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Nashville, Tenn. : 







Copyrighted, i{ 

By R. R. Hancock. 













As I wrote, during the war, merely for my own future reference, 
not then expecting to ever have my Diary published in book form, I 
omitted many, many items which should have been mentioned; there- 
fore, soon after I began to rewrite the work for publication, I had five 
hundred letters printed for distribution among my comrades, and be- 
sides I have sent out hundreds of manuscript letters to let my com- 
rades know what I was doing and what I wanted thetti to do. I 
regret to say that my Diary is not what I wish it to be, from the fact 
that so few oi my comrades gave the desired and asked-for aid. I 
hope that they will not complain of omissions which they should have 

I have endeavored to give a sketch of the movements of the dif- 
ferent commands (whether regiment, brigade, division, corps, or 
army) with which the First Battalion and Second Tennessee Cavalry 
moved — from General ZoUicoffer's first campaign into Kentucky in 
September and October, 1861, to the last campaign of General For- 
rest into Central Alabama in March and April, 1865. 

I highly appreciate the following 


' ' To Our Comrades of the Second Tennessee Cavalry, and Others : 

"We have examined with great interest the manuscript pages of 
our Brother Hancock's work. It is fraught with a peculiar originality, 
and is a consecutive story in his own way of stirring scenes of the war 
that will pass as a panorama before the minds of all who participated 
in them. Of course there are many things omitted; but whose fault 
is it? Our brother appealed to the old soldiers, by circulars and 

vi Preface. 

otherwise, for such information and help as- they could furnish, though 
he received but few responses. 

"Now, let all take this work and read it; as time advances interest 
will increase in Confederate history; they can easily jot down and 
preserve for future publications such omissions or inaccuracies as they 
think have been made;"-:^ but the present author deserves a world of 
credit for perseverance against the lethargy of his comrades, and the 
work is remarkably correct. 

C. R. Barteau, Colonel. 

G. H. Morton, Lieutenant-Colonel . 

George F. Hager, 

Lieutena7it Company G. 
J. D. McLiN, Company C, 

Editor Weekly American, Nashville." 

I am under many obligations to General Thomas Jordan and J. T. 
Pryor, the writers of "Forrest's Campaigns," for much valuable in- 
formation in reference to the movements and actions of ' ' Forrest's 
Cavalry," which I could not tww obtain from any "other source, and 
also to Dr. George F. Hager, of Nashville, for taking valuable time 
from his own business to attend to the portrait department for me — in 
fact, he has given me more aid and encouragement than any other 
one of my comrades; and Colonel Barteau stands next. I now return 
thanks to all who have aided me. 

Colonel H. M. Ashby's Regiment, which was composed of H. M. 
Branner's and George McLelland's East Tennessee Battalions, is 
officially recorded in the Confederate Archives (now at Washington, 
D. C.) as the Second Tennessee Cavalry, while Colonel Barteau's 
Regiment, through carelessness of his superior officers, in the field or 
at the War Department, was not officially recognized at Richmond 
until February, 1865, and it was then numbered the Tw^^^-second 
Tennessee Cavalry. f Though, as Barteau's Regiment has ever been 

* Hope my comrades will heed this suggestion. — R. R. H. 

tSee foot note, page 197; and also sketch of Rev. S. C. Talley, Appendix A, 

Preface. vii 

known, since its organization, June 12th, 1862, as the ^^f^z/^/ Tennes- 
see, and as it is so recognized in "Forrest's Campaigns" and "Mili- 
tary Annals of Tennessee," I have used that number throughout this 
work when speaking of Barteau's Regiment. 

I regret that it was not convenient for me to correct the "proof- 
sheets," since I find the following typographical errors: Widlard 
should be Willard (roll of Allison's Company) ; F. W. Hearn should 
be F. W. Hor7i (page 51); Haskins should be Hoskins (page 73); 
headquarters ^\\o\x\^ be quarters (page loi); Captain ^(?«^^ should be 
Bfludc (page 175); IVi/der's Regiment should be Wilson's (page 328); 
port should htfori (foot note, page 357); list of wounded should be list 
oi prisoners (foot note, page 364); George Leave should be George 
Love (page 363); a phrase or part of sentence is set off by a period, 
Dec. 8th, 1863, and March 19th, 1864; TJ^z;-^ should be JF^rrt' (pages 
590 and 591). 

R. R. H. 

Auburn, Tennessee, September loth, 1887. 



Company Rolls of McNairy's Battalion — 

Company A, 28; Company B, 29; Company C, 31; Company D, 32; Com- 
pany E, 18. 

First Battalion Tennessee Cavalry — 

Organized, 33; start for East Tennessee, 35; at Camp Schuyler, 36; at 
Huntsville, 37; at Knoxville, 39; joined to ZoUicofter's Brigade, 40. 

Zollicoffer's First Kentucky Campaign — 

At Cumberland Ford, 43; Detachments sent to Laurel Bridge and Salt 
Works, 46 ; Action at Barboursville, 47 ; Action at Rockcastle Hills, or Wild- 
cat, 59; Falls back toward Cumberland Ford, 67; Evacuates Kentucky, 71 ; 
Halts at Jacksboro, 71. 

Revolt of the Unionists in East Tennessee, 74. 

Zollicoffer's Second Kentucky Campaign — 

Starts from Jacksboro, 81; at Mill Springs, 87; crosses the Cumberland 
River, 90; (1862) General Crittenden arrives, 106; General Carroll ar- 
rives, 108; Battle of Fishing Creek, 113; Crittenden's Official Report, 113; 
Thomas' Report, 121 ; Crittenden's Division transferred to "Central Army," 
133; Crittenden joins Johnson at Murfreesboro, 134. 

General A. S. Johnston's Shiloh Campaign — 

Starts from Murfreesboro, 135; Concentrates and Organizes at Corinth, 
140; puts his Army in Motion for Pittsburg Landing, 141 ; Battle of Shiloh, 
147; Johnston killed, 150; Beauregard in Command, 153; Second day's 
Battle, 156; Confederates withdrawn, 159. 

Movements of First Battalion Tennessee Cavalry — 

On Outpost Duty at luka, 164; Skirmish at Bear Creek Bridge, 165; 
Moves to Burnsville, 166; to Jacinto, 167; Re-enlists and Reorganizes, 168; 
Skirmish at Booneville, 172; Covers Retreat from Corinth, 173; halts near 
Fulton, 175. 

Sketch of Seventh Battalion (October 19th, 1861, to June 12th, 1862 — 
Roll of Company A, 175; Company B, 178; Company C, 180; Company 
D, 182; Company E, 183; Organization of Seventh Battalion, 185; Roll 
of Company F, 186; Seventh Battalion moves to Scottsville, Kentucky, 
187; Returns to Gallatin, 188; Crosses the Cumberland at Nashville, 190; 

X Contents. 

Reaches Decatur, 190; Arrives at Corinth, 191; Moves to Purdy, Tennes- 
see, 192; the Battle of Shiloh, 193; Corinth Evacuated, 195; Seventh Bat- 
talion at its Last Camp near Fulton, 195; Reorganized and Re-enlisted, 196. 

Second Tennessee Cavalry — 

Organized, 197; Roster, 198; Moves to Bay Springs, 202; Four Compa- 
nies go with Armstrong to Alabama, 203; Report of Alabama Expedition, 
205; Attached to Armstrong's Brigade, 207; Starts to West Tennessee, 
207; Action at Middleburg, 210; at Medon, 211; at Britton's Lane, 213; 
Returns to Mobile and Ohio Railroad, 215; Attached to Price's' Army. 217. 

Movements of General Sterling Price — 

Starts for luka, 217; Arrives at that place, 217; Battle of luka, 219; Re- 
turns to Baldwin, 225; Unites with VanDorn at Ripley, 227; Battle of 
Corinth, 228; they fall back toward Holly Springs, 229. 

Second Tennessee Cavalry — 

Encamped at Guntown, 235; at Okolona, 237; (1863) After Grierson, 
239; Action at Palo Alto, 240; at Birmingham, 241 ; at King's Creek, near 
Tupelo, 242; at Mud Creek, 255; Fall of Vicksburg, 258; Attached to 
Ferguson's Brigade, 265; to S. D. Lee's Division, 266. 

Movements of S. D. Lee's Division — 

Starts to North Alabama, 266; halts at the Tennessee River, near South 
Florence, 267; Moves to meet Sherman, 269; Action at Cherokee, 271; 
Second Tennessee and Second Alabama detached to meet the First Alabama 
Tory Cavalry, 275 ; Action with the Tories on the Eastport-Fulton Road, 
275; Returns to Okolona, 280; General Forrest arrives at Okolona, 285; 
Moves to aid Forrest in passing into West Tennessee, 286; the Affair at 
Saulsbury, 289; Action near Moscow, in Wolf River Bottom, 294; Fer- 
guson's Brigade, being detached, returns to Okolona, 296; Ordered South, 
301 ; Second Tennessee transferred to Forrest, 302. 


Movements of the Second Tennessee — 

Ordered to West Tennessee, 303; in the vicinity of Bolivar, 305; Ordered 
back to Mississippi, 307; Arrives at Oxford, 308; Attached to Bell's Brig- 
ade, Forrest's Cavalry, 308. 

Movements of Forrest's Cavalry (February nth to 28th, 1864) — 

Forrest moves so as to prevent, if possible, the junction of W. S. Smith 
and Sherman, 310; Colonel Forrest intercepts Smith near Aberdeen, 312; 
Bell's Brigade detached, under Colonel Barteau, 313; Crosses to the east 
bank of the Tombigbee, 313; Recrosses to the west bank, 313; General 

Contents. xi 

Forrest holds the Federals at bay awaiting reinforcements, 314; the Fed- 
erals in Retreat, 315; Forrest presses their rear, 315; Barteau on the 
Right Flank, 318; Opens the Action at Okolona, 321, and closes it fifteen 
miles beyond, 329; General Buford's Brigade added to Forrest's Cavalry, 
332; Reorganization, 332. 

Forrest's Campaign Into West Tennessee and Kentucky (March 15th 
to May 5th, 1S64) — 

Starts from Columbus, 339; the Action at Paducah, Kentucky, 341; Cap- 
ture of Union City, Tennessee, 346; Capture of Fort Pillow, 352; Returns 
to Tupelo, Mississippi, 371. 

Operations of Forrest's Cavalry in Mississippi (May 12th to September 
i6th, 1864)— 

Forrest sets out from Tupelo to join Roddy in Alabama, 376; Recalled to 
meet a federal force from Memphis, 377; Battle of Brice's Cross-Roads, 
3S1 ; Forrest returns to, and establishes his headquarters at, Tupelo, 401 ; 
a larger Federal force afield, 410; the Second Tennessee detached and 
moves to meet General A. J. Smith, 412; meets him south of Albany, 412; 
General S. D. Lee arrives at Okolona and takes command, 413; moves to 
meet Smith at Pontotoc, 416 ; Smith moves toward Tupelo, 416; the Second 
Tennessee attacks the Federal right flank, 417; Battle of Harrisburg, 
420; Smith falls back to Memphis, 434; takes the field again, 441; Con- 
fronted by Forrest at Oxford, 442; Forrest starts to Memphis, 444; En- 
gagement at Memphis, 447; Forrest returns to, and establishes his head- 
quarters at, Grenada, 459. 

Middle Tennessee Expedition (September i6th to October i6th, 1864) — 
Forrest starts from Verona, 462; Fords the Tennessee, 463; captures the 
fort at Athens, 465; the works at Sulphur Trestle taken, 471 ; Action near 
Richland Creek, 476; Pulaski threatened, 477; Buford detached toward 
Huntsville, 479; Forrest at Spring Hill, 480; Columbia threatened, 481; 
Buford crosses the Tennessee, 4S6; Forrest reaches Florence, with heavy 
Federal forces in pursuit, 486; Barteau holds the Federals in check at 
Cypress Creek, 487; being surrounded, he cuts his way through the Federal 
lines, 489; he crosses the Tennessee, 490; rejoins Buford's Division at 
Corinth, 491. 

John'sonville Expedition (October i6th to November 17th, 1864) — 

Forrest's command in motion, 494; the advance (Buford's Division) reaches 
Paris Landing, 494; the steamer Mazeppa captured, 495; the gunboat 
Undine captured, 497; "Forrest's Cavalry Afloat," 5C0; successful opera- 

xii Contents. 

tions against the Federal depot at Johnsonville, 503; Forrest ordered to 
Middle Tennessee, 509; forms a junction with Hood at Florence, Alabama, 
Hood Campaign (November 21st to December 27th, 1864) — 

Hood sets out from Florence, with Forrest's Cavalry in advance, 511; 
Action at Lawrenceburg (Buford and Jackson), 511; Chalijiers meets and 
engages the enemy in his path, 512; Buford and Jackson engage Hatch at 
Campbellsville, 512; Forrest invests Columbia, 513; Hood arrives in front 
of Columbia, 514; Forrest in pursuit toward Franklin, 516; action at 
Hurt's Cross-Roads, 516; Action at Spring Hill, 517; the enemy passes 
Hood at Spring Hill, and falls back to Franklin, 518; Battle of Franklin, 
521; Hood invests Nashville, 523; Buford ordered to reduce block-houses 
on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, 523; Forrest moves upon 
Murfreesboro, 525; Action at Murfreesboro on the 7th, 526; Forrest retreats 
from Murfreesboro via Columbia, 529; Hood defeated at Nashville, 530; 
Action at Hollow Tree Gap, 532; the "mixing and mingling" six miles 
south of Franklin, 534; Engagement six miles south of Columbia, 537; at 
Richland Creek, 537; at Anthony's Hill, 538; at Sugar Creek, 540; Federal 
pursuit checked, 541 ; Forrest's Cavalry crosses the Tennessee River at Bain- 
bridge, 542; Commentaries, 542. 

The Final Campaign (December 29th, 1864, to May i6th, 1865) — 

Forrest's Cavalry at Corinth, 544; Reorganization of Forrest's Cavalry, 545; 
General Wilson takes the field from Chickasaw, 546; Chalmers ordered to 
Selma, Alabama, 547; Jackson sets out from West Point, Mississippi, for 
Montevallo, Alabama, 547; Wilson detaches Croxton's Brigade to move 
upon Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 548; Roddy and Adams engage the enemy near 
Montevallo, 548; Crossland's Brigade meet the Federals, 548; Forrest 
dashes into a moving column of Federals with his staff and escort, 549; 
Croxton routed by the Second and Twenty-first Tennessee, 550; Wilson 
detaches another brigade, under McCook, to form a junction with Croxton, 
551 ; the action at Bogler's Creek, 552; the desperate hand-to-hand fighting 
of Forrest and his staff and escort, 554; the last charge of the Second and 
Twenty-first Tennessee, 557; Wilson attacks Forrest at Selma, 558; the fall 
of Selma, 559; Forrest retreats to Marion, where he finds Chalmers and 
Jackson, 561 ; Forrest establishes his Headquarters at Gainesville, Alabama, 
562; the End near at hand, 562; General Forrest's Farev^ell Address to his 
Troops, 563 ; Forrest's Cavalry cease to exist, and return home on parole, 
565; the Closing Remarks of Lieutenant George F. Hager, 565. 


Biographical Sketches — 

General N. B. Forrest, 571; General J. R. Chalmers, 573; Lieutenant- 
Colonel F. M. McNairy, 575; Colonel J. D. Bennett, 576; Colonel C. R. 
Harteau, 578; Lieutenant-Colonel G. H. Morton, 5S1 ; E. O. Elliott, 583; 
Rev. S. C. Talley, 584; Surgeon J. W. Harrison, 5S7; Lieutenant T. C. 
Atkinson, 588; Lieutenant A. H. French, 5S9; Lieutenant P. A. Smith, 
596; Captain T. B. Underwood, 597; Captain J. H. Duncan, 599; Captain 
T. M. Allison, 601; Captain M. W. McKnight, 603; Lieutenant H. L. W. 
Turney, 606; Lieutenant J. S. Harrison, 607; Lieutenant G. Love, 608; 
Lieutenant F. W. Youree, 609; Lieutenant J. M. Cantrell, 611; Lieutenant 
E. J. Bullock, 612; Lieutenant J. K. Dodd, 612; Captain G. E. Seay, 
613; Lieutenant T. J. Carman, 615; Captain John A. Brinkley, 616; Lieu- 
tenant J. T. Austin, 617; Lieutenant J. E. Denning, 618; Lieutenant J. N. 
Penuel, 619; Captain T. Puryear, 620; Captain J. M. Eastes, 622; Captain 
B. H. Moore, 624; Lieutenant George F. Hager, 625; Lieutenant B. A. 
High, 627; Lieutenant F. M. McRee, 630; Captain W. H. Harris and his 
Twenty-five Men, 631. 


Sketch by John D. McLin, Editor IVeckly American 633 


Lieutenant-General N. B. Forrest Frontispiece. 

R. R. Hancock 17 

Colonel F. N. McNairy ;i^ 

Dr. Monroe Knight 77 

Captain M. W. McKnight *. 168 

Sergeant J. C. McAdoo 171 

Colonel J. D. Bennett 185 

Lieutenant B. A. High 194 

Lieutenant-Colonel G. II. Morton 198 

Captain T. B. Underwood 281 

General J. R. Chalmers 286 

Lieutenant George Love 2^6 

Lieutenant A. H. French 419 

Private W. C. Hancock 424 

Lieutenant George E. Seay 429 

Lieutenant F. M. McRee 533 

Lieutenant G. F. Hager 550 

Lieutenant H. L. W. Turney ^ 454 

Sergeant A. B. McKnight 557 

Sergeant J. D. McLin 633 

\fo\u(x\e I. 

Skrceant R. R. HANCOCK, Co. C. 



By the request of some of my friends and comrades, 
I have, on this the i6th of June, 1885, commenced re- 
writing my War Diary for the purpose of having it 
pubHshed in book form. 

Unfortunately, the first month of my Diary has been 
torn out and lost ; so I will have to state some things 
from memory, without giving exact dates all the time. 

IVedjiesday, June 26th, 1861. — Eighty-four men, hav- 
ing previously organized themselves into a company 
and elected T. M. Allison Captain, met. on the above 
date, at Auburn, Cannon County, Tennessee, for the 
purpose of starting to Nashville to offer their services 
to their native State for twelve months. The writer 
was one of the eighty-four. 

Notwithstanding that the above named period is now 
nearly one-quarter of a century in the past, that day of 
parting is still green in the memory of the surviving 
soldiers and citizens of the Auburn vicinity. 

Oh ! the thought of parting from our friends, rela- 
tives, and especially our szveetJiearts, was enough to 
make us feel sad, as we did not know that we would 
ever see them again on earth. 

After the "final farewell" to our friends "had been 
said," we left Auburn in time to go (about twenty-three 

18 E. E. Hancock's Diary. 

miles) to Judge Ridley's the first day. The Judge lived 
in Rutherford County, near Old Jefferson. 

Tlnwsday, 2'jth. — On arriving at Nashville, after a 
ride of about twenty-two miles, we took quarters at the 
fair grounds. 

Friday, 28th. — As Tennesseans were then offering 
their services faster than the state was prepared to arm 
and equip them, it was after hard begging that Gov- 
ernor Isham G. Harris gave his consent to have our 
company mustered into service ; and as he would not 
receive more than seventy-six men, including the officers, 
eight of our company had to return home. 
/ About eleven o'clock a. m., the Auburn Company 

(known afterward as the " Sangs ") was sworn into 
service by J. G. Picket. 

The following- roll will be found to contain the names 
of the seventy-six men who were mustered into the 
service of the State of Tennessee for twelve months, 
with the present (1886) address opposite the name of 
each one livino-, so far as known. I have not been able 
to learn whether those whose names are followed by an 
asterisk (*) are dead or living ; therefore, in our calcu- 
lations hereafter, we will call this class the unaccounted 


Allison, T. M., Captain. Killed at home in 1862. 

Summar, N. W., First Lieutenant, Auburn, Tennessee. 

Alexander, George, Second Lieutenant, Cedar Creek, 

Wilson, M. v., Third Lieutenant.* 

Odom, J. J.,f First Sergeant. Died in West Tennessee 
in 1885. 

t Those whose names are in small capitals were present at the surrender. 

JUxVE, 1861. 19 

WiDLARD, D. B., Second Sergeant, Auburn, Tennes- 

McLin, J. D., Third Sergeant, Nashville, Tenn. 

Odom, John H., Fourth Sergeant, Auburn, Tennessee. 
Wounded at Harrisburg. 

Summar, J. N,, First Corporal, Auburn, Tennessee. 

Davenport, George, Second Corporal, Auburn, Ten- 
nessee. Wounded at Bear Creek Bridge. 

Walker, Sam, Third Corporal, Smithville, Tennessee. 

Lanear, Dick, Fourth Corporal.* 

Thomas, C. F., Farrier. Cleburne, Texas. Wounded 
at Fort Pillow in 1864. 

Adamson, W. A., Smallman, Tennessee. 

Adamson, Presley, Smallman, Tennessee. 

Ashford, Cahal. Died at home in June, 1862. 

Barrett, Eli, Auburn, Tennessee. Captured in Sep- 
tember, 1863, and taken to Camp Morton, Indiana. 

Bogle, J. M., Avoca, Benton County, Arkansas. 

Cooper, J. M. Died in 1883. 

Cooper, A. D., Auburn, Tennessee. 

Cooper, Jim, Gallatin, Tenn. 

Davenport, R. Died in West Tennessee, April 7, 
1885. Wounded October 26, 1863. 

Dougherty, J. R., Auburn, Tennessee. 

Dougherty, C, Columbia, Texas. 

Dennls, Sam,* Arkansas. Made Second Lieutenant 
in 1862, and wounded at Harrisburg, July 14, 1864. 

Ewing, B. D., Lane, Hunt County, Texas. 

Ewing, E. L., Lane, Hunt County. Texas. Wounded 
at Columbia, Tenn. 

Ewing, A. G. Committed suicide since the war. 

Francis, A. H., Calf Creek, Searcy County, Arkan- 

20 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Gan, Jim. Killed by the Federals in Wilson County, 

Hancock, B. A.,f Auburn, Tennessee. Discharged 
in 1862. 

Hancock, R. R., i\uburn, Tennessee. Wounded Oc- 
tober 30, 1864. 

Hancock, W. C.f Killed at Harrisburg, July 14, 1864. 

Hancock, C. E. Died in Franklin County, Alabama^ 
June 4, 1864. 

Harrison, Dr. J. S., McMinnville, Tennessee. Elect- 
ed Third Lieutenant in 1862, and wounded at Harris- 
burg, July 14, 1864. 

Harrison, W. W. Killed at Memphis, August 21, 

Hawkins, W. W. Died since the war. Wounded 
at Okalona, and again at Fort Pillow, which was, per- 
haps, the cause of his death. 

Hawkins, J. E. J. Killed near Auburn, in 1864, by 

Hays, J, T. Died at home in 1861. 

Hannaphin, Tim.* 

Hearmon, John. Died at Mill Springs, Kentucky, 
Jan. 6, 1862. 

Hale, Josiah.* Captured at Booneville, Mississippi, 
May 30, 1862. 

Jetton, Josh. Died in 1885. 

Jones, Jesse, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. 

Kennedy, J. W. Died in Auburn, July 26, 1873. 

Kennedy, W. C, Auburn, Tennessee. 

Kennedy, L. V. Died in Texas, April 23, 1885. 

Knight, Monroe, Huntsville, Arkanas. Discharged 
in 1 86 1. 

t B. A. and W. C. are brothers of the writer. 

JuxE, 1861. 21 

Keaton, Coon. Died in prison, on Rock Island. 

Keaton, G. C, Smallman, Tennessee. 

McKnight, M. W., Waxahachie, Texas. f 

McKniofht, A. B., Porterfield, Tennessee. Lost one 
leg in 1865. 

McKnight, L. W. Mortally wounded at Paducah, 
Kentucky, March 25, 1864. 

McKnight, D. C. Drowned since the war. 

MiLLiGAN, W. H., Auburn, Tennessee. 

Markham, A., Smallman, Tennessee. 

Mullinax, J. B., Smallman, DeKalb County, Tennes- 
see. Discharged in November, 1861. 

McAdoo, J. C, Auburn, Tennessee. 

Nelson, P.,* , Arkansas. 

Odom, B. F. Killed at Paducah, March 25, 1864. 

Odom, B. F. S., Hall's Hill, Tennessee. 

O'CoNNER, Tom,* Corinth, Mississippi. 

Purnell, L. T. Died since the war. 

Rich, W. E., Round Top, Wilson County, Tennes- 
see. Wounded two miles west of Harrisburg, Missis- 
sippi, July 13, 1864. 

Richardson, M. Died at home in 1861 or '62. 

Stevens, W. C, , West Tennessee. 

Stevens, J. W., Temperance Hall, DeKalb County, 
Tennessee. Captured and paroled at Okalona, Missis- 
sippi, and wounded at Paducah. 

Stanly, John. Captured near home, and died in 
prison at Fort Delaware. 

Smith, Bob, Liberty, DeKalb County, Tennessee. 
Discharged in November, 1861. 

Summar, T. D. Died in 1871. 

Thomas, Jim L., Greenvale, Wilson County, Tennessee 

t See Appendix A. 

22 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Tiirney, H. L. W. f Wounded at Fort Pillow and 
at Memphis, August 21, 1864, and died in West Ten- 
nessee, February 16, 1880. 

Talley, Dick. Died since the war. 

Willard, F. M., Milton, Rutherford County, Tennes- 

Womack, D.,* , Missouri. 

Willard, W. B., Waxahachie, Texas. 

To recapitulate, seven were killed, twenty have died,, 
forty-one are living, and eight unaccounted for — total, 

The following is as complete a list of the names of 
those who joined the Auburn Company from time to 
time during the war as I can now make out, after dili- 
gent inquiry among my comrades : 


Alexander, G. B., Oak Point, Wilson County, Ten- 

Armstrong, Tom.* 

Baxter, H. A. Died since the war. 

Baxter, J. H. Died since the war. 

Black, W. A., Milton, Rutherford County, Tennessee. 

Black, J. F. Died since the war, 

Barrett, A,, Auburn, Cannon County, Tennessee. 

Barlow, Jack, Lascassas, Rutherford County, Ten- 

Barker, S. ("Babe"^, Milton, Tennessee. 

Bradberry, J, Died since the war. 

Barkley, T. C* , Texas. 

Barkley, John T., Yorkville, Gibson County, Tennes- 

t See Appendix A, 

June, 1861. 23 

Bryson, R. Captured near home, and died in prison 
at Fort Delaware. 

Bryson, E. D., Auburn, Tennessee. 

Cranor,Mose, Milton, Rutherford County, Tennessee. 

Cavender, J. H., Dixon, Webster County, Kentucky. 
Lost one leg at "Tory Fight," October 26, 1863. 

Cummings, Tip, Woodbury, Cannon County, Ten- 

Champion, J. H., /\uburn, Tennessee. 

Cooper, M. D. L.,* -, Missouri. 

Davenport, William, Auburn, Tennessee. 

Dougherty, J. M., Statesville, Wilson County, Ten- 

Duggin, P. L. Died August 29, 1867. 

EwiNG, R. B. Died in Texas in 1876. 

Elkins, T. D. ("Coon"), Woodbury, Tennessee. 
Wounded at Paducah, Kentucky, March 25, 1864. 

Ellidge, J. B., Woodbury, Tennessee. 

Francis, M. H., Auburn, Tennessee. Wounded at 
Harrisburg, July 14, 1864. 

Francis, J. J. Wounded at Tupelo, Mississippi, 
May 5, 1863, and at Harrisburg. 

Flowers, A. W., Ray, Texas. 

Francis, M. C, Milton, Tennessee. 

Francis, C. C, Auburn, Tennessee. Captured on 
Hood's raid. 

Francis, J. D., Auburn, Tennessee. 

Garrison, C, Milton, Tennessee. 

Goard, J. W. Died in 1884. 

Grisham, O. N. Killed at Harrisburg, Mississippi, 
July 14, 1864. 

Grisham, Ben, Russellville, Franklin County, Ala- 

24 R. E. Hancock's Diary. 

Greer, John J.. Auburn, Cannon County. Tennessee. 

Hays, John W., Auburn, Cannon County, Tennessee. 

Herndon, Joe W.* Wounded at Harrisburg, July 
14, 1864. 

Herndon, John L., , Mississippi. 

Hurt, T. M.* 

Hancock, R. M. Died since the war. 

Jetton, A. J.. Auburn, Tennessee. 

Jetton, E., SmaUman, DeKalb County, Tennessee. 

Knox, B. F., Milton, Tennessee. 

Knight, Horace, Smallman, Tennessee. 

Keaton, H., Smallman, Tennessee. 

Keaton, William, Smallman, Tennessee. 

LoRANCE, MncE, Porterfield, Rutherford County, Ten- 
nessee. W^ounded at Harrisburg, July 14, 1864. 

McKnight, Jim Nute, Milton, Tennessee. 

McKnight, A. G., Porterfield, Tennessee. 

McAdoo, J. N. Died January 16, 1882. 

McKnight, John N., Porterfield, Tennessee. W'ound- 
ed at Paducah, Kentucky. 

McWhirter, Dr. W. H., Webber's Falls, Indian Ter- 

McWhirter, S. A., Milton, Tennessee. 

Milligan, J. A. Died since the war, 

Mathes, J. R., Cainsville. Wilson County, Tennessee. 

Newman,* . 

Odom, James H., Auburn, Tennessee. Wounded at 
Harrisburg, July 14, 1864. 

Odom, J. W., Auburn, Tennessee. 

Odom, W. F., Murfreesboro, Tennessee. 

Odom, H. C. (Red), Auburn, Tennessee. Wounded 
at Memphis, August 21, 1864. 

Odom. J. M. A,, Auburn, Tennessee. 

June, 1861. 25 

Owen, J. D., Auburn, Tennessee, 

Owen, Nelse, Osage, Caryell County, Texas. 

Odom, S. C, x\uburn, Tennessee. Wounded at Mud 
Creek, and again at Paducah, Kentucky. 

Odom, F. B., Fairfield, Freestone County, Texas. 

Parris, Joe, McMinnville, Tennessee. 

Parris, J. (Sweet),* , Missouri. 

Stevens, H. C, Bear Branch. DeKalb County, Ten- 
nessee. Wounded near Cherokee, Alabama, October 
21, 1863. 

Sneed, J. H., Auburn, Tennessee. Captured and 
paroled at Okalona, Mississippi, in December, 1862. 

Stone, J. R. Died in August, 1885. 

Stone, J., Woodbury, Tenn. 

Stone, William. Died since the war. 

Stone, J. G. Died since the war. 

Summar, J. D., x'\uburn, Tennessee. 

Spurlock, J. M., Smallman, Tennessee. 

Spicer, Sol.* Captured September, 1863, and sent 
to Camp Morton, Indiana. 

Summar, M. P., Honey Grove, Fannin County, Texas. 

Thomas, J. H. Died since the war. 

Thomas, A. J., Honey Grove, Texas. Wounded at 
Harrisburg, July 14, 1864. 

Thomas, E. D., Auburn, Tennessee. Wounded near 
Cherokee, Alabama, October 21, 1863. 

Thompson, J. B.,* Texas. 

Tittle, Sam, Woodbury, Tennessee. Captured in 
September, 1863, and sent to Camp Morton, Indiana. 

Tittle, Adam, McMinnville, Tennessee. 

Tedder, Frank. Died since the war. 

Warren, O. J.,* , Mississippi. 

Webb, W. J., Aberdeen, Mississippi. 

26 E. E. Hancock's Diary. 

Willard, N., Fairfield, Texas. Wounded at Corinth, 
October 5, 1862. 

Walker, Tom.* 

Wamack, Anderson. Captured near home, and died 
in prison at Fort Delaware. 

Wamack, W. L.,* , Missouri. Wounded 

at Fort Pillow. 

Willard, J. A., Fairfield, Freestone County, Texas. 

Of the Recruits, one was killed, seventeen have died,, 
sixty-two living, and twelve unaccounted for — total, 

Add the recruits to the original company, and the re- 
sult will be as follows : Eight killed, thirty-seven died, 
one hundred and three living, and twenty unaccounted 
for — total, one hundred and sixty-eight. 

As several were wounded more than once, some 
thirty-two of the company received between thirty-five 
and forty wounds. 

The above list speaks well for the industry and perse- 
verance of Captain M. W. McKnight in keeping his 
company well recruited, as well as for the popularity of 
the company. 

The " Sangs " f generally outnumbered any other 
company in the regiment, and yet they were never con- 
solidated with any other company. I learn from an old 
muster-roll, which has been preserved by Lieutenant 
J. S. Harrison, that sixteen;]; of the original company 
and thirty-five J of the recruits — total, fifty-one — were 

t The above name (or rather as at first, "Sang Diggers") was given to the 
Auburn Company rather as a term of derision ; though, in the language of an 
ancient general (Epaminondas), ''they did not derive any honor from the name> 
but they made the name honorable." 

I By reference to the preceding rolls their names will be found printed in 
small capitals. 

June, 18G1. 27 

present at the surrender of Forrest's Cavalry, May lo, 
1865. The muster-roll referred to above is dated thus: 
" Near Sumterville, Alabama, May i, 1865." And upon 
said roll I find the names of nineteen others, who are 
accounted for as follows: Three (J. W. Webb, W. E. 
Rich,* and T. D. Summer*) are reported "Detached 
by order of Lieutenant-General Forrest;" two (A. G. 
McKnight and B. D. Ewing *) are reported "Absent, 
waiting on wounded ; " three (A. B. McKnight,* W. W. 
Hawkins,* and R. R. Hancock*) are reported "^Absent, 
wounded;" six (Captain M. W. McKnight,* Lieuten- 
ant H. L. W. Turney,* Privates E. L. Ewing,* J. H. 
Cavender, Mat Francis and H. C. Odam) are reported 
"Retired by order of ^ Medical Board;" three (A. G. 
Ewing,* J. H. Baxter, and John N. McKnight) are re- 
ported "Absent, sick," and two (E. D. Thomas and 
J. H. Thomas) are reported "Absent on parole." 

Though I do not find upon said roll the names of any 
of the Auburn Company (J. D. McLin,* C. C. Francis, 
Eli Barrett,* and perhaps some others) who were in 
prison when this muster-roll was made out, I suppose 
they were omitted from the fact that our officers did 
not expect to get paroles for those in prison. But, 
omitting those in prison and the two already on parole, 
there were sixty-eight of the Auburn Company paroled 
at Gaine.sville, Sumter County, Alabama, May 10, 1865. 
(Gainesville is situated in the center of the western 
border of Alabama, on the west bank of the Tombip"bee 
River, about forty-five miles southeast of Columbus, 
Mississippi.) Besides the eight killed, only about nine 
of the company died during the war. 

Alfred Hancock, Dr. G. C. Flowers, William A. 

* These (twelve) were members of the original company. 

28 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Groom, John Overall. George Owen, George Turney, 
and Captain Sam Y. Barkley were with the Auburn 
Company from time to time during the war, and did 
more or less service, though they were not really mem- 
bers of the company. S. Y. Barkley, the last named 
above, was Captain of a company in Colonel E. S. 
Smith's regiment; and after that regiment disbanded 
Captain Barkley, though remaining independent, did 
service with the Auburn Company a good portion of 
the time from the fall of 1862 to the close of the war. 

We remained at Nashville about five or six days. 
As they w^anted our boots made by the penitentiary 
hands, we went there and had our measures taken. We 
moved from Nashville to Thorn Hill, near Goodletts- 
ville, some ten or twelve miles north-east of Nashville, 
where we found the four following cavalry companies 
-encamped : 

The following is the muster-roll of Captain Frank N. 
McNairy's Company (A): 

McNairy, F. N., Captain, d. 

Harris, W. H., First Lieutenant, 1. 

Brown, C. W., Second Lieutenant, 1. 

Hicks, E. D., Third Lieutenant, 1. 

Morton, G. H., First Sergeant, 1. 

Roberts, William, Second Sergea t, 1. 

Maxey, William O., Third Sergeant, d. 

Britton, William, Fourth Sergeant, 1. 

Drane, J. R , First Corporal, d. 

Miliron, A. A., Second Corporal, killed at Milton. 

Shute, J. jNL, Third Corporal, 1. 

Craighead, W. J., Fourth Corporal, d. 

Bender, John, Bugler, 1. 

Winfrey, Andrew, Bugler, 1. 
Atkinson, T. C, d. Anderson, J. S., d. 

Abbay, R. H., d. Abbay, R. H., d. 

June, 1861. 


Anderson, J. S., d. 
Aiken, George, d. 
Adams, R. H., d. 
Bolton, Alex., 1. 
Blackman, Hays, 1. 
Bush, G. W., d. 
Brien, W. A., 1. 
Buchanan, J. R., d. 
Bennington, Thomas, 1. 
Crawford, Scott, 1. 
Curran, Pat, d. 
Clark, Charles, 1. 
Curran, J. M., d. 
Campbell, Joe, d. 
Dashiells, G. W., d. * 
Drane, Tom, 1. 
Dodd, B. P., 1. 
Edmondson, Henry, 1. 
Edmondson, W. A., d. 
Ferguson, Tom, d. 
French, A. H., 1. 
Grisham, W. J., 1. 
Grififin, Blank. 
Graves, W. H., 1. 
Guthrie, W.* 
Hamill, M.^ 
Hamill, A. C.; d, 
Hope, R. K., d. 
Haile, G. E.* 
Hancock, G. D.* 
Hallowell, B. F., 1. 
Hendricks, A. P., 1. 
Jackson, Andrew. -i= 
Joplin, Thomas, 1. 

The following is the muster- 
commanded by Captain W. L. 
Horn, W. L, , Captain, 1 

Kimbro, Thomas, 1. 
Martin, C. C.f 
Marshall, E. S., 1. 
Morris, R. E. K.^ 
Mathews, S. G , 1. 
Marchbank, Chase, 1. 
Nolan, M. D. A., d. 
Natcher, W. K., k. 
Puckett, James. 
Paul, J. A., 1. 
Payne, A. B., d. 
Porch, W. A., 1. 
Guinn, W. J. 
Ridley, J. L., 1. 
Ridley, G. C, 1. 
Sykes, J. W., d. 
Steele, J. W., 1. 
Smith, Nat., 1. 
Smith, J. M. 
Smith, P. A., 1. 
Steele, William. 
Smith, E. M., d. 
Smithwick, George, d. 
Shields, John, 1. 
Safforans, T. M. , d. 
Shilcut, T. H., 1. 
Tate, Zack, d. 

Thomas, George, 1. 
Treanor, J. D. 
Vaughn, J. H., 1. 
Vaughn, J. T., 1. 
Williams, N. B.* 

roll of the company (B) 
Horn : 

t Killed at Milton, Tennessee: 

J Killed at Winchester, Kentucky. 


R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Gasby, L. L. , First Lieutenant, d. 
Calvert, W. W., Second Lieutenant, d. 
Craft, W. H., Third Lieutenant, d. 
Horn, F. W., First Sergeant, 1. 
Oswell, Nick, Second Sergeant. 
Pickett, J. C, Third Sergeant, d. 
Horn, E. H.,* Fourth Sergeant, 1. 
Frankland, J., First Corporal, p. 
Rhodes, William, Second Corporal, 1. 
Singleton, H. E., Third Corporal, d. 
Polk, Richard, Fourth Cor]joral, 1. 
Tate, James, Ensign, k. 
Johnson, E. C, Bugler, 1. 
Atilla, Frank, Drill Master, 1. 

Armstrong. Eli, d. 
Bowman, James, 1. 
Bowles, W. E., d. 
Bowles, Thomas, 1. 
Brooks, E., d. 
Breedlove, Stanford, 1. 
Cantrell, W. H., d. 
Carpenter, William, d. 
Cash, Jeff, d. 
Cooke, J. E., d. 
Figg, r" M., 1. 
Ford, T.* 
Franklin, J., d. 
Graves, John, 1. 
Green, J.* 
Hager, B. D. , 1. 
Hook, L N., d. 
Hunley, Ben, d. 
Hays, Mike P,, 1. 
Henry, J. P.^^ 
Jackson, J. P., 1. 
Johnson, Lafayette, d. 
Johnson, W. D.. 1. 
Kenner, John, k. 
Kittle, Richard, 1. 
Kelly, Pat.* 

Little, David.* 
Morton, S. W.* 
Mehrenstein, M., 1. 
Mann, G. W., 1. 
Miller, Aug., d. 
Mahoney, John.* 
Meyer, John, 1. 
Mahan, Mike.* 
McKnight, W. G., d. 
Nicholson, M. R., 1. 
Nellan, M.* 
Newbern, Thomas, 1. 
O'Brien, John, 1. 
O'Donnell, John.* 
Overstreet, J. L., 1. 
O'Hara, Roderick, d. 
Overbee, Coleman,* 
Patton, F., 1. 
Powers, Pat.* 
Runnells, Sam.* 
Rhodes, D. C, 1. 
Rhodes, M., d. 
Singleton, A. J., d. 
Spillers, L. , 1. 
Stull, J., 1. 
Sutton, J. J., 1. 

June, 18G1. 


Squares, Charles, d. 
Stevenson, J. F., 1. 
Searls, Charles, 1. 
Sullivan, Pat.* 
Tarpley, Robert, k. 
Thompson, S., d. 
Webb, J. B., k. 

Wilson, Wallace, 1. 
Woodruff, John, 1. 
Wyatt, Thomas, d. 
Wright, H.'i' 
Wittey, Horatio, d. 
Yates, Thomas, d. 
Zachary, Wash, 1. 

The following is the roll f of Company C.J First 

Battalion Tennessee Cavalry : • 

Ewing, William, Captain, d. § 
Bond, Burk, First Lieutenant, d. 
House, Isaac, Second Lieutenant, d. 
Wyatt, Joe, Third Lieutenant, d. 
Parrish, William, First Sergeant, d. 

Andrews, William. 
Allen, John, Sr. 
Allen, John, Jr. 
Bostick, Jonn, 1. 
Brown, John. 
Blythe, James. 
Boyd, Thad. 
Boyd, D. J. 
Beech, David. 
Bailey, Pat. 
Core, J. G. 
Crite, J. M. 
Clouston, \\'. G. 
Cowles, James. 
Crow, J. M. 
Childress, George. 
Childress, William. 
Cathrenn, H. 
Crump, G. R. 
Crump, Marcus. 
Denton, James. 

Davis, James, d. 
Dodson, Andrew. 
Dodson, Byrd. 
Dodson, Tim. 
Duff, William, d. 
Elliott, Joe. 
Ellis, John. 
Fleming, Lem. 
Franklin, James. 
Hughes, James. 
Hughes, Lee. 
Hughes, Brice. 
Hughes, Henry. 
Hunt, Turner. 
House, Mann, d. 
Jordan, G. M. 
Merrett, J. H. 
Merrett, David. 
Mosley, Sam. 
Mosley, Robert. 
Maney, H. J., d. 

t I am under obligations to J. L. McGann for this roll. 

j This company was from Williamson County, the other three from Nash- 
ville, except a few Kentuckians in Company D. 
§ Resigned at Cumberland Ford. 


E. B. Hancock's Diary. 

Mebane, Alex. 
McGan, J- L., 1. 
Mallory, Clem. 
Mallory, John. 
McLane, Ben. 
Mullins, Doge. 
Marshall, William. 
Malone, Hiram. 
McDowell, Sam. 

McCrea, . 

McCallister, Joe. 
North, J. A., 1. 
Oden, Thomas. 
Orum, James. 

Pollard, N. N. 
Reid, W. W. 
Spivy, R. 
Smithson, James. 
Smithson, G. W. 
Sounders, Mark; 
TuU, Diidle. 
Tichnenar, G. AV. 
Tullan, James. 
Underwood, T. B., 1. 
Williams, Wm. 
Williams, N. C. 
Wray, J. 
Weli, Sam. 

I have failed to get a full report of the living and 
dead of Ewing's Company. 

The following is the muster-roll of Captain E. D. 
Payne's Company (D) : 

Payne, E. D., Captain, d. 

Petway, R. G., First Lieutenant, 1. 

Ryan, J. B., Second Lieutenant, 1. 

Birdwell, J. W. , Third Lieutenant.* 

Dawson, W. R., First Sergeant.-'' 

Smith, W. H., Second Sergeant, d. 

Bevill, J. M., Third Sergeant.* 

Hickman, J. A., Fourth Sergeant.* 

Knote, T. L. , Fifth Sergeant, d. 

Walker, E. R., First Corporal.* 

Petty, S. H., Second Corporal.* 

Sales, W. J., Third Corporal.* 

Buckner, J. H., Fourth Corporal.* 

Johnson, C, Farrier, 1. 

Maratta, S., Bugler, d. 

Cozatt, G. W., Bugler, d. 
Anderson, Alex.* Blackwell, J, W.* 

Armstrong, H. C, 1. Bledsoe, C. P., d. 

Adams, G. W.* Bradley, H. C* 

Alexander, J. D.* Bradley, William, d. 

Lieutenant-Colonel F. N. McNAIRV, Commander First Battalion. 

June, 1801. 


Blair, S. S., 1. 
Brien, W. A., 1. 
Caldwell, J. R.* 
Carlisle, VV. G., d. 
Camperry, R. J.* 
Carler, William.* 
Cavender, J. C. , 1. 
Cayee, F. J.* 
Dobbs, J. R., 1. 
Drane, Thomas. -'- 
Duncan, J. H., d.t 
Forehand, Thomas.* 
Fox, Thomas. 
Glasco, C. L. , d. 
Good, G. H.* 
Houston, J. I)., 1. 
Hunter, William, 1. 
Haynes, J. C* 
Head, Robert.* 
Hutchinson, W. B., 1. 
Hester, J. W., d. 
Hill, J. B.* 
Harbring, J.* 
Hays, E. C* 
Heiss, Henry, d. 
Handy, G. M.* 
Handy, D. S.* 

Hickle, G. R. H.* 
Jones, Joseph, d. 
Jones, J. M.* 
Knott, R. S., 1. 
Kirkpatrick, J. W. 
Marks, W. P., k. 
Mayfield, W.* 
McCartney, L. W., d. 
Nelson, N. R., d. 
Polk, J. A., 1. 
Pendergras, James.* 
Petty, J. M.* 
Rhodes, J. B., d. 
Ring, A. N.* 
Richardson, J. R.* 
Robertson, J. A.* 
Smith, W. B.* 
Steele, E. F.* 
Skeggs, C. H., 1. 
Underwood, F. J.* 
Williams, A. J.* 
Whittey, D. J.* 
White, Edward.* 
Washburn, J. M., d. 
Woods, N.* 
West, E. M.* 

At Thorn Hill, durinor the first week of July, the five 
companies previously mentioned were organized into a 
battallion, known as the, 

by electing- the following field and staff officers : 
Frank N. McNairy, Lieutenant-Colonel. 
William Malcomb, Major. 
E, D. Hicks, Lieutenant and Adjutant. 

t Made Captain at Cumberland Ford. 

34 E. E. Hancock's Diary. 

M. W. McKnight, Sergeant-Major. 

Dr. Isaac House, Surgeon. 

G. M. Fogg, Acting Quartermaster. 

William Britton, Assistant Quartermaster. 

Ramsey, Commissary. 

John Bender, Bugler. 

As the Captain of Company A was elected Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel, and the Third Lieutenant of the same 
company was made Adjutant, therefore, by election, 
W. Hooper Harris became Captain, and Hays Black- 
man First Lieutenant, and George H. Morton was made 
Third Lieutenant of Company A in December, 1861. 

A few days after the First Battalion had been organ- 
ized at Thorn Hill, it moved from there to Camp Jack- 
son, near Hendersonville, some five or six miles east of 
the former camp. 

News having reached Auburn, Cannon County, that 
the First Battalion would start to East Tennessee in a 
few days, quite a number of the friends and relatives of 
our company (Allison's) paid us a visit, about the . 24th 
of July, at Camp Jackson. They brought trunks and 
boxes filled with "good things" to eat. How, for the 
next three or four days, we did enjoy the company of 
our friends and relatives, as well as eatinor the orood 
things they brought for us ! Had I an eloquent pen I 
would here use it in describing those few but bright 
days. They were, in comparison with the rest of our 
soldier life, like an oasis in a great desert. 

On the morning of the 28th most of our friends set 
out on their return home, and the three companies en- 
listed at Nashville (Harris's, Horn's, and Pa)ne's) had 
previously gone to that place to visit relatives and 

August, 18G1. 35 

friends before starting eastward. Allison's and Ewing's 
Companies were still at Camp Jackson. 

Tuesday, /illy joth. — Having received our clothing, 
saddles, and one month's pay, we were busy making 
the necessary preparations for our anticipated march. 

Wednesday, Jist. — Two companies (C and E) of the 
First Battalion, setting out from Camp Jackson, passed 
throuufh Gallatin, crossed Cumberland River at Wood's 
Ferry, and camped for the night one mile and a half 
from the river, on the Lebanon road. The other three 
companies, starting from Nashville, moved -by a differ- 
ent route, crossing the Cumberland at Carthage, and 
uniting with us at Livingston. 

Thursday, Aug. ist. — We (-Ewing's and Allison's 
Companies) moved on through Lebanon and bivouacked 
seven miles beyond, on the Livingston road. 

Friday, 2d. — The two companies marched on through 
New Middleton, crossed the Caney Fork River at 
Trousdale's Ferry, and camped on the east bank of 
that stream. 

Saturday, jd. — Moving on through Chestnut Mound, 
we encamped in quite a rough section of country, in 
Putnam County, after a march of about twenty-one 

Stmday, 4th. — We made a short march of about 
twelve miles, and bivouacked at a beautiful place within 
fourteen miles of Livingston. 

Monday, ^th. — We moved on to Camp Zollicoffer. 
about two miles north-west of Livingston. Here we 
found the Twenty-fifth Tennessee Infantry, Colonel S. 
S. Stanton's Regiment. And about this time, or soon 

36 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

after, the Twenty-eighth, Colonel J. P. Murray's Regi- 
ment, was organized at this camp. The other three 
companies of our battalion joined us here. After rest- 
ing one day at Camp ZoUicoffer, the whole battalion 
took up the line of march again. (Beg pardon, dear 
reader — right here I find another leaf of my Diary 
gone.) However, from Livingston the First Battalion 
marched east to Jamestown, thence south-east to Mont- 
gomery, then the county seat of Morgan County, and 
thence four miles east, through Wartburg, now the 
county seat of Morgan, to Camp Schuyler, arriving at 
the last place mentioned on the 14th of August, where 
we remained one week. 

We found that a majority of the men through this 
portion of East Tennes'see had either crossed over into 
Kentucky to join the Federal army or hid out in the 
woods. It was reported, before reaching Montgomery, 
that we would meet a considerable force of " Home 
Guards" at that place, but they left before we got 
there. We saw one woman and one child as we passed 
through the county seat of Morgan County, but not a 
single man was to be seen. A "Union" man who re- 
mained at home and attended to his own business we 
did not molest, but we arrested those who were hiding 
out from home or thought to be preparing to go north, 
if IV e could find them. 

Thursday, i^th. — Seventy-five of our battalions set 
out from Camp Schuyler to go to Knoxville, about forty 
miles east, with some prisoners. They returned the 
I 7th. 

The measles broke out in camp while at Camp Schuy- 

•■■'J. C. McAdoo and brother Will (Company E) had the measles, and went 
home from this camp. Brother Ben went with them. 

September, 18G1. 37 

Wednesday, 21st. McNairy moved his battalion from 
Camp Schuyler, about thirty miles north, to Huntsville, 
the county seat of Scott County. This was the day of 
the noted " Bi"- Auorust " freshet. It rained so much that 
our wai^on train did not get to Huntsville until next 
day. We took shelter in the court-house. 

Companies A and D were detached on the 25th :xnd 
sent back to Camp Schuyler. 

TJiiLrsday, 2ytJi. — The writer and a few others were 
sent to a gap in the mountain, about twelve miles north 
of Huntsville and within three miles ol the Kentucky 
hue, to watch lor a Federal paymaster whom Madame 
Rumor had said would pass through that section. We 
had only been stationed a few hours, however, when 
Colonel McNairy, having received orders to move to 
Jamestown the next day, sent for us to return to camp 
immediately, though, on account of rain and high water, 
we remained at Huntsville three days longer. 

Scott was rather a poor county, and as the people 
were mostly "Union," they were not willing to divide 
rations with "Rebs"; therefore we suffered more for 
want of rations while at Huntsville than anywhere else 
during the war, while in camp. 

Saturday, Jisi. — Companies B, C and E very gladly 
bid Huntsville adieu, and, moving westward, bivouacked 
on the Jamestown road. 

Sujiday, September ist. — McNairy moved on to and 
camped for the night at Jamestown. 

Monday, 2d. — Passing down Cumberland Mountain, 
the three companies bivouacked at Camp McCinnis, on 
Wolf River, some ten miles north of Jamestown. 

As I was sick of the measles, I remained for a week 

38 R. E. Hancock's Diart. 

with one Mr. Lathan, who Hved one mile from Camp 
McGinnis. One of my comrades, J. L. Thomas, re- 
mained with me. 

Thursday , ^tli. — McNairy moved from Camp McGin- 
nis to Livingston, where he remained about five days. 

Monday, gih. — J. L. Thomas and I set out from Mr. 
Lathan's to hunt our command. After a ride of about 
twenty-four miles, we found our Company at Monroe, 
in Overton County, six or eight miles north-east of Liv- 
ingston, on their way to Knoxville. The other two 
companies, B and C, were beyond Livingston. 

Brother Ben, who had taken brother Will home from 
Camp Schuyler, rejoined the company. It was about 
this time that Captain Payne left the battalion, and 
Duncan was made Captain of Company D. 

TiLesday, lotJi. — After a march of about sixteen miles, 
our company (E) went into camp within three miles of 

We are now marching over the same road and in the 
^same direction that we did in August. The other two 
companies are coming on. I suppose that we were sep- 
arated as a matter of convenience in procuring forage 
for our horses. 

Wednesday , nth. — Marching on through Jamestown, 
thence south-east, we encamped for the night near one 
Mr. Hurst's. We had camped at the same place as we 
passed up about one month previous to this. 

Thursday, 12th. — We marched on to and encamped 
at Montgomery. 

Companies B and C (Harris's and Ewing's) caught 
up with our company (E). Here we rested one day. 

September, 1801. 39 

Saturday, i^tJi. \w the saddle early, we again took 
up the line of march eastward. Passing through Wart- 
burg, we soon arrived at Camp Schuyler, where we 
found the other two companies, A and D. They had 
been sent to this camp from Huntsville, the 25th of 
August. These two companies, having been previously 
notified to be ready to move, now fell in, and the whole 
battalion continued moving eastward. 

We camped for the night in Anderson County, within 
twenty-two miles of Knoxville. 

