemi-C(»nsciousness, and then it seemed to eome near 
again. 1 then lost consciousness again. The fjucstions 
in my mind were "Is this death?" "Will my father 
know?" The tliirst. oh the thirst! It was awful. A 
drink of cool water, oh for a drink of water! 

I lasped into a cold stupor, in which I lay I don't 
know liow long. T was aroused by a terril)ly excruciating, 
twisting pain. I had on a new pair of cavalry boots. I was 
being rol)l)ed of my effects. A ghoul, a robber of the 
battle field dead, was abroad. He had already taken 
my watch and money and my right lK)ot, and was now 
trying to pull off my remaining boot, tugging at the 
one on my wounded leg. The pain had brought me to 
my senses. I had always carried two double-barrel der- 
ringer pistols in my hip pockets. I reached behind me 
slowly, drew one of these pistols and took deliberate 
aim at the robber's head, and fired. He fell back as if 
dead, and then recoiled in horror, feeling that a corpse 
had come to life. 

I had fired too higli, and mereh' grazed his scalp 
to the bone, ploughing a furow through his hair. It 
brought me help however as an ambulance corps was 
attracted by the shot and came directly to me, and took 
charge of the miscreant. They found his pockets loaded 
with plunder of the battle field including my watch and 
about 25 others ; his pockets full of rings stolen from the 
dead. He was ])laced under guard. 


T was examined by the ambulance corps and left 
for dead. They frankly told me that I could not live 
an hour, and there was no use to waste any time on me. 
My horse had fallen on me and pinned me to ihc ground, 
but S(jme of the infant rv had pulled him off nn' l)0(ly. 


They dressed my wounds, placed me in the shade, 
gave me a canteen of water and passed on to other 
wounded soldiers. I heard the awful moans of the 
wounded and dying, especially the anguished cries of a 
South Carolina, who was calling for water. 1 
crawled to him and gave the last of the water in my 
canteen. He emptied the canteen without taking it from 
his lips, and bowed his thanks to me. 1 now began to 
think how^ I w^as to obtain more w^ater. I could not 
walk. I thought for some time, I tried to crawl but 
could not ; I began to roll over and over. 

I finally reached the river Chickamauga. I had hurt 
both my wounds, my leg and my side were very painful. 
I began to fill my canteen. Looking at the water, 
closely, I saw that it was half blood, or nearly so. I stop- 
ped. After all, I might be mistaken. No this was sure- 
ly blood, but I must ha\e it or I would die of thirst. 
I started on my return. It was very hard work, and 
took a long- time; mv head was bursting; with pain. 
I reached my young friend, who was whispering, ''water." 
I handed him the canteen, he drank half the contents, 
and revived shortly. I drank some, and my side seemed 
to begin to bleed. I lost consciousness. 

The ambulance corps came again. I was so still 
they thought me dead, turned me over and then back 
again. I was too weak to move or speak, even to open 
my eyes. They left me, believing me dead. I was con- 
scious of everything. I lay for some hours in a stupor. 
The distant sound of a stray picket shot at intervals told 
me it was night. If I could but see my dear old sol- 
dier father again before T died ! Finally, the cold, bright 
beams of the nearly half full moon shone upon the 
scene. A distant dog howled a sad requiem for the 
dead and dying. I was, oh, so cold, and cliill. I spoke 


to the South Carolina soldier, and asked him if he could 
possibly do so, to send word to General Forrest or any 
of the Kentucky officers. 

Hark ! I hear the approach of horsemen. I hear 
General Forrest asking- some questions. He dismounts 
and kneels beside mc, feels my heart beats, feeble enough. 
He now stands over me, and they gently raise me on 
the ambulance litter, and place it in the ambulance and 
drive it to the hospital. The surgeons examine my 
wounds and shake their heads, and go away to wait on 
the living. My father comes, examines my wound in 
the side and takes his silk handkerchief and with a 
ramrod from a gun gently ]:)ushes the handkerchief in- 
to the wound, lets the handkerchief remain and with- 
draws the rod. This stopped the flow of blood and 
thereby saved my life, for I was surely bleeding to death. 
I was given some soup and soon fell into a refreshing- 

I was very hungry the next morning-. T was given 
soup and soon rallied. After five or six days, was feel- 
ing very much better. My youn.g South Carolina friend 
had told where I could be found, and they came for mc 
on the sixth day. bringing the robber for identification. 
He was hanged like a dog, a just fate. My comrade told 
me of the second day's fighting; it was a continuous for- 
ward movement on the part of the Confederates, driving 
the enemy from one position to another and finally break- 
ing through the center of their army, near the foot of 
Snodgrass Hill, thus driving their army like a wedge, 
turning their right wing, crushing it and driving it belter 
skelter from the field. 

^ly soldier friend Lieutenant Higdon, and I were 
placed in a hospital at Spartansburg. 

It was found that both w^ounds were very serious, 



as both bones in my le.i;' had been crushed, producing 
a compound fracture, and all the surgeons said it would 
have to be amputated. It was finally decided to do this 
after the rush was over. They sent my comrade to tell 
me this important news. I replied that it should not be 
done. I would not submit to it. I would rather die. I 
had already fixed for this emergency. When the doctors 
came they began to make preparations for their w^ork, 
and stepped forward now. I had my hand on my pistol 
under my pillow. They threw the blanket off and started 
to place me on a table. At this I protested and told them 
to go away from me or I would shoot, at the same time 
drawing the double-barrel derringer pistol. I held it 
cocked in his face and told him pointedly to leave me or I 
would shoot him. They tried in vain to convince me 
if it were not done, I would die sure. I said, "Then let 
me die ; I wall not submit to it." ]\Iy comrade said, ''Gen- 
tlemen, you had better leave or he will shoot some of 
you. He has two pistols and has always carried them for 
this very purpose." They left very much disgusted with 
me. The next day the old father of Lieutenant Higdon 
came for me in the old family carriage and the young- 
soldier insisted on having me go home with him. I was 
taken along, it was a long weary ride, and required 
seven and a half days to make the trip. The wound in 
my side was very painful and I asked to be taken to 
the hospital, as the bullet was still in my body and I 
wanted it removed, if possil)le, soon as it could be done. 
I w^as conscious that if it was not removed T would die. 
as I was losing strength every day. 

^It w^as now a month since I had been wounded. 
The surgeon in charge told me the bullet could not be 
taken out and that he would not attempt it. 

I had been in the practice four years with my pre- 

J34 I'nru vkaks with moiujan and forrest 

ceptor, who was a Inie suri^eoii. I had assisted the sur- 
geons often when crowded with work. From day to day 
I called my case to the notice of the sur.^^eon. He still 
flatly refused to do the work for me. I now made up my 
mind to do it myself, with the assistance of a young- wid- 
ow nurse, who was in the hospital. She had lost her 
husband in the first battle of Bull Run and thereupon 
had become a nurse for wounded and sick soldiers. 1 
told her of my plans and told her, too, that I was dying 
by inches every day. I asked her if she would bring me 
the necessary instruments, while the surgeon was gone 
to his dinner. She said "Yes, and I will help you, too." 
I told her to get some hot water, a basin of cold water, 
a pitcher of cold water, some carbolic acid, two pairs of 
scissors, one curved pair, a sharp knife, a blunt, curved 
hook. She had all these ready when the doctor started 
to dinner. I asked her to bring me a bullet, a minnie 
ball. I got very busy at once. The nurse also brought 
me six surgeon's needles threaded with cat-gut sutures. 
I placed the bullet between my teeth to bite on while do- 
ing this work, for I knew it would hurt badly. 

I took up the Idunt, curved hook and slowly intro- 
duced it into the wound by a slight rotary, oscillating 
movement from side to side. I rested a short time, for it 
was very painful. 1 pressed it further in until I felt that 
I had e:otten the hook over the bowel. I slowly drew 
the bowel toward the opening, which had sloughed con- 
siderably, and left a large hole in my side. The cut in 
the bowel could be plainly seen. I now placeo a roll of 
bandages in the loop of the bowel between it and my 
side, to keep the bowel from slipping back into the 
cavity. Then I took the curved scissors, snipped off the 
sloughing, ragged edges to freshen them. I was gritting 
my teeth upon the bullet. Cold perspiration was pour- 


ing off my face and body. I must not and could not 
stop now. 

There was a horrid fascination about it. I was suf- 
fering torture. I held my breath. The widow handed 
me the curved, threaded needles ; I dreaded these more 
than the cutting, but with a renewed determination, I 
placed six stitches in my bowel ; I then tightened these 
alternately, so as to have the fresh edges fit closely with- 
out puckering. Having drawn all up tightly, I took 
sponges and moistened them in hot water and bathed the 
bowel, removing all the blood clots. I took a large syr- 
inge and washed out the cavity thoroughly. After cleans- 
ing the gut wound I placed eight stitches in the outside 

The operation was finished. The cold perspiration 
was standing in great beads upon my face and body. I 
was frozen almost to death. The work finished, I looked 
up into the face of this heroic, beautiful woman. Both 
of us fell in a dead faint across the cot. The doctor 
stood in the doorway and saw this last scene. He came 
forward, swearing like a madman, picked up the beauti- 
ful widow and carried her to her own room. Uncon- 
scious, I lay oblivious to passing events. 

I learned, after my return to life, that the doctor 
said: 'Xet the fool die, if he will''; he was also heard 
to say some very tender and endearing words while 
trending over this dear young widow. 

After a while the surgeon came to my cot and said 
in a very gruff tone, '*You have played hell, haven't 
you. I hope you are satisfied." I replied, "Doctor, I 
am not entirely satisfied, but will be as soon as I am well 
and strong enough to slap your jaws for your insults. 
I would do so now if I were able, you vulgar puppy." 

Abr.nt supper time, rlie nurse came and l)rought me 


siii)j)cr. v^lie looked very beautiful to me. She had 
saved my life and I — well, I was very grateful. 

I was healthy and vi^^orous at the time I received 
these wounds, and my recovery w^as uninterrupted. I 
am sure that mine was one of the few^ recoverres trom 
such a bowel wound. Most ]:)aticnts would have .^iven up 
without an effort, and died. At this i)eriod surgeons 
regarded wounds of the bowels as necessarily fatal. 
When T was wounded, I had not drawn any rations, 
n(^r eaten anything, save some parched corn, for five 
davs. T feel certain that if I had been well fed my 
wound would have killed me. 

I received the most diligent and kind attention. On 
the 15th of November, following, I began to hobble 
about on crutches. My leg was also healing rapidly. 
Mv friend, Captain Fulton, took me out riding. The 
w^arm sunshine, fresh air and exercise w^ere very bene- 
ficial to both of us. I was, from this time on, a wel- 
come guest in any home in this fine little settlement. 

But the sad gloom of the terrible, blighting w^ar 
was plainly visible in this and all other Southern towns 
and cities. The women of the South made as many 
sacrifices and endured almost the same amount of hard- 
ships as did the soldiers in the fields. They were con- 
stantly Inisy making caps, shirts, pants, coats, knitting 
socks, scraping lint, rolling bandages, and doing all the 
very necessary things for their absent husbands and 
sons in the field. Many families had wounded relatives 
and friends to nurse from one month's end to anothef. 
They learned to do these things, as there was no other 
way to obtain supplies for the army. 

There were no young men in town, all were in the 
service. There were some xerv old men. T met many 
N'oun!,^ widows wh(^se husbands had l)ecn killed. Dark, 


indeed, was the past, and still darker was the future 
for these hard-worked ladies. 

I was frequently asked to entertain these sewing 
parties with some of the thrilling experiences of the 
cavalry service under Morgan, and especially those of 
my last campaign in Ohio. I was rapidly growing 
stronger, the wound in my side was nearly healed. I 
could bear my weight on my game leg, whose strength 
I tested many times a day. My recovery was con- 
sidered almost a miracle, 

I was frequently teased by the ladies about the 
sad faced, little widow, who helped me in this operation, 
and she about me, which she evidently did not like. I 
had formed at this time a deep interest in her little 
daughter, Effie. She was so sweet and sensible, bright 
and innocent, that her prattle and lady-like manners 
gradually stole my heart. She was my constant com- 

I had now begun to take horseback rides every day 
on her mother's saddle mare, a fine gaited animal. I 
took my little chum with me. She enjoyed these rides 
very much. 

One evening I was invited to supper with the wid- 
ow's aunt, and I found a number of the ladies of the 
town present. Supper over, all retired to the porch and 
parlor. My little chum came up to me and said, "Aren't 
you my papa?" in a voice bewitchingly sweet and loud 
enough to be heard all over the parlor. 

Heavens. I thouerht I should choke! I could not 
speak. All eyes were upon me — even the widow was look- 
ing into my eyes. My face flushed hot. My eyes met 
hers. I was, to say the least, uncomfortable and em- 
barrassed. The ladies enjoyed my evident confusion. I 
picked up my litle chum and tormentor and kissed her 


repeatedly, at the same time looking at her mother. 
All the ladies lauj^hed and railed at us both. She was 
as much embarrassed as myself. To tell the truth, I 
loved not only the child, but, unconsciously, up to this 
moment, the mother as well. I was uncertain as to this 
matter until now, but this little prattler had awakened 
the conscious thought and emotion, a very strange one 
to me. The poor, affectionate, little creature craved a 
father's love ; her manner, and earnest, pleading tones, 
stirred me, and all these prying eyes harried me to the 
limit. She was three years and six months old, very 
precocious and bright, and could ask questions that 
would baffle old heads to answer. 

So here was more trouble for me. I had never 
thought for a moment that this young, beautiful, cul- 
tured woman, who was very rich, could ever think ol 
me as anything but an unfortunate soldier. I was per- 
plexed with myself. I must stay and suffer the tor- 
ments of uncertainty. After three or four days, I was 
alone with this gentle, cultured, sweet woman, who had 
nursed me so tenderly and constantly for nearly two 
months. She seemed to be under some unusual re- 
straint. Finally, turning her magnificent eyes upon me, 
she said, "Captain, you seem to have been in a sad 
mood for these last few days. Is there anything that 
troubles you?" 

I told her that I was seriously involved in a matter 
that I did not know how to manage or dispose of; that 
I was hopelessly at a loss what to do under the cir- 
cumstances and must ask her advice. Going close up to 
her, I said: 

"My dear, I am desperately and devotedly in love 
with you. I have been a most tortured creature since 
the scene in your aunt's house. I first loved your dear, 


little girl ; she stole my heart from me and then gave it 
to you. I did not know at that time that I loved you. 
Since that hour I have loved you more than myself. 
Can you give me at least one hope for an answering 
sentiment? I am but a soldier of fortune. May I, can 
I, hope to win your love, or even your patient kindness? 
This is a great surprise to me. Your patient kindness 
and the sweet, trusting, innocent child have led me 
to this." She replied, "You are a soldier, and almost 
a stranger to me, but I must confess that I have had 
and still have, a more than unusual interest in you, 
in your fortitude and the brave struggle, the remark- 
able recovery from your desperate wound. All have 
claimed my attention and interest. You have endured 
enough to excite the interest of any one. If I were cer- 
tain that you would not be taken as the other was 
taken, I could answer with more definiteness." Laying 
her hand upon my arm, tears streaming from her beauti- 
ful eyes, she exclaimed: 

"Oh, this terrible, cruel war is breaking our 

I shall never forget her sad, woeful tones. She 
was indeed a very sensible, practicable, bright woman. 

"I could love you," she said finally, "but I dare 

She presented me with a copy of "Lalla Rookh," 
which I have kept ever since. We understood each 
other fully and spent some very happy days. I never 
can forget her tear-stained cheeks. I wrote to her fre- 
quently and received letters from this lovely, beautiful 

I now felt well enough to report for duty. I had 
been wounded, and away from my comrades for three 


I told my nurse that I thought of leaving in a 
few days for Richmond, to see my brother in the Vir- 
ginia army and to spend the Christmas with him, as the 
latter was only a few days off. She invited me to re* 
main and spend the holidays at her home. She told me 
she had severed her connection with the hospital that 
very morning, and was going to her home to rest 
awhile; that Doctor Ashford, the surgeon, had become 
so cross and disagreeable that she did not care to be near 

I then remarked, "If you leave, I shall go away 
at once, as I have come to the conclusion that the doctor 
does not like me for some reason, since our surgical 
operation together. He has been almost insulting at 

The doctor came out and said, "Captain, I under- 
stand you are thinking of leaving us soon." 

"Yes," I replied ; "today. Please arrange my papers 
at once. I have come for them." 

"You certainly are not in earnest about this, are 

"Doctor, do you think I am joking? Please make 
out my papers in due form, at once. I shall thank you. 
I shall call for them in one hour." 

I arose and started for the porch. I turned and 
said, "Mrs. Thornton, will you walk with me as far 
as Colonel Higdon's?" 

So moving on towards his house, she said, "Cap- 
tain, you have not told me that you would accept my 
invitation to remain and spend the Christmas at my 
house ; we should be glad to have you remain with us." 
All the while the sweet chatterbox was talking and 
prattling as we went. I now said, "Yes, with much 
pleasure, and I thank you, too." 


She was a kinswoman of Captain Sheldon to whose 
home she went. He told us that he was ready to return 
to his command. He belonged to General Longstreet^s 
corps. He left us the next day for the front. I never 
saw him again. 

I spent the holidays with these patriotic, hospitable 
people. This gracious and beautiful and cultured woman 
presented me with a beautiful saddle and a thorough- 
bred mare, with a fine bridle. 

I remained until New Year's day, and then took my 
departure for Virginia to visit my brother, William W. 
Berry, who was serving under Stonewall Jackson in the 
Eighth Georgia regiment. I spent a week with him, 
and met all the noted officers of the grand Virginia 
army, particularly those matchless men and soldiers. 
General Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, the two 
Hills, Ashby, Stewart and the incomparable Pelham of 
Alabama, who was considered the finest artilleryman in 
the army. I also saw Jubal Early, Fitzhugh Lee and 
Jeb Stewart. I went to Richmond and received my 
commission as captain of cavalry. I left for Kentucky 
on special duty, with the recruiting service, reaching the 
station January 24, 1864, where I met my brother. Cap- 
tain Samuel O. Berry. 


Assigned to staff duty — Winchester — Again wounded, captured 
and sent to Rock Island — I escape — Returning to the south — 
Outrages by Burbridge — Recruiting — Fight near Bardstown 
Junction — Meeting Forrest — Forrest's victorious campaign — 
Fort Pillow — Brice's cross-roads — I am stabbed in the throat 
but kill my assailants — The battle — Personal characteristics 
of Forrest^ — ^A furlough and a visit to my brother. 

I determined to cast my fortunes with the daring 
and dashing Forrest. He had endeared himself to our 
comrades in the old squadron by his determined stand 
against the order dismounting us, thus preventing its 
execution. Free from the orders of General Bragg, un- 
der whom he had sworn he would not serve another 
day, and in charge of an independent command, which 
he organized into two regiments, his success from this 
hour was brilliant and phenomenal. Nothing seemed 
to check his victorious career. He was constantly re- 
ceiving recruits, whom he armed with captured weapons. 
He promoted men to command under him solely upon 
their merits and efficiency. His eyes seemed to take 
in everything at a glance. His motto, "Get there first — 
with the most men," worked like a charm. He always 
led his soldiers, was always where the fight was thick- 
est and hottest and never seemed to be fatigued or 

I was assigned to staff duty on my return. His 
command was receiving accessions from all over the 
country. Wherever he went, many old, seasoned, wound- 


ed soldiers joined him from choice. General A. Beau- 
ford sought and obtained permission to join him, with 
his fine brigade. General Forrest seemed to magnify 
himself as the battles of Williamsburg, Loudon, Knox- 
ville, Sweetwater, Philadelphia, McMinnsville, Murfrees- 
boro, Shelbyville, Sugar Creek, Johnson, on the Tennes- 
see, Percy, and Laverne, followed in rapid succession 
without the loss of a battle. At all the places he assailed 
the enemy's force was superior in numbers to his own. 
He attacked without halting his battalions ; he formed 
his lines while moving, sending his most trusted chiefs 
to attack from different directions. All his battles were 
fought and won by dashing, furious charges and at cl-osv 
quarters. The suddenness of these attacks often paral- 
yzed opposition. His name became a terror among the 
enemy. This period was marked by severe and bitterly 
cold weather. 

During December and January, 1863-1864, his com- 
mand was in the saddle constantly. On February 2, at 
Winchester, we met a superior force of infantry, artil- 
lery and cavalry — General Long's division of cavalry, 
5,000 strong. Forrest's effective force was 2,600. He 
attacked the enemy with such impetuosity and fury that 
he drove them in confusion six miles, capturing and de- 
stroying 2,500 stands of arms and 38 wagons. 

I was again seriously wounded, shot through the left 
lung, and fell into the hands of the enemy and was left 
to the tender mercies of the Yankee surgeons. This 
made thirteen Yankee compliments, or wounds. I was 
taken to Chattanooga and placed in the hospital, on the 
21st. I tried to make my escape. For this infamous 
crime, as the enemy called it, I was sent off to prison 
at Point Lookout. I suffered terribly on the trip. I 
was placed in the hospital, where I was recognized as 


one of the men who had escaped from Camp Morton. 
After ten days' stay at Point Lookout I was removed 
and sent under guard to Rock Island. I was hand- 
cuffed to my guard to be sure that I should not escape. 
On the night of the 17th, after leaving Cincinnati, 
both being very tired, I said to my guard, "I shall take 
a nap." He replied, "I shall do the same." I pre- 
tended to sleep, until my guard was sound asleep. 1 
very cautiously slipped my hand from the handcuffs, 
raised myself up, and looked about me. The cars were 
rattling along at a lively rate. One of the guard's pistols 
were lying on the seat beside him ; the other one on 
the floor in front of our seat. I picked them up, placed 
them under my belt and quietly stepping over my sleep- 
ing guard, walked leisurely to the door. I stood for a 
moment, then opening the door I stepped out onto 
the platform. The whistle blew for Herndon and the 
train slowed up. I leaped to the ground and was slightly 
stunned. Striking off through the woodland, I came 
to a country road, along which I hurried as fast as my 
strength would carry me. I found that I must rest. 1 
pushed on toward the Ohio River, glad to be free. I 
had no means of knowing the time of night until 1 
heard the chickens in a barn yard begin to crow for 
day. I trudged along slowly in a Southern direction. 
My lung was still sore, and my wounded leg was giving 
me much trouble. The night was cold and I had to 
keep moving to keep myself warm. Day came on 
apace. I met a negro man on horseback, and asked him 
the distance to Herndon. He said it was twelve miles. 
Then I asked him how far it was to the river at the 
nearest point. "Seventeen miles. Boss; dat's about de 
distance." "Where do you live, old man?" "I live near 
Madison, Boss, I does." "How far is that place?" 


"Twenty miles, Boss. You mus' be a stranger in dese 
parts, Boss, ain't ye?" 

After making the necessary inquiries about the 
roads, direction and distance, I covered the old man 
with my pistol, bade him dismount, took his horse and 
told him to stay where he was for one hour, when I 
should be back; or if I was not back he might look for 
his horse somewhere on the Ohio River. I had some 
very important business to look after. I made off 
quickly as I did not want to be caught on the north 
side of the river. After riding rapidly for three hours, 
not meeting with anyone, I heard the whistle of a boat. 
Pushing on, I soon came in sight of the river. 

I dismounted, hitched the horse near a gate, went 
down the road one half a mile, crossed a woodland and 
reaching the river, carefully scanned its banks on both 
sides far and near. On the opposite shore, far below 
me, I saw a small boat crossing. I hurried down the bank 
and came in sight of the man in the boat about the time 
he landed and attracted his attention. He waited for me. 
I desired him to place me across the river. But to this 
he objected, saying that he had not the time to spare. I 
asked him if I could have the boat ; to this he consented. 
This did not suit my plans so I took him prisoner, had 
him row me across the river and held him until about 
dark before allowing him to return. I then made my 
way on foot to Dr. Jim Thayer's house near Carlton, 
Ky.. where I was among: friends, as the doctor was a 
brother-in-law of Captain Tom Taylor, who was in 
our command. The doctor sent off and got me a horse 
immediately and also sent his son to Carlton and bought 
me a pair of pistols and ammunition. Thus equipped 
I set out for further adventures and for Dixie l^anct 

Crossing the Kentucky River above Big Eagle, in 


Owen county I traveled neighborhood roads and stopped 
with good friends at the home of Mr. John Ladd in Henry 
county, between Pleasureville and New Castle. During 
the two days I stopped here I slept most of the time as 
only a tired soldier can. I had had no sleep for four 
nights. In this neighborhood I found some of our 
wounded men, who were left in the state on the Ohio 
raid. They were tired of hiding and anxious to go South. 
It was very hard to hide from the numerous scouting 
parties of the enemy, moving in all directions. There 
was no shelter of leaves in the woods. 

A few days before this time General Burbridge 
had sent two Confederate soldiers from Lexington to 
the Pleasureville depot and had them shot, in retaliation 
for the death of Captain Sparks, who was a Captain in 
the Home Guards and provost marshal of the old town, 
Pleasureville. This creature had made himself extreme- 
ly, obnoxious by tyrannizing over the people, arresting 
citizens, and sending them off to prison, plundering them 
of their property, or exacting blood money from them to 
keep out of prison. He was a patriot tool of the blood- 
thirsty Burbridge. This man was killed in battle 
with Confederate soldiers in fair open fight. Shortly 
afterward, during the early months of summer, this brutal 
monster and fiend sent four more Confederate prisoners 
from Lexington down to Frankfort where they were also 
shot without trial or charges,for alleged killing that never 
transpired. This is an account of the most wilful cold- 
blooded and cowardly outrageous murder that ever dis- 
graced the annals of time, or besmirched the name of 
men or a state. These four men were sent from Lex- 
ington, taken across the bridge near the city limits of 
South Frankfort, stood up by their coffins near a sione 
fence on the side of a hill, in a pasture near the Shelby- 


ville Pike. At the time of the execution there was a 
cowardly, brutal and infamous creature too cowardly to 
enter the army who had stayed at home to save his 
miserable carcass. Coming down the pike he saw these 
helpless victims standing before their coffins ; saw the 
flash of the g^uns and three men fall dead; he saw the 
fourth spring to his feet, run to the fence, leap over it 
into the pasture, and escape from the firing party before 
the latter could reload. Although grievously wounded 
he was makino- his way to the woods ; poor fellow, he 
did not know how close he was to the cowardly assassin. 
When reaching the stone fence at the pike he placed his 
hands on the top of the fence and was climbing up, when 
he was met by this cowardly creature who pointed a 
double barrel shot gun in his face. His head was liter- 
ally blown off. Sanford Gains was not a soldier, had 
never even joined a Home Guard. His name and mem- 
ory will be forever execrated; made infamous by this 
dastardly deed. He became a hated, loathsome, ostracised 
man, even by his own family and class and died a mis- 
erable death. 

Leaving my friend's house at night I made my way 
through Oldham, Shelby and Spencer counties. I found 
my old friends Jonathan Davis and Nick Anderson in 
a dense thicket. From this covert was received a com- 
pany sent from Henry and Shelby counties. During 
April I had the satisfaction of enlisting sixty-four good 
soldiers all mounted and each equipped with four pistols 
and a double-barrel shot gun, ready for any kind of serv- 
ice. Many of these men were recruits. Twenty-three were 
veteran soldiers who had made their escape. The terrible 
suffering and the harsh treatment they had passed 
through, and the punishments they had received had ren- 
dered them desperate. Most of these men vowed they 


would die before they would ever surrender again. Con- 
scription measures had become more rigorous and hun- 
dreds of men were hiding in the brush. 

I learned from a reliable source that General For- 
rest was moving into Kentucky and determined to meet 
him. Leaving Spencer county late in the evening, we 
encountered Captain Bridgewater's company. I charged 
them furiously; a short, brief grapple ensued, near the 
Old Nelson Forge between Bardstown Junction and 
Boston. We killed and wounded forty-three and chased 
the rest into the Bullitt county hills. Moving on we 
passed around Garnetsville through Meade, Hardin, and 
Hancock counties. Near Hawsville, we learned that 
General Forrest was at Waverly and was moving on to 
Paducah. We camped near the Tennessee River and I 
sent ten men under a guide to find a boat. They found 
one and we at once crossed the river. As the last man 
reached the west bank we were fired upon by three com- 
panies of Federals under Lieutenant Colonel Ward. We 
took shelter behind trees and returned the salute with 
vigor, killing a number and driving the rest to cover. 
Sending the boat adrift, we moved rapidly forward to 
meet General Forrest's advance columns. 

He attacked Paducah with spirit and closed all ave- 
nues of escape from above and below, entering the town 
on a furious charge. He captured 1700 prisoners and 
2000 stands of arms, also quantities of army supplies 
and 80 army wagons. He had an army of 5000 under 
him which was constantly increased by recruits. His 
losses had been considerable during the three weeks of 
his operations in middle and west Tennessee and western 
Kentucky. He enlisted no fewer than 4700 men, all of 
whom he armed with guns captured in his wonderful 
campaign which was one of the most brilliant actions in 


which he had engaged since he had taken charge of an 
independent command. He moved into west Tennessee 
where he received two more regiments which made some- 
thing over 11000 under his command, effectives equipped 
without a dollar's cost to the Confederate government. 
He had not met with a single reverse in his belligerent 
career since October 1, or since he was his own mas- 
ter. During this period he fought forty-six battles, 
captured 31000 prisoners, and destroyed over $10,000,000 
worth of property for the enemy and was destined to 
win still more brilliant and remarkable renown and 
victories. Truly this unlettered modern Ajax or Hanni- 
bal was a constant astonishment to friends and foes 
alike, especially foes. Starting with two small, skeleton 
regiments, he was now at the head of a victorious little 
army of his own making, that had supreme confidence in 
itself and also unbounded confidence in its matchless 
leader. This unlettered, uneducated man had so con- 
tinuously expanded and developed such unusual capaci- 
ties as to astonish all men. His compatriots look upon 
him as a wonder. Meeting every necessity, he mastered 
each increasing demand of the situation. Opposition 
seemed to melt before him, his capabilities seemed to ex- 
pand in every trying ordeal. Taking everything into con- 
sideration, he stands as a colossus among many wonder- 
ful men which the civil war developed. The brilliant 
talents displayed in his dashing carreer of 17 months 
were almost beyond belief and a correct history of his 
exploits and achievements would read like a romance. 

He planned to assault and capture Ft. Pillow, held 
by three regiments of negroes. He marched with his vic- 
torious veterans, sent a flag of truce and demanded sur- 
render. While he was waiting for a reply, his outpost 


pickets reported that the enemy was advancing in his 
rear, in strong force, and they added that he was cut ofl 
and surrounded by the enemy. 

General Forrest regarding the soldier with some 
scorn, said, "Well, ain't we in their rear, too?" His whole 
visage changed instantly. "Captain, tell General Beau- 
ford to coop up the niggers, and keep them in the fort 
there, until wc whip these people coming up." I saluted 
and rode to deliver the order. The two rear brigades 
were turned about with promptness, with six pieces of 
artillery ; in one hour the inclosing Federals were almost 
destroyed and flying back to Memphis with trailing 
colors. General Forrest now sent General Horton in pur- 
suit. The enemy in the fort put up a white flag in token 
of surrender. General Beauford's men had ceased firing 
and many of his men climbed the mounds near the breast- 
works. General Beauford had sent a staff officer to as- 
certain what was wanted, or to receive the surrender. At 
this moment the garrison took arms again and opened 
fire upon the men on the banks, killing several and 
wounding others. 

General Forrest has received unstinted abuse and vil- 
lification for what Northern newspapers and writers are 
pleased to call a massacre at Fort Pillow but the fact re- 
main that these faithless, shameless men, nad broRen 
faith, they had surrendered, then taken arms again. There 
was nothing left to the Confederates but to defend them- 
selves, which they did as they always did. No one was 
to blame but those blind misguided creatures, those poor 
negroes. They were officered by a Northern fanatic 
who urged them to do this dastardly deed. 

When General Beauford saw his officers and men 
fired upon, he mounted his horse and led his command 
over the embankment, and said, "No quarter to wretches 


like these." The scene that followed inside the fort beg- 
gars description. Sheets of fire and flame, bayonets, 
clubbed muskets, revolvers, swords, flashed and rung 
among the maddened soldiers who shot the frantic ne- 
groes and slew the men who had urged the negroes to 
this rash act and who now rushed pell mell about and 
over the embankment and redoubts only to be impaled 
on the bayonets of those outside the fort. The air was 
full of bullets and flying missiles, mingled with the dy- 
ing groans of these poor creatures, and still the horrid 
din went on. The infuriated men grappled each other's 
throats. Many of these poor wretches jumped into the 
river, only to be shot in the water, which seemed to 
seethe and boil with bullets. They sank out of sight 
to rise no more. General Forrest did not order this last 
assault ; he did his very best to stop the useless butchery 
and sacrifice of life. He used the flat of his sword on 
the back and shoulders of many of his own men before 
he finally put a stop to it. Two regiments of soldiers 
turned upon him and threatened him with loaded guns 
if he should strike another man. He sent his aides for 
two regiments and threatened to shoot the first man that 
dare fire another gun. 

This is the true story of this affair. This and many 
o 1^0.- Vcnernte defeats of Federal arms had now aroused 
the authorities to the importance, the necessity, of speedy 
reprisal, to defeat this war Hercules, who had crushed 
four armies superior to his own and commanded by four 
West Pointers, house-made, or book-made soldiers. They 
now scanned the list of the rough and ready, sturdy sol- 
diers, who had never known defeat but had more fame 
and success. From among these they picked an old 
soldier, a West Pointer, a fine, unbeaten soldier, but 
who was destined to become another victim of misplaced 


confidence. General Sturgis was sent to destroy this 
thunderbolt of battle. 

General Forrest was apprised of the measures on foot 
for his benefit. General Sturgis selected 18,000 picket 
men from General Sherman's army, to be sent from 
Memphis. He would march this well-equipped force 
against General Forrest. Forrest's losses had been se- 
vere in a series of skirmishes and battles recently and 
his forces at this time being somewhat scattered he 
concentrated for this emeregency, by sending couriers 
to detached commands to meet him at Clinton, some 50 
miles from Memphis. He retreated slowly to a dismal 
swamp, leaving six fine regiments behind in ambush. 
This swamp was impassable for about twelve miles, ex- 
cept by the log road. He continued his retreat beyond 
this and halted. He met his reenforcements near a slug- 
gish, and boggy stream known as Mud Run. Crossing 
this, he marched half a mile beyond and halted, near 
Brice cross roads and formed his lines parallel to this 
stream. With his staff he carefully examined the situation 
and learned through field glasses that the enemy was 
still crossing the swamp on the corduroy bridge. Every- 
thing being in readiness, he now called for fifty volun- 
teers. The enemy after crossing the bridge had thrown 
up breastworks of logs and dirt. The enemy was seen 
defiling from right to left as they crossed the bridge 
and took their position in line. 

While examining these lines on the opposite side 
of the stream, a Yankee Colonel with six men tried to 
capture me; I started to move away and was so close 
to them that I could distinctly hear the General tell 
them not to fire on me as it would develop their lines; to 
capture me if possible. There was a large cotton field in 
their front. Moving up faster they called upon me to sur- 


render and at this divided into squads, two going behind 
and two in front and two directly at me on a charge. I 
suddenly put up my field g-lasses and drew my pistol. 
It refused to fire. I had a point blank shot at the Colonel 
but missed fire. Coming at me in a headlong charge the 
Colonel gave a tierce point thrust with his sword and its 
point entered the left side of my face just under the angle 
of the jaw and passed through, transfixing my tongue and 
coming out on the other side of my face. I threw myself 
back upon my horse's hips. Having drawn and cocked 
the second pistol in my left hand, I killed the Colonel at 
the first fire, and he in falling from his horse drew the 
sword from my face. I killed five men still laying back 
on my horse. Then recovering myself in my saddle, I 
shot and killed the other man's horse and wounded the 
sixth man. The two others started to run and I also 
killed one of them from his horse. This was all done so 
quickly that you could hardly count the shots. All these 
six men fired at me but missed. They had fired too 
quickly, also too high, the bullets passing over me. My 
horse was slightly wounded. 

Our horses were in rapid motion when this fight 
occured. General Forrest hearing shots in rapid succes- 
sion, came forward at a swinging pace, at the same time 
sending volunteers across the field with instructions to 
march in open file upon the enemy's works until they 
could see their eyes. When they heard the order to fire 
they fell almost flat upon the ground. They charged 
furiously upon the enemy's works before they could re- 
load; at the same instant other bodies of reenforcement 
charged the enemy's works ; deadly hand-to-hand contest 
ensued for an hour. The ground was strewn with the 
dead and wounded. The enemy having fled in confusion, 
General Forrest reached my side and saw the dead and 


wounded soldiers lying around me. The clear bugle notes 
sounded a charge all along the line. The artillery came 
sweeping by ; the storm of battle, fierce and deadly, was 
raging along both sides of this swampy stream. The 
sound of bugle notes, and the rapid succession of three 
shots from the artillery were the signal for the ambush- 
ment to open. For four hours this fierce hand-to-hand 
combat swayed from side to side. It seemed that all the 
noises of the age^Jiad come back to mingle with this por- 
tentous strife. Nothing could stop this impetuous on- 
slaught of Forrest. His sword cleaved the skulls of 
eleven men in this terrible melee. Wherever his avenging 
blade sought the enemy they gave way, dismayed at 
what they saw. These stricken soldiers were rallied 
three times by General Sturgis, only to be pressed and 
forced l^ack upon the causeway near its entrance to the 
swamp. Our artillery was planted so as to enfilade the 
masses of the enemy crossing this corduroy road, with 
grape and canister; the ranks melted rapidly belx)re this 
blighting fire of iron and lead. Many stricken fugitives 
fled, only to be overtaken and killed. Thousands of them 
were crowded off the causeway into the boggy mire 
where men and horses sank out of sight almost imme- 
diately. Late in the evening the chase was stopped for 
the want of more material. General Sturgis had enter- 
ed this battle with the battle cry of ''Remember Fort 
Pillow," carrying a black flag with the avowed pur- 
pose to exterminate the whole command. 

Two days after this terrific conflict an old man, 
dressed in shabby, coarse clothing, might have been seen 
to enter the city of Memphis. It is hardly believed that 
this was the proud old soldier who had been an active 
factor on many a blood-stained field. This shabbily 
dressed old man was no other than General Sturiiis, wi;u 


had gone forth to wipe the stain of recent defeats from 
the records of so many of his brother officers. 

I must remark in this connection, that this battle 
is passed over in the annals of the war with a few lines 
of Federal history, not more than twenty. It was in bare 
truth one of the most bloody, disastrous and distinct de- 
feats to the Federals arms of the entire war. Out of 
18,000 picked men sent against General Forrest there 
were never more than four hundred effective men who 
ever again reported for duty. There is one very good 
reason for this to be found in the fact that General 
Sturgis on this occasion displayed at the head of his 
brigades the black flag with the device of a skull and 
cross bones. General Forrest and his men were not the 
kind to refuse this challenge. He was one of the few 
men who saw the savage trend and brutal nature of the 
invader. He said that war was destruction and death, 
and this meant killing and that there were just so many 
to be killed ; therefore, the sooner it was over the better 
for all concerned. He fought fast, hard and furiously. 
Almost a giant in strength, he never seemed to tire and 
rested while riding his powerful gray chargers. His 
pursuit and capture of General Sturgis' command demon- 
strated his powers and endurance ; having been continu- 
ously in the saddle for five days and nights of hard march- 
ing and fighting before he started after Sturgis, who had 
three days' start of him. He pressed forward with an in- 
ferior force of 1750 men. General Sturgis had 2784 
picked men with fresh horses and could get fresh horses 
on his way. General Forrest followed him day and 
night without stopping except to feed his horses, over- 
took and compelled him to fight ; rear and flanks he con- 
tinually assailed him by night and day. After seven days 
of continuous combat and harrassment, he compelled 


him to surrender 2700 men ; Forrest's force numbered 
350 tired and fatigued, worn-out men. All the rest of his 
men and horses were completely exhausted and left by 
the way side. This tremendous strain was terrible up- 
on these hapless men. But this flexible spring steel and 
rubber man, seemed as fresh and alert, as ready for new 
effort as when he started. He thus destroyed srx well 
equipped armies sent against him inside ot tourteen 

He told me once that he had been in 184 battles 
and skirmishes. I met him first at the battle of Chick- 
amauga and served with his command first and last 
about fifteen months. He was a man of firey, impulsive 
temper, but with many generous impulses ; he had high 
courage and hated a coward more than he loved a brave 
man. Almost without education he had learned from na- 
ture's books the full import of surrounding conditions. 
The war found him a poor man struggling for an hon- 
est living. It left him a gaint in the game of war. Per- 
sonally, he was six feet, one and one-half inches in 
height, very muscular and had broad, square shoulders; 
he was of light complexion, had a very fine head, piercing 
gray eyes, a heavy firm jaw, a finely shaped nose, regu- 
lar features ; he walked with an active, springy step and 
made the impression of force, power, and determination. 
When in good humor his visage was pleasing, his face in- 
telligent looking and his demeanor attractive ; but when 
angry this man certainly was not a pleasant object to 
look upon. 

I was in this last battle with Sturgis. I was faint 
with loss of blood when I was taken from the field and 
thought I was done for, and would certainly receive my 
last furlough. But not so, thanks to a strong vigorous, 
healthy body, and sober and temperate habits. I recovered 


from this terrible wound. I did not then, nor have I 
used any tobacco or coffee. 

Being sent to the rear to recuperate, I obtained a 
furlough of ninety days and went to Virginia to visit 
my brother, Major Wm. Berry, of Jackson's old brigade. 
Colonel ;Bartow's regiment, the eighth Georgia vol- 
unteer. He had joined this command at the beginning 
of the war as a private, and had obtained the rank of 
major. I had not seen him since before the war began. 
I found him bronzed from many months of exposure in 
following the grand old hero, Stonewall Jackson. He 
was glad to greet me once more. I spent fourteen days 
with him. After leaving him I went to Richmond and 
never saw him again. He was killed in the desperate 
battle at Malvern Hill. I met my brother, Capt. Samuel 
Berry. I had received a promotion from General Forrest 
as a major after the battle of Mud Run. I received my 
commission at this time from him. I was assigned to 
detached duty and sent into Kentucky to recruit. 


In close confinement — Captain Hines's plan — Fooling the guard 
— A ruse to secure information — Cutting their way out — The 
escape — Morgan makes an acquaintance — A clean get-away. 

Leaving Richmond together, my brother and I in- 
formed General Forrest of this special detached service 
telling him at the same time that he might expect at any- 
time to see General Morgan just starting into Kentucky. 
Having made his escape from the Ohio penitentiary he 
was making his way back into the southern lines from 
the Ohio River. 

I cannot do better than give the details of this won- 
derful experience as I received it from one of my com- 
rades, Captain Ralph Sheldon, who was one of those 
who escaped. General Morgan and seven of his officers 
were in this wholesale penitentiary delivery. These 
high-strung, spirited, free-rovers were imprisoned in 
felon's cells, deprived of light, and fresh air, and con- 
tinually subjected to harsh cruelties and brutal insults. 
A number had been confined in the dungeon for trivial 
offenses. Grown desperate, they planned escape. Mor- 
gan was very restless under close imprisonment. Sev- 
eral plans were brought forward, only to be abandoned. 

Captain Tom Hines devised a plan which was adopt- 
ed. This was to tunnel out. Captain Hines had heard 
that an air chamber was constructed under tne lower 
row of cell simmediately under or upon the ground 
floor which accounted for the dryness of the cells on 
this floor. At the first opportunity, he entered into a 


conversation with an old man by the name of Harg, 
who was assistant deputy warden. This old man was 
the only one of the officials who had anything to say 
to the prisoners. He was enthusiastic upon the sub- 
stantial character of this prison. Captain Hines lead the 
conversation into this channel and learned that his sur- 
mise was correct. If he could cut through the concrete 
row of cells immediately under or upon the ground 
floor of the cell and reach this air chamber without de- 
tection he would have an excellent chance for future 

He communicated his plans to General Morgan, 
who approved them. Five other men were selected, 
whose cells were on the first floor as assistants for this 
work, which was commenced with knives abstracted from 
the tables. These knives, square at the end made an 
excellent tool for this labor. Placing pickets to prevent 
surprise, they hacked and chiseled away through 18 
inches of stone, concrete, and cement. They concealed 
the rubbish in their handkerchiefs, blankets and beds. 
They soon had a hole in the floor large enough for a man's 
body to pass through. The iron bed steads which stood 
in each cell could be lifted up. Each morning, when 
Capt. Hines swept his cell he threw the dirt into the 
aperture over which he placed a rug when the guard 
came around. The latter did not examine the cell which 
looked neat and tidy. One kick at this speck of carpet 
with its hypocritical neatness, would have disclosed the 

After the air chamber had been reached, ten others 
were let into the secret so that the work might constantly 
go on night and day. Four men worked while one stood 
guard. Candles were or iered ; without tlic^e it w nrild 


have been impossible to finish the work ; a code of signals 
was adopted to meet all contingencies. The walls of 
the air chamber w^ere built of large stone ; three of these 
were removed, and a tunnel run straight to the outer wall. 
They were fortunate enough to discover an old rusty 
spade with a broken handle in the yard on their way to 
breakfast. They must have this spade at all hazards. This 
was now a priceless object. At the earliest opportunity it 
must be transferred to the air chamber. One man was 
to secrete this spade about his person. He wore a long 
overcoat. Six or seven men, who were his accompli- 
ces, became very frolicsome while the men were wash- 
ing. The man selected fell on the spade, slipped the 
spade under his coat, buttoned his coat and carried the 
spade to the breakfast table with him, where he sat 
wonderfully straight. After breakfast he carried it to 
the hall and transferred it to the air chamber to shovel 
the dirt from the tunnel. 

It was discovered, after removing a large block of 
stone, that the tunnel passed under an immense pile of 
coal. This difficulty must be remedied. The question 
was how. No one could tell how far or in what direction 
to run the tunnel to avoid obstruction. In this emergency 
General Morgan engaged Scott, the deputy warden, in 
Cvonversation about the remarkable escape of some pris- 
r.ers a short time before. Scott was fond of telling about 
this, describing how these men climbed up the balcony 
in front of the cells to the ceiling and passed through 
the skylight to the roof of the prison. Scott declared 
that he did not believe that there were two other men 
on the continent who could perform this feat by ascend- 
ing these balconies. ''There is a man who can do it,'* 
said General Morgan pointing to Captain Sam Taylor, 
"small as he is he can do it." This caused an excited dis- 


cussion, ending in Scott giving Taylor permission to 
try it. He immediately commenced the ascent, spring- 
ing from one balcony to another until he reached the top ; 
and being one of the men selected to escape he compre- 
hended the object of this feat, as it afforded him a chance 
to glance out of the windows at the ground beyond. As 
he swuno- himself up he casually looked down. He 
studied the position critically and was able to direct the 
tunnel aright. Once during the work Scott called for one 
of the men who was at work in the tunnel. General 
Morgan's presence of mind saved them from discovery. 
He said, ''He is lying down, sick, I believe." At the same 
time he handed Scott a memorial which he requested him 
to examine as Morgan was going to send it to Washing- 
ton. It was something about removal to a military prison. 
This flattered Scott's vanity. He took the paper and 
scanned it for some minutes and returned it, saying, "I 
think it will answer." So it did, for, by this time. Capt- 
ain Hockersmith had been signalled to and made his 
appearance and complained of being sick. 

During the time the work was going forward, the 
men slept with their heads and hands covered or con- 
cealed. This was done to accustom the night guards 
to take their presence for granted without actually see- 
ing them. The guards made their rounds every two 
hours during the night, taking a lantern close to each cell, 
filling the cell with light to see if the occupant was in 

When all the tunneling had been completed, other 
preparations were made. The prison walls round the 
yards, from which they were to emerge were twenty-five 
feet high ; means had been provided for scaling them ; the 
coverlids of several beds had been torn into strips and 
plaited together into a strong rope of thirty feet and a 


poker converted into a hook to which the rope was se- 
curely tied. This rope was now stored in the air cham- 
ber, ready for use. 

All who were to escape procured citizen's clothes and 
^ot a time table of the Little Miami railroad. They 
knew the time the train left Columbus and when it 
arrived in Cincinnati. For this schedule Morgan paid 
fifteen dollars, the only money used in effecting this es- 
cape. It has always remained a puzzle and a deep, dark 
mystery to the Federal government and to the world how 
and when and from what source these prisoners received 
the money they had despite the strict search instituted 
when they entered the prison wall. There were seven 
men who managed to secrete their money so that it was 
not found. This was divided among the seven who 
wliere to escape, as follows: General Morgan, Captain 
Tom Hines, Captain J. Bennett, Captain Sam Taylor, 
Captain Hockersmith, Captain Ralph Sheldon, Lieuten- 
ant Gus McGee. 

Each man was locked in a separate cell. None 
could get out of his cell without an interview or un- 
derstanding with the night guard. It was, therefore, 
necessary to cut an opening through the floor of each 
cell, in order that the seven might escape. These open- 
ings were cut from the air chamber upward through the 
floor of each cell, each man leaving a thin crust of the 
cement, for if all were cut through the risk of discov- 
ery would become increased. To all appearance they 
seemed as sound as even Each had procured a strong 
sharp knife, an effective weapon in case of surprise or of 
an attempt to stop them while escaping. Everything was 
ready for the trial. They waited for rain several nights, 
hoping to elude the guards on such a night and also the 
vigilance of he prison dogs, which were loose nearly 


every hour in the night. These would be driven by the 
rain into their kennels, which were situated on the far 
side of the yard from that on which they would emerge. 

A very curious thing happened at this period. Gen- 
eral Morgan received a letter from an old Irish woman 
living in Lexington, Ky., warning him not to make his 
escape. If he did great evils or ills would be sure to re- 
sult to him. She alluded to his kindness to the poor people 
in Lexington before the war and claimed to be informed 
of the future, by some supernatural power. On the 26th 
of November it was learned that there was to be a change 
of military commanders. Well knowing that during in- 
spections which would follow there was danger of dis- 
covery General Morgan determined to make his effort 
that night. His own cell was in the second range from 
which it was impossible to reach the tunnel, but the cell 
of his l^rother Colonel Dick Morgan had been prepared 
for him, and when Scott tapped on the stove as usual, the 
sign for each man to retire to his cell, this exchange was 
made. There was sufficient resemblance between them 
to deceive a man who did not observe closely, especially 
if they had their faces turned away. Both Scott and 
night guards were deceived this night. Small bits of 
coal and cinders had been sprinkled before the locking 
up time on the floor of the first range, so that however 
lightly a man might tread he could not help making 
a noise. It had been arranged that just after the twelve 
o'clock visit of the guards, Captain Taylor should de- 
scend into the air chamber underneath. Six long hours of 
suspense elapsed after the locking in. Six long hours the 
guard went his rounds, making an awful noise, the coal 
bits cracking and bursting under his feet as he passed 
along the lower range. Sixty odd men lay awake, silent 
and excited, with heart beating louder and the blood 


rushing faster through their veins than if they had been 
approaching a battle. Perhaps the coolest of all this 
number were the seven who w-ere about to incur the risk. 

The hour had now arrived, the clock struck twelve. 
The clang of the bell seemed to the men to be in the hall 
itself. The night guard passed with his lantern; a few 
minutes elapsed while the men lay still lest the guards 
should slip back, then, at the signal, they sprang from, 
their beds, hastily stuffing flannel shirts with material 
})iepared before for dummies to represent them in bed, 
covered them carefully. Stamping upon the crust of each 
cell the floors gave way and all descended into the air 
chamber and passed out to the terminus of the tunnel. 

The first one cut away the soil, which had not been 
touched. All emerged into the open air of the yard. It was 
cloudy and rainy ; the sentries and dogs had sought their 
boxes and kennels. They moved cautiously and on tip 
toe across the yard ; if detected, their knives must save 
or revenge them. Discovery would have been bad, but 
it would also have been unhealthy for the discoverers as 
they were determined to be free and were desperate men. 

They reached and climbed the outer wall in safety, 
by means of the rope and grappling hook thrown over 
the coping of the wall ; they climbed hand over hand 
until all had reached the top ; the rope was hung over to 
the outer side of the wall and they let themselves to the 
ground, one by one. After reaching the ground they 
tried to release the hook from the wall, but it could not 
be done. This caused the discovery of the escape at day- 
light two hours earlier than it otherwise would have 
been discovered. The men scattered in pairs, and made 
good their escape. General Morgan and Captain Hines 
went straight toward the depot and bought tickets for 
Cincinnati. When the train came in they got on it and see- 


ing a Federal officer, Morgan seated himself near him 
and engaged him in conversation. Morgan produced a 
flask of whisky, inviting him to take a drink, which was 

T-C+ fV,en the train passed the penitentiary. "That j« 
the hotel where Morgan stops, I believe," said the Federal 
officer. "Yes," answered Morgan, "and will stop, it is 
hoped. He has given us his fair share of trouble and 
he will not be released. I will drink to him, 'May he ever 
be kept as closely as he is now.' They passed a pleasant 
night together. When the suburbs of Cincinnati 
were reached about daylight, it was time to get off. Hines 
pulled the bell rope and they went to the pTatirorm and 
put the brakes down tight with all their strength. The 
train slackened and they sprang off. 

Near a lumber pile, three soldiers were sitting. One 
of them said, "What in the hell are you jumping from 
the train here for?" "What in the devil is the use of a 
man going into the city when he lives here? Besides what 
matter is it to you," was the reply. "Oh, nothing," said 
the soldier. 

Passing on towards the river and reaching it, they 
gave a boy two dollars to put them across quickly. Mak- 
their way unseen to a friend's house near Covington they 
obtained horses and reached "Boone County. Harrison, 
Henry, Oldham, Shelby, Scott, Nelson, Anderson, Spen- 
cer, Mercer, and Boyles counties were traversed. On to 
the loved Southland they journeyed with many exciting 
and touching incidents, narrowly escaping capture at sev- 
eral places. They reached the Confederate lines after 
seven days' hard riding. 


A skirmish with Burbridge — I receive three wounds — Death of 

When ''One-armed" Berry and myself reached Ab- 
iijgdon, Virginia, Morgan's advance had moved in the 
direction of Pound Gap. We procured horses and re- 
ported to him, showing him our commissions. We 
^found Pound Gap garrisoned with one k-egiment of 
infantry and two of cavalry of General Burbridge's 
force. Colonel Howard Smith of the advance brigade 
charged them from this strong position and captured 
many in the running fight that followed. At Louisa 
we encountered another detachment of Burbridge's 
force ; after a . sharp skirmish we dispersed them. Six 
long, weary days we toiled over these rugged, broken 
mountains. There were in the expedition nearly six 
Inindred dismounted men who made this toilsome march 
on foot. Three hundred and fifty horses broke down, 
completely exhausted. The hardships were great. 

Colonel Robert Alartin commanded the expedition. 
A nobler, braver, or more dashing soldier never fought 
for a cause. He generously walked most of the way, 
giving up his horse, first to one and then to another 
private, whose feet were so sore and torn that they 
could not walk. His unselfish devotion to his men won 
for him the sobriquet of "Generous Bob" Martin. On the 
seventh day, late in the evening, we reached Mount 


Sterling, where these tired, foot-sore veterans went into 
camp. At daylight they were attacked by a force of 
twelve hundred cavalry, who dismounted, creeping 
close to their camp. The enemy had passed between 
Colonel Martin and his men. He had slept in a small 
house near camp. The first intimation of the enemy 
was a volley poured into the camp. Colonel Martin, 
roused by this fire, mounted his horse, without saddle 
or hat and rode directly through the enemy's ranks. 
Reaching his camp, which was in some confusion, he 
formed his men under a hot fire. He led them against 
the enemy, which he drove before him with a whoop, 
capturing their horses, with wild exulting yells. At- 
tracted by the continuous roll of musketry, other bat- 
talions were sent to their aid. This battle lasted one 
hour and a half. Our losses footed up 21 killed and 
19 wounded. The enemy's loss 36 killed and 52 wound- 

I received a slight wound in my foot, whicn, though 
not serious, was exceedingly painful. We moved on to 
Winchester, thence to Lexington. In a sharp fight, 
I was again wounded, once in my right leg and once 
in my right cheek. My brother tried to place me in 
a safe place and prevent my capture, but failed ; I was 
betrayed. He took my commission, however, and made 
his way to Spencer and Nelson counties. I was sent 
to the hospital. Morgan moved on to Georgetown, 
Paris and Cynthiana. 

This was the last time I ever saw General Mor- 
gan, as my duties after this time kept me in the state 
until near the final close of the struggle. He was not as 
successful on this raid as he had been. Leaving Ken- 
tuck}^ he returned by way of Falmoth, Connersville, 


Clayville, Sardis, Mays' Lick, Fleminsburg, Popular 
Plains, Moorehead, West Liberty, Licking Station, 
Paitsville and Piketon, back into Virginia and East 
Tennessee to his department assignment. After some 
months of sharp fighting he camped on September 3rd, 
at a small town, Greenville, in East Tennessee. He 
was sleeping at the house of .Mrs. Williams, the mother 
of the young woman who betrayed his whereabouts. His 
camps were nearby. The house and garden, which was 
large and walled, was surrounded. Morgan vainly made 
several attempts to escape. Three of his staff and two 
orderlies say that he surrendered and was afterwards 
killed by these ruffians. The rough treatment his re- 
mains received attest the truthfulness of this statement. 
There are still many of his old comrades Hvmg who 
believe he was killed after he had surrendered. 

Thus ended the life of the noble, generous cnieftain. 
General John Morgan, beloved and admired by all who 
knew him. With severe heart aches, we mourned his 
death. He was killed on the morning or September 
4th. 1864, after three years' service. His renown as 
a cavalry chieftain will endure as long as time shall 


Wounded and captured — I escape — Betrayed and recaptured — 
Escape — Recruiting — ^Again with Forrest — ^Again. wounded 
and captured — Sent to Rock Island. 

After Morgan left Lexington on his return to Vir- 
ginia, I was sent to the hospital. When the Yankee 
surgeon came to me he said, "Your wounds are not 
serious, though they may be a little painful. You should 
not be here ; I believe I know you. Were you not 
wounded at Cynthiana; had your leg broken?" I did 
not reply. "I heard that you made your escape Irom 
Camp Chase. Is this so?" I did not say anything, but 
let him do the talking. The next day I was bundled 
into a wagon and taken to the depot, where I met some 
thirty of my 'comrades. Placing us in cattle cars they 
sent us to Louisville. 

I determined to take French leave of these Phil- 
istines at the very first chance. We left Lexington 
about ten o'clock, passing through Frankfort about 3 
p. m. When the cars reached Benson, two of the boys 
jumped and escaped to the hills, under a shower of 
bullets. We were nearing Bagdad station, not far from 
Christiansburg. There were some cattle on the track. 
The whistle blew loudly, causing some excitement 
ahead. Both car doors were open. The guards were 
green recruits. All the guards and prisoners were in 
the car together. While the guards were looking out 
of the door, I jumped from the train, which was still 


running. I made haste to a horse standing hitched to 
a post in front of a store, pulled myself onto him and 
rode down the road as fast as he could carry me. The 
guards began firing at me, but I kept to the woods and 
made my way under cover of darkness to Sam Bryant's 
place where I stayed until my wounds healed. From 
thence I started to join my brother near Fairfield. I 
stopped near Simpsonville. Here I was betrayed and 
captured and taken to Louisville, receiving a severe 
wound in my right shoulder. 

I gave the assumed name of Tom Henderson, was 
placed in the hospital on Third street, in the barracks, 
near where the Norton Infirmary now stands. The of- 
ficers' quarters were on the west side of Third street, 
near Oak street. The hospital was near some stables 
where the officers' horses were kept. There were sev- 
eral fine horses among them. My wounds were heal- 
ing nicely and I was afraid I would be sent away soon, 
as the surgeon asked me if I felt like traveling. I toio 
him '*no." He simply remarked that he thought I 
would be moved to prison. I was sure that this would 
be done. 

I watched the hospital steward when he went into 
the drug office. I drew on my coat, placed my hat on 
my head and walking to the stables, entered by the rear 
door and saddled the best horse. I led him out and 
propped the door shut from the rear. I rode slowly 
away until I reached a cornfield, between Floyd and 
Preston Stations, where I remained until dark. There 
were soldiers at the fort on the Preston street road, 
and soldiers near Third street, so I steered my course 
between the two, and made my way to Mr. James 
Phillips' home, five miles from the city, hiding in a 
dense thicket for four days. I suffered from my wound 


which was painful and inflamed. Bidding these kind 
friends farewell, I turned to try again the unknown fu- 
ture. I had obtained through the kindness of Captain 
Phillips six pistols, with ammunition. If I was to be 
captured I would make somebody feel that they had 
run up on a Berry with briars. I had to swim the 
South Fork which was bank full. This did not hurt 
me, as it was the 28th day of July and the weather 
was hot. Next evening I crossed Salt River. 1 went 
to my old friend, Judge Jonathan Davis, in Spencer 
county, where I learned of my brother's whereabouts. 
I rode to Dr. Evans' farm near Nazareth and there 
found Jim Evans and Miss Alice. We scoured the 
country for recruits, who were hiding in the bush. From 
Henry to Meade, from the Ohio River to Lancaster, we 
recruited three fine companies by the 15th of Septem- 
ber. My brother, ''One-armed" Berry had become a 
terror throughout the State. We rode and fought until 
November. The leaves began to fall so we made ar- 
rangements to go south for the benefit of our health. 
On the 2nd of the month, "One-armed" Berry had 320 
men. Making my way down through Meade, Breckin- 
ridge, Hardin, Hancock, McClain and Davis counties and 
thence to Morgantown, on the Tennessee River, pass- 
mg around Hartford, I received information that Adam 
Johnson was in the vicinity of Columbus, Kentucky. I 
joined him and found him preparhig to return south. 
When we reached the vicinity of Brownsville, Tenn., the 
next day we met a force of Pennsylvania cavalry. We 
charged them promptly. We hear dthat General Forrest 
was moving on Clarksville. I left Colonel Johnson and 
started to find my chosen commander. On the second 
day after leaving Colonel Johnson we rode fnto Abe 


Buford's camps at Waverly. I here learned that Gen- 
eral Forrest was going to attack Clarksville. We marched 
with General Buford's brigade. I had known this man 
from boyhood as we both lived in Woodford County, 
not far from each other, Uncle Jim Berry being in the 
same business as Buford, racing and breeding race horses. 
It was during my earlier years that I learned to ride, 
as I rode many races for Uncle Jim and at the time knew 
Captain Abe Buford. I never imagined that we would 
be soldiers together. As we rode forward, we became 
reminiscent, going back over the old, happy days of 
prosperity. This was the only time I had ever known 
him to unbend and become cordial and social in his 

Reaching General Forrest's camp, I went directly 
to his quarters. He was surprised to see me, and re- 
ceived me with that reserve that was characteristic of 
him. I presented him with my recruits, one hundred and 
sixty-two. I briefly told him of Morgan's raid through 
Kentucky and showed him my commission from the Sec- 
retary. I had informed the recruits when enlisting them 
that I should take them to General Forrest's command, 
and turn them over to him. They would then be as- 
signed to the regiment that they chose. I received 
hearty thanks for my efforts. He told these young sol- 
diers he should take special care of them, but had plenty 
of hard marching and fighting for them. 

At early dawn information was received that the 
enemy was approaching in strong force from the direc- 
tion of Paris. Forrest determined to meet an attack 
therej On his advance he encountered the enemy. For- 
rest ordered his whole force to charge and sweep all 
before them. Taking the center himself, his charging 
columns broke through the enemy's lines and turned on 


the right wing, from the rear and almost destroyed it. 
The left wing retreated. I received a serious wound 
in my left hip which paralyzed my leg for some days 
rendering me unable to ride or be moved. I was con- 
sequently left at Paris. Hood was forced to retreat. 

I was again captured, carried to Clarksville, placed 
on board a hospital transport and taken to Evansville, 
Indiana, and from there to Rock Island, Illinois, where 
I met many of my old comrades. Some were dying of 
poisoned vaccine virus which the surgeons had placed 
in their arms. Members of our old command lost arms 
from this cause. Hundreds of Confederates, poisoned, in 
this prison, died of small pox. There were sixteen 
thousand prisoners at this place at this time. 


The horrible punishments in this prison — The Seven Confederate 
Knights — My experience with Colonel Carrier — Escape' — 
Friends in Davenport. 

If some of the calamity howlers and the autTiorities 
at Washington could have looked in upon Rock Island, 
and then Andersonville, and have been compelled to 
make a choice between the two places as a permanent 
abiding place, I am very certain they would have chosen 
Andersonville, without any hesitancy. I am very sure 
that Andersonville did not contain within its walls half 
the horrors that existed for months at Rock Island. I 
was at Andersonville in the early summer of 1863. The 
prisoners received the same rations that their guards 
received. The water supply was deficient, and bad, but 
there was no harsh treatment that I ever heard of and 
only such measures were taken as would insure their 
safe keeping. 

I shall simply give my own personal experiences 
at this den of crime and infamy during the seven and 
one half weeks I remained within its walls. I reached 
Rock Island December 2nd, 1864; during my stay I wit- 
nessed more human suffering than in any other ten 
years of my checkered life. I had already been in five 
prisons, from which I had escaped. I thought I had wit- 
nessed suffering and personal hardship at Camp Morton, 
Camp Chase, and at Point Lookout. I fled from these 
as most men would flee from a pestilence. I was young 

O ao 


^ -M CO 

C 3 O 


and healthy, and hardship seemed to agree with me, 
but I must say in all candor that my experience and the 
treatment I had received had not prepared me for the 
scenes of suffering that daily met my eyes at Rock 

This prison is situated on an island in the Mississip- 
pi River, opposite Rock Island, and just opposite Daven- 
];ort, la. The climate at this place is frigid and cold dur- 
ing the long vv^inter months, and even those vvrho are ac- 
climated, and equipped w^ith w^arm clothing to protect 
them from the keen, cutting winter winds suffer from 
it. What must have been the intense suffering of those 
who had always lived in a warm climate, with only 
summer clothing, often with no undergarments, shoes 
full of holes, light socks, trousers full of holes at the 
knees, and seats out, half starved, not having sufficient 
wholesome food to keep the scurvy down. I have seen 
men shot at for picking up scraps of bread and meat out 
of the barrels and from scavenger carts. Colonel Car- 
rier, commandant of this prison swore a great oath that 
he would ''starve the d — d rebels to death if they did 
not join the Union army." 

Colonel Carrier built a prison in the southwest cor- 
ner of the prison yard, large enough to hold seven thous- 
and men, and from this time on until I made my es- 
cape, he employed a systematic and brutal method to 
carry out his threat of starvation. He had a placard 
placed all through the barracks and streets of the prison, 
stating that he wanted seven thousand men to join the 
frontier service, pledging such recruits not to send them 
to fight in the South, but to send them to fight the In- 
dians on the frontier. At the same time he commenced 
to cut off the usual allowance of rations, first an eighth, 


then a fourth. The corn bread was not more than half 
cooked and had so much soda in it that but few of the 
men could eat it. Half the beans were withheld; the 
baker's bread, most of it, was so sour it could not be 
eaten. During this pitiless cold weather several men 
froze to death, their blood being so impoverished and 
thin that life could not be sustained. An order was 
given that no two prisoners should stand and talk in 
the streets; accordingly guards instructed the sentries 
on the parapets to shoot any offenders guilty of a viola- 
tion of this rule. Many were thus killed or wounded. 
Many were whipped with heavy belts with buck- 
les, the prints of the buckles being left on trie bruised 
flesh. Others, again, were compelled to sit in banks of 
snow raked up to the arm pits ; others were made to ride 
"Morgan's mule." This was a long scantling with an 
edge uppermost, which the hapless victim was made 
to mount and there sit perched for two hours, the frame 
work was seven or eight feet high. Many men were 
wantonly shot for approaching the dead line. 

But the most brutal and most awful of these terrible 
punishments remains to be told. There were two of 
them. I was the unfortunate victim of both. One, the 
practice of tying men up by the thumbs, was as fol- 
lows: The victim was caught and cords tied tightly 
around his two thumbs. A peg or spike was driven 
into a post or wall of the prison, seven or eight feet 
above the ground or floor. A pulley was fixed to this 
with a strong heavy cord ; this cord passed through the 
pulley and the cords about the thumbs tied close to- 
gether, and to the cord from the pulley. The victim was 
now made to stand on top of a four inch block and 
stretched up by this pulley, after which the block was 
kicked from under his feet. The miserable man usually 


fainted dead away, turning livid in the face in a few 

The other, almost as bad, was the sweat box. The 
victim was placed in a box barely large enough to ad- 
mit a man's body and the lid drawn down tight, shut- 
ting out all fresh air. 

These two last methods of torture were frequently 
resorted to by this monster in human shape, the com- 
mandant. The question will arise : Why were these se- 
vere measures used? This is easy to answer. These 
men had been rendered desperate by starvation, maimed 
from poisoned vaccine virus, beaten with heavy leather 
belts, with buckles on them, frequently suffered from 
riding "Morgan's mule," being tied up by the thumbs, 
the sweat box and bad food. Other causes of distress 
were small pox, measles, pneumonia, vile curses and 
personal abuse, robbery of both food and clothing sent 
us from our homes. Cowardly threats of starvation and 
its brutal systematic, studied application, to these poor 
wretches brought about the desired end and thousands 
of these men joined the frontier service. Is it any won- 
der or surprise that these high-strung, brave men be- 
came desperate, and ready to attempt anything that 
might relieve them? 

Many tunnels were dug under the barracks toward 
the outer walls of this black hole of death. Numbers of 
men were caught outside these walls and shot to death. 
This was of almost daily or nightly occurence. All caught 
inside were punished by tying up by the thumbs. Hun- 
dreds of men had a wild, vacant look, caused b}^ intense 

The prison dungeon was a horrible, terrifying place. 
I was kept there four days and nights, to make me tell 


the secrets of the 7 C. K. of the Mystic Order. This 
was an oath bound society of Confederate prisoners, 
who pledged themselves to stand by each other under 
all circumstances and die in prison rather than take the 
hated oath of allegiance and join the United States 
army while the Confederate government was in exist- 

It was during the time while I was confined in this 
jinnil Ic (Inii'jcoii tlir't my liair bei^an to turn white, and 
within forty-eight hours it was completely so, and be- 
ean to fall out ; so terrible was my experience. 

It may be of interest to know that the badge or 
device of this society was a star with seven points, and 
our motto, "Duke et decorum est pro patria mori," mean- 
ing, "It is sweet and glorious to die for one's country." 
In the center oi the star were the emblematic letters, 
"7 C. K." 

A weak-kneed traitor who had broken his oath and 
joined the Federal army on the western frontier told 
Colonel Carrier that I belonged to this Order. When 
I was taken before Carrier, the human beast, he said: 
"Berry, I know all about your various plans and your 
schemes to escape, also the secrets of the *7 C. K.'s', in- 
cluding your signs, grips and badge. You had better 
tell me all about these things, and I will not punish you 
any further." 

"Colonel," I replied, "if you know so much about all 
these things, why do you ask me to tell you? I have 
nothing to say, and would not tell you, to save your 
life or mine. You need not bother me further." 

I told him that if I lived to get out of prison, and we 
should meet, there would be a settling of scores. He 
then put me into a sweat box, barely large enough to 
admit my body, and turned on the steam. 


I was an especial object of hatred to this cowardly 
monster, the commandant. I presume that I deserved 
some of my severe punishments. I received notice one 
day to pack my belongings, as I was wanted at the 
Colonel's quarters. This was after the call had been 
made for volunteers. Somebody told Carrier that I 
had escaped from several -prisons, and was making 
preparations to storm the prison walls. Upon hearing 
this. Carrier ordered the sergeant to make me bring 
all my effects with me, as he was going to send me to 
Johnson's Island, as I was an officer, and had no busi- 
ness in this place. I packed up all my traps, which were 
not many, went along with the sergeant. I felt what 
was coming. A presentiment gave me warning. The 
Colonel was all politeness, sweetness, gentleness. While 
he was talking of my departure to another prison, he 
had an officer searching my effects. He asked me many 
questions. I looked him in the eyes a moment without 
speaking, and then, very deliberately said, *'I should be 
delighted to get away from such a prison, and sucn a 
keeper." This was too much ; he threw off all disguises. 

"Where's that pistol you carried into this prison with 
you?" "I have no pistol; there are my effects, if you 
can find any pistol in them you're welcome to it." "I 
have direct, absolute knowledge that you have a loaded 
pistol in your possession, and you shall produce it or 
suffer the consequences." "Colonel, I am your prisoner; 
you searched me yourself when I came here. If you did 
not find it then how do you hope to do so now? Find 
it if you can ; I don't fear you. If I could have a chance 
to fight you and twenty such scoundrels I should be 
only too eager ; if not, I hope to live long enough to kill 
you. You are butchering my friends and comrades by 
the hundreds; I despise and defy you." I was furious. 


Unarmed as T was, he appeared to be afraid of me, but 
raisint^ himself he sent me away and l^ack into the pris- 
on. As T stepped from the door he yelled after me, ''I 
will break your spirit or your neck, younj^- man." 

T was desperate. [ had this very day bribed a sol- 
dier who was a friend of mine in boyhood days. I had 
a long talk with him on several occasions. Today he 
had proposed to let me and six other prisoners out if I 
would raise him one hundred and forty dollars. He said 
he \v3.s going to quit the service, desert, and needed the 
money to get away. His beat was on the north side of 
the walls, next the river. He told me that his reliet 
would come at 10 and 2 at night, and showed me where 
his beat extended. 

I knew that I was a doomed man, unless I should 
get away. I had been in negotiation with a lady and her 
daughter in Davenport, a Southern-raised woman from 
Warsaw, Ky. She had been in the prison several times. 
I had sent and received letters underground from both 
these noble-hearted w^omen ; I knew where they lived 
and how to find the house ; I was resolved to get out of 
this black hell of death. 

We had already torn up some quilts and made ropes 
of them and bent a small iron bar into a hook ready to 
be fastened to this rope ladder. The moon did not rise 
until about 3 o'clock in the morning. I informed my 
comrades of my plans and told them of the interview 
with Colonel Carrier. I also laid before them the immi- 
nent danger and risk we were taking, of the hourly dcatli 
scenes we witnessed among our friends. I feared that 
this pretended friend would betray us after he got our 
money. I had made up my mind to end all or be a free 
man again. 

Seven men agreed to try to escape, but wdien the 


time came, two of them backed out and did not go with 
us. Well for them, perhaps, that they did not, as the 
sequel will show. I was impatient for the time to come 
but waited for the appointed hour and signal, and found 
the sentry on the parapet. It was fifteen minutes of two ; 
the clock struck slowly, distinctly. The night was dark. 
I had practiced throwing the hook over the edge of the 
top bunks in my barracks, which was the height of the 
prison fence. I had one hundred and twenty dollars in 
my outside coat pocket to hand the sentry, also my pis- 
tol handy for instant use. We all now stealthily crossed 
the deadline to the fence ; I threw the hook over, and it 
caught fast at the first effort. I climbed to the top and 
slid down upon the parapet on the outside of the fence. 
This walk was on the outside, four feet below the top 
of the fence. Jim Evans, Billy Wilson, Jim Todd, Jack 
Moseby and myself were in the party. Evans reached 
the walkway or parapet, Todd and W^ilson were on the 
top of the fence, Moseby's head was just appearing above 
the fence. I handed the sentry, whose name was David- 
son, the bribe money. At this moment I saw the glint 
of musket barrels by the light of the moon, which was 
just rising. I fell flat and pulled Evans down after me. 
The volley killed two and seriously wounded others. 
Wilson and Todd were killed. All was confusion. In- 
stantly after the volley I whispered to Evans, "Come, 
follow me," and leaping from the parapet ran toward 
the river. Another volley was fired, the smoke obscuring 
every object. Reaching the bank, I fired four shots at 
the mass of blue coats. 

The weather was intensely cold; I had an overcoat, 
which I pulled off. We both now walked out upon the 
ice, which commenced to crack and pop with long, vi- 
brating noise. We walked in a half circle several times, 


then near the edge of thin ice where the running water 
had not frozen, then slowly back. We sprang up and 
down. At this a large flake of ice broke loose, floated 
out into the rapid current, and carried us down stream. 
We were afloat on the Mississippi River. 

I kept my overcoat on my arm, as I did not care to 
have it on me in case we should have to swim. We had 
to trust to fate. When we passed under the railroad 
bridge, I expected to receive a volley. Looking back in 
the direction of the island and prison we could see lights 
moving in all directions. These were lanterns in the 
hands of soldiers looking for us. We floated down about 
two miles below the bridge and the current forced us to 
the Iowa shore, near a small creek. Our weight sank the 
block of ice beneath the water so that it was forced un- 
der the shore ice, which gave sufficient strength to the 
outer edge of thin ice next the running water to bear 
our weight. We walked on towards the Iowa shore. 
Finally we found a deep gulch in the prairie, cut by 
freshets. This gulch was filled with round bunches of 
weeds, known to many as ''tumble weeds," because they 
are almost round and when dry the high winds break 
them off and drive them rolling and tumbling across the 
prairie. We entered this gulch, making our way to the 
head. On reaching the end we found the soil haa been 
washed out six or eight feet under the thick sod. This 
was an excellent shelter from the bleak winter wind, 
which whistled and sighed among the weeds, which we 
gathered and placed close together for a bed. My feet 
were soaking wet in my thick boots. I had to put on 
my overcoat and button it closely about me. Notwith- 
standing this I was becoming very cold. I said to 
Evans, ''Suppose one of us at a time keep watch over 
the fields and prairies in every direction, to prevent sur- 


prise. When day comes we must not show ourselves 
above the surface; we can't tell what may happen; I 
would rather die than to return to the black hole again." 
At this moment I resolved never to surrender again, so 
long as the war should last. 

Day was now dawning, the hours had fled since two 
o'clock. I thought of my dead comrades, of the dying, 
suffering companions left behind, to linger out a mis- 
erable life of torture and woe ; I thought of the unnum- 
bered cruelties to helpless prisoners in all the prisons 
I had been in, but they all were pleasant, luxurious 
homes compared to the incomparable, brutal cruelties of 
Rock Island. This coward must have studied this sub- 
ject all his life. The great orb of day was appearing 
dimly above the horizon. The day, the 19th of January, 
1864, dawned cold and clear. The wind was chill. 
Evans and I watched for any stirring from the prison. 
The noon hour came and passed ; it was my watch. I 
could see wagons slowly moving toward the foot of the 
island ; they stopped near the g«rave yard and some long 
boxes were lifted out. I learned later that these boxes 
contained the remains of the two gallant soldier boys 
who were so infamously betrayed and butchered. I often 
asked myself, for what was I spared? Why were my 
comrades taken from my very side and I left? 

In the evening the snow began to fall, reminding 
me forcibly of my experience at Camp Chance. It was 
slow at first, but in about an hour it fell faster and fast- 
er. Darkness was approaching, and I said, ''Evans, 
come let's be off; we shall be covered soon if we re- 
main here." Taking the river for a guide we moved 
cautiously toward Davenport, where I was sure we 
could find shelter and food. I had eaten nothing for 


three days, having been so wrought up by the exciting 

Reaching the limits of the city we made our way to 
the place where I had been told the house stood. Going 
boldly through the gate into the yard I tapped on the 
door. It opened ; there was our friend. She said, 
"Stable." Mrs. Culberson motioned me to go around 
the house. There were two large lamps lighted in the 
yard. I turned back into the street, found a narrow 
alley next the yard which I followed. Reaching the 
stable, I met Miss Culberson under the shed. She led 
the way by a side entrance to the house. We, stepping 
as lightly as we could, followed her. She took us to the 
attic of the house, and entered a nicely furnished room. 
She turned about and spoke in low, almost sobbing tones, 
saying, "You are safe here ; I am so sorry your com- 
rades were killed ; this is indeed a terrible, cruel war. 
Here is some cold water; I see you are both nearly 
frozen. I've been expecting you all day. There are 
clean clothes for you both. Mamma will be up in a 
half hour; I will also call later." 

Leaving us she went dowm stairs. 

I found that my boots were frozen on my feet; 
also my trousers up to my knees. I stepped into the 
water in the bath tub, which soon thawed them out. I 
had Evans draw them off for me, then I took a bath in 
some fresh water. I was feeling better and more com- 
fortable than I had for months ; I was still numb and 
growing sleepy when a soft knock was heard on the 
door. Evans opened it; Mrs. Culberson came forward 
and greeted us both kindly. Her lovely dauji^hter had 
a basket of supper in her hands, w^hich she began to ai- 
range. Madam told about the two dead comrades and 
the wounded. She also told us that the authorities be- 


lieved Evans and I were drowned in the river, as it was 
reported to the colonel that we were seen to sink beneath 
the water of the Mississippi. It is touchingly sad to hear 
of one's own death and to be drowned in ice cold water, 
in the dead of winter at that. We were dead to the 
world, at least until we could hear from home. Mrs. 
Culberson's husband was at Washington looking after 
some interests for the Davenport and Iowa Central Rail- 
road, of which he was president. We ate supper, to which, 
it is needless to say, we did ample justice; we did not 
leave a scrap. I told of my prison life, my set-to with 
the colonel. "Yes," Mrs. Culbertson said, "he told us of 
that; he says he would not like to meet you. They are 
going to send the men to the frontier who enlisted in 
the prison in a day or two." 

I wrote to Sam — "One-Arm" Berry — to send me 
some money, a suit of citizens clothes and a pair of 
pistols. On February 1st I received a box sent to Mrs. 
Culberson for me. I had spent a very pleasant time at 
the home of Mrs. Culberson. She was a noble, generous 
Christian lady; I shall ever cherish her memory with 
lasting affection. I donned my suit, belted on my pistols 
and bade adieu to those good Samaritans. 

I had made myself familiar with Davenport from 
the window of the house during my stay. I walked di- 
rectly to the depot and bought a ticket for Chicago. On 
entering the ticket office I saw two Yankee officers of 
the prison lounging on the seats, and four private sol- 
diers. I took in the situation at a glance ; I felt like 
closing on them, but prudence is always the first ele- 
ment of duty and of valor, but I had been so harried, 
abused and compelled to submit to and witness such 
cruelties by these cowards that my blood almost boiled, 
I Vvalked out upon the platform, waiting for the train. 


which arrived on time. I boarded the car, among the 
first who took a seat. As the train moved out near the 
bridge I noticed Miss Jessie Culberson waving adieu 
from her side window. May the Deity bless and prosper 
all such. "What a happy world this would be if all 
mankind was like these noble, generous creatures," I 
thought as she disappeared from my view. I looked 
upon the island of death, where so much misery and 
crime was practiced, while crossing the bridge to Rock 
Island City. We reached Chicago late in the night. 


Incident in Cincinnati — We capture horses and find a friend — ^A 
capture and a recovery — A new company recruited — Fight 
near Owensville — Ride through Georgetown — More recruit- 
ing — Attacked but victorious — Surprised — Our murderous re- 
sistance — Burning of Georgetown female college. 

When Evans and I left Mrs. Culberson's house we 
left one at a time. We never looked at or spoke to each 
other, as there were spies everywhere. Every stranger 
was shadowed and his business pried into. In Chicago 
we took a cab directly for the Cincinnati depot. Board- 
ing the train we pulled out and reached Cincinnati about 
9 a. m. Taking a bus for the Burrett house I ordered 
a room. I told Evans that we would have to be careful 
and watch our points. After a refreshing bath I took a 
walk down the street. I purchased six pistols and am- 
munition, placing four in my belt and the others in my 
grip-sack. I had a shave and hair-cut. Returning by 
another street I went to my room, where I met a man 
whom I knew instantly; he had killed one of my com- 
rades, and made his escape. He was a deserter from our 
army and now a United States detective. I covered him 
with my ^pistol and disarmed him. I said to Evans, 
"Let's be away or we shall have more of the bloody 
sleuths upon our heels." We could not kill this wretch, 
but we could lock him in the room, and let him get out 
the best way he could. This man's name was Murphy. 
He killed Captain McGinnis, who had him arrested for 
stealing a watch from a prisoner. When placed under 
guard, he was not disarmed ; he watched for Captain 


McGinnis, who was at this time adjutant general of the 
command. The killing occurred on the day of the battle 
.-tt Green river bridge. As Captain McGinnis rode by 
this man Murphy shot him dead, and made his escape. 
This was the first time I had met him since. I did not 
feel warranted in assuming the risk of taking him with 
me, so I locked him in the room and hastily crossed the 
river to Covington. 