Sunday, 13th. — The battalion * passed on through 
Knoxville and encamped about one mile and a half east 
of town, at Camp Cummings. 

On the above date General Albert Sidney Johnston 
assumed command of this department (No. 2), which 
embraced the States of Tennessee and Arkansas and 
that part of Mississippi west of the New Orleans, Jack- 
son and Great Northern and Central Railroad ; also 
the military operations in Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas, 
and the Indian country immediately west of Missouri 
and Arkansas, by issuing the following order from de- 
partment headquarters, at Nashville, Tennessee: 

By virtue of special orders, No. 149, of September 10, 1861, from 
the Adjutant and Inspector General's office at Richmond, the under- 

■■ As J. J. Odoni and I were on the puny list, we stopped to rest and take 
dinner wilh a Frenchman, within fonr miles of Knoxville. The family were 
threat "Rebs," so it seemed to lie with pleasure that they did all they could to 
make us comfortable. 

It so happened that our host was a preacher. Some other French families 
who lived in the neighborhood had collected there to hear him preach. As 
some of them did not understand English, he preached in French. I "heard 
but did not understand " a single word of that sermon. We had a splendid 
dinner, and we had now been soldiering long enough to appreciate a good din- 
ner. Among other nice things, a glass of wine of their own make was served 
to each. 

Odoni and I went to camp late that afternoon. 


E. E. Hancock's Diary. 

signed assumes command of the military department thereliy created. 

A. S. Johnston, General."^'- 

Brigadier- General F. K. ZoUicoffer had been in com- 
mand of the District of East Tennessee since about the 
first of August, with headquarters at Knoxville. 

His brigade was now composed of nine regiments of 
infantry and lour battaHons of cavalry, as follows : 

Abstract fr 0)11 Repo7''t of Br igadier- General Zollicojjer s 
command^ at Knoxville, Tennessee, September 75, 1S61. 





Sixteenth Alabama (Woods) 

FouiTeenlh Mississippi (Baldwin) 

Fifteenth Mississippi (Stathani) 

Eleventh Tennessee (Rains) 

Seventeenth Tennessee (Newman) 

Nineteenth Tennessee (Cummings) 

Twentieth Tennessee (Battle) 

[Fourth] Tennessee (Churchvvell) 

[Third] Tennessee (Lillard) 

Unorganized, estimated 


First Tennessee (McNairy) 

Second Tennessee (Branner), estimated.. 
Third Tennessee (Brazelton), estimated.. 
Fourth Tennessee (McClellan), estimated 













11,457 t 

Churchwell's Regiment, as well as other portions of 
Zollicoffer's Brigade, was totally unarmed. Only a part 
of his brigade was now at Knoxville, for on the 16th 
instant ZoUicoffer writes thus to A. S. Johnston: 

■•'■Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., p. 407. 
t Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., p. 409, 

September, IHOJ. 41 

There are i)r()l)al)ly by this time tVuir regiments at Cumberland 
Ford [Kentucky] and a tifth at the gaj) filteen miles this side. A 
sixth will probably be moved up by the 21st or 22d.''- 


Notwithstanding Kentucky had been claiming to be 
neutral, she had not only allowed F"ederal soldiers to 
camp upon her soil, but her citizens were organizing 
and arming themselves to aid the Federal Government. 

On the loth instant General G. H. Thomas assumed 
command of a Federal brigade which had been pre- 
viously assembled at Camp Dick Robinson, in Garrard 
County, Kentucky. 

General U. S. Grant, with two regiments of infantry 
and four pieces of artillery, had taken possession of 
Paducah, Kentucky, as early as the 6th of September. 

Owing to the menacing movements of the Federals 
down the Mississippi River, the Confederates (by order 
of General L. Polk, who was then in command of the 
Second Department) landed at Hickman, Kentucky, on 
the night of the third, and at Columbus about the 5th. 

It had been, and was still, the policy of the Confed- 
eracy to respect the neutrality of Kentucky so long as 
the same was respected by the Federal Government, as 
the following dispatches will show : 

Richmond, September 4, 1861. 
General Polk, Memphis, Tennessee : 

News has reached here that General Pillow has landed his troops 
at Hickman, Kentucky. Order their prompt withdrawal from Ken- 
tucky. L. P. Walker, Secretary of JVar.f 

After explaining to the President that a previous 
movement of the Federals down the Mississippi River 

"••■Rebellion J'ecords, Vol. IV., p. 195. 
"("Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., pp. 180 ami j8i, 

42 E. K. Hancock's Diary. 

had been the cause of his ordering General Pillow into 
Kentucky, General Polk received the following dis- 
patch : 

Richmond, September 4, 1861. 
General Polk: 

The necessity justifies the action. Jefferson Davis. 

The following dispatches and replies will explain 
themselves : 

Nashville, September 13, 1S61. 
To His Exeelleney Jefferson Davis : 

On the 4tli instant I sent Jolin Marshall, Andrew Ewing and Dr. 
Bowling as commissioners from Tennessee to Kentucky. They re- 
turned last night, and think it of the highest importance that our 
troops be withdrawn They say withdrawal secures to us majority in 
the State. If not withdrawn, overwhelming majority against us and 
a bloody contest. They think our withdrawal secures withdrawal of 
Federal troops and saves the State. They are able and reliable men. 
I submit their report for your consideration. 

IsHAM G. Harris.* 

Richmond, September 13, 1861. 
Governor Harris^ Nashville, Tennessee : 

Movement to Columbus was reported to me as a defensive measure, 
rendered necessary by the descent of Federal trooi)s. As a necessity 
it was sanctioned. If they can be safely withdrawn, it would con- 
form to my declared policy of respect for the neutrality of Kentucky. 
General A. S. Johnston has been directed to confer with you at Nash- 
ville. Security to Tennessee and other parties of the Confederacy is 
tiie [irimary object. To this all else must give way. 

Jefferson Davis.* 

Knoxville, September 14, 1861. 
Adjutant- General Cooper, \^Riehmond\: 

Governor Harris and General Buckner telegraphed me if possible 
to arrest the movement of which I apprised you on the 10th. f It is 

* RebelHon Records, Vol. IV., p. 190. 

t On the above date lie apprised Cooper that he expected, on the 12th, to 
have three regiments at Cumberland Ford and three other regiments there as 
soon as they could be withdrawn from other posts in East Tennessee. 

Septembkk, 18G1. 43 

too late to arrest. To withdraw would be unfortunate, unless the 
Federal forces which menace us will agree to withdraw. I have in- 
formed (Governor Magufifin (of Kentucky(, through Governoi Harris, 
I will withdraw on this condition. F. K. Zollicofker, 

Brigadier- General. * 

Richmond, September 14, 1861. 
General Zollicoffcr, Knoxville, Tennessee : 

Your letter of the j oth received. The military consideration 
clearly indicates the forward movement which you i)ro[i(xsf. The 
[political condition of Kentucky affects the determination of this (|ues- 
tion. Of that you are better informed than ourselves, and as you are 
supposed to have conferred with General A. S. Johnston, the matter 
is left to your discretion. S. Cooi'EK, 

Adjutant and Inspector-General. '\ 

The following is an extract from a letter, dated 
Clarksville, September 15th, written by the Hon., G. A. 
Henry and addressed to President Davis: 

The neutrality of Kentucky has been all the time a cloak to enaljle 
the Lincoln party there to hide their real designs to arm the friends 
of Lincoln and to disarm the Southern Rights party. We ought to 
strike now. A step backward would be fatal, in my opinion. J 

While at Knoxville our battalion was transferred from 
the State to the Confederate service. 

Some of Allison's Company, who went home from 
Camp McGinnis and Livingston, returned to camp at 
Knoxville on the i8th. 

Having set out from Knoxville on the 17th, General 
Zollicoffer arrived at Cumberland Ford, or Camp Buck- 
ner, on the 19th, and on the same date he wrote to 
General A. S. Johnston, Columbus, Kentucky, thus: 

An advance force set out last night [under Colonel J. A. Battle], 
about eight hundred strong, entered Barboursville, eighteen miles 

•■•Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., p. 190. 
t Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., p. 190. 
X Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., p. 193. 

44 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

from here, about daylight, where they found abuut three hundred of 
the enemy, and a fight ensued, in which we killed twelve and took 
two prisoners. We lost one killed, Lieutenant Powell, of Colonel 
Cuniniings' Regiment, one fatally wounded, and three slightly 
wounded. The enemy fled preci])itately. The number of his 
wounded unknown.* 

Friday, 20tli. — Being ordered to move his battalion 
to Cumberland Ford, Colonel McNairy set out from 
Camp Cummings, near Knoxville, about six i'. m., with 
Harris's (A), Payne's (D), and Allison's (E) companies, 
and after a march of thirteen miles he camped for the 
night. The other two companies (B and C) were or- 
dered to follow in about three days.f 

Saturday, 21st. — After a short march of about sixteen 
miles, the three companies bivouacked in Union County, 
four and a half miles north of Maynardville. 

Sunday^ 2 2d. — In the saddle early, we marched some 
twenty-eight miles, and halted for the night in Claiborne 
County, within three miles of Cumberland Gap. 

Monday. 2jd. — We crossed Cumberland Mountain at 
the Gap. Here we passed out of Tennessee, across 
the corner of Virginia, and into Kentucky in going, 
perhaps, a little over one hundred yards. Virginia cor- 
ners at Cumberland Gap, a little west of the road. 

Some grand mountain scenery met our view at the 
Gap. We saw bluffs and peaks from one thousand to 
seventeen hundred feet hig^h. 

Passing on fifteen miles beyond the Gap, crossing the 
three " Log Mountains," we encamped at Camp Buck- 
ner (Cumberland Ford), in Knox County, Kentucky. 

■•■■Rebellion Records, vol. iv., p. 199. 

t As I was yet ([iiite feeble, haviiis.,' just recovered from an attack of measles, 
brothe. I^en and I put ui> onlv three nijle^ fmni io\\n, 

September, 1801. 45 

IVednesday, 2^//i. Harris's (B) and Ewiug's (C) com- 
panies arrived from Knoxville and rejoined the rest of 
McNairy^s Battalion at Camp Buckner. 

Besides our battalion, General Zollicoffer now had 
with him at Camp Buckner four regiments of infantry 
(Statham, Rains, Cummings, and Battle), five cavalry 
companies (three of Branner's Battalion and two of 
Brazelton's), and one artillery company of six-pounders, 
commanded by Captain Rutledge. Colonel Newman's 
Regiment was at Cumberland Gap. The Sixteenth 
Alabama (Wood) and the Fourth Tennessee (Church- 
well) Regiments of infantry, and McClellan's Battalion 
of cavalry and half of Branner's were left at Knoxville* 
There were stationed at various points in East Tennes- 
see some other troops, mostly unarmed. 

About six days previous to this, General Zollicoffer 
had, according- to instructions received from General 
A. S. Johnston, ordered the Fourteenth Mississippi 
(Colonel Baldwin) and the Third East Tennessee 
(Colonel Lillard) Regiments of infantry to move to 
Camp Trousdale, to reinforce General S. B, Buckner, 
who was then in command of the Central Division of 
Kentucky, with headquarters at Bowling Green.* 

General Zollicoffer had learned that there was a large 
quantity of salt at the salt works on Goose Creek, in 
Clay County, thirty-five miles north of Camp Buckner 
and eighteen miles east of a camp of Home Guards — 
variously estimated at from six hundred to fifteen hun- 
dred—at Laurel Bridge, in Laurel County, some thirty- 
eight miles north-west of Camp Buckner and two miles 
south-east of London. As our General had decided to 
send a detachment to capture the salt above named, and 

* Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., p. 199. 

46 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

also another detachment in the direction oi this Federal 
encampment at Laurel P)ridge to attract attention and 
mask the movement of the first, he therefore issued the 
following" special orders : 

Brigade Headquarters, 
Camp Buckner, September 25, t86i. 

Colonel James E. Rains will march at four o'clock to-morrow 
morning, via Barhonrsville, to Laurel Bridge, on the London road, 
with his regiment, provisioned for six days, three rations of which 
shall be cooked, leaving his tents in this encampment. Colonel Mc- 
N.iiry's command will accompany him or follow him, by a right-hand 
road crossing Laurel Creek about two miles above the bridge. Colo- 
nel R. will have command, and will dislodge a supposed force of the 
enemy at the bridge by attacking simultaneously with infantry and 
cavalry at both ends of the bridge. He will be furnished a guide, 
who will give him information of some arms, which he will capture, 
if practicable. He will take with him also Lieutenant Falcand's sec- 
tion of artillery. A battalion of Colonel Statham's infantry, with 
three companies of Colonel Branner's cavalry, will be posted on the 
road to be pursued by Colonel McNairy, about ten miles back, to 
give support, if necessary. 

Simultaneously, Colonel Cummings' Regiment, with two compa- 
nies of Colonel Brazelton's cavalry, will escort a train of wagons to 
the Goose Creek Salt Works, sixteen or eighteen miles east, in Clay 
County, to load with salt. 

The different detachments will communicate by express messen- 
gers with each other and with me, and when the salt train returns all 
will return to this encampment. 

Much is trusted to Colonel Rains' discretion in whatever may 
transpire on the way. 

F. K. Zollicoffer, Brigadier-General.'^^ 

* The above order fell into the hands of the Federals (how I know not) and 
on the 3d of October it was sent by T. T. Garrard, who was Colonel of the 
Third Kentucky Regiment and in command at Camp Wildcat, or Rockcastle 
Hills, to CJeneral G. H. Thomas, who was in command at Camp Dick Robin- 
son, some thirty-five miles beyond Wildcat. At the same time Garrard wrote 
to Thomas tlius (italics mine) : 

"I have no information in regard to the rebels more than I wrote you, ex- 
cept the inclosed order of General Zollicoffer, which I have no doubt is genu- 

September, 1861. 47 

Thursday, 26th. — According to ZoUicoffer's orders of 
yesterday, the several detachments named (except 
Companies B and C of McNairy's BattaHon that did 
not move to Barboursville till the next day), marched 
(sixteen miles) from Camp Buckner to Barboursville, 
the county seat of Knox County, Kentucky, leaving- 
their tents at the former place. 

It was said that only three families remained in town, 
and this showed the strong "Union sentiments" of that 
town. Our men put up in deserted houses. f 

Friday, 2jth. — We remained at Barboursville. Colo- 
nel Rains ordered his demi-brigade to cook three days' 
rations and be ready to move early the next morning. 

We were now in twenty miles of the enemy's camp at 
Laurel Bridge. Col. Brown, who lived near London, 
was in command of the Home Guards at that camp. 
Colonel Wolford, with a part of his regiment, was also 
in that vicinity. 

Saturday, 28th. — According to previous instructions 
(see under 25th instant), Col. Rains, with his regiment, 
McNairy's Battalion and Falcond's section of artillery, 
moved out from Barboursville in the direction of Laurel 
Bridge, while Colonel Cummings, with his detachment 
and about fifty wagons, moved out for the Salt Works, 
and Colonel Statham moved so as to support either of 
the other detachments if necessary. 

Colonel McNairy was ordered to take the advance 

ine. I could not doubt it, because they carried out the instrtuticms to the let- 
ter.'''' — Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., p. 2gi. 

•■Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., p. 292. 

tThe larger portion of the household furniture was left in many of the 
dwellings; therefore, the writer, as well as a good many others, had the pleas- 
ure of occupying a good Kentucky feather bed the two nights that we remained 
in Barboursville. 

48 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

with Harris's, Payne's and Allison's Companies. Our 
Colonel had not gone far along the London road before 
he threw out flankers as well as an advance guard, with 
instructions to keep a sharp lookout for the enemy. 
Thus, we moved on without any incident worthy of note 
until we struck the enemy's picket, within three miles of 
their camp. Our advance guard captured three of their 
picket and chased the rest (six or eight) into carnp. 
Colonel McNairy then fell back a short distance, sent a 
messenger to meet Colonel Rains, and awaited his arri- 
val with the infantry and artillery. As soon as Rains 
caught up, the command moved on again with McNairy's 
three companies still in front. We met a citizen who 
said that the enemy was lying in wait for us. So we 
thought that we would sure have our first engagement, 
then and there. Before reaching the enemy's camp, 
Colonel McNairy was ordered to halt, and Colonel 
Rains took the advance with his regiment, leaving 
orders for McNairy to hold his battalion well in hand, 
ready to pursue if he (Rains) should succeed in routing 
them. On reaching the Federal camp, and finding it 
deserted, Rains' men raised a war-whoop that must have 
made the Federals believe, if they were in hearing, that 
10,000 men* were after them. Then dashing forward 
in pursuit, our battalion went as far as London, took 
down a Union flag, but did not overtake any of the 
fugitives. The citizens caught the panic — men, women, 
children and negroes — nearly all, either fled with the 
Home Guards and Federals to Camp Wildcat, some 
thirteen miles beyond London, or went to their neigh- 
bor's off the main road. How straiige ! that they 

*Colonel Walford estimated our force at '' from 5,000 to 7,000." — See Rebell- 
ion Records {^Garrard to Thomas), p. 2S0. 

September, 1861. 49 

should think that we were making war on women and 
children ! 

As it was now about nightfall, our battalion moved 
back about two miles and rejoined Colonel Rains, en- 
camped where the Home Guards had been camping. 

Sunday, 2gth. — Colonel Rains had learned that Colo- 
nel Brown, who was in command of the Home Guards 
that had fled to Wildcat the evening before, lived some 
two or three miles beyond London, and, thinking that 
perhaps Brown might have some supplies for his men 
stored away at his home, he (Rains) ordered Colonel 
McNairy to take his battalion, go to Brown's and search 
for the supposed supplies. Swinging ourselves into the 
saddle, before i o'clock a. m., we went by the way of 
London, and searched Brown's dwelling and premises, 
but found only a box of shoes.* As soon as he was sat- 
isfied that there was nothing more to be found in the 
way of army supplies, our Colonel called out, •* Mount 
your horses!" and we were soon on our way back to 
London. Arriving at that place about daylight, we 
halted until McNairy treated the whole battalion on 
brandy, after which we returned to camp and took an- 
other breakfast. 

Besides the three prisoners and the shoes (twenty- 
five pairs) already mentioned, Colonel Rains captured 
8,000 cartridges, 25,000 caps, three kegs of powder, 
several guns, six barrels of sak, two wagons and teams, 
loaded with the last of their camp equipage, and three 
other horses. 

Soon after breakfast, our picket came dashing into 

*It would seem that the panic struck Colonel Brown's family just as ihey 
were ready to take supper last eve, for we found their supper still on the table 
when we entered the house this morning before day, but I did not say that it was 
on the table when we left. 

50 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

camp and reported that they had been fired on just be- 
yond London. Major Malcomb was immediately sent 
out in the direction of London with two companies of 
McNairy's Battahon to meet the enemy and bring on 
the engagement, while Col. Rains deployed his men 
into battle line ready to receive the enemy should Mal- 
comb be forced back. The Major returned, however, 
and reported no enemy found, so we concluded that it 
was only a scout, or "bush-whackers," that had fired on 
our picket. 

Having accomplished the object for which he had 
been sent out. Col. Rains now set out on his return. 
Going about eight miles back in the direction of Bar- 
boursville, his regiment and Allison's Company biv- 
ouacked, while McNairy with the rest of his battalion 
went on to Barboursville. 

Monday, jotk. — Through carelessness, or some other 
cause, five barrels of salt were left where they were 
captured, near where the enemy had been camping. 
Lieutenant M. V. Wilson was ordered to take twenty- 
five of Allison's Company and a wagon and go back 
after the salt, while the rest of the command moved on 
toward Barboursville. We regarded this as rather a 
hazardous trip, though we went back to, and loaded in, 
four barrels of the salt (thinking five would be too much 
for our team) without any incident worthy of note ; but 
we had not gone far with our salt before bang ! bang ! 
bang ! went several guns back about where our rear 
guard was. This caused considerable excitement in 
our little squad, though one of the rear guard soon came 
dashing up, and reported that it was only bush-whackers 
that had fired on them, and that some of the balls C2it 
ve7y close, but no one was hurt. So we felt better then, 

October, 1861. 51 

and moved on to Barboursville without any more 
trouble. Here we found two companies of our battalion 
(B and C), but the other two (A and D) had gone on 
back to Camp Buckner, on Cumberland river. We 
found Rains' Regiment and the balance of our company 
(E) encamped two miles from Barboursville on the road 
leading back to Camp Buckner. 

Colonel Cummings went with his detachment to the 
Salt Works, loaded in all the salt there, 200 bushels, 
and returned without coming in contact with the enemy. 
He receipted for the salt, as directed by General ZoUi- 
coffer. The Salt Works belonged to Union men, yet 
Zollicoffer expected to have it paid for at the price of 
salt at the works — forty cents per bushel. 

Tuesday, October ist. — Rain's Regiment and Allison's 
Company returned to camp at Camp Buckner. Com- 
panies B and C of McNairy's Battalion remained at 

Wednesday , 2d. — Several of Allison's Company who 
had been home returned to camp, brother Will (W. C, 
Hancock) and J. C. McAdoo, who were sick of the 
measles at Camp Schuyler, last August, and went home 
from there, were among the number. 

Companies B and C (they had been at Barboursville 
since the 29th ultimo) rejoined the battalion at Camp 

Thursday, jd. — Lieutenant Joe Wyatt (Company C) 
was elected surgeon of McNairy's Battalion, F. W. 
Hearn (Company B), Quartermaster, and M. D. A. 
Nolan (Company A), Commissary Sergeant. 

Sergeant Major M. W. McKnight, Lieutenant George 
Alexander and Private T. D. Summer, all from Com- 
pany E, started home on furlough. 

52 R. E. Hancock's Diary. 

On the 2d instant, Col. T. T. Garrard wrote to Gen- 
eral G. H. Thomas thus; 

Colonel Brown has now enrolled and in camp some 

250* twelve months' soldiers. He has muskets, but no cartridge- 
boxes, caps, pouches, nor bayonet scabbards 

Have not heard anything of the Rebels since they reached Bar- 
boursville. The last account is that some 100 or upwards were in 
Barboursville. (Two companies of McNairy's Battalion). 

I have got Colonel Brown to move all of his men to the river (Big 
Rockcastle, some two miles to the rear) except one company, and they 
are outside our camp in a rock house. We have been much annoyed 
by them, as well as visitors and others who were driven before the 
Rebels. Some of them returned this evening part of the way home, 
but heard of the Rebels below London, and they returned to camp.. 
The report, I am satisfied, is false, f 

And the next day, the 3d, he wrote thus in reference 
to Brown's men : 

You will see before this reaches you that Colonel Brown has- 
moved to the river, some two miles from us. I would be afraid tO' 
place them between the enemy aad our camp. Some of his men are,. 
I fear, a little timid, and I doubt whether or not they will do their 
duty on that side of us. J 

And in reference to Wolford's Cavalry, on the loth, 

he puts it thus : 

When Captain Smith, of the cavalry, reached here (Wildcat), 
there was not one of Walford's men in camp, nor had there been for 
several days, and if my informant is correct, some of them that are 
now here will do no good. They were seen drunk on picket yester- 
day at, or near, London. § 

On the date, under which I am now writing, the 3d, 
ZoUicoffer sent the following telegraph dispatch to Gen- 
eral A. S. Johnston, Columbus, Kentucky : 

*'It appears from the above that their force at Laurel Bridge had been over- 
estimated. Including Walford's Cavalry, perhaps they did not exceed 500. 
t Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., p. 290. 
J Ibid, p. 292. 
§See Rebellion Records (Garrard to Thomas), Vol. IV., p. 301. 

October, 1861. 53 

I think I have reliable information that Camp (Dick) Robinson 
was 7,000 strong; 1,000 of these have gone to Lexington and Frank- 
fort; 1,500 remain in camp, the residue believed to be certainly mov- 
ing toward Barboursville to meet me. Should it appear to me expe- 
dient, I wish permission to meet them half way.* 

On the same day Johnston repHed as follows: 

"Dispatch received. Exercise your own discretion in attacking 
the enemy."* 

It was about this time that Captain William Ewing 
resigned and returned home, and William Parrish be- 
came Captain of Company C, First Battalion. 

Friday, 4th. — Gen. Zollicoffer ordered Colonel Mc- 
Nairy to go with his battalion on a reconnoitering expe- 
dition as far as London, 

As soon as his men could prepare two days' rations, 
McNairy set out from Camp Buckner about 10:30 a. 
M., and, after a ride of about forty miles, he drew 
rein a little after midnight, within two miles of Lon- 
don. Our advance guard, going on to that place, re- 
turned and reported no enemy there. We then took a 
nap of some two or three hours. 

Saturday, StJi. — Setting out on his return between 
daybreak and sunrise, McNairy arrived at Camp Buck- 
ner a little after dark, and reported the result ot his re- 
connoissance to Zollicoffer, who, on the next day, the 
6th, sent the following communication to A. S. John- 
ston : 

A reconnoitering detachment has just returned from London, re- 
porting no appearance of an enemy there. They report, 'upon gen- 
eral information from country people, that there are 3,300 of the 
enemy encamped on Rockcastle hills (Wildcat), a strong position 
thirteen miles, beyond, where the Mount Vernon road crosses the 
Rockcastle River. 

I would move forward and attack them instantly but for unex- 

■•■■ Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., p. 435. 

54 R. E. Haxcock's Diary 

pected deficiency in subsistence stores. Ten days ago I ordered the 
brigade commissary to accumulate a stock of thirty days' rations for 
5,000 men. To-day I have not five days' rations. I could not prop- 
erly advance with less than ten. I hope soon to have the supplies. 

I sent a large detachment into Harlan county, where I heard 
there were 500 or 600 men embodied under arms. No organized 
enemy found. 

I have sent a cavalry detachment to Williamsburg, some thirty 
miles west. Not yet returned. This is nearly my only means of get- 
ting information of the country.* 

Monday, yth. — Our tents, which had been left behind 
for some cause unknown to me, arrived. We were very 
glad to see them, for it had been raining almost con- 
stantly for the last two days, and as our battalion was 
camping in a low, flat place, we had mud and water in 

B. A. Hancock (Company E) was appointed assist- 
ant commissary in McNairy's Battalion. 

Ttiesday, 8th. — McNairy's Battalion moved from 
Camp Buckner about four miles down the Cumberland 
River to Bald Hill. We were well pleased with the 
change. This camp was on elevated ground in an 
old field, and hence, not so muddy. 

Wednesday , gtJi. — Our battalion drew some blankets 
and clothing, for which we were very thankful, as winter 
was now coming on. 

Monday, 14th. — B. A. Hancock, who had been sent 
to Cumberland Gap the day before after provisions for 
McNairy's Battalion, returned. As rations had been 
very scarce for the last few days, we were glad to see a 
supply brought into camp. 

Tuesday, i^tJi. — Having now received the necessary 
supply of provisions, General Zollicoffer issued orders 
for a forward movement of his brigade on the morrow. 

* Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., p. 439. 

October, 1861. 55 

Wednesday, i6tJi. — According to orders of yesterday, 
about 5,400 of Zollicofter's Brigade, including six pieces 
of artillery, were put in motion along the London road. 

The First Battalion struck tents and prepared to 
move, but as McNairy was ordered to bring up the 
rear, and as the infantry, artillery, and wagons (about 
two hundred of the latter) were nearly all day passing 
his camp, he camped for another night on Bald Hill. 
The head of the column bivouacked some six miles from 
Bald Hill and ten from Camp Buckner. 

The following communication will explain Zollicoffer's 
then contemplated movement : 

Brigade Headquarters, 
Camp Tex Mile, Kv., October 16, 1861. 
Colonel Murray, Camp Alyers : ^^ 

Sir: I am ten miles on the march toward a camp of the enemy on 
Rockcastle River and Hills, having left Cumberland Ford this even- 
ing with the greater part of my command. I learned that the enemy 
at Albany, Ky. , has retired. My plan has been to fall in their rear 
and cut them off. Now that Colonel Stanton and our cavalry have 
left the neighborhood of Jamestown, Tenn., the enemy may return 
in force near the line. I have ordered stores of subsistence for my 
troops to be placed at Jamestown by the 25th instant, and have ordered 
the same cavalry companies to return to that neighborhood almost the 
same time, to prevent the enemy from seizing and appropriating the 
stores. Perhaps the cavalry from above would not be sufficient to 
prevent an incursion. 

I expect to pass down by Sommerset and Monticello, Ky., or by 
Columbia and Burksville, Ky. , in the hope of capturing any forces 
they may be threatening your position with. 

As secrecy is the element of success, I must beg of you not to men- 
tion to any solitary person this enterprise. 

My object in writing to you is to ask you about the 25th to move 
in such a way as to insure, by the aid of the cavalry, the safety of the 

* In Overton County, Tennessee. 

50 E. E. Hancock's Diary. 

stores until I can reach the neighborhood. Inform General Caswell 
at Knoxville what you can do and he will communicate with me. 
Very respectfully, 

F. K. Zollicoffer; 
Brigadier- General. * 

Colonel Murray replied thus : 

Camp Red Sulphur, October 22, 1861. 
Gene7-al F. K. ZoUicojfer : 

Dear Sir: I am in receipt of yours of i6th instant. I am much 
pleased to learn that you are moving in direction of the interior of 
Kentucky. We are to-day within thirty-two miles of Burksville, will 
reach and capture the Federal forces there by the 25th of this instant. 
We will then move to Albany by the 26th of this instant. 

Will you inform me of your position at Albany, as I will wait at 
that point for orders from you? I have no fears of our success at 
Burksville. In the meantime our forces will prevent the Federal forces 
from capturing our supplies at Jamestown, Yours shall be strictly 
confidential. I am your obedient servant, 

John P. Murray, 
Colonel Twenty-eighth Regiment, Tennessee Volunteers. ^ 

Thursday, lyth. — Setting out from Bald Hill early in 
the morning, our battalion soon caught up with the rear 
of the wagon train. 

The road, which was already bad enough, was made 
still worse by its raining that day. Therefore the train 
moved very slowly, and "bringing up the rear" was 
quite an unpleasant job as well as a slow one. We 
camped for the night about where the head of the col- 
umns had bivouacked the night previous, only six miles 
from Bald Hill. 

Friday, i8th. — After a march of about eight miles. 
our battalion bivouacked, still in rear of every thing. 

* Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., p. 212. 
t Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., p. 213. 

October, 1861. 57 

The cavalry in advance, some of Branner's or Braz- 
elton's men, had a skirmish with the enemy's picket 
"about four miles beyond London on the road leadino- to 
Camp Wildcat, in which one of the enemy was killed 
and one captured. 

The Federal commander at Wildcat sent the following- 
dispatch to Thomas : 

Camp Wildcat, October i8, 1861, i p. m. 
General George H. Thomas : 

I have information now beyond doubt that Zolhcoffer is coming on 
with a large force and six pieces artillery. . . . . 

I am now making arrangements to move my sick and commissary's 
stores across the river, and intend, if I do not receive more troops, 
to abandon this place and retreat toward Camp (Dick) Robinson. 

I have no idea of having my men butchered up here, where they 
have a force of six or seven to one, with artillery. I would like to 
hear from you immediately. Very respectfully, 

T. T. Garrard, 
Colonel TJiird Regiment, Kentucky Volunteers."^'- 

The above dispatch shows very clearly what would 
have been the result if our General could have attacked 
the next day, the 19th, for Brigadier-General x\lvin 
Schoepf did not reach Wildcat with reinforcements from 
Camp Dick Robinson until late in the afternoon of the 
20th, and in fact some of the reinforcements did not 
arrive until the 21st. 

Saturday, igth. — The head of the column advanced 
to a point some six or seven miles beyond London, on 
the road leading to Wildcat, but, for want of water, 
subsistence and forage, had to return to the wagon train, 
about four miles beyond London. 

Zollicoffer's advance had another skirmish with the 

••■Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., p. 310. 

58 E. R, Hancock's Diary. 

enemy's picket, resulting in the killing of one man on 
each side. 

After marchino^ in the rear of the wagfon train to* 
within eight miles of London, Colonel McNairy was 
ordered to move his battalion to the front. On reach- 
ing our General's headquarters, about nightfall, en- 
camped, as above named, some four miles from town, 
McNairy was ordered to send out scouting parties on 
both sides of the London- Wildcat road. Accordingly, 
a part of our battalion went southwest in the direction 
of Somerset, while Allison's Company went back to 
London, and thence about nine miles north-east in the 
direction of Booneville, capturing two men, two muskets 
and three horses on the way. Finding no organized 
force in that direction, Allison returned, by the way of 
London, to camp, some three miles from town, about 
daybreak next morning. Here the road forked — the 
left, leading by the way of Wildcat, Mount Vernon and 
Crab Orchard, to Camp Dick Robinson, and the right, 
to Richmond. We were now within ten miles of Wild- 

Sunday, 20th. — Zollicoffer put his brigade in motion 
about noon, with McNairy's Battalion again in the rear. 
Late in the afternoon, within about three miles of Wild- 
cat, Zollicoffer's advance guard killed one* of the ene- 
my's picket and wounded and captured another. 

McNairy having been ordered to the front, reported 
to General Zollicoffer, at the head of the infantry col- 
umn, just as the General had learned that the battalion 
of cavalry in front had come in contact with and been 
repulsed by the Federals. Notwithstanding it was now 

* Dr. Wyatt and the writer dismounted and lifted his remains from the road.. 
He proved to be Captain Merriman, from East Tennessee. 

October, 1861. 5^ 

about dark, he ordered McNairy to take his battaHon 
and dislodge the Federals from their position in a dense 
woods, just beyond a large field. 

Just as the front of our battalion had passed out of 
the field into the road beyond, with woods on both sides, 
the enemy fired a few shots from the woods on our right. 
Our Colonel then cried out, ''Charge! charge F' (with 
an oath). Dashing forward a short distance, seeing no 
enemy in front, and fearing an ambuscade, he halted, 
moved his men back into the field, dismounted a part of 
them, and scoured the woods on foot, finding that the 
enemy had fallen back. It would seem that there was 
only a small squad of Federals in the woods, and that 
they fled as soon as they fired the first round. We 
then fell back to the opposite side of the field, deployed 
in line of battle, and lay on our arms all night. We 
were now within about two miles of Wildcat ; could 
hear the enemy's "drums. As soon as the enemy fired 
on the First Battalion, the Twentieth Tennessee In- 
fantry plunged into Rockcastle River about waist deep, 
and went to our support. 


Mo7tday, 21st. — General Zollicoffer sent the following 
telegram this morning to General Johnston, Bowling 
Green Kentucky : 

One Ohio Regiment said to be twelve miles distant. Another 
regiment of the enemy a few miles beyond. I will feel of them to- 
day with two regiments and some cavalry. My force here is about 

Johnston replied, the same day, thus: 

* Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., p. 209. 

-60 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Your telegram from London received. The information we have 
of the enemy in your front is this: 10,000 at Camp Dick Robinson, 
-of these 4,000 are in advance toward Cumberland Gap, but how far is 
not known; it is commanded by Garrard; and 10,000 dotted from 
Robinson to Cincinnati. 

General Polk ordered two howitzers, one Parrott and three iron 
guns to be shipped for you to Knoxville, October 15. A company to 
man this battery will be sent in a few days.* 

On advancing with the infantry, about daybreak, Zol- 
Hcoffer soon learned that the enemy had so blockaded 
the road, by cutting trees across it, that it was very diffi- 
cult for infantry to approach the enemy's position, much 
less cavalry and artillery ; and, moreover, the enemy's 
entrenched camp on Rockcastle Hills was a natural 
fortification, almost inaccessible, from our side of ap- 

Winding their way, as best they could, between two 
hills, over the fallen timber, and up, up, up the rugged 
cliffs. Finally, about 9 a. m., the Eleventh (Rains) and 
Seventeenth (Newman) Tennessee Regiments attacked 
the Federals in their entrenchments on Rockcastle 
Hills. The following is taken from Colonel Newman's 
official report : 

Near Rockcastle Heights, October 21, i86r. 

As ordered, I formed my regiment from hill-top to hill-top at open 
intervals to move in rear of Colonel Rains' Regiment and support him. 
Lieutenant-Colonel Miller was ordered to take command of the left 
wing, composed of Companies A, D, F and I . . . . and for the 
movements of said companies on the field I refer you to the report of 
Lieutenant-Colonel Miller, which is hereto appended and made a part 
of my report. t The six companies, viz. : B, C, E, G, H and K, 
constituting the right wing, were under my immediate 
<:ommand, and moved forward in line of battle in the direction of the 
heights in front of our position. 

* Rebellion Records, VoJ. IV., p. 212. 

tNot found. 

October, 18G1. 61 

Upon reaching a point within eighty yards of the heights, we dis- 
covered a number of men ascending the heights and entering the 
fortifications, but supposing these men to be a portion of Colonel 
Rains' command, I did not order them to be fired upon. 

At this point we received a heavy volley of rifles and musketry. 
The command moved on, however, without returning the fire until 
within forty paces of the enemy's works before we discovered they 
were not Colonel Rains' men, at which time the men were ordered to 
cover as well as they could and to return the enemy's fire. In this 
position we maintained a heavy fire for twenty-five minutes, when I 
ordered Captain Armstrong and Lieutenant Harrison to move their 
companies around to my extreme right to prevent a flank movement 
of the enemy, which I saw they were about to make. These officers 
executed the order with promptness and alacrity, under fire. 

The fire was kept up by all the companies for an hour and ten 
minutes, and, seeing that it was impossible to fall back without great 
loss, I ordered the works to be charged. Four companies gallantly 
charged the works, as ordered. Officers and men seemingly vied with 
each other as to who should be first to reach the works of the enemy. 

After the fortification was reached, and many of my men had got 
within the works, driving the enemy from the first parallel, not receiv- 
ing any support, and being nearly destitute of cartridges, I ordered 
my command to fall back, which it did in good order. While this was 
being executed the other two companies maintained their position as 
ordered. . . . ........ 

Killed, II ; wounded, 34. 

All of which is respectfully submitted, 

Taz. W. Newman, 
Colonel Commanding Seventeenth Regiment Tennessee Volunteers.'^ 

After he had fallen back to Flat Lick, between Bar- 
boursville and Camp Buckner, Zollicoffer sent the fol- 
lowing report to A. S. Johnston : 

Camp Flat Lick, Knox County, October 24, 1861. 
On the 2ist I reached the enemy's entrenched camp, on Rock- 
castle Hills, a natural fortification, almost inaccessible. Having re- 
connoitered in force under heavy fire for several hours from heights 

* Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., p. 213, 

62 E. K. Hancock's Diary. 

on the right, left and in front, I became satisfied that it could not be 
carried otherwise than by immense exposure, if at all. The enemy 
received large reinforcements. 

Our loss was forty-two wounded and eleven killed and missing. 
We captured twenty-one prisoners, about loo guns and four horses. 
The loss of the enemy in killed and wounded unknown. 

The country is so poor that we had exhausted the forage on the 
road for fifteen miles back in twenty-four hours. Our subsistence 
nearly exhausted. Under these circumstances I deemed it proper the 
next day to fall back. Enemy's camp said to be 7,000 strong, with 
large reserves near at hand. Very respectfully, 


Brigadier- General. * 

I have not been able to find Colonel Rains' official 
report, therefore can give no fijrther account of the part 
taken by his regiment in the above action, though it 
would seem that the most of the fighting was done by 
Newman's Regfiment, from the fact that ZoUicoffer re- 
ports the same number, eleven, "killed and missing" 
from the brigade that Newman reports "killed" from 
his regiment; the former, however, reports eight more 
wounded, which may have been the loss of Rains' Reg- 
iment. f 

Remaining in front of the Federal position, ZoUicoffer 
made another slio^ht attack about two o'clock, p. m., but 
still he could not induce the enemy to come from his 
intrenchments and give battle on equal footing. 

The Thirty-third Indiana Infantry, under Colonel 
John Coburn. and the First Kentucky Cavalry, under 
Colonel Frank Wolford, did the most of the fighting on 
the part of the enemy. 

I take the following from Colonel John Coburn's offi- 

••• Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., p. 210. 

tSince writing the above I have learned (from Military Annals of Tennes- 
see, p. 293) that Rains lost "one killed and six or eight wounded." 

October, 1861. 63 

cial report, addressed to " General A. Schoepf, Com- 
manding Brigade : 

They (Rebels) soon came near us* under cover of a wood, which 
•entirely concealed their approach until we were apprised of their 
presence by the firing of musketry. At this time we were reinforced 
by a portion of the First Kentucky Cavalry, dismounted, under Col- 
onel Wolford, about two hundred and fifty strong, who immediately 
formed and took part in the engagement. The firing at this time was 
very severe, which caused the cavalry to waver and retreat. They 
were soon, however, rallied and formed again in order, and fought 
with good spirit. 

The enemy engaged was composed of a portion of General ZoUi- 
-coffer's command, and consisted of two regiments of Tennesseans, 
under the command of Colonels Newman and Cummings (Rains). 
They charged up the hill upon us, and were met by a galling and 
deadly fire, which wounded and killed many of them. The front of 
their column approached within a few rods of us with their bayonets 
fixed, declaring themselves "Union men," and "all right," at the next 
moment leveling their guns at us and firing. 

After being engaged nearly an hour, the enemy retreated, bearing 
off a portion of their dead and wounded and their arms. Our men 
have buried their dead left on the field and taken the woundedt to our 
hospitals. Thirty corpses have been found up to this time (October 
2 2d). A large number of their wounded and dead were carried off 
in their wagons. It is safe to estimate the loss of the enemy at least 
one hundred killed. . ........ 

About the close of the engagement four companies of the Seven- 
teenth Ohio, Colonel Connell, came upon the hill and formed in line 
of battle. ; 

. . About two o'clock, p. M., we were again attacked. At this 
time the Fourteenth Ohio, Colonel Steedman, appeared upon the 


At ten o'clock at night Lieutenant Sypher, of Captain Standart's 
Ohio Battery, came on the hill, on an alarm fired three rounds. They 
were the last shots fired. 

At about two o'clock in the morning we heard sounds which betok- 

* On an eminence east of the Federal encampment. 

t Three, one mortally, so General .Schoepf reports. See Rebellion Records 
Vol. IV., p. 207. 

64 E. E. Hancock's Diary. 

ened a movement of General Zollicoffer's army. It proved to be a 
retreat. . . . . . ...... 

The number of our loss is a follows: Company D, one killed and 
five wounded; Company I, one killed and ten wounded, three mor- 
tally. Colonel Wolford lost one killed and eleven wounded.-'' 

Colonel T. T. Garrard, Third Kentucky, who was in 
command at Wildcat before General Schoepf arrived, 
wrote to General Thomas, under October 25th, thus: 

Your aid arrived in time to save us from a certain defeat (what oth- 
ers may say to the contrary notwithstanding). It is not necessary for 
me to say one word about the fight, for you have no doubt been fully 
posted. Though don't be deceived as to the number killed by us; 
my impression is that we did not kill to exceed sixteen, and wounded 
some thirty or forty. 

Many say we lost a great victory by not pursuing the enemy. It is 
true, if we had have known as much then as now, we might have 
done -wonders. But we expected an attack the next morning, and 
every one was sleeping on their arms, and we never knew the enemy 
had left camps until near eight o'clock. We have a great many here 
who know precisely how to manage affairs when the enemy is out of" 
hearing, but would be as much at a loss to do so in a fight as I would 

I am glad to have an. opportunity of proving by a 
Federal Colonel, who was present at Wildcat, that Col- 
onel Coburn did greatly overestimate our loss at that 

Supposing that all of the missing were killed, Colonel 
Newman reported eleven killed, but as three of them 
were only wounded, our loss was really eight killed and 
forty-five wounded, one mortally. 

Colonel Garrard does not say any thing about the 
Federal loss in his report. General Schoepf reports 
four killed and eighteen wounded, while Colonel Coburn 

*Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., p. 208. 
tRebellion Records, Vol. IV., p. 319. 

OCTORRR, 1801. 65 

reports twenty-six wounded from his and Walford's 

Companies A and E, of McNairy's Battalion went 
back a short distance in the direction of London, crossed 
over to the Richmond road, and thence around to the 
east of Wildcat, to keep a sharp lookout for any flank 
movement that the enemy might be making in that 
direction. Making no discovery, however, we returned 
to the wagon train, about half-way between London and 
Wildcat, a little after dark. 

TiLesday, 22d. — Eleven men from First Battalion were 
sent back in the direction of Wildcat to make a report 
to General Zollicoffer and get orders. They had gone 
only about one mile when they met the advance of the 
brigade on the retreat. 

Zollicoffer had decided that if the Federal position at 
Wildcat could have been taken at all by storm, it would 
have been at a cost of too great a sacrifice of his men, 
and as he had declined the idea of going back by the 
way of Mill Springs or Burkesville, as he had intimated 
to Colonel Murray on the i6th,* he was now on his way 
back to Camp Buckner. 

Passing back through London, the brigade bivouacked 
six miles from that place, on the Barboursville road. 

Twenty-five of /\llison's company and about the same 
number from Harris' First Battallion. went back to 
within two miles and a half of London to picket that 
road for the night. 

Wednesday, 2jd. — Zollicoffer moved on to, and camped 
lor the night at, Barboursville. 

■••'On October 28lh, at Camp Buckner, Zollicoffer wrote to Murray as follows: 
■*' Learning that the enemy had retired from Albany, and desiring to see that 
the guns were all in position at the gap, I determined to return this way." 
Rebellion Records, \o\. IV., p. 483. 


66 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Two companies, A and E, of McNairy's Battalion, 
were sent out about ten miles from Barboursville on the 
Manchester road. They returned to Barboursville, a 
little after midnight, without learning any thing worthy 
of note.* 

Thursday, 2^th. — The infantry and artillery moved 
on in the direction of Camp Buckner. A part of Braz- 
elton's Battalion was left on the London road a short dis- 
tance north-west of Barboursville. 

Colonel McNairy ordered Captain Allison to take his 
company and picket the road leading east from Bar- 
boursville in the direction of Mount Pleasant. Going 
about one mile and a half from town, Allison ordered his 
'company to halt, except five men who were ordered to 
take post about half a mile in advance of the picket 
base. About the time the company had dismounted 
and tied up their horses, our pickets commenced firing, 
only about four hundred yards from us. In less than 
three minutes we were in the saddle again, and going 
in a dash to see what the trouble was. We soon learned 
that our pickets had seen only one man, who, on being 
ordered to halt, took to the bushes. They fired about 
four shots at him, but he made good his escape. We 
then returned to where we had first dismounted, but did 
not unsaddle that nig^ht. 

Friday, 2^th. — Captain Allison sent some of his men 
out to search the woods into which the bush-whacker 

*I shall here relate an amusing incident that occurred while out on the 
above named scout. It occurred thus: We called on an old gentleman to know 
if he could furnish us some forage for our horses. He replied, rather emphat- 
ically: "No, I have 110 forage for your horses. My neighbors /'«^7f I have none; 
I don't see why they sent you here.'''' As soon, however, as the old gentleman 
was informed that we were " Union" men, he cried out in a still higher key, 
addressing his wife, "O Betsey, these are good Union boys ! I have plenty of corn 
and fodder !'" We then fed our horses, and "Betsey" furnished supper for sev- 
eral of the "good Union boys." 

October, 1861. 67 

was chased last evening- to see what discovery they 
could make. They soon after returned with four mus- 
kets, about twenty thousand caps, and some powder, 
which they had found hid out in the woods. 

Captain Horn's servant was shot, but only wounded, 
b)^ a bush-whacker between Barboursville and Camp 

Calling in Allison's company off of picket, McXairy 
moved two miles from Barboursville on the road to 
Cumberland Ford. 

As we were on the lookout for the enemy, we did not 
unsaddle our horses. 

Saturday, 26th. — Several detachments were sent out 
over the country after beef cattle. Some sixty beeves 
were brought in during the day. 

The battalion moved some three miles nearer Camp 

Sunday, 2yth. — Lieutenant George Alexander, Dr. 
J. S. Harrison (afterward Lieutenant) and R. Daven- 
port rejoined i\llison's company. They had been home 
on a visit. 

Our battalion moved about three miles and encamped 
at Flat Lick, within eight miles of Camp Buckner, at 
Cumberland Ford, where we remained for several days. 

As Cumberland Gap was naturally a strong position, 
and as the three Log Mountains between Camp Buck- 
ner and the Gap would soon be almost impassable. Gen- 
eral Zollicoffer therefore believed that the Federals 
would attempt to enter East Tennessee at some point 
west of the Gap, and for this reason he decided to 
abandon his position at Camp Buckner. I shall now 
let our General explain his contemplated movement as 
follows : 

68 K. E. Hancock's Diary. 

Brigade Headquarters, 
Camp Buckner, Cumberland Ford, October 29, 1861. 
Lieutenant- Colonel Mackall, Assistant Adjutant- General, Boivling Green, 

Kentucky : 

Sir : My pickets at Laurel Ridge yesterday drove back a small 
cavalry picket of the enemy and took three prisoners, who represented 
that a portion of the enemy's force has advanced to London. Their 
force at and on this side of Rockcastle River (Wildcat) is reported at 
nine thousand. 

There are three main roads by which, if an invasion of East Ten- 
nessee is contemplated, an enemy might approach. On this, by Cum- 
berland Gap, we have heretofore concentrated nearly our whole force, 
and we now have seven guns in position at Cumberland Gap. The 
most westernly road is by Monticello, in Kentucky, and Jamestown, 
in Tennessee. The counties of Fentress, Scott, Morgan, and Ander- 
son are poor, mountainous, and disaffected. Should a force select 
that route of invasion, I could meet them at the mountain passes near 
Clinton, and between Kingston and Morgan Court-house, and keep 
them on that broad, sterile region until it would be practicable for 
General Buckner to throw a force in their rear and cut them off. 

In view of this danger they may select the middle rotite, by Will- 
iamsburg, Ky., and Jacksborough, Tenn. The road over the Log 
Mountains will soon become almost impassable between here and 
Cumberland Gap. The Gap is a much stronger position than this. 
While I am watching the road from here to Laurel River, the enemy 
might be advancing on the Jacksborough or the Jamestown road 
without my knowledge. For these reasons I send four cavalry com- 
panies to scout on the roads from the neighborhood of Jacksborough 
into Kentucky, and I have ordered one infantry regiment to Jacksbor- 
ough, one six miles east to Big Creek Gap, two about half-way be- 
tween Jacksborough and Cumberland Gap, while four will remain at 
present at Cumberland Gap. I leave six cavalry companies to observe 
this road. One cavalry company is posted on the road from William- 
burg, Ky., to Huntsville, Tenn., and six cavalry companies, McClel- 
ian's Battalion, and I suppose Colonel Murray's Regiment of infantry, 
are in the neighborhood of Jamestown.* 

*Colonels Murray and Stanton had, according to orders from A. S. John- 
ston, broken up a Federal camp at Burkesville, Ky., and on the same day that 
Zollicoffer wrote the above they were at Albany, Ky., on their way back to 
Overton County, Tenn. Captain Bledsoe's company was at Camp McGinnis, 
between Jamestown, Tenn., and Albany, Ky. 

October, 1861. 69 

It is currently reported that an invading force from twenty thou- 
sand to thirty thousand is on the road from Cincinnati to East Tennes- 
see, but I have no means of knowing any thing of the accuracy of 
the rumor.* 

Except cavalry scouts, my force will be withdrawn from this post 
to-morrow. Acting upon my best judgment, I have supposed the dis- 
position of my forces I have described the very best under the cir- 
cumstances. Had I a military engineer in whose judgment 1 could 
rely, to reconnoiter the mountain roads, gaps and passes from Cum- 
berland Gap to Jamestown I would feel much more capable of making 
a judicious disposition of troops. 

I have had rumors that reinforcements of Confederate troops were 
to be thrown upon this part of the border, but as I have no official 
information I take it for granted the rumors are erroneous. Very re- 
spectfully, F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, 

Brigadier- General, f 

Tuesday, 2gtk. — Colonel McNairy sent a scout of 
sixty men out in the direction of London yesterday, and 
on returning last night four of Captain Horn's company 
put up for the night some fifteen miles from our camp. 
As they were coming to camps this morning they were 
fired on from the bushes. They reported that they re- 
turned the fire, killing one of the bush-whackers and 
capturing four muskets. They brought the muskets 
into camp. The above named scout went within about 
seven miles of London and reported that the Federals 
had advanced from Wildcat to that place. 

*It appears that General Geo. H. Thomas, who commanded the Second Di- 
vision of Sherman's army, and was now in front of ZoUicoffer, had, subject to 
his orders, twenty-nine regiments and three batteries of artillery, though some 
of the regiments were not fully organized and equipped at this time. See Re- 
bellion Records, Vol. IV., pp. 334, 315. 

tBrigadier-General L. P. Walker had been (October 22d) ordered by Gen- 
eral A. S. Johnston to move his brigade from Huntsville, Ala., via Knoxville, 
to the support of ZoUicoffer, and General W. H. Carroll, at Memphis, had 
been (October 26th) ordered by Secretary of War to join ZoUicoffer with three 
regiments, but neither one of them could obey the order, because their men 
were not armed. See Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., pp. 470, 476, 486. 

70 R. B. Hancock's Diary. 

General Albin Schoepf had advanced from Wildcat 
with six regiments* and two batteries of artillery, and 
established his headquarters at the junction of the Crab 
Orchard and Richmond roads, three miles north of Lon- 
don, with two of his regiments thrown forward to that 

On the above date General Thomas sent the follow- 
ing dispatch to General Schoepf: 

I have just received a letter from General Sherman. He objects 
to advancing the troops too far on this route, and directs that we go 
no farther than your camp for the present, f 

The Major of our battalion, William Malcomb, re- 
signed and started home. 

Wedfiesday, joth. — L. V, Kennedy and Dr. Monroe 
Knight, J having received an honorable discharge from 
the service on account of ill health, started home. We 
regretted very much to lose from our company (Allison's) 
two such good soldiers. They were always ready and 
willing to do duty when called upon, so far as able, and 
besides they were strictly gentlemen. 

A part of the infantry moved from Camp Buckner to 
Cumberland Gap, yesterday, and Zollicoffer followed 
with the rest to-day. 

Sattirday, November 2d. — The First Battalion moved 
(eight miles) from Flat Lick to Camp Buckner. The 
latter camp appeared somewhat lonely now, as the in- 
fantry had left, as previously mentioned. Two compan- 

■■■■ Fourteenth, Colonel Steedman, and Seventeenth, Colonel Connell, Ohio, 
Thirty-third Indiana, Colonel Coburn, Third Kentucky, Colonel Garrard, First, 
Colonel Byrtl, and Second, Colonel Carter, Tennessee, and Standart'.s and Ken- 
ny's Batteries. Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., p. 322. 

t Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., p. 323. 

JSee Appendix A. 

November, 1861. 71 

ies of Brazelton's Battalion were still back in the neigh- 
borhood of Barboursville. 