We walked on until finally we found ourselves some 
distance from the city. We heard horses' feet. It was 
some Federal scouts coming. We walked to a gate, 
opened it and walked in ; the lieutenant spoke to us and 
passed on. After passing they disappeared around a 
bend in the road. We continued our walk and about a 
mile and a half from here we met three soldiers whom 
we halted and disarmed, and took their horses. We 
placed the two on one horse, took a by-road through the 
country, traveling steadily and rapidly for two hours 
with these now thoroughly frightened soldiers. They 
believed we were going to kill them. We halted and 
made them dismount. I told them that we were Con- 
federates, but that they were free. Bidding them good 
evening we rode away, leaving them to make their way 
back as best they could. We now pushed on faster, for 
we were well mounted. We reached the vicinity of 

In the direction of Covington we met a fafmer who 
claimed the led horse and told us such a straight story 
of its capture that we asked him his name; he told us 
"Sanklin." I then asked him if he had a son with Mor- 
g:an. He said he did and that he was then in prison at 
Rock Island. We had found a friend. We told him 
who we were and about our escape from tnat place. He 
directed us where to go so we could rest a few days — 


to his place, where we stopped with him three days. He 
sent a guide to lead us through the country. Reaching 
Owen county, we felt we were at home, as this county 
had sent more men to the Confederate armies than any 
other in the state, and fewer to the Union army. We 
were now in the big hills. We stopped at Henry 
Spence's place. Here we met Captain Southall, a re- 
cruiting officer of the Confederate army, an old com- 
rade, and a number of the old squadron. He was a 
brave, gallant soldier, a hard fighter, a man who never 
knew fear. There was at this time a regiment of mixed 
troops at Covington — two companies of negroes and 
three companies of white cavalry. Captain Southall had 
gone to Carrolton the day before and asked me to meet 
him in a lar^e woodland. Evans was sick with pneu- 
monia. Leaving him in careful hands I started to meet 
the captain. At this period we seldom traveled the 
roads ; when we did it was only for very short distances. 
While traversing this woodland near sundown, along a 
bridle path, the trees thick and woods dense, suddenly 
from behind a large beach tree I was confronting a mus- 
ket. The muzzle of this gun was so close to my head 
that the opening looked as large as the mouth of a six- 
pound cannon. Behind this ugly-looking muzzle was 
the blackest negro sergeant that ever wore the blue. 
His eyes looked fierce and savage. "Halt, dar." I halt- 
ed. T was made to dismount. He kept his gun un- 
comfortably close to my body. I handed him one pistol. 
He set his gun by the tree, I shoved my pistols at him, 
one, two, three, four, five. He looked surprised and as- 
tonished at the number. There was a purpose in this. 
He fumbled at his belt. One of the weapons hung 
against his clothing. He took his eyes off me and looked 
down, but when he again looked up he was looking- into 


the muzzle of a cocked revolver. It was my inning. He 
recoiled and threw up his hands, exclaiming, "Oh, boss, 
don't shoot, I s-surrender." I bade him unbuckle his 
belt, step backwards and to the right about face, march. 
I halted him twelve feet away and then picked up my 
pistols, returning them to the holsters, and taking his 
musket up I mounted my horse, marched my negro ser- 
geant into the woods and waited for my friend, Captain 

The moon rose clear, sending its silvery rays 
through the branches. About eight o'clock I heard the 
hurried footfalls of a horse coming through the woods. 
A low signal announced his arrival. I joined him and 
we made our way back to camp. The captain had with 
him six recruits, all well mounted, and reported some 
more to follow on the morrow's night. I turned my 
capture over to the captain, as I did not wish to kill or 
to be encumbered. Our soldiers never regarded negroes 
as soldiers, only as property. This negro had been run 
off from his master in Tennessee and smuggled through 
to Olean, Ohio, when a boy. He had managed to ob- 
tain an education. Joining the army he was made a first 
sergeant in the Twenty-ninth Ohio volunteers. I gave 
him to the captain, who took him south. During the 
early days of March we moved up into the western bor- 
der of Scott county, picking up recruits as we went. 
Near the stamping ground we were met by Zl men, and 
by 18 more at Arch Edger's. There were also nine ol;' 
caped prisoners and thirteen more who had arranged 
every detail for a return south. 

Captain Southall drew up these men in line ; they 
were counted and found to number 94, with 31 old vet- 
erans among them. We moved out from camp with 
guides and riding through the night reached the vicinity 


of Mount Sterling. The men were enjoined to keep ab- 
solutely quiet as there was a strong garrison six miles 
away, and scouting parties on all the roads. At early 
dusk we moved towards Owensville, around which we 
made a detour as there was a strong force here. Going 
through farms we crossed the main road east of this 
place three miles, but reaching a narrow lane were fired 
upon from high banks on each side of the road. The 
blaze of the guns met across the road; the light was 
so bright that we could see the enemy's faces. Our col- 
umn returned their fire. Each double-barreled shotgun 
poured such volleys of buckshot into their ranks as we 
charged through the lane that they were satisfied to 
leave us for the night at least. The firing did not last 
more than five minutes, but it was long enough for us to 
kill 28 men and wound 43 and kill and wound 19 horses. 
Our loss was two killed, seven slightly wounded and 
four horses killed. My horse was killed. Captain South- 
all pursued his way to Saltville ; I returned to Scott 
county. I met an old Confederate, Archie, near Lees- 
burg, which all the old soldiers and citizens in this re- 
gion called 'Xittle Richmond." All the people in this 
entire country from Williamstown, Owenton, Frank- 
fort, Georgetown, Lexington and Shelbyville were in- 
tensely Southern. There had occurred at this place a 
number of deadly contests, always resulting in the rout 
or serious defeat of the Yankee scouts. I met in the woods 
near x\rchie's an old soldier who had been seriously 
wounded at the last battle of Cynthiana. I asked where 
he was going. He replied he wanted to go to the stamp- 
ing ground, but the distance was so great around George- 
town he did not care to go so far. I made the proposi- 
tion to him to ride through Georgetown and kill a few 
Yankees. ''All right." This man was Mose ^^>bs1er. 

We reloaded our pistols fresh. I had a new Sharp's 
rifle which I had taken from the negro sergeant. We 
were splendidly mounted on fresh horses. We came 
upon pickets at the two-mile p^st. We were dressed in 
citizen's clothes. There were only two of them ; we cap- 
tured and dismounted them, and taking their horses, 
moving down the road toward the pike toward Lexing- 
ton, we slung their carbines, straps and guns over our 
shoulders and made our way down the street. At the 
first street east of the courthouse we met six Yankees 
mounted, evidently the picket relief. They eyed us 
closely and seeing the guns they moved toward us. We 
drew our pistols, opened on them a rapid, deadly fire, 
killing four and wounding a fifth. They also fired at us, 
but we wheeled towards the courthouse. Charging 
down the street we checked our horses in front of the 
court house and each emptied a pistol into the excited 
struggling mass of soldiers, each of whom was trying to 
get inside first. Those in the court house rushed to the 
windows to see what caused the turmoil. Bethinking 
themselves they took arms and opened on us. We fright- 
ened these almost out of their wits. 

With not a scratch or a hair turned we killed nine 
and wounded four. We had accomplished our mission 
and now had a run for it. Turning our horses' heads 
to the west we dashed down the Frankfort pike at 
breakneck speed: on we sped like the wind. From be- 
liind us the leaden hail flew at and over us. Up the 
steep hill we went. At the top we must render an 
account as there were eight men on the new relief 
pickets, waiting our coming. As we neared the top I 
said, "Webster, hold your fire until at close quarters. 
Pick your man, don't fail." Drawing a revolver in each 
hand I took my reins in my teeth. As we came near, 


they all fired at once, but missed. We were now close, 
and fired together. Three empty saddles, five empty 
saddles, and ten dead horses; the other three men fled; 
we close after them. By this time the company had 
mounted and were after us in hot haste. We followed 
and were also followed. The three fled as if the demons 
were at their heels. I wounded one of these at long 
range with my Sharp's rifle. They kept the Frankfort 
pike. We turned to our right and took the pike run- 
ning to what is known as the Great Crossing three or 
four miles from Georgetown. A bridge crosses north 
Elk Horn, a stream above Big Springs, that rises in 
the town of Georgetown. The banks of this stream at 
this point are steep, here we proposed to fight them 
if they should come on, as Mose Webster had four 
pistols and a repeating rifle giving him 32 shots ; I had 
six pistols and two rifles, one eight, the other a sixteen 
repeating rifle. The six revolvers give me thirty-six 
shots, and the rifles twenty-four shots, making sixty 
shots for me. From behind the abutments of this 
bridge, we determined to make them pay dearly if they 
attacked us. They came at a rapid pace. I brought my 
Sharp into use, emptied three saddles, which checked 
the advance until the stragglers closed up. On and 
on they came, closer and closer. Our repeating rifles 
kept up a rapid fusillade from the western end of the 
bridge. Webster proved himself a fine shot, killing 
eio^ht horses, with four men killed or wounded. There 
were three roads that entered this bridge from the 
west; we had to keep a sharp outlook for other scout- 
ing bands of Yankees. We fought this company, the 
Tenth Ohio, with sixty-five men, for an hour. When 
th^y withdrew there were tirhirteen killed and eight 
wounded and seventeen horses killed and wounded. 


Night coming on, we made our way into the Eagle 
hills. The next day we reached our old companion, 
Jim Evans, who was much better, but not able to 
travel, I left him a few days, to go over into Henry 
county with Captain Wainwright, also a recruiting offi- 
cer. Gathering thirty recruits, we started back mto 
Owen county. We were attacked by a company under 
Captain Buckley. Charging furiously we drove them 
through Port Royal, killing a number. Returning we 
crossed the Kentucky River, not far from the famous 
Drennon Springs. I was gone a week and on my re- 
turn I found Evans, "One-arm" Berry, and eight others 
waiting for Captain Wainwright; we all left for Big 
Eagle where there were fourteen men waiting to join 
tjhe iCtaptain. Crowing ofver the divide we reached 
Little Eagle Creek, picking up recruits. Captain Wain- 
wright moved up to the vicinity of the stamping ground. 
At this place eight more recruits joined the Captain. 
With over sixty men, he moved his camp to the vi- 
cinity of my old friend, Captain John Carter, about two 
miles away. I wished to introduce my brother to him. 
He had been plundered and robbed right and left; this 
man was considered the legitimate prey for every thief 
and Yankee company that passed his way. The in- 
famous Burbridge had robbed him of horses, hogs and 
a large drove o^ fat cattle. He greeted us with cor- 
diality. I presented my brother. Very early in the 
morning I was up. I heard horses moving on the pike 
a short distance away. Lodking more closely they 
proved to be Federal soldiers. Stepping to the north 
window, I saw the house was being surrounded by them. 
I quickly aroused my brother and Evans, also Wain- 
wright, telling them we were surrounded we were in 
for it again. I remembered my cruel treatment at the 


black hole, Rock Island. Evans and I pledged our- 
selves to die rather than surrender. 

The house was a two-story lo^ house, weather 
boarded with two bay windows on each side. In front 
there was but one opening — the door. The windows, 
two in number, were five feet from the ground; the 
kitchen, also of logs, was detached from the 
house. Captain Carter might be depended upon in 
any emergency; he always carried two and often four 
pistols, and had in his house seven double-barrel shot 
guns. Captain Cook dismounted his men down in the 
ravine behind the tobacco barn some two hundred yards 
from the house. He sent his lieutenant to demand a 
surrender; if this request was not complied with in five 
minutes he would set fire to the house. Captain Carter 
made answer, "Come and take us," that he might have 
his house, and barn also when he took it, but not 

Cook opened fire upon the windows and sent men 
forward with bundles of tobacco and dry shingles, and 
clapboards to apply the torch. Immediately Evans and 
I opened fire on these house burners, killing six of them. 
Others took up the bundles and threw them against 
the house. We shot the blazing fagots away. Then all 
made a combined rush for the house. By this time 
the four of us had descended to the hall. We threw 
the door wide open and as they made a rush at it, they 
met a solid sheet of flame and lead. They recoiled. 
It was now our time to charge, each with a double- 
barrel gun with twenty-four buckshot in each barrel. 
In quick, rapid succession the leaden storm caught them. 
After discharging our guns, our pistols came into action. 
The rattle and roar of the volleys told fearfully upon 


the retreatiiii^, disniayecl Yankees, l^'ullowini; them, we 
kept them on the move. 

U'c had ]jhiced our horses in the mi(Ulle of the 
tobacco in the barn; we now hurried to niouni. C\) )k, 
thinking- we were trying- to get away, returned to the 
fight, rallying- about twenty of liis men, who now pur- 
sued us close to the barn to set it on fire. We drove 
them back with serious loss. They began to waver. 
Carter again opened on them with his shotguns. 
Captain Cook was close upon "One-arm" Berry and 
received for his pains three bullets in rapid succession, 
which placed him at our mercy, seriously wounded. See- 
ing their captain down, his men fled to the pike. As 
they reached it we were close behind, having secured all 
our horses. Hearing sounds on the pike to the north, 
we looked and saw Captain Wainwright with his men 
coming down in a run. He took in the situation at a 
glance. Soldier, as he was, he charged the fleeing 
enemy, following them four miles. Out of the sixty- 
nine men picked to kill and exterminate us, there were 
within a radius of seventy-five yards fifty-three men 
killed and wounded in the yard, rear and front, and 
about the stable, and in the narrow lane were dead and 
wounded men and horses. Captain Cook begged "One- 
Arm Berry" to finish him and end his suffering, and 
what he termed his disgrace. My brother and myself 
had both been touched, but only slightly, but we were 
sure to hear from this. Captain Wainwright, returning, 
took up his march for the Licking hills on his way south. 
"One-Arm" Berry, Evans and myself vanished to the 
upper Eagle Hills. This was the 12th day of March. 

I took Cook's pistols. We slept in the woods tliat 
night with but one saddle blanket. On the night of 
the 14th, while eating supper we were surprised at 


Arch Edges, an old bachelor. How he did love a frolic, 
a foot race or a fight. It was all the same to him. His 
house, open to all Johnnies, is on a round hill about a 
mile and a half west of Leesburg, and built in the same 
way as Carter's house, except that it had one story, 
and faced the east. There was but one opening, or 
entrance. The house was of logs and weather-boarded. 
While eating supper, we were somewhat startled by a 
shot. Going cautiously to the door, I saw a company of 
Federal soldiers dismounting and deploying. In dis- 
mounting one of them had caught his gunlock and it was 
discharged prematfurely. At the same time a little 
negro came running in and said, *'Masse Arch, de Yan- 
kees is a comin'." There were five young ladies at the 
table, who commenced wringing their hands and cry- 
ing. I said, ''Boys, shot guns to the front." The door 
was opened and seven soldiers, Yankees, darkened the 
door. One, two, three, fire! The ringing, resounding 
shots, almost deafening, with groans and curses, fol- 
lowed. All these went down quickly. Captain Baker 
led his men with a rush at the salient angle of the door. 
There was some snow on the ground, giving us a clear 
vision of what was going on outside. We heard the 
officer shout, "Charge the door!" "Charge the door! 
Follow me," he said. We waited for them. With a 
rush they came, the young lieutenant leading. Oh, 
What a pity he must be killed. Six more quick, rapid 
solid volleys rang out. A quivering mass of mangled 
humanity sank before the door. Before charging them, 
we reloaded our double-barrel shotguns, twenty buck 
shot in each barrel, also our revolvers. We leaped 
across the wounded and dying, determined and vengeful, 
and opened on the recoiling and fleeing bluecoats. 
The scene at the door on this ever memorable night 


of January 18, 1864, often rises up before me. We shot 
to kill, as did all this fearless band. Every shot seemed 
to take effect. In front of the door and along the hillside 
were lying numbers of dead and dying men. The fright- 
ened horses broke away from their riders and ran off 
through the woods and down the road. The enemy fled 
through the woodland. The scene was sickening. We 
gathered up many pistols and broke them against the 
trees. We did not finish our supper. We now made 
our prisoners gather up their wounded and place them 
under shelter; also, their dead. 

We bade Arch Edges and the ladies farewell, and 
made our way in the direction of the Williamstown road. 
On reaching the pike about two o'clock, we saw a large 
light illuminating the sky about a mile south of us. 
Riding forward we could see it was a large building 
burning in the vicinity of Georgetown. This fire proved 
to be the Georgetown female college. We were close 
enough to hear the crackling of the burning building. 
Riding forward we could distinctly make out the whole 
situation. We saw the young ladies students running 
about wringing their hands in their night clothes, their 
hair streaming about their shoulders and backs ; and 
numbers of them sitting on their trunks crying. We 
rode still closer and saw the negro soldiers carrying off 
trunks. We rode into the campus with a pistol in 
each hand, opened fire upon these negro prowlers, and 
killed a number of them. We asked the young ladies 
if these negroes had set fire to the college. Many a 
voice answered "Yes." 

On the opposite side of the creek on the hill stood 
a large crowd of people, with many negro soldiers among 
them. When we opened fire on the thieves many dropped 
the trunks and fled ; we shot them as thev ran awav. 


Having driven them off, we turned to go, but were 
surrounded by these beautiful young creatures, who were 
pulling the hair from our horses' manes and tails, and 
also clipping the locks from our heads. We came very 
near being captured, as the enemy saw our plight and 
commenced to cross the creek. We had to force our 
way through this wall of loveliness and beauty. We 
rode all night and made our way into Woodford County. 
Daylight found us in thick brush and woodland, tired 
almost to death, having been in the saddle for the last 
sixty-four hours. This period was crowded with much 
excitement. I was only too glad to rest and stretch 
out my weary body. Feeding my charger and rubbing 
him down, I thought over the wonderful and rapid 
changes in a few short hours. It really seemed years 
to me, so much had happened in one night. These were 
indeed evil and bloody years. Hunted, proscribed and 
harried, I could not stop and be butchered like a mad 
dog or a wild beast. We rested until nightfall, and then 
traveled all night. Next morning saw us in Shelby 
County. We here found some of our old friends, among 
\hQ^-^ !c'"V'- , ' '- M- "Sue Monday," also Henry Mc- 
Gruder, Enloe, Texas, Tom Henry, Bill Mareman, John 
Hudgins, Bill Morrison, John Suder, Bill Walch and 
"One-Arm" Berry. 



Attacking the wall with cordwood — I am one of the few to 
escape — Back to Kentucky — Fight at Simpsonville — A brutal 

At this place I wish to set down the story of the 
escape of Confederate prisoners from Camp Morton and 
Indianapolis, where about 8,000 were in custody. It was 
a most singular and remarkable occurrence. I was at 
that time prisoner here, having been captured near Bards- 
town, in Morgan's second trip, early in Noivember, 1862. 

These soldiers were all intelligent, educated men, 
who were captured at Fort Donaldson battle, many 
of them Kentuckians, Tennesseeans and Alabamans, with 
a few citizen-sympathizers of the South. Their fare and 
treatment was of such a nature at this time that there 
was much dissatisfaction and complaint, also protest. 
These soldiers were becoming very restless. They were 
disgusted and in an ugly mood, and began to organize 
into companies, battalions and regiments. It now be- 
came evident that these measures were taken for future 
and serious purposes, that the real object was to storm 
the prison walls and capture the guards' guns and fight 
their way to Kentucky and liberty. 

Having formed their plans and appointed officers 
or leaders, all of them provided themselves with heavy 
sticks of cordwood. Thus armed, they secretly mus- 
tered their forces at night about half past one o'clock 
November 19, 1862. At the agreed signal, all these des- 
perate soldiers, some 5,000 strong, rushed forward against 


the prison wall on the west side, which gave way with 
a crash like the sound of many cannon. The rush for 
liberty was very exciting. The guards on the parapet 
walls were thrown violently to the ground. The crack 
of musketry, the hiss of flying bullets, the commands of 
officers of both sides, the shouts and yells of all pro- 
duced a pandemonium. A short struggle, a serious 
grapple for possession of the guards' arms, all was soon 

Unarmed men, however brave or desperate, cannot 
fight men armed and under control. Many of these des- 
perate brave soldiers were killed and wounded. Nearly 
all were recaptured and returned to prison. Few of 
them made good their escape. I was one of these for- 
tunate ones, with two others of my friends, John Beatty 
and Henry Hooper. The guards were doubled and can- 
non placed to cover all points of the compass. Thus 
ended one of the most desperate and notable attempts 
at escape in all history. 

We all separated and each one of us went his way 
to find that protection we sought. After leaving the 
prison we ran swiftly to White River, plunged into the 
water, which was very cold; snow was falling rapidly. 
Reaching the opposite bank, we thought our troubles 
were over. But not so. As the White River here is 
very crooked and makes a wide bend or detour and 
doubles back upon itself, we had to swim it again, the 
second time this night. The weather was very cold. 
We thought that we would surely freeze, as our wet 
clothing froze stiff on our bodies. But we pushed for- 
ward during the night, and kept moving along, though 
it was slowish traveling in the snow. At daybreak we 
found a warm shelter under the roof of a good friend, 
a Southern sympathizer. Here we dried our clothing 


and rested for two days and nights, and when we left 
this good Samaritan's shelter he furnished us with money 
and a pair of Colt's army pistols, a gift or contribution 
to the cause of civil liberty. He also took us in his 
carriage to the depot some fifteen miles, and saw us 
safe aboard the train south. 

Reaching Louisville at night, we took our foot in 
our hands, and started for the tall timber, avoiding all 
public roads. At daylight we found ourselves eighteen 
miles from the city, tired and leg-weary. We now took 
shelter in a large barn near Shepardsville, Bullitt County. 
We did not know whose place this was, but we kept 
a sharp lookout. Finally, at early morning, we saw 
an old man coming to the barn whom we knew, he 
had a son with our command, and was very much sur- 
prised to see us. This old gentleman was none other 
than Colonel Bob Shepard, who now invited us to the 
house and his good wife prepared a nice breakfast for 
us. All his negroes had been stolen or had run away, 
leaving him and his good lady alone, stripped and bare. 
He listened to our recital of our escape with intense in- 
terest. We asked him if we could find horses. He said 
he would furnish one, and knew a neighbor who would 
give us another, and would also give a fine shotgun for 
good measure, with plenty of ammunition. We told 
him we also needed six army pistols ; we already had 
one apiece, but needed two pairs for each of us. He 
told us that he could and would send a lady friend to 
the city for these and plenty of fixed ammunition for 
same. We also sent for cavalry boots and overcoats, as 
the weather was bitter cold. Having arranged these 
matters, we offered him the money to pay for these, but 
he refused to accept a dollar, and said that he knew a 
club of Southern women and men who would be glad 


and proud to contribute this equipment as a patriotic 
duty to help along the cause. 

We remained here resting after our hard march 
for four days. 

On the evening of the fourth day we were invited 
to this neighbor's home to meet the lady who went to 
Louisville to secure the equipment for us. She proved 
to be the sister of Colonel Phill Lee, who afterwards 
commanded the famous Second Kentucky Recruit Reg- 
iment, Colonel Hanson's old regiment. This elevated pa- 
triotic lady brought us warm underclothing, uniforms, 
cavalry boots, socks, blankets, overcoats, hats and gloves, 
six pistols and two fine Spencer sharpshooter rifles. We 
enjoyed a sumptuous supper, and remained here until 
after midnight, nearly two o'clock, before we could drag 
ourselves away from these noble, generous people. God 
prosper and preserve all such as these. 

Leaving this place we were under the guidance of 
a true Kentuckian, who led us to the Salt River and 
found us a ford and went with us to a safe retreat, 
where we were among friends. The next day our old 
time friend and standby, Uncle Nimrod Conn, came to 
us. He was much surprised to see me again. This was 
the sixth time I had made good my escape from the Yan- 
kees. I was ready for any duty that destiny should 
bring. Two days after this date, March 14, 1863, my 
brother, Captain Samuel O. Berry, came to this rendez- 
vous. He was sent into Kentucky and informed me 
that I was also detailed on this special duty to assist 
him in this service. We now went vigorously at this 
dangerous work, as the enemy were very active, since 
Morgan's last raid. 

To return to the events of 1865. We were informed 
that Captain Ed Terrill, of General John M. Palmer's 


body guard, was raiding in Spencer, Washington, Shelby 
and Jefferson Counties, killing citizens, arresting many 
of them, and stealing cattle and horses. 

Captain Berry gathered around him a number of 
men whose families had been brutally treated in various 
ways, eighteen in number ; also of General Morgan's 
men who had been cut off, and a number who had been 
wounded and left behind. With these and the eighteen 
men, some thirty-two in number, we now marched to 
Nelson County, thence to Spencer, Jefferson and Shelby 

Reaching the vicinity of a small village, we received 
word that a force of Yankees had left Camp Nelson in 
Mercer County with two hundred head of fat cattle 
and was driving them to the city of Louisville, and 
was stealing all the cattle for miles on either side of the 
pike as they came along. Near Shelbyville, Kentucky, 
we received definite word from our Uncle Louis Berry 
and Mr. John McGraw that this marauding band . 
white and negro soldiers had stolen a hundred head from 
Uncle Louis and forty head from McGraw. Hastily 
mustering our force we awaited the approach of these 
cattle thieves. There were sixty white soldiers and two 
hundred and twenty-five negro soldiers, if I may so 
call them. This thieving business was going on all 
over Kentucky at this time. Horses, cattle, hogs, sheep, 
jewelry, furniture, was being shipped out of Kentucky 
by the drove and car load. Everything portable was» 
taken during this period by these Yankees. 

I had a negro boy servant, Tom, who belonged to 
our family, who was faithful and trustworthy at this 
time. He was sent into the ranks of these thieving 
marauders on a work mule with blind bridle, trace 
chains, back band, collar and harness. He was instructed 


to fall casually in with them and learn the number c-^ 
soldiers, cattle, and gain all the information possible, 
then leave them and report to us.. 

Near Simpsonville, near the county line of Shelby 
and Jefferson counties, we had prepared ourselves with 
long tin horns, ten in number, which could be heard a 
mile away. These ten men, who had these horns, were 
placed half a mile apart and on either side of the pfkc 
the Yankees were marching with the stolen cattle, five 
men on a side. These men were instructed to blow these 
horns at intervals of twenty minutes, and each pair 
on either side was directed to answer each other's calls 
along the line of march, but were all instructed to keep 
well out of sight and reach of the Yankee column, and 
when within one mile and a half of Simpsonville to 
hurry forward to that place ahead of the Yankees to 
a point previously named. The march was slow, as they 
had over four hundred head of cattle, divided Up mto 
small bunches, some twenty or thirty in each in charge 
of eight or ten soldiers. Moving thus, they were di- 
vided and scattered along for over two miles. Our 
negro came to us and reported these conditions. They 
were mystified by the almost constant blowing of those 
tin horns. They had not seen any 'one, and asked our 
negro boy what it meant. He told them they were 
dinner horns. 

We now made our plans to attack them. All our 
men assembled at the place designated. The advance 
passed the village which was at the crossroads and came 
straggling into the village. The captain commanding 
this force commanded a halt here, as there was a fine 
spring at this place. The cattle were browsing and 
eating grass along the roadside. The captain was drink- 
insf in the saloon with a number of his men, and had 


no pickets out. We watched them some time, all un- 
conscious of our presence. We now charged them 
furiously with the rebel yell and were in their midst. 
The poor fellows tried to rally but in vain. Some did 
rally, about twenty of them, and gave us two volleys, 
and then broke and fled. We were in their midst firing 
right and left. The large drove of cattle were soon 
stampeded and sent flying over the hills and fields in 
confusion and fright, bellowing as they went. The fight 
lasted about forty minutes. 

The enemy were never able to recover any order or 
organization, as we pressed them vigorously at every 
point, and scattered them and the cattle all over the 
country, and we followed some of them for several 
miles. We had thirty- two men in this fight and lost one 
man killed and seventeen wounded. The enemy's forces 
consisted of two pieces of companies, white soldiers, 
sixty men, and 180 negro soldiers. Their losses were 
seventy-nine killed, one hundred and fourteen wounded. 
We now went to work and collected the stampeded and 
scattered cattle, which took us several hours, and drove 
them into the hills and sent word to the owners where 
they could be found. This battle raised a furious howl 
among the Yankees and Union men all over the state. 

When we fought these soldiers it so paralyzed the 
captain that he did not pretend to fight but slipped out 
the side or east door and hid himself during the melee, 
under the platform. The space was so small where 
he entered that we could not believe it was true. Thus 
it is that most all plunderers and thieves are cowardly, 
and usually will not fight. It is almost beyond belief 
that so small a number, a mere handful of men, should- 
be able to compass such results. 


From this place we marched to Spencer County, and 
thence to Nelson County. This was the last time I 
saw Lieutenant Henry McGruder and Sue Monday, 
whose right name was Jerome Clark, a son of Beverly 
L. Clark of Simpson County. These two gallant sol- 
diers went to Meade County on detached duty a few 
Jays later to Nelson County. 

There happened near Bloomfield a murder, that for 
viciousness and brutality stands unparalleled in peace 
or war, even for this brutal period. I mean the killing 
of my negro boy, Tom, by Bill Marion, one of our 
soldiers. After the fight was over we were riding along 
and Tom happened to be riding- by the side of Bill Mar- 
ion. Lightly touching his leg with his hand he said, "The 
fight was a hot one, wasn't it, Marse Bill?" At this 
Marion turned on him and denounced him in the most 
bitter language, and told him then and there he was 
going to kill him, but was first going to order his coffin. 
Tom humbly apologized to him, but no, he would not 
accept it. He rode to Bloomfield and ordered his coffin, 
paid for it, came back to camp, and early in the morning 
we were informed that Bill Marion had killed Tom 
and had mounted his horse and left camp at a gallop. 
He first told him that he had come to* kill him, that his 
coffin was ready for him, that he had paid for it ; that 
he had told him he would kill him, and did so then and 
there. He was on his horse and having killed the boy 
rode out of camp at a gallop. I never knew anything 
of this matter until it was over. 

I never saw Bill Marion alive after this, as he 
was killed that very day by Captain Bridgewater's men. 
He did not live eight hours after this brutal deed, but 
was killed in a fight near Chaplintown, Ky., about four 
o'clock P. M. the same evening. No one knew bis real 


or right name ; all he ever told us of his life was that 
his mother and two sisters had beem brutally mis- 
treated, stripped and whipped with hickory withes until 
tlic" blood ran down their legs, and were left tied so 
they could not release themslves. All three were found 
unconscious, his mother died soon after. His father 
was killed, his sisters lingered between life and death 
for months after. 

From that hour this man was the most desperately 
reckless man of all the desperate brave men of this 
class. No man could or was ever allowed to surrender 
to him. He killed all he met. I have often heard him 
avow that he had not a friend in the world but his pistols 
This man's experience was but another illustration of 
many other such. He was driven to desperation by the 
outrageous cruelty of any army of plunderers who did not 
scruple to include helpless women and defenseless old 
age. I do not now recall a single exception of any man 
who was with Captain Samuel O. Berry, Charles W. 
Quantrell, Sue Monday, Jerome Clark, Henry McGruder, 
John Erebal, Tom Henderson, the Brothers boys, Texas, 
Evans, Haller, Sutler, Wilson, Henry Davis, King White 
of infamous memory of whom I shall have more to 
say in the future, Willie Merriman, Teel Smith and 
many others whose names have passed to the great be- 
yond, all had histories to tell of brutal, inhuman treat- 
ment of relatives and friends. 

What are self-respecting men to do under such 
conditions? All these men were respected, law-abiding 
citizens before the war. Is it not natural instinct of all 
men, yea, animals, to defend themselves? The tiger 
in their nature had not been developed yet, not know- 
ing it until developed by being hunted, they also became 
hunters. The bloodhound and tiger instinct is devel- 


Oped, becomes active, dangerous and destructive. It 
was thus with these men. This hunt became the entire 
business of these desperate men. Doomed they might 
be, what matters that? They could at least make it 
interesting, even entertaining. They argued that all 
men have to die. It made little difference so they died 
like men with face to the foe. So it was with these 
men. These conditions were made or fixed by our 
enemy. Which one of them was the more inhuman? 



Recruiting — ^A war of extermination — Fight on Salt River — Every 
man wounded — Thirty days' rest — A Christmas dinner — An 
attack on Bardstown — Defeated — Burning of Rolling Fork 
Bridge — Sue Monday — Two men against forty — ^A close call 
— More recruiting — I report to Forrest — Lee's surrender. 

After a ^ew days rest and shoeing of horses, we 
went to work recruiting. My wounds nearly healed, I 
went down into Bullitt County. Captain had received 
into his camp one hundred and eighty men; many young 
men were hiding in the brush to avoid the Yankee con- 
script officers, and now came to us in droves, four, 
eight, ten, twelve and fifteen at a time. 

I now took charge of these recruits and started 
south with one hundred and eighty men. We had an 
excellent guide for this trip. We traveled only by 
night, lying by during- the day. We reached our lines 
without serious incident or mishap. We found Gen- 
eral Morgan at Alexander, Tenn. His advance outposts 
were a few miles towards Lebanon. The command 
had been very active, had a number of skirmishes and 
some hard battles, at Sparta, Smithville, Snows Hill, 
Dry Creek, Alexander Blacks Shop, almost continu- 
ous fighting for four months. 1 reported to Gen- 
eral Morgan and turned over these recruits. He ivaj 
glad to receive these fine young soldiers at this time. 
After resting two days I was ordered back into Ken- 
tucky. Taking my old guide, we traveled only at night, 


crossing the Cumberland River near Castillian Springs. 
CThree days and nights travel found us again at our 
old camp. 

Captain Berry had sent one hundred and thirty men 
south in my absence, and had three skirmishes v^ith 
the Yankees and had received a serious w^ound. 1 
'found him suffering intensely from this. Dr. John 
Cook was looking after him. The war as it progressed 
became more fierce and deadly and bloody. Whether it 
was known generally or not, I don't know, but it cer- 
tainly was understood by those who were most con- 
cerned in it, that it was war to the knife, and knife to 
the hilt. It was a well understood proposition that two 
hostile parties meeting meant extermination, and the 
commanders of this department, at least of Kentucky, 
Generals Buell, Palmer and Steve Burbridge, instructed 
Captains Terrill, Bridgewater, Colonel Buckley, and all 
subordinates, not to encumber themselves with any. pris- 
oners, as they were troublesome and expensive. They 
might accept a head of a general or leader or chief, or 
a noted man if they could obtain such without too 
much trouble. 

Few of these men were fighting from choice, but 
necessity. They were forced, driven from their homes, 
to take refuge in the brush, and caves, hunted like wild 
beasts. Men who do not want to fight and are forced 
to fight most generally make a desperate fight when 
they get into it. So whenever we heard of a man who 
had been robbed and insulted, plundered of everything 
portable, we managed always to recruit such men, and 
it is needless to add that these men in a very short time 
were most formidable foes, guerillas. From the very 
nature of these surroundings these men were the hardy 
yeomanry of the country, fearless, honest, daring, self- 


respecting, all taught early in life how to shoot with 
unerring accuracy at full speed with revolvers in both 
hands and bridle in their teeth. A charge, fierce, rapid 
cuul deadly, firini; right and left with both hands at the 
same time, this is the way these men fought. Such was 
their horsemanship and such the terrible accuracy of 
their fire, that in all history they have no equal. Nor 
did a Federal line during the war, man for man, with- 
stand their onset ; even with two to one did not make 
it much better. Our little force frequently attacked three, 
often four to one, driving them in confusion from many 

In a battle on Salt River near where Nelson Creek 
empties into this stream, we had been driving Captain 
Terrill with 52 men; Captain Berry with 23 men. We 
met Captain Bridgewater's company of 41 men, rein- 
forcing Terrill, making 93 men against 23. The fighting 
was brisk and furious. For a short time Captain Berry 
held the enemy with ten men. Lieutenant Sue Monday, 
Henry McGriuler, Evans, Brothers, Texas, Halee, Hen- 
ry, King White, became the aggressors and charged. 
Kvery man of us was wounded and in the midst of the 
melee Kinq White's horse went down, the rider under 
him. Bullets were as thick as hailstones. White called 
for help, and not in vain. Captain Berr}^ stood behind 
his dead horse and fought them back while I pulled 
White from under his dead horse, rescuing him from 
this storm of death. The killing went on all around us 
in the road, struggling in a hand to hand combat. Both 
sides had now exhausted ammunition. We now with- 
drew from this bloody field. We had six men killed and 
all the rest, 17 men, wounded. The Yankees lost 25 
killed and 28 wounded. Thus ended this fight. 

As for King White, after this rescue of this traitor 


and deserter from both armies, he betrayed my brother, 
the one who had saved his dastardly, miserable life on 
this occasion at the risk of our own. Sam and I both 
received serious wounds, and retired to our old camp in 
the hills to look after our hurts. Some were slight, some 
serious. Our old faithful standby. Dr. John McCloskey, 
came to our aid and soon had the satisfaction of seeing 
all the boys on the way to recovery. He was faithful, 
skillful, ever ready to render any aid in his power. 

After thirty days seclusion and efforts with these 
wounded soldiers, our friends of Nelson county had not 
been idle, for when we were ready to ride again we mus- 
tered our force and found 52 men ready for service. We 
again rode forth to meet any fate that might be in store 
for us. We took the road to Fairfield and met the en- 
emy there, routed him in a headlong charge. Bloomfteld, 
Taylorsville, Fisherville, Chaplintown followed in rapid 
succession. Captain Terrill was sent flying through 
Bloomfield to Smileytown, having scattered his com- 
pany. The next day we heard of him at Taylorsville, 
stopping at this place to have his horse shod. John 
Ennis, who had just finished shoeing his horse, dropped 
the foot and said to him, /'How is that?" Terrill drew 
his pistol and shot him dead, mounted his horse and 
rode away. Two days later he rode into a field near 
Louisville where Mr. Kirk Walker was plowing, shot 
him dead and left him as he had Ennis. These men were 
respected citizens in their communities, were Southern 
men, at home attending to their private affairs, but 
butchered ruthlessly without warning or cause. 

Many of these reckless and desperate young men 
would find W'isl'ev and drink excessively during such 
times, and were hard to control. They would do many 
foolhardy and desperate things. We had been invited 


by Doctor Evans and Miss Rhoda and Miss Alice to eat 
a Christmas dinner. While at the table someone pro- 
posed to capture Bardstown. Nearly all of them were 
under the influence of wine and whiskey, with one or 
two exceptions. This proposition was made in a boast- 
ful way because they were in the presence of these 
young ladies. Dr. Evans rather tried to discourage this 
enterprise, knowing that Captain Taylor had under him 
65 men in a brick court house with loopholes in the 
walls inside. I tried my best to prevail upon Captain 
Berry not to try this foolhardy enterprise. He, too, was 
in his cups. I could not dissuade him. 

The court house stood in the center of the square; 
four streets cross and center into this square, and can 
be approached only by these streets. The attack was 
made by 55 men with disastrous results, four men killed, 
13 wounded. Captain Berry seriously, most of them 
slightly and some fatally. The doors on the west and 
south sides were reached and battered down, killing 
nine men inside and 19 wounded. I was also wounded 
here. The attack failed ; we were repulsed. 

While slowly retiring I saw my brother was shot, 
falling from his horse amidst a shower of bullets. I 
rode back to him, dismounted, lifted him upon my horse, 
mounting behind him. Six men came to us, keeping 
back the enemy. During this time King White was 
conspicuous for his absence. Retreating slowly, for 
brother was suffering intensely, we met old Capt. Lan- 
caster in his buggy. Placing Sam inside I formed the 
men and charged the advance, driving them back a mile 
and a half, and killing some of them. This stopped the 
pursuit, which gave us time to find a safe retreat for 

My dear old friend. Dr. Evans, father of my prison 


companion, this noble son than whom no truer, braver , 
soldier ever lived or fought for a cause, now rendered 
him skillful service, and soon restored him to the saddle. 
My own wound healed slowly. This made fourteen 
wounds I had received. As soon as we could we sent 
some friends to Louisville for ammunition. 

A description of our rendezvous might be interest- 
ing to many. This place was near the west boundary 
line of Nelson county and the east line of Bullitt county, 
thickly covered with cedars, forest trees, with a cover- 
ing of about three thousand acres of land. Within this 
area there are a number of large caverns capable of 
sheltering two hundred and fifty men. When hard 
pressed, wounded and without ammunition our soldier 
boys could find a retreat and shelter, safe from pursuit 
and inclement weather, an ideal place lor hiding, with 
plenty of pure water and supplied with food in abund- 
ance by our good friends. To this safe retreat our 
wounded were taken. 

Recovering from our hurts we now led our restless 
rough riders to Boston, Nelson County, and to RolHng 
Fork Bridge which we burned a^'ter a sharp battle for 
its possession. We caught thent outside the stockade, a 
hand to hand contest took place l^^re, which was of short 
duration, as we surprised them, and as guns against six 
shooters is always an unequal contest and can not last 
long. The same old story repeated so often on many a 
bloody field. Reaching Boston we rested and fed our 
horses. It was at this place that Jerome Clark was first 
called Sue Monday. It came about in this way : 

While here he met a very beautiful, fascinating 
young lady, whose name was Miss Sue Monday. She 
had come to this village, which is at the Lebanon Junc- 
tion on the Louisville and Nashville railroad, and was 


inside a store shopping. Clark picked up her riding 
habit, put it on and mounted her horse sideways, lady 
fashion. Riding all over town he exclaimed, "I am Sue 
Monday !" This pleased the fancy of the young lady, 
also the boys. Clark's youthful face, beardless, his long 
black hair reaching to his shoulders, his small hands and 
feet, trim, erect figure, graceful actions, all combined 
and made him an object of curiously entertaining mter- 
est to all who saw him. He really looked very much 
like a young lady at that moment. From that time on 
he was called "Sue Monday," which name became a ter- 
ror to his enemies. His father's property was destroyed 
by the savage maurading red-legs, his family insulted 
and brutally treated. The same old story repeated many 
times over. 

It was fight every day during these belligerent, des- 
perate, bloody days. Leaving Boston we tried our for- 
tunes in Mead, Harden and Hancock counties. During 
this ride we captured the James Lyttle, a steam boat, 
at a landing about Hawsville. Boarding her we found 
Yankees who fought viciously, three of them were killed 
in this fight. King White stole $2,300.00 from the cap- 
tain. Clark and Henry McGruder were both seriously 
wounded; hard hit, they could not travel and had to be 
left behind. Making our way back to Nelson County I 
found my brother. Captain Berry, ready to take the field 
again. We had stirred up a swarm of enemies, and 
many enemies were everywhere scouting on all the 
roads; hunted and hunters were on their mettle. It was 
thought best to scatter for awhile or for me to take all 
new recruits south. It was now very necessary for 
someone to go to Louisville for a supply of ammunition. 
Rude and Texas volunteered for this hazardous service. 
They were young, vigorous and alert and dressed in 


women's clothes, and left us. They were gone seven 
days, and returned with a large amount of the very 
needful ammunition. 