Tuesday, ^tJi. — Our battalion moved (twelve miles) 
from Camp Buckner to within four miles of the Gap, 
where we remained until Thursday, November 7th. 

McNairy's Battalion marched out of Kentucky, 
through Cumberland Gap, thence along a fertile valley 
in the ^direction of Jacksborough, Tennssee, and biv- 
ouacked eighteen miles from the Gap. 

General Zollicoffer set out for Jacksborough yester- 
day from the Gap. Four regiments of infantry (Bat- 
tle's, Cumming's, Newman's and Statham's), four cavalry 
companies (Branner) and a battery of artillery (six 
6-pounders and two Parrott guns) were now in the 
neighborhood of Jacksborough. The Twenty-ninth 
Tennessee (Colonel Powell) and a battalion of the Six- 
teenth Alabama (Lieutenant-Colonel Harris)* were on 
their way to the same place, leaving Colonels Rains' 
and Churchwell's Regfiments well intrenched, and seven 
guns in good positions at the Gap, with two companies 
of Brazelton's Battalion to scout in front of that position. 

A military engineer. Captain Victor Sheliha, had been 
sent to Zollicoffer, and was now reconnoiterinor the 
mountain passes in the vicinity of Jacksborough. 

Before leaving Cumberland Gap yesterday Zollicoffer 
received the following dispatch from Lieutenant-Colonel 
McClellan, stationed near Jamestown : 

I have information that is entirely reliable that the enemy is ap- 
proaching this point 6,000 strong — 1,500 cavalry and the balance 
artillery and infantry. The infantry and artillery camped last night, 

* Colonel Wood had the other battalion of this regiment with him at Knox- 
ville. He was in command of that post. 

72 R. E. Hancock's Diary, 

the 3d, five miles east ot" Muiuiceiiu, a iijrtion ot the cavalry in town, 
their pickets seven miles below. 

Colonel Murray is at Camp Zollicoffer, in Overton County. I dis- 
patched him yesterday, urging him to move to this place. Colonel 
Stanton, I understand, is at Celina.* 

This was the Information that ZolHcoffer had been 
expecting to receive, and, in anticipation of which, he 
had previously (October 31st) ordered Colonels, Stan- 
ton, Murray and McClellan to concentrate their com- 
mands, and throw up intrenchments at some suitable 
point, near Jamestownf , and was now moving as rapidly 
as possible with the force above named, including Mc- 
Nairy's Battalion, by the way of Jacksborough, Clinton 
and Montgomery, to their support. 

Fi'-iday, 8th. — In the saddle early that morning, our 
battalion arrived at Jacksborough late in the afternoon 
(about twenty-two miles). Zollicoffer had left orders 
here for McNairy to follow the brigade by a forced 
march in the direction of Clinton. After allowing his 
men to halt long enough to feed their horses and take 
supper, McNairy pressed on thirteen miles further and 
bivouacked for the rest of the night. ;|; Here he was met 
by a messenger, with orders for him to halt. 

•''Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., p. 514. 

tibid, p. 493. 

J I had been on the sick list ever since our battalion left Flat Lick, but had 
still followed the command until the above night. Not being able to go any 
further, I put up with one Mr. Bowling, who lived on the Clinton road, six miles- 
south of Jacksborough, the county seat of Campbell County, where I remained 
for about ten days, and was quite sick wiih a fever during the time. J. W. 
Kennedy first stopped with me, but as I continued to grow worse for some days, 
my brother, B. A. Hancock, resigned as assistant commissary of our battalion 
and came to see that I was properly cared for. Ben and I rejoined the battal- 
ion at Clinton, on the l8th. B. J. MuUinax, P. Nelson and Bob Smith were 
sick of the measles at Jacksborough and dis^-harged at Clinton. 

November, 1861. ' 73^ 

The rest of the brigade had also halted, and I shall 
now endeavor to explain why. 

The First Kentucky Infantry, under Colonel Bram- 
lette, and the Fourth, under Colonel Haskins, and Wol- 
ford's Cavalry were at that time encamped at or near 
"Camp Goggin," on the north bank of the Cumber- 
land, some nine miles above Mill Springs and twenty 
from Monticello, Kentucky.* On the 3d, Colonel 
Wolford set out from the above named camp with four 
hundred of his regiment and one piece of artillery on a 
reconnoitering expedition in the direction of Monticello, 
and, if necessary, he was to send a messenger back and 
Colonels Bramlette and Haskins were to follow with all 
their available force — 1,200. Colonel Wolford went as 
far as Monticello, and, finding no " Rebs " there, he re- 
turned to Camp Goggin. 

It appears that Madam Rumor had swelled Wolford's 
four hundred to 6,000 before she delivered her " en- 
tirely reliable" report to Lieutenant-Colonel McClellan, 
for on the next day, the 4th, he wrote the dispatch 
which has been previously given, under the 7th instant. 
On the 5th, he moved his battalion down to Camp Mc- 
Ginnis, and sent some of his men out toward Monticello 
to meet the enemy. They went as far as Monticello, 
and sent a messenger back, who reported that a few 
cavalry had been there, but had gone back to Camp 
Goggin. So, just as Zollicoffer entered the road from 
Knoxville to Wartburg, within twenty-two miles of the 
latter place, a messenger met him with a dispatch from 
Colonel McClellan, statin^ that the information which 
he had given on the 4th was founded in error. There- 
fore, our General decided to fall back to jacksborough, 

* Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., p. 328. 

74 ' K. E. Hancock's Diary. 

and completely blockade the two wagon roads through 
the mountains in that vicinity.* 

Saturday, ' gth. — Our brigade moved back from An- 
derson County to the vicinty of Jacksborough. Mc- 
Nairy's Battalion camped six miles south of town on the 
Clinton road. 


East Tennessee was now ablaze with excitement on 
account of the uprising and open rebellion of the Union 
men. They were flying to arms in squads of from fifty 
to five hundred. Several bridges along the East Ten- 
nessee and Georgia, and Virginia and Tennessee Rail- 
roads were burned last night. 

It appears that William Blunt Carter, f of East Ten- 
nessee, was the prime mover and chief instigator of the 
revolt and bridge burning above named, and the follow- 
ing communication will show the "beginning corner" 
of his plans : 

Headquarters Camp Dick Robinson, 

September 30, 1861. 

Major- General George B. McClellan, Commanding Deparimerit of the 

Potomac : 

General: I have just had a conversation with Mr. W. B. Carter, 
of Tennessee, on the subject of the destruction of the Grand Trunk 
Railroad through that State. 

He assures me that he can have it done if the Government will 
intrust him with a small sum of money to give confidence to the per- 
sons to be employed to do it. It would be one of the most important 
services that could be done for the country, and I most earnestly hope 
you will use your influence with the authorities in furtherance of his 

* Rebellion Records. \'oi. I\'., p. 530. 

t A brother of General S. P. Carter, who commanded the Tennessee Fed- 
-eral Brigade. 

November, 1801. 75 

plans, which he will submit to you, together with the reasons for doing 
the work. 

I am, sir, very respectfully your obedient servant, 

Geo. H. Thomas, 
Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.'^^ 

Suffice it to say that he received satisfactory encour- 
agement from the Federal Government, and, setting out 
on his mission about the middle of October, Carter ar- 
rived in the neighborhood of Montgomery, Morgan 
County, Tennessee, on the 2 2d, and under that date he 
wrote to General Thomas thus : 

I reached here at 2 p. m. to-day. I am in six miles of company of 
rebel cavalry. . . . The rebels continue to arrest and imprison 
our people. 

You will please furnish the bearers with as much lead, rifle powder, 
and as many caps as they can bring for Scott and Morgan Counties. 
You need not fear to trust these people. They will open the war for 
you by routing these small bodies of marauding cavalry. 

I find our people have suffered beyond all forbearance. Hasten 
on to our aid. To-morrow night I hope to be near our railroad. 
You shall hear from me again soon.t 

On the 27th, near Kingston, Roane County, he wrote 

aofain to Thomas as follows : \ 


I am now within a few miles of our railroad, but I have not yet 
had time to obtain all the information I must have before I decide on 
the course best for me to adopt. If I can get half a dozen brave men 
to "take the bull by the horns" we can whip them completely and 
save the railroad. 

If I cannot get such leaders we will make a desperate attempt to 
destroy all the bridges, and I firmly believe I will be successful. . . . 
The Union men of East Tennessee are longing and praying for the 
hour when they can break their fetters. . . . Men and women 
weep for joy when I merely hint to them that the day of our deliver- 
ance is at hand. ... I beg you to hasten on to our help, as we 
are about to create a great diversion in General McClellan's favor. 

* Rebellion Records, Vol. IV.. p. 284. 
tRebellion Records, Vol. IV., p. 317. 

76 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

You must bring some small arms with you. I am satisfied that you 
will have to take the road by Monticello and Jamestown, unless you 
come by Cumberland Gap.* 

Having succeeeded in maturing his plans, the execu- 
tion of which resulted in the bridge burning, as pre- 
viously mentioned. Mr. W. B. Carter set out on his 
return November iith, and arrived at his brother's 
headquarters at " Camp Calvert," near London, Ken- 
tucky, on the 1 6th, and on the same day his brother, 
Colonel S. P. Carter (afterward General) sent the fol- 
lowing report to General Thomas, whose headquarters 
had been moved forward from Camp Dick Robinson to 
Crab Orchard : 

My brother William has just arrived from East Tennessee. 
He reports that on Friday night, 8th instant, of last week, he succeeded 
in having burned at least six, and perhaps eight bridges on the rail- 
road, viz. : Union bridge, in Sullivan County, near the Virginia line, 
Lick Creek bridge, in Green County, Strawberry plains, in Jefferson 
County, fifteen miles east of Knoxville, partially destroyed, Hiawassee 
bridge seventy miles south-west of Knoxville, and on the East Ten- 
nessee and Georgia Railroad, two bridges over the Chickamauga, one 
between Cleveland and Chattanooga, and the other between Chatta- 
nooga and Dalton, Georgia. These bridges are certainly destroyed. 
The Long Island bridge, at Bridgeport, on Tennessee River, and a 
bridge below Dalton, on the Western and Atlantic road, are probably 
destroyed, t 

Only five bridges were burned, as the following dis- 
patch from Colonel W. B. Wood, Sixteenth Alabama, 
who had been for some time guarding the railroad as 
best he could with the small force at his command, will 
show : 

Knoxville, November ii, i86i. 
Adjutant-General Cooper, Richmond: 

Three bridges burned between Bristol and Chattanooga, two on 

'■Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., p. 320. 
t Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., p. 359. 

Private MONROE KNIGHT, Co. E, First Battalion. 

November, 1801. 77 

Georgia road. Five hundred Union men now threatening Strawberry 
Plains. Fifteen hundred assembUng in Hamilton County, and a gen- 
eral uprising in all the counties. I have about one thousand men 
-under my command. W. B. Wood, 

Colonel. '^'■ 

In order to put down this revolt of the Unionists, 
Stovall's BattalHon and a Hght field battery were sent 
from Richmond, Virginia, to Bristol, Tennessee (iith), 
the Seventh Alabama, Col. S. A. M. Wood, from Pen- 
sacola to Chattanooga (14th). General W. H. Carroll, 
with two regiments, though mostly unarmed, from Mem- 
phis to Chattanooga (15th), and General Zollicoffer sent 
the Twenty-ninth 'lenhessee, Colonel S. Powell, from 
Jacksborough to Knoxville (loth). On the iith Col- 
Danville Leadbetter, of Engineer Corps, was ordered 
by President Davis to proceed at once from Richmond 
to East Tennessee, assume command of all the troops 
to be stationed for the protection of the railroad be- 
tween Bristol and Chattanooga, reconstruct bridges, 
and repair and keep open the line of communication 
between those points. f 

Mr. W. B. Carter happened to enter East Tennessee 
on his special mission just at the right time for it to be 
an easy matter for him to induce the Union men of that 
section to do his bidding. For when Zollicoffer fell back 
out of Kentucky the Unionists fully believed that the 
Federal army would be in their midst in a few days. 

On the 20th Colonel W. B, Wood wrote to the Sec- 
retary of war thus : 

The rebellion in East Tennessee has been put down in some of 
the counties, and will be effectually suppressed in less than two weeks 
in all the tounties. Their camps in Sevier and Hamilton Counties 

* Ibid., p. 236. 

tSee Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., pp. 234, 235, 538. 

78 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

have been broken up, and a large number of them made prisoners. 
Some are confined in jail at this place and others sent to Nash- 
ville. ............ 

The prisoners we have tell us that they had every assurance that 
the (Federal) army was already in the State, and would join them 
in a very few days ; that the property of Southern men was to be con- 
fiscated and divided among those who would take up arms for Lin- 

In answer to an inquiry in reference to what he should 
do with his prisoners, Colonel Wood received the fol- 
lowing from the Secretary of War: 

All such as can be identified as having been engaged in bridge 
burning are to be tried summarily by -drum head court-martial, and, 
if found guilty, executed on the spot by hanging. It would be well 
to leave their bodies hanging in the vicinity of the burned bridges. 

All such as have not been so engaged are to be treated as prison- 
ers of war, and sent with an armed guard to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 
and held in jail till the end of the war. 
Such as come in voluntarily, take the oath of allegiance and surren- 
der their arms are alone to be treated with leniency, t 

Some, I know not how many, were found guilty by a 
"drum-head court martial" and hung. 

As a general thing these bands of traitors would dis- 
band and Bee to the mountains on the approach of an 
armed force of Confederates, therefore it was a difficult 
matter to do any thing with them. 

While W. B. Carter was in East Tennessee arousing 
a spirit of rebellion there, ex-Governor Andrew Johnson 
was with the Federal army at London, Kentucky, urg- 
ing upon and pleading with Generals Schoepf and 
Thomas to move forward into East Tennessee. In fact, 
this "forward movement" had been so often urged by 
Johnson, Maynard, the Carters and others of East Ten- 

* Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., p. 250. 
t Rebellon Records, Vol. VII., p. 701. 

November, 1861. 71> 

nessee, that it had become quite annoying to the Fed- 
eral commanders, as the following correspondence will 

On November 7th, General Thomas wrote thus to 
Johnson : 

Your favor of the 6th instant is at hand. I have done all in my 
power to get troops and transportation and means to advance into 
East Tennessee. I believe General Sherman at (Louisville) has done 
the same. Up to this time we have been unsuccessful. 

If the Tennesseans are not content and must go, then the risk of 
disaster will remain with them. ....... 

In conclusion I will add that I am here ready to obey orders, and 
earnestly hope that the troops at London will see the necessity of 
doing the same.* 

At the same time Thomas addressed a letter to 
Schoepf as follows : 

I find it necessary to reply to Governor Johnson's letter in the 
manner of the foregoing, which I send to you for your information. 
It is time that discontented persons should be silenced, both in and 
out of the service. . . . ...... 

.1 hope you will therefore see the necessity of dealing decidedly 
with such people, and you have my authority and orders for doing 
so. We must learn to abide our time, or we shall never be success- 
ful, f 

On the 8th, Schoepf replied to the above thus : 

Yours of the 7th instant, with copy of letter to Governor John- 
son, is before me, and it is with extreme satisfaction that I note the 
decided manner in which the case is laid down to Governor Johnson. 

This outside pressure has become intolerable, and must be met 
with firmness, or the army may as well be disbanded. 

With importunate citizens on one side and meddlesome reporters- 
for papers on the other, I can scarce find time to attend to the appro- 
priate duties of my position. By the way, cannot something be done 
to rid our camps of this latter class? I have really reached that point 

* Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., pp. 342 and 343. 
t Rebellion Records, Vol. IV., p. 347. 

W R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

that I am afraid to address my staff officer above a whisper in my own 

Though, in place of a forward, the Federals made a 
retrograde, movement from London soon after the above 

On the 13th, General Schoepf set out from London 
to join General Thomas at Crab Orchard, with all the 
troops camped there, except the First and Second Ten- 
nessee and Third Kentucky (Colonel T. T. Garrard), 
which remained at London, under the command of Col- 
■onel S. P. Carter (Second Tennessee. )f 

If you will excuse me, dear reader, for the above di- 
gression, I shall now return to Jacksborough and take 
up the movements of Zollicoffer's Brigade. 

Siinday, lotJi. — Colonel Powell's Regiment, as pre- 
viously mentioned, was detached, and ordered to report 
to Colonel W. B. Wood at Knoxville. Colonel Mc- 
Nairy moved his camp from six miles south to a point 
three miles north of Jacksborough. 

Monday, nth. — Zollicoffer's infantry was now busily 
engaged blockading the gaps in Cumberland Mountain, 
near Jacksborough, under the direction of his engineer, 
Captain V. Sheliha, while his cavalry was picketing, 
scouting, watching the by-ways by which the tories 
would be likely to attempt to pass into Kentucky, aiding 
in putting down the rebellion, of which we have been 
speaking, and seizing all the arms that could be found 
in possession of Union citizens. And thus the brigade 
was employed for about seven days after the above 

Saturday, i6th. — According to orders from brigade 

* Rebellion Records, \''ol. IV., p. 347. 

tSee Carter to H. Maynard, Rebeflion Records, Vol. VII., p. 468. 

November, 1861. 

headquarters, Captain Allison's Company was detached 
from First Battalion, and proceeded from Jacksborough 
to Wartburg", Morgan County, where they arrived the 
next day, and remained there until the brigade came 
up. Allison was instructed to keep a sharp lookout tor 
tories, and guard any stores that might be sent to that 
point from Knoxville for the brigade. 

Sunday, ijtJi. — Having blockaded the roads over the 
mountains near Jacksborough, and believing the fortifi- 
cations at Cumberland Gap very strong, our General 
did not think an army train of the enemy could pass the 
mountains anywhere between the Pound Gap, in Virginia, 
and Jacksborough, a distance of about one hundred and 
twenty miles.* Therefore, leaving orders for his bri- 
gade to take up the line of march again the next morn- 
ing in the direction of Wartburg, General Zollicoffer 
went in person to Knoxville to obtain more definite in- 
formation of the state of things along the line of the 
railroad and among the tories generally. 

Monday, i8tli. — According to orders previously men- 
tioned, what was left of Zollicoffer's Brigade took up 
the line of march again from Jacksborough, going by 
way of Clinton, county seat of Anderson County, where 
McNairy's Battalion halted for two days, while the rest 
of the brigade moved on to Wartburg. 

VVedjiesday, 20th. — Setting out from Clinton, the First 
Battalion moved about fifteen miles and camped on the 
Wartburg road, in the north corner of Roane County. 

Having set out from Knoxville in the afternoon of 
the 17th, General Zollicoffer rejoined the brigade at 
Wartburg, 19th, and on the 20th he wTote to A. S. 
Johnston as follows : 

•■•" Rebellion Records, \o\. I\'., p. 244. 


82 E. E. Hakcock's Diary. 

I am moving as expeditiously as possible, with four and a half 
infantry regiments, a battalion of cavalry and Rutledge's Artillery, to 
unite with Stanton's command (his and Murray's regiments and Mc- 
Clellan's cavalry) beyond Jamestown, with a view of taking a strong 
position on the Cumberland River beyond Monticello 

I hope, by scouring the country on the north bank down to 
l^urkesville occasionally, to command the river, and draw supplies 
from Nashville when the roads to Knoxville are bad. From this 
camp as a base of operations I hope in mild weather to penetrate the 
country towards London or Danville, or in other directions, and. 
command the approaches to Cumberland Gap or Jacksborough. 

. . I sent a few men up to Greeneville to arrest Andrew 
Johnson's sons and son-in-law.^ 

According to ZoUicoffer's official report, the following 
shows the aggregate present at Wartburg : 

Sixteenth Alabama (battalion), 401 ; P^ifteenth Missis- 
sippi, 701 ; Seventeenth Tennessee (Newman), 538 ; 
Nineteenth Tennessee (Cummings), 603 ; Twentieth 
Tennessee (Battle), d},'] ; McNairy's Battalion, 341 ; 
and Rutledge's Battery (eight guns), 126 — total, 3,565, 
but only 2,995 were able for duty. Thirty-five of Mc- 
Nairy's Battalion were reported absent. f 

Zollicoffer ordered Colonel Stanton, with his regi- 
ment. Colonel Murray's Regiment and Lieutenant- 
Colonel McClellan's Battalion of cavalry, encamped at 
Camp McGinnis, some ten miles north of Jamestown, 
to make a rapid and stealthy forward movement to cap- 
ture as many ferry-boats as possible along the Cumber- 
land River, between Burkesville and Mill Springs.;]; 

Thursday, 21st. — Our battalion moved from the north 
corner of Roane County to within one mile and a half 
of Wartburg, where we remained for two days waiting 

* Rebellion Records, Vol. VII., p. 686. 
t Rebellion Records, Vol. VII., p. 687. 
\ Rebellion Records, Vol. VII., p. 6go. 

November, 1861. 83 

for some clothing that was on the way to us from Knox- 

General Zollicoffer moved from Wartburof in the di- 
rection of Jamestown, with the infantry and artillery. 

Friday, 22d. — Now being anxious to go forward in 
advance of the brigade, to overtake Colonel Stanton in 
order to ascertain whether he had put his command in 
motion, as directed on the 20th, or not, Zollicoffer sent 
a messenger back to Wartburg that morning after Cap- 
tain Allison's Company,* which had been stationed at 
that place since the 17th, while he moved on with the 
brigade to Jamestown. 

Captain Allison set out from Wartburg with about 
twenty-five of his company immediately after the arrival 
of the above-named messenger, and by a forced march 
arrived at Zollicoffer's headquatters, at Jamestown, a 
little after dark — distance, about thirty-five miles. 

SatiLi'day, 2jd. — Leaving instructions for the brigade 
to follow. General Zollicoffer and his staff, with Captain 
Allison and twenty-five of his company as escort, left 
Jamestown early in the morning, and, pressing forward 
to -overtake Colonel Stanton, they found him just at 
night encamped not far from ^Albany, Kentucky. 

Sunday, z^th. — The clothing for our battalion having 
been received and distributed, Colonel McNairy again 
took up the line of march, and, passing through Wart- 
burg, encamped for the night some fourteen miles from 
that place on the Jamestown road. 

The main portion of our brigade camped within eight 
miles of Albany, where Zollicoffer awaited their arrival, 

* Zollicoffer had no regular escort. The writer, as well as the rest of Alli- 
son's Company, moved with the First Battalion. 

84 E. E. Hancock's Diary. 

while Colonel Stanton pressed on in the direction of 
Mill Springs, Kentucky, with two regiments and Mc- 
Clellan's Battalion of cavalry. 

Monday, 2§th. — It was now very cold, and the ground 
was frozen hard all day, in consequence of which our 
wagon train did not get as far as Jamestown. In place 
of moving with his train, or at least going no further 
than it could go over the frozen roads, McKairy pressed 
on through Jamestown, down Cumberland Mountain to 
Camp McGinnis on Wolf River — a march of about 
thirty-one miles. The result was his men were without 
tents and rations one very cold night, and until late in 
the afternoon the next day.* 

The following explains itself: 

Knoxville, November 26, 1861. 
Hon. J. P. Benjamin, Secretary of JJar: 

Sn-!. — I have the honor to report that I arrived here on Saturday 
last, by order of General ZoUicoffer, and assumed command of this 
post on Sunday. I found stationed here Colonel Wood's Battalion 
and several companies of infantry and cavalry. 

. . . There are now in custody here about seventy persons, 
many of whom, it is believed, were either directly or indirectly con- 
nected with the burning of the railroad bridges. Colonel Wood 
(Sixteenth Alabama), who was in command here before my arrival, 
had in contemplation a court-martial for the trial of those upon 
whom proof of guilt seemed to be strong. I concurred with him, 
and ordered the meeting on the 28th. 

It is important that steam power should be secured for the purpose 

■•■■'As I was just out of a spell of fever, I did not wish to take the frozen 
ground that night without even a tent for shelter, so I rode over to my friend 
Lathan's, with whom I staid while sick of the measles in September (about one 
mile from Camp McGinnis), to see if I could get to lodge with him another 
night. As I neared his house, and before I saw him, he called out, "Yes, you 
may get down." I yet feel grateful to Mr. Lathan for the comforts of that 

November, 1861. 85 

of driving the machinery necessary in the alterations of arms. I 
therefore took possession of the printing establishment of Rrownlow. 
The steam engine and building are suitable for our purposes, and it 
was the only one that could be procured here. 

Brownlow has left, and no certain information of his whereabouts 
can be obtained. It is, however, certain that he is aiding and abet- 
ting our enemies. 

With high respect, your obedient servant, 

• Wm. H. Carroll, 

Brigadier- General Commanding. * 

lVednesda)\ 2/'th. — Our battalion marched (about four- 
teen miles) from Camp McGinnis to within five miles of 
Albany, the county seat of Clinton County, Kentucky. 

From his headquarters, thirteen miles west of Monti- 
cello, Zollicoffer wrote, under the above date, to General 
S. Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector- General, Richmond, 
Virginia, thus : 

Two regiments cross the river to-day at Mill Springs to endeavor 
to cut off eight hundred of the enemy at Waitsborough, nine miles 
above. A mail from Columbia to Monticello has been captured, by 
which we learn that there are two battalions of cavalry and two regi- 
ments of infantry at Columbia. 

They had heard of my advance and heard my force was nine thou- 
sand. This they doubt, but think if it is true they will have to re- 
treat for want of numbers. I learn that General Thomas is at Crab 
Orchard, but have no reliable intelligence of forces other than those 
at Columbia and Waitsborough. 

I have sent detachments of cavalry to examine the ferries at 
Burkesville, and Creelsborough, seventeen miles above Burkesville, 
also to get more particular information of the ferries and roads cross- 
ing at Dorothea Landing and Horse-Shoe Bottom. It is now certain 
there is no enemy this side of the Cumberland. f 

TJiursdax, 28th. — Accordincr to orders from General 
Zollicoffer, Colonel McXairy went out to Burkesville 

* Rebellion Records, Vol. VII., pp. 704 and 705. 
t Rebellion Rej id>, Vol. VII., p. 706. 

86 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

with a scout of seventy-six men. The writer had suffi- 
ciently recovered to be able to go with that scout. 

Burkesville, the county seat of Cumberland County, 
is on the north bank of the Cumberland River, some 
eighteen miles north-west from Albany. McNairy 
bivouacked on the south bank of the river, opposite to 
Burkesville. He threw a few of his men across the 
river, but they found no enemy in town. 

Friday, 2gth. — We returned to camps a little after 
dark at the same place we started from the morning be- 
fore. It was a cold, rainy day. 

We learned that quite a sad aftair had happened in 
camps that day — the result of card playing. W. K. 
Natcher had shot and killed George Aiken. Natcher 
was put under arrest. Both from Company A. 

On the above date. Colonel T. E. Bramlette, who was 
stationed at Columbia with his regiment (First Ken- 
tucky Infantry) and a part of Wolford's and Haggard's 
Cavalry, made the following report of our visit to 
Burkesville, in a dispatch addressed to General G. H. 
Thomas : 

I received a dispatch before day this morning from Burkesville 
that two hundred rebel cavalry were at the ferry on the south side of 
the river. A few of them crossed over and went to Boles', saw and 
arranged with him and his partners for the slaughter of hogs, and re- 
turned. I'he courier informed me that the men who are acting for 
the rebels are killing and packing a large number of hogs at Burkes- 
ville, viz : J. B. Alexander, J. R. Ryan, James and Sam Boles, nnd 
Robert Cross. 

I have no doubt but steamboats will be up in a few days and carry 
off the large amount of pork, wheat, etc., the rebels are gathering 
upon the river. The rebels are now in possession of the river from 
Mill Springs down. . ... ..... 

I sent Colonel Wolford to the aid of Colonel Haskins with five 
hundred cavalry, embracing part of Colonel Haggard's command. 

November, 1861. 87 

As I have before advised, the rebels are at Mill Springs, in force 
about eight thousand, but as yet have not crossed the river, and I do 
not believe will. 

Colonel Haskins, with his regiment, the Fourth* Ken- 
tucky Infantry, was now encamped on the north bank of 
the Cumberland, some ten miles above MilkSprings. 

General ZoUicoffer, having reached the vicinity of 
Mill Springs late in the afternoon, established his head- 
quarters at one Mr. A. R. West's, within about one mile 
of the river. As a portion of Captain Allison's com- 
pany had gone through with the General, and was still 
acting as escort for him, Allison and his men put up at 
the same place. 

Colonel Stanton, who had arrived at Mill Springs 
with two regiments of infantry and McClellan's Battal- 
ion and Sanders' company of cavalry, about two days in 
advance of ZoUicoffer, had failed to secure any boats, 
from the fact that Colonel Haskins had taken the pre- 
caution to have them sunk ; and for want of transporta- 
he (Stanton) had failed to cross the river, as directed by 
ZoUicoffer, to cut off Haskins' Regiment. 

Saturday, joth. — According to orders from our Gen- 
eral, Colonel McNairy, setting out from his camp, five 
miles south of Albany, with about seventy-five of his 
battalion, went to the Cumberland above Burkesville. 
When our advance guard got in sight of the river a 
boat was crossing to the north bank with seven men 
and five horses. As a portion of the men were Federal 
soldiers, a skirmish ensued, in which the ferryman and 
one soldier were wounded. None of our boys were 
hurt. The ferryman, who lived on the south side of the 
river, brought his boat back to our side. We destroyed 

* Afterward the Twelfth. 

88 E. E. Haxcock's Diary. 

two ferry-boats and two canoes at that ferry, and one 
boat at another. McNairy allowed his men to scatter 
in order to hunt quarters for the night. The writer 
and about twenty-four others put up with our wounded 
ferryman, who lived half a mile from the river. 

Sunday, December ist. — Just before sunrise the enemy 
opened fire on us from the opposite side of the river. 
As we did not wish to have lead mixed with our breakfast 
(fearing it would not digest well), we moved back about 
seven miles from the river and took breakfast without 
the lead. McNairy, having collected his men together, 
returned to camps, which he found four miles from Al- 
bany, on the Monticello road, and within fourteen miles 
of the latter place. Camps had been moved about nine 

General Zollicoffer, with a small detachment of In- 
fantry and cavalry, proceeded to reconnoiter from the 
south bank Colonel Haskin's camp, nine miles above 
Mill Springs, on the North bank of the river. Many of 
the enemy's tents were in full view, and they came out 
and fired on our men with small arms and one twelve- 
pounder howitzer. Our men returned the fire, but the 
distance was too 2"reat for small arms to be of material 
service.* Our General returned to his headquarters at 
Mr. West's. 

General Albin Schoepf, having pressed on in advance 
of his brigade, arrived at Colonel Haskins' camp on the 
above date.f 

Mo)ida)\ 2d. — Our General took up four pieces of 
artillery and soon shelled Col. Haskins' Kentuckians 

* Rebellion Records, \"ul. \'II., ]i. lo. 
t Uaid., p. 7. 

Decembkr, 18G1. 8{> 

out of their encampment, causing them to strike tents 
precipitately and retire out of sight, after which ZoUi- 
coffer returned to Mr. West's. 

In the meantime our commander was building ferry- 
boats at Mill Springs as rapidly as possible, by means 
of which he hoped soon to be able to cross to a good 
position in the bend of the river, on the north bank, op- 
posite Mill Springs. Some lumber and a saw-mill, 
which were found at Mill Springs, aided materially in 
constructinof boats. 

Tuesday, jd. — McNairy's Battalion moved up to 
" Camp Hall," within seven miles of Monticello and 
within sixteen miles of Mill Springs, where it remained 
several days. 

Having learned that one of my brothers, W. C. Han- 
cock, was sick at headquarters, I went to see and wait 
on him. On reaching Mr. West's I found that J. W. 
Kennedy, E. L. Ewing, B. F. Odom. and John Herri- 
man, all belonging to Allison's company, were sick, as 
well as my brother. Notwithstanding Mr. West was a 
"Union man," he was very kind to us, especially to our 
sick boys. 

Wednesday, ^.tli. — General Zollicoffer threw over the 
first small cavalry picket at Mill Springs. 

Colonel J. M. Connell set out from Somerset early 
that morninpf with his reo^iment, Seventeenth Ohio, three 
pieces of artillery and a company of cavalry, with in- 
structions to move to the river and plant his artillery so 
as to command the ferry at Mill Springs, in order to 
prevent Zollicofter's crossing at that point. Leaving his 
main force some two and a half miles from the river, 
Colonel Connell went forward with Captain Ricketts 

•90 E,. R. Hancock's Diary. 

and Lieutenant Fife, of the artillery, to make a personal 
reconnoissance. On meeting our cavalry before reach- 
ing the river at Mill Springs, they (our men.) opened 
fire and gave chase, and the Colonel very narrowly es- 
caped capture. 

I take the following from Connell's official report : 

In turning a sharp angle my saddle turned, girth broke, and I was 
thrown within one hundred yards of them, and but for the noble con- 
duct and cool bravery of Captain Ricketts I would have been killed 
or captured. He got off his horse and waited until I ran up to him 
and gave me his horse, while he escaped into the woods.* 

Our men got the Colonel's saddle, one pistol, and 
some other equipments. Connell moved his force back 
to a position behind Fishing Creek, some twelve miles 
from Mill Springs, thus leaving the way open for Zolli- 
coffer to cross. 

Thursday, ^tk. — Our commander commenced throw- 
ing his main force to the north side of the river. His 
cavalry pickets captured, six miles north of the river, 
after a chase of more than a mile. Major F. W. Hel- 
veti, of the First Kentucky Cavalry (Wolford), Captain 
Prime, of New York, engineer officer of General Buell's 
staff, and a corporal, W. F. Hudson, of Colonel Has- 
kin's Kentucky Regiment. The Major and Captain 
were severely wounded, the former in the arm and the 
latter in the leg. They, all three, were sent back to 
Mr. West's and placed in the care of Captain Allison. 
So we guarded them for about nine days. 

Friday, 6th. — ils Zollicofter had by that afternoon 
thrown a good portion of his command to the north 
side of the river, he moved his headquarters from Mr. 
West's to Mill Springs. 

*RebelIion Records, Vol. VII., p. 475. 

December, 1861, 91 

General Shoepf became so alarmed at the movements 
of Zollicoffer on yesterday, that he fell back with his 
entire company last night to a position three miles north 
of Somerset.* 

Fishing Creek runs south into the Cumberland five 
miles above Mill Springs, and lies between that place 
and Somerset. One road to the latter place crossed 
Fishing Creek seven miles from Mill Springs, and the 
other eleven. The enemy had thrown up fortifications 
.at the more distant crossing. 

Saturday, jth. — Our men were still very busily en- 
gaged crossing the river and intrenching (at "Beech 
Grove ") on the north bank. 

A cavalry scout crossed fishing Creek at the upper 
crossing, passed through the fortifications on the east 
bank and returned without meeting any, not even a 
picket, of the enemy. 

Sttnday. 8th. — Brother Ben and four others of Alli- 
son's Company left Mr. West's to rejoin our battalion 
at Camp Hall, seven miles beyond Monticello. 

Zollicoffer sent out two companies of cavalry to see if 
they could learn what had become of the enemy. Be- 
fore reaching the upper ford on Fishing Creek they 
found a Federal cavalry picket, consisting of one com- 
pany of Wolford's Regiment, under Captain Dillon. 

This company broke and a lively chase ensued. 

Lieutenant Dine was posted a little beyond the upper 
ford, on the road leading to Somerset, with about thirty 
infantry from the Thirty-fifth Ohio f (Colonel Van Der- 
veer). Dillon's fugitives refused to halt or give Dine's 
men any assistance, but pressed on to camp near Som- 

* Rebellion Records, Vol. VII., p. 476. 
t Rebellion Records, \o\. VII., p. 9. 

92 R. E. Hancock's Diary. 

erset.* When our men struck the infantry picket above 
mentioned, they (the enemy) were soon killed, captured 
or dispersed, after which our cavalry followed Dillon's 
men nearly to Somerset. According to Zollicoffer's re- 
, port,t the enemy's loss was ten killed and sixteen cap- 
tured, one of whom was badly wounded; and our loss 
one man- and one horse wounded, and two horses killed. 
I take the following from Colonel Van Derveer's re- 
port : J 

We killed one of their officers in command of the advance, one of 
their horses, and captured one horse. Our own loss was one killed, 
one wounded, and fifteen missing. 

In reference to the above affair General Schoepf wrote 
to General Thomas thus: 

The cavalry under my command, as usual, behaved badly. They 
are a nuisance, and the sooner they are disbanded the better. 

Is there no such thing as obtaining a regiment of reliable cavalry? 
Such a regiment is indispensable with this brigade at this time. The 
absence of such troops has kept me in the saddle until I am nearly 
worn down with fatigue. § 

Monday, gth. — General Zollicoffer now had with him 
six and a half regiments of infantry, a six-pounder bat- 
tery of eight guns, and McNairy's, Branner's and Mc- 
Clellan's Battalions of cavalry ; also two companies of 
Brazelton's Battalion, and two independent companies, 
commanded by Captains Bledsoe and Sanders. Total, 
about five thousand five hundred present tor duty. Two 
regiments of infantry, two pieces of artillery and Mc- 
Nairy's Battalion were left on the south side of the 
river ; all the other troops were now encamped on the- 

* Rebellion Records, Vol. VII., p. 9. 
t Ibid., p. 10. 

j Rebellion Records, Vol. VII., p. 9. 
(^Rebellion Records, Vol. VII., p. 8. 

December, 1861. 93 

north bank, opposite Mill Springs, intrenching as rap- 
idly as possible. 

General D. C. Buell was now in command of the De- 
partment of the Ohio, with headquarters at Louisville, 
Kentucky. General G. H. Thomas was in command of 
First Division of Buell's army, with headquarter's at 
Lebanon, Kentucky. Thomas's Division, which was 
now in front of Zollicoffer, was composed of five bri- 
gades, four regiments each, distributed as follows : The 
First Brigade, under Brigadier-General A. Schoepf, was 
now at Somerset; the Second, under Colonel M, D. 
Manson, and Third, under Colonel R. L. McCook, were 
posted at Lebanon ; the Eleventh Brigade, under Brig- 
adier-General J. T. Boyle, at Columbia; and two regi- 
ments of the Twelfth Brigade, the First and Second 
East Tennessee, under Colonel S. P. Carter, set out 
from London on the 7th, and arrived at Somerset on 
the 9th instant, leaving Garrard's Kentucky Regiment 
at London. Carter's other regiment, the Thirty-first 
Ohio, was at Camp Dick Robinson.* 

Besides his own brigade, which was composed of the 
Thirty-third Indiana, Colonel John Coburn ; Seven- 
teenth Ohio, Colonel J. M. Connell ; Twelfth Kentucky, 
Colonel W. A. Haskins, and Thirty-eighth Ohio, Colo- 
nel E. D. Bradley; General Schoepf had with him at 
Somerset the Thirty-fifth Ohio, Colonel F. Van Der- 
veer., from McCook's Brigade ; First East Tennessee, 
Colonel R. K. Byrd ; Second East Tennessee, Colonel 
J. P. T. Carter, from S. P. Carter's Brigade ; First Ken- 
tucky Cavalry, Colonel Frank Wolford, and ten pieces 
of artillery. f 

*See Rebellion Records, Vol. VII., p. 461, 467, 479 and 480. 
tSee Rebellion Records, \'ol. VII., pp. 479, 484 and 486. 

94 R. E. Hancock's Diary. 

Schoepf and Carter were now greatly alarmed, and 
calling loudly on General Thomas for re-enforcements. 

On the same date under which I am now writing, the 
former wrote to Thomas thus : 

From the above you must see the necessity of my being immedi- 
ately reenforced. My communications for the last seven or eight 
days have, I think, fully shown this necessity.* 

On the same day Carter wrote to Thomas as follows : 
From the best information I have had, our position is rather a 
critical one. The force of the enemy, even at the lowest estimate, is 
nearly double ours, and they are but some seven miles off. We cer- 
tainly need reenforcements, and I hope they will be sent forward be- 
fore we are attacked by such unequal odds.t 

Zollicoffer had only four and a half regiments of in- 
fantry and six pieces of artillery on the north side of 
the river, while Schoepf had seven regiments of infantry 
and ten pieces of artillery at Somerset. And in place 
of being near Fishing Creek, seve7i miles from Somer- 
set, he was encamped near the river sixteen miles Irom 
that place. 

Tuesday, loth. — All of our company, except eight, 
had rejoined the battalion at Camp Hall. Our sick 
boys and wounded prisoners — still at Mr. West's — were 

McNairy's scouts, on the south side of the river, con- 
tinued to be annoyed by the enemy's firing across the 
river at them from Rowena, some thirty miles below 
Mill Springs. Zollicoffer having now "determined to 
punish the enemy" at that place, ordered McNairy to 
go down the south side of the river the next day to a 
point opposite Rowena, while another detachment of 

* See Rebellion Records, Vol. VII., pp. 479, 484 and 486. 
t Rebellion Records, Vol. VII., p. 486. 

December, 1861. 95 

cavalry was to go from Beech Grove* down the north 

side to the same place. 

As our Heutenants were either sick or absent, Mc- 
Nairy sent up a request for Captain AHison to rejoin 
the battahon at Camp Hall, in order to take command 
of his company on the Rowena trip the next day. But 
as Zollicoffer was not willing to let our Captain go, the 
latter sent his orderly, John D. McLin, to take charge 
of our company. 

IVeduesday, iitk. — According to orders previously 
mentioned, McNairy, having set out from Camp Hall 
with his battalion early in the morning, got to the river 
opposite Rowena in advance of the detachment from 
Beech Grove, and ordered Serjeant McLin to cross the 
river with Company E and enter the town of Rowena, 
if he did not meet a superior force. McLin crossed 
and boldly entered the town with about thirty men dis- 
mounted ; but he found no organized force of Federals 
there, and if any home guards were there they did not 
make any show of resistance. About this time our 
cavalry from Beech Grove came dashing into Rowena 
from an opposite direction, and a warm collision was now 
about to ensue, but both parties happily discovered their 
mistake just in time to prevent any damage. 

After McLin's squad had recrossed the river McNairy 
destroyed the ferry-boats and canoes which the enemy 
had collected at that place. 

Our Colonel complimented McLin and his followers 
for having so boldly entered the enemy's town, unsup- 
ported, and without knowing any thing about what force 
they might have met. 

* This was the name of Zollicoffer's camp wn the north side of the river. 

t)6 E. E. Hancock's Diary. 

I suppose that it was only "home guards" that had 
been annoying our scouts at Rowena, and that they fled 
on hearing of the approach of our men. 

Tlmrsday, i2tJi. — Our battahon returned to Camp 
Hall, and the detachment that went down the north side 
of the river returned with eleven prisoners. They re- 
ported that three of the enemy were killed, and that one 
of our men was drowned in attempting to cross the 

When the news reached Columbia last night that the 
Confederates were at Rowena, General Boyle ordered 
a part of Woliord's and a part of Haggard's cavalry to 
Rowena and Creelsborough.* The latter place is be- 
tween Rowena and Burkesville. Wolford followed as 
far as Jamestown, and reported that our men lelt that 
place between midnight and daylight this morning, f but 
•Colonel Haggard reported thus : 

Creelsborough, December 13, 1S61, 1 a. m. 
■General Boyle : 

Dear Sir: We reached this place at dark, expecting an attack 
every moment since our arrival. I placed pickets out upon every 
road reaching this place. 

Our pickets from the Rowena road have just come in, bringing 
us information that is reliable that three hundred men had crossed the 
river at that point this evening, and a large force on the opposite 
bank were crossing (said to be three thousand at least). 

D. R. Hagcard, 
Colonel Cavalry. \ 

Our men had all returned to their camps several 
hours before Colonel Haggard penned the above ''reli- 
able ill form a tion . ' ' 

"^Rebellion Records, Vol. VII., p. 494. 

t Ibid., p. 498. 

^Rebellion Records, Vol. VII., p. 497. 

December, 1861. 97 

On the 1 2th General Boyle wrote to General Thomas 
thus : 

The rebel cavalry who crossed the Cumberland into Russell County 
{at Rowena) have, it is reported, killed fifty or sixty of the loyal and 
defenseless citizens.* 

Though he wrote as follows to Thomas the next day : 

The people, even the good Union people, circulate the most devil- 
ish lies in regard to the enemy, and our own scouts, without they are 
^selected with care, are not reliable. ...... 

The rebels were at Rowena and shot two or three men, but killed 

Friday, ijik. — I helped to bury Cousin A. N. Ram- 
sey, who had died of fever two days before. He was 
from FrankUn County, Alabama, and a member of the 
sixteenth Alabama Infantry. He was buried in the 
honors of war, near Mr. A. R. West's. 

Saturday, 14th. — Captain Bledsoe's Company passed 
Mr. West's with thirty prisoners. They also took the 
three that we had been guarding since the 5th. Cap- 
tain Bledsoe was instructed to take the prisoners to 
Gainesboro and send them by steamer to Nashville. 
Captain Wm. L. Horn, Company B, First Battalion, went 
to Nashville with these prisoners. His horse fell on 
him while in Nashville and broke his leg, which had to 
be amputated, and consequently he was not with us any 

Sunday, i^th. — As Captain Allison was now relieved 
from escort duty, and also of his prisoners, and as the 
sick boys were improving, he and I went to camps, 
leaving three of our company to wait on the four sick. 

* RebelHon Records, Vol. VII., p. 494. 
t Rebellion Records, Vol. VII., p. 49S. 


98 E. E. Hancock's Diary. 

We found the battalion at Camp Hall, where I left it 
the third instant. 

Our battalion moved about ten miles that afternoon 
and camped for the night within six miles of Mill 

Monday i6tJi. — According to orders from Zollicoffer,. 
McNairy moved his battalion back to Camp Hall, where 
he remained for about nine days longer. 


It would seem that while at Richmond, in the latter 
part of last month, Major-General George B. Crittenden 
was directed by President Davis to proceed to East 
Tennessee, assume command of all the forces under 
Zollicoffer, and with ten additional regiments, to be fur- 
nished by the President, move into Kentucky at once. 
Accordingly Crittenden arrived at Knoxville and as- 
sumed command " about the first day of December."* 

On the 6th he dispatched for the ten regiments, f 
and on the 8th he recived the following- from the Secre- 
tary of War : 

The President desires that you return to Richmond and report to 
him without delay, ^l 

On the 13th he was ordered to return to his depart- 
ment, which he did, but without bringing any troops 
with him. 

On tke 1 6th he wrote to the Adjutant and Inspector- 
General, S. Cooper, at Richmond, as follows : 

General Zollicoffer is threatened by a much superior force in front 

■•''Rebellion Records, Vol. VII., p. '763. 
t Ibid., p. 740. 
tibid., p. 745. 

December, 1861. 99 

and one nearly equal on his left flank. He has been ordered by me 
to recross the river. 

He asks for six pieces, twenty-four pounders or eight inch how- 
itzers. Colonel Powell's regiment has been ordered from the railroad 
to join Zollicoffer immediately, and Colonel Leadbetter informed, so 
that he can replace the guard it withdraws. 

To make General Carroll's brigade effective it is necessary to ob- 
tain eight hundred muskets, which are known to be in ordnance office 
at Memphis. Please order William R. Hunt, ordnance officer at that 
point, to forward them immediately to this place, subject to my order.* 

Three citizens from the vicinity of Auburn, Cannon 
County, Tennessee — Messrs. Frankhn Odom, Henry 
Dougherty and Hop Kennedy — arrived at Camp Hall 
in the afternoon of the above date, the i6th. Each of 
them had sons, and also many other relatives and 
friends, in Captain Allison's Company. They came to 
spend a few days with us, and we appreciated and en- 
joyed their visit very much. Three of our company 
who had been home on a visit and two recruits came 
with them. 

Tuesday, lytk. — Zollicoffer wrote to General A. S. 
Johnston thus: 

Had the reserve of Powell's Regiment, Wood's Battalion and Mc- 
Clung's Battery been sent on, as I ordered, I could have advanced. 
But I can hear nothing official from Knoxville of them. 

For a day or two past my information leads to the suspicion that 
the enemy contemplate an early attack upon this position. f 

. It will be remembered that Powell's Regiment was 
detached from the brigade at Jacksborough and sent to 
Knoxville to help guard the railroad. Colonel Wood's 
Battalion — Sixteenth Alabama — was left at Knoxville 
when Zollicoffer started on his first campaign into Ken- 

* " So ordered same day." Rebellion Records, Vol. VII., p. 770. 
t Rebellion Records, Vol. VII., p. 773. 


100 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Wednesday, i8th. — Having received a dispatch from 
Zollicoffer during the past night stating that Wolford's 
Cavalry was reported to be crossing the river at Creels- 
borough, some' twenty miles below Camp Hall, McNairy 
sent a scout in that direction early this morning. On 
returning to camps, about half after eight p. m., our men 
reported the rumor to be false. 

Friday, 20th. — Cousin Alfred Hancock, who was then 
and yet is (1886) a citizen of DeKalb County, Tennes- 
see, paid us a visit. A member of our company, J. E. 
J. Hawkins, who had been home on a visit, came with 
Cousin Alfred, The latter had a son (C. E.) in Alli- 
son's Company, who, on account of bad health, went 
home with his father a few days after. 

Saturday, 21st. — I started to headquarters with a dis- 
patch for Zollicoffer, but, finding Colonel McNairy at 
Mr. A. R. West's, I put up there for the night, accord- 
ing to orders from the Colonel. 

Sunday, 22d. — Colonel McNairy, Captain Allison and 
I crossed the river and went to our General's headquar- 
ters, which we found in a tent about one mile from the 
river. It rained nearly all day. We recrossed the river 
and put up with Mr. West again. 

Monday, 2jd. — I went back to camp, fifteen miles 
from Mr. West's. 

Zollicoffer wrote to A. S. Johnston, Bowling Green, 
Kentucky, as follows : 

Sir — I feel it my duty frankly to say that the failure to receive the 
reserves and supplies I ordered up a month ago, and upon which in 
part the plan of campaign was predicated, has given and is likely to 
give serious embarrassment. 

I now receive no responses to communications addressed to Knox- 
ville connected with the most important details. 

December, 1861. 101 

I have five (four and a half) regiments north of the river and two 
south. The strength of the enemy is unknown, but it is reported by 
the country people to be very large. 

There are now, I learn, in East Tennessee,* besides the force at 
Cumberland Gap, eight full regiments and a Georgia Battalion, a bat- 
tery of artillery and eight cavalry companies. I beg respectfully to 
say that it cannot be that half this force is required there. 

On the other hand, were this column strengthened properly, the 
enemy could not venture to pass London to attack Cumberland Gap. 
We could open the Cumberland and drive the enemy from Somerset 
and Columbia. t 

Tuesday, 24th. — Messrs. Franklin Odom and Henry 
Dougherty bade us farewell and set out on their return 
home. W. C. Kennedy of Allison's Company, having 
been discharged on account of bad health, went home 
with them. 

IVednesay, 2^th. — Ac'cording to orders from our Gen- 
eral, McNairy moved from Camp Hall. Leaving his 
wagon train and camp equipage two or three hundred 
yards north of Mr. A. R. West's, and within one mile 
of Mill Springs, he crossed the river with the main por- 
tion of his Battalion, and took headquarters for the 
night with Branner's Battalion. 

Thursday, 26th. — Zollicoffer had ordered a steamer 
to ascend the Cumberland to Celina, and if deemed safe 
to press on to Mill Springs with army stores for his 
command. In order to make a diversion in favor of this 
boat Colonel McNairy was ordered to go down the 
north side of the river in the direction of Burkesville, 
with his own, Branner's and McClellan's Battalions, in 
all about six hundred and fifty men. 

^On the loth of December General Carroll reported his brigade five thou- 
sand .-trong, and all other troops in East Tennessee at six thousand — total, 
eleven thousand. — Rebellion I\ccori/s, J'ol. Vll., p. jji. 

t Rebellion Records," Vol. VII., p. 786. 

102 R. E. Hancock's Diary. 

Settine out from Beech Grove, as above directed, with 
First Battahon, under Captain AUison, in front, Mc- 
Nairy moved at the head of the column until he neared 
Jamestown, the county seat of Russell County, when, 
on learning that he would meet the enemy at that place, 
he halted to hurry up Branner and McClellan, who in 
the meantime had dropped somewhat behind. 

When the head of our battalion got within about two 
hundred yards of town the enemy opened on us, 
but without doing any damage except the killing of one 
man (James Tate, Company B) and one horse belong- 
ing to Adamson, who was a member of Allison's Com- 
pany, and F. W. Horn's horse was wounded and fell. 
Allison then fell back a short distance and awaited the 
arrival of McNairy with the other two battalions. As 
soon as our Colonel came up he ordered one battalion 
to move round rightward and attack the north side 
of town, while he would move forward and attack the 
east side of the place with the other two battalions. A 
messenger from the battalion moving to the right re- 
ported to McNairy that the town could not b(^ ap- 
proached from that direction. Therefore, as it was now 
about nightfall, the Colonel withdrew the troops with- 
out making an attack. Falling back about two miles, 
we halted and fed, after which we scattered along the 
road about four miles further, where we remained till 

I shall here relate the following incident : Before 
reaching Jamestown this afternoon, McNairy's groom, 
"Johnnie," happened to be riding alone some distance 
in rear of our battalion, when a gentleman rode up and 
commenced a conversation with him. Soon learning 

December, 1861. 103 

that his companion was a Federal soldier, Johnnie* 
quickly drew his revolver, saying, ''Sir, yoiL are my 
J)risonery On marching his prisoner up to the battal- 
ion, he proved to be no less than that of a Federal cor- 
poral, who had been home on a visit and was on his 
way back to camps, not knowing or suspecting that 
there were any Confederates in the neighborhood, 

Friday, zyth. — McClellan's and Branner's Battalions 
returned to their camps at Beech Grove. Our battal- 
ion recrossed the river and went into camps near Mr. 
West's, where we left our wagon train the 25th. 

At nine p. m., Colonel T. E. Bramlette (First Ken- 
tucky Infantry), who was at that time in command of 
General Boyle's Brigade at Columbia, wrote as follows 
to General Thomas : 

The enemy is at Jamestown, eighteen miles from here, some three 
thousand strong. He has ascertained the strength and position of 
Colonel Wolford's camp, and threatens to destroy that before moving 
further. He has one thousand seven hundred mounted men, armed 
mostly as infantry. ......... 

I would not be surprised if the whole of ZoUicoffer's forces were 
to be on us in two or three days. ...... 

We will, however, strike a blow, even if left to ourselves, that 
shall terrify the rebel hell-hounds wherever they hear of us. Retreat 
we will not, and if they come upon us we will fight the fight of des- 
peration to win.t 

Notwithstanding McNairy did not go so far down the 
river as Zollicoffer had instructed him to go, yet it would 
seem from the above communication that the object of 
the expedition, at least to some extent, had been accom- 
plished. That is to say, the attention of the Federals 
had been attracted from the river, and Colonel Bramlette 

•■■Johnnie was a white man, l)ut I <io nut remember his surname, 
t Rebellion Records, Vol. \'II., p. 517. 