During this period of rest for the boys we were on 
Dr. McClosky's place near Bloomfield. Late one even- 
ing brother Sam and myself were riding briskly toward 
Fairfield, ascending a steep hill from the southward. 
Reaching the top we heard a horse cough and looking 
ahead we saw Captain Taylor at the head of forty Yan- 
kee soldiers. He also had reached the top of the same 
hill, on the same road ; they were marching southward 
toward Bardstown, on a very narrow road, all too nar- 
row now to suit our fancy. Here was a serious dilemma. 
What must be done? Quickly, neither party slackened 
pace, closer and closer came the blue coats and the gray, 
both with drawn pistols, each taking, as it seemed, in- 
stinctively, the left side of the road, thus bringing the 
right arm next to the foe, each ready for quick, deadly 
work, if need be. Two rebs against forty blue coats. 
Faster and faster moved each hostile party, turning each 
in our saddles as we passed each other hurriedly, for we 
jdid pass, without firing a shot at each other. The rea- 
sons for this were simple and obvious. Brother Sam and 
I could not afford to attack forty men in a narrow road- 
way. Our meeting was sudden and unexpected. So 
close were we that to have turned round and made a run 
for it would have been sure and certain death to us. The 
only chance left us was to put on a bold front; with 
drawn pistols, ready cocked, and horses moving rapidly, 
we determined to sell out as dearly as possible. Cap- 
tain Taylor was so surprised when he saw us so close 
to him, saw our pistols all ready, that he quickened the 
motion of his column, and passed us almost before he 
knew it, feeling sure that if a shot was fired he would 


be the first to feel it. As for me I drew a long, deep 
breath — several of them — after passing this column. 
Without a word we moved off at a brisk gallop. 

Half a mile from this hill we entered a woodland, 
taking our old trail, we traveled to Salt River, before 
reining in our horses. We now took a much needed nap 
and to our detriment, for while eating our meager break- 
fast we were surrounded by Captain Bridgewater's troop- 
ers. They drove us through an open field where we 
were compelled to jump a garden fence. Here was a 
gate passing into a front lot with two corn cribs, near 
the bank of the river. This was a mule feed lot, half an 
acre in extent, with high fences all around it on three 
sides ; on the north side of the steep, perpendicular bank 
of Salt River, some twenty feet high. At this time the 
Yankees were entering this lot. Thus from two sides 
they came, cutting us off. We took shelter behind the 
two corn cribs. It was raining bullets. We had six 
pistols each and a double-barrelled shotgun, cut off. 
We had thirty-eic^ht sliots apiece from behind these 
cribs. We held them at bay for twenty-five minutes. I 
had also a Sharps repeating rifle. With a pistol in each 
hand we entertained these troopers. We killed eight 
horses and eleven men and seriously wounded Captain 
Bridgewater. At bay with all the tiger in my nature 
aroused, feeling that perhaps this was my last fight, cut 
off, we peppered lead into the blue mass with delight, re- 
membering only all the cruel, brutal treatment. We 
could hear the rain of bullets against the cribs. A num- 
ber tried to rush us. At this we turned loose our double- 
l)arrelled shotguns on them. Eighteen men and some 
horses went down. At this moment I said, "Brother, 
let's leave this place now." Mounting our horses we 
turned their heads towards the perpendicular bank, giv- 


ing them the spur and the tight reins, leaped down the 
bank into the water with a splash. Coming up to the 
surface, we hugged the steep bank and turned down 
stream, thus avoiding the enemy's bullets, should they 
come to the steep bank. Swimming down river out of 
reach, we crossed over on the opposite side to the friend- 
ly cover of a thicket. 

The enemy was mystified. We watched from a dis- 
tance. For some time they did not know what had be- 
come of us. We now made our way into Bullitt County, 
thence to Captain Phillips in Jefferson county. The next 
night we went into Louisville, and sent to a good friend 
and asked him to buy us one hundred revolvers and am- 
munition for them. These were broiii^-ht out in market 
baskets; also some medicines. We travelled all night, 
reaching the old Parricut Springs or close vicinity. 
Here we were compelled to remain all day and saw two 
scouting parties of the enemy pass along the road in the 
distance. At early twilight we moved our supplies on a 
large mule toward Keesby's Ford, through the woods. 
Before attempting to reach this place we carefully ex- 
plored the banks of the river, but finding all clear we 
moved out across into old Spencer County, reaching our 
friend's. Judge Johnathan Davis', place and a friendly 
thicket. Here we met a glad welcome from our waiting, 
anxious comrades. In the distribution of the revolvers, 
there were many exchanges of wit. During this day we 
loaded the pistols. Our recruits were fifty-six in num- 
ber. We now moved to Dr. McCloskeys' big pasture 
after nightfall. All the men came in except the serious- 
ly wounded. It was deemed best to start at once for 
the south, with these recruits. There were also some 
old veterans, who had made their escape during the 
winter. They were ready to fight again with more deter- 


mination than ever before, suffering under their treat- 
ment and smarting still from harsh insults. 

We had men who were familiar with the country to 
the Georgia border line. All had on blue overcoats. 
Moving on unfrequented roads from Dr. McCloskey's, we 
went round Bloomfield and passed over the same old 
trail that Captain Morgan did on his first march from 
Camp Charity. We crossed Muldroughs Hills the first 
night, resting until 3 p. m. Passing around Columbia at 
night, we went into camp some ten miles from this place, 
feeding our horses. After resting, we moved on down 
to the vicinity of Burksville on the Cumberland River, 
crossing above this place at Stagalls ford, thus avoiding 
it, as there was a Federal garrison there. We sent for- 
ward videttes and found this ford guarded by twenty 
men, with whom we exchanged salutes. Pushing for- 
ward without halting we went into camp near Black's 
Shop. This was the scene of many exciting and inter- 
esting episodes, while the army was at Murfreesboro, 
Tennessee, only twelve miles from that place. Feeding 
our horses, we moved out, leaving Woodbury to our left, 
Readyville and McMinnville botli east of us, and reach- 
ing the rough, broken res^ion between Tullahoma and 
McMinnville. We sought the blind ronds, and pushed for 
Duckers vicinity on the Chattanooga and Murfreesboro 
railroad. We crossed below or south of this place, in 
the direction of Shelbyville, leaving this place to our 
left, our objective point being Johnsonton on the Ten- 
nessee River. 

We were now near General Forrest's lines, safe 
with these young soldiers, having in their march of five 
days and one night travelled 320 miles, stopping only 
long enough to rest and feed our horses. We reported 
to General Forrest, who was bronzed bv the continued 


exposure of the sun. He had had much hard fighting 
recently. His force was much reduced but all were 
seasoned soldiers and hard fighters. He expressed his 
pleasure at receiving these fine young soldiers and 
thanked me for my efforts in bringing them safely 
through the enemy's lines. Two days after this he fought 
the battle of Johnsonton. 

I was now detached and sent with dispatches on 
special duty with 25 men to General Jeff Thompson, 
near Jackson, Mississippi. Not finding him at this place 
and hearing that he had joined General Dick Taylor, then 
near McDonald, Louisiana, I arrived at this place only 
to hear of disasters coming thick and fast. It was here 
that I heard first of Mr. Lincoln's death and also of Gen- 
eral Lee's surrender, and also of General Joe Johnson's 
and they also said that General Price had surrendered 
and that General Dick Taylor was negotiating a sur- 
render. All this came to me like a clap of thunder from 
a clear sky. I knew that General Lee had evacua- 
ted Richmond, also Petersburg and was trying to effect 
a junction with Joe Johnson. There was intense excite- 
ment. I saw strong men weep with intense sorrow, 
like children. Wild rumors were rife on all sides. I 
heard that my old father had been shot in Camp Doug- 
las. I made up my mind promptly. I had no home, no 
kindred left — all of them dead — no country. I deter- 
mined to become a soldier of fortune. What mattered it 
where or in what army I served? I should now follow 
from this time forward a saying I said to myself: 
"Young man, go fight the battles of life; if you have 
none of your own, fight somebody else's battles, and if, 
perchance, you are not hung or shot, you will be pro- 
moted perhaps." Acting upon this idea, I formed my 


resolutions at once, as all was now lost. There was no 

News that the Confederacy was falling, which came 
to me when I reached the headquarters of General For- 
rest at Johnsonton on the Tennessee River dashed all 
my hopes. I had just arrived with a number of splendid 
men which my brother and myself had recruited in Ken- 
tucky. We had travelled 320 miles in five days and one 
night, constantly among the enemy, to reach Forrest. 


At Piedras Niegras — A season of dissipation — The Mexicans de- 
mand our horses — What happened — ^Brush with Mexican sol- 
diers — Southward — ^A midnight encounter — Lampasas — An 
insult and a duel — Lenores — West challenges Thrailkill — ^A 
cock fight — Gillette's wager — The duel — Thrailkill fires in 
the air. 

After numerous conferences we agreed upon plans — 
plans that would carry us to a foreign land. With For- 
rest we found a number of Colonel Terry's old soldiers, 
who knew the route through Louisiana and Texas to 
Mexico. We were eager to be off as quickly as possible 
before tlie enclosing net spread entirely around us. Call- 
ing the men to horse we entered upon a new enterprise, 
a new life, trusting, at first, mostly to relieve ourselves 
of Federal environments. 

We made cnn- Vv-ay to Houston, Texas, thence to the 
Rio Grande to join Joe Shelby, who, also, had deter- 
mined to leave the country, and cast his fortunes in the 
tropical regions of Mexico. Across the Rio Grande, at 
Piedras Niegras, we found General Shelby with 2,200 
scarred, battered veterans, who had, after a few days 
negotiations with Bes-Sca of the state of Coahuila, finally 
sold his surplus arms, ammunition and cannon for a 
round sum. making him comfortable. 

In an interview with General Shelby I told him of 
my plans and, showing my commission, asked liis pro- 
tection, influence and help in obtaining my passport, all 
of which he granted, and more. This was the first time 
I had had the pleasure of meeting this dashing, natural- 


born leader and soldier. He assigned us a place until 
further arrangements could be made for us. General 
Shelby had been here only two days. He ke])t his men 
under his eye constantly. After a little speech he dis- 
mounted them, warning them not to commit any ex- 

The tropical sun beat warm upon the white sand, 
producing a glare that was almost blinding; the dust 
settled in thick curtains upon houses, streets and in the 
drinking water. The men scattered in every direction, 
seeking sights and pleasures, careless of consequences. 
Cafes were full ; wine and women abounded. Beside the 
bronzed faces of the soldiers were the tawny faces of the 
senoritas ; in the passages of the drinking houses the 
men kissed the women; great American oaths were 
heard, harsh at times, but even in their simpleness they 
were national. But a tragedy was making; there in the 
torrid heat, the white glare and the fervid kissing under 
the roses. There were three men, interlopers, ostensibly 
men of the western army, who had been fed and shelt- 
ered and who had never tempted Providence beyond a 
prudent point. They had joined the expedition some- 
where in Texas. Having the heart of sheep they were 
dealing with lions, but they did not know it. To their 
truckling they were about to add bravado ; to the maga- 
zine they were about to apply a torch. 

There is a universal Mexican law which makes a 
stock brand a Bible, from which truth there is no ap- 
peal. Every horse and every cow in that country is 
branded and every brand is entered of record, as the 
deed of legal conveyance. Some of these brands are 
simple, some unique, and some intricate, but all are legal, 
especially when alcaldes and soldiers are about. The 
logic of ownership is very simple. You prove your 


brand and take your horse or cow, no matter who rides 
him or who holds it. 

In Shelby's command there were more than two doz- 
en magnificent horses of high class, fit for a king's race, 
for that matter. Some of these bore a brand of an un- 
usual fashion, v^on^c oi these had l:)een obtained along 
the line of Shelby's march, and had been dealt with as 
horses that belonged to our cavalry. These three men 
wanted to secure possession of these horses. Helped by 
their knowledge of the Spanish language and the laws 
and usages of the country, they had gone among the 
Mexican soldiers, poisoning their minds with tales of 
Arnerican rapine and slaughter, depicting in vigorous 
rhetoric their long, weary march with the American 
marauders and thieves — their companions — all of which 
was done that they might get possession of their dearly 
beloved horses. They said they were at the point of 
leaving the country, and did not wish to be deprived of 
their lawful property. 

This command of General Shelby had aspired to 
found an empire, but ended with an exodus. In his ex- 
pedition were many guerrillas who had served under 
Quantrell and Bill Anderson, notably myself, who had 
enlisted under the name of Tom Henderson, first assumed 
when I escaped from Camp Chase in 1862, Joe Macy, 
John Thrailkill, Erasmus Woods, W. M. Yarvell and my 
cousins, Richard Berry and Ike Berry, who were 

The Mexicans listened to these tales, and were fired 
by ereed, not generosity, when they swore a mighty oath 
to the Holy Virgin that the Gringoes should be made to 
deliver up to these worthy men every horse that bore 
their brands. The Berrys, John Rudd and Yarvell were 
mounted upon such brands, and claimed them by no 


Other law than that of possession, not a weak title for 
fearless men. 

Drill was over, and the men were drinking and hav- 
ing- a i2;ood time. The hot, fierce glare of the sun was 
still on the earth. The noise from the cafes was louder. 
There was a musical, rippling undertone of women's 
voices — women with dishevelled hair and tropical eyes. 

Ike Berry had ridden one of these branded horses 
into the street running past regimental headquarters. 
He was a short, stoutly built man, a very Hercules in 
strength, free of speech and of frank, open nature. He 
sat with one leg crossed upon his saddle, smoking a pipe. 
In battle serious he was always laughing; only in eating 
was he serious. What reverence he had came from ap- 
petite ; the crumbs that fell from his long slender hands 
were his benedictions. Many other branded horses were 
standing hitched close by. A company of Mexican sol- 
diers came into the street. Behind them was a young 
Mexican captain, handsome as Adonis, eyes to the front 
and guns at trail. Jim Wood noticed them as they 
passed along, as did I and many others. He spoke to an 
Indian girl and also to Martin Kitzer, as he was toying 
with this Indian girl, dark and beautiful. Old Joe has 
delivered the arms. It may be that we shall take them 
back again. 

One of the men went straight to Ike Berry, as Berry 
sat cross-legged upon his horse, and laid his hand upon 
the horse's bridle. Berry knew him and spoke to him 
cheerily, "How now, comrade?" A short answer, and 
curt, "This is my horse; he wears my brand. I have 
followed him to Mexico. Dismount." A long white 
wreath of smoke came from Ike Berry's pipe. The 
pipe seemed to protest. The old battle smile was on his 
face, and those who knew him best knew that a dead 


man would soon lie in the street. Many of his friends 
started to him at this time. He knocked the ashes from 
his pipe, musingly placing his disengaged foot back into 
the stirrup. He rose up all of a sudden, the very in- 
carnation of fury. There was a white gleam in the air, 
a heavy saber that lifted and circled, and when it fell a 
stalwart arm was cut away. The ghastly stump, not 
over four inches long, spurted blood at every throb of 
the heart. 

The man fell as one paralyzed. A shout arose. The 
Mexicans spread out like a fan and when the fan closed 
it had surrounded us. Yarvell alone broke through and 
rushed to General Shelby, who was sitting with an 
Englishman. One glance convinced Shelby that Yar- 
vell was in trouble. ''What is it?" asked Shelby. 

"They are after the horses." 

"What horses?" 

"Why, the branded horses, of course." 

"And after we have delivered the arms. too. Mexi- 
can like ; Mexican like," said Shelby. 

He arose as he spoke, and looked out on the street. 
Revolvers were being fired. There in the white heat of 
that afternoon the shot sounded like the tapping of a 
woodpecker on a dead tree. Afterwards a steady roll 
of rifle shots told how the battle went. 

"The rally, the rally!" cried Shelby to his bugler, as 
he dashed down to where Berry and his companions 
were surrounded by Mexicans. We had come to them as 
friends, and eaten their salt and they had betrayed 
us. They would strip us like barbarians. It was war 
again, and war to the knife. 

The wild, piercing notes of the American bugle call 
were heard in clear, penetrating, defiant notes that told 
of sore stress among comrades, and pressing need of 


speedy succor. The laughter died out in the cafes, as a 
night wind dies when morning comes. The bugles sob- 
ered all who were drunk with drink or dalliance. Its 
voice told of danger, near and imminent ; of a meeting 
of men who were not afraid to die. Men swarmed out 
of every doorway, poured from under every portal, and 
furious and ravenous for blood. They saw the Mexi- 
cans in the square, the peril of Berry and those nearest 
him, and they asked no further questions. A sudden 
crash of revolvers came, close and deadly ; a yell, a 
shout and then a fierce, hot charge. 

Ras Wood, a guerrilla, with a short Enfield rifle in 
his hand, stood in the street looking at the young Mexi- 
Cc'tn captain with his cold, savage grey eyes, in which 
never a light of pity was shown. In the press about him 
Wood kept his rifle pointed straight ahead as fixed as 
fate. It looked as if he were aiming at a flower. The 
dark olive beauty of the Spanish captain was superb. 

"Spare him ; spare !" shouted a dozen stout-hearted 
soldiers in a breath. *'He is too young, too handsome 
to die." 

In vain ; a sharp, sudden ring was the response. 
The captain tossed his arms high in air, as if to catch 
something above his head, and fell forward on his face, 
a corpse. A wail of a woman rose upon the sultry even- 
ing air, such as may have been heard in King David's 
household, when back from the tangled brush they 
brought the beautiful Absolom dead. The work that 
followed was quick enough and deadly enough to ap- 
pall the stoutest heart. Seventeen Mexicans were 
killed, including the handsome captain ; also the two in- 
terloping Americans who caused the encounter. The 
third one, strange as it may appear, recovered from his 
ghastly wound and could tell at this day, if he still lives. 


of the terrible powers of that American soldier who 
sheared his arm away, as a sickle might reap a handful 
of wheat. 

There were many Mexican guerrillas, native born, 
who fought the French, as I know from personal expe- 
rience, and who also robbed the rich, and preyed upon 
the passerby, and who also hovered around our flanks 
as we marched boldly to the south of Mexico. General 
Shelby forbade us to fight them. He could not take time, 
he said, to brush away gad-flies, and have his time taken 
up every day with mosquitoes. He would guard his 
camp at night, and shelter his stock from stealthy ap- 
proaches. For several nights these tactics were fol- 
lowed. The native guerrillas became emboldened in the 
face of such action. On the trail of a timid or a wound- 
ed thing they were veritable wolves. 

Our long gallop it seemed could never tire them. 
Their night tactics were superb. Upon our flanks, in our 
rear or our front, was one continuous musketry roll, 
which harmed nothing, though it angered like the sing- 
ing of mosquitoes in one's ears. At last they brought 
about a swift reckoning; one of those sudden, awful 
things which leaves behind little save a trail of blood, a 
moment of furious, savage killing. 

Our column had advanced to within a two days' 
march of Lampasas. Some mountain speers ran down 
to the road to a cluster of palm trees near the wayside. 
The palm is a sad, pensive tree, much sadder than the 
pine. It has a voice solemn and sorrowful, much like 
the sound of muffled cerements when the corpse is given 
to the orround. Even in the bright sunlight they are 
dark, even in the tropics ; no vine clings to them, no blos- 
som is born to them, no birds sing vespers in them and 
no fluttering wings make melody for them. Strange and 


shapely, coldly chaste, they seemed like human beings, 
but desolate things, standing all alone in the midst of a 
luxurious nature, unblessed of the soil, unloved of the 
dew, and even of the sunshine. 

One night in a grove of these lonely, desolate trees, 
the column halted, for one night only. Above and be- 
yond them was a pass guarded by crosses. In that 
treacherous land these crosses are a growth indigenous 
to the soil. Wherever a deed of violence is done, a cross 
is planted ; wherever a traveller is left in a pool of blood, 
a cross is reared ; wherever a grave is made for the mur- 
dered one, there is seen a cross. No matter who does 
the deed, whether Indian or don, a cross must mark the 
spot, and as the pious one passes by he lays a stick or a 
stone reverently at the feet of the sacred symbol, and 
breathes a silent prayer, and tells a bead or two for the 
soul's salvation. 

To the left of a wooded bluff ran down abruptly a 
stream. Beyond this stream and near the palms, a 
grassy bottom spread out, green, soft and grateful. On 
this beautiful blanket of grass the horses ate their fill. 
A young moon, clear and white, silvery, beautiful, hung 
low in the west; neither sullen nor red, but a tender 
moon, full of the beams that lovers seek, and full of the 
voiceless imagery, which gives soulful passion to the 
voice of the night, and pathos to the dejected and de- 
serted swain. 

As the moon set the horses were gathered up and 
tethered, amidst the palms and then a deep silencee like 
the silence of death fell upon the camp. The sentinels 
were beyond its confines, and all inside of the camp slept 
the sleep of the tired and the healthy. It may have been 
midnight. It certainly was cold and dark with the fires 
all out. There was a white mist like a sheen creeping 


Up the stream and settling upon the faces of the sleeping 

Out on the far right front a single shot rang out, 
clear and resonant. Shelby and two others lifted them- 
selves up from their blankets. In undertones Shelby 
spoke to Thrailkill and myself, "Who has the post at 
the front and right?" 

"Joe Marcy." 

"Something is stirring," continued Shelby ; "Marcy 
never fired at a shadow in his life." 

The three men listened intently. One a grim guer- 
rilla with the physique of a Cossack, and the hearing of 
a Comanche. The two others sat with all their senses 
alert. One had in his keeping the lives of all these silent 
sleepers, who lay still, inert, grotesque under the sil- 
vered sheen of the mountain mist. Nothing was heard 
for an hour. The three men went to sleep again, but not 
to dream. 

Suddenly the mist lifted and in its place swept a 
sheet of flame, so near to the faces of the sleeping men 
that it might have scorched them. Three hundred and 
fifty Mexicans had crept down the mountain side to the 
edge of the camp and stream and had fired pointblank 
into the camp. It seemed a miracle indeed, but not a man 
was touched. As they lay flat upon the ground, wrapped 
in their blankets, the whole volley meant to be mur- 
derous, had swept over them. 

General Shelby was upon his feet. We heard his 
voice, clear, steady and faultless, and without the slight- 
est tremor, "Men, give them the revolver, charge!" 

Often, when men awake from sleep they grapple 
with spectres. Amidst the shadows of the palm trees, 
the Mexicans were shadows. They were invisible where 
the powder pall was on the water, where the mist had 


been, and men, half-clad, barefooted and still heavy with 
sleep went straight for the mountain side, a revolver in 
each hand, Shelby leading. From spectres the Mexicans 
changed to bandits. No quarter was given or asked. The 
rush lasted until the game was flushed ; the pursuit until 
the mountain top was gained, over ragged slopes and 
rocks, and cactus with its dagger teeth. The hurricane of 
bullets poured like a torrent. The revolver volleys were 
deafening. Men died, but made no moan, and the wound- 
ed were recognized only by their voices. 

After all was over the Americans had lost in killed 
nine men, and in wounded sixteen, most of the latter 
slightly, owing to the darkness. In their attack the 
Mexicans had tethered their horses on the further side 
of the mountain. Most all of these horses fell into our 
hands; also the bodies of the two leaders, Juan Auesel- 
mo, a renegade priest, and Antonio Flores, a young 
Cuban who had sold his sister to a wealthy Mexican and 
then turned robber. These, with sixty-nine of their fol- 
lowers were killed and one hundred and twenty-three 
were wounded. Thus en'ded this midnight attack. 

It was noon the next day before we resumed our 
march, with the sun shining upon nine fresh graves of 
the dauntless young Americans sleeping their last long 
sleep amidst the palms and the crosses until the resur- 
rection morn. 

Reaching Lampasas we found a grand fandango in 
progress. The bronzed faces of the foreign strangers 
attracted much curiosity and comment. But no notes 
jarred or slackened, nor were dances checked. General 
Shelby did not care to trust his soldiers too close to the 
city, so he camped beyond the suburbs, unwilling to 
tempt his men too severely, where there was so much 
to risk by exposure to the perils of so much beauty and 


nakedness. Vigilant camp guards were mounted to keep 
the soldiers within camp, As the night deepened the 
men's devices increased, until a goodly company had es- 
caped all vigilance of the guards, and found refuge with 
the sweet and swarthy senoritas, singing "Oh, Via 
Amis E res alura say coraxon/' 

At this place there were thrtfe soldiers who stole 
out together in mere wantoness, so full were they of the 
exuberance of life. Obedient soldiers, usually, they were 
soon to bring back with them a tragedy that stands 
without a parallel in the history of their lives. No one 
saw these three soldiers leave camp — Boswell, Walker 
and Henderson — but the whole command saw them come 
back, Boswell slashed from chin to waist, Walker almost 
dead with a bullet hole through his cheeks and tongue, 
Henderson without a hurt, but sober, having over him 
the sombre light of as wild a deed as any that stands 
out in the lawless past of all lawless bands. 

After reaching the fandango, we had danced until 
the lights glowed with an unusual brilliancy, and until 
fiery drink had consumed our discretion. It was late 
at night. They had eaten, with much drink, and over 
us was the glamor of enchanting and beautiful women. 
They were now walking on space toward camp, singing 
snatches of bacchanalian songs, laughing boisterously, 
with the moonlight flooding the streets. Passing a door- 
way, they saw a beautiful girl, her dark beauty looking 
out coyly from its fringe of dark hair. The men spoke 
to her and she, in her simple fashion, spoke to the men. 
In Mexico this meant nothing. They halted, however, 
and Henderson advanced, and laid his hand on the girl's 
shoulder, then around her shoulders. She wore a rebosa. 
This garment answered for a bonnet, and bodice. When 
removed, the head is uncovered and the bosom exposed. 


Henderson meant no harm. He laughed and asked her 
for a kiss, and before she had replied, he attempted to 
take it. Her hot Southern blood flamed up at this fa- 
miliarity, and her eyes grew furious in a moment. She 
drew back from him in proud scorn. The rebosa came 
off, leaving all her head and bosom bare. Her long 
hair fell down over l"^r shoulders, neck and bosom. 'V\u- 
daciocies," she cried, a low feminine cry, as a signal. 
This was followed instantly by a rush of men with 
knives and pistols. 

These three Americans had no weapons ; not dream- 
ing of danger, they had left their arms in camp. Boswell 
was cut three times, but not seriously. Walker was 
shot through both cheeks and tongue, and Henderson, 
who caused the trouble, was unhurt, but this sobered 
him. No pursuit was attempted. After the Mexicans 
had done their work they left as quickly as they came 
Wary of reprisal, they hid themselves. But a young 
man followed close to Henderson without speaking a 
word. At first he was not noticed. Upon reaching 
camp, Henderson saw him and turned and asked him 
why he followed him. "That you may lead me to your 
General ; I want satisfaction," was the reply. 

When made acquainted with their hurts, the Gen- 
eral dismissed the three men to the care of Dr. Tisdall. 

We were camped in a wide bottom, close to the 
river on one side and low mountain ranges on the other; 
where our blankets were spread was a grassy valley. 
The moon was shining, the air balmy. From the grape 
gardens and apricot orchards the air was fragrant ; ii Avas 
delicious to breathe the air. Lampasas was indeed a 
gay place. No soldiers were sleeping; all seemed to 
enjoy the delicious odors. General Shelby relaxed un- 
der the solace of the season. Commonly, he never re- 


laxed, even a little ,of his severity. The story of the 
melee was told, and told truthfully, as the narrator was 
too brave to lie about it. As an Indian listens for the 
footsteps of one he intends to scalp, the young Mexican 
wa§ listening to the recital. When it was finished he 
went close to General Shelby and said, pointing his 
finger at Henderson, "That man has insulted, outraged 
my sister. I could have killed him, but did not. You 
Americans are brave, I know. You will be generous as 
well, and give me satisfaction." 

General Shelby looked at Henderson, whose 
bronzed face, all the sterner in the moonlight, had upon 
it a look of curiosity. He did not know what was com- 
ing. "Does the Mexican speak the truth, Henderson?" 
asked Shelby. 'Tartly; I meant no harm to the young 
woman. I am incapable of that. Drunk, I know I was, 
and reckless ; but not wilfully guilty. General." 

"You had no business to touch her." Shelby re- 
garded him coldly. His voice was stern and biting. The 
soldier hung his head. "How often must I repeat to 
you that the man that does such things is no follower 
of mine? Will you give her brother satisfaction "■'" 

Henderson drew his revolver almost joyfully, and 
stood up, proudly facing his accuser. 

"No, no, senor; not the pistol," cried the Mexican. 
"I do not understand the pistol. The knife, Senor. 
General, is the American afraid of the knife?" The 
Mexican held his knife displayed as he spoke, in the 
moonlight. It showed Avhite and keen in contrast v/ith 
the dusky hand that grasped it. Not a muscle in Hen- 
derson's face moved. He spoke almost gently as he 
turned to the General, "The knife ! Oh, be it so. Will 
some one of you give me a knife?" 

A knife was handed to him, and a rinor ^as formed 


with over five hundred soldiers outside circle ol the rmg, 
many bearing torches, w^hich cast a red glare over the 
arena, flooded with the softer beaming of the new 
moon. The soft, velvety grasses were under foot, the 
moon was not yet full, the sky without a cloud, and 
sweet, delicious perfumes filled the air; all was calm 
and peaceful on this balmy night. A hush of excite- 
ment and expectancy fell upon the scene. Some soldiers 
who were asleep were allowed to sleep undisturbed. All 
who were present seemed under the influence of a 

General Shelby did not forbid the fight, though he 
knew it was a duel to the death, for one or both. It 
could be seen by his face that some of the desperate 
spirit of the two antagonists had passed into his soul. 
General Shelby spoke to an aide aside, "Go for Dr. Tis- 
dall, for when the steel has finished the surgeon may 
be needed." 

At this moment both men stepped fearlessly into 
the arena. The traits of the two nations were upper- 
most — the Mexican made the sign of a cross, and the 
American tightened his belt. Both may have prayed, 
but neither audibly. No seconds were chosen ; none 
needed. The Mexican took his stand near the center 
of the arena and waited. Henderson grasped his knife 
firmly, and advanced. He was almost a head taller, and 
the stronger. Constant familiarity with danger for four 
years seemed to give him a confidence which the Mexi- 
can may not have felt. Henderson had been wounded 
many times. One wound was barely healed, but this 
took none of his manhood from him. 

The night wind began to rise. The torches flamed. 
Neither spoke. The long grass rustled under foot, 
shortly to become crimson. Some fourteen inches in- 


tervened between them. General Shelby stood looking 
grimly at the two men as he would at a line of battle. 
Never before had he gazed upon such a strange sight. 
The great circle of bronzed faces was eager and fierce 
in the glare of the torches, something monstrous, yet 
grotesque. The civilization of a thousand years were 
rolled back, and we were in a Roman circus looking 
into the arena, crowded with gladiators. 

The attack was as the lightning flash, the knife 
gleaming cold and keen. The Mexican lowered his head, 
set hard his teeth, struck fairly at Henderson's breast. 
Henderson made a half turn, face to the right, threw 
his left shoulder forward as a shield, received the steel 
into his shoulder to the hilt, and then struck home. God ! 
how pitiful ! A stream of blood spurted into his face. 
The tense form of the Mexican bent forward as a willow 
in the wind, surged helplessly, and fell backward life- 
less. His heart had been found. General Shelby said, 
"Cover him from sight. No need of Dr. Tisdall for 

A piercing wail of women startled the still night 
air, and these grim bronzed soldiers gave a shudder 
of regret. A dead man on the green, velvety grass, a 
sister broken hearted, and alone forevermore, and a 
freed spirit somewhere out in eternity, in the unknown 
and the infinite. 

John Thrailkiirs turn now came in a most strange 
way. It may be that fate that often thinks what small 
things it may employ to make or mar, to save or lose, 
a life. 

Leaving Lampasas and its regretful experiences, 
after a few days' we journeyed by meadows, and by 
rivers, and great groves of orange trees, wherein mock- 
ing birds sang songs to each other, and to the soft 


sunshine. Late one evening we went into camp. I 
used to love to sit and listen to John Thrailkill talk 
round the camp fires. On this occasion he was telling 
of brave deeds and stories; of the brave days that were 
dead. Many were sitting silent, dreaming, perhaps, of 
the northern land left behind, with its pains, losses, 
and its disappointments; of the dear friends; of that far 
land of forests and beautiful rolling prairies. It may 
be, of a mother's white face, or of a father, or of chil- 
dren at play in the old orchard. This man Thrailkill 
had never slept under roof or tent since the war com- 
menced. He was a guerrilla who had never measured 
the length or breadth of bed during the four years of 
strife. Some woman in Platte county, Missouri, had 
made him a black flag, under which he fought. This 
was worked into the crown of his hat. He was the 
most excellent pistol shot in this noted band of experts. 
I have never seen or heard of anything so quaint in 
recklessness and dare-devil bravado since the Crusaders. 

He talked much, but he had also fought much. He 
told of border battles, fierce and bloody broils, and des- 
perate deeds of valor, wherein at most desperate odds 
he had done some desperate deeds. As the night deep- 
ened, this guerrilla was generous with his share of 
stories of killing. A comrade at his side doubted one 
of Thrailkill's stories. This was Anthony West. West 
also ridiculed the narration. 

Thrailkill was not usually hasty in anger, but this 
time he arose, every hair in his head bristling. "Do 
you doubt and disbelieve me?" He leaned over West 
until he could look into his eyes. For the skeptic there 
is only the logic of a blow. "Is this real? and this?" 
He smote West three times on either cheek with his 
open hand. No insult could be more open, studied or 


unpardonable. But for the instant interference of com- 
rades there would have been bloodshed then and there, 
by the fires of the bivouac. Each was very cool. Each 
knew what the dawn would bring. 

Our camp was within reach of a village church, 
where there lived a priest; a don, and an alcalde, who 
owned leagues of land, and more than three hundred 
game cocks. A cocking main was arranged for General 
Shelby's special benefit, and a general invitation ten- 
dered to all. The contest was to commence at noon. 

About sunrise Captain Gillette came to Thrailkill's 
tent. Thrailkill was still asleep. "I have a message for 
you," said Gillette. "It is not long I hope," said Thrail- 
kill. "Not very long, but very plain." "Yes, they are 
all alike to those who have seen such before. Wait for 
me a few minutes." 

Thrailkill found Ike Berry and Berry found Gillette. 
The note was a challenge, brief and peremptory. A 
conference followed and terms agreed upon. They were 
savage enough for an Indian. Colts pistols, dragoon 
size, were the weapons, but only one was to be loaded. 
The other, empty in every chamber, was to be placed 
along side the loaded one, and a blanket thrown over 
both, leaving the butt of each weapon exposed alike, 
so that there should be no appreciable difference be- 
tween them. He who won the toss of coin was to make 
the first choice. Thrailkill won. The loaded one, and 
unloaded pistol lay side by side in the tent. Thrailkill 
walked into the tent whistling a tune. There lay the 
pistols. There was no difference in appearance. West 
stood behind watching him with a face that was as set 
as flint. 

Thrailkill drew first. His eyes ran along the cyl- 
inder; the pistol was loaded, and he smiled. West's pis- 


tol was empty ; death was his portion. The terms were 
ferocious, yet neither second had practiced deceit, nor 
protested against them. It appeared now that one 
man was to murder another because one man had been 
lucky in the toss of a dollar. Thrailkill had the right 
under the cartel to fire six shots at West, before West 
had the right to grasp so much as a loaded pistol. Thrail- 
kill was noted for his deadly skill among his comrades. 
The meeting was to be at sunset, and the cocking main 
at noon. ~' 

Both the principles and seconds went to the main. 
Before the main was over the life of a man stood as 
absolutely upon the prowess of a bird as the spring 
and its leaves upon the rain and the sunshine. It came 
about in this way. In Mexico cock-fighting is a na- 
tional recreation, perhaps a national blessing as well. 
All men engage in it, when otherwise they might be 
robbing, or waylaying convoys bearing specie, or haunt- 
ing mountain gorges, until heavy trains of merchandise 
entered, to be swallowed up. The priests keep fighting 
chickens, and try to keep the first from his chicken or 
chair, the odds in favor of the church. 

It is upon Sundays that all pitched battles began. The 
alcalde of the town of Lenores was a jolly good Mexi- 
can, who knew a bit of English, picked up in California. 
He was noted for but three things: hard drinking, hard 
fighting and swearing. If he found any of these accom- 
plishments lacking he lost interest, and there flowed 
never again a stream of friendship from the alcalde's 
fountain — it became as dry as a spring in the desert, 
suddenly, and without recovery. 

General Shelby won his heart by sending him a 
case of Cognac brandy, which had been a present from 
General Douay. Therefore, was the main prepared. 


The pit was a great circle in the midst of a series of 
seats, one above the other. Over the gateway, opening 
like the lids of a book, was a chair of state, an official 
seat occupied by the alcalde. Beside him sat the bugler, 
in uniform. At the beginning, and at the end of each 
battle this bugler, watching the alcalde, at a sign, blew 
a triumphant, or a penitial strain, as the alcalde's fa- 
vorite lost or won. As the main advanced the notes 
of gladness out-numbered those of sorrow. 

A born cavalryman is always suspicious. He al- 
ways looks askance at the roads, the woods, the moving 
fogs and the forks and crossroads, that run into the 
rear of a halted column, or into the flanks, while rest- 
ing or in bivouac. It tries the nerves to fumble at 
uncertain girths in the darkness, in a hard rain of 
bullets, fast and furious, pressing down at the threat- 
ened outpost, with no shelter. Never at any time did 
Shelby put faith in Mexican friendship or trust Mexi- 
can welcome or politeness. Our guard was perpetual, 
and his intercourse was always in skirmishing order; 
hence, one-half of the forces of this expedition was re- 
quired to remain in camp, under arms, prepared for any 
emergency. The other half, free of restraint, could 
accept the alcalde's invitation, or not, as they chose. 
The most of them attended. With the crowd went 
Thrailkill, West, Gillette and Berry. • 

All the village was there. High dignitaries of the 
church and benevolent priests mingled with congrega- 
tions, and often bet their pesos on their favorites. Many 
lords of high degree, and mighty men of the country 
round about, and dons with many herds and leagues 
of land, pulled off their hats, and staked their gold 
against the greasy silver, palm to palm. Fair senoritas 
shot furtive glances along the ranks of the soldiers. The 


bugle sounded and the betting began. The sport was 
new to many. Thirty cocks were matched, all hand- 
some birds. 

They were not so large as the American birds, but 
as pure in grade, and as rich in plumage, and the fight- 
ing was more rapid and fatal. The heels used have been 
thrown aside here in the North and West, and mostly in 
New Orleans. These heels were wrought of the most 
perfect steel and curved like a scimitar, and had an 
edge of exquisite keeness. They cut like a razor, fail- 
ing in instant death, they inflict a mortal wound before 
there is mutilation. I believe this is murder. This sport 
is the cause of those people being so cruel, and so 
treacherous, and so brutal ; at least is one of the causes. 
To the savage combat there is added the attendant in- 
sincerity of music, which deprived the arena of its pre- 
meditation, and gave it an air of surprise which an 
accommodating conscience passed unchallenged for in- 
nocence. In Mexico the natives rarely ask questions; 
of strangers, never. 

General Shelby seated himself beside the alcalde. 
The first five notes of a charge sounded, and the battle 
began. Thereafter the varying fortunes of the Amer- 
icans during the evening ebbed and flowed. They 
espoused this or that side, or bird, and lost or won, as 
the fates decreed. There was but a scant amount of 
gold among them. A nation of born gamblers, it needed 
only a cock fight to bring all the old national traits 
uppermost. A dozen or more were now at the point 
of w^agering their carbines and revolvers, when a sign 
from General Shelby checked this unsoldiery impulse, 
and brought them back instantly to a realization of their 

Thrailkill had lost all — not a dollar had he now on 


earth. West, his antagonist, had won incessantly. In 
this it may be that fate was flattering him, for what 
use would all his winnings be after sunset? 

This was the eighth battle, and a magnificent cock 
was brought out. He had the crest of an eagle, and 
the eye of a basilisk. His voice more sonorous than the 
bugle note, and the glossy ebony of his plumage needed 
only the sunlight to make it a mirror. In an instant he 
was everybody's favorite. In his favor all odds were 
laid. Some few clustered about his antagonist, amongst 
them a sturdy old priest, who did what he could to stem 
the tide rising in favor of the bird of the beautiful plum- 
age. Thrailkill was infatuated with him like all the 
rest, and would have staked a crown upon the combat. 
He did not have so much as a red cent. The man was 
miserable. Once he walked to the door and looked out. 
If at that time he had gone forth, the life of West would 
go on with him. But he did not go. As he returned 
he met Gillette who said, "You do not bet, and the 
battle is about to begin?" "I do not bet because I have 
not the money. The pitcher that goes too often to 
the well is certain to be broken." "And yet you are 
fortunate," said Gillette. Thrailkill shrugged his shoul- 
ders and looked at his watch. It lacked an hour of 
sunset. The tempter still tempted him. "You have 
no money. Would you like to borrow?" "No." Gil- 
lette mused awhile. They were tying on the blades, 
and the old priest cried out, "A doubloon to a doub- 
loon against the black cock." Thrailkill's eyes glis- 
tened with excitement. Gillette took him by the arm 
and he spoke secretly, rapidly, earnestly. "You don't 
want to kill West. The terms are simply murderous. 
You have been soldiers and friends together. You can 
take the priest's bet ; here is the money. If you win. 


you pay me ; but if you lose, I have the absolute control 
or disposal of your fire." 

The old guerilla straightened himself up. "What 
would you do with my fire?" "Keep your hands clean 
and free from innocent blood, John Thrailkill," answered 
Gillette. "Is not that enough?" 

The money was accepted, and upon the conditions 
named, the wager was laid with the priest. When the 
battle was over the black cock lay dead on the sands 
of the arena, by the sweep of one terrific blow, while 
over him in pitiless defiance of his antagonist, the bird 
in thin plumage, ragged in his crest and feathers, stood 
in victorious consciousness of his triumph and prowess. 

The sun was crimsoning the sky, the sun setting, 
and two men stood face to face in the golden glow. On 
either side of them stood a second. There was a look 
of sorrow on the suffering face of Ike Berry. The 
light of anticipation was in the watchful eyes of the 
calm Gillette. Well kept had been the secret. The 
group that stood on the golden edge of the golden eve- 
ning were men who knew the ways and the means of 
the work before them. West took his place as a man 
who had shaken hands with life and knew how to die. 
Thrailkill had never been known to be merciful. And 
this day of all days, the chances were dead against a 
moment of pity or forgiveness. 

The ground was a little patch of grass beside the 
stream, with trees by the riverside and trees beyond 
the waters which were running musically onward to 
the sea. In the distance there were houses from which 
the peaceful smoke ascended through the haze of the 
gathering twilight. Tinkling bells sounded from the 
homeward bound flocks. 

West stood full front to his adversary, certain of 


death. He expected nothing beyond a quick and speedy- 
bullet, one which would kill without inflicting needless 
pain. The word was given. Thrailkill threw his pistol 
out, covered his antagonist, looked into his eyes, and 
saw that he did not quail. Then, with a motion as in- 
stantaneous as it was unexpected, lifted it up over his 
head and fired into the air. Gillette now took the 


A crime-stained land — Ttie goatherd — The story of Inez Walker 
— Wood and Thrailkill plan her rescue — Preparation for a 
night attack — Storming the Hacienda — Rodriguez is killed — 
The beautiful Inez Walker — We arrive at Vera Cruz. 

Another fight was also of Thrailkill's contriving. It 
was a fight based upon a romance, a night attack that 
grew from a goat herd's story into a savage scene o^ 
shooting and killing, when Shelby's expedition was well 
on its way into Mexico. Many places old in song and 
story stood out clear-cut and crimson against the dark 
background of local history as Shelby and his men 
passed through the country. They were filled to the 
brim with rapine and lust and slaughter. First, the 
Spaniards under Cortez, swart, fierce, long of swora, 
and limb, and, next, the revolution, wherein no man 
died peacefully under the shelter of a roof. Here was 
Hidalgo, the famous patriot priest, shot. Morealies, with 
these words in his mouth, shot, ''Lord, if I have done 
well, then thou knowest it; if ill, to thy infinite mercy 
I commend my soul." Lernardo Baro, scorning to fly, 
shot; Nicobolas, his son, who offered a thousand cap- 
tives for his father's life, shot. Matamoris, shot. Minor, 
shot. Genorosa, shot. Then came the republic bioodier 
and more bitter still. Victori, its first president, shot. 
Mezea, shot. Predraza, shot. Santana Ewart, head 
boiled in oil by General Ampuda, and his skull stuck 
upon a pole on the walls :o blacken in the sun. Henossa, 


shot. Pasedes, shot. All of them shot. These Mexi- 
can presidents expected this. General Santa Anna, who 
lost a leg, was banished from the country. It was now 
that the French came, and the country was taken by 
the Americans. His mistresses helped to betray him. 
He passed many days in Havana, seeing only the white 
brow of Orizaba from the southern sea, while he lived 
in agony under the orange and the banana trees. 

This was a land old in the world's history, that these 
men with Shelby rode into. And a land stained in the 
world's crimes. A land filled full of the sin of the 
tropics. What wonder that such a deed was done as 
the following. 

On the evening of the tenth day's marching, which 
had been marked by the splendid dash and bravado of 
medieval chivalry, while keeping utmost watch, John 
Wood and John Thrailkill did vigilant duty in the first 
of the reserve, in the silent camp of the dreaming sol- 
diers. The earth smelt sweet with the flowers and 
grasses, and blooming buds. The dew lay heavy on the 
bearded cacti. A low pulse of song broke on the ear, 
as low in fading cadence as the waves that came in 
from the salt sea, seeking the south wind. There was 
the vesper strain of the katydid, sad, solacing, rhythmical. 
Before the eyes of the weary sentinels a figure rose 
up, waving a white hat as a flag of truce. Encouraged, 
he came into line. Not fully assured by what he saw, 
he was a bit frightened. Pressed to speak by such 
inducements as could be offered, this goat herd told 
the Americans that he belonged at Encarnacion, where- 
upon this Mexican robber and devout Catholic crossed 
himself. Not to have heard of Encarnacion was next 
to infamy such, for instance, as the strangling of a 
priest. His mention of this crime made him garrulous. 


Encarnacion was the name of a great hacienda, a 
vast plantation, with royal stables and leagues of land, 
many male and female slaves, with music and singing 
maidens, with a magnificent don as the owner of all 
these things. There was a great silver table service, 
many boxes full of silver dollars. Here was a passion- 
ate, beastly, lustful life. 

The owner of Encarnacion was Louis Enrico Rodri- 
guez, Spaniard born, and patron saint of all the robbers 
that lived in the surrounding mountains, and the idol 
of all the beautiful senoritas who plaited their hair on 
the banks of his arroyas, and hid but charily their 
dusky bodies in the limpid waters of his streams. 

The French in foray had laid but lightly their hands 
upon this region. General Dupia, that terrible French 
contre guerrilla, had never penetrated this mountain line, 
which guarded and shut in this dominion from the 
world beyond. When strangers came, Rodriguez gave 
them greetings; when soldiers came he gave them of 
his flocks ciiul herds, his wines and treasures, 
but there was one pearl of great price, which no stranger 
had ever seen, t^) \v' o^^i no' stranger had ever spoken. 
The slaves called this pearl a beautiful spirit, gentle at 
t"rres. prH ^r-^ at times. The confessor called her a 
sorceress, the lazy gossips, a Gringo witch ; the don, 
who knew best of all, called this pearl wife. But no 
blessing or sprinkling of water, by priest or church, 
had made the name a holy one. Don Luis Rodri- 
guez owned Encarnacion, and Encarnacion held a 
skeleton. This much John Wood, and John Thrailkill 
knew when the goat herder, half-robber, had told his 
story. In Sonora, years before a California miner and 
hunter of gold had found a beautiful Indian maiden 


while making his way along a stream where her tribe 
lived. They loved at the first sight, were married, and 
a daughter was born to them, with her father's Saxon 
hair, and her mother's eyes of tropical dusk. 

From youth to glorious womanhood the daughter 
had been educated in San Francisco. When she re- 
turned to her home in Sonora she was an accomplished 
American woman, a beautiful woman, having nothing 
of her Indian ancestry, but her color. Not even her 
mother's language was known to her. One day in a 
gulch, in an evil hour, Rodriguez looked upon a vision 
Oif loveliness. He was a Spaniard and a millionaire. He be- 
lieved all things possible. The loving was long, baffling, 
highly discouraging, but the web was like the net of 
Penelope — never woven. He failed in his passionate en- 
treaties, in his lying in wait, in his stratagem, in every- 
thing but his willingness. Some men come to their 
end of their audacity. If fate should choose to back a 
lover against the world, fate would give long odds on a 

When everything else had been tried futilely, Rod- 
riguez determined upon abduction. This was a common 
Mexican custom, dangerous only in its failure, no matter 
how monstrous the circumstance, no matter the risks, 
no matter how many corpses. Gathering hastily about 
him some of his braves, whose devotion was in the exact 
proportion to the dollars paid, Rodriguez seized the 
maiden as she was returning late one night 
from an opera, and bore her away with all speed, towards 
Encarnacion. The father, born of a tiger race, that in- 
variably dies hard, now mustered such as loved him, and 
followed in furious pursuit. Once fairly at bay, pur- 
suer and pursued were soon in death grapple. The 
father died in the thickest of the fight, but leaving stern 


and stark traces behind of his terrible prowess, That 
a brave man gone, a dozen it may be, Rodriguez cared 
not, the woman was safe. Once well inside her cham- 
ber, a mistress perhaps, a prisoner certainly, she might 
beat endlessly her young wings against the strong bars 
of her palace home. 

For all that gold could give or buy, or passion sug- 
gest was poured at the feet of the beautiful Inez Walker, 
for such was her name. Servants came and went at her 
bidding, the priest blessed and beamed upon her. Amidst 
it all the face of her dead father rose constantly before 
her vision. Her prayers called for vengeance upon her 
father's murderer. Many times from her chamber fear- 
ful cries issued. The domestics and servants heard these 
and crossed themselves. Once in a fearful storm of 
grief, she fled from her thralldom and wandered fran- 
tically until she sank from exhaustion. She was found 
alone in her beauty and agony. Rodriguez lifted her 
in his arms, and bore her back to her palace prison. A 
fever followed which caused her to mutilate her fair 
young face, and tear her beautiful hair until she was 
pitiful to see. She lived on, however, until under the 
light of a balmy southern sky, and by the fitful embers 
of a soldier's bivouac, a robber goat herder was telling 
the story of an American's daughter to an American-? 

"Was it far to Encarnacion?" 

John Wood asked this question, in his broken way. 

"By tomorrow night, Senor," the goat herder an- 
swered, "you will be there." 

"Have you spoken the straight truth, Mexican?" 

"As the Virgin is true, Senor." 

The Mexican smoked a cigarette and went to bed. 
As to whether he slept or not, he made no sign, ?s 


entire confidence rarely holds an Indian's heart. Wood 
and Thrailkill sat long in silence. Finally Thrailkill 
spoke. "Of what are you thinking, Wood?" "Of En- 
carnacion. And you?" "The beautiful Inez Walker." 

The Mexican turned in his blankets, muttering. 
Wood's pistol covered him. "Lie still," he said, "and 
muffle up your ears. You may not understand English, 
but you understand this." Wood waved his pistol. 

It was daylight again. The men had not noticed the 
flight of time. They felt as fresh as the dew on grass, 
fresh enough to plan an enterprise as daring and as 
desperate as anything ever dreamed of in romance, or 
set forth in fable or song. 

The morrow night of the Mexican had come, and 
there lay Encarnacion in plain view in the star light. 
Rodriguez had kept aloof, for in the American encamp- 
ment there was a menace to his conscience. Through 
the last hours of the afternoon, broad-hatted rancheros 
had ridden up to the Encarnacion corral in unusual num- 
bers, dismounted and entered. Shelby, who took note 
of every thing, took note of this. 

"They do not come out," he said. "There are 
some sign of preparations about, and some fears mani- 
fested against a night attack. Save for grass and our 
goats, I know of no reason why our foraging should be 
heavier than formerly." 

Wood and Thrailkill had concluded to tell Shelby 
the whole story, but their hearts failed them, as Shelby 
had been getting sterner and sterner of late. As we 
advanced into this country, the reins had to be drawn 
tighter and tighter. Certainly, since the last furious 
attack by night of the Mexican guerrillas, those who 
had looked upon discipline as an ill-favored mistress, 
had ended by embracing her with fervor. 


As the pickets were being tolled off for night duty, 
Wood came close to Thrailkill, and whispered to him, 
"The men will be ready by twelve o'clock. They are 
volunteers and splendid fellows." 

How many of them will be shot? Quien-sabe? Those 
who take the sword shall perish by the sword. With 
all his gold, and leagues and leagues of land, and his 
cattle, horses, servants, Rodriguez had for his eagles' 
nest or dove cote only an adobe. Near the great gate 
inside were acres of corral, and within this area sad- 
dled steeds were lazily feeding. A Mexican loves his 
horse, but this no reason why he is fed this night. How- 
ever, Rodriguez was bountiful. For fight or flight, 
both men and horses must not go hungry. 

On top of the main building, a kind of tower lifted 
itself up, it was roomy and spacious, and flanked by steps 
that clung to it. In this tower a light shone, while all 
about was hushed. High above, walls encircled the 
mansion and cabins, the corrals, the acacia trees, the 
fountain that splashed with water plentifully, and the 
massive portals which had mystery within, all its rugged 

The nearest picket was over and beyond Encar- 
nacion. The camp guards this night were only for sen- 
tinel duty. Free to come and go, the men had no 
watchword for the night ; none was needed. Suddenly, as 
if from the ground, had one looked up from his blankets, 
he might have seen a long dark line, standing out against 
the sky. This line did not move. It may have been 
twelve o'clock. There was no moon, yet the stars gave 
light enough for the men to recognize each other. A 
quarter of a mile in the distance from our camp was the 
hacienda, and at about the same distance stood the out- 
post picket. 


In these serried ranks one might have seen such vet- 
eran campaigners, stern and rugged and as scant of speech 
in danger, as McDugal, Tom Boswell, Armested, Win- 
ship, Ras Woods, Joe Marcy, Jim Vires, Abe Curtly, 
Will Blackw^ood, Jim Crockett, Collins, Williams, Ov^ens, 
Timberlake, Darnell, Johnson, the three Berry boys 
(brothers Ike, Richard and Henry), and myself, as v^ell 
as many others of like material and courage, too numer- 
ous to mention here. Woods and Thrailkill stood for- 
ward as leaders. All knev^ that they would carry them 
far enough, and some may have perhaps thought too far. 
Hushed and ominous, the line stood as still as a wall 
from front to rear. 

Thrailkill, who walked around the walls of Encar- 
nacion, its whole length, was now speaking low and 
cheering words. 

"Boys, none of us know what is waiting inside of 
the corral. Mexicans fight well in the dark, it is said, 
and see better than wolves or cats. But we must have 
that beautiful American woman safe out of their hands, 
or we must burn these buildings. If the hazard is too 
great for any one let him step out of the ranks." Not a 
man moved. Whatever we are about to do must needs 
be done quickly. Shelby sleeps but little of late, and 
may even at this moment be searching for some of us. 
Let him find even so much as one man's empty tent or 
blanket or absent horses and there will be trouble. 

Sweeney, a one-arm soldier who had served with 
Walker in Nicaragua, and who was always in front in 
hours of enterprise or peril, said to Thrailkill, ''Lead on, 
since time is so valuable." 

Two men who had been sent forward to the great 
gate returned and reported to Thrailkill, who said, "It's 


all dark and still about these gates, which are as strong 
as a mountain. We shall batter them down." 

A huge beam was brought, wrenched from a large ir- 
rigating basin. Twenty-five men manned this and ad- 
vanced upon the gate. In an instant tremendous tim- 
bers were resounding against the gates. Then came 
shouts, cries, oaths, musket shots. Before the battering 
the adobe walls gave way; the fastenings of iron were 
broken like reeds. The locks were crushed and broken, 
and with fierce yells the Americans rushed in and 
swarmed to the attack of the main building. The light in 
the tower guided them. 

A legion of devils seemed to have broken loose. The 
steeds in the stables of the Mexicans reared and plunged 
in the infernal din of the fight, and dashed hither and 
thither, masterless and riderless. The camp where Shel- 
])v rested was instantly alarmed. The shrill notes of the 
American bugle call were heard over all the tumult, and 
with them the voices of Thrailkill and Woods crying out, 
"Make haste, men; make haste. In twenty minutes more 
we will be between two fires." Crouching in the stables, 
in the darkness some twenty rancheros made sudden and 
desperate battle. Ike Berry and Joe Marcy with Yar- 
vell, charged through the gloom by the fitful and lurid 
flashes of muskets. When this work was over the cor- 
ral no longer vomited flames. Silence reigned there, that 
fearftil ominous silence fit only for the dead who died 

The camp, no longer asleep, had become menacing. 
Short, quick words of command came out of it, and the 
tread of trained men forming rapidly for battle. Skirm- 
ishers had been thrown forwards quite to the Hacinado ; 
they seemed almost nude and stood out under the star- 
light as white specters, threatening, yet undefined. They 


had guns and pistols, too, and insomuch were surely 
mortal. These specters also had reason and discretion. 
Close upon the broken fragments of the great gate, and 
looking in upon the waves of battle as they rose and fell, 
they did not fire; they believed that at least some of 
their kindred and comrades were there. For some time 
the battle raged hotly, the beleaguered, cheered by the 
\oice of Rodriguez, stod desperately to the fight. The 
doors were as redoubts, the windows as casemates. Once, 
on the steps of the tower Rodriguez showed himself for 
a brief moment. One dozen of the best shots of the at- 
tacking party fired at him.. His answer was an oath of 
defiance, so savage and harsh that it sounded unnatural. 
There was now a lull. Every Mexican outside of the 
main building had been killed or wounded. Against the 
maFsi\'e walls of the adobe the rifles made tin headway. 
It was murder to oppose flesh against masonry. Vic 
Ackers was killed, young and dauntless. Provins was 
dead. Washburne dead, a stark German. Rodgers dead. 
Jim Crockett, with four wounds, Crockett the hero of 
the desperate Lampasas duel, was breathing his last. The 
wounded were lying on all sides, some hard hit, and 
some bleeding, yet fighting on. 

Once more the great beam was brought. Shelby 
was coming. Again the great beam crushed against the 
door, leading into the main hall, with smashing of iron 
and wood and plaster. Through splintered masonry the 
besiegers poured, over crumbling timbers and jagged 
debris. The building was gained. Once inside the 
storm of robber bullets was terrible. 

At the head of his hunted followers Rodriguez 
fought like the Spaniard he was, stubbornly and to the 
last. No lamps lit the savage melee. The Mexicans 
stood up to be shot, and were shot where they stood. 


The most of them died there. Some few broke away and 
escaped towards the last, for no pursuit was attempted, 
and no man cared how many fled. It was the woman the 
Americans wanted. Gold and silver ornaments were 
every where, and precious tapestry work, and many rare 
and quaint woven things, but the powder blackened and 
blood stained hands of these desperate assailants touched 
none of these. It was too dark to tell who killed Rodri- 
guez, but to the last his voice was heard cheering on his 
men, and calling down the vengeance of God on the 
Gringoes. Those who fired at him fired at his voice, for 
it was dark, the smoke trifling and the sulphur fumes 
of the powder almost unbearable. 

When the Hacinada was won General Shelby had ar- 
rived with the rest of the command. He had mistaken 
the cause of the attack, and his mood was of that kind 
v^^hich seldom came to him, but when it did come, as it 
had several times before, it made the ears of his fighting 
men tingle. He caused the Hacienda to be closely sur- 
rounded, and he passed to the doorway, a look of wrath- 
ful menace was on his usually placid face. 

"Who among you have done this thing?" he asked 
in tones that were full and vibrating. No answer came. 
The men put their weapons up. 

"Speak, some of you. Let me not find cowards in- 
stead of plunderers, lest I finish upon all of you what 
the Mexicans did so poorly to a few." 

Thrailkill and Woods came to the front, all cov- 
ered with wounds and powder and blood. They seem.ed 
in sorry plight to make any headway in defense of thci 
night's work before their stern commander, who wa- 
holding up his left hand, deprecatingly. Thrailkill rn- 
swered, "No cowards, no plunderers here. We are here 


in the defense of a helpless American woman, a captive 
within these walls for years." 

He told the tale as straight as the goat herder had 
told it, and in a simple, soldierly fashion, placing all the 
blame upon the heads and hands of the attacking party. 

The stern features of their commander relaxed a lit- 
tle, and he fell to musing. It may have been that the 
desperate nature of the enterprise appealed more strong- 
ly to his feelings than he was willing his men should 
know. Or it may have been that his set purpose softened 
when he saw so many of his best and bravest soldiers 
come from the darkness and stand in silence about their 
leaders, Thrailkill and Woods ; and saw many of them 
sorely wounded, and many other signs that showed the 
desperateness of the fighting. Certain it is that when he 
spoke again his voice was more relenting and assuring. 

And where was this lady, this woman, during all 
those terrible moments of combat? In the tower. The 
lights in the tower had burned as a beacon. Perhaps in 
the last few seconds when Rodriguez stood alone upon 
the steps leading up to the door and tower, the dove's 
nest occupied his mind in the tempest of fire and smoke. 
The old love might have been busy at his heart, bringing 
a desire to make some peace at last with her whom he 
had so greatly wronged, sinned against and for whose 
sake he was so soon to suffer. Death makes many sad 

After learning the wishes of Inez V/alker General 
Shelby had his brave and sv/arthy dead of the midnight 
attack buried with military honors. Also the Mexicans. 
The unusual disparity of the killed on each side was so 
marked that much comment on this point was indulged 
in. Six guerrillas were killed and fourteen wounded. 
There were one hundred and four guerrilas in this fight 


wiili Thrailkill and Woods. Rodriguez had with him 
two hundred and forty-six of his rough riding cutthroats 
and robbers. He bad made every preparation, first for a 
rattbnii f\ght, and then for his flight. We found all his 
horses saddled and bridled. His conscience must have 
smote him because of his many misdeeds, for when he 
saw the Americans he kept aloof, and sent some of his 
retainers after reinforcements, which arrived after dark. 
The attack was no surprise, as the prompt response of 
the musketry fire to the battering ram showed the as- 
sailants that the besieged were ready and that they were 
entering a veritable robbers' nest. 

Miss Inez Walker was indeed beautiful. She was 
now the guest of General Shelby for a few days to rest 
and recruit from her terrible experience. She went with 
us to Vera Cruz. Arriving there she thanked us for all 
the service we had done her and for her rescue, and from 
this place she went back to her home in California. She 
was certainly a lovely woman, even in her forlorn and 
helpless condition. Bidding her adieu we never saw her 
again. The Mexicans lost in this baitle one hundred 
and eighty-two men killed and twenty-eight wounded. 
The rest of the robbers fled to their dens in the mountains 
after their patron saint was slain. Thus ended one of 
the most furious and desperate night attacks of all my 


The making of a guerrilla — ^War on women and children — A dea- 
perate leader — Arch Clemmens, the boy guerrilla — Jesse 
James — The massacre at Centralia — Major Johnson swears 
revenge — The fight in Singleton's pasture — The black flag — 
Johnson's fatal error — Fifty-two of sixty Federals killed — 
Death of Anderson. 

In the early months of 1863 the adverse winds of 
fortune blew hard and furiously upon many of the peace- 
ful homes and families all over the South, especially 
in Missouri and Kentucky. In Missouri a new name ap- 
peared along the border. In this savage year of fighting 
and killing, a year of the torch and black flag, formidable 
men were coming to the front from every direction. 
Guerrilla fires blazed forth in saveage, vengeful, unfor- 
giving reprisal. It was also the year when the invisible 
Reaper gathered in the harvest sheaves from the bravest 
of the brave in the ranks of the guerrillas. 

William Anderson of Missouri, left to himself and 
permitted to pursue his peaceful, industrious way, would 
never have flashed across the military horizon. This 
amiable neighbor and hardworking man would never 
have been developed into a devouring tiger. Let us see 
how this son of toil was wrought upon. 

Late in November, 1862, a body of Federal soldiers, 
specially enrolled and uniformed to prey upon non-com- 
batants and persecute women and children, gathered up 
a number of young demonstrative Southern women 
whose only sin was extravagant pro-Confederacy affilia- 


tions. They were arrested and taken to Kansas City and 
placed in a dilapidated, rackety old house close to a steep 
embankment, in charge of brutal guards who sang vul- 
var soni^s and talked indecent, infamous talk to them. 
With these women, tenderly raised, were two of Ander- 
son's sisters. At this time William Anderson was at 
work with his father in Kansas and knew nothing of 
the real struggle of the war and nothing of the arrest or 
incarceration of his sisters. This quiet, fair-minded, cour- 
teous man, who took more interest and delight in a book 
than in any crowd, bore a most excellent name among his 
neighbors in Johnson County, Kansas, and in Randolph 
County, Missouri, where he was raised. He must yet 
deal with destiny, however, and reconcile his claims. 

This old, tottering, rickety building within which 
were huddled these tender Southern women did not fall 
down fast enough for the howling brutes of prey bel- 
lowing about it. In the darkness of night it was under- 
mined so that the wind (so it was said) blew upon it and 
fell with a crash. Cover the faces and the disfigured, 
limp and lifeless bodies, now past all pain or human sor- 
row ; dead to touch, entreaty or kiss or passionate appeal. 

Bill Anderson's oldest sister was taken from the 
wreck a corpse. The youngest sister severely injured in 
the spine, with one leg broken, cut pitifully and bruised 
in many portions of the body, lived to tell a terrible 
story of the dead and mangled females crushed in the 
toppling, undermined house, to a loving, patient brother 
at her bedside. Looking up Anderson said, "Is there a 
God there?" 

What he was Fate made him. Soon a stir ran along 
the border. "Who is Anderson? Anderson! Ander- 
son ! He kills them all." Magnificent horsemanship and 
prowess seemed natural gifts to this natural born soldier. 


He gathered about him a desperate band of harried, 
hunted men and rode at a gallop into terrible notoriety. 

A tall, broad-shouldered man, his forehead was 
broad and arched over his eyes. He was a man who 
brooded over wrongs; his mouth and nose, which was 
thin about the nostrils, betokened much of his sensitive- 
ness, but more of determination. His eyes were variable 
in their color, seemingly gray in repose but absolutely 
black when expanded with excitement in battle. The 
chin, neither massive nor square, but hidden in a beard. 
All that was cruel about his face was the mouth, a smil- 
ing, handsome, ferocious mouth, somewhat drawn about 
the corners, with thin lips and regular teeth, white and 
wide apart. Long haired, and lithe as a greyhound, as 
he galloped he could swing himself to the earth and pick 
up a pistol. 

Anderson was popular with desperate guerrillas, and 
he made them automatic killing machines of which he 
was the mainspring:. He possessed natural eloquence 
and a manner at once free and martial. His discipline 
was rigorous but was relaxed at the proper time ; he had 
only to be firm and his desperadoes were as a heated 
mass in his hands. His ascendency over them, unless 
based upon other qualities than personal accomplish- 
ments or individual tact, could never have endured the 
fierce and savage strains of guerrilla warfare. Where 
ever danger was greatest or most threatening, from the 
thickest of the deadlv fiehting Anderson's cheering voice 
could be heard. From the wreck of ranks and the tear- 
ing asunder of battle lines, there, leading the press and 
ragine like a wounded lion, he fought as a man pos- 
sessed of the devil. His features underwent a transfor- 
mation. He kept a tally list of his victims. One guer- 
rilla alone surpassed him — Arch Clemmens, a boy sol- 


dier, beardless and blue-eyed. Each guerrilla had a knot- 
ted silk cord ; each knot stood for a life. The knots in- 
creased continually and during this bloody harrowing 
year of '63 wliat a ghastly tale it was. These knots 
skilfully tied with deft and deathly fingers — how they 
grew and grew ! At last on Anderson's there were fifty- 
three, on Clemmens' fifty-four. Thereafter Anderson 
never tied another. 

After fighting two hundred and ninety-eight days 
continually, almost nightly, in the extreme rear of 
Price's raid, Anderson struck a brigade of Federal in- 
fantry in the road he proposed to travel. He was a man 
who rode over things in preference to riding around them. 
He rode a red charger. As soon as he reached the 
skirmishers, he dashed ahead, as he always did, never 
looking back. A bullet reached his heart, killing him in- 

It was during this fateful day that Jesse James 
was tied to a tree with his mother and sister and whip- 
ped into unconsciousness. Then a halter was placed 
around his neck and he was dragged across the field 
where he had been plowing. His step-father. Dr. Sam- 
uels, was hanged and left for dead. Both the mother 
and tJie sister were taken to St. Joseph and thrown in+o 
a filthy prison. The sister sickened and was never well 
again. Insulted, half-fed and almost starved, they en- 
dured hardships untold. Jesse joined his brother in 
Quantrell's camp and soon became known as one of thf* 
most deadly in this noted band of guerrillas. 

He made a business of killing. He had a boyish, 
smiling face, smooth as a school girl's ; the innocent blue 
eyes were soft, clear and penetrating. This tall, sturdy 
youth had tapering, long fingers and white hands, small 
and soft. It had not been written that they were to be- 


come the quickest, the deadliest hands in all the deadly 

During all the spring and summer and early fall 
days these hardy, desperate fighting guerrillas were 
daily, often nightly, in the saddle. On the 27th day of 
September, 1863, was enacted the bloodiest drama yet 
known. Anderson during this month moved through 
Randolph, Monroe and Audrian counties and operated 
along the North Missouri railroad, killing militia upon 
every hand and spreading terror and dismay in every 
direction, thus causing the concentration of Federal 
troops, so much desired by General Price and Confed- 
erate authorities. 

From his camp at Singleton's barn on the morning 
of September 27, Bill Anderson moved into Centralia. 
He had his own company and Poole and ten of his men. 
George Todd did not accompany him to town, nor did 
Captain Thrailkill ; these chieftains joined him at his 
camp and with their companies rested upon their arms, 
awaiting: developments. The noon train from St. Louis 
stopped at the depot. There were Federal soldiers upon 
it, some with guns and others without ; some returning 
home on furlough and some to duty. Anderson charged 
the cars. From the windows and platform some volleys 
were fired at the guerrillas. Such resistance was -mere 
child's play. Probably some would have been spared if 
there had been unconditional surrender, but there was 
no earthly hope after a single shot had been fired. 

Before the cars had stopped one of the Yankee sol- 
diers put his head from a window and cried out: "Lord, 
Lord ; there is Bill Anderson ; boys, go to praying." 
"Pray, hell," swore one, an Iowa sergeant, thrusting his 
gun through the window and firing as he spoke. • 

It is the hour of battle. The devil and all his imps 


are here. This should not be called a fight. A few shots 
from tlic s^uerrillas at close range cleared the windows 
and the platform. White handkerchiefs were waved 
from nearly every window in token of formal surrender. 
It would have been better for the Federals to have 
fought to the death if they thought best to fight at all. 
They were all formed in line, and the separation of 
soldiers and citizens began. It was indeed a ghastly 
division which marked these two lines. Twenty-five 
soldiers fell upon that side where death, invisible, but 
stark and grim, lay in ambush for his prey. The citi- 
zens were sent away and the soldiers all killed. The 
train set on fire, and with full head of steam on, dashed 
away like a cyclone through to Sturgeon. A construc- 
tion train following behind was taken possession of, set 
on fire, and the depot and all the government property 

Anderson moved back to Singleton's pasture. It 
was now decided to join forces and await coming devel- 
opments. At Paris there was a Federal garrison, 300 
strong, under the command of Major Johnson. The 
Major had been busy watching and scouting the country 
for Bill Anderson for some days. He was destined to 
find him speedily. Johnson came into Centralia, viewed 
the .blackened debris and the slain soldiers, and swore 
all kinds of frightful, terrible revenge. At the head 
of his columns a black flag was carried. So, also, was 
there one at the head of Anderson's and Todd's column. 
In Todd*'s ranks the stars and bars floated fair and 
free. In Johnson's ranks for this day the stars and 
stripes had been forbidden. 

While in Centralia, the Union citizens begged and 
besought Johnson to beware of Anderson and his men, 
telling him that they were no ordinary soldiers and 


that he was no match for Todd and Anderson; it would 
be a useless sacrifice of himself and his men to attack 
them, as they were in ambush ready to destroy, and 
spare not. He did not retreat. He listened patiently to 
.the warning's that were well meant and timely, but he 
put away firmly the hands that were lifted to stay his 
course. Johnson was as brave as the bravest of them, 
but he did not realize what was before him. He had 
never fought guerrillas. He boasted that no quarter 
should be given or asked, and pointed gleefully to his 
black flag. He said he had come to carry back with 
him the body of Anderson, dead or alive, he would 
have it. 

"Very well," said the citizens, "go and get it." But 
still fate had not yet entirely turned its face from John- 
son and his doomed column. A young and very beautiful 
Union woman, now met him as he rode from town, 
halted him, took his bridle in her hand besoueht him 
spoke to him as one almost inspired, and declared that 
a presentiment had come to her that if he led his men 
a^pinst Bill Anderson, few or none would return alive. 
This mad leader would not listen to her pleadines, al- 
though she was almost in the dust before him. His blood 
was on fire. He would devastate the country, and leave 
of the habitations of Southern men not one stone upon 
another. His bearing was savage. He cursed the people 
as "damned secesh," and swore that they were in league 
with murderers and robbers. Extermination was what 
they all needed, and if Fortune favored him in the fight, 
it was an absolute extermination they should all have. 

But fortune did not favor him. Johnson left Cen- 
tralia and rode east of south some three miles. His 
scouts who went to Singleton's barn, came back and 
reported that Anderson and his men had camped, rested 


and fed there, and had gone into the timber to hide 
themselves from the vengeance of the wrathy Major, 
Behind the barn a ridge lifted itself up from the wide, 
undulating country and broke the vision to the south- 
west. Far beyond this ridge spread a smootVi, wide^ 
prairie, and still further south w^as the Limber. Here 
WSLS the hiding place where the scouts located Anderson 
and his guerrillas. 

Johnson now approached this ridge, which was dis- 
tant a mile, on the open prairie. Ten men came into 
view. The leader of these was Captain Thrailkill, with 
picked men, among whom were Frank and Je.^se lames, 
Peyton Long, Dave and John Poole, Tuck Hill, James 
Younger, Ben Morrow, Harrison Traw and E. P. De 
Hart. When such giants as these began to show them- 
selves. Johnson had need to beware of what might be 
before him. The guerrillas, all told, numbered two hun- 
dred and sixty. There were in Anderson's company 
sixty-one men, in George Todd's, forty-eight ; in Thomas 
Todd's, fifty-four; in Poole's, forty-nine and in John 
Thrailkill's, fifty-two. Two hundred and sixty-two 
against three hundred were face to face in an open 

Captain Thrailkill moved forward to skirmish with 
the advancing Federals. Anderson and Todd came out 
from the timber and formed a line of battle in the open 
field. To the front a sloping hill arose between Johnson 
and the guerrillas. Todd rode to the crest of the hill. 
Thrailkill moved well forward and into the prairie, tak- 
ing his position there. He lifted his hat and the whole 
force rapidly moved up. Bill Anderson held the right, 
George Todd joined to Anderson. Poole to Todd, and 
Thomas Todd to Poole, and Thrailkill to Thomas Todd. 
Thus were the ranks arranged. Thrailkill, with his 


ten skirmishers, vanished quickly behind the hill. An- 
derson sat on his charger like a carved statue, on the 
summit of the hill. Johnson moved forward. "Many 
shots were fired at long range and some bullets flew 
past and beyond where Anderson watched. From a 
column of fours to the right in front, Johnson's men 
formed a line of battle, pressing up the hill. The guer- 
rillas opened fire briskly. The battle grew hot. Thrail- 
kill knew his business too well to linger too !ong at 
such work. He now fell back toward the main body. 
While this movement was being executed, Johnson's 
men da-^hed forward with a feeble shnut. But all orcL^i 
at'd formation were gone; ranks all gone. They rushed 
without order beyond the will, and beyond the control 
of their commander. This looked bad, and 'was bad; 
such exultation over a slight skirmish. None of the 
enemy was killed or showed nervousness. 

Captain Thrailkill formed again when he reached the 
main line of battle. Johnson now rearranged his lines 
and moved his men forward to the crest of the hill, 
some at a brisk walk, others at a trot. He halted and 
bade them look to their lines and cursed them bitterly. 
A column of men suddenly rode into view, halted and 
dismounted. They seemed to be confused or inexperi- 
enced. Johnson is declared to have said to his ad- 
jutant, "They will fight on foot. What does this mean?" 
He soon found out. It meant that they were tightening 
their saddle girths, putting fresh caps on their revolvers, 
looking well to their bridle reins and bits, preparing 
for a charge that would have the fury of the whirlwind 
and the cyclone. 

From a column they transformed into two lines 
deep and with a double interval between all the files. 
They moved over the crest forward. Major Johnson 


advanced at a walk. It was near the hour five o'clock. 
The sun was low in the west and the hour warm and 
genial. From afar the low, lisping murmur of streams 
came softly to the ear. At intervals the notes of birds 
could be heard. All nature was hushed. A tragedy 
was about to be enacted. Hush. There they are, face 
to face, the two hostile forces, with black flags over 
them, each ready to exterminate the other without pity. 
An interval of some three hundred yards separated their 
lines. Not a shot was fired. Anderson showed a naked 
front base, file free of skirmishers, and ready for the 
fight which he knew would be murderous to the Fed- 
erals. The black flag was sufficient warrant for this. 
From the lips of each leader came threats of extermina- 
tion and death. Johnson was dismounted. Could it 
be possible that he meant to receive the guerrillas at a 
halt? What folly. What cavalry books had he read? 

He halted his men, and rode along his front, speak- 
ing a few calm and collected words to them. All battle 
speeches are alike, "Keep cool and shoot low, and don't 
get excited." Who has taught these suicidal, ruinous 
tactics? Johnson now called out loud enough to be 
heard from his lines, "Come on, we are ready for the 

The challenge was accepted. The guerrillas gath- 
ered themselves as by a sudden impulse and took the 
bridle reins between their teeth. In the hands of each man 
was a deadly revolver. There were carbines, also, but 
they had never been unslung. The sun was low and 
there was pressing need to finish quickly. These guer- 
rillas were riding the best and fastest horses in Mis- 
souri. Here were Dick Maddox, George Maddox, Frank 
Gray, Al Scott, Ed Greenwood, Dave and John Poole, 
Ike Berry, Frank and Jesse James, Tom Maxwell, Dick 


Kinney, Ike and Si Flannery, Ambrose Maxwell, Dick 
Burks, Puss Webb, Babe Hudspeth, James Younger, 
Bud Pence, Lafe Privin, Allan Parker, McGuire Trow, 
George Sheaperd, Oil and Frank Sheaperd, Frank Gregg, 
Morrow, De Hart, Jeff Enery, Bill Anderson, Tuck Hill, 
James Cummings, John Rupe, Silas King, James Corum, 
Moses Huffaker, Ben Bloomfield, Peyton Long, Jack 
Southerland, Will and Jim Berry, Ben Reynolds, Will 
and Charles Stewart, Daniel Pence, Nat Tigul, Garly 
Robertson, Hiram Guess, Buster Parr, William Gaiv, 
Chat Renick, Henry Porter, Arch and Henry Clements, 
Jesse Hamlet, John Thrailkill, Si Gordon, George and 
John Todd, William and Hugh Archil, Blunk Murray, 
Long Liteen, Sam and Wade Easters, Creth Creek, 
Thomas Casth, John Chatman and over threescore other 
heroes unnamed because forgotten. 

They struck the Federal ranks with the mighty rush 
of tigers. Jesse James, riding a white-faced mare, led 
by a length. Arch Clements, Frank James, Peyton Long, 
Oil Sheaperd followed in a bunch. There was neither 
trot nor gallop. The guerrillas dashed from a walk into 
a full, furious charge. The attack was a hurricane, 
Johnson's command fired only one volley, scarwK..*^ 
standing until the intervening space was passea over 
by the guerrillas. Johnson shouted to his men to fight 
to the death. Many did not wait to hear him, but broke 
and fled as soon as they fired, frantic to get away. Some 
few were attempting to reload when the guerrillas, fir- 
ing with both hands, reached their ranks and hurled 
themselves upon them. Major Johnson fell among ir?e 
first. Jesse James singled him out and when within 
five feet of him drew a pistol suddenly and put a bullet 
through his brain. Johnson threw up his hands, as if 
trying to reach something above his head, pitched for- 


ward heavily, a corpse. There was no quarter. Many 
got down on their knees and begged for mercy, but 
the guerrillas heeded the prayer as a wolf might the 
bleating of a lamb. A wild roar broke away over the 
prairie towards Sturgeon — the vengeful, implacable pur- 
suit, fed by hatred, thundered behind the fugitives, with 
death on all sides. There were no guerrillas hurt after 
the first volley, but in this volley Hank Williams 
and Frank Sheaperd were killed ; Tobe Maxwell and 
Harrison Carter were slightly wounded, and R'ch- 
ard Kinney was mortallv wounded. Bv this same 
volley two horses were killed, one under Elias Reni^k. 
and one under Dave Poole. About sixty of the Fed- 
erals gained their horses before the first wave of this 
pitiless charge broke over them. These were pursued 
by only five guerrillas — Frank and Jesse James, Arch 
Clements, John Todd and Oil Shenperd, for six mi^es 
and at a dead run. Of the sixty, fifty-two were killed 
on the road from Centralia to Sturgeon. Anderson drew 
up his command and watched the chase for three miles. 
Nothing obstructed the vision. Side by side, like the 
wind over the level prairie they rode, the guerrillas 
gaining step by step, leap by leap upon the rearmost 
riders. Little puffs of white smoke arose. No sound 
reached the ears, but terrified steeds ran riderless into 
Sturgeon. Night put an end to the killing. Five men 
shot down fifty-two. Arch Clements had credited to 
him fourteen. Oil Sheaperd, ten ; Peyton Long, nine ; 
Frank James, eight; Jesse James, besides killing Major 
Johnson and several others in the charge upon the dis- 
mounted troopers, killed eight others on the run to 

Johnson lost in this battle on the open prairie two 
hundred and ninety-two men; only eight escaped to tell 


the tale of the black flag contest. History has chosen 
to call the ferocious killing at Centralia a butchery. 
In all civil wars encounters are not called butcheries 
where the combatants are man to man, and where over 
either rank waves the black flag. The Federals had 
thirty-eight more men than the guerrillas in this fight. 
It was in a sense a mutual challenge between two com- 
mands, and could, therefore, in no sense be called a 
butchery. Johnson was a brave soldier. This is all 
that can be said of him. He rushed blindly upon his 
own fate, impelled by a power, it would seem, stronger 
than himself. His destruction it is probable was a 
decree of fate, beyond his power to resist. He evidently 
did not know how to command, or to plan a fight, and 
his men did not know or had not been trained, how to 
fight. He tied his hands and feet and deliberately, by 
dismounting in the face of the most terrible and deadly 
revolver fighters, the most expert shots the world had 
ever produced, and who probably could not have been 
duplicated from the pick of all the best shots from both 
sides in either army. Abject contemptible cowardice 
among Johnson's men matched itself against reckless 
daring and desperation, and the end could only have 
been just what it was. The guerrillas did unto the 
militia just exactly what the militia would have done 
unto them if fate had been reversed. Therefore it is 
idle to talk of butcheries under such conditions. War 
is barbarism and barbarism is war, deadly and destruc- 
tive to life and property. 

Anderson's career was cut short by a most reckless, 
it might be said, foolhardy, thoughtless act. The news 
of Todd's death seemed to make him more desperate, if 
possible. He recruited his own command and was joined 
by two detachments of regular Confederates. He de- 



termined to cross the river above Camden. Barring his 
passage to the crossing were twelve hundred Federals. 
He made haste to attack them with his raw recruits. 
Officers advised urgently against attack with raw lines. 
He would not be held back, ordered a charge, leading it 
ferociously. He was fifty yards ahead of his men and 
was dead before falling from his horse. There were ten 
men killed and as many wounded while trying to bring 
away his body. He may be said to have lived amid a 
storm of bullets during his short, brilliant and stotmy 
military life. His first battle was a furious charge, and 
his last was even still more furious. This man never 
knew fear. He was a pensive, brooding man. William 
Anderson was a strange man in many ways. Had not 
the waves of the Civil War made him the avenger of one 
dead sister, and of another maimed for life, he would 
have lived unconscious of his latent powers, the sleep- 
ing tiger unaroused in his nature. He certainly did not 
know his powers or nature, and could not anticipate 
the almost miraculous transformation that came to him 
in his first battle, a kind of transfiguration which found 
him a boy but left him a giant. 