104 E. R. Haxcock's Diary. 

was now holding his brigade in readiness at Cokimbia, 
awaiting' an attack from ZolHcofter, 

The long looked for "reserves" are coming in at last. 
Colonel William B, Wood, with a battalion of his regi- 
ment (Sixteenth Alabama), and Captain H. L. W. Mc- 
Clung, with his battery of artillery (six guns), have ar- 
rived. Colonel Samuel Powell's Regiment will be here 
soon, having started from Knoxville the 24th instant, 
Colonel Moses White's Regiment, of General Carroll's 
Brigade, is also on the way from Knoxville. 

SatiLvday, 28th. — Half after six o'clock, v. m,, the 
writer and forty-four others of our battalion set out from 
Camp West, going in the direction of Livingston, Ten- 
nessee, to meet and guard back a wagon train which had 
been sent down the Cumberland to meet a steamer from 
Nashville with supplies for Zollicoffer's command. 

As the river was low our wagons had to go as low as 
Carthage on this trip to meet the boats. 

After a ride of about twenty-two miles, we met a part 
of the wagons about two a. m. on 

Sunday, zgth, and halted for the rest of the night 
within some four miles of Albany. 

In the saddle again early that morning, fourteen of 
our scouts went out within seven miles of Creelsbor- 
ough, while the rest went on in the direction of Livings- 
ton to meet the other wagons. We all returned, with- 
out any incident worthy of note, to the same place we 
started from that morning and camped for the night. 

Monday, joih. — Having our wagons all up, we moved 
about fourteen miles and camped near Monticello. 

Tuesday, 31st. — Going on in advance of the wagons^ 

January, 1802. 105 

we got to Camp West a little after noon. The wagons 
did not get to Mill Springs until late that evening. 

Zollicoffer now had seven regiments of infantry, three 
battallions and four companies of cavalry, and two bat- 
teries (fourteen guns) of artillery. Total present for 
duty, six thousand one hundred and fifty-four ; aggre- 
gate present and absent, eight thousand four hundred 
and fifty-one.* 

Wednesday , Jaimary ist. — As this was the first day of 
the new year there was a general inspection of horses, 
arms, etc. 

T/mrsday, 2d. — Colonel McNairy started home on a 
furlough on account of ill health, leaving Captain Alli- 
son in command of the battalion. 

Allison received orders to cross the river and report 
to Zollicoffer's headquarters as soon as his men could 
cook three days' rations. We did not have three days' 
rations, but we cooked what we had, went to the river 
and commenced crossing, when, on learning that we did 
not have the requisite amount of rations, Zollicoffer 
ordered Allison to go back to camps and cook the rations, 
which he ordered the brigade commissary to furnish. 
As soon as we had cooked our rations Allison crossed 
the river and reported to our General that the First Bat- 
talion was ready to move. Our Captain soon after re- 
turned and reported that the order to cross the river 
was countermanded. 

Mr. Andy Bogle, from Cannon County, Tennessee, 
came in a carriage after Clabe Francis, a member of 
Allison's Company, who was sick. 

Friday, jd. — According to orders given him while at 

■'■■Rebellion Kccurtls, Vol. v il., p. 0I4. 

106 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

headquarters last evening, Captain i\lIison set out from 
Camp West with the larger portion of our battalion to 
meet and guard back another wagon train. After a 
march of about thirty-four miles in the direction of Liv- 
ingston, we halted for the night near the line between 
Kentucky and Tennessee. 

Satui^day, ^th. — Going seven miles further Allison 
met the wagons within eighteen miles of Livingston. 
Turning back, he camped within one mile of where he 
camped the night before. 

Sunday, §ih. — Our wagons made a very good drive 
that day, about twenty-two miles. We camped within 
five miles of Monticello. 

Monday, 6tJi. — We moved in rear of the wagons up 
to Monticello, and there we passed them and went into 

One of our comrades, John Hearmon, who had been 
sick at Mr. West's about one month, died about noon. 

Tuesday, ytk. — The First Battalion had the honor of 
going on dress parade in the presence of Major-General 
George B. Crittenden, who had arrived at Mill Springs 
and assumed command on the 3d instant. 

Colonel S. Powell's Regiment (Twenty-ninth Tennes- 
see) came with General Crittenden, and I think a part 
of Colonel M, White's Regiment (Thirty-seventh Ten- 
nessee), of Carroll's Brigade, arrived at the same time. 

Good news! good news! A small steamboat, the 
*' Noble Ellis," has arrived at Mill Springs loaded with 
army stores, coffee, sugar, molasses, etc. 

General Boyle, who had returned to Columbia and 
was now in command of Eleventh Brigade, wrote as fol- 
lows to General Thomas, Lebanon, Kentucky : 

January, 1862. 107 

A rebel steamboat passed Burkesville yesterday (6th) at twelve 
o'clock, loaded with men and cannon and other arms, clothing, etc. 

I send three hundred cavalry to heights on this side to intercept it, 
if possible. I will move with three hundred of Third Kentucky and 
Nineteenth Ohio to an advantageous position at the mouth of Renick's 
Creek, two and a half miles above Burkesville, on the Cumberland. 
I shall move the whole force here to Burkesville. It is only four 
miles further from Glasgow than Columbia. 

I am not willing to see the Cumberland surrendered without a 
struggle to ZoUicoffer and the rebel invaders. .... 

We have no cannon, and must rely on our rifles to take off the 
men from the boats. With one piece of artillery the boats could be 
torn to atoms or sunk. 

Can you not send me a section of a battery ?^= 

Fortunately for us. Boyle did not stop our boat. 

Wednesday. 8th. — Two companies of Brazelton's Bat- 
talion, fifty men from McNairy's, and about five compa- 
nies of infantry went about ten miles up the south side 
of the river to guard and load a forage train. While 
the wagons were being loaded our infantry exchanged 
a few shots with some Federals who were on the oppo- 
site bank of the river, without any damage on our side. 

All returned to camp a little after dark with thirty- 
four wagons loaded with corn and oats. 

W. C. Hancock, brother to the writer, and four others 
from Company E started home on "sick furlough." 

Monday, ijth. — A member of Company A was elect- 
ed color-bearer for First Battalion. 

Tuesday, i^tli.- — Forty-seven of our battalion went 
sixteen miles ciown the south bank of the river to auard 
some wagons that were hauling forage to the river to be 
brought up by our steamboat, the Noble Ellis. It was 
a cold day ; the ground was nearly covered with snow, 

■■'■•Rebellion Kecords, Vol. VII.. p. 535. 

108 E. E. Hancock's Diary. 

but at night it turned warmer and rained. We, and 
also our horses, had shelter. 

Wednesday, ijtk. — The Noble Ellis had come down 
from Mill Springs and commenced loading, when we 
left and returned to camp. 

Another scout of about one hundred men, some from 
our battalion and the balance from Brazelton's, had 
started out in the direction of Burkesville before we re- 
turned to camp. 

Thursday, i6th. — Brigadier-General William H. Car- 
roll arrived at Mill Springs yesterday, but his com- 
mand — Captain G. H. Monsarrat's Battery (four guns) 
and the balance of Colonel White's Regiment — did not 
arrive until to-day. One regiment and one battery of 
four guns were all the troops that General Carroll was 
able to bring- with him from Knoxville to add to Zolli- 
coffer's command. 

He was ordered by the Secretary of W ar, as early as 
the 3d of November, to move his brigade to Knoxville 
and report to General Zollicoffer. He arrived at Knox- 
ville the 23d of November, but did not move on to join 
Zollicoffer from the fact that his brigade was not armed, 
notwithstanding he had been making every possible ef- 
fort for two months previous to procure arms for his 

On the 1 2th of December Carroll received another 
dispatch from the Secretary ordering him to proceed 
immediately, with all the armed men of his brigade, to 
the aid of Zollicoffer, leaving the unarmed portion of 
his command at Knoxville, under the control ot a suit- 
able officer, until arms could be provided. The next 
day (13th), in a lengthy communication to the Secre- 

January, 1862. 109 

tary, he laid before that officer the nature and extent of 
the embarrassment under which he had labored ever 
since he had assumed command of his brigade, espe- 
cially in reference to his inability to procure arms for 
his men. "Out of my entire force,"* continued he, 
" I could not muster more than three hundred men effi- 
ciently armed." f 

On the 1 7th of December the Secretary of War re- 
plied thus : 

Your troops are enlisted but for twelve months, and to such troops 
we never furnish arms. . . . It is impossible for us to carry on a 

war at such an enormous expenditure as is involved in receiving 
twelve-months' men without arms. ...... 

If your men will now enlist for the war they will be en- 
titled to receive the bounty of fifty dollars allowed by Congress, and 
I will endeavor to aid in arming them ; but if not, all that are un- 
armed must be disbanded on the loth of January.]; 

By January ist Carroll had procured arms for two 
regiments (White's and Looney's) of his brigade, and 
had the promise of arms for the other (Gillespie's) in 
thirty days. 

On the eighth he was ordered by A, S. Johnston to 
send forward at once to Bowling Green all the men who 
were armed and ready for duty of the regiments of 
Colonels Looney and Gillespie. (^ 

I give the above to show why Carroll was so long 
coming to the aid of Zollicoffer, and also to show why 
he did not bring more troops with him. 

Newman's, Murray's and Powell's Regiments were 
detached from ZoUicoffer's Brigade and attached to 

■■■ 4,000. 

tRebellon Records, Vol. VII., j). 764. 
t Rebellion Records, Vol. VII., p. 771. 
^< Rebellion Records, Vol. VII., p. 825. 

110 E. R. Hancock's Diart. 

Carroll's. Crittenden's Division was now composed of 
two brigades. Zollicoffer commanded the First, and 
Carroll the Second. The former had five regiments 
and the latter four. I do not know how the eighteen 
pieces of artillery and the nineteen companies of cav- 
alry were divided between the brigade commanders. 
However, I am of the opinion that McNairy's Battalion 
still remained attached to Zollicoffer's Brigade. 

Friday, lyth. — The scout that was sent out in the 
direction of Burkesville on the 15th returned to camps. 
They reported that three or four regiments of Federals, 
with four pieces of artillery, were stationed on the north 
bank of the river some four miles above Burkesville. 
They also report that one night while they were out 
Captain Coffee, of Brazelton's Battalion, and three or 
four of his men put up with one Mr. Gridder. ^ squad 
of Federals crossed the river and came to Mr. Gridder's 
for the purpose, it was thought, of killing him. A 
skirmish ensued, which resulted in the killing of Mr. 
Gridder and wounding one of his sons and Captain 
Coffee. One of the enemy was killed and one wounded. 

We also heard that two of the Federal pickets in 
front of Beech Grove were killed. 

Saturday, iSt/i. — It was said that another picket skir- 
mish on the north side of the river resulted in the kill- 
ing of two of our men and one of the enemy. 

It rained nearly all day. 

General Buell ordered General Thomas, on Decem- 
ber 29th, to move from Lebanon by the way of Colum- 
bia upon Zollicoffer's left flank, while General Schoepf 
was to move upon his front from Somerset. On the 
30th Thomas replied thus : 

January, 1862. ill 

Have made arrangements to move as light as possible, and hope to 
get started to-morrow, although with raw troops and raw mules I fear 
there will be some difificulty.* 

The advance of Thomas's division arrived yesterday 
at Logan's Cross Roads, about ten miles north of Crit- 
tenden's intrenched position (Beech Grove), and within 
eicfht miles of Somerset, where he halted for the rear to 
close up and to communicate with Schoepf. 

Late that afternoon our commander wrote the follow- 
ing dispatch to A. S, Johnston, Bowling Green, Ken- 
tucky : 

Headquarters, Beech Grove Kentucky, 

January i8, 1862. 
Sir: I am threatened by a superior force of the enemy in front, 
and finding it impossible to cross the river I will have to make the 
fight on the ground I now occupy. 

If you can do so I would ask that a diversion be made in my favor. 
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

G. B. Crittenden, 
Major- General Covmianding. 
To ihe Assistant Adjutant- General, Headquarters Department of the West A; 

■■ Rebellion Records, Vol. \\\., p. 524. 

t Rebellion Records, Vol. VII., p. 103. 

The above dispatch was handed to General Zollicoffer (he being better ac- 
quainted with the troops) with the request to start it at once by couriers. He 
immediately sent to Captain T. M. Allison for a reliable, well mounted man. 
Accordingly, C. F. Thomas (Company E) was ordered to go to Mill Springs 
(one mile), cross the river and report to Zollicoffer. Leaving camp about sun- 
set, Thomas did as requested. Handing him the dispatch, Zollicoffer said : "I 
want you to take this to General Sidney Johnston, at Bowling Green, and this," 
handing him another addressed to an officer at Memphis, "you will mail at 
Gallatin. Take one good man with you and make the trip through to Bowling 
Green as quick as you possibly cany Recrossing the river, Thomas was soon 
back in our camp again. He selected to go with him on that venturesome trip 
John D. McLin, who was then his messmate, and is now (1886) editor of the 
weekly Nashville American. 

Swinging themselves into the saddle, Thoma? and McLin set out on thedr 
daring trip about ten o'clock that night — to use Thomas's own language, "One 
of the darkest and muddiest I ever saw." They went down the south side of 

112 R. R. HANCorK's Diary. 

It appears from the above dispatch that Crittendea 
then expected to remain in his intrenchments and await 
the attack of the enemy, but he afterward decided to 
move out and attack them. 

the river. They were not only in danger of meeting Federal scouts and home 
guards, but also of being shot from the bushes by "bush-whackers." They 
would sometimes have to travel miles out of their way in order to deceive the 
home guards, and other times they would pass themselves off to some good old 
lady as good " Union soldiers.'' They rode two days and nights, stopping only 
two or three times for a few moments to feed their horses. 

Late in the afternoon of the 20th they crossed the Cumberland at Williams' " 
Ferry. Their horses %vere so fatigued by this time by constant riding through 
deep mud that they had to stop and let them rest; therefore they put up for the 
night with one Mr. Williams. 

With very great surprise and bewilderment did they learn next morning 
(2ist) that neither of their horses was able to travel, having eaten too much corn 
during the previous night. 

Seeing that our boys were in distress, and fully realizing the situation, Mr. 
Williams, who happened to be a kind, generous, noble-hearted Southern man, 
happily came to their relief by ordering a servan' to bring out a span of fine, 
fat, gray geldings. As soon as they were brought out and saddled Mr. Williams 
said, '■ Here, boys, take these horses and keep them as long as you need them, 
2inA ride thon as hard as you please.'''' After returning heart-felt thanks to their 
kind host for such a great and unexpected favor from a stranger, offered, too, 
with such a free good-will, the boys leaped into their saddles and pressed on to 
Gallatin that day. Here they had expected to take the cars for Bowling Green, 
but in this they were disappointed. The cars had been taken from that road 
and were then running in the interest of Fort Donelson, which was now threat- 
ened by a heavy Federal force. 

After mailing the dispatch addressed to Memphis and holding a "council of 
war," they decided that McLin should remain at Gallatin, while Thomas should 
get a fresh horse and proceed alone, as they felt that they were now out of dan- 
ger of home guards and "bush-whackers." Accordingly Thomas set out from 
Gallati 1 early on the morning of the 22d, and arriving at Bowling Green about 
dark the same day, handed the dispatch to General Johnston, who had just re- 
ceived another dispatch announcing the defeat of Crittenden at Fishing Creek. 
Starting back next morning Thomas rejoined McLm at Gallatin. Returning 
now at their leisure, and finding their horses all right on arriving at Mr. Will- 
iams' they exchanged horses, and finally rejoined their command at Chestnut 

I shall here mention another incident in which the two above named took 
part. It occurred while they were at home on furlough in August, 1863, as 

Captain S. Y. Barkley, who lived (and does now) sixteen miles East of Mur- 

January, 1862. 113 

Sunday^ igth. — On the above day and date was 
fought the memorable 

on " Logan's Cross Roads," near Mill Springs. 

The following is General Crittenden's official report 
of the above enpagfement : 

Division Headquarters, 
Camp Fogg (Smith County), Tenn., J^eb. 13, 1862. 

Sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the en- 
gagement of January 19, near Fishing Creek, Pulaski County, Ken- 

On January 17 I was occupying Mill Springs, on the south side of 
the Cumberland River, with the Seventeenth, Twenty-eighth and 
Thirty-seventh Tennessee Regmients, the First Battalion Tennessee 
Cavalry, two companies of the Third Battalion Tennessee Cavalry 
and four (six) pieces of artillery. I was also at the same time occu- 
pying Beech Grove, on the north bank of the river and directly oppo- 
site Mill Springs, with the Fifteenth Mississippi, Sixteenth Alabama, 
Nineteenth, Twentieth, Twenty-fifth and Twenty-ninth Tennessee 

freesboro on the pike leading from that place, by the way of Hall's Hill to Lib- 
erty, learned late one evening that a small squad of Federals had passed along 
the pike going in the direction of Liberty. After a ride of about six miles in 
the direction of Statesviile he found C. F. Thomas and John D. McLin at Jim 
B. Thomas' (C. F's. father). Notwithstanding it was now dark and raining, 
these three daring riders set out immediately in pursuit of the enemy. About 
one o'clock A. M., the next morning, they arrived at Auburn, where they learned 
that two Federals had passed that place going in the direction of Liberty. On 
learning at Mr. Matthew Wilson's, about two miles beyond Auburn, that the 
enemy had not passed there, our boys turned and went back to Mr. A. Owen's, 
where they learned that the Federals had gone about one mile from the pike and 
put up for the night witti one Mr. A. Lax. Our boys drew rein about dawn at 
Mr. Lax's barn. The old man Lax, who soon came out to feed, was captured 
iirst. Next one of the Federals came out to the barn and was made prisoner 
without the fire of a gun. Leaving the two prisoners in care of Thomas, Bark- 
ley and McLin went to the house, where they found the other soldier still asleep. 
On rousing him up and demanding his surrender, he very coolly remarked, 
while rubbing his eyes open, "Well, I wish you had let me get my nap out." 
Taking their horses and arms (and they were well mounted, well armed, and 
well supplied with ammunition), our boys turned their prisoners loose on parole. 

114 E. E. Hancock's Diary. 

Regiments, two battalions of Tennessee cavalry, two independent 
cavalry companies, and twelve pieces of artillery. 

For some time the enemy in front of Beech Grove had occupied 
Somerset^ eighteen miles distant, with eight regiments of infantry and 
with artillery ; and Columbia, thirty-five miles distant, with five regi- 
ments of infantry. On January 17 I was informed that the force 
from Columbia,* with a large addition, f making a total of from six. 
thousand to ten thousand men, with guns of a large caliber, under 
General Thomas, commanding First Division of the Federal Army in 
Kentucky, was moving across my front, on the road from Columbia 
toward Somerset, with the intention of forming a junction with the 
Somerset force and attacking Beech Grove. 

On the 1 8th, at daylight, I moved the Seventeenth and Twenty- 
eighth Tenneessee Regiments across the river from Mill Springs to 
Beech Grove. On the i8th I was informed that the force under 
General Thomas was encamped at Webb's (Logan's) Cross-Roads, a 
point ten miles from Beech Grove and eight miles from Somerset, at 
which the roads from Columbia to Somerset and Beech Grove to 
Somerset unite, and that V. would there await both a re-inforcement 
(that I was advised was advancing from the rear) and the passage of 
Fishing Creek by the Somerset force. It was necessary that the 
Somerset force should cross Fishing Creek before it could join the 
force under General Thomas or approach Beech Grove, and for this 
purpose it had advanced from Somerset. I was advised that late and 
continuous rains would prevent the passage of Fishing Creek on the 
iSth and 19th by any infantry force. 

In the then condition of my command I could array for battle 
about four thousand effective men. ...... 

To defend Beech Grove required me to draw into it the force from 
Mill Springs. From the course of the river and condition of things 
it was easy for a detachment from the force of the enemy occupying, 
it below to cross over, intercept the line of land communication, and, 
taking Mill Springs, entirely prevent my recrossing the Cumberland. 
This river (greatly swollen), with high, muddy banks, was a trouble- 

* Thomas moved from Lebanon via Columbia with two brigades, Manson's- 
and McCook's. Boyle's Brigade had moved to the river near Burkesville. On 
the 19th Buell dispatched to Thomas thus : 

f'The reinforcements ordered to you were ten pieces of artillery and De- 
Courcy's and Ray's regiments." Rebellion Records, Vol. VII., p. 560. 

January, 1862. 115 

some barrier in the rear of Beech Grove. Transportation over it was, 
at best, very difficult. A small stern-wheel steamboat, imsuited for 
the transportation of horses, with two flat-boats, were the only means 
of crossing. 

Beech Grove was protected in front by earthworks, but these in- 
complete and insufficient, and necessarily of such extent that I had not 
force to defend them. The range of our artillery was bad, and there 
were commanding positions for the batteries of the enemy. Every 
effort had been made to provision the command, to increase the means 
of crossing the river and to pefect the works for defense, under charge 
of a skillful engineer officer, Captain Sheliha. 

When I first heard that the enemy was approaching in front it was 
my opinion that I could not retire with my command — artillery, 
transportation, camp and garrison equipage, baggage and cavalry 
horses — from Beech Grove to Mill Springs without information of 
such movement reaching the enemy, and a consequent attack during 
the movement and heavy loss. I was out of reach of support or re- 
enforcements. Under these circumstances I determined not to retreat 
without a battle. I decided that it was best to attack the enemy, if 
possible, before the coming re-enforcements from his rear should 
arrive and before the Somerset force could cross Fishing Creek. I 
could reasonably expect much from a bold attack and from the spirit 
of my command. 

On the evening of the iSth I called in council Brigadier-Generals 
ZoUicoffer and Carroll and the commanding officers of regiments and 
of cavalry and artillery, and there it was determined, without dissent, 
to march out and attack the enemy under General Thomas on the 
the next morning. Accordingly Generals ZoUicoffer and Carroll were 
ordered to move their brigades at midnight in the following order: 

ist. The brigade of General ZoUicoffer, in the following order: 
In front the independent cavalry companies of Captains Saunders 
and Bledsoe; then the Fifteenth Mississippi Regiment, commanded 
by Lieutenant-Colonel Walthall; then the Nineteenth Tennessee, 
commanded by Colonel D. H. Cummings; then the Twentieth Ten- 
nessee, commanded by Colonel Battle; then the Twenty-fifth Tennes- 
see, commanded by Colonel S. S. Stanton; then four guns of Rut- 
ledge's Battery, commanded by Captain Rutledge. 

2d. The brigade of General Carroll in this order: In front the 
Seventeenth Tennessee (Newman), commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel 

116 R. E. Hancock'kS Diary. 

Miller; then the Twenty-eighth Tennessee, commanced by Colonel 
Powell; then two guns of McClung's Battery, commanded by Cap- 
tain McClung. 

In rear were the Sixteenth Alabama as a reserve, commanded by 
Colonel W. B. Wood, and the cavalry battalions of Lieutenant- 
Colonel Branner and Lieutenant-Colonel McClellan. 

Soon after daylight on the morning of January 19 the cavalry ad- 
vance came in contact with the pickets of the enemy, after a march 
of near nine miles over a deep and muddy road. With a few shots 
the enemy's pickets were driven in, retiring about a quarter of a mile 
to a house on the left of the road. From this house and woods in 
the rear of it quite a brisk firing was opened upon the head of the 
column. Skirmishers having been thrown forward, General Zolli- 
coffer's Brigade was formed in line of battle and ordered to advance 
upon the enemy, whom I supposed would come out from their camp, 
which we were now approaching, to take position. The road here 
extended straight in front for near a mile toward the north. 

A company of skirmishers from the Mississij^pi Regiment, ad- 
vancing on the left of the road, after sharp firing, drove a body of 
the enemy from the house and the woods next to it, and then, under 
orders, crossnig the road, fell in with their regiment. Following this 
company of skirmishers on the left of the road to the point where it 
crossed to the right, the regunent of Colonel Cummings (Nineteenth 
Tennessee) kept straight on, and crossing a field about two hundred 
and fifty yards wide at a double-quick, charged into the woods where 
the enemy was sheltered, driving back the Tenth Indiana Regiment 
until it was re-enforced. At this time General Zollicoffer rode up to 
the Nineteenth Tennessee and ordered Colonel Cummings to cease 
firing, under the impression that the firing was upon another regiment 
of his own brigade. Then the General advanced, as if to give an 
order to the lines of the enemy, within bayonet reach, and was killed 
just as he discovered his fatal mistake. Thereupon a conflict ensued, 
when the Nineteenth Tennessee broke its line and gave back. Rather 
in the rear and near to this regiment was the Twenty-fifth Tennessee, 
commanded by Colonel Stanton, which engaged the enemy, when the 
Colonel was wounded at the head of his men ; but this regiment, 
impressed with the same idea which had proved fatal to General ZoUi- ■ 
■coffer — that it was engaged with friends — soon broke its line and fell 
into some disorder. 

January, 1862. 117 

At this time — the fall of Cieneral Zollicoffer having been announced 
to me — I went forward to the regiments ot Colonels Cummings and 
Stanton, and announced to Colonel Cummings the death of General 
Zollicoffer, and that the command of the brigade devolved upon him. 

There was a cessation of firing for a few moments, and I ascer- 
tained that the regiment of Colonel Battle was on the right, and the 
Mississippi Regiment in the center, neither as yet having been actively 
engaged, and the enemy in front of the entire line. I had ordered 
General Carroll to bring up his brigade, and it was new, in support- 
ing distance, displayed in line of battle. 

I now repeated my orders for a general advance, and soon the 
battle raged from right to left. When I sent my aide to order the 
Fifteenth Mississippi to charge, I sent by him an order to General 
Carroll to advance a regiment to sustain it. He ordered up for that 
purpose Colonel Murray's Regiment, which engaged the enemy on the 
left of the Mississippi Regiment and on the right of Stanton's Regi- 
ment. I ordered Captain Rutledge, with two of his guns, forward m 
the road to an advanced and hazardous position, ordering Colonel 
Stanton to support him, where 1 hoped he might bring them to play 
effectively upon the enemy; but the position did not permit this, and 
he soon retired, under my order. At this point the horse of Captain 
Rutledge was killed under him. 

Very soon the enemy began to gain ground on our left, and to use 
their superior force for flanking in that quarter. I was in person at 
the right of the line of Stanton's Regiment, the battle raging, and did 
not observe this as soon as it was observed by General Carroll, who 
moved the regiment of Colonel Cummings, then commanded by 
Lieutenant-Colonel Walker, to the left, to meet this movement of the 
enemy, and formed the Seventeenth Tennessee, commanded by Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Miller, to support the regiment. The regiments of 
Murray, Stanton and Cummings were driven back by the enemy, and, 
while re-forming in rear of the Seventeenth Tennessee, that well-dis- 
ciplined regiment met and held in check for some time the entire right 
wing of the Northern army. These regiments on my left and on the 
left of the road, retired across the field, a distance of about 250 yards, 
and there for a time repulsed the enemy. Especially the regiment of 
Colonel Stanton, partially rallied by its gallant field officers, formed 
behind a fence, and, pouring volleys into the ranks of the enemy 

118 R. E. Hancock's Diary. 

coming across the field, repulsed and drove them back for a time with 
heavy loss. 

For an hour now the Fifteenth Mississippi, under Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel Walthall, and the Twentieth Tennessee, under Colonel Joel A. 
Battle, of my center and right, had been struggling with the superior 
force of the enemy. 

I cannot omit to mention the heroic valor of these two regiments, 
officers and men. When the left retired they were flanked and com- 
pelled to leave their position. In their rear, on the right of the road, 
was the regiment of Colonel Powell (Twenty-ninth Tennessee), which 
had been formed in the rear and ordered forward by me some time 
before. General Carroll ordered this- regiment to face the flanking 
force of the enemy which was crossing the road from the left side, 
which it did, checking it with a raking fire at thirty paces. In this 
conflict. Colonel Powell, commanding, was badly wounded. 

The Sixteenth Alabama, which was the reserve corps of my divis- 
ion, commanded by Colonel Wood, did, at this critical juncture, most 
eminent service. Having rushed behind the right and center, it came 
to a close engagement with the pursuing enemy, to protect the flanks 
and rear of the Fifteenth Mississippi and the Twentieth Tennessee 
when they were the last, after long fighting, to leave the front line of 
the battle, and, well led by its commanding officer, in conjunction 
with portions of other regiments, it effectually prevented pursuit and 
protected my return to camp. 

Owing to the formation and character of the field of battle, I was 
unable to use my artillery and cavalry to advantage in the action. 
During much of the time the engagement lasted rain was falling. 
Many of the men were armed with flint-lock muskets, and they be- 
came soon unserviceable. ........ 

During the engagement, or just prior to it, the force under General 
Thomas was increased by the arrival, on a forced march, of a brigade 
from his rear, which I had hoped would not arrive until the engage- 
ment was over. This made the force of the enemy about 12,000 men. 
My effective force was 4,000. The engagement lasted three hours. 

My loss was 125 killed, 309 wounded and 99 missing, as follows: 

January, 1862. 



Killed. Wounded. Missing 

Fifteenth Mississippi Regiment : 44 

Twentieth Tennessee (Battle) 33 

Nineteenth Tennessee (Cummings) lo 

Twenty-fifth Tennessee (Stanton) lo 

Seventeenth Tennessee (Newman) ii 

Twenty-eighth Tennessee (Murray) \ 3 

Twenty-ninth Tennessee (Powell) 5 

Sixteenth Alabama 9 

Captain Saunders' Cavalry : 

















The loss of the enemy, from the besf information I have and state- 
ments made by themselves, may be estimated at 700 killed and 
wounded. It was larger than mine from the fact that my regiments 
on the left, after first being driven back, fired from the cover of 
woods and fences upon the large numbers advancing upon them 
through the open field, inflicting heavy loss and sustaining but little. 
My command retired to Beech Grove without any annoyance in the 
rear by infantry or cavalry. On the return, one piece of artillery, of 
Captain Rutledge's Battery, mired down and was left. 

To myself, to the army and to the country, the fall of General Zol- 
licoffer was a severe loss. I found him wise in council, heroic in 
action. He fell in front, close to the enemy, and they bore off his 
body. Of his staff, Lieutenants Fogg and Shields were mortally 
wounded and have since died. Lieutenant Bailie Peyton, Jr., com- 
manding Company A, of Battle's Regiment, was killed in the heat of 
the action. Adjutant Joel A. Battle, Jr., was badly wounded while 
in front with the colors of his regiment, which he seized when the 
bearer was shot down. Lieutenant-Colonel Carter, a distinguished 
officer of this same regiment, was taken prisoner. Colonel Battle 
commanded with marked ability and courage. Colonel Statham, of 
the Fifteenth Mississippi Regiment, was absent at the time of the bat- 
tle on furlough. His regiment was most gallantly led by Lieutenant- 
Colonel Walthall. The reputation of the Mississippians for heroism 
was fully sustained by this regiment. Its loss in killed and wounded, 
which was far greater than that of any other regiment, tells sufficiently 
the story of discipline and courage. The already extended limits of 
this report will not permit me^ even if I had them at hand, to enu- 
merate the individual acts of courage with which this regiment 
abounded. Suffice it to say that it is entitled to all praise. 

I resumed position at Beech Grove early in the afternoon. The 

120 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

enemy followed and took position in force on my left, center and right. 
They opened with two batteries — one in front of my cen- 
ter and one on my right. Captain McClung and Lieutenant Falconet, 
commanding a section of Rutledge's Battery, replied to the enemy's 
battery in front. From the right the enemy fired upon the steam- 
boat, which, at the crossing, was commanded by their position. 
Their first shots fell short, afterwards, mounting a larger gun, as it 
grew dark, they fired a shot or two over the boat, and awaited the 
morning to destroy it. The steamboat destroyed, the crossing of the 
river would have been impossible. . ..... 

On the evening of the 19th, I called in consultation General Car- 
roll, Colonel Cummings, engineers, artillery and other officers, and it 
was considered best by all to retire from Beech Grove. 

I ordered the men to be crossed over — first, by commands, in 
designated order, then the artillery to be crossed over, then what 
could be crossed of baggage and mules, horses, wagons, etc. I di- 
rected the cavalry to swim their horses over. Time only permitted to 
cross the infantry under arms, the sick and wounded, one company of 
cavalry mounted, the rest of the cavalry dismounted, the artillerymen 
and some horses. Many cavalry horses, artillery horses, mules, 
wagons and eleven pieces of artillery, with baggage and camp and 
garrison equipage were left behind. 

Much is due to the energy, skill and courage of Captain Spiller, 
of the cavalry, who commanded the boat and continued crossing over 
with it until fired upon b) the enemy in the morning, when he burned 
it, by my directions. .... 

Any further collision was now prevented, but the want of commis- 
sary stores compelled me at once to move to Gainesboro, lower 
down on the river, a distance of eighty miles, and the nearest point 
where I could have communication by water with Nashville and could 
obtain supplies. ....... 

From Gainesborough I have moved my division to this point 
(Chestnut Mound), where it is refurnished and drilling, and I have 
the honor to report that it is ready for any service to which it may be 
assigned. G. B. Crittenden, 

Major- General Provisional Army Confederate States. 
Lieutenant-Colonel W. W. Mackall, 

Assistant Adjutant- General. '^- 

* Rebellion Records, Vol. VII., ]>]). 105-110. 

January, 1862. 121 

I take the followinor extracts from General Thomas' 


official report of the engagement near Fishing Creek: 

Headquarters First Division, Department of the Ohio, 

Somerset, Kentucky, January 31, 1862. 

Captain: . . . I reached Logan's Cross Roads, about ten miles 
north of the intrenched camp of the enemy on the Cumberland River, 
on the 17th instant, with a portion of the Second and Third Brigades, 
Kenny's Battery of artillery, and battalion of Wolford's Cavalry. 
The Fourth and Tenth Kentucky, Fourteenth Ohio, and the Eight- 
eenth U. S. Infantry being still in rear, detained by the almost im- 
passable condition of the roads, I determined to halt at this point to 
await their arrival and to communicate with General Schoepf. 

General Schoepf visited me on the day of my arrival, and after 
consultation I directed him to send to my camp Standart's Battery, 
the Twelfth Kentucky, and the First and the Second Tennnssee Reg- 
iments to remain until the arrival of the regiments in rear. 

The Fourth Kentucky, the Battalion of Michigan Engineers, 
and Wetmore's Battery joined on the i8th. 

About 6:30 o'clock on the morning of the 19th, the pickets from 
Wolford's Cavalry encountered the enemy advancing on our camp, re- 
tired slowly and reported their advance to Colonel M. D. Manson, 
commanding the Second Brigade. He immediately formed his regi- 
ment (the Tenth Indiana) and took a position on the road to await 
the attack, ordering the Fourth Kentucky (Colonel S. S. Fry) to sup- 
port him, and then informed me in person that the enemy were ad- 
vancing in force. I directed him to join his brigade immediately and 
hold the enemy in check until I could order up the other troops, which 
were ordered to form immediately and were marching to the field in 
ten minutes. .......... 

On reaching the position held by the Fourth Kentucky, Tenth In- 
diana, and Wolford's Cavalry, at a poiiit where the roads fork leading 
to Somerset, I found the enemy advancing through a corn field and 
evidently endeavorimg to gain the left of the Fourth Kentucky, which 
was maintaining its position in a most determined manner. I directed 
one of my aides to ride back and order up a section of artillery, and 
the Tennessee Brigade to advance on the enemy's. right, and sent or- 
ders to Colonel McCook to advance with his two regiments (the Ninth 
Ohio and Second Minnesota) to the support of Fourth Kentucky and 
Tenth Indiana. 


122 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

A section of Captain Kenny's Battery took a position on the edge of 
the iield to the left of Fourth Kentucky and opened an efficient fire 
on a regiment of Alabamians, which were advancing on the Fourth 
Kentucky. Soon afterward the Second Minnesota arrived, the Col- 
onel (Van Cleve) reporting to me for instructions. I directed him to 
take the position of the Fourth Kentucky and Tenth Indiana, which 
regiments were nearly out of ammunition. The Ninth Ohio . 
came into position on the right of the road at the same time. 

Immediately after these regiments had gained their positions the 
enemy opened a most determined and galling fire, which was returned 
by our troops in the same spirit, and for nearly half an hoar the con- 
test was maintained on both sides in the most obstinate manner. At 
this time the Twelfth Kentucky* (Colonel Haskins) and the Tennes- 
see Brigade* reached the field to the left of the Minnesota Regiment, 
and opened fire on the right flank of the enemy, who then began to 
fall back. The Second Minnesota kept up a most galling fire in front, 
and the Ninth Ohio charged the enemy on the right with bayonets 
fixed, turned their flank and drove them from the field, the whole line 
giving way and retreating in the utmost disorder and confusion. 

As soon as the regiments could be formed and refill their cartridge- 
boxes, I ordered the whole force to advance. ... As we ap- 
proached their intrenchments the division was deployed in line of bat- 
tle and steadily advanced to the summit of the hill at Moulden's. 
From this point I directed their intrenchments to be cannonaded, 
which was done until dark by Standart's and Wetmore's Batteries. 
Kenny's Battery was placed in position on the extreme left at Russell's 
house, from which point he was directed to fire on their ferry to deter 
them from attempting to cross. . . . And every preparation was 
made to assault their intrenchments on the following morning. The 
Fourteenth ^hio (Steedman) and the Tenth Kentucky (Harlan), hav- 
ing joined from detached service soon after the repulse of the enemy, 
. were placed in front in my advance on the intrenchments the 
next morning and entered first. General Schoepf also joined me the 
evening of the 19th with the Seventeenth, Thirty-first, and Thirty- 
eighth Ohio. His entire brigade entered with the other troops. 

On reaching the intrenchments we found the enemy had abandoned 
every thing and retired during the night. Twelve pieces of artillery, 

* Both from Somerset. So you see that Critiendcn did not attack Thomas 
i)efore the arrival of the Somerset force, as he had hoped to do. 

January, 1862. 123 

with their caissons packed with ammunition, one battery wagon and 
two forges, a large amount of ammunition, a large number of small 
arms, mostly the old flint-lock muskets, one hundred and fifty or one 
hundred and sixty wagons, and upwards of one thousand horses and 
mules, a large amount of commissary stores, intrenching tools, and 
camp and garrison equipage fell into our hands. .... 

The steam and ferry boats having been burned by the enemy in 
their retreat, it was found impossible to cross the river and pursue 
them. ........... 

Colonel S. S. Fry, Fourth Kentucky, was slightly wounded whilst 
his regiment was gallantly resisting the advance of the enemy, during 
whch time General Zollicoffer fell from a shot from his (Colonel 
Fry's) pistol, which no doubt contributed materially to the discomfiture 
of the enemy. 

The enemy's loss, as far as known, is as follows : . . . 
192 killed; 89 prisoners not wounded and 68 wounded; a total of 
killed, wounded and prisoners, 349. 

Our loss was as follows: • • • 39 killed and 207 wounded. 

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Geo. H. Thomas, 
Brigadier- General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding. 

Captain J. B. Fry. 

A. A. G., Chief of Staff, Headquarters Department Ohio, Louisville, A'r.* 

According to the preceding reports, the Fifteenth 
Mississippi lost more men killed (five more) than Gen- 
eral Thomas' entire division, or our entire loss in killed 
was nearly five times greater than that of the enemy. 
Surely the superiority of the enemy in arms did not 
make the difference so great. According to Critten- 
den's report, the loss of the enemy in killed and wound- 
ed was greater than ours. 

In July, 1880, ex-President Davis wrote to General G. 

B. Crittenden " requesting a statement of the affairs at 
Fishine Creek." The following^ is an e.xtract from 
Crittenden's reply: 

* Rebellion Records, Vol. VII., pp. 79 to 82. 

124 K. R. Hancock's Diary. 

While I was detained in Knoxville on business connected with my 
command, I received an official communication from General Zolli- 
coffer, informing me that he had crossed the Cumberland by fording, 
and was fortifying a camp on the right bank, etc. By the messenger 
who bore me this communication I ordered him to recross the river 
and resume his original position on the left bank. Early in January 
I reached Mill Springs and found, to my surprise, General Zollicoffer 
still on the right bank. He called on me immediately and informed 
me that his messenger who bore back my order had lost several days 
in returning, and that when it was received he supposed that I would 
arrive almost immediately, and, hoping to be able to convince me that 
it would be better to remain on the right bank, he had postponed 
crossing, until, by a rise in the river, it had become impossible to da 
so. ... I was dissatisfied, but as I knew that the General had 
been actuated by pure motives, I accepted his excuse. Details were 
promptly placed in the woods to prepare timber for flat-boats to trans- 
port the artillery and wagons to the left bank of the river. The 
weather was execrable and the men unskilled, so that the work pro- 
gressed slowly. 

Such was the posture of affairs when, on the i8th of January, I was 
informed that General Thomas was approaching with a large force of 
all arms. . . . Here was thrust upon me the very contingency 
which my order to General Zollicoffer was intended to obviate. . . . 

We had scarcely taken up the line of march when the rain began 
to fall, the darkness became intense, and the consequent confusion 
great, so that day dawned before we reached his position. The attack 
as a surprise, failed; nevertheless, it was promptly made. It rained 
violently throughout the action, rendering all the flint-lock guns use- 
less. The men bearing them were allowed to fall back on the re- 
serve. ........... 

I attributed the loss of the battle, in a great degree, to the inferi- 
ority of our arms and the untimely fall of General Zollicoffer, who 
was known and highly esteemed by the men, who were almost all 

I think I have shown that the battle of Fishing Creek was a neces- 
sity, and that I ought not to be held responsible for that necessity.* 

*The Rise and Fall of the C n federate Government, by Jefferson Davis^ 
Vol. II., pp. 19 o 21. 

January, 1862. 125 

Ex-President Davis concludes his criticism upon this 
affair thus : 

By General Crittenden . . . it is assumed that General Zolli- 
coffer made a mistake in crossing to the right bank of the Cumber- 
land, and that thence it resulted as a consequence that General John- 
ston's right flank of his line through Bowling Green was uncovered,. 
I do not perceive the correctness of the conclusion, for it must be ad- 
mitted that General Zollicoffer's command was not adequate to resist 
the combined forces of Thomas and Schopf (Schoepf), or that the 
Cumberland River was a sufficient obstacle to prevent them from 
crossing either above or below the position at Mill Springs. 

General ZoUicoffer may well have believed that he could better re- 
sist the crossing of the Cumberland by removing to the right bank 
rather than by remaining on the left. The only difference, it seems to 
me, would have been that he could have retreated without the discom- 
fiture of his force or the loss of his artillery and equipments, but in 
either case Johnston's right flank would have been alike uncovered 

To ZoUicoffer and the brave patriots who fell with him, let praise, 
not censure, be given; and to Crittenden, let tardy justice render the 
meed due to a gallant soldier of the highest professional attainments, 
and whose fault, if fault it be, was a willingness to dare much in his 
country's service. --^ 

Captain AlHson, who was in command of our battal- 
ion, ordered us to saddle our horses and be ready to 
move at a moment's warnino- ; but he did not receive a 
single order during- the day. 


Monday, 2otJi. — Some of our boys went down the 
river that morning before day to assist in bringing the 
wounded, on horses, back to a point out of range of the 
Federal guns. A few of the severely wounded had to 
be left on the north side of the river. 

Surgeon D. B. Cliff was allowed by General Thomas 
to accompany the remains of General ZoUicoffer and 
Lieutenant Bailie Peyton to Louisville, Kentucky, and 

*The Rise and Fall nf the Confederate Government, by Jefferson Davis, 
Vol. II., p. 23. 

126 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

from there, if General Biiell would consent, to Nash- 
ville, Tennessee.* 

Having been sent with a dispatch to General Zolli- 
coffer's headquarters, a few days previous to his death, 
he invited me, though but a "high private," into his 
tent, offered me a drink of wine, and treated me with as 
much respect and politeness as if I had been his equal 
in rank. 

His men did not only have confidence in him as a 
commander, but he had been so good and so kind to 
them that they had learned to love him almost with 
filial affection. Hence the fall of our gallant leader was 
a desperate blow to the followers. And, unfortunately, 
General Crittenden had been with the command only 
sixteen days and General Carroll only four previous to 
this unfortunate event. 

To add to the demoralization of our little army, such 
rumors as the following were now afloat in camps : 
"Crittenden is drunk a good portion of the time." 
" He has a brother in the Federal army." "He is in 
sympathy with the North." " He will surrender us all 
to the Federals if he has a good opportunity," etc. It 
was thought by some that the Fifteenth Mississippi 
were so desperately mad that they would have shot him 
if they had had a good opportunity. It was said that 
he ordered the brigades to halt and fortify at Monti- 
cello, Kentucky, and that the colonels refused to obey 
orders. I give the above as rumors, allowing each 
reader to have his own opinion about them. But, 
whether true or untrue, they had a demoralizing effect 
upon the command. 

* Rebellion Records, Vol. VII., p. 565. 

January, 1862. 12T 

On Januar)- 27th the Hon. Landon C. Haynes wrote 
from Knoxville to President Davis thus : 

The Army of the Cumberland is utterly routed and demoralized. 
The result is regarded with the profoundest solicitude. Confidence is 
gone in the ranks and among the people. It must be restored. I am 
confident it cannot be done under Generals Crittenden and Carroll. 
I do not propose to inquire whether the loss of public con- 
fidence in Generals Crittenden and Carroll is ill or well founded. It 
is sufficient that all is lost. ........ 

I must think, as everybody else does, that there has been a great 
mistake made. . . . Cannot you, Mr. President, right the wrong 
by the immediate presence of a new and able man ? -'^ 

On the same date (27th) Governor Isham G. Harris 
dispatched thus to Hon. J. D. C. Atkins: 

Crittenden can never rally troops in East Tennessee. Some other 
general must be sent there.* 

We fell back to Monticello, nine miles from the river, 
unmolested by the Federals. The infantry and /oo^ 
cavalry had quite a disagreeable march on account of 
so much mud. The command halted for the night 
about one mile south of Monticello — that is to say, a 
part of the command, for a good many besides our 
battalion kept moving homeward. 

There was nothing to have hindered us from bringing 
off all the camp equipage belonging to our battalion, as 
we were camping on the south side of the river, but in 
place of doing that we lost all, leaving our tents in 
flames, I suppose it was thought that the Federals 
would cross the river and follow us, but they did not. 

Col. McNairy being absent, the captains of our bat- 
talion held a consultation at Monticello, and after taking; 
all things into consideration — no rations, camp equipage, 
etc. — they decided to disband, allow the men to go 

'■■Rebellion Records, Vol. VII., p. 849. 

128 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

home for a few days, get a better supply of clothing 
and return to our command again. 

We had only gone about one mile from Monticello 
when Captain Parrish (Company C) halted, saying, "I 
am not willing to take so much responsibility upon my- 
self. I am going back to the command." So that 
caused a confusion, and the battalion began to scatter. 
Captain Parrish, fourteen of his company and one of 
our company (J. R. Dougherty) remained. The rest of 
the battalion went home, being instructed to meet the 
command agrain at Gainesboro, on the Cumberland 
River, in Jackson County, Tennessee. We now trav- 
eled in small squads, on different roads. Lieutenant 
George x'\lexander, brother Ben (B. A. Hancock) and 
I, going in the direction of Jamestown, Tennessee, put 
up for the night within four miles of Wolf River. 

Tuesday , 2 1st. — One of our company, A. G. Ewing, 
was very sick, and had to be brought off in one of our 
company wagons, driven by Jesse Jones. The team, be- 
ing very thin in order and almost broken down, stalled 
at the bank of Wolf River. Ben and I, being mounted 
on good wagon horses, took out the jaded team, put in 
ours and brought Ewing on to Jamestown. 

Wednesday, 2 2d. — We moved out in the direction of 
White Plains; on the 23d we passed through White 
Plains, and on the 24th we crossed Caney Fork River 
at Trousdale's Ferry, and stopped for the night at the 
Widow Allen's. Here we left Ewing in the care of Mr. 
Anderson French, a member of our battalion, who was 
afterwards lieutenant. He was to take Ewing by stage 
to his (Ewing's) uncle's, near Nashville. Ewing suf- 
fered a great deal during the trip. He was very low 
spirited. It seemed that he had just as soon die as live. 

February, 1862. 129 

He frequently said to us, " Drive the wagon out of the 
road, take out your horses and go on home." 

Saturday, 2^th. — Ben and I went on home by the way 
of New Middleton and Alexandria, taking the wagon 
on home with us. We were about the last of the com- 
pany getting home. It had been seven months since 
we first started into service from Auburn, Cannon 
County, Tennessee. 

Crittenden moved on from Monticello, Kentucky, by 
the way of Livingston, Tennessee, to Gainesboro. 

There some of the regiments that were near home 
were disbanded for a few days, while a few tents and 
cooking vessels were procured for the rest. Captain 
Parrish's Company and J. R. Dougherty were fur- 
loughed for twenty days. 

We remained at home until 

Stmday, February 2d. — About twenty-eight of Cap- 
tain T. M. Allison's Company left home to rejointhe 
command at Gainesboro. Had one wagon with us, in 
which we had rations to last us to camps. Passing 
Alexandria, about eight of us stopped for the night 
about one mile beyond, with Mr. Davis, while the rest 
went one mile further and stopped with Mr. Smith. 

Mo7iday, jd. — As our wagon broke down, we had 
only marched about twelve miles, when we stopped at 
the Widow Allen's, on the bank of Caney Fork River, 
and had our wagon repaired. 

Tuesday, ^th. — Crossing Caney Fork, we marched 
twenty miles and stopped for the night at one Mr. Alli- 
son's, in Putnam County, within seventeen miles of 

130 E. K. Hancock's Diary. 

Wednesday, ^th. — When within five miles of Gaines- 
boro we met the advance of the First Brigade, now un- 
der the command of Colonel Statham, going in the 
direction of Carthage by the way of Chestnut Mound. 
Captain Allison, I and four others went on to Gaines- 
boro. There we found General Carroll's Brigade, and 
Colonel McNairy with a part of our battalion. Colonel 
McNairy said we had better go back to Mr. Allison's, 
or in that neighborhood, in order to get forage for our 
horses. We went back and remained in the Allison 
neighborhood until 

Friday, yth. — As Colonel Statham passed Mr. Alli- 
son's he ordered our company to go on in advance of his 
brigade toward Carthage. Going six miles, where the 
brigade camped for the night, we were overtaken with 
a dispatch from Colonel McNairy ordering us back to 

Going back to Mr. Allison's, we there met another 
dispatch from Colonel McNairy ordering us to halt, as 
the order for our battalion to go to Livingston had been 
countermanded. So we put up for the night with Mr. 
Allison. The rest of the battalion passed us, some of 
them going as far as Chestnut Mound. 

Saturday, 8th. — Passing Chestnut Mound, our com- 
pany put up for the night one mile beyond. The rest 
of the battalion remained near Chestnut Mound. 

Under the above date the Secretary of War, J. P. 
Benjamin, wrote to General A. S. Johnston as follows: 

We have ordered to Knoxville three Tennessee regiments 
(Vaughn's, Maney's and Bate's), the First Georgia Regiment and 
four regiments from General Bragg's command to be forwarded by 
him. ............ 

The whole force in East Tennessee will thus amount, as we think, 

■Febrfart, 1862. 131 

to at least fifteen regiments, and the President desires that you assign 
the command to General Buckner.* 

The formation of this new army for Eastern Tennessee will leave 
Genera] Crittenden's army . . free to act with your center. 

The President thinks it best to break up the army of General Crit- 
tenden, demoralized by its defeat, and that you should distribute the 
forces composing it among other troops. You can form a new com- 
mand for General Crittenden, connected with your own corps, in such 
manner as you may deem best. 

General Crittenden has demanded a court of inf[uiry, and it has 
been ordered; but from all the accounts which now reach us we have 
no reason to doubt his skill or conduct in his recent movements, and 
feel convinced that it is not to any fault of his that the disaster at 
Somerset (Fishing Creek) is to be attributed. f 

Sunday, gth. — General Carroll's Brigade passed on 
toward Carthage. Allison was instructed to remain 
until further orders. We were in Smith County, eight 
and a half miles from Carthage. The whole division 

Mo7iday, loth. — J. S. Anderson J shot and killed W. 
K. Natcher at Chestnut Mound. The latter was drunk. 
They were both members of Harris' Company. About 
three months previous to this Natcher had killed An- 
derson's brother-in-law, George Aiken, 

Tuesday, nth. — Our company went back to Chestnut 
Mound. After the burial of Natcher and a short drill, 
we returned to our former boarding places. 

Wednesday. 12th. — The battalion met at Chestnut 
Mound again to drill, after which we scattered out to 

■•■ Major-General E. K. Smith was sent to East Tennessee. General Buckner 
surrendered with the garrison at Fort Donelson, February i6th. 

t Rebellion Records, Vol. VII., p. 862. 

:}: Andersoai was put under arrest, and marched through with the Fifteenth 
Mississip]:)i to Corinth, Mississippi, He fought so bravely in the Shiloh battle 
that I think he was afterward released. 

132 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

hunt lodging places for the night, for our company still 
had neither tents nor cooking vessels. Only about nine- 
ty-five of our battalion had returned to camps to date. 
In place of going on to Carthage, as we expected, Colo- 
nel Statham, being in front, turning to the left, moved 
his brigade down and went into camp on the east bank 
of Caney Fork River near Trousdale's Ferry. 

Thursday, ijih. — Captain Allison's Company crossed 
Caney Fork at Trousdale's Ferry. Thirteen more of 
his company joined him. The rest of McNairy's Bat- 
talion moved from Chestnut Mound down to where 
Colonel Statham's Brigade was camping on the east side 
of Caney Fork. 

Saturday, i^tJi. — The deepest snow of the season 
was on the ground that morning — abottt half an inch 

General Crittenden was now ordered by General 
Johnston to move without delay on Nashville, halting 
within ten miles of the city and reporting. f 

Sunday, i6th. — By daylight all of Colonel Statham's 
Brigade had crossed Caney F'ork except a few wagons. 
Before night General Carroll's Brigade, except two regi- 
ments (Stanton's* and Murray's, that were yet behind), 
had crossed. Four companies of McNairy's Battalion 
were still on the east side of Caney Fork waiting for 
those other two regiments. 

Seven regiments of Crittenden's Division had crossed 
and moved out in the direction of Nashville by the way 
of Lebanon. Allison's company was still boarding 
among the citizens near Trousdale's Ferry. 

tRebellion Records, Vol. VII., p. 882. 
* Stanton belonged to Statham's Brigade, 
Rebellion Records, Vol, VII., p. 862, 

February, 18G2. 133 

The following explains itself: 

Headquarters Western Department, 

Edgefield, February 17th, 1862. 
Af a/or- General Ciitteiiden, Com //landing Chestnut Mound : 

General Johnston directs you to move your command to Murfrees- 
boro (instead of Nashville) without delay. Press all tlie wagons you 
need. Fort Donelson has fallen, and General Floyd's army is capt- 
ured after a gallant defense. Respectfully, 


Wednesday, igth. — ^Stanton's and Murray's Ivegi- 
ments came to and commenced crossing the river. 

Thursday, 20th. — Owing to the high water those two 
regiments made slow progress crossing the river. 

Friday, 21st. — They finished crossing the river. The 
other four companies of McNairy's Battalion crossed 

Sahn^day, 22d. — McNairy's Battalion took up the line 
of March again, following the division in the direction 
of Murfreesboro. As it rained nearly all day, and 
brother Ben was unwell, he and I remained at one Mr. 
Coffee's, where we had been boarding for several days. 

Sunday, 2jd. — As it was a beautiful day, and Ben 
was able to ride, we went home, near Auburn, Cannon 
County, Tenn., distance twenty-three miles. 

Tuesday, 2^th. — I left home* to rejoin the battalion 
near Murfreesboro. After a ride of nineteen miles I, 
with several others of Allison's Company, stopped for 
the night with Colonel E. S. Smith's Battalion, within 
two miles of Murfreesboro. 

I will here pause to make a few remarks in reference 
to the movements of the Confederates at other points. 

t Rebellion Records, Vol. VII., p. 889. 

* The last time I saw home until June 3d, 1865. 

134 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Fort Henry, on the Tennessee River, fell into the hands 
of the Federals on February 6th. General Grant, 
making Fort Henry his base of operations, moved 
against Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River. 

General Buckner, with about nine thousand five hun- 
dred rank and file, surrendered the latter place to Grant 
on the 1 6th. 

About this time the Confederates at Bowling Green, 
Kentucky, fell back to Nashville before General Buell. 
By the 23d the last of the Confederate troops evacuated 
the latter place, falling back to Murfreesboro. 

Nashville was formally surrendered by the Mayor to 
General Buell on the 25th of February. 

So I found quite a number of infantry, cavalry and 
artillery at Murfreesboro under the command of Gen- 
eral Albert Sidney Johnston. 

That portion of Johnston's army which was now with 
him at Murfreesboro, and known as the Central Army, 
was composed of three divisions, commanded respect- 
ively by Major-Generals Hardee, Crittenden and Pillow, 
and one "reserve" brigade under Brigadier-General 
Breckinridge. Each division was composed of two 
brigades, making a total of seven brigades. 

Bennett's Battalion, which was afterward consoli- 
dated with McNairy's, belonged to Hindman's Brigade 
and Hardee's Division. 

Wednesday, 26th. — We rejoined our battalion at 
Black's Shop, seven miles from Murfreesboro, on the 
Lebanon pike. We were ordered to hunt quarters for 
the night, as we still had no tents. 

Thursday^ 2^111. — On reassembling the battalion drew 
five tents to each company, and put them up at Black's 

March, 1862. 135 

Hearing that the Federals were about five miles south 
of Nashville and still advancing toward Murfreesboro, 
the battalion moved out about eight miles in the direc- 
tion of the former place. Hearing that about one thou- 
sand Confederate cavalry were three miles in advance 
of us, we turned and went back to camps at Black's 

Friday, 28th. — Crittenden's Division, to which Mc- 
Nairy's Battalion still belonged, took up the line of 
march again for Corinth Mississippi. Passing on 
through Murfreesboro, we went into camps about ten 
miles beyond, on the Shelbyville pike. Johnston also 
put the rest of his command in motion southward. 

Saturday, March ist. — Passing on through Shelby- 
ville, crossing Duck River, we went into camps on its 
bank in sight of town, in Bedford County, twenty-five 
miles from Murfreesboro, where we remained until 

Tuesday, ■f.tJi. — Johnston dispatched thus to the Secre- 
tary of War from Shelbyville : 

My army will move beyond this to-day on the road to Decatur. 
One brigade remains here to protect the stores until they are shijjped 

I will be at the telegraph ofifice at Fayetteville to-morrow morning 
to receive any communications.* 

After a march of about fifteen miles on the Fayette- 
ville pike, we went into camps in a beautiful woods, 
where we had plenty of wood for fires. 

Wednesday, ^th. — Passing on through Fayetteville, 
crossing Elk River, we went into camps on its bank half 
a mile from town, in Lincoln County. Had another 
nice camping place. Distance from Shelbyville to Fay- 
etteville, twenty-six miles. Here we rested one day. 

* Rebellion Records, Vol. VII., p. 917. 

136 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Finday, yth. — After a march of about seven miles in 
the direction of Athens, Alabama, we camped for the 
night in a barren, swampy country, in Lincoln County. 

Saturday, 8th. — After a march of eleven miles through 
a broken country, we camped in an oak grove, still in 
Lincoln County, Tennessee. 

Su7iday, gth. — We marched through a section of coun- 
try the principal growth of which was post-oak. There 
were so many quicksand bogs that it was difficult for 
our wagons to pass. Aiarching about eleven miles, 
passing out of Tennessee, we camped for the night in 
Limestone County, Alabama. 

Monday, loth. — Passing on through Athens, we went 
into camps about two miles beyond. Distance from 
Fayetteville, Tennessee, to Athens, Alabama, thirty- 
eight miles. As it rained the night before, the roads 
were still worse. 

Tuesday, nth. — After mounting and moving out, per- 
haps, one mile and a half in the direction of Decatur, 
we were ordered back to the same camp we had just 
left, in a nice oak grove. It was a beautiful day. 

Wednesday, 12th. — The battalion moved only about 
six miles and went into camps. The artillery moved on 
still further in the direction of Decatur. 

Thursday, ijth. — Our battalion crossed the Tennes- 
see River on the railroad bridge at Decatur, and went 
into camps about one mile west of town. The artillery 
and wagons of our division (Crittenden's), being loaded 
about two miles from the river, were brought over on 
the cars. Distance from Athens to Decatur, fourteen 
miles ; from Murfreesboro to Decatur, one hundred and 
three miles. 

March, 18G2. 1-37 

Crittenden's Division remained near Decatur, in 
Morgan County, for several days. 

Friday, i^ih. — About dusk there was an awful storm 
of wind and rain. It was all we could do to keep our 
tents from blowing off. 

Tuesday, i8th — McNairy's Battalion drew five months' 
pay, from the ist of August to December 31st, 1861. 
Each private drew twenty-four dollars per month. There 
were quite a number of troops camped near Decatur, 
but they were being rapidly conveyed by rail to Cor- 
inth, Mississippi. 

Wednesday, igth. — Carroll's Brigade moved out by 
rail for Corinth. Five of Allison's Company who had 
been home rejoined their company. 

Thursday, 20th. — Statham's Brigade (except Mc- 
Nairy's Battalion*) with their baggage left by rail for 
Corinth, Mississippi. 

The wagons belonging to the two brigades did not go 
through by rail, but were taken through by their teams. 
After a march of about twenty miles McNairy's Battal- 
ion camped for the night in a beautiful lot within four 
miles of Courtland. 

Friday, 21st. — We found the Tennessee Valley to be 
a better farming coimtry than some we had passed 
through. The road was also better. After a ride of 
twenty-four miles the battalion halted for the night within 
four miles of Tuscumbia, in Franklin County, Alabama. 

■' Our liattalion Lad been with the above named brigade about six months, 
but we were here separated from the flw true, the noblt-, and ///(• urave soldiers 
who composed that brigade to be united with them no more during the war. 
Perhaps there were but few, if any, better brigades in the Confederate service 
than ZoUicoffer's, and afterward Statham's Brigade. 

138 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Saturday, 22d. — The battalion moved on through and 
camped about seven miles beyond Tuscumbia. 

Sunday, 2jd. — After a ride of about thirty miles, 
crossing Big Bear Creek, the battalion went into camps 
near luka, in Tishamingo County, Mississippi, within 
about twenty-five miles of Corinth. The battalion re- 
mained near luka for about three weeks. Distance 
from Decatur to Tuscumbia, forty-eight miles ; from 
Decatur to luka, eighty-five. 

Monday, z^th* — A little after dark seventy-five of 
the battalion went out to guard the railroad bridge 
which crossed Bear Creek about seven miles east of 

Tuesday, 2^th. — Bear Creek empties into the Tennes- 
see River eight miles north-east of luka. Chickasaw 
was a little village above, or on the east of Bear Creek, 
and Eastport was below, both on the bank of the Ten- 
nessee. The Confederates had a battery at the latter 
place. Two Federal gun-boats came up the river to 
Eastport, and opened fire on our battery. The boats 
fell back down the river soon after our battery opened 
on them. A part of our battalion was still guarding 
Bear Creek bridge. 

Sunday, joth. — I and two others being on picket 
within five miles of Chickasaw, and hearing the firing of 
artillery a little below, mounted our horses and went to 
the river at the above named place. The firing that ap- 
peared so near ceased before we reached Chickasaw, 

•■Brother Will and I left the battalion at Tuscumbia (on the 22d) to visit some 
of our relatives (Aunt Martha Ramsey's and Uncle Ben Hancock's families), who 
lived fourteen miles south on the Russellville road. After spending an evening 
and one night very pleasantly with our relatives, we rejoined the battalion at 
luka on the 24th. 

April, 18G2. 139 

but heavy cannonading was still going on, we supposed, 
at Savannah, twenty-five miles below. I learned after- 
ward that the firing that appeared so near was six miles 
below Chickasaw, and occurred as follows: A gun-boat 
was coming up the river with a sounding skiff in ad- 
vance. Some Confederate cavalry, being near the river, 
killed one man in the skiff. The gun-boat then fired a 
few shots, without doing any harm, so far as I know. 

Titcsday, April ist. — Two gun-boats and three trans- 
ports came up and landed some troops at Eastport and 
Chickasaw, after firing a few shots at the former place. 
Fhere was a picket guard from our battaHon at the lat- 
ter place. One of our picket reported to Colonel Mc- 
Nairy, while the others withdrew to a neighboring hill, 
from which they could watch the movements of the Fed- 
erals. About dark the battalion mounted and moved 
out in the direction of Chickasaw. The advance guard, 
having gone on to the river, and finding that the Federal 
boats, after taking the troops aboard again, had been 
withdrawn, met the battalion two miles from the river. 
So we aii returned to camps without a fight. 

Our camp was moved out near the Bear Creek 

Thursday, jd. — I and five others were on picket on 
the bank of the Tennessee at Chickasaw. About nine 
o'clock A. M. another gun-boat paid us a visit. She had 
eleven guns aboard. After spying round awhile, she 
went back down the river, without either landing any 
troops or firing a gun. The battalion moved to luka, 
and camped in the " luka Springs" lot, in the edge of 
town. There were a couple of nice mineral springs 

Saturday, ^th. — The battalion moved to a nice camp- 

140 R. R. Hancook's Diary. 

ing place in an old field, one mile west of luka, where 
it remained about eleven days. 

Sunday, 6th. — On the above day and date commenced 
one of the great battles of the " War Between the 
States," generally known as the "Battle of Shiloh." 

Finding a very full description of said battle in the 
History of Forrest's Campaigns, from the pen of Gen- 
eral Thomas Jordan (than whom, perhaps, no other was 
better qualified to describe said battle, as he was at the 
time A. S. Johnston's Adjutant-General), I will copy at 
length, though I shall somewhat abridge without using 
marks of ellipsis or quotation points : 

The Confederate forces that had abandoned Ken- 
tucky and Middle Tennessee were assembled by rail- 
road from Huntsville and Decatur at Corinth, in North 

Major-General Polk's forces, from Columbus, Ken- 
tucky, and West Tennessee, had likewise been concen- 
trated at the same place, as well as a splendid corps 
under General Bragg, drawn from Pensacola and New 
Orleans, with the addition of some newly-enrolled Mis- 
sissippi regiments. This force was reorganized during 
the last week of March into three army corps : The 
First, commanded by Major-General Polk ; the Second, 
by Major-General Bragg, and the Third, by Major- 
General Hardee. The cavalry had a separate organi- 
zation of about four thousand five hundred. The whole 
was under the chief command of Albert Sidney John- 
ston, with Beauregard as second in command. 

While the Confederates were thus occupied their ad- 
versary had not been dilatory. General Grant, under 
orders from his superior, had proceeded, with his force 
engaged in the operations ending in the fall of Fort 

April, 1802. 141 

Donelson, and established himself at a point upon the 
west bank of the Tennessee River known as Pittsburu 
Landintr. Here, too, he had been followed soon by 
three other divisions, commanded by W. T. Sherman, 
Hurlburt and Prentiss. 

Moreover, after diverting one of his divisions (Mitch- 
ell's) toward Huntsville, Alabama, General Buell, with 
his other four divisions, was known to be rajjidly con- 
verging to the same theater of operations. 

Thus matters stood on the evening of the 2d of 
April : Two considerable hostile armies had been 
brought within eighteen miles of each other, with no 
physical barrier, such as a large river or mountain, be- 
tween them. 

I^eing satisfied the time had come to spring upon, if 
possible, surprise and crush General Grant's army be- 
fore Buell had come up. General Johnston, about eleven 
o'clock on the night of the 2d, decided to put his army 
in movement the following day, and trust its fortunes to 
the "iron dice" of battle. Accordingly the orders to 
that end, issued at once by his Adjutant-General, were 
received by his several corps commanders by forty min- 
utes past one on the morning of the 3d of April, while 
a reserve was organized at the same time of three bri- 
gades, under Breckinridge, to move directly from Burns- 
ville and join the main body at a petty cross-road vil- 
lage called Monterey. By noon (the 3d) the whole 
Confederate army was under arms and ready to begin 
the march. But from untoward causes the First (Polk's) 
Corps dici not get in motion so soon as had been ex- 
pected, and did not bivouac as far in advance as was 

Moreover, the badness of the roads, caused by a 

142 R. K. Hancock's Diary. 

heavy rainfall the night of the 3d, so retarded the 
movement that Bragg's Corps was not able the second 
day to advance further than Monterey, whereas it had 
been confidently anticipated that by the night of the 
4th the whole army would have assembled in the vicinity 
of their antagonist. Instead of being able to attack 
Saturday morning, as anticipated. General Polk's Corps 
did not reach the vicinity of the designated point of 
concentration until quite as late as two o'clock Saturday 
afternoon, 5th of April. 

Though General Johnston, through his staff, had 
made every effort to get his troops in position for an 
attack that day. 

Supremely chagrined that he had been balked in his 
just expectations, it was now evidently too late for a 
decisive engagement that afternoon, so General John- 
ston called his corps and reserve commanders together, 
and a council of war was held within less than two miles 
of Shiloh Chapel, the headquarters of the Federal Gen- 
eral Sherman.* General Beauregard earnestly advised 
the idea of attacking the enemy should be abandoned, 
and that the whole force should return to Corinth, inas- 
much as it was now scarcely possible they would be 
able to take the Federals unawares after such delay 
and noisy demonstrations which had been made mean- 

It did seem that the Federals had had ample warning 
of the impending tempest, for a force of Confederate 
cavalry that had been sent forward mainly to procure 
topographical information which hitherto the Confeder- 
ate generals had been unable to acquire of that region, 

•■■ Grant, the Federal Canimander-in-Chief, it appears, had gone that after- 
11) )n down the river to Savannah, some tvi'elve miles distant. 

April, I8G2. 143 

had been pushed up, and somewhat injudiciously though 
boldly landed in the immediate front of the Federal po- 
sition. During that day (Saturday) one regiment of 
cavalry (Colonel N. B. Forrest's) had had some lively 
skirmishing on the left of the Federal position. 

Therefore, Beauregard urged the enemy would be 
now found formidably intrenched and ready for the at- 
tack ; that success had depended on the power to assail 
them unexpectedly, tor they were superior in numbers, 
and in large part had been under fire. On the other 
hand, few comparatively of the Confederates had that 
advantage, while a large part were too raw and recently 
enrolled to make it proper to venture them in an assault 
upon breastworks which would now be thrown up. And 
this unquestionably was the view of almost all present. 

General Johnston, having listened with grave atten- 
tion to the views and opinions advanced, then remarked 
in substance that he recognized the weight of the ob- 
jections to an attack under the circumstances involved 
by the unfortunate loss of time on the road. But, nev- 
ertheless, he still hoped the enemy was not looking for 
offensive operations, and that he would yet be able to 
surprise them. And that, having put his army in mo- 
tion for a battle, he would venture the hazard. 

This decision being announced, the officers rapidly 
dispersed to their respective posts in high and hopeful 
spirits, notwithstanding the probabilities that all pre- 
vious expectations of a surprise would fail of accom- 

Here a topographical sketch of the theater of war 
may serve to make more intelligible the occurrences and 
vicissitudes of the battle. 

Two streams, Lick and Owl Creeks, taking their rise 

144 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

very near each other, just westward of Monterey, Mow- 
ing (a Httle east of north) nearly parallel with each oth- 
er, the former empties into the Tennessee about three 
miles above Pittsbur^^ Landing, the latter, after ming- 
ling its waters with Snake Creek, empties into the Ten- 
nessee about one mile below said landing. In other 
words. Owl Creek empties into Snake Creek about 
three or four miles (in a direct line, nearly west), from 
the mouth of the latter. Intersected by various ravines, 
drainatre is into Owl Creek, as the land rises hitrhest 
and ridgelike near Lick Creek. 

Recent heavy rains had rendered the soil boggy, es- 
pecially along those small streams, and hence difficult 
for artillery and cavalry. A primeval forest, cumbered 
with a great deal of undergrowth, covered the region, 
except a few small farms of fifty or seventy acres scat- 
tered occasionally here and there. Two roads leacHng 
from Corinth, crossing Lick Creek about a mile apart, 
converge .together about two miles from Pittsburg 
Landing. Other roads also approach from all direc- 
tions : one from Purely crosses Owl Creek by a bridge 
before its junction with Snake Creek ; one from 
Crump's Landing, six miles below Pittsburg, crosses 
Snake Creek by a bridge, and one from Hamburg Land- 
ing, about four miles above, crosses Lick Creek by a 
bridcre, about one and a half miles from its mouth. 

A Federal force of five* strong divisions, thirty-seven 
thousand infantry, three thousand cavalry and artillery, 
and eighty-four guns, forty thousand of all arms, occu- 
pied the space we have described, between Owl and 

•■■Grant had six divisions, but one of them (Lew Wallace's) was about six 
miles below, near Crump's Landing, and consequently not in the first day's 

April, 1862. 145 

Lick Creeks, in front of Pittsburg, and were thus dis- 
posed : 

The first Federal Hne, extending from the crossing of 
Owl Creek, on the Purdy road, to the crossing of Lick 
Creek on the Hamburg road, was composed of Sher- 
man's and Prentiss' Divisions. The headquarters of the 
former were at a rustic log "meeting-house," called 
Shiloh, while the latter was to the left. A third divis- 
ion, that of jNlcClernand, was in supporting distance 
of Sherman at the confluence of the two Corinth 

A second line to the rearward was composed of Hurl- 
but's and W. H. L. (not Lew) Wallace's Divisions, the 
first of which was stretched across the Corinth road, and 
the other extended to the leftward along the Hamburg 

By three o'clock Sunday morning the Confederate 
army was all astir, and, after a hasty, scanty breakfast, 
the lines were formed as follows : 

Hardee's corps, augmented by Gladden's Brigade 
from Bragg's corps, constituted the first line, deployed 
in battle order on the grounds upon which they had 

The second line, five hundred yards rearward, was 
formed of Ruggles' Division and two brigades (the 
other was in the first line) of Withers' Division, under 
Major-General Bragg. The artillery of both corps fol- 
lowed their respective lines by the Pittsburg road. 

The First Corps (Clark's and Cheatham's Divisions) 

under Major-General Polk, drawn up in a column of 

brigades, deployed in line about eight hundred yards to 

the rear of Bragg, constituted a third line. 

Three brigades under Brigadier-General Breckinridge 

146 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

constituted a special reserve* for the support of the at- 
tacking Hnes as might be needed on either flank. 

The cavalry,, about 4,300 strong, was distributed, for 
the most part, to guard the flanks. The cavalry, with 
the exception of Forrest's and Wharton's regiments, 
being lately regimented, insufficiently armed, and wholly 
without drill, together with the nature of the scene of 
operations, was rendered almost valueless, and only the 
two regiments mentioned took any material part in the 
actions of either day. 

About sunrise some thirty-four thousand infantry, with 
about fifty guns, were in movement, with a bearing 
never surpassed, to fall upon their enemy — an enemy as 
yet undeveloped, but known to be ensconced near at 
hand in the fog and forest, superior in numbers and 
equipments, for their many drums the evening before 
had plainly told their formidable strength. 

That the Federals did not take even the ordinary 
precautions which habitually hedge an army in the field 
is passing strange. Instead of that, in sooth, there was 
no line of infantry pickets in advance of the ordinary 
chain of sentinels, apparently no cavalry exterior either 
to Sherman or Prentiss, and that invading army lay 
drowsily in its cosy encampments, as if supremely confi- 
dent no harm were threatening and no disaster could 
befall it. Many as yet were in their blankets, fast 
asleep, many others washing and dressing, others cook- 
ing their morning meal, while the arms and accoutre- 
ments of all were spread around in the orderless fashion 
of holiday soldiers. 

Meanwhile, swiftly forward through the woods strode 

■•'■Statham's Brigade, to which McNairy's Battery formerly belonged, was- 
in this reserve. — R. R. H. 

April, 1862. • 147 

the Confederates. With an elastic tread they surged 
onward and forward until, the mist gradually lifting, the 
white tents might be seen through the trees. 

On poured the living current of the Confederates. 
By an anomalous arrangement Hildebrand's Brigade of 
Sherman's Division was on the left of Prentiss' Di- 
vision*. Sherman, with his other three brigades, was on 
the riofht. 

By a mischance the Confederates' left had not been 
thrown sufficiently near to Owl Creek, so when the col- 
lision came it was only with the left (Hildebrand's) bri- 
gade ; but it soon fell with overwhelming force upon 
Prentiss from flank to flank. Their sentinels, taken by 
surprise, were run in with barely time to discharge their 
pieces. Just at their heels came the Confederates,, 
cheering heartily ; and so complete a surprise of an 
army has not the like in history. Officers and men 
were killed or wounded in their beds, and larp-e num- 
bers had not time to clutch up either arms or accoutre- 
ments. Nevertheless, few prisoners were taken, nor 
were many either killed or wounded in the first stage of 
the battle. Hildebrand's Brigade of Ohioans, swept 
by the violence of the onslaught from their encamp- 
ment, scattered and was heard of no more as a bellig- 
erent organization on that field! Prentiss' Division, 
rallying, was formed in good time on a neighboring 
ridge, but, little able to stand the torrent that streamed 
after it, was swept further back. Meanwhile Sherman's 
rightward brigades, which had escaped collision with 
Hardee, he had time to form, and with them right man- 
fully did he strive to make head against Ruggles' Di- 
vision of Bragg's Corps, that by this time had come 
upon the scene and bore down vehemently upon them. 

148 • • R. R. Ha.voock's Diary. 

The position held by Sherman was one of natural 
strength ; with a small watercourse in front, it aftbrded 
a converging fire upon the Confederates. Such, how- 
ever, was the vigor of the assault that Sherman, with 
the loss of five or six guns, was forced back just as Mc- 
Clernand came to his support. They were both then 
swept rearward near the line of the cross-road from 
Hamburg to Purdy. There Sherman, with McClernand, 
gained a foothold, and, with several batteries favorably 
posted, made another stand on a thickly-wooded ridge 
with a ravine in front. But, speedily assailed by Rug- 
gles' and some of Polk's Brigades with a fury not to be 
withstood, the Federal line again yielded, losing several 
pieces of artillery and receding to the position of Mc- 
Clernand's encampment. 

About forty minutes past seven a. m., hearing the up- 
roar in front, Hurlbut also sent Yeach's Brigrade of his 
division to support Sherman, and with his other two 
brigades moved swiftly to the succor of Prentiss', who 
had called for aid. After Prentiss' Division had fil- 
tered through his lines he formed in the edge of an old 
field, sheltered by timber and thick undergrowth, near 
the Hamburg road, south (to the left) of the position 
taken by Sherman and McClernand. There Hurlbut 
also was speedily assailed by the Confederates, now re- 
enforced in that quarter by Chalmers' and Jackson's 
brigades of Bragg's Corps, and was soon swept back, 
with the loss of some artillery. Thus the whole front 
line of Federal encampments was left in the hands of 
the adversary, filled with equipage and baggage, the 
most abundant and luxurious that encumbered any ex- 
cept an oriental army. 

Meanwhile Sherman was making able, desperate 

April, 1862. 149 

efforts to redeem the losses of the niorning. However, 
the Confederates, now re-enforced in that quarter by 
Cheatham's and Clark's Divisions, Polk's Corps, still 
drove their anemy nearer the river. 

W. H. L. W^allace had also been attacked, and the 
Federal line of battle was pushed back to within a mile 
of the Landing. There were massed what remained of 
their artillery and the fragments of their five divisions. 

General Johnston, the Confederate Commander-in- 
Chief, was now in the very front of the battle. Assured 
of a great victory after the marvelous success of his 
planned surprise, he now stimulated the onslaught by 
his personal presence on the right, where the press was 
fiercest, the resistance the most effective. More than 
once brigades that faltered under the inspiration of his 
leading bore back the enemy and wrested the position 
fought for. As far as can be ascertained, General Grant 
was not upon the immediate field earlier than midday. 
On Saturday afternoon he had gone to Savannah and 
slept there. The sound of many cannon at Shiloh was 
his first tidings of a hostile juncture at Pittsburg Land- 
ing. As he was leaving Savannah he ordered Nel- 
son's Division of Buell's Corps, that la)- at that place, 
to march to Pittsburg by the nearest road. When he 
reached Pittsburg it was to find his whole front line sur- 
prised, overwhelmed, routed, and the ravines and river 
bank adjacent packed with thousands of crouching fugi- 
tives. These could not be rallied nor incited to return 
to the field to aid in recovering the fortunes of the day. 

There was abundant intrepidity in leading every- 
where, but, unfortunately for the Confederate cause, too 
little knowledge of the right way to handle regiments,, 
brigades, divisions, even corps, to secure that massing 

150 R. R. Hancock's Dlart. 

of troops, those • mighty blows which achieve decisive 
victories. Though, indeed, there were far to many strag- ' 
glers who ignobly shrank from the victorious edge of 
battle, many going back to Corinth that night, yet 
everywhere there was the largest measure of sturdy 
fighting by regiments, brigades, and parts of divisions. 
For the most part, confident of the issue and bent on 
pressing toward the enemy, there was yet a lack of har- 
monious movement. Superior officers led with notable 
courage regiments or parts of brigades, and doubtless 
stimulated their men not a little by their example, but 
at the same time lost sight ot the mass of their com- 
mands, which were thus not unfrequently left at a halt 
without orders and uncertain what to do. And this was 
the case with batteries also, which, moreover, were 
too often employed smgly. There was no concerted 
concentration of these triumphant corps respectively, 
much less of the whole mass, for a well-timed, over- 
whelming blow at the now sorely crippled, dispirited 
enemy. And as a consequence, with Sherman among 
them doing all possible in the exigency, the Federals 
were enabled to protract their defense against the des- 
ultory onset with which they were assailed for the next 
hour or two. 

Meanwhile, to the riehtward the Confederate General- 
in-Chief, taking part at a critical juncture in the charge 
of a brigade, and by his intrepid presence giving a re- 
sistless momentum to the onset, received a rifle wound 
in the leg — a mortal wound, as it proved presently, tor 
the want of timely surgical aid. The Governor ot Ten- 
nessee (I. G. Harris), by his side when struck, caught 
the soldier in his arms as he fell from his saddle, ex- 
hausted by an apparently painless loss of blood. A 

April, 18G2. 151 

moment after his aid-de-camp and brother-in-law, Colo- 
nel William Preston, of Kentucky, came up, and A, S. 
Johnston, with scarce a murmur, died in his arms. The 
scene of his untoward death was a wooded, secluded 
hollow, and the loss of their chief was not known to the 
Confederate arm)' until that night, nor even generally 

About the time of this calamity the reserves under 
Breckinridge were thrown vigorously into action. He 
was ordered to the support of Bragg, who had called 
for aid. In front was to be seen a camp without an in- 
mate. This camp was in an open woods and just ahead 
was an open field bordered by a dense thicket. 

Through the camp passed Breckinridge's Brigade and 
into the open field, and still there was silence ; but not 
long, for a few steps beyond a hissing stream and fiame 
of musketry burst at their breasts, mowing their ranks 
fearfully and heaping the ground with dead and wound- 
ed. They gave back to the woods, but only for a little 
while did the)- recede. Closing their thinned ranks, and 
animated by their officers, they retook the advance, and 
their adversaries were forced back, yet with not a little 
stubbornness and desperate fighting on favorable 
ground. By this time Withers' Division, of Bragg's 
Corps, as well as Breckinridge's reserves, mingled with 
portions of Hardee's men, were all massed on the Con- 
federate right in the quarter of Lick Creek. General 
Bragg, assuming command of the whole, launched them 
with a resistless weight at the enemy, who now gave 
way, and on all sides were forced from the line of Wal- 
lace's and Hurlbut's encampments, leaving behind more 
of their artillery and three thousand prisoners, chiefly 
of Prentiss' Division, in the hands of their assailants. 

152 R. E. Hancock's Diary. 

At the same time, on the center and left, Polk's Divi- 
sions, with Ruggles' Division of Bragg's Corps, and 
some of Hardee's also, made no less strenuous efforts 
to close the battle. Those of the routed Federals who 
were not killed or captured dropped back in great con- 
fusion toward the Landing. Some were rallied upon 
the ridge immediately overhanging the Landing, but 
large masses were added to the already dense mob of 
fucjitives huddled below the bank. 

But meanwhile Colonel Webster, chief of the Federal 
staff, an officer of the regulars who knew his profession, 
observing the mortal peril of his people, had gathered 
upon that ridge all the guns available, including some 
thirty-two pounders and a battery of twenty-pounder 
Parrotts, or in all, twenty-two pieces, which he manned 
with gunners from the least demoralized of the run-a- 
ways. Soon, too, the remains of the field batteries 
were added, and some fifty guns were massed upon this 
eminence about five p. m., with a field of fire sweeping 
all the approaches to the river. The position was 
strong; timber and undergrowth gave shelter for the 
artillery and their support, while a deep ravine separated 
it from the table-land over which it dominated ; tangled 
brushwood obstructed its steep slopes, and on or behind 
this position, as we have said, took final refuge the en- 
tire Federal force except the remains of one of Sher-. 
man's brigades, which appear to have drifted off with 
their General to the vicinity of the bridge across Snake 
Creek, on the road to Crump's Landing, and not being 
followed, he established them there undisturbed, with 
the rear open for retreat in an emergency, northward. 

The air now resounded with hearty shouts of natural 
exultation on part of the victorious Confederates. 

April, 1862. 153- 

General Beauregard, throug-h his staff, urged the 
forward propulsion of the whole force upon the shat- 
tered fragments of the enemy. Unfortunately, however, 
from various causes, none of the divisions confronted in 
an embodied form the last position that remained be- 
tween them and the deep, broad waters of the Tennes- 
see. The superior officers present, howbeit, collected 
the men immediately around them, of whatever corps. 
Tired, hungry, and exhausted as were the Confederates, 
nevertheless a number of determined separate efforts 
were made by them during the remaining hour of day- 
light to wrench the last foothold from their elsewhere 
beaten adversary. But meanwhile, at five p. m., Am- 
men's Brigade of Nelson's Division had been thrown 
across the river and established by Buell as a support 
of Webster's powerful battery, and the Federals, like a 
rat brought to bay in a corner from which there is no 
escape, fought with all the desperation of that animal 
under similar circumstances, knowing, moreover, that 
night, with its shield of darkness, and ample succor were 
close at hand. 

But in attempting to mount the last ridge, the Con- 
federates were met by a fire from a whole line of bat- 
teries, protected by infantry, and assisted by shells from 
the gun - boats. They, however, stoutly persisted in 
storming the steep hillside despite the impediments 
with which it bristled, and made charge after charge 
without success until night closed hostilities. 

General Beauregard, in the meantime, observing the 
exhausted, widely-scattered condition of his army, di- 
rected it to be brouoht out of battle, collected and re- 
stored to order as far as practicable, and to occupy for 
the night the captured encampments of the enemy. 

154 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

All the encampments that had been occupied by the 
five Federal divisions were now in possession of their 
adversary. They were full of the rich, opportune spoils 
of war, including many thousand stands of arms, all the 
blankets and baggage of the whole force, their subsist- 
ence, their hospital stores, means of transportation to a 
great extent, and large stores of ammunition. But so 
great was the lassitude and fatigue of the Confederates 
that all which could be done was to glean food sufficient 
for their supper, for which, indeed, all were dependent 
upon what they could thus find. 

The prisoners, however, were collected together dur- 
ing the night not far from Shiloh Church, where Gener- 
als Beauregard and Bragg established their headquar- 
ters. There, after a time, the former had an interview 
with his corps commanders and received brief oral re- 
ports of the operations of the day. 

Among the prisoners was General Prentiss himself, 
who had much to say touching the ultimate issue of the 
affair, which he asserted was by no means terminated 
with the disaster of that untoward day; for Buell, he 
stated, would effect a junction that night, the fight 
would break out the next morning with renewed vigor, 
and all losses would be recovered. At the moment, 
however, this was regarded as idle talk, for an official 
telegraphic dispatch, addressed to General Johnston 
from near Florence, was forwarded to the field from 
Corinth, announcing that Buell was moving with his 
whole force upon Florence. Emanating from a reliable 
officer placed there in observation, whose scouts had 
doubtless mistaken the movement of Mitchell's Division 
for the whole of Buell's army, it was credited, and Buell's 
timely junction with General Grant was accordingly 

April, 18(32. 155 

deemed impossible. Therefore the capture of the latter 
was regarded at Confederate headquarters as inevitable 
the next day, as soon as all the scattered Confederate 
resources could be brought to bear for a concentrated 
effort. Such of the Confederate soldiery as could find 
shelter from a heavy rain slept undisturbed and hopeful 
of the fullest fruition of a great victor)' on the morrow. 

After first finding food and forage for his men and 
horses, Colonel Forrest threw out a squadron as pickets, 
confronting, as close as possible, those of the enemy, 
on a stretch of a mile across to Owl Creek. He also 
dispatched Lieutenant Sheridan with other scouts clad 
in Federal cavalry overcoats, to reconnoiter within the 
precincts of the enemy's lines. Completely successful, 
in an hour Sheridan returned and reported that, reaching 
the Landing, he had seen heavy reinforcements coming 
rapidly by water. Also, in his opinion, such was the 
disorder prevailing that if an attack were made in full 
force at once, they might be readily pushed into the 
river. Forrest, ever a man of prompt action, mounted 
his horse instantly to convey this startling intelligence 
to the nearest corps commander, and soon coming upon 
Generals Hardee and Breckinridge, made known what 
his scouts announced. He also bluntly added his opin- 
ion that either the Confederates should immediately re- 
sume the battle or quit the field to avoid a damaging 
conflict with overwhelming odds. Hardee directed him 
to communicate his information to General Beauregard, 
and with that object he rode forth again ; but after a dili- 
gent search through the woods and darkness, unable to 
find that General, he became so deeply solicitous that 
he hurried back to his pickets. Finding all quiet he 

156 R. R. Hancock's Dtary. 

again dispatched his scouts within the Federal Hnes. It 
was two o'clock a. m. before they returned and reported 
the continued arrival of fresh troops. Again Forrest 
repaired and reported to General Hardee the state of 
affairs, but was instructed to return to his regiment, 
keep up a vigilant, strong picket line, and report all 
hostile movements. All the while, every few minutes 
through the night, two gun-boats had been sedulously 
throwing their dread "bolted thunder " directly over For- 
rest's bivouac, murdering sleep, weary and drowsy as 
all his men were. 


By seven p. m. Nelson's other two brigades (Bruce's 
and Hazen's) had crossed the Tennessee, and, with the 
one (Ammen's) that so materially helped, with Web- 
ster's opportunely posted battery, to save the Federal 
army from utter overthrow, were at once thrown forward 
by General Buell as a shield between General Grant's 
army and the Confederates. Crittenden's Division like- 
wise came up from Savannah by water not long after, 
and was promptly established in the same manner on 
Nelson's rio-ht. Moreover, Lew Wallace, one of Grant's 
divisions that was not in the first day's battle, came up 
by land from near Crump's Landing, crossed Snake 
Creek, and took a position there commanding the 
bridge, and by chance, too, in the neighborhood of 
Sherman. One of McCook's Brigades (Rousseau's) 
also reached the scene about sunrise and took a posi- 
tion on Crittenden's right. His other two brigades 
(Johnson's and Kirk's) took position about ten a. m. 

Thus were marshaled there or near at hand, ready to 
take the offensive against the victors of the day before, 
twenty-five thousand fresh Federal troops. On the 

April, 1802. 157 

Confederate side, to meet such an onset, there was not 
a man who had not fought steadfastly for the greater 
part of Sunday, and not more than twenty thousand 
Confederate infantry could have been found to answer 
to their names that morning, the 7th. 

In haste to efface the tarnish of the arrant disaster in- 
flicted on his army on Sunday, General Grant did not 
await the advent of Buell's other divisions, but directed 
the offensive to be assumed at dawn. His shattered 
forces on Sunday night had been reorganized into three 
divisions under Sherman, McClernand and Hurlbut. 

To recapitulate: Six Federal divisions — Nelson's, 
Crittenden's, McClernand's, McCook's,* Sherman's and 
Lew Wallace's — were in position in the order named, 
and ready to take the offensive Monday morning, with 
Hurlbut's Division held back near the river as a reserve. 
Hurlbut, bringing up his reserves about ten o'clock and 
fusing them with McClernand's command, repaired rear- 
ward again, at McClernand's request, to seek further 

Chalmers' Brigade, with a part of J. K. Jackson's, 
imder Wheeler, in advance, in front of Nelson, were the 
first to become engaged. Nelson came out with vigor, 
and the Confederates retired slowly to concentrate their 
strength. By eight o'clock, Hardee, however, had 
massed in that quarter a number of his own corps, as 
well as Withers' Division of Bragg's, and the combat 
began in earnest. Nelson now found a lion in his path, 
but Hazen's Brigade pushed forward with decided 
pluck, and the Confederates were driven from their po- 
sition with the loss ot a battery. A well-timed concen- 

®Two of McCook's brigade?, as before stated, did not take position until 
about ten a. m. 

158 E. E. Hancock's Diary. 

tration, however, enabled the Confederates to hur! 
Hazen back from his prey, and in turn pressed Nelson 
so sorely that by nine a. m. he was calling lustily for aid. 
Nelson was reinforced by Terrell's j!;attery (regulars), 
and a portion of Crittenden's Division, and an obstinate 
struggle for the mastery of this part of the field raged 
until about one p. m. But neither party gained any ma- 
terial advantage, except Terrell's Battery was so cut up 
that he had to assist as a gunner at one of his pieces, 
and the battery narrowly escaped capture. 

Crittenden by this time was likewise hotly engaged 
in the immediate center. The Confederates on his 
front, at first retiring to concentrate at his advance, 
finally rebounded, and he and Nelson were borne back 
by the same refluent wave. Polk's corps coming up 
from the rear, on the Confederate side, entered the bat- 
tle in splendid order and spirit. 

By the time Nelson was well at work on the Federal 
left, the Confederates opened a light fire upon Wallace 
and Sherman, who, encouraged by its feebleness, ad- 
ventured the offensive. But their speedy greeting was 
a sheet of flame, lead and canister from the woods in 
their front, where portions of Ruggles' and Breckin- 
ridge's Divisions stood in wait. The Federals reeled 
and rushed rearward, followed nearly a mile by the Con- 
federates ; but here, reinforced by McCook, Sherman 
attempted to resume the advance. Now, the fight 
waxed obstinate, and the firing, says Sherman, was the 
"severest musketry" he had ever heard. Rousseau's 
Federal Brigade was pitted against Trabue's Kentuck- 
ians. .Both fought with uncommon determination to 
win, but the Federals were repulsed, and Wallace was 
so pressed that his situation became extremely critical. 

April, 1862. 159- 

As the Confederates in that part of the field were con- 
fronted by more than double their number, the impetus 
of their attack was, therefore, slackened in the face of 
such odds. Yet several brilliant charges were made, in 
one of which, to the left of Shiloh, General Beauregard 
himself led in person, carrying the battle flag of a Louis- 
iana regiment ; and Trabue's Brigade, having carried 
earlier an eminence near Owl Creek, repulsing every 
effort to dislodge him, held his position until the retreat 
was ordered. Here, as on the right, the Confeclerate 
troops were animated by the greatest intrepidity on the 
part of their superior officers. 

It was now after one o'clock. The battle had raged 
furiously from right to left for more than five hours, and, 
notwithstanding the odds of fresh troops brought up 
against them, despite their long-continued engagement, 
the Confederates had not receded from the ground upon 
which they had been concentrated as soon as it was ap- 
parent that the battle was on their hands. Beginning 
the combat with not more than twenty thousand men, 
exclusive of cavalry, less than fifteen thousand were 
now in the Confederate ranks. General Beauregard, 
seeing the unprofitable nature of the struggle, deter- 
mined not to prolong it. Directing his Adjutant-Gen- 
eral to select a position, and post such troops as were 
available to cover the retreat, he dispatched other staff 
officers to the corps commanders, with the order to re- 
tire simultaneously from their several positions, ready, 
however, to turn and fight should it become necessary.. 
And, accordingly, about two o'clock the retrograde 
movement was inaugurated, and carried out with a 
steadiness never exceeded by veterans of a hundred 
fields. The retreat had now commenced in earnest, but 

160 R. K. Hancock's Diary. 

so stunned and crippled was the enemy that no eftbrt 
or pretense to pursue was made. The hne estabhshed 
to cover the movement commanded the ground of Shiloh 
Church and some open fields in the neighborhood. 
Thence, keeping up a vigorous play of artillery on the 
woods beyond, there was no reply, nor did any enemy 
become visible. The next line, three-fourths of a mile 
to the rear, was abandoned, with no enemy in sight. 
Breckinridge, assigned to the duty of covering the re- 
treat with his division, was ordered to bivouac for the 
night at a point not more than four and a half miles from 
Pittsburg Landing. The other corps were now en 
route for Corinth by a road which, that night, was made 
almost impracticable for wheels by a heavy rainfall. 

On Tuesday morning, General Breckinridge fell back 
to a position only three miles beyond, and there re- 
mained undisturbed for some days, with the cavalry 
thrown forward in close proximity to the Federal lines. 
After Breckinridge had thus withdrawn, Colonel For- 
rest found himself with about three hundred and 
fifty troops on Tuesday morning (the 8th), on the 
road toward Monterey, in the presence of a heavy 
Federal infantry force, advancing in three lines of battle. 
The position, a ridge, was advantageous, and Forrest 
determined to attempt to hold it until re-enforcements 
could be brought up. Formed in line of battle, the 
Confederates boldly stood their ground as about two 
battalions of cavalry and a regiment of infantry were 
thrown forward to assail them. The infantry advanced 
handsomely at a charge, with their bayonets presented. 
There was some confusion, however, in the Federal 
ranks in crossing a small stream, and Forrest, with his 
characteristic quickness of sight and plans, his wonted 

April, 1862. 161 

hardihood, resolved to charge the Federals with his 
force, as small as it was. His buorler sounded the 

■ o 

charp-e, and forward dashed the Confederates from their 
covert behind the crest of the ridge in superb order and 
spirit, and were almost upon the enemy before the 
nature of the movement was perceived or they had had 
time to prepare for it. At twenty paces the Confeder- 
ates gave a volley with their shot-guns — a formidable 
weapon at that short distance — ^and rushed in with pis- 
tols and sabers. So sudden was the onset that, despite 
their numbers, the Federal cavalry broke in disorder 
and tied back through the woods, running- over their 
own infantry in their panic, creating a scene of singular 
confusion and tumult for some moments. Many of the 
infantry were thus knocked down; many horses also 
were transfixed by the bayonets of their own infantry. 

Scores of other horses fell and threw their riders, 
-sprawling and bruised, upon the ground, and all around 
was a medley of cavalry and infantry, scattering and 
running to and fro, hither and thither, officers shouting 
and cursing and the hurt groaning. The flying infantry 
were closely pursued for several hundred yards by their 
eager, excited enemy. The loss inflicted was heavy, 
while seventy were captured. 

In the ardency and exultation of the pursuit Forrest 
pressed on until he found himself alone within fifty 
yards of the main body of the Federal expeditionary 
force, and beyond, indeed, a large part of those whom 
he had just surprised and routed. Halting, he saw at 
a glance that his men, perceiving sooner the situation, 
had very properly halted, and were then falling back 
with their prisoners — which they were doing, however, 
unaware of the perilous position of their leader. Im- 

162 K. R. Hancock's Diary. 

mediatc'ly observed by the enemy, now all around him, 
Forrest was fired at from all sides. One ball from an 
Austrian rifle, striking him on the right; side, just above 
the point of the hip-bone, penetrated to the spine, and, 
ranoino- around, lodged in the left side — a severe if not, 
indeed, mortal Vv'ound, as his surgeon apprehended. 
His right leg, benumbed by the blow, was also left 
hanging useless in the stirrup. Turning his horse, 
however, he resolved to escape, surrounded as he was 
by hundreds bent on his death, and shouting, "Kill 
him!" "Shoot him!" "Stick him!" "Knock him off 
his horse!" all of which they literally sought to do. His 
horse, too, was wounded (mortally, as it proved) ; but 
still bore up under his daring rider as he dashed out of 
the throng of assailants, using his revolver with deadly 
aim to clear his path. In a moment more his path to the 
rear, at least, was clear of foes, but their marksmen, still 
within easy range, sent hundreds of balls after him as he 
galloped down the road and over the hill. Happily, he 
escaped without further hurt, and rejoined his command, 
halted behind the ridge. Giving orders to the officer 
next in rank to assume command, but to avoid further 
action with so large a force, Forrest went to Corinth that 
night, when the horse, which had borne him so stoutly 
and faithfully, dropped and died a few hours later. On 
the next day Colonel Forrest, furloughed for sixty days, 
repaired to Memphis. 

The losses of the Confederates in the two days' com- 
bats are accurately and ofiicially stated by General 
Beauregard at 1,728 killed, 8,012 wounded, 959 miss- 
ing, or an aggregate of 10,699. The Federal com- 
mander, in his brief report of the battle, estimates his 
own losses at only 1,500 killed and 3,500 wounded, an 

ApiiiL, 1862. 163 

evidently larg-e understatement, lor in the official reports 
ot three of his division generals we find their losses 
loot up in killed and wounded as high as 4,614, with 
1,832 reported missing, a number of whom must have 
been killed, as only 3,000 were captured, and most of 
them were Prentiss' Division. Furthermore, Swinton, 
who always writes in a fair spirit, estimates the Federal 
loss at 15,000. Of trophies the Confederates carried 
from the field some twenty-six stands of flags and col- 
ors, and about thirty of the guns captured on the 6th. 
The guns which figure in Federal subordinate reports 
as captured from the Confederates, with few exceptions, 
were those lost on Sunday by the Federals, which, for 
want of horses to draw them from the field, had been 
left by the Confederates where they had been taken. 


The true reason why the battle of Sunday fell short 
ot the most complete victory of modern war by the 
capture of the whole Federal army is simply this : First, 
General Johnston, not knowing the actual position oc- 
cupied by the Federal front line, failed to extend his line 
of battle sufficiently near Owl Creek to force the Fed- 
eral right (Sherman) back north-easterly into the ciil de 
sac made above Pittsburg Landing by the junction of 
Lick Creek with the Tennessee River. As the attack 
was made, the shock of the onset only affected Sher- 
man's left brigade (Hildebrand's). Had it fallen with 
full force upon his entire division, it is manifest that that 
which happened to Hildebrand's Brigade would have 
befallen it. The entire division must have been swept 
away as that brigade was, and been driven rearward so 
rapidly upon McClernand's, Hurlbut's, and Wallace's 
(W. H. L.) as to give them little or no time to form 

164 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

their divisions, and make the stand which Sherman's ob- 
stinate resistance with two brigades near Shiloh enabled 
them to do. 

Second, after the combat was at its height, those su- 
perior officers who should have been occupied \yith the 
concentration and continuous projection of their troops 
in heavy masses upon the shattered Federal divisions, 
were at the very front and "perilous edge" of the bat- 
tle, leading forward regiments, perchance brigades, into 
action with great individual intrepidity, and doing a 
great deal, no doubt, by their personal example to impel 
small bodies forward. But meanwhile, to their rear were 
left the masses of their respective commands without 
direction, and thus precious time was lost. The Con- 
federates were not kept continuously massed and em- 
ployed, either corps or divisions ; mere piecemeal onsets 
were the general method of fighting after twelve o'clock, 
with this consequence : Sherman was enabled to make 
several obstinate, powerful stands, by which he protracted 
the battle some hours. Had the corps been held well 
in hand, massed and pressed continuously upon the tot- 
tering, demoralized foe, the battle assuredly would have 
closed at least by midday. 

As our battalion was on outpost duty, on the extreme 
right of Johnston's army (as my diary has shown), it 
was not in the Shiloh battle. While we were sitting 
quietly in camp on Sunday, listening to a sermon from 
our chaplain, we could hear the booming of* artillery at 

Wednesday, gth. — A gun-boat passed up by East- 
port, going perhaps one mile and a half above, then 
turning, went back down the river without firing a gun. 
I, with some others, being on picket at Eastport, con- 

Apkil, 1862. 165 

cealed ourselves on a hill near by and watched the ma- 
neuvers of the boat. We had a good view of the 

Siaiday, 13th. — Two gun-boats and two transports 
came up to Chickasaw and landed about one hundred and 
twenty cavalry and three regiments of infantry about day- 
light.* Our picket fell back in advance of the Federals 
to Bear Creek. After crossing the bridge they (the 
picket) set fire to it. The Federals continued their 
movement along the east side of Bear Creek in the di- 
rection of the railroad bridge that spans said creek 
about eight miles from Chickasaw. Having no artillery 
and only about two hundred cavalry at luka, we were 
poorly prepared to protect said bridge while a force 
so much superior to ours was now apparently bent on 
its destruction. However, about one hundred of our 
battalion and a part of Captain Sanders' Company 
mounted and moved out to the bridge to see what was 
up. A few moments after we arrived at the bridge the 
enemy came in sight on the opposite side of the creek, 
and firingr commenced. We soon found that the 
enemy had another advantage of us in having long- 
range guns. A few of our men who happened to have 
long-range guns returned the fire. Considering it use- 
less for us to make further effort to protect the bridge 
with such odds agrainst us, we were ordered to fall back. 
The Federals, after burning the bridge and cutting the 
telegraph wire, went back to Chickasaw, reboarded 
their boats and moved back toward Pittsburg Landing 
that night. No one of our battalion was killed, but 
three were wounded. One of them, George Daven- 
port, was from Captain Allison's Company. And, by 

■'General \V. T. Sherman \vas in ccmmand of this expedilion. 

166 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

the way. he was the first man of said company that had 
been wounded. George C. Moore, First Sergeant of 
Sanders' Company, was wounded. We were reinforced 
about midnight by cavalry, infantry and artillery, but it 
was too late to save the bridgre. 

Wednesday, i6tJi. — Our battalion moved about nine 
miles west and went into camps one-half mile south-west 
of Burnsville, still in Tishamingo County, on the Mem- 
phis and Charleston Railroad, x^ll the troops, except 
a few cavalry, lett luka. 

Saturday, 79///.— Forage by this time was very scarce, 
so much so that our quartermaster was not able to fur- 
nish half rations for our horses. By going to the coun- 
try I had the good luck to find and purchase one bushel 
of corn for \\\\ horse. Such trips were now daily made 
by others. 

Wednesday, 2jd. — Six of Captain x^ilison's Company 
(J. W. Kennedy, H. L. \V. Turney, Jim Thomas, W. E. 
Rich, Tom O'Conner and B. A. Flancock), whom we 
had left at home in Middle Tennessee, had made tlieir 
way out through the Federal lines, and after about thir- 
teen days' travel rejoined their company at Burnsville 
on the above date. 

We were still picketing the various roads leading out 
from Burnsville. 

Saturday, 26th. — Captain Harris and a part of his 
company were detached from our battalion and started 
to Tennessee with John Morgan's Squadron for the 
purpose of watching the movements ot the Federals 
there and reporting back. 

Monday, 28th. — It was reported that the Federals 
were at Sulphur Springs, some twelve or hlteen miles 

May, 1802. 167 

from Burnsville. The picket on that road was re- 
enforced about midnight. 

Ttiesday, zgtJi. — McNairy sent a scout out in the 
direction of Sulphur Springs. On returning they re- 
ported no Federals there. 

Sahirday, May jd. — It was reported in camps about 
sundown that the Federals were tearing up the railroad 
about five miles west of Burnsville. h squad of us 
mounted and rode out in that direction far enough to 
learn that the Federals were surely there. As Vv-e did 
not wish to attack about eleven hundred in the dark, we 
went back to camps. We then moved our camps about 
two miles from Burnsville, on the Jacinto road, where 
we remained the rest of the night. 

Sunday, ^tJi. — The battalion went back to the rail- 
road, and after learning that the Federals had gone 
back and were encamped about six miles north of the 
railroad, we turned south, going through Jacinto, the 
county seat of Tishamingo, and went into camps two 
miles from town, in an old sage field. Jacinto is nine 
miles from Burnsville. 

Monday, ^tJi. — After cooking three days' rations, we 
struck tents and loaded our wagons. The wagons Vv-ere 
sent to Booneville. twelve miles from Jacinto, on the 
Mobile and Ohio Railroad. McNairy moved his men 
back to Jacinto, and quartered them in the various un- 
occupied houses. Allison's Company had splendid 
quarters — in the court-house. Two scouts were sent 
out, one to Burnsville, the other to Glendale, six miles 
west of the former place, on the Memphis and Charles- 
ton Railroad. Found no Federals. We remained at 
Jacinto for some days, scouting and picketing. 

Monday, i2fJi. — There vvas a orreat deal of talk and 

168 K. K. Haxcock's Diaky. 

excitement in the battalion about reorganizing for three 
years, or during the war, under a new law that the Con- 
federate Congress had lately passed, known as the 
"conscript law." The expiration of our enlistment^ 
twelve months, was now near at hand, and the question 
was. Shall we re-enlist or quit and go home? 