Anderson rarely manifested any special individuality. 
With his own soldiers or citizens he was a very positive 
man. If he said "yes" or "no" it was as unalterable 
as the hills. He Avent to war to kill and generally those 
who fought against him were worsted, and in a ma- 
jority of instances, annihilated. He was a very devil 
incarnate in battle. He was frequently heard to say 
"If I had cared for my life, I w^ould have lost it many 
times and long ago. Wanting to lose it, I cannot throw 
it away." His destiny was war, and he marched toward 
it with an inspiration as fixed as Fate. Surrounded he 
could not be captured; surprised, he could not be de- 


moralized. He never despaired. Shot dead from his 
saddle in a last reckless charge beyond all reason of 
daring there was none to triumph over him as a cap- 
tive, fettered in prison. No longer a living hero, e 
was but another victim of the cruel inhumanities of the 
times, brought about by the bloody civil war. 


Arrival at Vera uruz — I obtain a commission — Back to the 
States — Capture of Monday and McGruder — We plan a res- 
cue — Too late — Jerome Clark — Henry McGruder. 

When I reached Vera Cruz I was introduced to 
General Douay, also to General Bazaine, chief com- 
mander of the Imperial army in Mexico. I received a 
commission to raise a cavalry command, a squadron 
of four companies, also a commission to return to the 
United States, and obtain such men, especially such 
veteran Confederates as I could induce to join the Im- 
perial army. I was furnished with $20,000 for inci- 
dental and recruiting expenses and equipment. 

Leaving General Shelby now and thanking him for 
his many kindnesses and the courteous treatment he 
had shown me during my stay with him, I made my 
way back across the border from Vera Cruz, thence to 
Monterey, where I remained a few days. I met many 
Confederate veterans at this place, flocking into Mexico. 
Many of these had determined to return to the United 
States. I met a body of General Douay's scouts who 
went with me to New Laredo, on the Rio Grande river. 
At this place I found two regiments of Federal or Yan- 
kee soldiers, and obtained a pass from Colonel Colmen, 
who was commanding here. Leaving this place I 
reached San Antonio in three days, and went from 
thence to St. Louis, and Louisville. From here I has- 
tened to Nelson county with all speed, hoping to find 


my brother, Captain Samuel O. Berry, and near my 
old haunts, some of my old comrades. 

Many changes had taken place since my last visit 
here. All the armies of the South had surrendered and 
disbanded. I reached my brother's camp in Bullitt 
county. May 24th, and learned for the first time that 
Jerome Clark (Sue Monday) and Henry McGruder had 
been captured under the most cowardly and treacherous 
circumstances. Seriously wounded, they had taken shel- 
ter in a tobacco barn, where they were surrounded by 
eighty Federal soldiers. The Yankee captain demanded 
their instant surrender, which was refused. They had 
determined to sell their lives as dearly as possible, which 
they now did with earnestness and success, killing sev- 
enteen men and wounding twelve. The Yankee captain 
asked for conference under a flag of truce. At this 
conference the captain pledged these gallant soldiers 
his word that if they would surrender they should re- 
ceive the same conditions and terms all other Confed- 
erate soldiers, such as General Lee's soldiers had re- 
ceived. The captain said that if these stipulations of his 
were not sustained he would appeal, and carry his case 
to Washington. 

This was a fatal mistake of these two daring sol- 
diers, for all the Federals wanted was to get these men 
into their bloody hands. Then their ruin was sure, and 
certain. Thus, they would be rid of these troublesome, 
dangerous, hard fiehting soldiers. What they could 
not accomplish by fighting, they could do by treachery 
and high-handed villainy. 

They took these two gallant young soldiers to 
LoiiisviPe. Thev had surrendered under the solemn 
pledge of protection. They were placed in prison. Tt 
was found that both of these were grieviously wounded. 


Both Lieutenant Clark (Sue Monday) and Henry Mc- 
Gruder were sent to a hospital. Surprising to relate, 
they were taken from this place next morning and 
hanged without a hearing. We sent one of our com- 
rades, Jim Evans, to the city to learn all about the 
fate of our devoted comrades, as we had made our plans 
to try to rescue them, if possible, from their impending 
fate. We had scoured Nelson, Spence, Bullitt, Wash- 
ington and Jefferson counties, gathering volunteers to 
go with us to Louisville and rescue these gallant young 
soldiers. Our meeting place was Cogers farm, four miles 
from Louisville. 

On the morning after the arrival of McGruder and 
Jerome Clark, forty-five men assembled, all armed to 
the teeth. Each had six pistols, a double barrel shotgun 
cut off, and a hundred rounds of cartridges. These 
c\\\ took the solemn oath to rescue, to stand by and 
fall with them if need be, to the death. We now awaited 
the coming of our three messengers. They soon re- 
turned with information that these two dauntless sol- 
diers had been executed at ten o'clock. 

We moved towards Louisville, still doubting the 
correctness of this news. On reaching the Ash Bottom 
road three miles from the city, we learned definitely 
that our comrades had surely passed to the beyond, 
where we shall all sooner or later rest under the shade 
of the trees. 

Jerome Clark (Sue Monday) was the son of Beverly 
L. Clark, of Simpson county, Kentucky. Mr. Clark was 
among the first men of this county and his district. 
He was a member of congress for two terms, a fine 
lawyer, a highly respected citizen, a kind husband and 
father, and true to every duty of life. His son, Jerome, 
first joined the Second Kentucky or Colonel Hanson's 

nr^ % 

JEROMK CTvARK 'Sue r,:o;id;iy). 


Regiment, was detached for special duty, and transferred 
to Captain Rice Grave's battery of artillery. He was 
at the battle of Fort Donelson and was captured there, 
this battery was also taken when General Buckner sur- 
rendered. He was sent to Camp Morton, where he 
made his escape with me, when the prisoners stormed 
the prison walls of that place. 

He returned home to find that his home had been 
desecrated, his mother and sister insulted, his father 
brutally mistreated and assaulted and sent to prison. 
From this time forward he was a changed man. He 
was seventeen when he joined the army, a very hand- 
some boy, his face was smooth, pleasing and beardless; 
features prominent and regular, with dark brown eyes, 
a fine, shapely head, a smiling mouth, a Grecian nose, 
and pleasing manners, especially when talking. His 
hands and feet were small, and shapely for a man. His 
motions were vigorous and graceful, whether walking 
or on horseback He rode like a Comanche Indian. Was 
a cheerful companion, and always rode into battle sing- 
ing. He was never boastful. His, as well as Mc- 
Gruder's, prowess was well known to his comrades as 
well as his enemies. There were few men in either 
army who so seldom missed their mark as he. 

I shudder when I recall the action of the enemy 
in his and McGruder's execution methods. Cowardly and 
contemptible, indecent in its haste was this action of 
the Federal authorities in receiving their surrender and 
then violating its terms and stipulations in every par- 
ticular, as they also did in the case of my brother a 
few months after. 

Let us now review this case. These young soldiers 
surrendered in Meade county, under a flag of truce, at 
Mr. Cox's tobacco barn near Brandenburg on Wednes- 


day. Clark and McGruder, while under this flag oi 
truce, were told that they would be treated as all Con- 
federate soldiers of war were treated. They had de- 
fended themselves so vigorously that they almost dic- 
tated their own terms. Their enemy was anxious to 
stop the fight on most any terms, as their supply of am- 
munition was almost gone. They surrendered under 
these false promises. They were now charged with 
every crime in the calendar, but they were granted no 
trial; they had been tried before surrender, and were 
condemned without a hearing and hanged like dogs, thus 
violating the terms of surrender. 

It was this infamous, treacherous practice that drove 
so many brave men to desperation. No pledged faith 
was too sacred for the enemy to violate or set aside 
when it did not suit their purposes. This was not the r 
first nor last act of bad faith and broken pledges, as 
will be shown later on. 

When I learned of McGruder's and Clark's execu- 
tion, we retraced our steps, being too late to be of any 
service to them. Many of our comrades shed bitter 
tears over their loss. May their souls rest in peace 
over the river, under the shade of the trees. 

Henry McGruder was sixteen years old when he 
joined the army. While plowing in the field of his 
widow mother, a band of plundering, marauding Fed- 
eral soldiers, on a foray, saw this youth in the field, 
in Bullitt county. They took a special fancy to a horse 
with which the boy was plowing. They took the horse, 
and because the boy objected, they stripped and whipped 
him until the blood ran down his legs, and kicked and 
cuffed him until he was unconscious and left him for 
dead, as they supposed. 

Aroused at last by rain falJing in his face, he re- 



gained consciousness. He went home to his widowed 
mother — he was her only support— told her of his brutal 
treatment, bathed his many bruises, went to the stable, 
caught another horse, and determined to avenge his 
wrong. He followed up the trail of his brutal tormen- 
tors. He had three pistols and a double-barrel shotgun. 
He found the Federals stealing horses near the Spencer 
county line. He rode into their midst, an avenging nem- 
esis. Of the sixteen men who had so brutally used him 
the day before, he killed ten, the other six he chased 
four miles, but they escaped him. He afterwards killed 
them all. He never was known after this to take a 
prisoner — he killed all who fell into his hands. 

His mother also had been insulted and brutally 
treated before this time. This quiet, obedient, placid, 
industrious boy had become a destroying, desperate 
guerrilla in a day, in an hour. A dead-sure shot, Ke 
practiced constantly to improve his proficiency, on horse- 
back over ditches, over fences, over logs, over rough 
ground. With a pistol in each hand, he soon became 
a terror to his enemies. He never seemed excited and 
was always cool, deadly, deliberate, absolutely without 
fear, always ready for the most hazardous enterprises. 
Often desperately wounded, he never complained. 

It will always be found that most guerrillas, the 
world over, have suffered a brutal or grievous insult, 
to self or family. All these men, especially in our 
family quarrels or civil strife, had this thrust upon 
them. These two executions added other evidence, if 
such were needed, of the implacable enmity, hatred and 
brutality of the invaders of the Southland. 

After we were certain of the fate of these comrades, 
we marched back to Spencer county here again I saw 
Captain Charles Quantrell, also Captain Williams, both 


noted Missouri chiefs. I had often read and heard of 
Quantrell's daring deeds, of his valor and courage, and 
had often thought I should like to know him. So here 
he was before me, and also many of his bronzed, bat- 
tle-scared guerrillas. I found these men a superior 
type, all desperate, high-class soldiers, without an ex- 
ception. All had distinguished themselves on many 
bloody fields. 

Captain Quantrell and his men had come to Ken- 
tucky from Missouri, and immediately sought my 
brother's command, but their race was run, like ours, 
as the closing days of the bloody drama were near at 
hand. I never shall forget the meeting of these two 
bodies of men, and their leaders, The latter had many 
things in common. Their kindly glances, their ready af- 
filiation, and their mutual courtesy indicated that Quan- 
trell and "One-Arm" Berry had formed favorable im- 
pressions of each other. There were greetings and in- 
troductions all round. Captain Berry and Captain Quan- 
trell now inspected their combined forces. Captain Berry 
had twenty-eight men. Captain Quantrell thirty-nine, 
making sixty-seven men in all. Looking at these I 
thought then, as I think now, that there never was 
before nor since an equal number of such expert shots 
together in the world. At least I have no knowledge 
of any such number together at one time. 

On our return from our sad march from Louisville. 
I met many of my old friends from Nelson county. I 
now went to work about my recruiting business. 


A rendezvous — Quantrell s plan — Passing through Kentucky — 
Fight near Hopkinsville — We exterminate a company — 
Hustonville — A close call at Danvill — A foraging ^a.ty cut 
off^ — ^Fight at John's Creek — Missouri aga nst Kentucl.y. 

Before going further it might be of interest to many 
to know something of Captain Ouantrell's career in Ken- 
tucky. The following is his story as told by himself as 
I now recall it, and as I saw it in the brief time we 
were together: 

On a very cold, bleak day in March, 1865, Captain 
Quantrell sent runners or scouts to the Speedwell place 
in Missouri, a rendezvous near Mrs. Wigington's place, 
some five miles from Waverly, Lafayette county. At 
the end of a week there was assembled forty guerrillas, 
Forming these into line, Quantrell addressed them : 
"My comrades, I have assembled you to say to you 
what I have not yet said to myself, and ask of you to 
give my proposal the simple answer 'yes' or *no.' On 
this side of the Mississippi River the war is ended since 
General Price left Missouri. All the West is overrun 
with the enemy. There is no feed, no forage, no homes, 
all has been destroyed in twelve counties by McNeal's 
Orders No. 11. There is no hiding places; no traffic. 
If we attempt longer to operate along this border, we 
will do so to great disadvantage, since this order has 
depopulated this entire region. Any further attempt 
here is altogether disproportionate to our means. My 
intention is now to cross the Mississippi River, and 


pass through Illinois and Indiana and Ohio, as a Federal 
scout, gain Maryland, and then carry into Pennsylvania 
the torch and the black flag, if I live. I meant that they 
shall feel in the East what we have felt in the West. 
How many of you will follow me to the end?" 

As one man, those stern o^uerrillas shouted, "y^s," 
all of them. 

Continuing, he said, "Many of us may never come 
back to this stricken land, and it may be my lot to fall 
among the. first. The die is cast. You shall lose noth- 
ing in name, fame or comradeship. You can now step 
two paces to the front." 

Not one spur-stroke failed ; all came forward. At 
noon they marched, most of them, into the unknown. 
All of them had on Federal uniforms. Over the Lamire 
river they went, crossing the Missouri Pacific near Tip- 
ton. They met Federal soldiers hourly, eating and 
sleeping with them. They shot many of them to death 
in lonely places. All were shot in the same place — 
the forehead. Captain Quantrell was hurrying his 
march to find a crossing place on the "Father of Wa- 
ters." as he wanted speedily to put this river between 
him and the gathering storm behind him. He was 
compelled to change his course, and passed through 
Tuscumbia. At this place he halted, passing himself 
for Captain Moses of the Second Colorado Calvary, 
Company E. They saluted the commandant of this 
post when he came to the door. 

The Major asked the guerrilla chief, "What can 
I do for you?" 

"Some food and forage, please, will be very ac- 
ceptable, as we have ridden far and fast, and need to 
make haste, as I have a- special mission to perform, 
under special orders." 


They demeaned themselves as Federals, fed their 
horses. Quantrell formed a resolution, calling about 
him some of the coolest, the best of his men, he told 
them that he intended to disarm this militia company. 
This word was passed among them. When all was 
ready, Quantrell turned upon the Major and ordered 
him to surrender every pistol and musket. Surprised, 
but wholly powerless, for each guerrilla had each mem- 
ber of the militia covered. The Major yielded with the 
best grace he could, handing Quantrell his sword and 

"I do not want your sword," said Quantrell, push- 
ing it back to him, *'but my orders are imperative. You 
have permitted your men to steal, to rob with im- 
]>unity, the citizens of this vicinity, ris^ht and left, and 
to kill some so-called Southern residents, who may 
have become obnoxious to this or that per-^^onal enemy. 
Because of all these thinors and in pursuance of direct 
and positive orders, I, therefore, hereby disband this 
company, here and now." 

No word of remonstrance or denial did any offi- 
cer or man offer. One. more guilty than the rest 
broke away and ran for his life. Twenty-five or thirtv 
pistols clicked, but Quantrell knocked some of them up. 

"No blood here." he said sternly, "take him alive, 
and bring him back." 

Two of the fleetest of the nimble guerrillas went 
in pursuit. When overtaken this man fought desper- 
ately, and had to be choked into submission. When 
questioned as to whv he ran away, he confessed that he 
had been guilty of both petit and grand larceny. Quan- 
trell bade the Major to report himself and lii^ comm'md 
at Rolla under arrest. After seeing them ('-f^ he broke 
their guns, appropriated their pistols and ammunition, 


narched through the headquarters of this district, where 
four thousand Federal cavalry were camped. 

TIjIs scout with special orders pushed on, unques- 
tioned, to Dent county, thence to Salem, where Ouan- 
trell or Moses, took dinner with his men, also with Col- 
onel McWilliams, a Federal, who had four hundred 
men here. Leaving this place the guerrillas reached 
Pocahontas, Arkansas, where they fraternized with the 
Yankee garrison, staying four days, two men were left 
behind with the smallpox. 

Upon reaching the Mississippi, they were stranded 
for awhile, and remained several days, looking for means 
to cross. They finally found a boat buried in a cane- 
brake, which had to be carried to the river a half mile 
away on men's shoulders. It was learned that this 
boat belonged to Major Boswell, the secret agent of the 
Confederate government, who had scouting parties in 
this region. Major Boswell dug out his boat and placed 
it at Ouantrell's service. 

The Major, from all accounts, was a most unusual 
character. At times his headquarters, like General 
Hooker's, were in the saddle. All the country round- 
about was under this ubiquitous soldier, who unwit- 
tingly gave up his military secrets to his untiring guest. 
Somewhat past forty, 'pulling the beam at three hun- 
dred pounds, always laughing, artless, ardent to please, 
also the best judge of horse flesh in the Trans -Missis- 
sippi Department, he was the Confederate military com- 
mandant of this region. He sought to detain Ouan- 
trell, and tried to compel Captain Quantrell to report 
to him for duty. Quantrell resolved to reveal his 
identity, but this officer laughed and scoffed at what 
Quantrell said, and refused absolutely to allow Quan- 
trell to go forward. Quantrell cut the knot, bade his 


men to mount. He told Major Boswell to do his worst, 
and rode away. 

Crossing the Tennessee river he went to Canton. At 
this place a peculiar accident occurred, and what Ouan- 
trell said was a presentiment of bad luck. Quantrell 
was always more or less a fatalist. Old Charier was 
his favorite war horse. This horse was noted for his 
bottom and endurance, his almost human intelligence, 
and his steadiness under fire. He had carried his mas- 
ter through many hard places and battles. His proud 
spirit had no need of lash or spur. While at this place 
Old Charley had to be shod, and while the blacksmith 
was trimming his foot, Old Charley struggled, an Ui^ 
usual thing for him. It was seen that the main tendon 
in the right hind leg was cut in two, thus ruining the 
horse forever. When told of it Quantrell said, "It is 
fate for me, the long lane of a successful career is about 
to have a turn. So be it." 

John Ross, the blacksmith, promptly gave Quan- 
trell his own horse, and Quantrell took the road that 
lead to his destiny, on through Trigg county, to Cadiz, 
thence to Hopkinsville. At this place disguise was 
thrown off, and Quantrell was Quantrell. Near this 
place he struck the trail of Federal scouts, thirteen in 
number. The guerrillas needed horses, and to obtain 
them they would have to run the risk of destroying 
their disguise which was working in the most satis- 
factory manner. The scout was overtaken at a house, 
and brought to terms. Quantrell attempted to keep 
up the Federal imposition. When the countersign was 
demanded he could not give it, and as a result, those 
in the house fired a volley which killed Lieutenant Lidce. 
While Quantrell was surrounding the house, seven of 
the enemy escaped. Volunteers were called for, and 


were advancing under cover of the guns of their com- 
rades, set fire to the house. Three Federals surrend- 
ered, creeping out of the house. Quantrell demanded, 
*'Where are the balance?" "There are but three of 
us," v^as the reply. "In the country w^here I came from," 
said Quantrell, "soldiers ride but one horse, I counted 
tw^elve horses in the stable." "Yes," came the answ^er, 
"there were twelve when you came up. We thought 
you were our soldiers, but Avhen you dismounted they 
disappeared on foot." 

This was the first time in his entire experience 
that Quantrell had to admit reluctantly that his com- 
mand had been held at bay for some time by three res- 
olute Kentucky soldiers. These men told the simple 
truth. He did not follow or advance for the others, 
whose intrepidity he could well understand and appre- 

He bade Lieutenant Lidee goodbye forever. Dead, 
he embraced him, laying his lifeless body quietly down 
in the grave. He loved this youthful soldier with truest 
devotion. Lidee had now received his long furlough 
calmly, and will rest in peace until judgment day. No 
more furious charges will he face. He was always per- 
vious to human mercy and affliction ; none was truer to 
word or comrade ; none fought a nobler fight ; he is gone 
forever. This boy's death affected Quantrell more vis- 
ibly than the death of any other of his men, more than 
many of his staunchest comrades. 

From this place he passed through Greenville, where 
he completely deceived the Federal Captain Clark, <^cx- 
ting rations for his men and forage for his horses. M -v- 
ing on through Hartford he fraternized with the L-^ar- 
rison. He induced Captain Barnet with thirty m?n 


to go on a man hunt, to kill and plunder some Southern 

With these volunteers for murder, and plunder. 
Captain Barnet said he could show Quantrell and his 
men where he thought some cases of needed killing 
would clear up the military situation very much. Start- 
ing in an Eastern direction, these would-be murderers 
moved along. No sound of pistol echoes gave note of 
aught that was transpiring in the rear. Captain Barnet, 
looking back, once remarked to Quantrell, "I don't see 
any of my men in the column, do you? Do you sup- 
pose they have returned?" ' 

Knee to knee, Barnet and Quantrell had been riding 
all day. The vengeful and voiceless, yet vindictive 
work, was now about to be transferred to the head of 
the column. Every few miles two guerrillas, v/ith a 
Yankee, would drop out of column, ostensibly to go 
and kill some Southern citizen, burn his place, and plun- 
der his valuables. Quantrell rode down the line, and 
saw that not a single Federal soldier remained with 
the column. He whispered something in Jesse James' 
ear. Jesse spurred to the front and then returned to his 

The sun had set, red and bloody. Night was com- 
ing on. Barnet's first name was Charley. When a sig- 
nal was given, Jesse James was to shoot the Federal 
captain. James had dropped into a file behind the 
doomed officer. The column was moving forward, chat- 
ting- pleasantly, and presently, reachino^ a stream of 
water where the banks were steep and muddy, there 
was also heavy timber. 

The appointed signal, "Charley?" came clear, sharp, 
with a rising inflection. Barnet, thinking his own name 
had been called, turned around in his saddle, looking 


down the line, attentive and unsuspecting. As he did 
so Jesse James' pistol almost touched his forehead. It 
was his last look. He had neither time to speak or 
cry out. A single shot, a splash into the water, and 
all was over. The entire Federal scouting party that 
so enthusiastically started out in the morning to kill 
and destroy Southern sympathizers, was entirely wiped 
out, their corpses marking off the miles traveled. 

Quantrell scarcely lifted his eyes. Glasscock looked 
back at James reproachfully, and spoke to him, as if 
denouncing him, saying, "I rode with him, it was my 
right to kill him. You shot well, comrade, but you 
shot out of your time." "Hush, comrade," said James, 
"it was the order of Quantrell." 

The command camped for the night a mile from 
this creek. It w^as now dark and the weather cold. Next 
morning, Captain Barnet was lying face upward, in the 
creek where he had fallen. During the night the freez- 
ing water had formed a spotless framework of ice about 
his drawn features. His eyes looked up wide open and 
appealingly. The frost, as if to banish the ominous 
splash of blood from the picture, had spread a thin white 
veil above the red-hued round wound in the center of 
the forehead. Jesse James rode quietly by and looked 
his last on the evidence of a handiwork he had labored 
for years to make perfect. He remarked to Hulse, 
"Whether just or unjust, this thing called war kills all 
aliVe in the end. Today a Federal, tomorrow a Con- 
federate, at any time a guerrilla. Whose time will it 
be next?" "What matters it?" replied his comrade, "if 
the final mustering out is near at hand for all of us. As 
for me I am ready." The final mustering out was in- 
deed near at hand for many of them. 

Moving on through to Lebanon, Campbellsville, 


crossing the Rolling Fork, we went to New Market, 
Bradford, and Hustonville. At this little village while 
taking horses from the stables, and while Quantrell con- 
versed with the Major in command, a pri^-ate came tor- 
ward and loudly complained of what was being done 
by the newcomers. Snatching up a brace of pistols, 
buckling" them on as he ran toward the stable, with 
Quantrell closely in his rear, the Major reachin<^ the 
stable door and met Allen Palmer coming out. Placing 
his hand on the bridle the Major bade Palmer dismount. 
There was no guerrilla less hardened than Palmer to 
physical fear, and none more deadly. He looked at th? 
Major and smiled, remarking that his instructions wee 
such that he could not obey him. ''Damn your instruc- 
tions, and you, too," the Major shouted; "dismou^n." 
The two men commenced to draw weapons ; unquestion- 
ably there could be but one result. The rieht hand of 
the Federal Major had not reached the flap of his re- 
volver case before Palmer's pistol was against his fore- 
head, and Palmer's bullet had torn half of his head off. 
He fell forward on his face. A dozen muskets covered 
Palmer, who was cool, defiant. 

"Hold hard, hard for your lives," shouted Quan- 
trell, reaching forward with twenty guerrillas at his 
heels. All saw the threatening look, the flashing eyes 
of this tiger suddenly aroused; the pale face that had 
become absolutely frightful in its transformation, the 
avenging attitude of the whole man as he stood near the 
men, who were covering Palmer. 

"If that one of you fires a gun, I swear by the 
God above us all to murder you all enmasse," he shouted. 

They surrendered. From this time on it was im- 
possible to keep up his disguise. It had long since be- 
come very distasteful to him. He wanted again to have 


over him the old flag, thrown to the winds again, as in 
the old days; to meet death, if he had to meet it, as be- 
came one who hade made a name terrible in the annals 
of war. 

At Danville, the next place entered, a lady who 
knew Quantrell, advanced and extended her hand. Flat- 
tered because of the acquaintance, she told all her friends 
of the great scout's presence ; these told the thoughtless. 
Dead men lay everywhere along his trail ; the trees bore 
them upon its branches; the water courses bore them 
upon their bosoms. 

But a crisis was forming for this wonderful man, 
this desperate soldier, this most unusual man, of cool 
courage, and strong, steady nerves. While moving about 
the streets of the town, Quantrell became aware that 
a Lieutenant was following him with a gun, sometimes 
in front, sometimes in his rear, that others were on 
the opposite side of the street. This young Lieutenant 
wore four pistols. Quantrell noticed the weapons and 
wondered what an officer was doing with four pistols 
and a gun. He never suspected that he was closely 
watched, much less was he prepared for what followed. 

It was near dinner time. The first bell had rung 
at the hotel. Alone, unsuspicious, he entered a saloon 
for a drink, and while standing at the bar, he saw the 
Lieutenant enter the doorway, rifle in hand. As Quan- 
trell turned he was covered, the muzzle of the gun being 
not more than three feet from his breast. The eye 
that ran down the barrel was a cold, keen eye, full of 
grit and pluck, with a fixed purpose. Quantrell's over- 
coat was buttoned to his chin. His pistols were on him, 
but for this emergency they might just as well have 
been in Missouri. He did not feel his heart beat the 
smallest fraction of a second faster; he felt no blood 


rush to his face. He rather admired the cool pluck of 
the soldier before him. Leaning back languidly against 
the bar Quantrell held up the glass of whiskey toward 
the light, and spoke to the Lieutenant in a tone that 
was between an inquiry and a caress. 

"How now, comrade, what are you going to do 
with that gun?" 

"Shoot you like a dog if you stir; you are Quan- 
trell. You have played it for a long time, but you 
have about played the farce to the end. March into 
that room to the right of you." 

Quantrell did not stir, but cast his eyes quickly 
to the right, and saw without moving his head that the 
barkeeper was holding the door open for him to enter 
and that the barkeeper evidently was in league with 
the Lieutenant. 

Everythinsf was now clear to him. Once within 
that room and guarded in its isolation, held until his 
men, unable to find him, they would abandon the town ; 
a body of Federal cavalry might finish his followins: at 
one blow. If he must be killed, he would be killed 
standing where he was. If he were to take risk of get- 
ting at his pistol, he would be killed. Yet he would 
take the hazard, and near the light of the door. 

Holding the glass of whiskey and leaning back 
against the counter negligently, he spoke to his captor 
and smiled as he spoke, "You take me for Quantrell, 
but you do me wrong. Permit me to call my orderly 
sergeant who has all my papers, and a glance at them 
will convince you in a moment that I am as true to the 
cause as you are." 

The Lieutenant, surprised at the unruffled, unper- 
turbed manner, though confident of the identity of his 
prisoner, now weakened visibly. 


"I have heard perhaps the same story you have, and 
frequently," began Quantrell, seeing a way out of his 
predicament, "If I had not been officially notified to the 
contrary, I might have believed what you say. Quan- 
trell is not in Kentucky to my certain knowledge. You 
are mistaken, and you are making a fool of yourself. 
Put down your gun, and take off your pistols. As long 
as we are comrades, let us be friends." 

The Lieutenant grew somewhat ashamed of the 
part he was acting, and stepped out of the door and 
bade Quantrell call his orderly sergeant, yet keeping him 
covered with his gun. 

A short distance away many of the guerrilla band 
were standing. Quantrell called to John Barker. At his 
back was the drawn rifle. 

"John Barker," he called again, very quietly. 

Several of QuantrelFs men saw him standing thus 
menaced. All started toward him. 

"Go back, all of you. I want only John Barker." 

John Barker came and when entering the saloon, 
stepped close to the Lieutenant. Quantrell said "Show 
the Lieutenant, he wants to see my papers. Show them 
to him." 

Barker thrust the Lieutenant's rifle aside with his 
left hand, and with the spring of a tiger closed upon 
the Lieutenant. Placing the muzzle of a heavy dragoon 
pistol close to the Lieutenant's face, Barker said, "I 
guess these are the papers you are looking for. I keep 
such things for people like you. They carry people a 
long way some times. Say the word. Captain, and I 
will put the old mark upon him, between the eyes." 

Quantrell did not say the word. He rather enjoyed 
the young officer's coolness. The Lieutenant expressed 
himself as perfectly satisfied with the papers, stipulat- 


ing only that a second glass should be taken by all, and 
that the episode be kept from his soldiers as a secret. 

The following is the roster of Quantrell's band when 
I first saw them: Captain, Quantrell; Lieutenant, Ren- 
nic; Second Lieutenant, John Barker; Orderly Sar- 
geant, John Baker; second sergeant, D. Pence; A. Mc- 
Guire, J. S. Lilly, Ran Venerable, A. Palmer, Clark, 
Hockersmith, D. Hampton, Jack Graham, David Helton, 
John Barnhill, Ves Isaacs, Richard Barnes, George Rob- 
inson, H. Noland, John McCorkle, George Wigington, 
pud Pence, Toss Ney, W. M. Hulse, Isaac Hall, W. M. 
Gaugh, James Williams, Henry Porter, Lee McMurtry, 
Peyton Long, John Ross, William Noland, Page Jones, 
Robert Hulse, Thomas Harris, Richard Glasscock, Wil- 
liam Basham, Cole Younger, Bob Younger, Jesse James, 
Frank James, Dave Pool and James Little. 

With the incident of his narrow escape at Danville 
behind him, Quantrell left after dinner in the direction 
of Mount Washington, a small village six miles from 
Harrodsburg. Going into camp, he sent Lieutenant Lit- 
tle and Lieutenant Rennic with a detail of ten men for 
forage, about half a mile from camp. 

Before reaching the place Rennic was killed. More 
were soon to follow. In about half an hour there was 
heard a furious volley in the direction his men had taken, 
then another and still another, followed in far-reaching 
detonations. Lieutenant Rennic was killed, Sergeant 
Barker, cut off from his horses, took shelter in a large 
house near by. Four men were killed at the first vol- 
ley. It was now nine guerrillas against one hundred 
and eighty Federals. Major Bridgewater had followed 
them from Danville. The guerrillas put the family in a 
safe place. Ves Acres placed the youngest child in its 
mother's lap, saying, "Keep close to the floor, and don't 


get excited or cry if any of us get killed. It matters not 
if there is one or more or less guerrillas in this world." 

He returned to his duty, and fought like a young 
lion and hero until he was killed. It was fitting, per- 
haps, that in these last days of Quantrell such soldiers 
as he led should fight against such odds. It is the 
revenge courage takes upon history, history that does 
not see the great heroism of these hunted guerrillas, 
while groping beneath his misfortunes for his bloody 
hands and holding them up to the last reprobation of 

In that last battle nine guerrillas were killed, and 
two wounded. These made their escape under a leaden 
hail. Only Barnes, Gaugh and James made their es- 
cape. The men were ambushed. Four took shelter in 
a house, and fought until killed. The Noland brothers 
were killed side by side. A breeze from the window 
blew over the face of one, the hair of the other, as if 
in caress. Did the first who had crossed the wonderful 
river send this as a token to tell that guerrilla, as well 
the grenadier had a God, his God, and the Yankees, too? 
The Federals lost thirty-seven killed and seventeen 

The five wounded guerrillas were brutally treated 
by some of the Yankees, who began to deal with them 
as each man's generosity of vindictiveness suggested, or 
in accordance with his bravery or cowardice. One cow- 
ardly Yankee slapped McGuire in the face. Another 
placed his pistol to a man's head and threatened to 
blow his brains out. Be it said to the credit of Bridge- 
water that he put a stop to this cowardly conduct to- 
ward these helpless wounded prisoners. There was 
not a single load left in any revolver, every shot had 
been fired. 


Glasscock was hard hit, greviously wounded, as 
much dead as alive. When ordered to unbuckle his 
belt and surrender his pistol, he refused to do so. 

"I have sworn never to give them up voluntarily, 
and give them up I never will," he said. "Kill me, if 
it so pleases you, and then you can unbuckle them lor 
yourself. Dead men have no sentiments." 

A Federal covered him instantly, and cursed liim 
bitterl)^ threatening him, "Damn you, be quick; off 
with them. What right has a lazy beggar like you to 
be chooser?" 

"Hush," said Bridgewater, "come away and let him 
alone; he is too brave a man to be shot or insulted. I 
VvHll disarm him myself." Bridgewater took six heavy 
dragoon pistols and a belt off this wounded lion. Large 
tear drops forced themselves from his eyes, poor fel- 
low; he tried hard to restrain his emotions, but could 
not. Old memories came back to him, quick anJ :art. 
His p'-oud spirit could not bend, but must surelv break. 

Quantrell formed his men as soon as the first vol- 
ley was heard, and sent four men to learn the true 
condition of the detachment sent after the forage. They 
saw the enemy coming at a furious pace upon them. 
They gave a counter charge. A hot, short grapple, 
and these four were compelled to retreat, three of them 
receiving slight wounds. This was enough to convince 
them of the fate of their comrades. Bridgewater feel- 
ing now that he had the advantage, pressed these crip- 
pled guerrillas, reduced to twenty-six. His ov/n force 
one hundred and twenty-four. The hammering went 
on nearly all night. 

Quantrell formed his little band of devoted follow- 
ers in a narrow ravine, and sent John Bushnell and John 
Ross, also McCorkle and Graham, out half a mile to 


picket his front. The Missourians rested on their arms 
during part of the night, determined to figlit it out 
there as they had never fought before in more than 
three hundred battles. Bridgewater believed he could 
easily ride down and through this small liandful of 
men. He did not know what possibilities were before 
him. The guerrillas apparently were in an ambuscade. 
Quantrell undeceived him quickly, made desperate by 
the loss of his best men. A sudden snare, a dea<Uy 
furious grapple was now necessary to teach this bold 
hunter that he could not with impunity press this 
wounded lion now almost at bay, or easily override 

Quantrell was astir early, and formed an anibush- 
ment on John's Creek in the rough Chaplin Hill. On 
either side of the creek the banks were twenty to ihirly 
feet perpendicular and rocky, with heavv woods. The 
road leading to the crossing of the creek v/as down 
a small stream of branch, and the ford where it entered 
the water on either side was difficult 10 cross, being 
miry and full of quicksand. The road bed cut througn 
these banks. The steep hill on either side of this cross- 
ing was covered with dense timber. 

At early dawn Bridgewater was on the trail. The 
guerrillas formed on either side of :he road across the 
creek. Ten men were posted in the road in front, back 
some distance from the crossing* : nine men unde- Ouan- 
trell formed to charge the Yankees after they had re- 
ceived the fire of those holding ihe cut. The four 
Johns on the outpost were four giants in fighting prowess. 
They were to skirmish with the enemy, and lead them 
slowly backward Into the ambuscade, a death liap. All 
these men were leaders if need be, and also recklei-s 
fighters. It would be hard to excel them anywhere. 


John Barnhill had chars^e of these. He was a 
sleepless, vigilant, gay-hearted, lauci^hing guerrillc'i, who 
would fight all day and frolic all nijjht. He it was who 
often went fifty hours between slumbers. John Ross 
was a boy, turned Palidin ; ordered to charge, he would 
have ridden over a precipice. Looking at his face, one 
would have said "There is an amiable youth." In bat- 
tle, he suggested an old oak tree, so firm and solid did 
he stand. McCorkle and John Graham were both of 
that old iron breed who had seen death many times, so 
often and in so many sudden and curious ways that 
they had come to regard him as an old acquaintance. 
The}'- were posted on either side of the road. 

Now, two by two, came the Federals. When they 
were fifty yards away John Bushnell leaped into the 
middle of the highway, firing a double barrel shotgun, 
twenty buckshot in each barrel, at the front files, fol- 
lowed by the quick volley from his comrades. Thev 
retreated quicklv. The Federals we^-e check<^d slio^htlv, 
with thirteen killed and eleven wounded. Then a yell 
of defiance broke into a furious charge. Over the creek 
in a dead run came the pursued and the pursuers. Up 
through the narrow ravine and beyond like a thun^e-- 
cloud. The revolver volleys resounded continue 11 v. The 
trees seemed to join in the melee. The guerrillas, s.''fe 
behind trees, shot coolly, deliberately and Avith deadly 
precision into the compact ranks of the enemv. Blue 
coats and horses were falling and blocking the gorge 
and narrow cut. 

At this time Quantrell led a furious charge in the 
fiercest, wildest moments of Federal agony, that su- 
preme moment when the bravest who were chosen for 
battle must have time to think a moment, and get a sec- 
ond breath, if they would not fall away in panic. 


No combat of the war excelled this for severity of 
losses, for prowess or execution, numbers considered. 
Frank James surpassed himself. Allen Palmer multi- 
plied his capability as a reckless fighter. Joe Young, 
riding a fleet horse, led the pursuit, and for once only 
refrained from killing a handsome young soldier boy, 
whose horse had been shot, and captured him. He es- 
caped. Younger captured him the second time, but 
gave him a fresh horse, paroled him, and bade him go 
free. Hockersmith saw a Federal aiming at his chief 
from behind a tree, and quickly rode his horse between 
the sharpshooter and his. mark, the bullet intended for 
Quantrell killed Hockersmith's horse. One second more 
would have been fatal. Wigington killed this sharp- 

Diamond cut diamond in this fight. Missouri and 
Kentucky against Kentucky. How terrible! Kinfolk 
killing each other! William Hulse, carried away by his 
battle ardor, which he rarely ever cared to curb, fought 
his way into the midst of the struggling and stricken 
enemy's rear, only to be surrounded, and put in des- 
perate jeopardy. The four Johns, Bushnell, Ross, Mc- 
Corkle and Graham, fighting together, cut their way 
to him, and rescued him from peril. Henry Proctor 
won the admiration of his comrades by an exhibition 
of superb coolness and dash. He was also cut off from 
his friends by six Federals who closed upon him. His 
rapid, (c^eadly Ifire Mled )four, Whi^e Ran Venerable 
killed one and wounded the other, ridding Proctor of his 
six foes and his perilous situation. 

The gorge was cleared, after a most terrific strug- 
gle, lasting an hour and a half. Bridgewater, with fifty- 
nine of his bravest soldiers killed and thirty-six 
wounded, now withdrew. This taught him a wholesome 


lesson. Collecting his shattered remnants, he reformed 
them on the open ground beyond. 

Lee McMurty, Williams, Basham, Bud Pence, 
Denny Pence, Tom Harris, White, Hall, David Hilton, 
Robert Hall, Captain Samuel O. Berry, Jim Evans, Ike 
Berry, Jesse James, Frank James and myself were all 
in this terrific battle. Our loss was four killed and 
nine wounded, myself included, making seventeen 
wounds to this date, March, 1865. The guerrillas in 
this battle had every advantage of the enemy, being 
above them, protected by trees and precipitous banks of 
the creek. 

Captain Sam Berry, my brother, and his command 
had joined forces with Quantrell only a few days be- 
fore this battle was fought, for mutual protection. I 
recall these names of men in Captain Berry's command: 
Captain Berry, Jim Evans, Tom Henry, Bill Marion, 
Ike Shelton, D. Cooper, James Barton, Alec. Ward, 
vSid Bush, Al Turk, Wort Benson, Jim Patton, Henry 
Graham, Tom Allen, William Wiley, Will Adams, Tim 
Murphy, Jim Downy, Bill Spencer, Sam Harvey, Bee 
Ray, Sam Daton, Jim Wooten, Jim Walker, Sid Batty, 
Jim Drake, H. Mullen and myself. 

With thirty-two men, the night before this battle 
was fought, we had met and cut to pieces seventy Yan- 
kee veterans, under Captain Ed Terrell. In this fight 
there was much friendly rivalry between Quantrell's and 
Berry's men in deeds of valor. 

Next day Captain Bridgewater came cautiously skir- 
mishing. His serious drubbing had made him cautious. 
At least his pursuit was not vigorous. After he had 
made a few feeble charges on us, we formed another 
ambuscade, a few miles further along the road. But 


the enemy had enough of this serious work, and disap- 
peared during the night, leaving us to our devices. 

On the followring morning we rode into Chaplin- 
town, near the line of Nelson County. We had scarcely 
reached the town limits, when we met Captain Ed Ter- 
rell, Federal, at the head of forty-five men. He charged 
us. We met him in a counter charge. A hand to hand 
fight ensued, in which Terrell was driven back with 
serious loss. He now reformed. We followed him vig- 
orously for several miles. Now came another grapple. 
We were forcing the enemy to constant flight. 

It was found that Captain Berry had been wounded 
seriously in the right foot. I now had to take him to 
cover, carrying him to our old friend and standby, Dr. 
McCloskey. I hid in a cave. The skillful service 
of Dr. McCloskey were often required during these 
bloody days of strenuous war. This great surgeon, gen- 
erous and noble-hearted man, possessed skill that was 
as deft and tender as his knowledge was deep and 
profound in all natural laws. This nobleman by nature 
was ever ready to answer the call of distress and afflic- 
tion, day or night, responding to both Confederates and 
Federals alike. Both made frequent calls upon this 
good Samaritan. 