As our company had a number of acquaintances in 
Colonel E. S. Smith's Regiment of cavalry, which was. 
then thought to be in Tennessee, north of the Tennes- 
see River, not far from Chattanooga, and as we were 
wanting to get back nearer home. Captain Allison sent 
M. W. McKnight and B. A. Hancock to Corinth to take 
a petition to General Beal. In said petition we request- 
ed the transfer of our company to the above named reg- 
iment. General Beal seemed to be favorable to our pe- 
tition, but said that he would have to wait until he could, 
find out the condition of Smith's Regiment before he 
could grant our request. In the meantime, however,, 
we learned that Smith's Regiment was " bursted up," so 
that was the end of our petition. 

Wednesday, i^tJi. — McNairy's Battalion re-enlisted 
"for three years or during the war," and reorganized. 
Companies A and B were consolidated, also Companies- 
C and D. Therefore x^llison's Company, not being 
consolidated with any other, became Company C in 
place of E. So our battalion was thus reduced to three 

As the commissioned officers (T. M. x\lIIson, Captain; 
N. W. Summer, First Lieutenant ; George Alexander 
and M. V. Wilson. Second Lieutenants) of our company 
resicfned and went home, we elected a new set of of- 
ficers. The election resulted as follows: 

Moses \V, McKnight, Captain ; H. L. \V. Turney,. 

Captain M. W. McKNIGHT, Co. C. 

May, 18()2. 109 

First Lieutenant; Sam Dennis and Dr. J. S. Harrison, 
Second Lieutenants. 

The election of non-commissioned officers of Com- 
pany C was postponed. 

Company A elected George H, Morton, Captain; N, 
Oswell, First Lieutenant; T. C, Atkinson, Second 
Lieutenant, aud Anderson H. French, Third Lieuten- 

Company B elected William Parrish, Captain ; T. B. 
Underwood, First Lieutenant; G. W. Smithson, Second 
Lieutenant, and S. B. Wall, Third Lieutenant. 

Lieutenant-Colonel F. N. McNairy resigned, and a 
few days after, bidding us farewell, returned to Tennes- 
see and was killed at Dover, Tennessee, in January, 
1863, being temporarily on General Forrest's staff at 
that time. 

General Beal sent Colonel Bradfute to take charge of 
the three companies to which our battalion was now re- 
duced, from the reorganization at Jacinto to the time of 
consolidation with the Seventh Battalion, at Fulton, 
June 1 2th. 

As the Second Tennessee Cavalry, of which the First 
Battalion formed a part, surrendered May loth, 1865, 
we liked only four days serving out the term of our re- 
enlistment — three years. 

Friday, i6th. — Eight of Company C were stopping 
with relatives and friends in Franklin County, Alabama, 
about sixty miles east of Jacinto. The writer, having 
been detailed to go after them, set out from Jacinto* for 
that purpose about noon. 

■■"Tishamingo is now divided into thiee counties — Alcorn, with Corinth as 
county seat; Prentiss, with Bocneville as county seat; while the eastern portion 
retains the old name, with luka as county seat. Jacinto is in the south-east 
corner of Alcorn Countv. 

170 R. Ft. Hancock's Diary. 

Sahirday, lyth. — Passing on through F"rankfort and 
Russellville, Alabama, and notifying the boys to be 
ready to start to camps next morning. I stopped for 
the night with my vmcle, Ben Hancock, who Hved four 
miles north of Russellville. Starting back the i8th, we 
rejoined our company the 19th at Jacinto. 

Ttcesday, 20th. — We learned after dark that the Fed- 
erals were at Burnsville. So McKnight's Company was 
sent out to re-enforce the picket on the Burnsville road. 
The company lay in ambush all night a few hundred 
yards behind the picket.* The rest of the battalion were 
sent out on other roads leadinp- out in the direction of 
Burnsville and Glendale. But no enemy made their ap- 

Wednesday, 21st. — A scout went out to Burnsville and 
learned that one hundred and five Federal cavalry had 
been there the evening before. So all except the pick- 
ets went back to camps. 

Colonel McCulloch's Battalion and ours were all the 
troops stationed near lacinto. 

'Thursday, 22d. — The Federals were reported to be 
three miles south of Glendale, and advancing on us. So 
McCulloch's Battalion and ours mounted and moved out 
in that direction. Finding the report to be false, we re- 
turned to camp. 

Friday, 2jd. — Captain McKnight, I, and ten others, 
went out to Burnsville on a scout. We met, about two 
and a hall miles from Burnsville, two of Beauregard's 

■How vivid "to my memory still" is that night! The pickets were sta- 
tiouetl thus: 15. A. Hancock, in front; W. W. Hawkins, a few paces to the 
rear; while I was a few paces to the rear of Hawkins. We expected to be re- 
lieved, as the custom was, in two hours. Rut we were very much disappointed 
and somewhat chagrined at having to sit there on our liorses all that hug iiight. 
Do not remember of doing the like any more during the war. 

Sergeant J. C. McADOO. 

May, 1802. 171 

scouts. They told Captain McKnight that they had 
seen, early that morning, about five hundred Federal 
cavalry eight miles beyond Burnsvllle. After starting a 
dispatch back to Colonel McKairy, we went on to Burns- 
ville. We had been there only a short time when the 
enemy came in sight. Their advance guard, about fifty, 
made a dash at us as though they were bent on our 
capture. They followed us about two and a half miles 
almost at full speed. As we were well mounted we all 
made our escape. They fired a few shots at us, but we 
escaped without injury. I do not now remember of be- 
inor in another such race durinor the war. About two 
miles further we found our battalion in ambush. In a 
short time McCulloch's Battalion, with one six-pounder, 
came up. Expecting the Federals were advancing, and 
finding a favorable position within about three miles of 
Burnsville, McCulloch's Battalion and a part of ours 
were deployed in battle line, while the other portion of 
our battalion (with McKnight's Company in front) 
moved on to meet the enemy. Going about one mile 
further, we halted and formed in ambush, while a small 
squad went on in search of the enemy. Going on to 
Burnsville, and finding the enemy had fallen back, we 
all returned to Jacinto a little before dark. 

Saturday, 24th. — The non-commissioned officers of 
our company were elected. The election resulted as 
follows : 

John D. McLin, First Sergeant; A. B. McKnight, 
Second; R. R. Hancock, Third; and J. C. McAdoo, 
Fourth. (About one year afterward Sam Walker was 
made First Sergeant.) W\ W. Harrison, X. A. Baxter, 
W. W. Hawkins and C. Dougherty were. I think, the 

172 R. K. Hancock's Diary. 

Sunday, 2^tk. — McKnight's Company went on a scout 
up the Tuscumbia road, but brought back no news of 


JVednesday, zStJi. — About noon McCulloch's Battal- 
ion moved out toward Burnsville, and just before sun- 
down ours followed. We found McCulloch within two 
miles of Burnsville. The Federals had been in town, 
but had fallen back. We dismounted, hitched our 
horses, and remained there all nio-ht. 

TJiursday, 2gth. — After returning to Jacinto and cook- 
ing three days' rations, our battalion moved down to 
within one mile of Booneville, where our wagons had 
been stationed since we took quarters in the vacant 
houses of Jacinto, May 5th. We heard that the Fed- 
erals were marching down east of Jacinto, in the direc- 
tion of Booneville, but we thought that that must be a 
false report. Corinth was evacuated that night. 

Friday, joth. — Between daylight and sunup about 
twelve hundred Federal cavalry surrounded Booneville, a 
small village station on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. 
There was one train of cars there and about five or six 
hundred Confederates, including the sick and their nurses, 
but there was no armed force there to defend the place. 
So the Federals had quietly taken possession of the 
place, set fire to the depot and train of cars, and had 
collected all the Confederates that were able to travel,, 
and perhaps a number that were not really able, and 
formed them in line ready to march off, when about 
eighty of our battalion came upon the scene. Small as 
our squad was, we made a daring charge and released 
the prisoners. How they (the prisoners) did come yell- 
ing towards us ! We then dropped back into the woods 

Mat, 18G2. 173 

near by, and after a little skirmishing, the Federals with- 
drew in time for us to save two boxes of cars and also 
the engine. The train was loaded with arms and am- 
munition. Our loss was one killed (Culwell), three 
wounded, and it was said that the Federals carried off 
two prisoners, though the prisoners were not from our 
battalion. The Federal loss was two killed, several 
wounded, and nine prisoners. How those prisoners 
whom we released did appreciate being set at liberty! 
And they did not forget it, but continued to express 
their gratitude to our battalion when they happened to 
meet with any of us along through the war. The re- 
lease of five or six hundred prisoners, in the hands of 
twelve hundred Federals, by not exceeding eighty Con- 
federates, was no small feat. 

The Confederate Army was moving south along the 
Mobile and Ohio Railroad, in the direction of Boone- 
ville. So there was no little excitement in Confederate 
ranks on account of the explosion of the bombshells in 
the burning cars, being taken for heavy cannonading. 
However, they soon learned better, for it was not lono- 
before the head of the column passed Booneville. Our 
sick had to get out, or be taken out, of the depot to 
avoid being burned alive, so they were lying about on 
the ground, some dead and others in a dying condition ; 
so the scene was anything but a pleasant one to look 
upon. Our battalion moved back to the same place we 
camped the night before. 

Saturday, jist. — After the rear of the infantry passed 
we moved on down, covering the retreat on the left 
flank. Two companies of Colonel Forrest's Regiment 
were with us. We bivouacked about six miles from 
Boonville. Our wagons moved on with the main army. 

J 74 E. E. Hancock's Diary. 

Sunday, /luie isi — Alter a march of about ten miles 
through the woods, along by-paths, passing- but tew 
farms, we camped for the night in the woods, or rather 
in the bushes. Still in Tishamingo County. It is a 
large but rather poor county, though heavily timbered, 
mostly pine. 

Monday 2d. — Moving only about two miles, we 
stopped for the night on the road leading from Ja- 
cinto to Marietta. Had quite a hard rain in the even- 

Tuesday, jd. — Moving two miles again, we halted for 
a few days at Marietta, a small village in Itawamba 
County, twenty-one miles from Jacinto. 

A part of the army stopped at Baldwin, a station on 
the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, twelve miles west of 
Marietta, while the rest went further south. The wag- 
ons belonging to our battalions were at Baldwin. 

Friday, 6th. — McKnight's Company went on a scout 
toward Bay Spring. They brought no news of inter- 

Saturday, ph. — The battalion fell back almost three 
miles from Marietta. 

Sujiday, 8th. — After a march of about seventeen miles 
on the Fulton road, we camped within a few hundred 
yards of the Tombigbee River, near where Colonel 
Bennett's Battalion was camped. 

Monday, gtJi. — We moved about two hundred yards 
and encamped on the bank of the Tombigbee. Our 
wagons were brought out to us, loaded with corn, pro- 
visions and cooking^ vessels. Our tents were left at the 
railroad. Our wagons had not been with us, except 

Seventh Battalion. 175 

two nights at Booneviile, since they left us at Jacinto 
(May 5th). 

Fuhon, the county seat oi Itawamba County, was 
about one mile from our camp, on the east side of the 
Tombigbe^, and about twenty-one miles from Marietta. 

Wednesday, iith. — We moved back and camped on 
higfher orround, about one-halt mile from the river. 


I have been thinking that I would be able to induce 
some member of Seventh Battalion of Tennessee Cav- 
alry, to write up a sketch of said battalion ; but as I 
have not been able to do so I shall proceed to give a 
sJiort sketch of said battalion from its organization to 
the time it was consolidated with the First Battalion, as 
best I can, depending for data mainly upon Lieutenant 
B. A. High (Company E), who is the only member of 
Seventh Battalion living near the writer. 

As the following company rolls have been made out 
from memory of surviving comrades, I do not by any 
means claim that they are complete, but, on the other 
hand, I expect that many errors will be found and many 
names omitted, though not intentional. 


The following is the roll of Company A,f Seventh 
Battalion Tennessee Cavalry : 

Bonde, H. B., Captain. Living in Texas. 
Montgomery, W. N., First Lieutenant, l.| 

t Baxter Smith was Captain of this Company when first organized at Galla- 
tin, but as he was soon after made Major, H. B. Bonde was made Captain. 

J Those whose names are followed by an 1 were living, and those whose 
names are followed by the letter d were dead when this and the following rolls 
were made out, in January, 1887. The star (*) marks the unaccounted for. 
Those in small capitals surrendered May loth, 1865. 

170 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Love, George, Second Lieutenant. Killed at Fort Pillow. || 

Love, T. R., Third Lieutenant, living in Sumner County. 

Treadway, X. V., First Sergeant. -i= 

Hamilton, T. P., Second Sergeant, 1. 

Solomon, H., Third Sergeant. Discharged and killed by accident. 

Duncan, Fourth Sergeant.-;^ Captured at Medon, West Tennessee, 
and mortally wounded July 15, 1864. 

Bullock, Ed, First Corporal. 

Styles, John, Second Corporal. Living in Arkansas. 

Buck, Elias, Third Corporal. Died since the war. 

Johnson, G. W., Fourth Corporal, 1. 

Avers, William. Killed near Paducah March 25th, 1S64. 

Bayless, Richard, 1. 

Barnes, Tho. Captured at Columbia and died in prison. 

Brazzel, Henry, 1. 

Blackmore, A. J., 1. 

Brown, George. Killed at Tory fight. 

Brown, William. Wounded and captured at Medon, Tennessee, 
and mortally wounded July 14, 1864. 

Baley, Ed, 1. Captured at Corinth while courier for General Beal. 

Buck, John, 1. 

Belcher, John, 1. 

Clenny, Henry, 1. 

Carr, John D. Living at Hartsville. Wounded April 2d, 1865. 

Carter, W. N., 1. Discharged at Corinth. 

Conley, Pat.* 

Cantrell, J. M. Living at Gallatin. || Wounded July 14th, 1864. 

Crocket, Tho., 1. 

Dodd, J. K. (Tobe), 1. Wounded slightly at Medon, Tennessee; 
captured by Grierson raid, and wounded again at Fort Pillow in April, 

Dobbins, G. B. Living in Kentucky. 

Duffer, R. A.* Discharged at Corinth May, 1862. 

Eaton, Alph. Died at Corinth in 1862. 

Elliott, E. O. Living at Gallatin. || 

Elliott, S. F. Living in Sumner County. Transferred from W. 
B. Bate's Regiment at Murfreesboro in February, 1862. 

Franklin, John. Killed at Shiloh April 7th. 1862. 

Feeling, William. 1. 

II See Appendix A. 

Seyenth Battalion. 177 

Franklin, S. C, 1. 

Franklin, A. R., 1. 

Faidley, Charles. Died at Gallatin of cholera in 1873. 

Gillespie. Dr. J. F., 1. 

Holder, John, d. Discharged at Corinth in 1862. 

Harlen, Stephen, 1. 

Harrel, John, 1. Captured at Port Hudson in July, 1863, while 
•courier for General Beale. 

Henley, George, 1. Captured with John Harrel. 

Henley, James. Ca]3tured near Bolivar, Tennessee; died at Camp 

Harris, O. B., d. Captured at Medon, Tennessee, in 1862. 

Hunter, J. C. Killed at Shiloh, April 7th, 1862. 

Harper, VV. T. , 1. 

Ireland, R. M., 1. 

joiner, Tho., 1. 

Jarvis, J. L.* 

King, Dempsey, 1. Captured near Bolivar, Tennessee, and sent to 
'Camp Douglass. 

King, Joe, 1. 

Lee, Alfred, d. 

Lee, John. Killed at Town Creek, July 15th, 1864. 

Love, S. \V. Living in Gallatin; wounded at Fort Pillow. 

Love, H. E. Living in Gallatin. 

Love. G. W. Killed accidentally since the war. 

McCormack, James, 1. 

Martin, J. D., 1. Captured in Mississippi, but mape his escape. 

Murphrey, John.* 

Moore, John, 1. 

McCarty, Pat.* 

Moses, S. D., 1. , 

May, W. H., 1. 

Owsley, William, 1. 

Porter, Jack.* Captured at Woodburn, Kentucky, in 1862, 

Rickman, W. T. , 1. Wounded July 13th, 1864. 

Renfro, Pleas. Died at Corinth in 1862. 

Ray, Alex., 1. 

Ray, Sid., 1. Captured near Bolivar, Tennessee, sent to Camp 

Ryan, James, d. Wounded July 13th, 1864. 


178 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Shaw, James. Died in hospital at or near Okolona, in 1862. 

Seay, George.* 

Seay, WilHam T.* Discharged at Corinth, May, 1862. 

Tompkins, John. Living at Gallatin. Captured near Bolivar^ 
Tennessee, and sent to Camp Douglass, 111. 

Thompson, John. Killed at Shiloh April 7th, 1862. 

Wells, W. T. , 1. Captured at West Point, Mississippi, and sent to^ 
Camp Douglass, 111. 

Wells, James, 1. 

Williamson, Rush, d. 

Wilson, R. I., 1. 

Youree, Peter, 1. 

Youree, Charles, 1. 

Company B, Seventh Battalion Tennessee Cavalry,, 
was mustered into service at Hartsville, in October, 
1 86 1, by Baxter Smith. The following is the roll of said 

Company : 

Bennett, C. L., Captain, d. 

Allen, R. B., First Lieutenant, 1. 

Stalker, J. D., Second Lieutenant, 1. 

Sory, John, Third Lieutenant, 1. 

Martin, Z. W. , First Sergeant, 1. 

Carman, T. J., Second Sergeant, 1. 

Bennett, Wm., Third Sergeant, 1. 

Blackwell, Geo., Fourth Sergeant, 1. 

Fleemon, James, First Corporal, 1. 

Kerley, B. P., Second Corporal, 1. 

Day, James, Third Corporal, d. 

Bradley, T. M. Fourth Corporal, 1. 
Allen, Chilton, 1. , Buckingham, P. T. Captured' 

Allen, Arch, 1. on Hood raid, and sent to Camp 

Averitt, J. D.* Chase. 

Ball, Boney, 1. Buckingham, Tho., 1. 

Blankenship, Joel, 1. Wounded Burrow, William, 1. 

at Britton'SjLane Sept. i, 1862. Burrow, Joe.* Wounded at 
Brown, Burnett. Wounded at Shi- Britton's Lane Sept. i, 1862. 

loh and died soon after. Bass, Rubin,* Wounded at 

Burk, John.* Courtland, Ala. 

Burk, William.* Carman, William.* 

Seventh Battalion. 


Crank, T. J., 1. 

Crank, John, 1. 

Curtis, Joe.* 

Curtis, Ben.* Captured at Cor- 
inth May, 1862. 

Cakr, J. C, 1. 

Carr, Nute, 1. Wounded at Padu- 
cah, Ky. , March, 1864. 

Carr, LaFayette.* 

Collins, R. L.* 

Collins, John.* 

Dobbins, R. B., d. Captured near 
Florence, Alabama, October, 

DeBow, W. A., d. Wounded at 
Harrisburg, July 14, 1864. 
Made Captain and Major. 

Day, William, d. 

Dixon, Pate, 1. 

Draper, Jeff.* 

Dixon, Step., 1. 


Duke, Wm., 1. Wounded at Fort 
Pillow April 12, 1864. 

Donaho, Charlie, d. 

Earls, Dink, d. 

Fuller, John, d. 

Fleemon, Joe, 1. 

Gammons, Eli, d. 

Gammons, Caleb, d. 

Gammons, William, 1. 

Hall, John C* 

Hall, Richard, died at Corinth, 

Harris, Elijah.* 

Huchison, John.* 

Hassion, Jack.* 

Hughes, James, d. 

Hollins, Charlie, killed by jay- 
hawkers Oct. I, 1862. 

Harland, Steph., 1. Wounded 

near Cherokee, Ala., Oct. 21, 

Jentry, Sam.* 
Jentry, Simon, d. 
Jenkins, Yancy, 1. 
Jacobs, M. v.* 
Jackson, Tho. , d. 
Jones, Charlie, 1. 
Jackson, Green, 1. 
James, John, 1. 
Jentry, Louis.* 
Kerley, John, 1. 
Kerley, William, 1. 
McMurtry, James, 1. 
Maddox, Joe, killed at Medon, 

Tenn., Aug. 31, 1862. 
Meadors, Kit, 1. 
Meadors, Wesley, 1. 
Meadors, Jehu, d. 
Marshall, Franklin, 1. Captured 

near Florence, Ala., Oct, 8, 

Marshall, Frank, 1, 
Nixon, Tho., d. Captured near 

Florence, Ala., Oct. 8, 1864. 
Ouhls, William, died at Corinth, 

Miss., 1862. 
Payne, F. R., 1. 
Piper, Sam, wounded at Shiloh, 

and died at Corinth, Miss. 
Piper, Jeff.* 
Parker, Wylie, d. 
Parker, William, 1. 
Parker, Nute, 1. 
Parker, E. B., d. 
Petigo, Henry.* 
Reese, B. P., 1. Captured on 

Hood raid, and sent to Camp 



R. E. Hancock's Diary. 

Ragland, Wilse, d. 
Roark, William.* 
Roark, Joel.* 
Stafford, S. T., d. 
Stafford, Tennessee, 

inth, Miss. 
Stafford, Tom, 1. 
Stafford, A.* 
Stafford, Sam, d. 
Sacra, H. S.* 
Shrum, Joiner.* 
Shrum, William.* 

Smithwick, T. M., 1. 

Smithwick, Lon, 1. 

Stein, E. P., 1. 

Turner, Granville, 1. 
died at Cor- Turner, Herrod, 1. 

Thurman, Jesse, 1. 

Throp, F. W., 1. Captured near 
Columbia, Tenn., on Under- 
wood expedition. 

Violett, William, died at Corinth, 
Miss., 1862. 

Walton, John.* 

Brevard, Goldman, 1. 
DeBow, Richard, d. 
DeBow, Grant, 1. 
Lauderdale, John.* 
Luster, William.* Wounded 


Medon, Tenn., and captured 

The following list contains the names of those who 
were transferred from the Second Tennessee Infantry 
(Colonel W. B. Bate) at Corinth : 

near Columbia, Tenn, on Un- 
derwood expedition. 

Mills, Dero, 1. 

Oglesby, James P., 1. 

Seav, George E., 1. Made 
Lieutenant and Captain. 

Ward, John, d. 

Company C was made up in Sumner County and or- 
ganized into a company at Castalian Springs, about 
midway between Hartsville and Gallatin. This company 
roll is as follows : 

Tyree, E. P., Captain. Died since the war. 

Mentlow, J. A., First Lieutenant, 1. 

Bentley, J. M., Second Lieutenant, d. 

Patterson, W. C, Third Lieutenant. Living in Sumner County, 

Young, Joe, First Sergeant. Died in Alabama in March, 1862. 
Youree, T. J., Second Sergeant, 1. Made Lieutenant in June, 1862. 
Harlin, Henry, Third Sergeant. Went to Texas. 
Bentley, Tho. H. Living in Sumner County. 
Phillips, William, First Corporal. Went to North Carolina. 
Parsons, Baker, Second Corporal, 1. 

Seventh Battalion. 


Maddox, Wilburn, Third Corporal. Left in Mississippi. 
Clifton, Joshua, Fourth Corporal. Went to Arkansas. 

Aldrage, Alex, 1. 

Askew, C. M., died since the war. 

Brown, George, 1. 

Bird, Dabney, 1. 

Byrns, John, 1. Captured near 
Bolivar, Tenn., Feb. 5, 1864. 

Corum, Abiga, died on the way 
home from Corinth in 1862. 

Corum, William, 1. 

Cockes, William I., died in Ala- 
bama March, 1862. 

Compton, Ben., died since the war. 

Cannon, David, died at Corinth 
in 1862. 

Cannon, Berry, 1. 

Cloay, John, killed at Shiloh April 
7th, 1862. 

Cloay, Jones, died on the way home 
from Corinth in 1862. 

Clark, Sam, d. 

Chambers, Jack. Went to Texas. 

Connor, Sam.* 

Uickerson, James R., killed at 
Cherokee, Ala., Oct. 21, 1863. 

Echols, J. B. , discharged at Cor- 
inth in 1862. 

Grantham, Carroll, 1. 

Harrison, Dr. J. W. , living at 
Cairo, Sumner County, Tenn.f 

Jinkins, Mason, 1. 

Jackson, Dock, 1. 

Luster, Charlie, 1. 

Lockett, Eli, 1.' Captured July 14, 
1864; now in Mississippi. 

Maddox, Feeling, 1. 

Marlin, Henry, 1. 

Oneal, William.* 

Pruett, Pall, 1. 

Posey, Robert, d. 

Parrish, Horace. Went to Texas. 

Ramsey, William (Mack), living 

in Wilson County. 
Ramsey, Vol, living in Wilson 

Robertson, Nat. , 1. Transferred 

from W. B. Bate's Regiment 

at Marfreesboro. 
Robertson, William, 1. 
Stinson, Joe.* 
Shelton, Benton, d. 
Taylor, William, 1. 
Turnage, Alex (Sandy), died 

since the war. 
Williams, Henry, died since the 

Wilks, Ashley, died on the way 

home from Corinth, Miss. 
Wilks, Ulysses, 1. 
Wicks, William, 1. 
Williams, J. G., 1. 
Walker, Noah.* 
Wynn, Robert, 1. 
Young, Rich, died at Gallatin in 

Young, Tom, died since the war. 
Youree, W. B., transferred to 

Bate's Regiment and killed 

near Atlanta, Ga. 
Youree, F. W., living near Gal- 
latin, f 

tSee Appendix A. 

182 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Company D was made up and organized in the north- 
western portion of Sumner County. A few men from 
the south-eastern portion of Robertson County joined 
this company. It was mustered into service at Fountain 
Head, some twelve miles north of Gallatin, in October, 
1 86 1. The following is the company roll : 

Grififin, M. T. , Captain. Raised another company, and died in 

Cole, A. F. , First Lieutenant, 1. 

Jackson, Alfred, Second Lieutenant, living eleven miles north- 
west of Gallatin. 

Jones, A., Third Lieutenant.* 

Armstrong, Elias, First Sergeant, living in Sumner County. 

Brinkley, J. A., Second Sergeant, afterward Captain, living at Ve- 
rona, Mississippi, t 

Brinkley, J. K., Third Sergeant, 1. Wounded at Fort Pillow April 
12, 1864. 

Corkian, W. L., Fourth Sergeant, 1. 

Jackson, William, First Corporal, 1. 

Wilson, William, Second Corporal, 1. 

Brinkley, H. A., Third Corporal, 1. 

Kelley, Samuel, Bugler, died in Mississippi in October, 1862. 

Austm,t James T., 1. Wounded Colley, William, 1. 

April 24, 1863, and July 13, Crabb, William, 1. 

1864. Made Lieutenant June, Cummings, James, d. 

1862. Denning, John E., transferred 

Briley, John, 1. from William B. Bate's Regi- 

Briley, Elisha, mortally wounded ment and killed at Harrisburg 

at Pulaski, Tenn., Sept. 27, 1864. July 14, 1864.:!: 
Briley, Howard, 1. Edwards, William, captured at 

Bailey, Samuel, 1. Guntown, and died in prison. 

Boling, Crockett, 1. Eidson, William, d. 

Biggs, Sandy, 1. Foster, John, 1. 

Blackard, Green, 1. Friece, J. V. W., d. 

Baldridge Charles, 1. Garrett, Sam, 1. 

tSee Appendix A. J Ibid. 

Seyenth Battalion. 


Owen, William, killed in Sumner 

Pennell, Newsom,t living in 
Nashville. Made Third Lieu- 
tenant June 12, 1863. 

Pitt, Bridger, 1. 

Rigsby, S. B., 1. 

Roberts, Dock, 1. 

Roberts, George, died since the 
war. . 

Roberts, Henry, died since the 

Shaw, James, 1. 

Summers, Joseph, 1. 

■Gilbert, J. W., 1. 

Hames, Andrew, killed at Mud 

Creek June 20, 1863. 
Harden, Joseph, d. 
Harden, Robert, died during the 

Harden, Calvin, 1. 
Hester, W. B., 1. Captured near 

Rienzi, Miss. 
Harden, James, d. 
Hames, William.* 
Hall, Simon, died at Ramon, Miss. 
Houston, Erby, 1. 
Jackson, John, 1. 
Jackson, James, 1. Captured and Strother, William, d, 

paroled at Okolona, Miss., in Trauber, William, d 

December, 1862. 
Johnson, Robert, 1. 
Johnson, John, died in 1862. 
Kinkade, Eli, 1. 
Link, Dock, 1. 
Link, James, 1. Wounded at Fort 

Pillow April 12, 1864. 
Link, Thomas, 1. Wounded near 

Cherokee, Ala., Oct. 21, 1863. 
Lanier, J. R., 1. Now (1887) a 

physician in Sumner County. 
-Legg, William, 1. 
Legg, David, 1. 
Louis, John, 1. 
Martin, George, 1. 
Mackey, J. B., 1. 
Morras, J. F., d. 
Moore, Joseph, 1. 
TSTimmo, J. B., d. 

Company E was raised in Smith County, Tennessee, 
organized at New Middleton, and mustered into service 
at Epperson Springs, in Macon County, Tennessee, on 

t See Appendix A. 

Warren, Wash, 1. Wounded at 
Okolona Feb. 22, 1864. 

Wilkerson, Charles, wounded at 
Shiloh, and captured near 
Bolivar, Tenn. 

West, W. W., 1. 

Williams, G. B., killed in Ken- 
tucky during Hood raid. 

Williams, John, d. Captured 
near Bolivar, Tenn. 

Wilkerson, LaFayette, 1. 

Wilkerson, George.* 

Walton, John, 1. 

Walker, Tom, d. 

Winn, Whit, 1. 

Winn, William, d. Wounded at 
Manassas and transferred from 
W. B. Bate's Regiment. 


E. E. Hancock's Diary. 

The following is the 

the 17th day of October, 1861. 
roll of said company : 

Gates, A. B., Captain. 

Eastes, J. M., First Lieutenant. Made Captain in 1863 

wounded July 13th, 1864.! 
High, B. A., Second Lieutenant, 1. 
Bowen, John, Third Lieutenant. 

Allen, Tobe, 1. 

Allen, Riley, 1. 

Andrews, Sam, d. 

Allison, Lee.* 

Boulton, Gideon, d. 

Boram, Merido, d. Captured near 
New Middleton, Tenn. 

Barrett, George, d. 

Barrett, L Jock, d. Captured at 
Rienzi, Miss., August 26, 1862. 

Bradford, J. R. Bugler of Sev- 
enth Battalion and Second Ten- 
nessee Regiment. Died near 
New Middleton in 1882. 

Bayken, Jink, d. 

Clark, William, died at Corinth. 

Carnett, John.* 

Denney, Brown, 1. 

Dickerson, Tom, died in West 

Dickerson, James, died since the 

Eastes, Tho. J. Wounded Aug. 
8, 1863, while on private scout. 
Now (1887) a Baptist preacher. 

Fuller, Tho., 1. Was a prisoner 
from September 9th, 1863, to 
March 3d, 1865. 

Fultes, J. D., 1. 

Huddleston, Coon, 1. Captured 
in Wilson County, Tennessee. 


Hogge, Vit, killed in Smith 
County, Tennessee. 

Hoges, Robert, died at Corinth,. 

Jones, Allen.* 

Jones, Dan., d. 

Johnson, Shed., 1. 

Luster, J. B. Quartermaster of 
Seventh Battalion. Now (1887) 
editor of Carthage Mirror. 

Lawrence, J. J. 

Ligon, Ned.* 

Ligon, Tim.* 

Matthews, Mat., 1. 

McMurry, John.* 

McGhee, Charlie, d. 

Moore, B. H., 1. Orderly Ser- 
geant, Lieutenant, and Cap- 
tain. Wounded in December, 

Minton, Carroll, 1. 

Merritt, A. V., 1. 

Moore, Dudley, 1. 

Nichol, VVm., killed at Mur- 
freesboro December 7, 1864. 

Nichol, George, 1. 

Pope, N. C, 1. Wounded at 
Paducah March 25, 1864. 

Paschal, M. F. M. Captured 
July 13, 1864. Died in De- 
cember, 1886. 

fSee Appendix A. 


SevExNth JUttalion. 


Reeves, David, killed October 26, 
1863— "Tory fight." 

Robertson, Dave, d. 

Robertson, William R., killed Oc- 
tober ist, 1862, by Kansas jay- 

Robertson, A. A., 1. Captured 
Sept. 27, 1862, by Seventh Kan- 

Rittenberry, L. J., d. 

Stephens, John, d. 

Sanders, John, d. 

Squires, William, died ten days 
after his return home. 

Saddler, William, 1. Wounded 
on Hood raid while private scout 
for General Buford. 

Sampson, J., 1. 

Tyree, John, 1. 

Taylor, Vince.* 

Thompson, William, killed July 
13, 1864, by sun-stroke. 

Thompson, V. D. (Tobe), 1. 
Captured Dec. 25, 1864. 

Trousdale, Harvey, died at Cor- 
inth, Miss., in 1862. 

White, William.* 

White, Bud.* 

Wilhoit, Buck.* 


Williams, Goolsberry.* 

Williams, Barnett, d. 

Wooton, John, 1. 

Wooton, James.* 

West, W. C, living near Car- 
thage. Wounded July 14th, 

VVilkerson, Dock, 1. 

On the 19th of October, 1861, at Epperson Springs, 
Macon County, Tennessee, the five companies pre- 
viously mentioned were organized into a battaHon,. 
known as the 

by electing the following field and staff officers : 

James D. Bennett, Lieutenant-Colonel. f 

Baxter Smith, Major. 

J. B. Luster, Acting Quartermaster. 

E. O. Elliott, Lieutenant and Adjutant. 

T. Winston, Surgeon, 

J. W. Harrison, Assistant Surgeon. 

Horace Paris, Commissary. 

J. R. Bradford, Bugler. 

Haney, Chaplain. 

Another company (F), whose roll is given below, was 
organized at Gallatin and added to the Seventh Battal- 

tSee Appendix A. 


E. E. Hancock's Diary. 

ion after it was organized as above mentioned. This 
company was made up as follows : 

Thomas Puryear (afterward Captain) had enlisted a 
number of men alongr the Cumberland River, in the 
southern portion of Sumner and the northern portion of 
Wilson Counties ; but as he did not have enough for a 
full company, and as Captain Bonde's and Captain Ben- 
nett's Companies had by this time grown to be too large 
(the latter had increased to about one hundred and 
thirty men), enough men were detached from those two 
companies (A and B) to complete, with Puryear's en- 
listment, the sixth and last company of Bennett's Bat- 

Odom, J. T. E., Captain. Living in Sumner County. 

Puryear, Thomas, First Lieutenant, d.f 

Andrews, Robert, Second Lieutenant, d. 

Terry, Kib, Tliird Lieutenant, 1. 

Vance, William, First Sergeant, 1. 

Stafford, Sam.. Second Sergeant, I. 

Averett, Jared (Mars), killed near 
Florence, Ala., Oct. 7, 1864. 

Armstrong, William J., d. Cap- 
tured at Rienzi, Miss. , Aug. 26, 

Buck, Jeff., 1. 

Buck, Elias, 1. 

Barteau, C. R., 1. Transferred 
from Company B. Afterward 
Colonel of Second Tennessee 
Regiment Cavalry, t 

Barbour, Henry, missing at Shiloh. 

Carothers, Marion, 1. 

Dias, W. W., 1. 

Dyer, Gibs.* 

Drury, James, killed July 13, 1864. 

Dickens, John, 1. Wounded at 
Franklin. Tenn., December, 

Dickens, Jesse.* 

Dannel, Cricket, d. 

Driver, Daniel. 

Fowler, Thomas, 1. . 

Grant, Ed., 1. 

Grant, Wills, d. 

Grifhn, J. P., 1. ^ 

Harshaw, James, d. 

Houston, Eli.* 

Hager, George F., 1. Trans- 
ferred from Sixth Kentucky 
Regiment at Corinth.]; 

James, John.* 

t See Appendix A. 


Seventh Battalion. 


Lasater, Sol., 1. 
Mason, James, d. 
Mason, Ed., 1. 
McCuUoch, David, 1. 
Mansfield, P. E., d. 
Mahorn, P. R. , 1. 
Petway, T. W.,1 

2d, 1865. 
Petway, J. M., I. 
Puryear, Elijah, 1. 
Puryear, William, d. 
Priar, George, 1. 
Pruett, James.* 
Puryear, D. C, 1. 
Ramsey, Z. B. , 1. 
Rose, Henry, 1. 
Rutledge, J. W., 1. 
Stephens, John, d. 
Smith, John, 1. 
Southerland, William.* 
Stafford, William, 1. 

Siddons, George L. , living at 
Selma, Ala. Made Lieuten- 
ant in 1864. 

Siddons, Gilbert, 1. 

Siddons, J. K., 1. 

Siddons, James, 1. 
Wounded April Smith, John, 1. 

Talley, Rev. S. C, 1. Chaplain 
of Second Tennessee Cavalry. 

Templeton, Ab. , 1. 

Trout, Bird, d. 

Thurman, Wallace, 1. 

Thurman, Monroe, 1. 

Vance, James, Sr., 1. 

Vance, James, Jr., d. 

Vance, John, 1. Wounded July 
14, 1864. 

Woodard, James, 1. 

Woods, Sam, 1. 

White, William, d. 

White, Bud, 1. 

After the organization (as previously mentioned) of 
the Seventh Battalion at Epperson Springs, Macon 
County, Tennessee, near the Kentucky line, they re- 
mained encamped at that place about four weeks, mean- 
while doing picket duty and scouting along the southern 
border of Kentucky. 

About the 17th of November, 1861, Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel Bennett moved his battalion from Epperson Springs 
to a large woods lot near one Mr. Chinault's, about six 
miles north-east of Gallatin, Tennessee ; and after re- 
maining there about one week his next camping place 
was about one mile north of Scottsville, Allen County, 

Colonel Bennett was now instructed to keep out 
.scouts and guard well the right flank of General Buck- 

188 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

ner's army, the main portion of which was now at Bowl- 
ing Green. Therefore, soon after reaching Scottsville, 
Colonel Bennett threw out scouting parties, with in- 
structions to guard the line of Green River below Co- 
lumbia. One of these scouts, composed of about 
thirty men, was under the command of Lieutenant B. 
A. High, Company F. He threw his men out to the 
line of Green River, on the extreme Confederate right, 
near Columbia, which was at that time occupied by the 
enemy. It was while out on this expedition that he 
and his scout captured the Major of Colonel Crane's 
Kentucky Regiment and some four or five others. 

While at Scottsville, Captain Bonde's Company (A) 
was detached, with instructions to report to General 
Buckner at Bowline Green. 

About the first week in December the Seventh Bat- 
talion moved from Scottsville, Kentucky, to Gallatin, 
Tennessee, encamping at the race-tracks, about one 
mile north of town. Lieutenant High's scout did not 
rejoin the battalion until a few days after it had moved 
to Gallatin. About this time Captain Tyree's Com- 
pany (C) was detached to guard the Cumberland River 
from Carthage to Celina, and also to guard the supplies 
which were now being landed at or between those 
places, to be conveyed by wagon from there to Zolli- 
coffer's army at Mill Springs. 

Having previously done but little drilling, it was 
while encamping at Gallatin that Major Cheneworth, a 
Kentuckian, commenced the work of thoroughly drill- 
ing and disciplining the Seventh Battalion. That of- 
ficer remained with the battalion as drill-master until 
after the battle of Shiloh. 

Bonde's and Tyree's Companies having previously 

Seventh Battalion. 189 

rejoined the battalion at Gallatin, Colonel Bennett was 
ordered, in January, 1862, to divide his battalion into 
detachments, placing one at each of the various bridges 
alone the railroad for some distance above and below 
Gallatin. He was also instructed to keep a scout in 
the vicinity of Columbia to watch the movements of the 
■enemy in that quarter, and also to protect the couriers 
who occasionally passed between General A. S. John- 
ston at Bowling Green and General G. B. Crittenden 
at Mill Springs. Accordingly he ordered Lieutenant 
High to take a squad of men and go to that vicinity for 
the purposes above named. In fact, having learned by 
this time that High was a true and trusty scout. Colonel 
Bennett kept him in that branch of service nearly all the 
time. High had the " Home Guards," who were now 
scattered all through that portion of country, to contend 
with and look after, as well as the regular Federal sol- 
diers. The service which he was now called upon to 
perform was very dangerous. It was he who reported 
to General Johnston that General Thomas was moving 
upon General Crittenden at Mill Springs, and soon after 
reported the defeat of the Confederates at Fishing Creek. 

When the Confederate army was falling back from 
Bowling Green to Nashville, about the middle of Feb- 
ruary, 1862, Colonel Bennett was ordered to ''keep the 
track clear'' along that portion of the railroad which 
his battalion was still guarding. Whereupon Lieuten- 
ant High, who in the meantime had been called in from 
Kentucky, was instructed to take charge of an engine 
and see that the above order was strictly obeyed. To 
use his own language, he "made all trains either move 
on or get upon a side-track, zvhether they could or not.'' 

After the Confederate army had all fallen back from 

190 R. E. Hancock's Diary, 

Bowling Green to Nashville, the several detachments of 
the Seventh Battalion moved to the latter place, and, 
crossing the Cumberland River on the wire bridge, ren- 
dezvoused near the Lunatic Asylum, on the Murfrees- 
boro turnpike, six miles from Nashville. As soon as all 
the detachments of his battalion had crossed the Cum- 
berland .and joined him at the above named camp. Colo- 
nel Bennett moved on to Murfreesboro, where he halted 
but a few days. At the reorganization of Johnston's 
army at Murfreesboro, on the 23d of February, the 
Seventh Battalion was attached to Hindman's Brigade, 
Hardee's Division. 

On the 28th Johnston put his army in motion south- 
ward from Murfreesboro, with Hindman's Brigade (with 
which Bennett now moved) in advance. Passing on 
through Shelbyville, Fayetteville and Athens, the ad- 
vance of Johnston's army arrived at Decatur, Alabama, 
about the loth of March. The Seventh Battalion 
crossed the Tennessee River on the railroad bridge and 
encamped about one mile from town. 

From Gallatin Lieutenant B. A. High (Company E) 
went by the way of Smith County after some of his 
company who were at home on furlough. At Carthage 
he found a large lot of rations and clothing, which had 
been shipped to that point from Nashville for Critten- 
den's Division, and had been left for want of trans- 
portation. Having collected together about ten of 
Gates' Company (E), High pressed all the wagons that 
he could in that vicinity and sent the main portion of 
these stores from Carthage to McMinnville, to be 
shipped south from there by rail. He with his ten men 
then joined the battalion before it had crossed the Ten- 
nessee, as previously mentioned. 

Seventh Battalion. 191 

The wagons and artillery were being brought across 
the river on the cars, but on account of a long levee 
they had to be put on the cars about two miles from 
the river. The work of crossing the trains appeared to 
be progressing quite slowly, for the Seventh Battalion 
had now been on the south side of the river about two 
days, and yet its train had not arrived. Colonel Ben- 
nett went to General Armstrong, who was in command 
of the post, and complained that his men were sufferings 
as they had neither rations nor camp equipage, and re- 
quested that officer to either have his train brought 
over or allow his men to cross back to the train. Arm- 
strong replied that everything was in confusion on the 
other side of the river, and therefore he could not have 
the wagon trains brought over as fast as he wished. I 
suppose that it was at the suggestion of Colonel Ben- 
nett that Lieutenant High was now sent for and in- 
structed by General Armstrong to cross the river and 
superintend the loading of artillery and wagons. And, 
notwithstanding General Floyd was present when High 
reached the scene, the former stepped aside, after a few 
rather short words had been passed, and the latter soon 
brought order out of confusion, and sent the wagons 
and artillery across as fast as it could possibly be done. 

After remaining at Deca-tur some five or six days, 
Bennett moved down to Courtland, where he halted a 
few days, and then moved on to Corinth, Mississippi, 
by the way of Tuscumbia and luka. 

Being immediately thrown out on outpost duty, the 
battalion camped for several days about three or four 
miles north of Corinth, near Farmington, doing picket 
duty and scouting between there and the Tennessee 

192 E. R. HaiVcock's Diary. 

About the ist of April Colonel Bennett was ordered 
to move his battalion from Farmington to Purdy, Mc- 
Nairy County, Tennessee, about twenty miles north of 
Corinth, and there report to General Cheatham. Purdy 
is about thirteen miles north-west of Pittsburg Landing, 
where the Federal army under General Grant had pre- 
viously landed. The right wing of said army was only 
about eight miles from Purdy. Owing to the near 
proximity of the enemy, Cheatham now kept the Sev- 
enth Battalion on constant hard duty, and with alacrity 
did they perform all duty required of them. 

About the 3d, Lieutenant High was instructed to 
take thirty men and pass over certain roads to see if 
they were occupied by the enemy, after which he could 
go where he pleased. After examining said roads and 
finding no enemy on either, he ordered his men to halt 
while he and Lieutenant R. B. Allen (Company B) rode 
nearer the enemy's camp. About this time a skirmish 
was heard going on some distance south, and as the 
Federals ran up on a ridge to see what was going on 
south of their camp, High and Allen rode into their camp 
from the north side. Seeing two Federals sitting on a log 
near by, Allen shot and, as afterward learned, mortally 
wounded one of them. After which High and Allen 
rejoined the scout and returned to camp near Purdy. 

On the 4th Captain A. B. Gates' Company was de- 
tached and sent to guard a bridge on the Mobile and 
Ohio Railroad, near Falcon, about six miles south of 
Purdy. Believing that a fight was near at hand (John- 
ston was then moving upon Grant at Shiloh), two of 
Gates' Company (Lieutenant High and Private W. C. 
West) remained with the battalion. 

On the 5th Cheatham's Division, including the Sev- 

Seventh Battalion. 193 

enth Battalion, moved from Purdy and joined the main 
Confederate army in front of Shiloh. 

On the 6th Johnston attacked Grant in the vicinity 
of Shiloh Church ; and as I have previously given an 
account of the Battle of Shiloh, I shall say but little 
more about it here. Owing to the nature of the ground 
the cavalry could not be handled to much advantage, 
and hence they did not do a great deal of hard fight- 
ing, yet they did valuable service in guarding the flanks. 

Polk's Corps, to which Cheatham's Division belonged, 
constituted the third line of battle, with Cheatham's 
Division on the left. Lieutenant High commanded the 
.advance guard in front of Cheatham's Division. This 
guard was composed of a detachment from the Seventh 
Battalion and perhaps some other cavalry. When High 
struck Sherman's Division, to the left of the Shiloh 
Church, he fell back behind the Confederate infantry, 
with instructions from Cheatham to form all the cavalry 
belonging to his division on the left of it. As Colonel 
Bennett was moving in the rear of the cavalry, when he 
moved around and formed on the left of Cheatham's 
Division he was also on the extreme Confederate left. 
As Sherman had had time to form his men before at- 
tacked by Cheatham's Division, it was in this quarter 
of the field that the hardest fighting was done, though 
Sherman was soon forced to yield his favorable position 
and fall back toward the Tennessee River. Suffice it to 
say that the Seventh Battalion cheerfully and promptly 
did all that was required of it throughout the two days' 

In reference to the surrender of General Prentiss, 
which occurred during the first day's fighting. Lieuten- 
ant B. A. High says: 

194 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

When the Confederate right drove back the Federal left I saw that 
we had got in advance of a portion of the enemy's line to our left. 
Believing that the Federals thus cut off would surrender if asked to do- 
so, I immediately rode out leftward in their rear, or rather in their 
front, as they had turned to fall back, and when I met General Pren- 
tiss he handed me his sword, saying : ''To whom have I the honor of 
surrendering?" I accepted his surrender, but handed his sword 
back to him. 

As the Confederates fell back toward Corinth, Lieu- 
tenant High was sent to Falcon to order Captain Cates' 
Company and the wagon train of Cheatham's Division 
to Corinth. 

During the two days' fighting at Shiloh the Seventh 
Battalion lost four (John Thompson, John Franklin and 
J. C. Hunter, Company A, and John Cloay, Company 
C) killed, about two (Sam Piper and Burnett Brown,. 
Company B) wounded, and two (Henry Barbour and 
Daniel Driver) missing. 

When the Seventh Battalion moved from Farmington 
to Purdy, A. V. Merritt (Company E) was left sick 
near the former place. When the advance of the Fed- 
eral army reached that vicinity, some time after the 
battle of Shiloh, General Grant established his head- 
quarters for several days at the same house. Merritt, 
who in the meantime had been concealed up-stairs, 
could hear Grant talking to his officers, giving his or- 
ders, and thus he learned what that general expected 
to do, the movements of his army, etc. In a few days, 
however, our army drove the Federals back from the 
neighborhood of Farmington, and Merritt, who was. 
able for duty by this time, rejoined his command. 

I omitted an incident in reference to the battle of 
Shiloh which is worthy of mention. It is this: Captain 
Griffin, Company D, Seventh Battalion, had a negr© 

Lieutenant B. A. HIGH, Co. G. 

Seventh Battalion. 195 

cook with him, who was in the habit of shouldering his 
gun and going with the boys whenever a fight was up. 
During the battle of Shiloh this negro managed to get 
hold of two prisoners, and as he was bringing them 
from the field he met two or three other Federals, who- 
made an attempt to rescue their comrades. The negro, 
making a bold defense, repulsed his assailants, with the 
loss of one killed,* and succeeded in bringing off his 
two prisoners. 

The Seventh Battalion suffered heavy loss from sick- 
ness while camping around Corinth. Alf Eaton, Pleas 
Renfroe (Company A), Richard Hall, William Ouhls, 
Tennessee Stafford, Burnett Brown, Sam Piper and 
William Violett (Company B), David Cannon (Com- 
pany C), and William Clark, Robert Hoges and Harvey 
Trousdale (Company E) were among the number who 
died near Corinth in April and May. 

William N. Carter, John Holder, W. T. Seay and R. 
A. Duffer (Company A), Abijah Crum,f Jones Cloay,f 
Ashley Wilkes f and J. B, Echols (Company C) were 
discharged at Corinth. 

While the Federals were advancing on Corinth dur- 
ing the month of May, the Seventh Battalion, being on 
outpost duty, was skirmishing with the enemy almost 
daily up to the evacuation of that place, which took 
place on the night of the 29th of May. Then moving 
by short and easy marches southward, along the east 
side of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, the Seventh Bat- 
talion encamped, about the 9th of June, on a fiat ridge 
in Itawamba County, Mississippi, about one mile and a 
half west of Fulton. It was at this camp that the Sev- 

*I saw this Federal after he had been thus killed. — B. A. High. 
tDied before reaching home. 

196 K. K. Hancock's Diary. 

enth Battalion, by consolidation with the First, ceased 
to exist on the 12th day of June, 1862. 

Lieutenant-Colonel James D. Bennett, Major Baxter 
Smith, all six of the captains and a number of the lieu- 
tenants returned to their homes in Middle Tennessee, 
though the majority of them engaged in service after- 
ward in other commands. However, Captain J. T. E. 
Odom returned soon after to the Second Tennessee, 
and did valuable and gallant service with it. 


Near Fulton, Mississippi, on the 12th of June, 1862, 
the Seventh Battalion reorganized and re-enlisted for 
"three years or during the war." In this reorganization 
and consolidation the six companies of Bennett's Bat- 
talion were reduced to four, as follows : 

Bonde's and Tyree's Companies (A and C) were con- 
solidated and became Company D of Second Regiment 
Tennessee Cavalry, commanded by Captain William T. 
Rickman ; Captain Bennett's Company (B) became 
Company E of Second Tennessee, commanded by Cap- 
tain W. A. DeBow ; Captain Griffin's Company (D) 
became Company F of the Second Tennessee, com- 
manded by Captain John A. Brinkley ; and Odom's and 
Cates' Companies (E and F) were consolidated and 
became Company G of the Second Tennessee, com- 
manded by Captain Thomas Puryear. 

The following is a list of those who joined Rickman's 

Company at various times after June 12th, 1862: 

Abston, Henry.* McAlister, Sank, 1. 

Bonner, Robert, 1. Payne, E. S., 1. 

Bracking, William.* Robertson, John, 1. 

Douglass, James.* Raney, James, d. 

Douglass, William, I. Sanford, George.* 

Douglass, Robert, 1. Stoveall, Gallie, 1. 

Douglass, S. C* Stoveall, William, 1. 

Qgjdner, CuUin, 1. West, .* 

June, 1862. 197 

Captain DeBow's Company was recruited as follows: 

Adams, H. C, d. Freedle, Charlie, 1. 

Adams, William N.,1. Captured Irving, William, 1. 

at Columbia, Tenn. Johnson, William, 1. 

Bass, John, 1. Wounded April Lauderdale, Dero, d. 

ist, 1865. Mills, J. P., 1. Wounded. 

Carr, James, 1. Oglesby, Frank. 1. 

DeBow, Archie, 1. Stalcup, William, 1. Wounded 
Dalton, Robert, 1. Wounded July 14, 1864. 

at Tupelo, Miss., May 5, 1863. 

The following recruits were added to Captain Brink- 
ley's Company: 

Bond, William.* Wounded July Harris, Tyree, d. 

14, 1864. Link, Rice, 1. 

Cartwright, James, 1. McMillen, James, d. Wounded. 

Corkran, P. H., 1. Shubert, William.* 



Thursday, Jtme 12th. — The three companies of the 
First Battalion and_ the four companies to which the 
Seventh was now reduced were consolidated, and the 

* Having previously learned that his regiment had not been "officially 
known or recorded at the War Department," Colonel Barteau wrote on the 8th 
of May, 1864, to the Adjutant and Inspector-General at Richmond as follows: 

"... These two battalions were consolidated by order of Brigadier- 
General Beall on the 13th (12th) of June, 1862, and the organization designated 
by him the Second Regiment of Tennessee Cavalry. The organization on the 
day of consolidation was composed of seven companies; on the day following 
an order was sent to the command by Brigadier-General Beall designating it as 
the ' Second Regiment of Tennessee Cavalry,' and requiring the officers recently 
elected to take command; that they would be obeyed and respected, etc. Gen- 
eral Beall also stated in a note addressed to myself that three more companies 
would report to the regiment in a few days. He was soon after relieved of the 
command of the cavalry; the three companies which he had ordered to report 
were never known or found. It is probable that the three which he had de- 
signed adding were disposed of otherwise. 

"The original muster-rolls nor the original order of consolidation were 
never, as I suppose, sent by General Beall to Richmond, or the command 

198 K. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Second Tennessee Cavalry was organized by the elec- 
tion of the following field and staff officers : 

C. R. Barteau, Lieutenant-Colonel.* 

G. H. Morton, Major. 

J. M. Hughes, Surgeon. 

J. W. Harrison, Assistant Surgeon. 

M. X. Treadway, Lieutenant and Adjutant. 

Gala Brevard, Sergeant-Major. 

E. O. Elliott, Acting Quartermaster. 

Geo. L. Siddons, Commissary-Sergeant. 