While I was nursing my brother in his cave, some 
of our soldiers formed a plan to make a campaign through 
Spencer, Shelby, Oldham, Owen, Scott, Woodford and 
Anderson counties. There were fifty-eight men in this 
scout. They had six rattling battles on this expedition, 
at or near Taylorsville, at Smithville, Worthville, Lib- 
erty, Georgetown and Schryocks Ferry on the Kentucky 
River. There was terrific fighting against heavy odds 
in all of them. The guerrillas in this scout lost ten 
killed and five wounded. The wounded men were com- 


pelled to do as much fighting as those not wounded, as 
there were no prisoners taken, nor quarter asked or 
given — those left behind were all killed. 

Tom Henry was left for dead, with nine bullet 
wounds. Strange to say, he survived. He crawled to 
the river and bathed or lay in the water for a day and 
a half before he was found. He was rescued and taken 
to a home near by and nursed back to health. 



Captain Berry wounded — Scouting and skirmishing — Plan to 
capture Georgetown — A woman's intuition— The trap — We 
escape — Captain Berry captured — The rescue — ^We disband — 
Quantrell's last fight. 

While on this scout a proposition was made that 
may seem a small, a very small, thing. The Missouri 
guerrillas still wore blue Federal overcoats, thinking it 
to be possible to assume the Federal role. Approach- 
ing a town under the guise of comradeship, they could 
surprise and capture the garrison without firing a shot. 
They also had a union flag at the head of the column. 
At Georgetown the pickets were passed without at- 
tracting notice. With the reconnoitering party in ad- 
vance, the main column moved on towards town, the 
ever watchful Missourians in the lead. Peyton Long 
held the flag at the front, with Frank James for a com- 
rade on his left, while behind came Hulse, Robert Ba- 
sham, Bushnell, Graham, Helton, the two Hall brothers, 
Hockersmith, Jesse James, Lilly and McCorkle. And 
behind these the main column passed unchallenged. 
Only salutes were exchanged with pickets. So far so 
good; all had worked well. 

Some fifteen miles from Georgetown these ad- 
venturous rough rider guerrillas had stopped all night 
with a good Union man. They looked and acted like 
Federals. They were Federals, so their host said. But 
the host had a daughter who listened with all the ears 
she had. At the supper table the hostess and her 

A TRAP 423 

charming daughter had been especially communicative. 
During the meal one of the Kentucky contingent said 
quietly, but significantly, "How we will fool them in 
Georgetown." In an instant, he caught himself and tried 
to recover what he had been saying, but failed. Nei- 
ther the man nor the woman of the house gave any 
sign that they had heard this babbler's talk. Not so 
the daughter; she heard the words of exultation, and 
divined their full meaning with a woman's swift intui- 
tion. She flushed scarlet to her hair. That night, when 
all the soldiers slept the tired sleep of continuous fatigue, 
this young woman crept from her bed to the stable, sad- 
dled a swift horse and rode to Georgetown full tilt, as 
only a country girl can ride. She cautioned officers pre- 
pared to lay ambushments. The pickets were instructed 
to admit the guerrilla force without hindrance or ques- 
tion. They were prepared to destroy this devoted band. 

Frank James' ever watchful eyes, and his alertness 
saved this column from certain destruction. There was 
no one in the streets; the town was as still as a grave- 
yard ; not a soul moving; nothing was to be seen or 
heard. Frank James halted and spoke, ''Look here. 
Captain; there is treachery somewhere; something is 
wrong. See ! there are no soldiers to be seen ; no one 
is moving. We are certainly, surely expected. If we 
go further without developing the situation, we shall 
be surrounded and attacked. We are evidently awaited, 
but not as friends. Look yonder, Captain ; see those 
four soldiers running with guns in their hands." 

In five minutes our skirmishers had deployed to 
many positions. There was a terrific fire poured upon 
the guerrillas from doors and windows, from three di- 
rections. Frank James' horse was killed. There was 
st-ill time to get away from the trap of the wornciii's 


setting, and which James had sprung, and agamst which 
we had grazed their teeth in avoiding. Our need was to 
Make haste, as large bodies were hastening to cur ns 
off. Frank James' alertness, superior as it was, could 
not avail against superior numbers. We retired rapidly, 
gc'lliering up our pickets, who had sacrificed tlumselvos 
for our successful escape from this ambushment. The 
young woman who had betrayed us, was beloved by 
a young lieutenant stationed in this town, and was be- 
trothed to him. She had more than once carried infor- 
mation to his colonel. She divined the intent of our 
mission, and made the most of it. Thus small things 
make or mar and rule the lives of men or nations. 

Frank James found himself on foot, his horse hav- 
ing been killed under him at the first volley. There 
was a large livery stable under the point blank range 
of fifty Federals, who were in houses on the opposite 
side of the street. The stable was full of fine cav?lry 
horses. Drawing his pistols in each hand he killed the 
two guards standing at the door. He captured fwe 
horses, mounting one of them and leading four away 
under a hot fire. There was a constant cross firing 
here, and fierce fighting all day for twenty miles in the 
rear. Revolvers volleyed almost constantly. Our com- 
rade, Tom Henry, was seriously wounded, receiving nine 
bullet wounds. However, he survived the war, and 
is a good citizen to this good day. His scars are his 
simple badges and decorations, and for fewer than these 
many major generals have been made. Peace and plenty 
to him and his, all his days. 

While on this scout fourteen days had passed. I 
had left my brother near Dr. McCloskey's place in his 
cave. Before leaving this vicinity, I went over to see 
my friend Willie Spencer, who was also seriously 


wounded. I told him and my brother to keep still, and 
not to move much and let their wounds have a chance 
to heal. I found my brother's wounds about healed. 
He was still weak. I left him, saying, **I will return 
in about an hour and a half," telling him where I could 
be found, and leaving an old and trusted negro servant 
with him. I had hardly departed before this old darkey 
came to me in a great hurry and said, "Captain, de 
Yankees dey comes, and dey done captured Marse Sam, 
yo brodder, and dey hab done carried him away off, 
and Ise almos' crazy, I am. Hurry, Marse Tom, dey 
has took him to Chaplintown." 

Willie Spencer forgot his wounds. Jim Evans came 
and said, "I know where Enloe is." We all got into 
our saddles in haste, for time was everything. It was 
now or never. We met nine more of our comrades going 
to the shop to have their horses shod. I sent three 
men to rouse other comrades to the imminent danger of 
my brother, Jesse James and Hulse also met us. We 
now had fourteen men. Reaching the trail of Captain 
Terrell, we followed it rapidly. We met five more com- 
rades. These latter had seen the Yankees pass with 
Berry. Finding that Terrell was moving in the direction 
of Chaplintown, we left the main road and hurried for- 
word as if the furies were after us, for I knew that Ter- 
rell was liable to shoot his prisoner at any moment. 

I knew a nearer cut-off across the fields and woods 
to an upper crossing of the creek, about a mile above 
our former battle ground. I reached the creek, cros-^ed 
it and made my way to the main road, crossing at the 
scene of our recent battleground. I placed my men on 
either side of the road, behind trees, with double-bar- 
reled shotguns, eleven in number, loaded with twelve 
buckshot in each barrel. These men had six revolvers 


each. We now had twenty-two men posted behind trees. 
I had also a Sharps rifle carrying fifteen balls; also 
six pistols. I cautioned our men not to shoot my brother ; 
to avoid this by all means. In about twenty-five min- 
utes the enemy came in sight with Captain Berry. His 
legs were tied under his horse and he was riding be- 
tween Captain Terrell and two other troopers. On they 
came. How my heart beat at this sight! They were 
chatting and laughing as they approached. 

Reaching the stream, the horses stopped to drink. 
Almost under our guns were thirty-five men, uncon- 
scious of our presence. They were not over fifteen 
yards away. I shouted, "Fire! Be careful lest we kill 
the captive!" A quick, furious, plunging lire, almost 
in their faces; another, and still another — one, two, 
three, four — in rapid resounding volleys. Sixteen empty 
saddles; plunging, struggling, frightened horses, a?id 
dying men. A rebel yell of defiance, a charge, all was 
over. Captain Terrell, desperately wounded, made his 
escape through the woods, behind one of his men. He 
was not followed. The concentrated fire with shotguns 
was terrible to witness. 

When the firing began Captain Berry turned his 
horse's head down stream into deep water, swam him 
around a bend in the creek, under cover from the storm 
of bullets, safe behind a bluff. For a time I was uneasy 
about his safety, as Terrell had been killing not only 
soldiers after their surrender, but also citizens. A short 
time before this he had killed Mr. Herk Walker in his 
field, and also Mr. Ennis Wooten of Taylorsville. Both 
of these men • were respected citizens. Mr. Wooten 
was shoeing Captain Terrell's horse, which he had done 
before. He had finished and dropped the last foot of 
the horse, when he said to Terrell, 'Tlease pay me now 


for all you owe me." Terrell drew his pistol and shot 
Wooten dead, saying, coolly, "Another damned rebel 
gone to hell." 

After the firing was over Captain Berry rode from 
his cover. I now cut the rope and released his legs. 
We rode back to McCloskey's place. No pursuit was 
attempted. We were rejoiced to have him back among 
us„ Old Uncle Bob, the family servant, came forward 
and hugged and kissed Captain Berry, also myself, in 
his great joy. 

Captain Terrell had gone to Dr. McCloskey to have 
him attend some of his men who had been wounded. 
He discovered Captain Berry and before Berry could 
hobble to cover, errell captured him and took him away 
with the avowed purpose of hanging him. 

The long scout of the Missourians and Kentuckians 
under Quantrell, culminating in the escape from the 
dangerous ambuscade laid for them at Georgetown, now 
bound the two bands together in ties made strong by 
a common danger. All of us felt, however, that the 
inevitable result was near at hand. 

The Kentucky contingent took these bronzed, griz- 
zled, battle-scared veterans, weary and buffeted, into 
full fellowship and comradeship; took them and showed 
them every resting and hiding place among our friends 
in Washington, Spencer, Nelson, Bullitt and Hardin 
counties. Quantrell and Captain Berry had followed our 
old tactics — disbanded for a rest. 

The state at this time was overrun with Federals. 
All of us took to cover. Being wounded, I went to 
Dr. Hopkins' place, staying there a few days. I also 
went to Dr. Nim Conn and to Dr. Evans, recruiting 
for the French army in Mexico. During this period I 
obtained many promises for that service. All these 


people were Southern in their sympathies and purposes, 
and had passed through all kinds of threats, losses, per- 
secutions, punishments and arrests. Many had suffered 
at the hands of those brutal tyrants who robbed un- 
armed citizens and sent men and women alike to un- 
known prisons, as the fancy or impulse dictated. Among 
such were members of the Russell, Thomas, McCloskey, 
Hoskins, Conn and many other families, whose names 
have slipped my memory. 

Dr. Hoskins' place was formed by nature as a 
rendezvous, a sure hiding place for men who were sorely 
stricken with wounds. It covered something more tnan 
five hundred acres, with a dense forest of cedar trees, 
and a number of coves within its borders. These for- 
ests were so dense a bird could not fly through them. 
In places, horses could move only in single file and 
barely pass into its shadows. Paths led to its interior, 
but these could be found only by those familair with 
the intricate retreat. Once within this protecting for- 
est, a fugitive was absolutely safe. One situation high 
above the surrounding country commanded a wide view. 
A hello, a cough, a sneeze, or a shot were used as a 
warning of the approach of friend or an enemy. 

Fresh horses were often supplied, and medicine for 
sick or wounded soldiers as well as medical attention 
to the unfortunate, were all ungrudgingly given. Surely 
this was God's own people in the country round about. 
Through a field glass from this central point could be 
seen at a glance, Taylorsville, Mount Washington, 
Springfield, Bloomfield, Fairfield, Bardstown, Stoners, 
Samuel's Station, and Chaplintown. No hostile force 
could approach without some keen-eyed friends seeing 
them hours before, giving ample time for preparation. 
This was a friendly abiding place for all wounded Con- 


federates. Many escaped prisoners found shelter here, 
and a ready means for return to the South and to duty 
were provided. 

About this period the wounded men captured in 
the first fight with Captain Bridgewater made their es- 
cape, although their wounds had not healed. Ves Acres, 
Dick Glasscock, McGuire, Gaugh, Jim Evans, George 
Robinson, all had been very seriously wounded, so bad 
that the surgeon said that they should not be moved for 
some time. There were four guards, Federals, left at 
the house to see that they did not get away. On a dark 
night, during a storm, six guerrillas found a carriage 
and went near the house. While the guards were being 
entertained at a good supper, these wounded guerrillas 
were helped through the windows of the carriages in 
waiting and driven furiously away, through bypaths and 
private country roads to our secret rendezvous, safe 
among friends. They were still in no condition for 
service. These hard hit guerrillas remained in here 
until their wounds healed. They now returned to duty 
at the call of their chieftain. 

A few days later George Robinson was captured in 
a fight, and sent to Lexington, and from thence to 
Louisville, where he was tried by a drum-head court- 
martial, and sentenced to be hanged. The charge upon 
which he was convicted was shamefully false and brutal. 
Every member of the court knew it to be false. These 
Federal officers and authorities at Louisville, at this 
time, were notoriously vindictive, I may say, infamous. 
They were engaged in stealing and robbing all over the 
state, taking everything they could lay their hands on 
that could be moved. Droves of cattle, hogs and horses, 
jewelry, pianos, furniture and even bedding; anything 
and everything were stolen by the commanding officers 


down to his private soldiers, even by the bushwhackers. 
Some stole by the carload. It seemed that all the big 
and the little thieves were turned loose upon suffering 

But the aftermath proved that this was a small 
affair. From Maryland to California and from Ken- 
tucky to Florida, the same saturnalia of plunder reigned 
supreme. Unfortunate Virginia, North and South Car- 
olina, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, 
Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, all 
these were plundered to exhaustion. And for what? To 
save the union. The like of this was never seen or 
known before in the world's history. 

But I digress. It was at this time that all the offi- 
cers in the garrison at Louisville were in command of 
negro troops. Few, if any, of them had ever faced an 
enemy in battle. They were too much occupied with 
schemes of public or private plunder to look after the 
real duties of the real soldier. Hence, the escape of 
these three almost helpless soldiers. Infuriated at their 
escape, they needed a victim, and conveniently found 
one. George Robinson was their victim. Any evidence 
was sufficient; no evidence at all was needed. He wa^ 
already tried by these negro trainers before he was 
captured. All that was needed to be done was to sen- 
tence him. George Robinson was falsely accused of the 
killing of the officer at Hustonville, who attempted to 
prevent the appropriation of horses at that place from 
a stable. It was a well known and established fact that 
Allen Palmer killed this officer, and not. George Robin- 
son, who was sick at this time, and these hirelings, 
negro trainers knew this to be a fact. Robinson had 
no share in this affair and the wretches who swore his 


life away were his murderers, equally as guilty as those 
who condemned him, and they knew they were lying 
when they swore his life away. Those cowardly liars! 
They were too cowardly to defend their lives when 
these horses were being taken, and when they had the 
opportunity. Like all cowards, they shrunk before real 
danger. Now they came forward to swear away an 
innocent man's life, must needs kill him with a mis- 
erable lie. Cowards the world over never carried mod- 
esty or courage in the face of danger. 

This period saw many men sent to their death. 
Some who were brave, high spirited men asked to be 
shot, but these cowardly assassins could have no idea 
of chivalry, and for revenge this priceless boon was 
denied him with scorn, this in the dying hour. The 
condemned had a right to ask that they might die a 
soldier's death, and not a dog's death. Brave, indeed, 
was Robinson. Never had these guards and soldiers 
seen such coolness. They remarked his proud, daunt- 
less grace, his soldierly bearing, his calm fearlessness. 
With upturned face, looking to the far west, at the 
clouds, and the sun shining bright over all, he kissed 
his thin small hand to the sunset, then smiled proudly. 
He was stepping up to a soldier's God and throne. Thus 
he died for his country, a hero's death. As the crisis 
came closer, so did the victims increase in number. And 
the cold, brutal, blood-thirsty tyrants claimed their vic- 
tims. There were three unknown victims who fell be- 
fore them. After the execution of George Robinson, 
came Jerome Clark (Sue Monday) and Henry McGruder, 
then Harry Bently. Soon after this- Captain Quantrell 
followed, and many others were sentenced to long terms 
in various penitentiaries. Finally my brother. Captain 
Samuel O. Berrv. But of this more anon. 


Jerome Clark possessed many and varied talents, 
not only as a fighting soldier, but as a successful spy. 
He came and went as silently as a shadow. So many 
were his disguises, so perfectly under control was his 
bearing and speech, that in many quarters his identity 
was denied, even by some of his intimate friends, even 
his sex was a matter of doubt at times. He was a cool, 
experienced, resourceful soldier, absolutely fearless. He 
was also a fatalist. His smooth, handsome, resolute 
face, made for many disguises, and easy manner with 
added steady nerve, which carried him through many 
difficulties and self-imposed duties for the good of the 
cause, never failed him. When he fought he dealt sav- 
age blows thick and fast. Beneath the exterior of a 
woman, he carried the muscles of a trained athlete, and 
the vital energy of a steam engine. His long black 
hair in ringlets, blew about his broad shoulders in bat- 
tle — a flag or a threat of defiance, the mane of a lion. 

All these men were on their last scout, all fighting 
a desperate, hopeless battle (almost superhuman) in the 
dying throes of a gigantic civil strife, against odds al- 
most beyond belief. It is not necessary here to mention 
individual acts of heroism and prowess in this last furious 
battle, which we all knew or felt was the last battle, 
this battle at Wakefield's barn. This was Quantrell's 
bst battle. He was wounded here unto death, paralyzed 
in bis lower extremities. 

We were in the barn under shelter from a heavy 
ra' 1. We had had twenty days' desperate, continuous 
fiv^' i wr^'tr^- ^ad reduced these iron guerrillas to a 

p~oi-« i-pnrUiji of men. Many were wounded, a number 
were killed on this Tune morning in 1865. 

When Captain S. O. Berry and Captain Quantrell 
called a muster at Bedford Russell's farm, in Nelson 


county, and the remnants of the two guerrilla bands lined 
up and answered to their names, it was found that 
there were nineteen men present, as follows: Captain 
Berry, Thomas F. Berry or Tom Henderson, Jim Evans, 
John Enloe, Billy Merriman, Jim Drake, Howard West, 
Jake Singleton, H. Upton, Alex Grigsby, John Ross, 
Bill Hulse, James Hockersmith, Halle, Glasscock, Bud 
Pence, Allen Palmer, Dave Hutton, McMurtry and Dave 
Hilton. This decimated band moved out of the woods, 
to the pike leading toward Taylorsville, in order to 
escape a chilly rain. We drew aside into a woodland pas- 
ture. A quarter of a mile back was the spacious barn 
and residence of Captain Wakefield, near Smileytown. 
In this barn we took shelter until the rain should cease. 
We hitched our horses carelessly, and failed to place 
our pickets; all of us unconscious of danger. 

Shortly the keen eyes of a Kentucky soldier through 
the blinding storm, saw Captain Terrell's Federal guer- 
rillas, one hundred and twenty strong, coming up to 
this barn, also through the woods, ignorant of our 
presence. They moved at a brisk trot, to reach shelter 
from the rain. Seeing the confusion, Terrell thought 
it strange that other soldiers were occupying this barn. 
Our boys were having a battle with corn cobs under the 
wings of the barn. He was now close to us. Realizing 
that we were Confederates, he opened fire upon us 
Only at this moment could we convince the boys of th 
near vicinity of the Yankees. Thus, we were caugnt 
napping and careless. A frightful volley awoke us to uui 
peril and folly. A hot counter volley we fired, almost 
in their faces. A hand to hand combat ensued The 
fight lasted forty minutes, hopeless, of course, from t^^e 
first, but desperate and deadly while it lasted. Twentv- 
six Federals were killed and seventeen wounded ; the 


guerrillas had four men killed and seven wounded, 
Captain Quantrell among the number. Some of the 
guerrillas' horses broke away and ran off. Captain 
Quantrell's voice could be heard high above the strife 
of battle, also Captain Berry's. The neighing of fright- 
ened horses added to the noise. 

Quantrell cried, "Cut through, boys; cut through." 
Captain Berry repeating, "Cut through; cut through!" 
Quantrell followed his horse for some minutes, under 
a shower of bullets, but failed to catch him. Clark 
Hockersmith, mounted and ready to go off at a run, 
might have saved himself, but instead, he saw his chief 
in peril, and rode back to him under a heavy fire. Quan- 
trell held out his hand to him, touched by his act of 
devotion, and smiled his thanks. Hockersmith dis- 
mounted and helped Quantrell into the saddle, and then 
sprang up behind him. As they were riding away an- 
other furious volley killed Hockersmith and his horse, 
all going down together. Still another hero was ready 
to give up his life for his chief. Richard Glasscock, who 
could have ridden away in safety, returned to assist 
Quantrell. The third volley from the gate mortally 
wounded Quantrell and Glasscock. Hockersmith, in 
the last agonies of death, looked upon his chief and 
smiled his farewell. 

Two bullets had struck Quantrell. One, a heavy 
ball, entered the breast and broke the collar bone, then 
ranged downward along the spinal column, injuring it 
seriously. The lower portion of his body was paralyzed. 
The second bullet cut off his left forefinger, tearing 
it from the socket or joint. 

While this was transpiring, there was desperate 
hand-to-hand fighting ; it was a touch and go matter. 
Some cut their way through the blue lines. Only dead 


horses and the dauntless Hockersmith and the superb 
Glasscock, fighting to the last ditch, remained. Glass- 
cock stood over his chief, emptying his pistol at the ad- 
vancing Federals. Forty fired full at him. He killed 
nine of them as they pressed on him. He stood alone, 
defiant and erect. His life seemed charmed. Not a 
bullet touched him or drew blood. One cut his hat 
brim, and another a lock of his hair. Nowhere was the 
skin touched or broken. 

While stooping to take a pistol from Captain Quan- 
trell's belt, which had a few loads left, the Federals 
rushed at him, and over him, crushing him down with 
butts of guns, pistols, kicks, etc. They stamped upon 
his head, his shoulders, and his ribs, all beating him. 
They were determined to kill this aroused, unconquered 
and furious lion. They must kill him somehow or 
some way. But this was not to be. They pounced upon 
him, took his empty pistols, bound him a prisoner, and 
carried him away. 

Quantrell was taken to Wakefield's house. His 
wounds were very painful, but at no time did a moan 
or a word escape his lips. His wonderful endurance and 
fortitude remained unimpaired to the last. He recog- 
nized that his last battle had been fought, and his 
career almost finished. His mind was always clearest 
in danger. He now awaited his fate calmly. He did 
not talk much. 

Terrell came to him and asked him that if there 
was anything that he could do for him? 

''Yes," said Quantrell, quietly, "have Hockersmith 
buried like a soldier." 

Again he spoke to Terrell, "I have one more request 
to make, while I live, let me stay here. It is useless 


to have a dying man hauled about in a wagon, jolting 
out what little life that is left." 

Terrell pledged his word of honor that he should 
not be moved. 

Hockersmith was buried as requested. Glasscock 
was to meet with further adventure. When he was 
overwhelmed and beaten down by the Federals, six 
pistols were taken from him. Inexplicably, his captors 
did not closely search him. Glasscock always carried 
a double-barreled pocket derringer, which he frequently 
inspected, that he might be sure of its being fit for 
instant use. On his way to prison, Galsscock was 
guarded by a single cavalryman, riding at the rear of 
the column. In passing a patch of timber, he felt that 
the supreme moment of years had arrived. Quickly 
and unobserved, Glasscock snapped his derringer full 
in the face of his captor. It failed to fire. The snap- 
ping of the cap warned the guard of his danger. The 
rainy weather had wet the powder. With his life at 
stake, and after four years of patient, careful precau- 
tion, to insure success at such a moment, everything had 
been lost by the snapping of the cap. 

Glasscock cursed his luck with a short, vicious 
oath. Raising himself up in his saddle, he threw the 
usless weapon at his guard, striking him a terrible blow 
full in the face. It did not knock the man from his 
horse. A short, fierce grapple ensued. The guard tried 
to shoot him, but Glasscock pushed the gun aside, as 
it was discharged. Both leaped to the ground and a 
fight for life began. But Glasscock was doomed from 
the first, because of an old wound in his shoulder that 
had not healed and another one in his leg that was still 
discharging pieces of bone. The struggle went on 
almost amidst the horses. The terrible effort winded 


him. He was as a child in the grip of a giant, his 
antagonist being over six feet tall, and powerful in pro- 
portion. His embrace was like the hug of a grizzly- 
bear. This desperate guerrilla still fought with the 
rage of a wounded lion. He drew his pocket knife and 
stabbed his enemy three times and he fought there until 
he died. 

Twenty-five cavalrymen, who had heard the cap 
snap, turned back and stood watching the unusual con- 
test. A soldier stepped close to Glasscock and placed 
his carbine against Glasscock's hip and fired. The bul- 
let passed entirely through his body and set his cloth- 
ing on fire. The Federal felt the limp body sinking 
down from his arms. With one last dying effort, and 
a savage laugh, Glasscock stood up and tried to drive 
his knife into the Yankee's heart. Still grasping the 
knife, he sank to the earth, under the bullets of thirty 
Yankees, defiant to the last gasp. 

In justice to these unselfish, heroic and devoted 
men, and also as a slight tribute to them, and to their 
heroic deeds, in defense of their homes and country, I 
will try to give an account of the many striking per- 
sonal characteristics of these two heroic and devoted 
men of heroic mold. 

Each, from early youth, was noted for a steadfast- 
ness which chaarcterized both during their short, event- 
ful and stormy existence. Friendship was a real religion, 
sacred to both. Bravery was a cardinal principal, as 
demonstrated by their last acts in dying for their chief- 
tain, this had been their principal creed all their short 
lives. These two men had been made guerrillas by brutal 
treatment. They were real Bayards. Either was free 
to go, but neither went. They were commanded by 
Quantrell to leave him : neither obeyed him. It is 


probable that both believed they could save him, yet 
steadfast in the equanimity of accepted death, they 
died in the discharge of what they believed to be a 
sacred duty. 

Hockersmith, even in his early boyhood, was sin- 
gularly devoted in his friendships. At school, if those 
he loved had to be punished, he stood unfalteringly and 
undismayed by his friends. If there was danger, the 
youth became a man, so cool was he, so steadfast and 
so calm. As he grew up to manhood, he became braver 
and more gentle. All those who knew him, loved him. 
Accommodating, generous and frank, he was popular, 
trusted and liked by both old and young. He was 
pointed to by old men as the ideal of manly courtesy. 

When the war came, he joined the guerrillas. He 
early grasped the tremendous import of the gigantic 
struggle and the desperate nature of their warfare. It 
awoke in his nature an emotion that responded quickly 
to every phase of their fighting. He was noted among 
cool men for coolness, and among daring men, for his 
superlative daring, also, for his pre-eminent devotion, 
for sweetness of disposition, and for patience of be- 
havior. He was never known to kill an enemy, save 
in open fight, and when the enemy was shooting at him. 

In Missouri, during one of Dave Poole's battles 
near Wellington, in which Poole was worsted, a gallant 
guerrilla defending the rear, was wounded in his arm 
and his left foot. The pursuit was merciless; guerrillas 
were being murdered. Who would go back to save 
the wounded? Clark Hockersmith, of course. He did 
go back, but the victim's situation was well nigh hope- 
less. Entrenched behind his dead horse, the crippled 
guerrilla had made his peace with God, and was ready 


to die. Fifty Federals were close to him and advancing. 
In spite of the fire and in the face of odds that would 
have beaten back and demoralized a less intrepid soldier, 
Hockersmith helped this crippled comrade upon his own 
horse, and carried him back to a place of safety, and 
with the same undemonstrative and gentle resolution as 
he exhibited at Wilmington, so twice afterwards he did 
likewise, but the fourth time was his last. 

As he rode up to rescue Quantrell, the latter bade 
him go back. Hockersmith did not reply, save to dis- 
mount under fire, hotter and more concentrated than 
any that he had ever before endured, and helped his 
chief into his own saddle. Quantrell needed help, as he 
had been kicked on the knee joint by his horse two days 
before, injuring it seriously, which gave him great pain, 
even in hobbling over level ground. To use the leg in 
mounting or dismounting was agony of the intensest 

The volley that killed Hockersmith would surely 
have killed Quantrell also, yet the considerate faithful 
comrade invited death. He mounted behind his chief, 
and built a barricade with his own body, that only 
failed to furnish shelter to it, neither knew or felt any 
more. The grandeur of human heroism and devotion 
was never more highly demonstrated. 

Richard Glasscock, though coming by a different 
road from those traversed by Hockersmith, both reached 
the same goal. If he cared enough for any one to fight 
for him, he cared well enough to die for him. He had 
stood over wounded comrades as often as he found a 
friend. Hockersmith had often in the subsequent min- 
utes and fury of the combat torn from the hands of 
the victorious foe, some helpless, crippled guerrilla, hard 
hit, unable to help himself and too far in the rear to 


overtake his friends, the latter all scattered, bleedin^i^ 
and routed. Glasscock, while lacking the higher emo- 
tion of devoted friendship, in his attempted rescue of 
his chief, had in him that which would carry him just 
as far — the feckless ambition to save the coolest and 
fiercest fighter ever known to the border warfare. He 
cared nothing for his own life, because he had never 
taken a moment's thought of it. To be dead was no 
care of his, because he did not know the meaning of 
the word fear. Glasscock did through the excess of 
personal courage; Hockersmith through excess of de- 
voted friendship, and for his faith would have been 
burned at the stake. Glasscock would have died as 
Harold died, sword in hand, heroic, on the battlefield 
of Hastings. 

Thus were these hunted, devoted guerrillas, fighting 
by twos and threes, and in larger squads, cutting their 
way through ranks of blue, and sheets of flame, now 
scattered irretrievably. Their voice and beacon, their 
storm guide in battle, their now mortally wounded chief, 
lay on a cot waiting for the coming of his furlough. 

On the following night there was a sad, a very 
sad and sorrowful meeting of a few dejected men — 
Frank James, Allen Palmer, John Ross, John Hulse and 
myself. We would tempt fate once more to see the 
loved chief, just once more, dead or alive. We made 
our way back to Wakefield's mansion. Frank James 
knocked on the door, and was admitted by a courtly 
lady of the house. Lying on a cot in the corner was 
our chief, watchful but ver}^ quiet. James and his com- 
rades stood over the bed, but could not speak. If one 
could have looked into their eyes, they might have seen 
them full of blinding tears. 

Quantrell held out his hand and smiled, saying a 


little reproachfully, "Why did you come back? The 
enemy are thick in this vicinity, passing every house." 
Their answer was, "To see you, dead or alive, and be 
the first to bring you away, or the last to leave you." 

"I sincerely thank you, Frank; and you, my com- 
rades; but why try to take me away? I am d^ad, 
yet I am alive. I am cold below my hips. I am insen- 
sible here; can neither feel, walk, ride, nor crawl." 

Looking at them in his old quiet way, seeirfg them 
all so distressed, and weeping visibly, he bade them 
wipe away their tears. They all pleaded with him to 
permit them to take him away to some safe, quiet re- 
treat; they would defend him to the death. He listened 
to them ; to their pleading, with his usual courtesy of 
the old victorious guerrilla days, which were now gone 

He silenced his pleading men with an answer that 
was unalterable: "I cannot live. I have run a long 
time. My career is ended. I have come out unhurt 
from many desperate places. I have fought to kill, and 
have killed. I do not regret anything. The* end is clo^e 
at hand, and I am now resting easy here, and will d^'e 
shortly. You do not know how your devotion has 
touched my heart, nor can you ever understand how 
grateful I am for this great love you have shown for 
me. Try to get back to your homes, and avoid the 
perils which beset you." 

He talked freely of the early days of his career, 
sending sweet messages and farewells to friends, and 
greetings to comrades. Finallv, the partinsr houi" cpme. 
They bade him goodbye, looking upon his face the last 
time, forever. 

Captain Terrell had broken his promise, as T knew 
he would, about leaving Quantrell at Wakefield's house. 


He now advised his removal to Louisville. General 
Palmer sent an ambulance under a heavy escort, mov- 
ing him to Louisville, scarcely more alive than dead, suf- 
fering great agonies from the motions and vibrations 
of the moving vehicle. He v^as taken to a military hos- 
pital until the question of his recovery had been de- 
cided for or against him. Few friends were allowed to 
visit or to see him. Mrs. Ross, of Missouri, only once, 
in the. presence of officers. Feeling that his time was 
short, he sent dying messages to loved friends in Mis- 
souri. She left him at one o'clock on the 15th of June, 
1865. He died on the following day about five o'clock, 
P. M. 

Thus the great guerrilla chief passed, after a fitful, 
singular, tempestuous life, passed like a summer cloud. 
He had been asleep. He called for water, but did not 
drink. A Sister of Charity placed the glass to his lips. 
A murmur escaped him, "Boys, get ready." A long 
pause, then a moan, ''Steady," and then. When she 
drew back from this murmuring man, she fell upon her 
knees and prayed. Captain Quantrell was dead. Peace 
be to him, and to his memory and to his ashes, and to 
his soul. 

Before his death he had become a Catholic. He 
confessed his sins to a priest. He told everything. He 
was too serious, too earnest a man to deceive or to be 
dishonest, even in the list of all his homicides, excusing 
himself in nothing, nor apologizing for anything. His 
entire past was made to give up its secrets, from year 
to year, not forgetting the four years of terrible war. 
His white, set face looked picturesque, and he was al- 
most eloquent at times in his recital. 

Did he receive also absolution? Did William Tell? 
Did Charlotte Corday? Did Westlake? Did Bezaine? 


Did Leonidas? Did Hosea? Did any patriot during 
all the ages passed receive pardon for doing what he 
believed to be his duty? He was now beyond the 
great river, alike was praise or censure, reward or pun- 
ishment to this man, who, when living, had filled the 
world with the renown of his deeds during four years 
of terrible war history. Fate had done its work. A 
smile seemed to brighten his face, and now the future 
stood revealed to his spirit, now made omniscient by it^ 
journey through the valley of the shadow of death. He 
was done with ambushing, ambuscades, with the shad 
ows of night, with summer's heat, with winter's cold, 
and with midnight vigils. No more troops of charging 
calvary or ringing revolver volleys, rallying to the charge 
or falling to the rear in fierce combat. No more agony 
of sore defeat, of white, set faces trampled upon by men 
and by iron heels of horses. No, there would never be 
any more war. In the beautiful land of the great be- 
yond, nothing shall reign but peace; there all must be 
judged, standing or falling. So let history be just and 
deal fairly with all men. 

Captain Quantrell was in some degree different trom 
every other guerrilla, even his comrades. He was not 
superior in courage to them, for this is a common herit- 
age of nearly all sons of the South. But he had one 
particular quality which but few men possessed, though 
some of his followers had this quality. Frank James, 
George Gregg, Cole Younger, and Ike Berry possessed 
it to a prominent degree. This quality was extraordi- 
riary resourcefulness. All these fought gallanth^ yet 
fighting might be under certain conditions the least of 
their necessity. But to be a successful leader of these 
daring spirits was quite another affair. This required 
coolness, quick perception, unerring judgment, horse- 


manship, expert pistol skill in peril, vigorous health, 
celerity of movement, fixedness of purpose, great activ- 
ity. Quantrell possessed all these. He counted every- 
thing and sought to shield his men, lest an advantage 
should be taken of them by strategy. They were often 
too eager to fight and to take desperate chances, to 
rush into combats where they could not win. Quantrell 
tried to have the odds with him rather than against him. 
He kept scouts everywhere, retreated frequently, rather 
than to fight and be worsted. He had the faculty of 
divining an enemy's plans almost to an occult degree ; 
relied upon mystification frequently; believed in young 
men ; listened to every man's advice ; paid attention to 
small things. But, seeing and hearing all, he acted 
upon his own active judgment. He stood by his sol- 
diers always, and preferred the old dispensation to the 
new. He obeyed strictly the laws of retaliation, be- 
lieved in and took the code of Moses rather than the 
code of Jesus Christ. He practiced self-abnegation and 
inculcated the same by example. He carried a black 
flag, killed every thing in blue, made even the idea of 
surrender ridiculous, and snapped his fingers at death. 
He trusted but few women, but these few, with his life. 
He believed in religion and respected its ordinances ; 
went to church when he could ; never quarreled ; under- 
stood human nature critically, was usually silent re- 
served, and taciturn. The coolest, deadliest man in a 
personal combat on the border, he rode as if he were 
a part of the charger under him. An organization like 
his required great skill in the use of pistols, which was 
a passport for comradeship. There was no force not 
greatly superior to his own that ever stood his onset. 
His men were drilled to fight equally with both hands, 
and they fought with both. Fairly matched, God help 


the column, man for man, that came in contact with 
him. His warfare was based upon the sentiments of 
nationaHty, personal wrongs and revenge. His men 
carried mementoes of murdered kindred, mingled with 
their weapons. The cry for blood was heard from home 
to home throughout the land. All these men became 
guerrillas because they had been savagely dealt with. 
Ouantrell became a chief because of these reasons and 
because of his courage, prudence, firmness, common 
sense, audacity, in which he was inferior to no man. 
His judgment was clearest and swiftest, when his re- 
sponsibilities were heaviest. His fame as a guerrilla 
will endure for ages. Let history deal fairly, truth- 
fully with all. 



Quantrell's men paroled — Dr. McCloskey — I start to Louisville 
— Surrounded and captured — I escape — We destroy a Dutch 
patrol — Captain Berry's men paroled — King White — We are 
wounded and captured — Imprisoned at Louisville — A farcical 
trial— '"Court will take $30,000" — Sent to Columbus^ — Captain 
Berry sentenced to hang — I cut my way out — Captain Ber- 
ry's sentence commuted — His transfer to Albany and death. 

The death of Quantrell was the bursting of a meteor 
that left his comrades in darkness. In the gloom there 
was no hope of more light, as news had come of the 
surrender of General Lee and his hungry, tattered le- 
gions. Realizing the inevitable, one of Quantrell's most 
practical and sensible men, lying wounded at Wakefield's 
mansion, suggested that Henry Porter should gather 
the remnants of the guerrilla command and surrender 
them to General Palmer at Louisville. This was done, 
after a conference between Porter and General Palmer, 
in which it was agreed that our men should receive the 
same terms and treatment that had been accorded to 
the soldiers of General Lee. Porter deserved the con- 
fidence he received, because of his cool judgment, cour- 
age and circumspection, and his prompt unyielding in 
his demand for the same treatment that had been ac- 
corded all Confederate soldiers. 

Palmer's terms to Porter were liberal. Each guer- 
rilla was permitted to retain two revolvers, what horses 
he had, and his ammunition. If he was destitute, he 
was to receive transportation to any portion of the 
country to which he might desire to go. The past was 
not to be inquired into, no matter how evil his reputa- 
tion had been. The war was over, his oath wiped out 


his outrages, his parole was to be looked upon as his 
pardon, and he was to receive the same treatment as 
other soldiers. 

Porter gathered up his comrades, eighteen in num- 
ber, and all marched to Samuel's Depot, Nelson county, 
Kentucky, on July 22, 1865. Captain Younger of the 
Forty-second Kentucky Federal, assisted by Lieutenant 
Campbell, received and paroled these grizzled war-worn 
veterans. This little band was the last remnant of the 
terrible organization of the Missouri border. They now 
went their several ways, each according to his own 
fancy. They were the offspring of the fury and agony 
of a remorseless terrorism, which always attends civil 
strife. It was a peculiar feature of our civilization. 
Easily aroused, it broke forth into ferocious deeds. The 
li^uerrilla was looked upon as a wild beast; he had no 
rest or peace, and was buffeted, waylaid, ambushed, shot 
at continually. A self-respecting man is always dan- 
gerous when aroused, and hunted. The guerrillas sim- 
ply defended themselves when pressed to the wall. There 
could be but one of two things — they would be mur- 
dered without recourse or forced into outlawry. Who 
was to blame? I could place the wrong from my stand- 
point, but I shall not. History must render the ver- 
dict. The logical facts, the truth should prevail, and 
rule every man's life. History should be based upon 
facts. If this were done we should have less bitterness, 
suffering and death. 

All men of this generation know something of the 
long-continued hunt for Quantrell and his men, of Cap- 
tain Berry and his men, and especially of the James 
brothers, after the war. They know also of the harpies 
who blighted the fair names and lives of these men 


and bounded them to destruction, without the remotest 
danger to themselves, during twelve long years. 

I need to refer to only one of the many dastardly 
and cowardly deeds done in the name and under the 
sanction of law. At night, yea, at midnight, the as- 
sassin's time of work, at the lonely hour when all honest 
people were asleep, Pinkerton's sneaking cut-throats 
crawled up to Mrs. Samuels' house where there were 
only women and children, wrapped in slumber, and 
an old man far past his prime. This raid was planned 
against Dr. Samuels' home, because his wife was the 
mother of the James boys, by these so-called minions 
of the law. Tt is not definitely known how many were 
present, but something over fifteen crept stealthly close 
to this home, surrounded it, found the inmates all asleep, 
and threw into the kitchen, where an old negress was 
sleeping ^with her children, a lighted hand grenade. The 
terrific explosion, and the burning turpentine ball awoke 
the household to find the house on fire. The negro 
woman, with cries of terror, rushed to alarm the white 
family. The flames added to the fright and terror of 
the alarm. The negress and the children, white and 
black, all stood together huddled in the kitchen. The 
white family rushed to subdue the flames, all uncon- 
scious of the further danger that awaited them. There 
was a terrific explosion. Dr. Samuels was cut in sev- 
eral places and stunned. Mrs. Samuels had her right 
arm blown off above the elbow. A bright little boy 
had his bowels torn out. The old negress was badly 
cut and maimed in four places. The three other chil- 
dren received several cuts and bruises, the hand gren- 
ade had done its work. Every creature in the room 
bore marks of its terrible effects. These wounds were 
marks of the infamy of the cowardly midnight assassins 


— a tragedy performed by men calling themselves civ- 
ilized done in this nineteenth century, in a peaceful com- 
munity, upon a helpless family of v^omen and children. 
vSuch an act would have caused the blush of shame to 
mantle the hardened cheek of Nero. The Pinkerton as- 
sassins did this infamous, dastardly and cowardly thing 
because they knew better how to kill the she-wolf and 
her small cubs, Mrs. Samuels and children, than they 
did armed men in open battle. 

Many similar cases could be cited, but the contem- 
plation of this is too harrowing. This occurrence was 
hut the aftermath of the training and practice of a people 
who had caused to be spilled oceans of the best blood 
of this country, to save the Union ; and these were the 
methods used, always sneaking, skulking, treacherous 
and faithless. 

After my recapture of Captain Berry from Captain 
Terrell I took him to Dr. Hoskins at Cedar Grove. 
While there some severe fighting had been done, and 
to his old wounds, still unhealed, he added another. I 
went for Dr. McCloskey and told him my tale of woe. 
This good Samaritan and doctor had a saying and a 
theory that he never knew a man until he felt his pulse. 
This good man had two mistresses, namely, great good 
humor and silence; he worshiped both equally and with 
constant fidelity. He was always a genial companion 
and a true friend. It was certainly a rare treat to hear 
him talk, while he spent an hour or so with us. He 
came and went at all hours, and having, it would seem, 
a principle of magnetism, became a favorite with all. 
It may be that like most of his class, he was somewhat 
skeptical on some subjects. What physician is not? 
At any rate he had his favorites among men, as well 
as medicine. He believed with all his heart in calomel, 


aloes and jalap combined. Witli hat in hand to quinine 
and iron, he caressed chloroform, flattered carbolic acid, 
and high up in the pharmacopia he gazed at opium. 
Having arranged his knives, scissors and cutting things, 
and threading things, he kept them all where a prudent 
man kept his horse during these uncertain days — out 
of sight. He called on the good God often, and calml\ 
went his way, a cleanly man in heart, head and person, 
Always ready to do his duty to his God and to his 
country. Oh, for more of his class and clan. His busi- 
ness at this time was to grapple with death, face to 
face, in many forms, and he loved to meet death and 
put him to flight. He had a saying that death was a 
coward, and would run at least half of the time, if 
pressed hard by a clean man. 

At this place, while a heavy wagon was passing, a 
young soldier was thrown off, the wheels passing over 
his legs. Many persons crowded about him and much 
sympathy was expressed. The man needed fresh air, 
as he had fainted. Dr. McCIoskey charged the crowd 
and dispersed them, 

"Awful," said a young esqualapsius standing by, 
who seized the leg as he would a thief by the throat. 
''It must come off," said this young physician, in a fine 
experimental frenzy, rolling his casual, uncertain eyes 
toward Dr. McCIoskey, in the monotonous sing-song 
tone of a mechanical graduate. Then said McCIoskey: 

"Eh; what come off? So must a man's hat come off 
when the king, or a lady passes, but suppose they did 
not pass, what then? The hat stays on, of course. Water, 
water, water. It is water, my dear sir, that is all you 
need now — enough to swallow up the knife and scissors, 
and to drown the surgeon, and to rust the knife away, 
also his saw. It is not the mission of the surgeon to 


mutilate, but to help nature restore. The steel, why, 
yes; the steel is good, like fire, prussic acid, strych- 
nine, and the dead man on the dissecting table. Back 
of it all, there must of necessity, of paramount import- 
ance, every day, ordinary common sense always. Lift 
him up, some of you ; sympathy will not hurt him ; 
carry him home." 

In half an hour after we laid the young man upon 
his mother's bed. McCloskey had his crushed and 
bruised leg as good as new. 

So this was the manner of man who went about 
in the deep, dark, remote places, into thickets, brush, 
caves, doing good every day, yea, every night also; 
bringing relief to the hot, feverish brow, the swollen, 
painful hurts of the victims of this bloody, cruel war. 
These delirious, mutilated, helpless victims never ap- 
proached this great and good Samaritan in vain. May 
neither his race nor his shadow ever grow less. 

On the 10th of June Captain Berry was well enough 
to hobble around on crutches. It was necessary to be 
prudent, as Federal scouting parties covered the land 
as a blanket covers a bed. From the tower of the house 
on the hill we could see them almost daily, moving 
about in all directions, especially since the death of 
Captain Quantrell. 

I left Captain Berry and went to Louisville for 
medicine and supplies for him. Jim Evans went with 
me. We traveled through the woods and fields and by- 
paths, as all roads were watched and scouting parties 
were passing continuously. We reached the home of 
our old friend, Dick Philips, after dark. We had a 
good supper and passed on to Louisville. Reaching this 
place, we found our friends, obtained our supplies and 
learned more definitely the particulars of the death of 


Jerome Clark (Sue Monday) and Henry McGruder. At 
midnight we left the city, walking, to avoid the Yan- 
kee pickets. We were compelled to travel slowly and 
cautiously. Having sixteen pistols, ammunition, and 
medicine, we had to rest often on account of our load. 
We reached our horses near daylight, tired and weary. 
Our horses had had a good feed and rest. Leaving Dick 
Philips' place we moved on south through the woods 
and reached Salt River, which we had to swim, as all 
fords were guarded. 

On the south side, while we were feeding our 
horses, I saw some Yankees about to surround us. We 
mounted our horses hastily and charged through the 
encircling trap. When nearly free, my horse sank under 
me, and three Yankees closed in on me. My horse beino 
killed, I kneeled behind him for a breastwork, took de- 
liberate aim at the advancing foe and killed four, empty- 
mg two of my pistols. I also wounded five, thus check- 
ing them. Jim Evans came up to me and helped me 
upon his horse. We hurriedly escaped and saved our 
supplies, of which we stood greatly in need. 

Upon reaching camp we found our comrades much 
alarmed. While some of our men had been away from 
camp a scouting party followed them into the cedars, 
but they escaped. Later these same scouts saw us and 
chased us. I jumped from the horse and entered the 
cedars. Evans, retiring in a different direction, led them 
away from me. I was soon out of reach in this cedar 
grove in its protecting shadows. Evans led them away 
some three miles, then also entered the cedar forest from 
a different direction, and reached camp. T was cap- 
tured not far from camp, near Colonel Stoner's place, 
by Captain Cook. He sent me under guard to the sta- 


The train came along and I was placed aboard and 
started off to Louisville. It is needless to say that I 
was miserable. At Bardstown Junction one of the 
driving wheels on the engine was broken, and we were 
detained three hours. My guard took me to a hotel 
for dinner. Returning to the car, I asked for a drink of 
water. We were on our way to Louisville. 

Watching closely^ I dashed the water into his 
face and quickly jumped to the platform and bounded 
into the air, landed on my feet, but stumbled against the 
embankment and was slightly stunned. Quickly pull- 
ing myself together I looked about me and saw a sad- 
dled horse standing hitched to a rack at a blacksmith's 
shop. This was Brook's Station. T needed this horse 
much worse than the rightful owner at this particular 
time — had urgent business elsewhere. The train had 
stopped and was backing up toward me, when I mounted 
the horse and rode away at a furious gallop. 

A ride of five miles at a very rapid gait brought 
me to Salt River. I met a friend who knew the horse, 
r-nd told him how T had found him. Leaving the horse, 
1 made my way back to Nelson county and our camp, 
much to the relief of my brother and my comrades. 

T was at this time to leave the country; had already 
recruited three hundred and ninety-eight men for the 
French service in Mexico. All the armies of the Con- 
federacy had surrendered. Captain Berry, who had 
been waiting for his wounds to heal, was ready to go 
in and surrender. He noAv sent Dr. Hoskins to General 
Palmer's headquarters at Louisville, with a view of 
surrendering. During the pendency of the negotiation 
of final surrender he kept himself hid. 

My brother. Captain Samuel Berry, had done much 
of his hardest fighting during the time I was absent 


with Shelby in Mexico. T had been placed in touch 
with this expedition after T had ^ouq South from Ken- 
tucky with recruits for General Bedford Forrest, who 
then sent me with dispatches to General Jeff Thomp- 
son. Upon leaving- Thompson, T was seized with the 
ambition to go South of the Rio Grande, and went, as 
I have recounted in earlier pages. 

Captain Be rry had fought almost constantly, a 
greater part of the time with Quantrell, and jointly with 
him at these places : Lancaster, Crab Orchard, Mill 
Springs, Lebanon, Perryville, Salina, Lawrenceburg-, 
Harrisburg, Shryock's Ferry, Versailles, Slago, Cogers 
Ferry, Bloomfield, Fairfield, Taylorsville, Bardistown, 
Shepherdsville, Salt Lick, Old Ford and Fisherville. It 
was almost a continuous daily battle. 

Two days after my return from Mexico, while on 
our way to Bloomfield, Captain Berry, myself. Bill Mer- 
riman, Jim Evans, John Enloe, vShelton, Texas, Riley, 
Dicks, Brothers, Jim Davis, Boswell, Hurndon, May- 
field, Scott, Still, Wells, Amos, Ward, Ennis, Abrahams 
and Conn we received information that a troop of fifty- 
six Dutch,, or Pennsylvania, cavalry were marching from 
Springfield toward Bloomfield, hunting for ''One-Arm" 

At this place there was an old saw mill on the 
South side of the pike, around which a large number 
of logs were piled up, covering some two acres of 
ground, and making a natural fortification. Reaching 
this position we took shelter behind this and sent four 
men to skirmish with the enemy and fall back slowly, 
thus leading them into this ambush. We had twenty- 
two men with double-barrel shotguns, the barrels cut 
off six inches and loaded with twelve buckshot in each 
barrel; also six Colts dragoon pistols to each man. 


When the Dutch captain saw these guerrillas, with 
drawn sword he charged them promptly. They stood 
their ground and delivered many shots. Unchecked, 
on came the Dutch at a furious gait. The guerrillas 
took shelter with us behind the lumber pile and awaited 
the oncoming Yankees. We were on our horses, ready 
to receive them at close quarters, before firing a shot. 

At thirty yards we turned loose with our double- 
barrel shotguns. Rapid volleys were poured into their 
very faces, into the thick mass of struggling, frightened 
horses, and dead and wounded men. After firing our 
shot guns, we drew our pistols and charged into their 
ranks — pistol in each hand, bridle reins between our 

A lady, Mrs. Sayers, was driving down the pike 
in a buggy. The Dutch troopers, in their recoil, ran 
over and upset her buggy. Captain Berry rode to her 
assistance, righted the buggy^ under fire, and placing 
her in it, tipped his hat and started her on her way. 

The guerrillas had slackened their fire, driving the 
Yankees pell-mell down the pike, riding into their ranks 
and killing the rear ones as they fled through Bloom- 
field towards Taylorsville. The Dutch had stirred up 
a veritable hornets' nest. We followed them as far as 

At this place the fortunes of war were very nearly 
reversed, for our old enemy, Captain Bridgewater, was 
on hand to receive and greet us warmly. We must 
needs quickly hunt cover, for these two captains. Cook 
and Bridgewater, always resolute and enterprising, now 
joined forces. They were also on the warpath, and 
hunting for us. Of the fifty-six Dutch troopers, only 
ten remained. The captain was killed at the first fire. 


also all of his officers. Our loss was three killed and 
twelve wounded. 

But all things human must have an end. On Jul\ 
19, 1865, it was determined by all, after a consultation, 
to make an effort to surrender. Accordingly, Captain 
S. O. Berry, Captain Wainwright and Captain South- 
worth jointly addressed a letter to General Palmer 
by Doctor Hoskins, proposing surrender of their 
men, and asking for a conference and conditions. Gen- 
eral Palmer sent Major Wilson with instructions to 
confer with Captain Berry and his party about the terms 
and conditions upon which he would surrender. The 
meeting place was at Mr. Williams' house near vSmiley- 
town, in the near vicinity of Mr. Wakefield's home. 

While Major Wilson was on his way to attend this 
meeting and before he had reached the vicinity, we had 
started toward Bloomfield. When we reached the junc- 
tion of the Bloomfield and Chaplintown pikes we met 
Captain Baker, a Federal, with forty-five men, coming 
into the Chaplintown pike. Not knowing of our offer 
to surrender, Captain Baker opened fire upon us. 

Captain Berry and I were riding side by side in 
front of our column. Captain Berry and Terrell both 
halted their men and as by mutual impulse both drew 
their pistols as they approached each other. At about 
thirty yards they fired at each other at the same time. 
The two commands stood watching this personal duel, 
which was thrilling and exciting. At each fire they ad- 
vanced slowlv. Each had now fired five shots ai^i-^re. 
Each of Captain Berry's shots had taken effect, thrc^ 
enterino- Terrell's body, one his horse's shoulder and 
one the horse's head, killing it under its rider. Ca!^- 
<-ain Terrell's rio-h.t shoulder rmd collar hone were shat- 
tered. He had one ball in the side of his head and one 


in his hip. Captain Berry received two slight wounds, 
^nd had a lock of hair clipped from his head. 

Captain Terrell's first lieutenant, Thompson, rode 
forward and helped his chief up behind him under a 
fierce shower of bullets. We charged them with the 
old rebel yell, pressing them closely and chased them 
back into the Chaplin hills. Thus ended the war for 
Captain Berry. This was his last battle. 

On the twenty-seventh of July, 1865, Captain Berry 
met Major Wilson at Smileytown, with twenty-seven 
men. Major Wilson had thirty federals. I did not take 
part in this cartel, but was present at the two confer- 
ences. I had sworn allegiance to Maximilian's govern- 
ment in Mexico. Some differences and friction arose 
because of the disparity in numbers to represent the 
two sides, each side being- suspicious of the other. This 
however was adjusted by dismissing all but six soldiers, 
three on each side. Major Wilson submitted proposi- 
tions to some features of which Captain Berry objected. 
A belligerent action on the major's part brought every- 
one to their feet with hands on weapons. I stepped for- 
ward and proposed to each party that they deposit their 
arms with Mr. Purdy, a citizen and non-combatant, be- 
fore any further discussion or proceedings. I proposed 
that each side name a referee to decide disputed points, 
and that each side pledsfe themselves beforehand to 
abide by his decisions. This was accepted to the satis- 
faction of all and the terms of surrender were concluded. 
Each man was to keep his revolver and ammunition, and 
his horse or horses; if he desired to go to any part of 
the country he was to receive transportation ; if he was 
unable to pay his own way to any place he might desire 
to go this was to be paid by the government. No mat- 
ter about his past, it was not to be inquired into, no mat- 


ter how bad his reputation. The war was over and his 
oath wiped out all his so-called outrages, if any. His 
parole was to be looked upon as a pardon. If these 
conditions were not ratified and sanctioned by the de- 
partment commander, General Palmer, all the men were 
to receive twenty-four hours' notice. All were to be 
notified of their acceptance or their refusal. A place 
was named at which the surrender would be consum- 
mated. July 29th was named for this procedure. Ac- 
cordingly, the men assembled on the pike near Smiley- 
town in Spencer County. Twenty-four men were there 
to receive their paroles, as follows : Captain Samuel O. 
Berry, J. Johns, H. Sutton, John Southworth, Captain 
Wainright, Jim Evans, Billy Merriman, Tom Henry, 
Jim Henry, Alex Duke, John Savage, Alex Jones, Wm. 
Smith, John Enloe, Dee Henry, Alf Truner, Sam Smizer, 
Bill Ewing, John Dade, Oscar Vogle, Alex Howland, 
William Barker, John Trisby, Jim Colbert. All these 
old veterans went their several ways. 

I tried to recruit some of them for the French serv- 
ice but only eight joined me here. There was one man 
whom I did not name. He had been with Captain Ber- 
ry. I met him about 2i week after these men had bee*^. 
paroled. This man was hiding out for a g(^.od reason 
and had refused to surrender. I soon had good reasons 
to remember him for the balance of my life. I received 
him into the French service, paying him a bounty of 
$200 and his transportation to the Mexican border. This 
uncertain, devious creature, at this time or shortly after. 
acted thre part of a treacherous villain. He had first 
joined the Yankee army, receiving a bounty of S1200 
and a good horse, as a substitute. He deserted and 
joined the Confederate service while in Kentucky. But 
soon finding this no place for a coward and afraid to go 


back home, he skulked about from both sides. He joined 
Captain Berry and deserted him. Captain Wainright 
found him and tried to recruit him, not knowing that he 
had belonged to his service. 

While on picket duty on the way south this coward- 
ly treacherous man. King White, deserted his post at 
night, leaving Captain Southall without protection. His 
first exploit was to rob some toll gates and citizens, 
telling the latter that he was ''One-Arm" Berry, in or- 
der to intimidate and scare them. He collected others 
about him of the same stripe, robbing right and left in 
the name of "One-i\rm" Berry. He made a raid 
through Meade, Hardin and Breckenridge counties. All 
over the state these robbers rode, continually using the 
name of "One-Arm" Berry, who got the credit for these 
shameful acts of vandalism and robbery. When he 
fought or captured Yankees he robbed them also. He 
captured a steamboat with several sick and wounded 
Yankees on their way home and had them shot; there 
had not been a shot fired at his bunch. He also stole 
fifteen hundred dollars from the captain of the boat. 
He refused to divide the stolen plunder with his bunch 
and most of them left him. He still called himself "One- 
Arm" Berry. The steamboat captain knew him, and 
upon reaching Louisville reported him to the Federal 
authorities. They offered two thousand dollars for him, 
dead or alive. 

When I learned of his conduct and his villainies, I 
demanded from him the bounty money I had paid him. 
He claimed he did not have it ; in truth he had blown 
it all in gambling. I had learned that there was a re- 
ward of two thousand dollars for this cowardly sneak. 
I told him to his teeth, pointedly and frankly, that I had 
no further use for him, that a thief was generally a 


cowardly sneak. Fie tried to draw his pistol. I had my 
own in his face instantly. Had it no been for my broth- 
er, Captain Berry, there would have been one sneaking 
villain less in the world. I disarmed him. Captain Ber- 
ry stepped between us, thus saving me the duty of 
killing this shameful hound. If this had been done at 
this time it would have saved both of us long years of 
trouble and sorrow ; and also Captain Berry's death in 
prison, as the sequel will show. 

Captain Samuel O. Berry ("One-Arm" Berry) was 
an educated and cultured man, a member of the Chris- 
tian Church, an ordained minister in good standing and 
a trained school teacher — he was teaching school when 
the war came. He had married a beautiful, cultured 
woman and was a' citizen respected by all his neighbors 
and friends. He was happy and prosperous, but the 
greed and fanaticism of this period forced him to leave 
his home. He was frequently arrested, and placed under 
heavy bonds, only to be plundered by his tormentors. 

The horrible murder of our sister drove us to des- 
peration. Solely upon this provocation and upon these 
grounds we determined to do what all self-respecting 
men would have done under the same circumstances. 
He took stock of conditions and went about his busi- 
ness of revenge and retaliation, becoming a desperate 
guerrilla. His life and acts are a part of the history of 
our race, and will be fairly judged by history when 
truly and truthfully written. Let the ages judge of his 
methods, of his course and actions. 

After receiving his parole he looked around for a 
school, first in Nelson County then in Bullitt and Spen- 
cer counties. He had a young wife living in Indiana 
with her father, Mr. Alex Rose, an intensely rabid abol- 


itionist, an uncompromising Union man. He had sold 
my brother's property in his absence in the army and had 
taken his daughter with him to Indiana, where he forced 
her to ask for and obtain a divorce, while her husband 
was in the Confederate service. They never saw or 
heard from each other again. I have every reason to 
believe that she died of a broken heart. I got this in- 
formation direct from her own son, my brother's child, 
my nephew. They lived near Franklin, Ind. I met this 
boy several times after the war ; he lived with his mother 
and grandfather until his mother and also the grand- 
father died, at which time he was about seventeen years 

About the first of September Berry went to West 
Point, Bullitt County, near the mouth of Salt RiveV, 
after having made arrangements to teach a district 
school. On the 10th of September he started back to 
Shepardsville, travelling alone, and when some five or 
six miles from this place, near Nelson Ferry, he was 
fired upon from ambush and was surrounded by a scout- 
ing party of Federal soldiers. This was nearly two 
months after his parole had been given him. He had 
been coming and going openly almost every day since 
his surrender. These soldiers acted under General Pal- 
mer's orders. Not being warned, Berry was captured 
and threatened Avith death, menaced with cocked pistols 
thrust in his face. His parole was taken from him and 
lie was informed that he was to be hanged as soon as 
they reached Shepardsville. He was placed between 
files of soldiers and as they travelled toward that place 
lie reminded them of the terms and stipulations of his 
parole. They laughed in his face. 

The night was dark, but Berry knew the country, 
knew every by-path in the region through which they 


were moving. He was watching for a favorable place 
to escape. As he rode down a very steep embankment 
he yelled, "Good-bye.' They fired at him, but missed' 
him. Taking a blind patch he made good his escape. 
Returing to Nelson county he met Dr. Hoskins at Mr. 
Conn's place. 

While in this vicinity we learned from reliable com- 
rades that he and I were being hunted all over three or 
four counties. I disguised myself and went to Louis- 
ville, where I learned the startling fact that King White 
had agreed to betray and lead a party of armed Yankees 
to our hiding place in consideration of his pardon. Upon 
learning of this shameful plot I hurried back and in- 
formed Sam of this villainy. My words rankled in his 
Heart. White had been with my brother and knew where 
to find him. 

As soon as he reached Nelson County my brother 
wrote to General Palmer, telling him of the violation of 
the cartel by soldiers under his jurisdiction. He com- 
plained of the taking of his parole, asked that it be re- 
turned to him, and claimed protection against its future 
violation. General Palmer merely replied that he would 
have nothing further to do with the matter, a reply 
characteristic of this brutal man. This was the climax 
of the dastardly treatment that many of his victims had 
received, victims who had been butchered because of his 
treachery and double-dealing. 

We made hasty preparations to leave the country at 
once. Collecting twenty men and bidding our friends 
adieu we travelled all night, passing around Grandsville, 
Milton, BuUeysville and Harrisville. At Markport we 
stopped, fed and rested our horses. After a day's travel 
to a plantation called Chilton we were surrounded by 
three companies of Yankees while eating our breakfast 


in the woods. We all mounted our horses quickly and 
charged through their ranks. We had one man killed 
and seven wounded, and killed fourteen and wounded 
nine Yankees Buck Harris was mortally wounded, but 
kept his horse for six miles ; he fainted three times. We 
were now compelled to stop and thought we were clear 
away from the pursuing Yankees. While stooping over 
Harris, taking his last message, I was shot through my 
right leg and also received a bullet in my right hip, par- 
alyzing me for a time. I fell helpless and could not 
stand upon my feet. Lying on my stomach I emptied 
my pistols at the enemy. Finding that I did not longer 
fire, they came forward to finish me, but the captain 
stopped them. I was hard hit and again in their toils. 
My comrades and Captain Berry made their way back 
to Nelson County, after several narrow escapes. My 
brother heard that I was killed. 

This was twenty-one wounds I had received. I was 
taken to Harrisville, placed on a steamboat, carried to 
Louisville and confined in a hospital at the corner of 5th 
and Green streets. From here I was moved to a military 
prison at Ninth and Broadway near Tenth Street, where 
I found six Confederates who had been tried by military 
or drum-head court-martial upon charges too flimsy, 
ridiculous and silly to be considered by honest men. This 
was done by men who commanded negro troops. All 
were tried before capture and adjudged guilty afterward. 
About a week later my brother was captured and 
brought in. We were in the same prison. How miser- 
able I was no one can ever know. In ten days my trial 
was called — a mere mockery, a ridiculous farce, as many 
others had been before. My wound was still painful 
and unhealed. On my way to trial, who should I meet 
but King White. This infamous traitor, this sneaking 


coward, had been released for the betrayal of my broth- 
er : he had led Major Wilson, the very man who had ne- 
gotiated the terms of surrender, to the hiding place. He 
had betrayed the man whom he had so foully wronged by 
using his name to conceal many crimes. He was with 
the searching party when my brother was taken, and 
pretending that he himself had been captured, returned 
to Louisville with the expedition. This was to revenge 
himself upon me, because I had denounced him. 

Here was a sample of the pledged faith of accredited 
officers of the United States army, who would have dis- 
graced any uniform in any age or in any country. It 
would take a hundred men a lifetime to chronicle all 
.the brutal infamies practiced during this period, and the 
subsequent seven years of carpet-bag rule in the South. 
It Avas the climax of all infamy. 

King White was released inside of four days, with- 
out the semblance of a trial, and thus rewarded for his 
treachery, such was the premium given by these white 
negro-trainers. I met the bloody sneak, but he dropped 
liis head and turned away his face. My blood boiled. T 
was almost smothering. The air seemed poisoned by his 
presence in the streets. But there was plenty of his 
kind, ready to sell their souls at any price. 

I was tried under an assumed name, that of Tom 
Henderson, for reasons satisfactory to myself — the peace 
of my old father. My trial lasted three days. All the 
charges were wholly false, save one — I had tried to do 
mv duty as a soldier. My sentence was death, to be 
hanged like a doj?". without witnesses or a chance to be 
heard. As a matter of fact, T did not 1)elong to this 
(•ountr\-. nor was I one of its citizens, having sworn al- 
legiance to another country, and now owed my fealtv 
to France. No matter, there was still need of another 


victim, to satiate the craving of more blood, if this 
could be possible. 

My brother's trial was begun about ten days later. 
He was defended by Judge W. B. Hoke, who told him to 
plead ''not guilty." This plea was entered and in con- 
sideration of the fact that the prisoner had surrendered 
and received his parole, which had purged him of his 
past offenses, demand was made that the records show- 
ing these facts should be produced in court. 

At this reasonable demand, the judge advocate ad- 
journed court for a secret conference, which lasted two 
hours. When the court reassembled, the judge advocate 
said, in behalf of the government, that the commanding 
general could not be compelled to produce his records, 
a-^ his acts could not be reviewed, and were final. This 
farcical deliverance was by Colonel Coyle, colonel of a 
negro regiment, a l^rutal, cruel, bigoted Connecticut ^^an- 

Judce Hoke insisted upon the prisoner's rights. He 
was given to understand that he would be arrested if 
he carried matters too far. Judge Hoke was a fearless, 
talented ^-ouno" lawyer and a man of unfaltering cour- 
age, qualities which were renuired to face these bloody 
tyrants, who now held in their bloody grasp the destin- 
ies not only of Kentucky but the entire South. 

My brother was called upon again to plead ; his plea 
was "not guilty." He cited his parole again. They now 
called upon him to produce it, which he could not do. 
He asked that Major Wilson and General Palmer be 
summoned as witnesses in his behalf; also the thirty- 
five soldiers who were with him at the time of his sur- 
lender and parole and that of hjs men. 

Captain Berry and T were approached by one Cap- 
tain Hoaguellv of the 119th colored regiment, who was 


a member of this court that was trying- us both for our 
lives. He handed each of a slip of paper bearing these 
words and fi.c^ures as follows : "Court will take $30,000." 
Another day this same scoundrel handed me a similiar 
slip reading "$10,000." At this I could not refrain from 
telling him that a man who was contemptible enougli to 
he a nigger thief, a commander of a negro company and 
to steal a nigger, would not hesitate to rob a man of his 
life upon any flimsy pretext, or to sell his soul for blood 
money. During and after our trials we were tantalized 
in the same way by this same officer. Most of these com- 
missioned officers and many of the field officers were 
continually working schemes to plunder helpless victims. 
Their greed seemed insatiable in their efforts to fill their 
coffers with ill-gotten gains. Many unfortunate victims 
had the misfortune to fall under the greedy eyes of these 
recruiting and conscripting officers. Even members of 
the medical examining board had a very simple and ef- 
fective means of finding greenbacks in convenient situa- 
tions; also, the supply, commissary and quartermaster 
departments, which were mostly and usually in the 
hands of a set of skillful robbers. They would rob both 
individuals and the government at the same time. The 
notorious contractor, Jacob Henderson of Louisville, 
who held a contract with the government for the supply 
of horses, mules and provender for the army, was a 
noted instance. There are still many men living who 
can recall the scandalous, bare-faced frauds and plunder- 
ing perpetrated by this unscrupulous thief. I simply al- 
lude to these to show how universally dishonest and cor- 
rupt was the entire administration of not only the mili- 
tary but also of all other departments in Kentucky. 

This wholesale and retail robl)ery denoted the very 
frenzy of a national disease, a chronic disease. Band 


boxes and wardrobes were searched daily for jewelry, 
which was stolen from many Southern women; even 
carpets and pianos were carried away and shipped North. 
I know this will appear to some as a startling arraign- 
ment and one that will be denied, but, nevertheless, it is 
absolutely true. Very often the truth hurts, much worse 
than a falsehood. I speak the truth, as God is my judge, 
in this matter. 

When my brother was placed on trial for his life 
there was summoned a bunch of vicious white men and 
negroes, and some negro women. These white men were 
too cowardly to join even the Home Guards, much less 
the Union army. They remained at home and acted as 
informers on their neighbors and as spies upon them. 
In almost every community there were more or less of 
these sneaking, lying, hypocritical cowards who caused 
untold misery, suffering and bloodshed, often death. I 
have seen a number of letters that were written to Gen- 
eral Burbridge, the butcher of infamous and bloody 
memory, informing him of certain neighbors who were 
disloyal, etc. Many families were robbed of father, sons 
and brothers. Often mothers who were swept away to 
languish and die in loathsome prison cells were arrested 
as spite work and often plundered. It was this class 
that was now summoned to Louisville to swear away 
Captain Berry's life before a packed military tribun 1 
of his implacable enemies, whom he had fought gallant- 
ly for four years. 

I have very often heard people say these things 
should be forgotten. I have found that with many men 
property is the strongest of ties, and that this fact is 
deeply impressed upon young minds by the instrumen- 
tality of vested interests. It is horrible to think that 
greed should lead men to swear away the happiness, 


even the lives of human beings who had never done them 
a wrong; that such men should follow their quarry like 
ravening wolves, once having the smell of blood in their 
nostrils ; that they should stand ready to swear falsely 
that men whom they were accusing had done things out- 
side the pale of civilized warfare. Memory of wrongs of 
this kind has clung to me for years, and will cling to 
the end — as long as I remember my dead brother. T 
suppose it was his fate thus to die, but this cruel, unjust 
fate was brouglit about by most corrupt and cowardly 

General Pahner, placed upon the witness stand, was 
compelled, reluctantly, to admit that he had received 
Captain Berry's surrender and had issued him the parole 
through Major Wilson. The latter testified to the con- 
tents of the cartel of parole and also to the violation of 
its provisions, ^rst by his soldiers and then by himself. 
These two witnesses were men who, during all the 
bloody struggle, had been obtaining substitutes and 
forming schemes with a horde of bountyjumpers. spies 
cind informers, all men of questionable and shady char- 
acter, and who prospered, fattened and became rich irow 
a beggar's state by plundering their neighbors. They 
had preyed upon the defenseless non-combatants during 
the entire war in this state, and now were ready to swear 
awav the life of any soldier who had the courage or the 
manhood to stand up and fight for their home and coun- 
trv. though powerless now to defend themselves, havin- 
surrendered their arms in good faith. 

Captain Berry's trial lasted two weeks. During this 
time two of the members of the court solicited him to 
i>ribe them to turn him loose, naming the sums they 
would take to let him go free. He was found guilty of 
•11 tbo infamous crimes in the calendar, upon charge*^ 


absolutely false. His sentence was death by hanging. 
His case was appealed and was thus held in abeyance 
until it could be sent to Washington. 

During these dark, weary weeks and months, Cap- 
tain Berry, myself and another captured Confederate 
soldier from Louisville, Harvey Wells, who had been 
tried and sentenced to be hanged, were committed to the 
penitentiary at Columbus, Ohio, where we were all 
placed in the same cell for the condemned — an upper 
cell. This military prison stood on Broadway, between 
Ninth and Tenth streets. At the end of our trials our 
friends were allowed to visit us twice weekly. We were 
in shackles and ball and chain. The iron, closely fitting 
the ankle, was an inch and a quarter wide and half an 
inch thick. An ordinary tracechain attached to a 24-pound 
cannon ball completed our prison toilet. This prison 
jewelry was a source of much jest, though we were all 
chained like wild beasts. This was prison life in free and 
enlightened America, the land of the free, so-called. 
Two guards were in our cell, two in the hall, and one at 
the bottom of the steps. All were negroes of the 119th 
colored infantry. At the east end across the twelve-foot 
hallway was another room for untried Confederate sol- 
diers. There were sixteen in this room, also several 
citizens, victims of those hungry, loyal men, whose palms 
itched constantly for their neighbors' property. These 
victims did not even know what they were charged with. 
The steps leading up to the upper story were five feet 
wide and fifteen in number. At the top was a hallway 
twelve feet wide. The doors into the cells were double, 
as was the one at the bottom of the steps. All opened 

During this period our lives were made miserable by 
these ignorant, vulgar, blatant, insulting negro guards: 


even during the night we were often wilfully awakened 
from our sleep by unnecessary noises. There were parts 
of two regiments there as guards, including the 96th In- 
diana. All these men seemed to take a special delight 
in harrassing us. These troops had for quarters the en- 
tire square. Between Ninth and Tenth streets on Broad- 
way to the alley were the cells for prisoners. These 
cells had two windows on either side, overlooking an 
slley, also the parade ground. 

I was the most miserable of all creatures. I had 
long since made up my mind never to be hanged like a 
dog. I did not care a snap about dying, nor did I care 
to live. All my family had been killed, except my 
brother, and now they were trying to finish him, all 
the rest having crossed over the wo^nderful river, where 
there were no infamous spies, or cowards, or traitors, or 
thieving bountyjumpers, or murderers. Life at the 
best now held no. charms for me. I was ready for any 
fate that God had in store for me, no matter what it 
might be. 

At this time we had a visit from some Confederate 
friends. One was the widow of a Confederate comrade 
who had been killed in battle, serving with General 
Morgan. There were also three others who sometimes 
brought food to us, as the prison fare was of very poor 
cuality, often the refuse or leavings of these negro sol- 
diers, of the coarsest quality and very meager in amount. 
I had two severe wounds that gave me constant trouble, 
causing many restless nights. These angels of mercy. 
whO'Se visits gave us some release, brought medicine for 
mv wounds, and for my brother's also. I was grateful 
for the sweet, tender sympathy of a true friend, such as 
only a woman can give. This good friend who had lost 
i^er husband in the Confederate service had dedicated I'e'- 


sympathies and service to sorrow, to all suffering ones, 
and she was ever ready to aid all who were in distress. 
How dear to me are the recollections of the kindnesses 
of these ladies in the darkest hours of my life. They 
came to me when I was in the very shadow of death, 
came with tenderest ministrations and in what marked 
contrast to the vindictive persecutions and blood-ram- 
pant actions of our tormentors, who were dealing- in 
human life, which was held so cheap at this time. 

The city was full of returning soldiers from the 
south and the border states. The people were intensely 
and abjectly alarmed. Tt was now that many old men 
and women were arrested. The grip of the iron hand 
was upon the neck of Kentucky, now prostrate in the 
dust. These renegades and underlings, these bummers 
and beggars, were now paramount. New faces lined 
with envy, malice and hate, for the first time risen to 
importance, were now leering at the prosperous, the good 
and the decent. All citizens, male and female, were in 
danger of violence. Confidence was lost and corruption 
was rampant, stalking barefaced and defiant of all law 
or decency. Acts of kindness, of charity, even of sym- 
pathy for Confederate soldiers or the wounded stood for 
overt acts of treason. The infamies practiced and sub- 
mitted to at that time in Kentucky were almost past 

The butcher, Steve Burbridge tried to shackle 
thoughts — tried to set the price upon the best blood of 
Kentucky. He even punished silence, plundered unarmed 
citizens, stripped them of protection and licensed a 
horde of hungry thieves to rob right and left as they 
chose. Without capacity to govern the state, even with 
an ample force, against Confederate invasion, he visited 
his cowardly rage upon unarmed citizens, and also held 


them responsible for the military acts of many whom ho 
dared not meet in fair, open battle, for fear of being cap- 
tured, or of the halter. This pretended soldier rejoiced 
in the chaos and bloody discord which prevailed all over 
the state. Every cave, thicket and hiding place was 
crowded with young and old alike. Escaped soldiers 
w^ere shot or hanged without a semblance of trial. This 
black infamy can never be effaced from Kentucky his- 
tory, nor can you, nor do you blame the action of the 
native sons of proud old Kentucky for defending their 
homes and lives from such vandalism. Answer this 
upon vour own conscience, even now, when our fate is 

Harvey Wells' sentence was commuted to the peni- 
tentiary for ten years at Columbus, O. Captain Berry's 
sentence was that he should be hanged on February 6th. 
The scaffold was built under our very noses. I watched 
its construction with absorbed interest. As it approached 
completion I felt that I should never be hanged upon it, 
and made up my mind that if worse came to worst I 
would throw myself upon the bayonets of my guards 
cind compel them to shoot me. 

While the appeal was pending I had obtained from 
my good friend, Mrs. Bell Benson, a dozen jewelers' 
savins of the finest steel. With these I cut the rivets in 
my shackels and in the ball and chain, leaving a thin 
sliver hanging to hold them together ; each night I would 
saw^ away. I next attacked the bars in my window, be- 
side my bunk. I had to saw two of these bars for a 
space large enough to admit my body. When morning 
came I would take moistened bread crumbs, black them 
with soot and hide the saw marks during daylight. I 
w^orked often four or five hours every night. Finally ' 


had . finished this tedious job. It seemed an age. I still 
watched the scaffold. It was ready, grim and bloody. 
Frank Black, Sue Monday, Henry McGruder, young 
George Robinson and two others had been hanged upon 
this same scaffold. 

January 30th had now arrived, with chill, high winds 
and some sleet. I had told my brother of m^y intentions, 
and asked him to go with me, if possible. He had a 
serious wound, still unhealed. I begged him to try to 
go; to try for liberty or death, for we were in a living 
death any way. He declared that it would be impos- 
sible for him to travel, that he could not reach the city 
limits. I was almost heart broken at this. He told me, 
"Go, save yourself, and don't think of me. I shall take 
care of myself.' 

I had already formed my plans. There was a heaw 
steel poker for a bi^ stove in the room. The two guards 
would often come to the stove and stir the fire with this 
poker. The room was large and the weather bitter cold. 

On the evening of January 30th, while Wells was 
toasting his bread, I placed this poker in the fire, think- 
mg that he had finished toasting his bread. I happened 
to touch his bread, causing it to fall into the fire. I apol- 
ogized to him Init he would not listen, and cursed me. 
I offered him my own bread — he would have none of it. 
My brotlicr spoke to him. and was cursed. He was at 
this time suffering with a slouq"hing wound, like myself. 
We Imtli now tried to pacify Wells. I again offered him 
mv bread, which he refused and continued his abuse. T 
said to him, finally, "If I were not wounded as T am vou 
should not talk to me as you do. 

He hit me a hard blow on my breast, knocking me 
down \s I fell T reached for this hot poker, still in the 
stove. My anger flamed and my blood boiled. T sprang 

474 FOUR y?::ars with morgan and forrest 

up and went at him. I knocked him down with the 
poker. vSpringinj4 to his feet he rushed at me like a 
tiger. T knocked him down again; three times. While 
I was doing so, the guard put his gun to his shoulder 
and said to me : 

"If you hit him again I will shoot you." 

I turned towards him and said, ''This is none of 
your affair or business." I was now close to the muzzi^ 
of the gun, holding my poker and looking the guard in 
the eyes. He said, "I will shoot you anyway; I don't 
like your manners." 

I felt that the crisis had come. I knocked his gun 
up as it was discharged and then struck him a terrifiic- 
blow^ on the side of the left cheek with the poker. He 
fell like a beef. The guard in the other room, hearing 
the shot and noise, came to the hall door. Seeing his 
comrade's condition, he threw up his gun to shoot. I 
spring forward, knocked up the gun, and with a blow- 
laid the guard senseless. 

I now threw the bodies down the steps, one of them 
blocking the lower door, which could not be opened, as 
the door opened inward. I picked up one of the guns, 
struck the two iron bars with the butt and broke them. 

"Come, brother, here is liberty and safety," said I, 
"So let's be off at once. Hear them clamoring and form- 
ing. See there!" 

"Go, Tom. I could not walk one square," he re- 

It was just about sundown. T kissed him, said 
goodbye and turned to the window. I dropped the gun 
into the alley below, and swinging myself down by hold- 
ing to the window sill jumped after the gun. I entered 
the back door of a stable and stayed inside. A guard 
came into the alley. I ran behind a shed, into a front 


yard, out into a street which I quickly crossed, thence 
into a back alley and down this to the city -limits. 

Looking about me I saw some shocks of corn in a 
field, where I hid until dark^ when I made my way across 
fields and woodlands, keeping closely under cover. 
Hearing the sound of horses' feet on the pike to my left I 
cautiously approached, but all sounds ceased. The cold 
winds chilled my blood and my wounds were very pain- 
ful. But I did not care, for I was a free man again. 

I reached the place of a former friend, Mr. Hahan, 
near the Ohio River. I found in his stable a horse, which 
I saddled and mounted. I was very tired after my long 
journey, and it was now dark and cold. Keeping my 
way along the course of the river by neighborhood roads 
I reached Salt River as the chickens were crowing for 
daylight and found myself near McGhanes house. I was 
very weak and hungry. I hid my horse in the dense 
vine-covered trees and impatiently awaited the coming 
of day. I v/as chilled to the bone. 

At last day came, also my friend, who had come out 
to feed him cattle. T hailed him and told him of my ad- 
venture and my needs. He saw my sad plight. [ still 
had my gun. He brought my breakfast and taking me 
to a safe hiding place supplied me with blankets and 
warm clothing which I needed very much. After a long- 
sleep I was greatly refreshed. Mac found me another 
friend and a horse on the other side of Salt River, and at 
night put me safely across this stream. I asked him to 
send to its owner the horse I was leaving behind. Turn- 
ing my face southward, T bade Mac good-bye. 

I now felt much stronger, and travelled all night 
with my guide, through Rreckenridge county. Just be- 
fore daylight, he informed me that we were in the vic- 
niitv of Hickman, and took me to his oldtime friend 


Abbott, an aged Confederate soldier, who had just cunu 
home from the army. I told Abbott of my recent ad- 
veature, and remained with him all day. Taking to horse 
again we arrived at another comfortable hiding place, 
after travelling all night. We avoided all towns. 

I reached the Mississippi at the end of seven nights, 
v.u(\ crossed into Arkansas, where I remained resting 
for four days, after which I proceeded to Memphis to 
purchase side arms. I bought four pistols with an ample 
supply of ammunition and took the stage for Benton, 
leading my horse behind the stage. 

x\t Benton I met four Confederate soldiers who were 
leaving for Mexico, and with them I rode away to new 

My brother escaped the gallows in an odd way. 
General Palmer was bent upon the execution of Wells, 
and when the latter's sentence was commuted to im- 
prisonment by the President, General Palmer was so 
incensed that upon his own authority he was able to 
^end Captain Berry to the prison at Albany, New York, 
under a ten years' sentence, where he died after serving 
se^en years of them. 


FEB 9 - 1948