S. C. Talley, Chaplain. 

James R. Bradford, Bugler. 

As the Captain of Company A (G. H. Morton) was 
■elected Major, Lieutenant N. Oswell became Captain by 
promotion ; and as Atkinson and French were also pro- 
moted, the Third Lieutenancy was left vacant ; P, A. 
Smith was elected to fill said vacancy. 

The following is the Regimental Roster of the Second 
Tennessee at the time of its organization as above men- 

•would have been known and recognized. We continued to do our duty in the 
field, not thinking but that our superior officers were doing theirs 

"The regiment, however, is now full by companies added by General For- 
rest, it having been transferred to his command in January last. 

" I desire, if possible, that the number of the regiment may not be changed. 
The Second Tennessee, commanded by Colonel Ashby, is from East Tennessee. 
If mine could be known as the Second Middle Tennessee Regiment, it would 
be exceedingly gratifying to the command. It was raised in Middle Tennessee, 
at and in the vicinity of Nashville ; it is composed of the best material in 
Middle Tennessee, and has achieved some little character, which would seem 
to have been lost if the identity of the regiment should be destroyed — that is, 
if the name or number of the regiment should be changed." 

Colonel Barteau informs me that he received no reply to the above nor other 
communications which he had sent previously; nor did I know until twe}ity-two 
years after the war had closed that our regiment was officially recorded at 
Richmond as the Twenty-sscoruX Tennessee. See biographical sketch of Rev. 
S. C. Talley in Appendix A. 

* As we had only seven companies we were not entitled to a colonel. 


June, 1862. 


Company A. 
N. Oswell, Captain. 
T. C. Atkinson, First Lieutenant. 
A, H. French, Second, Lieutenant. 
P. A. Smith, Third Lieutenant. 

Company B. 
Wm. Parrish, Captain. 
T. B. Underwood, First Lieutenant. 
•G.W. Smithson, Second Lieutenant. 
S. B. Wall, Third Lieutenant. 

Company C. 
M. W. McKnight, Captain. 
H. L. W. Turney, First Lieutenant. 
S. Dennis, Second Lieutenant. 
J. S. Harrison, Third Lieutenant. 

Company D. 
W. T. Rickman, Captain. 
'Geo. Love, First Lieutenant. 

F.W.Youree, Second Lieutenant. 
T. R. Youree, Third Lieutenant. 

Company E. 
W. A. DeBovv, Captain. 
Geo. E Seay, First Lieutenant. 
R. B. Dubbins, Sec'd Lieutenant. 
T. J. Carman, Third Lieutenant. 

Company F. 
J. A. Brinkley, Captain. 
Jas. F. Austin, First Lieutenant. 
J. E. Denning, Sec'd Lieutenant. 
N. Penuel, Third Lieutenant. 

Company G. 
Thomas Puryear, Captain. 
J. M. Eastes, First Lieutenant. 

A. W. Lipscomb, Sec'd Lieuten't. 

B. H. Moore, Third Lieutenant. 

Friday, 13th. — We had orders to cook three days' 
rations, and be ready to take up the Hne of march by 
three o'clock p. m., but as it was pay-day, and as the 
paymaster did not get through by that hour, the order 
was countermanded, and we did not move. We were 
paid for four months and twenty-two days' service, from 
ist of January to the 2 2d of May, 1862, one hundred 
and thirteen dollars and sixty cents to each private. 

Saturday, 14th. — Our regiment* mounted and moved 
out toward Marietta, at which place they halted for the 

* As I was badly poisoned with poison oak vine I did not go on the above 
named scout, but remained with the wagons, which, for safety, were moved 
about seven miles nearer the railroad, where they remained until the l6th; then 
they were moved back and met the regiment near the old camp, half mile west 
of the Tombigbee. 

About this time General Beauregard went to Bladen Springs, Alabama, on 
account of ill health, leaving General Bragg in command of the army, now in 
the vicinity of Tupelo, Mississippi, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. 

200 R. E. Hancock's Diary. 

Sunday, i^th. — After moving on up within ten miles 
of Jacinto (about thirty from camps) Colonel Barteau 
learned that the Federals were at Marietta, in his rear. 
Thinking that they were attempting to cut him off, and 
if possible capture his whole regiment, he turned to the 
right, crossed the Tombigbee, and came down on the 
east side to Fulton, where he remained for the night. 
Colonel Barteau thus gave the Federals a complete 
dodge, and returned unmolested. 

Monday, i6tJi. — The regiment crossed the river and 
encamped half mile from it. They reported that the Fed- 
erals were moving east toward Chattanooga in large 

Tuesday, lyth. — The regiment recrossed the river and 
encamped in sight of Fulton, in a beautiful bottom on 
the west side of town. 

Thursday, igth. — A scout went out and burned a lot of 
cotton in order to prevent the Federals from getting it. 

Friday, zotJi. — W. C. Hancock and three others, who 
went out the day before, returned. They reported that 
they went to Marietta, but found no Federals there. 

Major Morton, with a part of our regiment, went out 
on a scout in the direction of luka. 

Saturday, 21st. — A number of our regiment went to 
preaching in Fulton. News coming to church that the 
Federals were not far off, and moving in the direction 
of Fulton, we did not remain to hear that preacher bring 
his remarks to a close, but went to camps in haste to 
prepare to receive . the enemy. However, in place of 
coming to Fulton, the Federals crossed Tombigbee 
some distance above Fulton, cutting off Major Morton's 
scout from camps. 

July, 1862. 201 

Sunday, 22d. — The Federal scout, said to be about 
one hundred and ten, turned, recrossed Tombigbee, and 
went back through Marietta. Morton returned to 
camps in the evening without having any coUision with 
the enemy. 

Thursday, 26tJi. — We moved camps from the west to 
the south-east of, and half a mile from, Fulton, on the 
Smithville road. 

Sahirday, 28th. — I can now say I have been a soldier 
one year, for on the 28th of June, 1861, about eleven 
o'clock A. M., our company (Allison's) was mustered into 

No troops were camped near Fulton except Barteau's 

Monday, joih. — A large scout went out with three 
days' rations. We heard news that pleased us well. 
Colonel Bradfute said our division was ordered to Mid- 
dle Tennessee. O how delighted were we with the 
thought of going back to our native State ! But I guess 
it was either a false report or the order was counter- 
manded, for we heard no more of it. 

Wedfiesday, July 2d. — We were ordered to cook five 
days' rations for those in camps and those on the scout, 
and be ready to march at seven next morning. The 
scouting party returned without any news of interest. 

Thuj^sday, jd. — Promptly in the saddle by seven 
Colonel Barteau moved his regiment about fifteen miles 
in the direction of luka (on the Memphis and Charles- 
ton Railroad), thence about five miles on the Russell- 
ville (Alabama) road, where he bivouacked for the 

Friday, 4th. — Returning to the luka road, thence 

202 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

about four miles in the direction of luka, we bivouacked 
within a few miles of the enemy's picket. 

Saturday, ^th. — Colonel Barteau left Fulton with the 
expectation of going on to luka, but the aid that he 
expected not coming up; and not being willing to ven- 
ture an attack with but little over two hundred, he 
turned, came back by the way of Marietta and biv- 
ouacked some four miles south on the Fulton road. 

Sunday, 6th. — The regiment returned to camps near 
Fulton ; had quite a dusty trip. We remained at Ful- 
ton until 

Friday, nth. — We took up the line of march, wagons 
and all, except a few sick that were not able to go. 
After a march of about thirteen miles on the luka road 
we encamped for the night. 

Sattirday, 12th. — After a short march of about six 
miles we encamped at Bay Springs, where the regi- 
ment remained for several days,* 

Wednesday, i6th. — Dark and rainy as was that night 
Colonel Barteau attempted to capture a wagon train 
that was going east between Bay Springs and luka, 
but he was too late. The train had passed before he 
arrived at the place where he expected to make the 
capture. After burning some cotton within six miles of 
luka the regiment returned to camps. 

Friday, i8th. — McKnight's Company was sent to 

■•'■ It had been ordered that the man whose arms were in the best condition 
should have a furlough for eight days. On inspection day (July 13th) the in- 
spector decided in my favor, so I was furloughed for eight days. J. W. Ken- 
nedy and I went — partly on a pleasure trip and partly after clothing and 
liorses — to Franklin County, Alabama; and after spending about five days very 
pleasantly with our relatives and friends near Russellville, we returned to 
camps at Bay Springs, July 2lst. 

July, 1802. 203 

Marietta to picket that place for some days. Colonel 
Barteau, with four companies of his regiment, left camps 
at Bay Springs to join General Armstrong in an expe- 
dition into North Alabama. Will speak more of this 
scout when Colonel Barteau returns. 

Tuesday, 22d. — It was reported that the Federals in 
large force were in ten miles of our camps. I and a few 
others mounted and went out about eight miles. Hear- 
ing nothing of the enemy we returned to camps a little 
after dark. Loading our wagons we moved back about 
two miles on the Fulton road, where we remained until 
morning. But little rest for a poor soldier that night, 
on account of so much rain. 

Wednesday, 2jd. — Parrish's Company was sent to 
Marietta to relieve McKnight's. The wagons and the 
few men that were left, one company and fragments of 
others, moved on back through, and encamped three- 
fourths of a mile from, Fulton. McKnight's Company 
from Marietta joined us there in the evening. 

Saturday, 26th. — Captain McKnight, with fifteen of 
his company, left camps with orders to scout north of 
Bay Springs. Passing by that place he bivouacked three 
miles beyond, on the luka road. 

Siniday, 2'/tk. — Going a few miles in the direction of 
luka, learning nothing of interest from the Federals, we 
turned back and bivouacked four miles south of Bay 
Springs, on the Fulton road. 

Monday, 28th. — McKnight's squad was re-enforced by 
Captain Kitchen, with about sixty-five men. We re- 
mained near Bay Springs until 

Wednesday, ^oih* — Captain McKnight was sent with 

* General Breckinridge had been sent to Vicksburg, Mississippi, in the latter 
part of June, with a portion of Bragg's army, and perhaps some had been sent 

204 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

his squad to relieve Parrish's Company at Marietta. As 
it was a very rainy time we took shelter in a school- 
house about two miles from Marietta, on the Fulton 
road. Our picket stand was in town. 

I will here relate a little incident that occurred while 
we were picketing at Marietta. Captain McKnight was 
informed (August 4th) that a man who had belonged to 
the Confederate army, but had deserted and visited the 
Federals, was at home fixing to move his family inside 
the Federal lines. This man lived about ten miles 
north. Determined to make an effort to capture him, 
Captain McKnight, I and a few others left our school- 
house a little after dark, and awhile before day we sur- 
rounded his house. We called at the door, as though 
we were some of his neighbors. His wife answered. 
We told her that we wanted to see her husband, call- 
ing him by name, as though we were well acquainted 
with him. She said he was not at home, but had gone 
to his father's. On being asked to open the door, she 
said she would as soon as she could get a light. We 
believed he was at home, because she was so much ex- 
cited and so long getting a light. After so long a time 
she opened the door, and Captain McKnight searched 
the house while I gruarded the door. We noticed three 
ladies lying on one bed, but did not find our man. We 
searched other houses, and finally went to his father's, 
but still failed to find him. Our trip, however, was not 
altogether in vain, for one Mr. Malone gave us a splen- 
did breakfast, his daughters made some sweet music for 

to other points, but Bragg was now transferring the main portion of his army 
from Tupelo, Mississippi, to Chattanooga, Tennessee, to confront General Bu- 
ell, who, after the battle of Shiloh, had been ordered back into Middle Ten- 

August, ]8H2. 205 

us, besides we had as many melons and peaches as we 
could eat. Who but a soldier, though, could appreci- 
ate such a treat as that ! While at Mr. Malone's we 
learned, to our surprise and chagrin, that the object of 
our search was, at the time we were searching his house, 
■between the straw and feather beds ufider those three ladies. 
After taking a real hearty laugh over the aftair, we 
mounted and returned to our picket base. 

While McKnight's Company was picketing at Ma- 
rietta our camps were moved from Fulton to within 
two miles of Guntown. The latter place is on the Mo- 
bile and Ohio Railroad, some thirteen miles south-west 
from Marietta. The Federals were kind enouph not to 
visit Marietta while we were there, though they came 
within about five miles, taking cotton, negroes, horses, 

I will here relate another little incident, which. I am 
sure, some of McKnight's Company will remember. A 
good lady who lived near Marietta had any amount of 
fine peaches, but neither she nor we had any Hour. So 
we told her to use cor?i Tneal in making the crust, as we 
were bent on having a "peach cobbler." Novel as the 
idea was, she made the "cobbler." And right heartily 
-did we eat of it. Well, it was a great deal better than 
no pie. We remained at Marietta until 

Thursday, 14th. — We rejoined the regiment near Gun- 
town, after an absence of about nineteen days. Colonel 
Barteau had returned (August loth) from his Alabama 
expedition. So the regiment was "all at home" once 

According to promise, I will now give an account 
of Colonel Barteau's trip to Alabama. The Second 
Lieutenant (Dr. J. S. Harrison) of McKnight's Com- 

206 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

pany, acting as surgeon of the regiment at the time, 
went with Colonel Barteau, He (Lieutenant Harrison) 
gave the following account of the expedition: 

General Armstrong's Brigade — composed of Colonels 
McCulloch's and Kelly's Battalions, a Louisiana squad- 
ron and two companies commanded by Hill and San- 
ders — passing Bay Springs on the i8th of July, was- 
then and there joined by Colonel Barteau with four 
companies of his regiment — in all about seven hundred 

Marching east four days Armstrong arrived at Moul- 
ton, in North Alabama; thence by a forced march to 
Courtland, he surprised and routed a Federal force — 
two companies of infantry and one of cavalry— en- 
camped at that place, capturing one hundred and thirty- 
two. He also captured ten wagons, about fifty mules 
and ten horses, three hundred bushels of corn, some 
oats, a good lot of ammunition, commissaries enough 
for seven days' rations, including several sacks of coffee 
and salt, and a lot of small arms. Four of the Federals, 
were wounded; the number killed unknown. Colonel 
Kelly, in a skirmish below Courtland, killed about 
twelve Federals; wounded unknown. Colonel Kelly re- 
turned to Moulton with a few prisoners. The Federal 
loss in this expedition — killed, wounded and prisoners — 
was 194.* 

After falling back to Moulton, General Armstrong 
paroled the prisoners. A few days after this he started 
back to North Mississippi, and on the loth of August 
he returned to and encamped along the Mobile and 
Ohio Railroad, near Guntown. 

* By an oversight in me I failed to record the Confederate loss in this expe- 
dition. However, I think it was light. — R. R. H. 

August, 1862. 207 

Friday, i^fh.—lKn order was read at dress-parade 
requiring us to drill on horseback in the morning, on 
foot in the evening, go on dress-parade once a day, and 
prepare as fast as possible for a more vigorous cam- 

Stinday, iph. — Colonel Barteau's Regiment were paid 
from May 23d to June 30th. Each private received 
thirty-one dollars and twenty cents. I drew thirty-seven 
dollars and sixty-four cents. 

The larger portion of the Confederate Army had by 
this time been sent from North Mississippi to other 
points — Vicksburg, Mobile, Chattanooga, etc. And only 
a small part of Grant's army was left at Corinth. 

In the meantime General Armstrong was making 
active preparations for an expedition into West Tennes- 
see. Colonel Barteau's Regiment was now added to 
his brigade. Barteau had orders to be ready to march 
with ten days' rations, a few cooking vessels, and one 
wagon to two companies. 

F7Hday, 22d. — About daylight General Armstrong's 
Brigade, all cavalry, took up the line of march for West 
Tennessee from near Guntown, Mississippi. After a 
march of about twelve miles in a south-west direction, 
he bivouacked in Pontotoc County. Colonel Barteau 
left one company (G) of his regiment at Guntown for 
picket duty. 

Satiu'day, 2jd. — After a march of about fifteen miles 
the brigade bivouacked five miles north of Pontotoc, 
the county site of Pontotoc County. We marched 
nearly west. 

Sunday, 2^th. — Marching a little north of west for 

•208 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

about sixteen miles we bivouacked on Cypress Creek, 
in Pontotoc County, near the west boundary line., 

Mo7iday, 2^th. — Crossing the Tallahatchie River at 
Rocky Ford, moving about sixteen miles north-west, 
we bivouacked on the Tippah River. Had quite a nice 
time that evening bathing in the river. As we had 
teen marching for several days over very dusty roads 
we needed a bath. 

Ttiesday, 26th. — In the saddle and moving before 
light, we marched into Holly Springs, on the Missis- 
sippi Central Railroad, and were forming in line when 
the town clock struck nine. By the way, Holly Springs 
is the nicest town — perhaps I should say city — that I 
have seen in Mississippi. Here Armstrong's Brigade 
was reinforced by more cavalry.* He now had per- 
haps thirty-five hundred, rank and file. We had never 
moved with as large a body of cavalry before. Gener- 
ally speaking, they were well mounted and a fine-look- 
ing body of men. Remaining in town but a few mo- 
ments we moved out five miles north and bivouacked 
on Coldwater River, in a beautiful lot, where the Fed- 
erals had previously camped. We have been traveling 
through some beautiful country — quite different from 
Tishamingo and Itawamba Counties. I like the people, 
as well as the country, around Holly Springs better 
than any place I have been in Mississippi. They ap- 
pear to be more like Tennesseans. 

Wednesday, 2jth. — Not starting until about three 
p. M., traveling about sixteen miles north, and marching 
until late in the night, we bivouacked on one prong of 

■■■The Second Missouri, First Mississippi, and Seventh Tennessee, under 
Colonel (afterward General) William H. Jackson, joined Armstrong at Holly- 

Afgfst. 18G2. 209 

Wolf River, within four miles of La Grange, Tennessee. 
Here we rested one day. 

Friday, zgth. — We crossed the Memphis and Charles- 
ton Railroad at La Grange and halted about noon, at 
one Mr. Smith's, in Hardeman County, Tennessee. In 
our native State once more! This Mr. Smith w^as a 
"whole soul reb," as the following will plainly show. 
Our forage master asked him if we could get something 
from him to feed our horses. His answer was, " Do not 
ask me such a question." Using his index finger, "There 
is my corn field, there is my corn crib, and there is my 
smoke-house; just help yourself." "I," continued he, 
" have been daily expecting the Yankees to come and 
take what I have, therefore as I now have an opportu- 
nity to give it to rebels, I am going to do it." " Per- 
haps I had better have a guard placed around your 
peach orchard," suggested General Armstrong." " No," 
replied Smith, "just let these rebels help themselves to 
the peaches too." Turning to his servants he had some 
of them to put fire under a large kettle in the yard, oth- 
ers to fill it with water and hams, while still others he 
put to baking bread. Never, during the war, saw I 
men and horses fed as did this man Smith. After men 
and horses had partaken of Mr. Smith's bounty, swing- 
ing ourselves into the saddle again, moving out a few 
miles nearly north, we bivouacked within about nine 
miles of Bolivar. (Bolivar, the county site of Harde- 
man County, is on the Mississippi Central Railroad.) 

Saturday, joth. — From some cause the brigade did 
not move until after noon.* Perhaps General Arm- 

■•■■" J. C. McAdoo and I were sent out, perhaps a mile or two from camp, to 
have some bread baked. Hearing while we were out the roar of cannon and 
-small arms in the direction of Bolivar, we were thus assured that the brigade 

210 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

strong was waiting for his scouts to report or to see 
what the enemy were going to do. A Federal force, 
composed of infantry, cavalry and artillery, coming out 
from Bolivar, was met and engaged by Colonels Slem- 
mon's and McCulloch's Regiments, near Middleburg,. 
between one and two o'clock p. m. The Federals were 
repulsed, with the loss of seventy-one prisoners. I do 
not know the Federal loss in killed and wounded, ex- 
cept two colonels (one by the name of Hogg) were 
killed. About eig-ht Confederates were wounded, some 
thought to be mortally. One captain, who belonged to 
McCulloch's Regiment, was killed. Leaving Middle- 
burg a little before sunset, going around to the west of 
Bolivar, we bivouacked, between nine and ten p. m., 
within three miles of Whiteville, on Clearwater Creek. 

Sunday, 31st. — In the saddle and moving by two 
o'clock A. M., we crossed the Big Hatchee River be- 
tween daylight and sunup. Passing on through woods,, 
lots, and fields, we struck the Mississippi Central Rail- 
road between Bolivar and Jackson, within sixteen miles, 
of the latter place. Finding a few Federals guarding 
some trestle-work, one of them was killed and forty-two 
were taken prisoners, two of the latter being wounded. 
One or two Confederates were wounded. After setting 
fire to the trestle and cutting the telegraph wire, we 
moved on up the railroad, the Second Tennessee in 
front. When within a quarter of a mile of Medon, a 
little place on the railroad, in Madison County, we were 

had moved from where we left it and was then engaged in at least a heavy skir- 
mish. Mounting, we put out in haste in search of our regiment. However, 
we did not know which — Federals or Confederates — we would come up with 
first; but on we went, until finally we came in sight of about five hundred cav- 
alry drawn up in battle lin« across a large field. Still in doubt, but on a nearer 
approach we found, to our delight, that they were Confederates. 

Septembrk, 1862. 211 

fired on by the Federal pickets. A few of our regiment 
with long-range guns dismounted and drove the Feder- 
als from among some houses back to their breastworks, 
which were made of cotton bales. Remounting his 
men, Major Morton moved the Second Tennessee 
around to the right and made an attack from the north- 
east side, charging up into the edge of town, but found 
that the Federals were well protected from that side 

Owing to the lateness of the hour, and perhaps think- 
ing it would be too great a sacrifice of his men to at- 
tempt to take their works by storm. General Armstrong 
withdrew his troops between sundown and dark, after 
regular firing for perhaps one and a half hours, and 
bivouacked within half a mile of Medon. 

The loss of the Second Tennessee was as follows : 
Company D — Tobe Dodd slightly wounded, William 
Brown wounded and captured, and Ed. Bullock and O. 
B, Harris captured; and Company E — Joe Maddox 
killed and William Luster wounded. The loss of the 
rest of the brigade was light. The Federal loss un- 

Motiday, September ist. — In motion by daylight, leav- 
ing the railroad and going in a north-west direction,. 
General Armstrong met near Denmark, seven miles 
south-west from Jackson, a Federal force composed 
mostly of infantry. However, they had some cavalry 
and two pieces of artillery, in all about eighteen hun- 
dred strong, under Colonel Dennis. I suppose those 
Federals were from Brownsville, on their way to re- 
inforce Medon. The enemy had taken a strong posi- 
tion in a skirt of woods on the north side of the road, 
with an open field in front. The Second Tennessee 

212 R. E. Hancock's Diary 

was immediately deployed in line and hurled through 
the open field against the Federal position, under the 
leadership of our gallant Major, George H. Morton.* 
We were met, however, by such a heavy fire, from both 
small arms and artillery, that we were forced back to 
the margin of the field. A second charge was made 
with a like result. Colonel Adams' Regiment, and per- 
haps other portions of the brigade, were now thrown 
forward to support our regiment, and a third time did 
the Second Tennessee face the missiles of death through 
that field, without being able to drive the Federals from 
their position in the woods beyond. 

The command, " Dismount, and prepare to fight on 
foot," which, no doubt, should have been given at the 
outset, and which was afterward familiar, was now- 
given. Being determined that our colors should not 
lag behind any other on that field, Major Morton very 
gallantly led the Second Tennessee "square up to the 
cannon's mouth," and after a hand-to-hand conflict, in 
which some of the gunners were knocked down and 
others made prisoners, the two pieces of artillery were 
ours. Being assisted in this last charge (on foot) by 
the Seventh Tennessee, McCulloch's and Adams' Regi- 
ments, and perhaps some others, the Federals were 
forced from their position, with the loss of about sev- 
enty-five killed and wounded. It was said that they 
carried off a number of their wounded. We captured 
about two hundred and thirteen prisoners. 

The Second Tennessee lost about five killed and 
about fifteen wounded. Fortunately, none of Company 
C was killed, though our Second Sergeant, A. B, Mc- 
Knight, was severely wounded in the forehead, and had 

* On account of his being sick, Colonel Barteau was left at Guntown. 


to be left at a house near the battle-field. C. E. Han- 
cock's knife and comb were shot all to pieces in the 
pocket of his pants. As his knife caused the ball to 
glance he was only bruised. B. F. Odom's horse was 
killed. My horse was shot from under me in the sec- 
ond charge. 

Joel Blankenship and Joe Burrow (Company E) were 

Regret that I did not note the names of all the killed 
and wounded of our regiment in this as well as other 
engagements, for I cannot now give them from mem- 

The Seventh Tennessee fought gallantly and suffered 
considerable loss in killed and wounded ; among the lat- 
ter was Major W. L. Duckworth. The above engage- 
ment was afterward known as the battle of " Britton's 

The engagement lasted between two and three hours, 
closing about three o'clock p. m. Soon after which the 
brigade moved out in the direction of Big Hatchee 
River. As the prisoners were afoot we had to march 
very slow. Marching nearly all night we halted to feed 

■■ Since writing the above I have received, through the kindness of General 
M. J. Wright, General F. C. Armstrong's official report, addressed to General 
Price, Tupelo, Mississippi, from which I take the following : 

" While marching toward Denmark, I encountered two regiments of in- 
fantry, two squadrons of cavalry and two pieces of artillery, in which we cap- 
^ tured two pieces of artillery, destroyed a portion of the train and took two 
hundred and thirteen prisoners, killing and wounding, by their own statement, 
over seventy-five of the enemy. My loss was small. I have recrossed to the 
south side of the (Hatchee) river this morning (2d), and have this evening 
paroled the prisoners. .......... 

" I have had the co-operation of Colonel Jackson, whose command deserves 
an equal share of credit with my own. . . • . It would be unjust to 

make distinctions. Each one has nobly done his duty during the expedition. 
I move southward toward Summerville in the morning. Dis- 
patches via Holly Springs will reach me. I can strike across whenever needed." 

•214 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

within two miles of the river about two hours before 

Tuesday, 2d. — Crossing Big Hatchee about ten miles 
below where we crossed going up, General Armstrong 
halted a little before noon to let his men rest and parole 
the prisoners. And by this time we needed rest, for we 
had been either marching or fighting almost constantly 
for the last three days and nights, except Sunday night 
near Medon. 

Wednesday , jd. — Feeling somewhat refreshed after a 
rest of about eighteen hours, we marched on through 
Whiteville, and as General Armstrong wanted us to 
take another night ride we halted and fed near where 
we had bivouacked on Saturday night before. Swing- 
ing ourselves into the saddle again, after a short rest, 
and moving out nearly south, we bivouacked within five 
miles of La Grange about midnight. 

Thursday, ^th. — As we passed on through La Grange 
(covered with dust so that one could hardly tell whether 
we were white men or black) the good ladies cheered 
us on our way with sweet music, both vocal and instru- 
mental. And we needed something to cheer us up, for, 
besides being dusty, we were weary and hungry. (By 
the way, I have my opinion of any man who does not 
love women and music.^ For just listen again: after we 
had halted about a mile from town to feed and eat a 
snack, if we could get it, a good lady sent some of us, as 
a present, a dish of boiled and fried meat, Irish potatoes, 
cabbage, cornbread, biscuit, and, to cap the climax, a 
box of nice peaches. And I assure you, dear reader, 
that we were in a condition to appreciate and enjoy that 
treat, for remember that we had started out from Gun- 

September, 1862. 215 

town, fourteen days before this, with ten days' rations, 
so it is not necessary for one to understand algebra or 
geometry in order to calculate that our rations had been 
out for the last four days. Moving only about three 
miles after dinner we bivouacked near Wolf River, on 
the same ground where we rested August 29th. We 
were now in Mississippi again, three-fourths of a mile 
from the State line. And here we had the pleasure of 
resting for two days. 

Sunday, yth. — (We did not march back to the Mobile 
and Ohio Railroad along the same route that we came 
out to this point, going a more direct route and consid- 
erably further north.) Moving out early in the morn- 
ing we halted and fed at Salem. After which we moved 
on and bivouacked within six miles of Ripley, in Tippah 

Monday, 8th. — Moving on through Ripley, the county 
seat of Tippah County, we bivouacked within twelve 
miles of Baldwin a little after midnig^ht. 

Tuesday, gth. — We marched on to, and encamped at 
Baldwin. Our wagons and camp equipage had been 
moved from Guntown up to the former place. 

As previously mentioned, we left Captain Puryear's 
Company at Guntown when we started on the expedi- 
tion into West Tennessee. Though this company was 
not by any means idle during our absence, for besides 
taking care of camp equipage they were kept busy 
scouting and picketing. While out on one of these 
scouts with his company Captain Puryear, in connection 
with perhaps two or three other companies of cavalry, 
dashed into Rienzi on the 26th of August, taking the 
Federal infantry encamped there completely by surprise. 

21G I>'. R. Hancock's Iuaky. 

and was driving everything before them when a heavy- 
force of Federal cavalry came dashing into town from 
an opposite direction, and soon the Federals and Con- 
federates were so mixed and mingled together under 
such a cloud of dust* that it was for a few moments dif- 
ficult to tell friend from foe. Luckily, however, Captain 
Puryear led his men out with the loss of only two (I. J. 
Barrett and William J. Armstrong) of his company 
captured. Z. B. Ramsey's horse fell and he (Ramsey) 
lay as though he was dead until the Federals passed ; he 
then crawled to the bushes, and that night he gave a cit- 
izen fifty dollars to pilot him out of danger. When he 
got to camps the next day there was great rejoicing, for 
he was thought to be either killed or captured. 

Notwithstanding we had just returned from an expe- 
dition of nineteen days, we were ordered to cook three 
days' rations and prepare for another expedition. Gen- 
eral Price, from the Trans-Mississippi Department, was 
now near the Mobile and Ohio Railroad with a consid- 
erable force of infantry and artillery, f on his way tO' 
luka. He wanted Armstrong's Brigade to go with him. 

Wednesday, loth. — Our brigade (Armstrong's) took 
the field again. After a march of about twelve miles 
we bivouacked at Marietta a little before noon. Leav- 
ing our tents in care of the Quartermaster, our wagons 
and cooking vessels moved with us. 

Thursday, nth. — Moving four miles on the Jacinto 
road, Armstrongf's Brig^ade halted and cooked three 
days' rations. General Price sent for one regiment of 
Armstrong's Brigade to act as advance guard for his 

■••'In speaking to the ■writer about the above affair, Clabe West, who was in 
that daring charge, said, "The Lord and the dust were all that saved us."' 
t Estimated at twelve thousand. 

Skptrmukk. 18()2. 217' 

(Price's) army. Colonel Barteau's Regiment being de- 
tailed for said duty, returned to Marietta and there re- 
ported to General Price, who ordered us to bivouac two 
miles from Marietta on the road to Bay Springs. 

Friday, 12th. — Moving on in advance of Price to Bay 
Springs, thence going two miles north, our regiment 
bivouacked on the road leading from Fulton to luka. 
The rest of Armstronof's Brig^ade moved on in the direc- 
tion of luka so as to guard Price's left flank. Had a 
nice rain in the evening, which was needed to lay the 

Saturday, ijik. — In the saddle and moving before 
light, after a march of twelve miles we halted and fed. 
Swinging ourselves into the saddle again after a short 
rest, and still keeping in advance of General Price, our 
regiment bivouacked within five miles of luka, while 
Price camped only a short distance behind us. 

Sunday, i^tJi. — As Armstrong passed on our regi- 
ment joined the brigade again about daylight. From 
our bivouac Armstrong, moving on to and across the 
Memphis and Charleston Railroad about two miles east 
of luka, thence in a circuitous route along the north 
side of town, marched into luka from the north-west, 
while Price approached from the south-west. The Fed- 
eral rear guard had passed out of town about an hour 
and a half before Armstrong marched in. So he took 
possession of the place without the firing of a gun. 
General Price had b^en expecting to capture the Feder- 
als stationed at luka, but to his chag-fin he found the 
place vacated. Armstrong's Brigade was deployed in 
line on the north side of town. We then had the pleas- 
ure of hearing some splendid music from Wheeler's 

■218 R. R. Hancock's Dtahy. 

brass band. We captured quite a lot of flour, corn, 
salt, crackers, bacon, beef cattle, etc., the whole thought 
to be worth about two thousand dollars. Armstrong's 
Brigade camped two miles north of town. Our compa- 
ny was sent out to picket the Eastport road. The Fed- 
erals withdrew to Burnsville, the next station on the 
railroad, nine miles west of luka. 

Monday, i^th. — Our company was called in from 
picket duty in the evening. As it was reported that the 
Federals were advancing on us, our brigade mounted 
and formed in line of battle near our camp. Remain- 
ing in line until a little after dark, we then dismounted 
and tied up again. No enemy made their appearance. 

Ttiesday, i6th. — Our company was sent out to picket 
the Eastport road again. A part of our brigade met, 
engaged and routed a Federal force two miles west of 
luka. The Confederate loss was one horse killed and 
one man had his leg cut off by a cannon ball. Do not 
know the Federal loss. 

Wednesday, ijth. — Our company was called in from 
picket duty early in the morning. Our regiment moved 
to luka, thence down the Burnsville road three or four 
miles, and back to luka again. 

It was reported that the Federals were being rein- 
forced at Burnsville by rail. A little after dark a part of 
our brigade (including our regiment) mounted and 
moved out about four miles on the Jacinto road, where 
we halted and remained right there in the road until 
next morning. And to add to the unpleasantness of 
our situation it rained. 

Thursday, i8th. — Returning to luka we rested until 
night. Our regiment was sent out on picket about 
dark. As General Price was expecting the Federals to 

September, ]>*fi2. 219 

advance on him, regiments were sent out on picket in 
place of companies. 

Friday, igth. — The Federals were now advancing on 
General Price from Burnsville, and he was preparing to 
give them a warm reception. As our regiment had 
been on duty for the last two nights, we were needing 
rest badly, so being relieved from picket duty about 
noon, we moved back to luka to take the needed rest. 
About nine thousand Federals, under General Rose- 
crans, were met and engaged by a part of General 
Price's army, under General Little, late in the evening, 
about one mile and a half west of luka. After a hot 
■engagement of about one hour and a half, the Federals 
were repulsed. As it was now about dark the Confed- 
erates did not pursue, so the firing ceased. I do not 
know the exact loss, though it was considerable on both 

Since writing the above I have found the following 
account of Price's movements, which I take from the 
"Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," by 
ex-President Davis, pages -^^6 and 387, Vol. II: 

General Price learned that Rosecrans was moving to cross the Ten- 
nessee and join Buell; he therefore marched from Tupelo and reached 
luka on the 19th [14th] of September. 

His cavalry advance found the place occupied by a force which re- 
treated toward Corinth, abandoning a considerable amount of stores. 

The cavalry pickets had reported that a heavy force was moving 
from the South toward luka on the Jacinto road, to meet which Gen- 
eral Little had advanced with his Missouri brigade, an Arkansas bat- 
talion, the Third Louisiana Infantry, and the Texas Legion. It 
proved to be a force commanded by General Rosecrans in person. A 
bloody contest ensued, and the latter was driven back with the loss of 
nine guns. 

Our own loss was very serious. General Maury states that the 
Third Louisiana Regiment lost half its men, that Whitfield's legion 

220 E. 11. Hancock's Diary. 

suffered heavily, and adds that these two regiments and the Arkansas 
battalion of about a hundred men had charged and captured the ene- 
my's guns. In this action General Henry Little fell, an officer of ex- 
traordinary merit, distinguished on many fields, and than whom there 
was none whose loss could have been more deeply felt by his Missouri 
brigade, as well as by the whole army, whose admiration he had so 
often attracted by gallantry and good conduct. 

It was afterward ascertained that this movement of Rosecrans was 
intended to be made in concert with one by Grant [Ord] moving from 
the west (about five thousand strong) but the former had been beaten 
before the latter arrived. 

On the same day Price received a letter from General Ord inform- 
ing him that "Lee's army had been destroyed at Antietam ; that, there- 
fore, the rebellion must soon terminate, and that in order to spare the 
further effusion of blood, he gave him this opportunity to lay down 
his arms." Price replied, correcting the rumor about Lee's army, 
thanking Ord for his kind feeling, and promised to "lay down his 
arms whenever Mr. Lincoln should acknowledge the independence of 
the Southern Confederacy, and not sooner." 

On that night General Price held a council of war, at which it was- 
agreed on the next morning to fall back and make a junction with 
Van Dorn,* it being now satisfactorily shown that the enemy was 
holding the line on our left instead of moving to reinforce Buell. 

Our loss, according to General Price's official report, 
was as follows : 

Hebert's Brigade lost in the action, sixty-three killed and two hun- 
dred and ninety-nine wounded; Martin's Brigade, twenty-two killed 
and ninety-five wounded;* total, eighty-five killed and three hundred 
and ninety-four wounded; Aggregate, four hundred and seventy-nine. 

According to Rosecran's official report the Federal 
loss was as follows : 

Commissioned officers killed, six; wounded, thirty-nine; missing,, 
one — total, forty-six ; enlisted men killed, one hundred and thirty- 
eight; wounded, five hundred and fifty-nine; missing, thirty-nine — total,, 
seven hundred and thirty-six ;t aggregate, seven hundred and eighty-two.. 

•■■' Who was then on the Missis.sippi Central Railroad, in the vicinity of Oxford.. 

tThe writer is under obligations to General Marcus J. W/ight, who is now 
(1887) superintending the publication of Rebellion Records, Washington, D. C... 
for the above reports. 

September, 1862. 221 

The writer thinks that the above reports are very 
good evidence that Northern writers err when they 
claim that Rosecrans captured one thousand of Price's 
army at luka. 

Satui^day, zotJi. — General Price having decided to 
abandon luka and retrace his steps to the Mobile and 
Ohio Railroad, moved out early in the morning on the 
Fulton Bay Springs road. Armstrong's Brigade cov- 
ered the retreat. By seven a. m. all the Confederates 
had withdrawn from luka except our regiment, which 
was drawn up in line on the north-west side of the 
town, awaiting the approach of the Federals. We did 
not have to wait long, for by seven-thirty a. m. they 
moved up and planted a battery on a rise to our left 
front, in easy range of us. From this position they 
soon opened fire, but I am glad to say that their pieces 
were elevated too high to do us any harm, some of their 
balfs going perhaps half a mile to our rear. From the 
noise to our rear we thought one ball struck a house. 
They surely must either have had some bad gunners or 
been aiming at some imaginary force to our rear. 
About eight a. m. our regiment moved on back through 
luka, thence along the Fulton-Bay Springs road, halting 
and forming again after passing several other lines. 
The regiments of Armstrong's Brigade kept alternate- 
ly falling back and forming in line a few hundred yards 
to the rear of each other, so as to be ready for the Fed- 
erals should they at any time make a dash upon our rear 
guard. The Federals, however, pursued us very cau- 
tiously and slowly, coming up near enough for our rear 
guard to take a few shots at them occasionally. After 
falling back thus for about ten miles, coming to where 
the road crossed a small hill, we found four pieces of 

222 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

artillery supported by infantry and cavalry. It was a 
splendid position. The artillery was placed so as to be 
able to rake the road for some distance to the rear, 
while the infantry were lying just behind the crest of the 
hill, so as to be concealed from the approaching Feder- 
als. On came the dismounted cavalry, driving our rear- 
guard before them. When within about two hundred 
yards of our artillery they were greeted with such a blaze 
of musketry and artillery that they retreated somewhat 
faster than they had advanced. They were so well satis- 
fied with their reception at this place that they did not 
trouble us any more during the retreat from luka. 

Our loss in this affair was one killed and two or three 
wounded, and the Federal loss was considerably more, 
though I do not know the exact number. 

We camped eighteen miles from luka and within six 
miles of Bay Springs. 


There had been a great deal of guessing among us 
soldiers in reference to the object that General Price 
had in view in making this trip to luka, and also in ref- 
erence to where we would go from there. Some thought 
we were going to cross the Tennessee River, either at 
Chickasaw or Florence, Alabama, and go on into Middle 
Tennessee to aid General Bragg, who had gone from 
Chattanooga on through Middle Tennessee, and was by 
this time in Kentucky. The fact that our wagons left 
luka before we did, with orders to go to Tuscumbia, 
Alabama, is a strong proof that General Price did ex- 
pect to make such a move as the above-named. I am 
confident that Price was sent on this expedition to aid 
Bragg in some way, if it was nothing more than to at- 
tract the attention of the Federals along the Memphis 

September, 1862. 223 

and Charleston road, in order to thus prevent them 
from being sent by rail to aid General Buell, who was 
following Bragg in Kentucky. At any rate, our regi- 
ment was very much disappointed and somewhat cha- 
grined at having to turn our faces southward again, for 
we were very anxious to get back into our native State 
once more. 

Perhaps, after sending off his wagons to Tuscumbia, 
General Price decided that it would be useless to at- 
tempt to cross the Tennessee with a superior force at 
his heels, and consequently turned southward. 

Since writing the above I find the following, which I 
copy from the " Life of General U, S. Grant," page i88 : 

On the loth of September, Price, having reached Northern Missis- 
sippi with his army of about twelve thousand men, started toward 
luka, where he arrived on the 19th (14th), having driven in a small 
detachment of the national troops from Jacinto and Chewalla (luka). 
He made a feint of following Bragg in his northern march, in the 
hope that Grant would pursue him, and thus leave Corinth an easy 
prey to Van Dorn. But Grant, whose headquarters were at Jackson,. 
Tennessee, was too sagacious to fall into such a trap. 

Knowing from his scouts that Van Dorn could not reach Corinth 
for four or five days yet, he determined to crush Price by sending out 
a heavy force under Ord and Rosecrans, who had succeeded Pope. 
He therefore threw Ord toward luka, on the north side of the rail- 
road, reinforcing him by Ross' Brigade from Bolivar, bringing his 
force up to about five thousand men, and directed Rosecrans, with 
about nine thousand men in all, to move toward luka by the way of 
Jacinto and Fulton, hoping thus to cut off the Confederate retreat,, 
and to concentrate a force sufficient to overwhelm Price. 

This combined movement commenced at an early hour on the i8th 
of September, and although the distances to be overcome did not ex- 
ceed in either case thirty miles, the Confederates discovered it before 
it was fairly executed. For some reason not satisfactorily explained 
Rosecrans failed to occupy the Fulton road. The junction of Ord 
and Rosecrans did not take place till after the latter had had a des- 
perate and only partially successful engagement with Price on the 

224 R. H. Hancock's Diaky. 

19th, in front of luka. Rosecrans' troops fought well, but owing to 
the exceedingly difficult nature of the ground he was not able to 
bring his whole command into action. 

The Confederates were defeated after a sanguinary battle, and un- 
der cover of night retreated southward by the Fulton road. Their 
loss* is stated by Pollard the historian "at about eight hundred killed 
and wounded," not counting over a thousand prisoners left in the 
hands of the victors. 

On the 2 2d Grant ordered the pursuit to be discontinued, and di- 
rected Rosecrans to return to Corinth, where he arrived on the 26th. 
Ord was sent to Bolivar, and Hurlbut in the direction of Pocahontas. 

Sunday, 21st. — Moving on to Bay Springs, there 
General Price turned west and bivouacked on the Bald- 
win road, while our regiment, being detached from Arm- 
strong's Brigade, moved on eight miles south of Bay 
Springs and camped on the Fulton road. I suppose 
we were thus scattered in order to obtain forage and 

Monday, 22d. — Turning westward, moving in the di- 
rection of Baldwin, our regiment bivouacked within five 
miles of that place. As it was only twenty-two miles 
from Bay Springs to Baldwin, I suppose that by this 
time the infantry and artillery were encamped along the 
Mobile and Ohio Railroad, at or near the latter place. 

Titesdav, 2jd. — Our regiment went back to guard 
Walker's bridge, which spanned the Tombigbee River 
at the crossing of the road from Baldwin to Bay Springs. 
Halting- at the Widow Walker's, within half a mile of 
the bridge, we made that the base of our guard stand. 
As we left luka with only about one day's rations, and 
as our wagons had not yet returned from Alabama, we 
had, therefore, to get our rations as best we could 
through the country. Accordingly, our company were 

* Strange the writer gives our loss and not the Federal. 

September, 1862. 225 

allowed to scatter out through the neighborhood in 
search of rations, with orders to report back next morn- 

Wednesday, 2^th. — According to orders our company 
reassembled at Mrs. Walker's to assist in guarding the 
bridge and to give others an opportunity to "hunt 

Thursday, 2^th. — Late in the evening we left Mrs. 
Walker's and went to Baldwin, where we found our 
wagons again. They had come round by the way of 
Russellville, Alabama, and Fulton, Mississippi. 

Friday, 26th. — Our regiment went out three and a 
half miles north-west of Baldwin to picket the Boone- 
ville road. 

Saturday, 2'/th. — Leaving a small guard on the Boone- 
ville road, our regiment returned to camps and drew 
two months' pay, July and August; also a bounty of 
fifty dollars. 

A Federal scout came down and captured two of our 
pickets, Lieutenant A. W. Lipscomb and Private A. A. 
Robertson, from Company G. After being fired at a 
few times by the rest of our picket, the Federals went 
back toward Corinth. This little affair created some 
excitement in camps, especially among the wagoners 
and Company "Q." * The wagon train moved out in 
a hurry, and did not make any halt until it arrived at 
Guntown. The regiment mounted and moved out be- 
yond the picket stand. Finding no Federals we re- 
turned to the same camps, minus the wagon train. 

* Company "Q" was composed of from five to ten men from each company, 
who, on account of not being able for duty themselves or having horses not 
able for duty, remained with the wagon train when the rest of the regiment 
went out on scouts or other active service. 


226 E. R. Hancocz's Diary. 

Sunday, 28th. — Our regiment moved to CarroUville. 
There we met our wagons, and were ordered to cook 
three days' rations. "Old" CarroUville was a small 
cross-roads village, some three or four miles north-west 
of Baldwin, west of the railroad. 

Monday, 2gth. — In the saddle early in the morning 
we moved northward, leaving Booneville to our right. 
The advance guard came up with and fired on the Fed- 
eral picket within three miles of Rienzi, a station on 
the railroad between Booneville and Corinth. The regi- 
ment then turned back and bivouacked some three miles 
west of Booneville. 

Tuesday, joth. — A Federal scout followed us out 
some distance from Rienzi. We made an attempt ta 
capture them by moving back, a little before day, in a 
circuitous route, so as to come into the road in their 
rear, but we failed, as they had passed back before we 
came into the road which they were on. The regiment 
returned to camps at CarroUville.* 

Wednesday, October ist. — A part of our regiment 
moved out about three miles north of CarroUville, 
where they met, engaged and repulsed a F^ederal scout, 
with the loss of eight killed and two prisoners. I do 
not know how many were wounded. Our loss two 

* On returning to camps, greatly to owx joy and surprise, we found C. F. 
Thomas there. He was a member of our company, whom we had not even 
heard from since he left us at Burnsville in April to go to Middle Tennessee 
with Morgan. He was right from home. We were glad to learn that the Fed- 
erals had left that part of Tennessee which we still called home. He brought 
eight recruits for our company, and, still better, he said eleven more would be 
in next day. So we had a real jollification in camp that evening. As mail 
communication had been cut off, we had not even heard from home in some 
time. That is one reason why we were so rejoiced at hearing from there. And, 
by the way, our company was needing recruits, for we only mustered about 
thirty men before these twenty recruits came. 

October, 1862. 227 

wounded, one (William R. Robertson, Company G) 
mortally. The two prisoners were picked up by Lieu- 
tenant B. H. Moore and our Chaplain, S. C. Talley 
(Company G), after a hard race of some three or four 
miles. The prisoners were from the Seventh Kansas, 
known as the Kansas " Jayhawkers." It was said 
that they took no prisoners. And from the following it 
would appear that they did not expect quarter, for when 
Talley called out, " If you will halt and surrender you 
shall not be hurt ! " they immediately drew rein, and one 
of them replied, ''Had I known that I would have 
stopped long ago.'' 

Our company double-quicked for about two miles, 
but it was all over before we got there. After the regi- 
ment returned to Carrollville the same old orders were 
issued — cook three days' rations. 

Thursday, 2d. — Marching on through Booneville the 
regiment halted and fed, between sundown and dark, in 
Jlienzi. The Federals had evacuated the place in the 
forenoon, going west toward Ripley. We found Rienzi 
to be tolerably well fortified. After moving out about 
five miles nearly west, we bivouacked on the Ripley 

General Price, having left the Mobile and Ohio Rail- 
road about the 26th of September, had by this time 
formed a junction with Van Dorn at Ripley, and with 
their combined forces, about twenty-two thousand 
strong, they were moving on Rosecrans at Corinth. 
Barteau's Regiment, being on the extreme Confederate 
right, still operated along the Mobile and Ohio Rail- 

Friday, jd. — After moving about three miles further 
along the Ripley road, a Federal scout made their ap- 

228 . R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

pearance in the road to our rear. A few shots from our 
rear guard made them disappear. Then, turning back: 
and meeting our wagons, we encamped some six or 
eight miles west of Booneville. Generals Price and 
Van Dorn attacked Corinth, and after hard fighting: 
they succeeded in driving Rosecrans, before nightfall,, 
inside of his fortifications, with the loss of two guns. 

Saturday, 4th. — After making several desperate at 
tempts, but finally failing to take Corinth by storming 
the Federal works. Price and Van Dorn were forced tO' 
raise the siege, from the fact that McPherson's Brigade 
was coming to the assistance of Rosecrans, while Major- 
General Hurlbut was moving on the Confederate rear 
with a large Federal force from Bolivar. 

The following account of the Battle of Corinth is- 
from the "Life of Grant," page 190: 

On the 2d of October Van Dorn and Price, with three divisions^ 
advanced thence toward Corinth by the way of Chewalla. 

Rosecrans had withdrawn his outposts upon the first appearance of 
the enemy, and formed his Hne over a mile in front of the fortifi- 
cations. The Confederates, advancing on the Chewalla road, soon 
drove in Stanley's advanced brigade, which, being supported by an- 
other, made head for a time. But the Confederates, continually de- 
veloping their front, soon hotly engaged Davies' Division also, and 
finally the entire line. Pushing their attack with great vigor they 
finally compelled Rosecrans to fall back, with the loss of two guns,, 
and to occupy the fortifications. 

At an early hour on the morning of the 4th the action was re- 
newed by the Confederates, who opened upon the Union lines with 
their batteries, and at half-past nine o'clock Price assaulted the Union, 
center with desperate determination. A storm of canister and grape 
was poured upon the Confederate columns, but with only partial ef- 
fect. Cheered on by their officers, they renewed the attack, now be- 
come general, and soon succeeded in breaking Davies' Division and 
in forcing the head of their column into the town. But Rosecrans- 
concentrated a heavy fire of artillery upon them, and pushing forward 

October, 1862. 229 

the Tenth Ohio and Fifth Minnesota Regiments, followed closely by 
■Sullivan's Ikigade, succeeded in driving the Confederates beyond the 
works and in re-establishing Davies' line. In the meanwhile Van 
Dorn had formed the right of his army into column of attack, and 
"under cover of a heavy skirmish line was leading it in person to the 
assault of the Union left. But Rosecrans was ready on that side 
also. Stanley's Division and the heavy guns of Battery Robinet, 
manned by the veterans of the First Regular Infantry, made an an- 
swer to the Confederates' musketry, and with round shot, shell, grape 
and canister played dire havoc among the advancing troops. But 
■still they held their forward course till within fifty yards of our na- 
tional works. Here they received a deadly rifle fire, and after strug- 
gling bravely for a minute to face it, they were compelled to fall 
^back. Again the Confederate leaders led their men forward to the 
■very ditclies and parapets of the defenses, but again were they bloodily 
repulsed ; this time, however, to be followed by the gallant soldiers of 
Ohio and Missouri, who, seeing the enemy falter, poured over the 
works and drove them, routed and broken, back to the woods from 
-which they had advanced. The battle had spent its fury; the Con- 
federates were no longer able to make head, and lost no time in with- 
drawing their disorganized battalions to a place of safety. 

They left dead upon the field fourteen hundred and twenty officers 
and men and more than five hundred wounded, besides losing twenty- 
two hundred and forty-eight prisoners, forty-one colors and two guns. 
The next day Rosecrans, reinforced by McPherson's Brigade, began 
the pursuit, but he had lost eighteen hours, and could not regain the 
advantage which had thus escaped. 

Here, as at luka, the Federal writer fails to give the 
loss on his side ; however, in this case I suppose that 
the Federal loss in killed and wounded was less than the 
Confederate, as the Federals were behind breastworks. 
Van Dorn and Price fell back in the direction of Holly 

Barteau's Regiment, moving only a short distance, 
encamped again four miles west of Booneville, and 
cooked three days' rations. 

Sutiday, ^th. — In the saddle and moving by sunup, 

230 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

the regiment marched on through Rienzi and Danville. 
(The latter is a small place about midway between Ri- 
enzi and Corinth, on the west side of the railroad.) 

From Danville, moving on in the direction of Corinth,, 
crossing Tuscumbia River, we dashed into a Federal 
camp within three miles of Corinth, capturing one wag- 
on and team and nine prisoners. After a right hot little 
skirmish we withdrew. Our loss was one man killed 
and two wounded; one of them (Nelse Willard) be- 
longing to McKnight's Company, was only slightly 

A few horses were wounded ; one belonging to a mem- 
ber of McKnight's Company was shot through the ear. 
I not do know the Federal loss in killed or wounded. 
We came back and bivouacked within four miles of 

Monday, 6th. — After we returned to camp, at the 
same place we started from the morning before, Captain 
McKnight left us to go into Middle Tennessee after re- 
cruits for his company. Two of his company went 
home with him. A little after sundown our company, 
now under Lieutenant Turney, went out three miles 
from camp to picket the Rienzi road. 

Tuesday, yt/i. — After our company was called in from 
picket duty the regiment moved back to, and encamped 
at, Carrollville. 

Wednesday, 8th — In the evening our company went 
out six miles from Carrollville to picket the Blackland 

Thursday, gth. — The wagon train and Company Q 
moved down and encamped one mile south-west of Gun- 
town. After our company came in from picket duty the 
regiment moved down to, and bivouacked at, Baldwin. 

October, 1862. 231 

Friday, loth. — The regiment moved down to where 
the wagons had encamped the day before. It rained in 
the evening and turned cold, which made it very disa- 
greeable, as we had no tents. Guntown is the next sta- 
tion below Baldwin, and the next station above Saltillo, 
on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. 

The Second Tennessee remained in camp near Gun- 
town for one month. That was longer than usual for us 
to remain in the same camp. It will be seen by an ex- 
amination of the preceding pages that our regiment had 
been in very active service from the time we started on 
our West Tennessee expedition until we went into 
camp at Guntown. The regiment were by no means 
idle during their stay at Guntown, for picketing was a 
daily duty, and scouting parties were frequently sent 
out. There were no other troops camped near Gun- 
town at this time. In fact, a few regiments of cavalry 
scattered about at different points, and perhaps a few 
pieces of artillery, were all the troops that now remained 
in North-east Mississippi. Price and Van Dorn fell back 
along the Mississippi Central Railroad in North-west 

Saturday, 2^th. — It turned cold and snowed some, 
nearly covering the ground. But, as good luck would 
have it, the regiment drew new tents the day before, 
and also one blanket to each man. But, as bad luck 
would have it, it fell to my lot to goon picket* that even- 

* I was not on picket any more for seven months, as the following will show: 
About this time a member of our company, A. Barrett, was sick with the ty- 
phoid fever. After trying nearly all over the neighborhood, finally one Mr. 
Robison, who lived in Guntown, agreed that we might take the sick man to his 
house. So on Sunday, November 2d, we moved A. Barrett to Mr. Robison's, 
and I remained with him, as he was very sick and needed a nurse. 

He grew worse and worse-, until finally, about the 1 1 th of November, he be- 

232 E. E. Hancock's Diary. 

ing to remain until the next. So we had a very cold, 
disagreeable night to be out on picket. 

Szmday, November loth. — The regiment moved about 
four miles and encamped near Saltillo, where they 

came speechless. He did not even whisper for three long weeks — they appeared 
long to me. Our surgeon quit coming to see him, thinking it useless. I re- 
mained with him all the time, both day and night. Lieutenant Turney, who 
was in command of our company at that time (Captain McKnight had gone home 
after recruits), did not only send two or three of the boys up to Mr. Robison's 
nearly every night to assist me in sitting up with Barrett, but he frequently 
came himself. 

Finally, beginning to improve by the last of November, he spoke again for 
the first time on the 2d of December, and, contrary to the expectation of all, he 
got well, and is now (January, l886) a stout man. About nine o'clock A. M., 
December 15th, hearing a noise and looking out to see the cause, I saw, to my 
great astonishment, that the house (Mr. Robison's) was surrounded by Federal 
cavalry. That was the first notice that I had had of that Federal scout. Soon 
a trooper stepped in, and marching me out, placed me in the care of the Fed- 
eral guards. Barrett was improving, but as he was not well enough to be 
moved they did not trouble him. This Federal scout was composed of two 
regiments of infantry, two pieces of artillery, and one battalion of cavalry. 
Moving on south, they bivouacked one mile beyond Saltillo. Moving on back 
from Saltillo, by the way of Marietta and Jacinto, they arrived at Corinth Dec. 
19th. On this trip they picked up here and there sixty-one prisoners, about 
half of them being citizens. We were placed in a large house with some other 
prisoners, in all about one hundred and fourteen. As General Forrest was now 
in West Tennessee tearing up the railroad, the Federals could not conveniently 
send prisoners North; therefore we were paroled on the 25th of December. 
The next day I and about forty others were sent to luka by rail, and there 
turned loose to take care of ourselves. From luka, going by the way of Bay 
Springs, I arrived at Guntown December 29th. Finding Barrett considerably 
better, and thinking that he would soon be able to ride, I decided to take him 
to my uncle's (Ben Hancock's) in Franklin County, Alabama. But I had to first 
go to camp after our horses. On December 31st I found the Second Tennessee 
encamped one and a half miles south-east of Okolona, some thirty-six miles 
south of Guntown. Returning to Guntown with our horses January 6th, 1863, 
Barrett and I started the next day to Alabama. 

We arrived at my uncle's, some seventy miles east of Guntown, January 9th. 
Barrett, remaining in Alabama about five weeks, started to rejoin his company 
February i6th. 

I went back to camp several times while I was a paroled prisoner; however, 
I spent most of the time among my relatives in Alabama. Being notified May 
22d that I was exchanged, I started to camp the 23d, finding the regiment en- 
camped seven and a hilf miles north of Okolona, at Camp Rogers, May 25th. 

December, 18(52. 233 

remained another month, scouting and picketing as 

Thursday, 20th. — Captain McKnight. who had been 
liome after recruits, returned to camp, bringing a num- 
iDer of recruits for his company. Thirty-one arrived the 
day before, 

Thursday, December gth. — The regiment left Saltillo 
to go to Okolona, and arrived at the latter place Decem- 
ber loth, encamping one mile and a half south-east of 
town, Okolona is in Chickasaw County, quite a differ- 
ent looking country to Tishamingo and Itawamba Coun- 
ties, The fine black prairie land around Okolona is 
^ery productive, and plenty of forage suits cavalry. 

General Grant, now bent on the capture of Vicksburg, 
having left Jackson, Tennessee, November 4th, was 
■moving a heavy force along the Mississippi Cefttral Rail- 
road, establishing his headquarters at Oxford, Mississip- 
pi, on the 5th of December. General John C. Pember- 
ton,* who was in command of the Confederate army in 
front of Grant, had fallen back to Grenada. 

General Sherman, who commanded the right wing of 
Grant's army at Memphis, was to descend the river by 
"transports, with the gunboat fleet as a convoy, com- 
Tnanded by Admiral Porter, and to attack Vicksburg by 
the 29th of December. While Grant himself was to 
move rapidly on the Confederates to the north and east 
of Vicksburg, and to take part, if necessary, in the re- 
duction of the place. 

About daybreak on the morning of the 20th of De- 
'Cember, Van Dorn, executing a brilliant cavalry opera- 
tion, rushed upon Holly Springs, capturing the place 
with an immense quantity of property, valued at over 

* He had superseded Van Doru. 

284 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

one million five hundred thousand dollars, taking with 
him what he could carry and destroying the remainder. 

About this time General Forrest, who had crossed out 
of Middle Tennessee, was playing havoc with Grant's 
communications along the railroad in West Tennessee. 

Grant being thus forced to fall back, his part of the 
campaign had failed. On the 20th, the very day on 
which Van Dorn and Forrest struck the btow which 
compelled Grant to fall back and abandon his part of 
the joint undertaking, Sherman took his departure from 
Memphis with tvyenty thousand troops in transports. 

After Porter's convoy of gunboats, part at Friar's 
Point and the remainder at the mouth of the Yazoo, 
and the transports from Helena were added, Sherman's 
force was then at least thirty thousand. 

Leaving A. J. Smith's Division at Milliken's Bend, 
with instructions to send one brigade to break up the 
railroad leading from Vicksburg to Shreveport, Louisi- 
ana, Sherman proceeded on the 26th to the mouth of 
the Yazoo, and up that river to Johnson's plantation, 
some thirteen miles, and there disembarked. Here A. • 
J. Smith's Division rejoined him on the night of the 
27th. On the 29th he attempted to take by storm 
Haines' Bluff (a strongly fortified place nine miles north- 
east of Vicksburg) ; being unsuccessful, he was forced 
to withdraw his troops, with a loss in killed, wounded,. 
and prisoners amounting to nearly two thousand men. 
On the 2d of January, 1863, he placed his troops on 
board the transports, and the fleet sailed down to the 
mouth of the Yazoo, where he learned for the first time 
what had befallen Grant. All further attempts against 
Vicksburg for the present were abandoned, and the en- 
tire force left the Yazoo and returned to Milliken's Bend 

December, 1862. 235- 

on the Mississippi.* Thus ended somewhat ingloriously 
the secondf campaign against Vicksbiirg. 

The Confederates were jubilant after this victory. It 
was undoubtedly a great triumph. General Pemberton 
felt proud that he had baffled Grant in person, compell- 
ing him to retreat, and that he had temporarily, at least, 
saved Vicksburg by the defeat of the greatest of Grant's 

We will now go back a little and noti<:e the move- 
ments of the Second Tennessee. 

A Federal scout, composed of two regiments of in- 
fantry, a battalion of cavalry, and two pieces of artil- 
lery, that had descended the Mobile and Ohio Railroad 
from Corinth, entered Guntown about nine a. m., on the 
15th of December, and there the writer was captured, 
as previously mentioned. Camping that night one mile 
south of Saltillo, the Federals turned back the next day, 
arriving at Corinth the 19th. 

On learning through his scouts that the Federals were 
at Saltillo, Colonel Barteau sent a detachment of the 
Second Tennessee from his camp at Okolona up in that 
direction under Lieutenant Turney (Company C). 

In the meantime General Grant had thrown a portion 
of his cavalry (from the Mississippi Central Railroad) 
out in the direction of Okolona. This was just what 
General Van Dorn desired, for he was now (the 19th) 
moving with about two thousand five hundred cavalry 
to strike Grant's communications a heavy blow at Holly 
Springs, as previously mentioned ; and as he did not 
wish to interfere with this Federal force which was mov- 

*The above, which is an account of the second campaign against Vicksburg, 
I get from the " Life of Grant," pp. 196 to 210. 

t Farragut and Williams had made a previous campaign against Vicksburg 
by the way of New Orleans. 

236 B. K. Hancock's Diary. 

ing out of his way, he ordered Colonel Barteau to fall 
iDack from Okolona. Therefore the Second Tennessee 
fell back about six miles in the direction of Aberdeen, 
-on the 20th. That afternoon our Colonel sent about fif- 
teen men, under Captain N. Oswell (Company A), back 
to Okolona to guard some stores and watch the move- 
ments of the Federals if they should make their appear- 
ance at that place. Before reaching Okolona Captain 
Oswell met Lieutenant Turney, who reported that he 
had been up in thd neighborhood of Guntown and that 
the Federals had gone back to Corinth. Not knowing 
that another Federal force was afield from the west, the 
Captain did not now apprehend any dajiger, therefore 
•did not throw out any pickets that night. The Federals 
dashed into Okolona very early the next morning and 
captured the entire squad. 

Captain N. Oswell, Wallace Wilson, and J. J. Sutton 
(Company A), J. L. McGan (Company B), J. H. Sneed 
and J. W. Stephens (Company C), Simon Elliott (Com- 
pany D), J. P. Oglesby and Jef Piper (Company E), 
James Jackson (Company F), and Billy Nichol were, I 
think, among the captured. The Federals paroled our 
boys* and left immediately. The former had heard of 
Van Dorn's movement and were consequently very much 

Our regiment moved back to their camp one mile and 
-a half south-east of Okolona on the 2 2d. 

Thursday, January /, 186^. — The first of the new 
year found Barteau's Regiment still encamped near 
•Okolona. McKnight's Company, which had been re- 

*They were sent to Jackson, Miss., and remained there until Grant captured 
that place on May 14th, 1863. Then after remaining at Demopolis, Ala., about 
■two months, they were exchanged. 

March, 1863. 237" 

ceiving recruits from Tennessee for the last three 
months, now numbered about one hundred and fifteen, 
men, the largest company in the regiment. They were 
in good health and fine spirits, and, I will add, well' 

Saturday, Jist. — Major-General Van Dorn, who was 
now somewhat famous on account of his brilliant affair 
at Holly Springs, arrived at Okolona with three brigades 
of cavalry and four pieces of artillery. His three bri- 
gades were commanded by Armstrong, Whitfield, and 
Cosby, and the battery by King. He was from West- 
ern Mississippi, and the following from Campaigns of 
General Forrest, page 231, tells his destination: 

While Forrest was giving rest to his men for some days at Colum- 
bia, Tennessee, after such fearful weather exposure and battle losses, 
Major-General Van Dorn arrived from Mississippi with three brigades 
of cavalry, about four thousand five hundred rank and file, and thus 
materially strengthened the Confederate cavalry force on that flank. 

General Bragg's headquarters were then at Shelby- 
ville, Tennessee, so Van Dorn went to his (Bragg's) 
left flank. 

Some time in February the Second Tennessee moved 
to the south-west side of Okolona (about one mile and 
a half from town), where they remained until 

Saturday, March jth. — Three companies of the regi- 
ment moved to Verona, followed by the remainder the 
next day. The regiment then encamped half a mile- 
from Verona and fifteen miles north of Okolona. 

Captain McKnight was ordered to- go with his com- 
pany into Alabama on a conscripting tour. He also, 
had orders to pick up all stragglers from, the Confeder- 
ate army that he could find. Ratber an unpleasant duty 

-238 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

— at least no thanks were received from those who were 
thus forced into the army. 

Friday, 13th. — Leaving Verona, passing on through 
Richmond, Smithville, and within three miles of Cotton 
Gin Port, finally after a march of seven days, Captain 
McKnight arrived at Fayetteville, the county seat of 
Fayette County, on Thursday, March 19. Establishing 
his headquarters at Fayetteville, Alabama, he sent out 
detachments to each of the following couties: Marion, 
Walker, Winston, and Pickens. The company remained 
there on duty as above named for about twenty-four 

Calling in the detachments and leaving Fayetteville 
on Tuesday, April 14th, after a march of five days Mc- 
Knight rejoined the regiment at Verona Saturday, 
April 1 8th. 

Sunday, April igth. — Hearing that a Federal scout* 
was afield, Colonel Barteau left Verona to go in search 
of it. Moving on through Tupelo, the next station 
north of Verona, thence nearly west, he bivouacked 
within three miles of Chesterville and about twelve from 

Monday. 20th. — About midnight the regiment mount- 

■••■'This was Colonel Grierson's raid, made to assist General Grant in his oper 
ations against Vicksburg. I find the following account of this raid in the "Life 
of Grant : " 

"Colonel Grierson, who had left LaGrange, Tennessee, April 17th, with one 
thousand seven hundred cavalry, after traversing Mississippi lengthwise, de. 
stroying stores and arms, tearing up railways, burning bridges, c&pturing mili- 
tia, and carrying consternation through the entire State, reached our lines at 
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, May 2d, having traveled six hundred miles in fifteen 
days, and lost no less than thirty men in sick, wounded and missing. Nowhere 
did he meet with any serious resistance, and his daring raid convinced Grant 
that the Confederacy had become 'a mere shell, with all its resisting power on 
the outer edge.' " 

April, 1863. 239 

ed and moved out a little south of west. When within 
two miles of Pontotoc, Barteau learned that the Feder- 
als had passed going south, and were about ten hours 
in advance of him.* 

Not far from Pontotoc Grierson divided his force, 
sending one part, which was estimated as high as eight 
hundred, under Colonel Hatch, toward Houston, while 
he proceeded straight to the Southern railroad with his 
main force. Perhaps he intended to unite his forces 
-again somewhere south ; if so, in this he was disap- 
pointed. Or, perhaps, he used this strategy to draw 
Colonel Barteau from following him, and thus allow him 
to proceed unmolested to cut Pemberton's communica- 
tions in the rear of Vicksburg. If the latter was his ob- 
ject he was not disappointed, for the Second Tennessee, 
Smith's Regiment, and Inge's Battalion with Colonel 
Barteau in command, followed the scout that went in 
the direction of Houston. After a march of about six- 
iy-seven miles Colonel Barteau deployed his command 
in battle order within two miles of Houston, where they 
remained until next morning, Houston, the county 
seat of Chicksaw County, is forty miles south of Ponto- 

Tuesday, 21st. — Colonel Barteau came up with the 
Federals about one o'clock p. m., near Palo Alto, some 
twenty-five miles south-east of Houston. Finding that 
the Federals were just entering a lane with a hedge on 
both sides, Colonel Barteau quickly threw the Second 
Tennessee, under Major Morton, around rightward, to 
gain the head of their column and hold them in check 

* Being a paroled prisoner at the time, I was not with this expedition; how. 
€ver, I will give the best account of it that I can from what the boys who were 
with the expedition told me afterward. 

240 R. E. Hancock's Diary. 

at the far end of the lane, while the rest of the command 
(Smith's Regiment and Inge's Battalion) should move 
up on the enemy's rear at the other end of the lane. 
Seeing that Morton had gained the desired position at 
the far end of said lane, and was gallantly holding the 
enemy at bay, our Colonel now felt confident that he 
would then and there capture the entire Federal force. 
Unfortunately, however, just at this juncture a few shots, 
from a small piece of Federal artillery caused Smith's 
and Inge's men to fall back, and thus, to the deep cha- 
grin of Colonel Barteau, the way was opened for the 
enemy to march out. 

The Colonel now contrived to throw the rest of his 
command around to their front, and thus caused the 
Federals to come to a halt at Palo Alto. Thus holding 
the Federals at bay he decided to wait until morning 
for the arrival of the Second Alabama before he made 
further attack, thinking that the Federals would either 
attack his position or remain near Palo Alto until morn- 
ing. In this he was mistaken, for they withdrew under 
cover of night and retreated northward along the Oko- 
lona road. One man was killed and three or four 
wounded, all belonging to Colonel Smith's Regiment. 
Two horses belonging to the Second Tennessee were 

Wednesday, 22d. — Reinforced by the Second Ala- 
bama, Colonel Barteau followed the Federals in the di- 
rection of Okolona. In attempting to pass through a 
swamp after dark his pilot got lost within seven or eight 
miles of Okolona, consequently he had to fall back out 
of the swamp and remain there until morning. 

As the Federals passed on through Okolona they 
burned the hospitals and female institute. They 

May, 1863. 241 

bivouacked six miles from Okolona on the Pontotoc 

Thursday, 2jd. — Leaving the Pontotoc road, moving 
nearly north, the Federals bivouacked five or six miles 
east of Chesterville. 

By marching until about midnight Colonel Barteau 
bivouacked within three miles of the Federals. 

Friday, 2^th. — Coming up with the Federals again at 
Birmingham, Colonel Barteau attacked them about 
eleven o'clock a. m., driving them before him for about 
three and a half miles. Then, after crossing a bridge, 
the Federals destroyed it. That put an end to the 
chase. As men and horses were now so much fatigued 
Colonel Barteau thought it would not be prudent to at- 
tempt a further pursuit. Therefore he returned to camp 
at Verona that night. 

The Federal loss in this Birmingham fight was esti- 
mated at about sixteen killed. It was said that they 
carried off six loads, some wagons and some ambulances, 
of killed and wounded.* And strange to say that only 
one of the Confederates was killed, and Lieutenant J. 
T. Austin (Company F), Second Tennessee, wounded. 
Birmingham is some thirty-five miles from Okolona. 
The above expedition, which was made in six days, was 
about two hundred and forty miles long. 

Saturday, 2^th. — The regiment moved down to, and 
encamped three-fourths of a mile west of, Okolona. 

Friday, May ist. — The regiment moved camps two 
and a half miles south-west. 

* In speaking of this affair Dr. Geo. F. Hager says: " We routed him [Hatch] 
again, killing thirty of his men and taking fifty prisoners." — Military Annals 
of Tennessee, p. 613. 


242 R. E. Hancock's Diary. 

A little after dark one of our scouts came in and re- 
ported another Federal scout afield. So tents were 
struck, wagons loaded and driven out into the road ready 
for traveling if it should be necessary. Barteau moved 
the regiment back to Okolona, where they lay in wait 
for the Federals all night, but they did not come. So 
next morning the regiment returned to camp and the 
wagons were unloaded. 

Sunday, jd. — General Ruggles, who now commanded 
the same brigade that Barteau had been commanding, 
moved out from Okolona in search of a Federal scout that 
was still said to be afield. Moving out some nine miles 
on the Pontotoc road, thence toward Verona, he biv- 
ouacked within eight miles of the latter place. 

Monday, 4th. — Leaving Colonel Barteau in command 
Generals Ruggles returned to Okolona. Barteau moved 
the brigade to, and camped at, Verona. 

The following is Colonel C. R. Barteau's official re- 
port of the action at King's Creek, near Tupelo: 

Verona, Miss., May 8, 1863. 

Having been ordered to this place from the Pontotoc and Shannon 
road on the 3d [4th] instant, I reached here at 10 a. m. There was 
then no reliable account of an advance of the enemy, as rumored, 
down the Une of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, but in the evening of 
the 4th instant I learned that a mounted force of the enemy (strength 
not known) had reached Baldwin that morning and was marching rap- 
idly in this direction. I considered it only a reconnoitering party and 
made no immediate report; but at 12 o'clock the same day the enemy 
drove in the pickets at Guntown and advanced toward Saltillo. 

The lieutenant in charge of scouts at Guntown reported the force 
to be three regiments with artillery, and a prisoner whom he had cap- 
tured and sent in stated that the force would not exceed nine hundred. 

Late in the evening of the 4th scouts from Inge's Battalion were 
fired upon between Tupelo and Saltillo, east side of the railroad. 
That night the enemy advanced to Priceville, and by daylight on the 

May, 18G3. 243 

5th i)assed that place toward Plantersville with the evident intention of 
moving down between Town Creek and Tombigbee River to cross at 
Camargo, threatening Aberdeen on [near] Mobile and Ohio Railroad 
below Okolona; but by the delay of the enemy near Miller's Mills, 
north of Plantersville, I was led to apprehend that his intention was 
to cross Town Creek at Reece's Bridge, and immediately ordered 
Inge's Battalion to that point to destroy the bridge and prevent his 
crossing. Upon arriving at Reece's Bridge Inge's Battalion was con- 
fronted by a force of the enemy which it could not successfully con- 
tend with, and fell back to Thomasson's farm one mile and a quarter 
from the bridge. 

In the meantime Lieutenant-Colonel [James] Cunningham arrived 
at Verona and assumed command of all the troops. [He] received an 
order from Major- General [S. J.] Gholson, of the State service, to 
join him at Tupelo. Started with his command by the most direct 
route, and ordered me, with Second Tennessee Cavalry, to go by way 
of Reece's Bridge. I arrived near the bridge, found that the enemy 
had crossed, and that Inge's Battalion had fallen back. Moved then 
to Thomasson's farm, where I rejoined Colonel Cunningham eti route 
for Tupelo, and followed his column with Inge's Battalion in rear of 
my regiment.-'^ 

Colonel Cunningham moved immediately forward without (so far 
as my knowledge extends) reconnoitering or sending out flankers- 
passed into thick woods and swamp south of Tupelo, and encoun- 
tered the enemy in ambush just before arriving at the Tupelo and 
Pontotoc road. A few shots from the enemy announce'd his presence 
and he reserved his heavy fire until the column had passed nearly half 
way through, and then opened with small arms and artillery upon both 
flanks, cutting off two companies of the Second Alabamaf with Hew- 
lett's Battalion and my own command, consisting of the Second Tennes- 
see Regiment and Inge's Battalion. The advanced portion of Colonel 
Cunningham's command (probably consisting of four hundred men) 
passed between the two fires of the enemy and moved to his rear. The 
enemy then immediately closed in upon the front of the advancing 
column and poured a rapid fire upon us from three directions. The 
fire was so severe that all of Hewlett's Battalion could not form and 

■■■Major W. A. Hewlett's Jiattalion marched in rear of Cunningham's Regi. 

t Cunningham's Regiment. 

244 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

dismount, as directed, hence it gave way with the exception of two 
companies, which, having received their position, remained upon the 
ground immediately in front and fought gallantly. I at once ordered 
the Second Tennessee mto line and to dismount, which was executed 
promptly and in good order, and the horses sent to the rear out of 
reach of the enemy's fire. By keeping the men close to the ground 
and behind trees, taking deliberate aim at the enemy, we succeeded in 
the course of fifteen or twenty minutes in driving the enemy some five 
hundred yards beyond the Tupelo and Pontotoc road. 

The number of killed of the enemy has been reported by prisoners 
who escaped from his hands and citizens of Tupelo to have been twenty 
or more, and the wounded many times as great. The loss, as nearly 
as can be ascertained, in the Second Tennessee and Inge's Battalion 
was six wounded* and eight captured.! Several horses were killed 
and wounded. I then withdrew the men from the engagement and 
moved to Harrisburg ; the enemy still remaining at Tupelo in line of 
battle waiting another attack. I withdrew to Verona. 

The next morning moved, under orders from General Gholson, to 
Harrisburg, and finding that during the night previous the enemy had 
retreated toward Guntown pursued two miles and returned. 

It may be well to state that after running the gauntlet of the ene- 
my's fire and getting in his rear, Lieutenant-Colonel Cunningham 
continued his march to Chesterville or vicinity, where finding General 
Gholson, returned by a circuitous route to Verona at nine p. m. Had 
he fought the enemy vigorously in his rear, or rejoined the troops 
which were left in the ambuscade, the result might have been more 
favorable for us. 

The force of the enemy was not less than one thousand five hun- 
dred, with six pieces of artillery (six-pounder guns). The various 
commands of the enemy were Ninth Illinois Regiment, Seventh Kan- 
sas, Tenth Missouri, and two companies of mounted infantry, com- 
manded by Colonel Quinine [Cornyn]. 

*J. J. Francis (Company C) and R. Dalton (Company E) were wounded. 

t Joel Blankenship (Company E), Perry Hughes (Company A), and two oth- 
ers were from the Second Tennessee. J. R. Dougherty (Company C) was cap- 
tured near Booneville as this scout came down. Willis Wamack (Company C) 
was also captured not far from Booneville, but made his escape by getting under 
the floor of a negro cabin where they put u]) one night while on their way back 
to Corinth. Dougherty and Wamack were independent scouts. 

Mat, 1863. 245 

The force which I had engaged did not exceed five hundred. 
I am, Captain, your obedient servant, C. R. Barteau, 

Lieutenant- Colonel. 
[Captain] Roy Mason Hoge, 
Assistant Adjutant-General.'^ 

The following is' an extract from the official report of 
Lieutenant- Colonel James Cunningham (Second Ala- 
bama) : 

As my scouts had on that morning [5 th] reported the enemy to be 
near Miller's Mills, and as I had been ordered to Tupelo without any 
warning that there was any probability of being intercepted on my way 
thither, I must state that my coming upon the enemy was quite unex- 
pected. Lieutenant Dodd, of the advance guard, reported the enemy 
in line on my right, just across the creek, about half a mile this side 
of Tupelo. I accordingly drew up my regiment into line of battle, 
facing to the right. Lieutenant Dodd with the advance guard was 
during this time skirmishing with the enemy, and had succeeded in 
capturing ten prisoners, who were sent back to the rear and there re- 
taken by the enemy. 

As soon as my command was formed into line the enemy opened 
upon me a cross fire of artillery and musketry. I then 'discovered that 
I was ambuscaded on the light and left, and I determined to extricate 
my command as soon as practicable. I ordered a countermarch from 
the left, but as Companies B and I had faced to the rear and left to 
check the enemy, who were closing in upon my rear, they did not re- 
ceive my orders and were left on the field. I passed on with the rest 
of my command out through the west edge of Tupelo and took the road 
to Chesterville, where I learned General Gholson was at the time. 

The companies who were left behind attempted to rejoin the regi- 
ment, but Captain Daniel, who was in command of them, reports that 
he was entirely cut off by the enemy and forced to fall back toward 
the direction of Verona. In doing so he kept up a brisk skirmish 
with the enemy's cavalry, who were endeavoring to surround him. 

In this engagement my loss was killed, two men and three horses; 
wounded, two horses; missing, three men and three horses. f 

In speaking of this same affair Major W. A. Hewlett 
reports thus : 

*■ Rebellion Records, Vol. XXIV, pp. 692 to 694. tibid, p. 691. 

246 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Colonel Cunningham pushed on in pursuit of the enemy's advance 
guard without drawing the fire of his main body, which was in am- 
bush. On reaching a ridge about one hundred yards from the creek 
I first received the fire from the enemy's left wing, at a distance of 
from twenty-five to forty yards. I returned the fire and dismounted 
my right wing. Several of the horses of my left becoming unmanage- 
able, they faltered. The enemy raised a yell and attempted a charge, 
but were held in check by my right wing. 

At this time Lieutenant-Colonel Barteau came to my assistance on 
the right, poured a volley into the enemy, driving them back about 
two hundred yards to a more advantageous position. The firing then 
commenced from their whole line, with three pieces of artillery, two 
making a cross fire from each wing and one from the center. It is 
said by those at a distance that they fired forty rounds from each gun. 
Just before the firing ceased Colonel Barteau informed me that two 
regiments were attempting a flank movement on the left, and ordered 
me to recross the creek and form on the opposite side, which I did 
under a heavy fire. I was here joined by two rear Companies of the 
Second Alabama, which were cut off. After crossing the creek the 
firing ceased along the whole line, and Colonel Barteau came out a 
few minutes afterward. I then moved with Colonel Barteau's com- 
mand to Chesterville [Harrisburg], one mile and a half west of Tupelo, 
and continued driving in the enemy's pickets and skirmishing until 

My loss is one killed, three wounded, and two missing. I also lost 
twelve horses.* 

Brigadier-General Ruggles, commanding " First Dis- 
trict, Department Mississippi and Eastern Louisiana," 
in his official report of the engagement at King's Creek, 
compliments the Second Tennessee and its gallant com- 
mander thus : 

In conclusion I respectfully recommend to your attention accom- 
panying report of Lieutenant-Colonel C. R. Barteau, who, with his 
command, is entitled to special consideration on account of good con- 
duct in this as in some previous encounters with the enemy. f 

Wednesday, 6th. — Having learned through dispatches 

* Rebellion Records, Vol. XXIV, p. 692. f Ibid, p. 690. 

May, 1863. 247 

from Colonel Barteau that the Federals were advancinof 
along the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, General Ruggles 
set out from Okolona about three a. m. with Major W. 
Boyles' Battalion of Alabama Cavalry, some three hun- 
dred and fifty strong, four companies of the Third Ken- 
tucky (mounted men), and a section of Owens' Battery 
to reinforce Barteau. Having learned by dispatch from 
Colonel Barteau before reaching Harrisburg that the 
enemy had fallen back during the night previous from 
Tupelo toward Guntown, General Ruggles returned to 
Okolc^na, and, as previously mentioned in his report, 
Barteau pursued about two miles and returned to Ve- 

The wagon train moved two and a half miles toward 
Verona and encamped at " Camp Rogers," about mid- 
way between Okolona and Verona. 

Thursday, yth. — A part of the wagon train with a few 
cooking vessels and some rations moved up to Verona. 

Saturday, gth. — Owing to an alarm being raised a 
while before day, the wagons that had been sent up to 
Verona the 7th were sent back to Camp Rogers. After 
finding the alarm to be false, Barteau moved his regi- 
ment down to where the wagons were encamped and re- 
mained there about eighteen days. 

When they had an opportunity of resting a few days, 
no Federals about, the brigade usually scattered, as a 
matter of convenience in procuring forage and rations. 

Being notified while in Franklin County, Alabama, 
May 2 2d, that I was exchanged, I reported to Captain 
McKnight ready for duty May 2-5 th. I found the Sec- 
ond Tennessee at Camp Rogers, some seven and a half 
miles north of Okolona, 

248 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Wednesday, 2'/th. — The regiment moved about five 
miles north-west and encamped at Edwards' mill, on 
Chauappa Creek. 

We were here placed under very strict discipline. 
We had to drill in the morning and go on dress parade 
in the evening. Commanders of companies could not 
give a pass for a longer period than twelve hours, and 
only two men were allowed to be absent at the same 
time. And in order to catch any that might be absent 
without a pass, the roll was called three times a day. 

Saturday, June 6th. — The regiment moved from Ed- 
wards' mill and encamped within three and a half miles 
of Okolona. 

A short time previous to this an order had been issued 
requiring all battalions and independent companies to 
be organized into regiments. Notwithstanding the Sec- 
ond Tennessee had been called a reghneut ever since 
the consolidation of the First and Seventh Tennessee 
Battalions, yet, in fact, it lacked three companies of being 
a full regiment, as it only had seven companies. There- 
fore one company from Alabama and two companies 
from Mississippi were ordered to be attached to the 
Second Tennessee in order to make it a regiment in 
fact as well as name. 

As a result of the above arrangement the following 
promotion of officers took place at this time : 

Our Lieutenant-Colonel, C. R. Barteau, was promoted 
to Colonel ; our Major, G. H. Morton, was raised to the 
rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, and Captain William Par- 
rish (Company B) was made Major. By regular promo- 
tion T. B. Underwood became Captain of Company B, 
G. W. Smithson became First Lieutenant, and S. B. 

June, 18G3. 249 

Wall Second, thus leaving the Third Lieutenancy va- 
cant, and J. D. Core was elected to fill said vacancy. 

From some cause, unknown to the writer, the two 
companies from Mississippi did not do any service with 
the Second Tennessee, but the company (H) from Ala- 
bama remained with us for some time, and was finally 
transferred to an Alabama regiment. However, the 
failure to make the Second Tennessee a full regiment at 
this time did not interfere with the rank of our regi- 
mental officers. 

Satitrciay, ijth. — I suppose we set out that morning 
from our camp near Okolona to meet a Federal scout 
that was coming down in the direction of New Albany. 
Moving about fifteen miles north-west we bivouacked 
within two miles of Chesterville. 

Sunday, 14th. — After a march of about twenty-two 
miles, still north-west, the regiment bivouacked within 
two and a half miles of New Albany. There we learned 
that the Federals had burned New Albany the night be- 
fore and turned back. We remained there two days. 

Wednesday, lyth. — Captain Thomas Puryear (Com- 
pany G), with fifty-five of the Second Tennessee and 
about forty-five men from an Alabama regiment that 
was camping near by, was instructed to undertake no 
less an expedition than that of going around Corinth. 
Lieutenant A. H. French (Company A, Second Tennes- 
see) went with this scout as second in command. One 
Captain Morphis,* an independent scout who was well 
acquainted with the various roads around Corinth, went 

*'*This same Captain Morphis made a good scout and pilot, and after the 
war made a good Republican United States Deputy Marshal for North Missis- 
sippi, under Republican administration," — Letter from Lieutenant A. II, 

250 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

with Captain Puryear as guide. After the latter had 
set out from our camp near New Albany upon his dan- 
gerous expedition, the balance of the Second Tennessee, 
as well as the Alabamians, moved nearly east to Gun- 
town by the way of EUistown. 

General Ruggles had moved his headquarters up to 
Guntown. He now had command of four or five resfi- 
ments of cavalry, a battery of six six-pounders, and two 
one horse breech-loaders. Two of the six-pounders had 
been left at Okolona. 

The writer is under obligations to Lieutenant French 
for the following account of Captain Puryear's expedi- 

The Captain with his guide rode at the head of the 
column, while French was instructed to bring up the 
rear. In attempting to cross Tuscumbia River bottom, 
on the night of the 17th, when it was so densely dark 
that the men could scarcely see their file leaders, about 
twelve of the Alabamians succeeded in getting lost or 
cut off from those in front, to the great surprise and 
chagrin of Lieutenant French, who had no thought but 
what they had been keeping well closed up. It was 
now about ten p. m., and believing that it would be im- 
possible for him to make his way out and overtake the 
rest of the command without a guide, French decided 
to allow his men to dismount and take a nap while wait- 
ing for day to dawn. As soon as it was light enough to 
see the trail he set out to overtake Captain Puryear, who 
in the meantime had missed French after going about 
four miles, and halted to await his arrival. As soon as 
French came up those two officers held a consultation 
and decided to go back into the river bottom, remain 
there until dark, and then attempt to pass around Cor- 

June, 1803. 251 

inth under cover of darkness; but just as they were in 
the act of making the countermarch they learned that 
two regiments of Federal cavalry and two pieces of 
artillery had passed about one mile north of them only 
a few hours previous,, going in the direction of Ripley. 
This changed their plan. They now decided to drop in 
behind this Fecieral expedition and follow after it. Ac- 
cordingly, about eight o'clock p. m., on the i8th, they 
ascertained that the enemy had halted and gone into 
camp near Ripley. Now being satisfied that this expe- 
dition had been set on foot for the purpose of making 
an effort to take our outpost near Guntown by surprise, 
they sent a courier that night to inform Colonel Barteau 
of the movement. Then Banking the enemy's camp, 
Captain Puryear ordered his men to halt about eleven 
p. M., some ten miles south of Ripley on the New Alba- 
ny road, where they rested a few hours. 

Fi'iday, igth. — The courier from Captain Puryear 
having arrived at our camp near Guntown, about sun- 
rise, the Second Tennessee was, soon after, in the 
saddle and moving in the direction of Ripley. General 
Ruggles followed, a few hours later, with the rest of his 

Having decided to make no resistance until after 
crossing the Tallahatchie River, Captain Puryear, put- 
ting his scout in motion before daylight, crossed that 
stream near New Albany, about eleven a. m. After 
consultation, he and French decided to contest every 
inch of the ground from there back ; and another mes- 
senger was dispatched to inform Colonel Barteau of the 
situation of affairs. Lieutenant French, with a sergeant 
and twelve men, was left to hold the enemy in check as 
long as possible, at the river, while Captain Puryear, 

252 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

with the rest of his men, fell back a mile or so to a skirt 
of woods on the Ellistown road. 

French, concealing his men on the south bank of the 
river, near the ford, awaited the arrival of the Federals, 
who made their appearance about noon. French and 
his little band reserved their fire until the enemy's ad- 
vance had come within one hundred yards of their posi- 
tion, when a volley from their steady rifles emptied 
several saddles and caused the enemy to retreat in con- 
fusion back to the crest of a ridge, about a half mile 
from the river. The Federal commander now threw 
forward a heavy line of skirmishers — ^about two hundred 
— to dislodge the Confederates. When this line had 
advanced to within two hundred yards of French's posi- 
tion, Wallace Thurman, who had gone about one hun- 
dred yards up the river and concealed himself, fired, 
killing or wounding the officer in charge ; this caused 
the enemy to halt but for a moment ; then pressing on 
about one hundred yards further, directly toward the 
ford, they were again repulsed by a volley from French's 
men. In the mean time, however, a portion of the Fed- 
erals had crossed the river some distance above, and 
Wallace Thurman narrowly escaped capture. French, 
being thus flanked out of his position, withdrew his men 
in good order, to the south side of New Albany, and at 
a right angle in the road he made another stand ; and 
here the enemy was again brought to a halt by a volley 
from French's men, who then withdrew a few hundred 
yards to another favorable position. The Federals now 
threw forward their artillery and commenced shelling 
both sides of the road ; and thus by nightfall French 
and his thirteen men had been driven only four miles. 
The Federals then withdrew from the Ellistown road 

June, 18G3. 253 

and moved in the direction of Pontotoc ; and French 
found Puryear encamped about three miles further back 
on the ElHstown road. 

Setting out from Guntown, as previously mentioned 
the Second Tennessee, after moving about six miles in 
the direction of Ripley, turned toward Pontotoc ; but, 
soon after we had passed Ellistown, Colonel Barteau 
learned that Captain Puryear's scout was engaging the 
enemy at New Albany; and thence, turning in that di- 
rection, he found Puryear within seven miles of that 
place, a few moments after the arrival of French's de- 
tachment, as above named. Here we took supper and 
fed our horses. Then turning back, and moving across 
the country in a circuitous route, we struck the New 
Albany-Pontotoc road, at Plentytude, eight miles south 
of New Albany, and about two and a half miles in ad- 
vance of the enemy. Here we rested two or three 
hours. In the mean time, the Federals had turned west- 
ward — going in the direction of Rocky Ford, on the 
Tallahatchie River. Moving up toward New Albany 
until he had struck the road along which the Federals 
had moved. Colonel Barteau learned, through his scouts, 
that the enemy had halted and encamped not far dis- 
tant ; therefore, he pressed on, hoping to be able to take 
.the enemy by surprise; but, on reaching their supposed 
camping place, about daylight the next morning (the 
2oth), he learned that they had halted only long enough 
to feed, and then continued their march westward. By 
his own request. Lieutenant French was allowed to press 
on ahead, in search of the enemy, with thirteen men 
who volunteered to go with him. 

The First and Second Alabama Regiments came up 
about this time. As General Rug^gles was yet behind, 

254 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

hurrying up the artihery, Colonel Barteau assumed com- 
mand of the three regiments present, and continued the 
pursuit of the enemy. He had not gone far, however, 
before he learned, through a messenger from French, 
that the Federals had halted and were still in their camp 
on the west bank of the Lappylubbee Creek. On reach- 
ing said creek, the Second Tennessee, now under Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Morton, was thrown across, dismounted 
to engage the enemy ; but, as they had just moved out 
from their camp, our horses were brought over, and we 
mounted again and continued the pursuit. Finding a 
good position about one mile from the creek, the Fed- 
erals halted, deployed in line of battle, and awaited our 
advance. Their position being just beyond a short turn 
in the road, Lieutenant French, who was still in the ad- 
vance, was within thirty yards of their skirmishers before 
he saw them. He and the thirteen men whom he had 
with him, on that memorable occasion, composed as 
gallant a little band as ever rode into battle. Regret 
that I am not now able to give the name of each man. 
They immediately opened fire upon the enemy, to which 
the latter replied with vigor. To use French's own 
language, "Each man seemed to pick out his man and 
fight to a finish^ The following is from French's man- 
uscript notes : 

For my part, I selected an ofificer who, I afterward learned, was 
the Lieutenant-Colonel of the Ninth Illinois Regiment of Cavalry; 
whether this be true or not, I am unable to state; yet I do know that 
he was a cool-headed officer, for nearly every sliot that he fired at me 
took effect. 

One — the first that I felt — burnt my neck; the next passed through 
my pistol scabbard on my right side; and another took effect in my 
right arm, passing through and shivering the ulna; this last shot he 
fired after he was wounded by me. 

June, 1803. 255 

1 shot at him five times. My first shot was too low, striking his 
horse and causing him to drop. The ofificer lit on his feet and con- 
tinued to fire, until one of my shots took effect in his thigh; he then 
fell, but raising up again, he fired again, with the result above men- 
tioned — breaking my arm, which dropped at my side powerless. 

And thus did Lieutenant French and his heroic little 
band stand and fight desperately, at short range, until 
Lieutenant-Colonel Morton reached the scene, and threw 
forward the Second Tennessee, dismounted, to their 
support. And then and there 

opened in earnest. The F'ederal skirmish line was soon 
driven back to their main line, which then opened a 
heavy fire. But onward pressed the Second Tennessee, 
driving the enemy before them. About this time Colo- 
nel Barteau threw forward the Second Alabama, dis- 
mounted, to the support of the Second Tennessee ; and 
General Ruggles came up, soon after, with the artillery, 
which, being immediately thrown into position, opened 
upon the enemy. After driving the Federals thus for 
about one mile, Colonel Barteau ordered the command 
to halt and mount. We had not gone far, however, 
before we found the enemy strongly posted behind trees, 
logs, etc., in Mud Creek bottom. Dismounting again 
we succeeded in driving them from this position, after 
heavy firing for a few minutes. Still pressing forward 
we drove them on through a bad swamp and across 
Mud Creek. Having to halt here to assist the artillery 
in crossing the creek, and to wait for our horses to be 
brought across, it gave the Federals the start of us. 
Going on to within one mile and a half of Rocky Ford 
we there learned that the Federals had crossed the Tal- 
lahatchie River and destroyed the bridge ; so we then 
turned back. 

256 U. E. Hancock's Diary. 

After passing back through the battlefield, our regi- 
ment scattered, a company or two in a place, in order to 
obtain forage and rations. 

The Confederate loss was two killed and ten or twelve 
wounded. One of the killed (Andrew Hames, Com- 
pany F) and about five of the wounded were from the 
Second Tennessee. Among the wounded were S. C. 
Odom (Company C) and Lieutenant A. H. French 
(Company A). 

There seemed to be various opinions in reference to 
the Federal loss. However, nine were said to have 
been found dead on the field and buried; and about 
twenty-seven wounded. We captured five wagons, 
loaded with bacon, crackers, corn, oats, etc., one ambu- 
lance, a few i,Tiules, the hind wheels of a caisson, and 
some ammunition. I suppose that there were about 
five hundred Federals in this scout, though some esti- 
mates put their number at eight hundred. They had 
two pieces of artillery. I suppose we had between three 
and four hundred engaged.* 

Dr. George F. Hager, who wrote the sketch of the 
Second Tennessee Cavalry for Dr. John B. Lindsley's 
History of Tennessee Troops, says : 

We soon drove them across Mud Creek, killing and capturing in 
all about seventy-five men. Destroying the bridge and deserting two 
guns, they hastily retreated. Our loss was light; few killed and 
wounded, t 

Sunday, 21st. — On reassembling early in the morning, 

*'I shall here relate a little incident that occurred during the action at Mud 
Creek. The Alabamians, coming up in rear of the Second Tennessee, opened 
fire a little too quick, and thus the latter was exposed to a fire from the rear as 
well as the front. In fact, the halls were cutting closer to me from the rear 
than the front. Some of us were getting about in the right humor to turn our 
guns the other way, when a runner was sent back to stop "that foolishness." 

t Military Annals of Tennessee, p. 613. 

JuLj, 1863. 257 

McKnight's Company was detached and sent back to 
the hospital to try to make some arrangements to have 
our wounded sent to Pontotoc, while the rest of the 
regiment moved on to that place. I and one other were 
sent out to hunt conveyance for the wounded, and the 
rest of the company followed the regiment. After hunt- 
ing for some time we found one carriage, but the sur- 
geon decided that it would not do, because a man could 
not lie down in it. So he finally told us to go on to 
Pontotoc and send back the ambulances. Going within 
ten miles of town we put up for the night. 

Monday, 22d. — We found our regiment one mile east 
of Pontotoc, and reported the request of the surgeon to 
Colonel Barteau. 

Wednesday, z^th. — Barteau moved his regiment down 
to within four miles of Okolona.* 

Tuesday-, July yth. — The regiment was scattered ; the 
larger portion, however, went to Mooreville. A part of 
McKnight's Company was sent to Aberdeen, a part to 
Okolona, and the larger part to Cotton Gin Port, on the 
Tombigbee River, in Monroe County, Mississippi. The 
object in thus scattering the regiment was to take up 
and return to their respective commands such soldiers as 
might be found scattered through the country absent 
from their commands without permission. 

*It was from this camp that I started, about two o'clock p. M., June 26th, 
with a dispatch to General Roddy, who was near Tuscumbia, Alabama. Going 
by the way of Camargo, Smithville, Burlison and Russellville, I arrived at Tus- 
cumbia, Alabama, about sunset, June 28th — distance about one hundred and 
five miles. General Roddy had moved his headquarters eighteen miles west. 
The dispatch was sent to him by another courier that night. As my horse was 
slightly foundered at Tuscumbia, I did not rejoin my company until a few hours 
after a part of the company had arrived at Cotton Gin Port, Mississippi, July 


258 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

It was on the above date that we heard the sad 7iews 
of the fall of Vicksburg, Mississippi. This was the 
heaviest loss, both as to number of men and importance 
of position, that the Confederacy had sustained up to 
that time, and perhaps the greatest loss up to the sur- 
render of General Lee's army. 

Lieutenant-General John C. Pemberton surrendered 
Vicksburg to General U. S. Grant July 4th, 1863. 

The following (from the Life of Grant, page 251) is 
the estimated Confederate losses from the commence- 
ment of the campaign on April 30th, to the final surren- 
der of the city : 


Lieutenant-General i 

Major and Brigadier-Generals 19 

Field, staff, and line officers 4,600 

Non-commissioned officers and privates 30,000 


Killed in battles and skirmishes 1,000 

Wounded in battles and skirmishes 4,000 

Captured in hospitals in Vicksburg and elsewhere. 6,000 
Stragglers, including men cut off and unable to re- 
join their commands 800 

Grand total 46,420 

Field artillery captured in battle 83 

Field artillery captured at Vicksburg 128 

Siege guns captured at Vicksburg 90 

Total 301 

Muskets and rifles - 45,000 

General Grant in his official report sums up the Federal losses dur- 
ing the series of battles of the Vicksburg campaign as follows : . . . 

Killed 943 

Wounded 7>o95 

Missing 537 

Total 8,575 

July, 1863. 259 

In speaking of the fall of Vicksburg Pollard says : 
"It was a disaster that nearly broke the heart of the 
Confederacy, as it did cut in twain its body." 

"Vicksburg," continues Pollard, "was the strategic 
point in the Confederacy, second only to the capital." 

According to A. H. Stephens, in his history of the 
" War Between the States," this was Grant's eighth 
attempt to take that stronghold, and sums them all up 
thus : 

First, by Holly Springs ; second, by Chickasaw Bayou ;* third, by 
Williams' Canal ; fourth, by Lake Providence ; fifth, by Yazoo Pass ; 
sixth, by Steele's Bayou ; seventh, by Milliken's Bend; and eighth, by 
the rear land movement from below. 

The following dispatch tells the fate of the last foot- 
hold (Port Hudson) that the Confederates held on the 
Mississippi River: 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, 
Nineteenth Army Corps, Port Hudson, La., July loth, 1863. 
To General H. W. Halleck — Sir : I have the honor to inform 
you that with this post there fell into our hands over five thousand five 
hundred prisoners, including one Major-General and one Brigadier- 
General, twenty pieces of heavy artillery, five complete batteries, 
numbering thirty-one pieces of field artillery, a good supply of pro- 
jectiles for light and heavy guns, forty-four thousand eight hundred 
pounds of cannon powder, five thousand stands of arms, and one hun- 
dred and fifty thousand rounds of small arm ammunition, besides a 
small amount of stores of various kinds. We captured also two 
steamers, one of which is very valuable. They will be of great service 
at this time. 

I am. General, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

N. P. Banks, 
Major- General Commanding . f 

As soon as he heard of the surrender of Vicksburg 
Major-General Frank Gardner, commanding the Con- 

•■Or Sherman's attempt to take Haines' Bluff, tLife of Grant, page 258. 

260 R. E. Hancock's Diaky. 

federates at Port Hudson, Louisiana, surrendered with- 
out further resistance to General N. P. Banks, on the 
8th of July. 

So there was now nothing left to hinder the naviga- 
tion of the Mississippi by the Federals. 

Mo7iday, ijth. — Lieutenant S. Dennis* was sent to 
Smithville, some twelve miles north of Cotton Gin Port, 
with ten men to guard the roads around that place. 

Sunday, 26th. — As our regiment had orders to reas- 
semble, Dennis' squad returned to Cotton Gin Port. 

Monday^ 2'/th. — The detachments of McKnight's 
company reassembled at Okolona. The rest of our reg- 
iment had gone on to Pontotoc. 

Tuesday, 28th. — Leaving Okolona to hunt the regi- 
ment, our company bivouacked within about five miles 
of where the regiment was encamped, joining it next 
morning (29th) one mile east of Pontotoc. We found 
the regiment almost without forage. The old crop had 
about " played out," and the new corn crop was not 
quite ready for use yet, though there was a prospect for 
a good corn crop. Wheat was good ; however, it was 
very seldom that we had the pleasure of eating any bread 
made of it. Provisions were scarce also. So it was bad 
on us, as well as our horses, to have a missing link 
between the crops. 

Mofiday, August jd. — Leaving the wagon train and 

*A dispatch from Ruggles to Roddy was handed to Lieutenant Dennis by a 
courier with instructions to "forward in haste." Accordingly, I left Smithville 
with this dispatch between one and two o'clock A. M., July 23d, and got to Gen- 
eral Roddy's headquarters at the Franklin House, in Tuscumbia, Alabama, be- 
fore breakfast — in fact, before the General had got up — next morning, distance, 
seventy-five miles. I returned to Smithville with a dispatch from Roddy to 
Ruggles on the 26th, just as Dennis' squad was leaving for Cotton Gin Port, 

August, 1863. 261 

Company Q in camps near Pontotoc, Colonel Boyle 
started out on a scout with the Second Tennessee and 
First Alabama Regiments and two pieces of artillery. 
The Second Tennessee was commanded by Lieutenant- 
Colonel G. H. Morton. (As I was on picket when this 
scout started out I did not go with it.) Moving north 
they bivouacked near New Albany. 

Tuesday, 4th. — Moving on through New Albany they 
bivouacked within three miles of Ripley. Colonel Boyle 
sent a scout on to Ripley. On returning they reported 
that a squad of Federals had been in town that day, but 
left before they got there. 

Wednesday , ^th. — Three companies of the Second 
Tennessee were sent up to Ripley. Forty Federals 
had been in town that morning, but on learning that a 
scout of Confederates had been town the evening be- 
fore they left hurriedly just before our scout got there. 

Friday, jth. — The Second Tennessee and First Ala- 
bama returned to their respective camps near Pontotoc, 
without having any engagement with the Federals. 

Saturday, '8th. — It was reported in camps that the 
Federals were moving down the Mobile and Ohio Rail- 
road in large force. About sundown we were ordered 
to strike tents and load our wagons. In the saddle and 
moving at dark, making an even night's march, we ar- 
rived at Okolona at daybreak on 

Sunday, gth. — Moving out a few hundred yards from 
town, we dismounted and took a nap, while waiting for 
our wagons to come up. 

They were about one hour and a half behind us. As 
the alarm proved to be false, after feeding our horses 
and eating a snack ourselves, the regiment moved up to 

262 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Sanders' Mill, on Chauappa Creek, some eight and a 
half miles north of Okolona. 

Saturday, i^th. — The regiment moved from Sanders' 
Mill, four miles up the creek, to Edwards' Mill, occupy- 
ing the same camp that we did when there before. This 
move was made on account of the scarcity of water at 
the former camp, and we found that article scarce at the 
latter, that is, for the men, as we had plenty of water for 
our horses. 

Monday, ijth. — About four o'clock p. m. we were or- 
dered to prepare to move, and that immediately ! Ac- 
cordingly, we were soon on the road. Two wagons, 
with a few cooking vessels, moved with the regiment. 
The rest of the wagon train and Company Q went to 
Okolona. We bivouacked at our old camp-ground, one 
mile east of Pontotoc, about ten o'clock p. m. — distance 
fifteen miles. Here we learned that a Federal scout had 
crossed the Tallahatchie River at Rocky Ford, on the 
1 6th, going south. General Ferguson commanded the 
brigade. I suppose that his object in making this move 
was to watch this Federal scout that was rtow afield. 

Tuesday, i8th. — Moving out on the Holly Springs 
road, the Second Tennessee halted and fed at Butter- 
milk Springs, about twelve miles from Pontotoc. Turn- 
ing back, they bivouacked within seven miles of Pontotoc. 

Wednesday, igth. — We returned to the camp which 
we left the morning before, and remained there until 
late in the evening. Then moving out about ten miles on 
the Houston road we bivouacked about eleven o'clock 
p. M. It rained some on us that night. 

Thursday, 20th. — We lay by during the day ; had 
plenty of corn and fodder for our horses, and plenty to 

September, 1863. . 263 

eat ourselves ; had corn and fodder laid by to feed our 
horses next morning ; had our beds made down on 
fodder, so we were well fixed for a pleasant night's rest. 
About the time most of us were snugly to bed "that 
old bugle," in notes too plain to be misunderstood by a 
soldier, said, " Saddle your horses." Soon after this our 
bugler piped forth again, "Mount your horses," and 
next came the sharp, quick notes, " Forward, march ! " 

Well, this is the luck of a soldier ! He has to march 
when ordered, whether night or day, rain or shine, cold 
or hot. We arrived at Houston about one hour before 
day on Friday, August 21st. It was said that the Fed- 
eral scout, that passed Rocky Ford on the i6th, had 
moved on down the Mississippi Central Railroad and 
formed a junction, at Grenada, with another force. 
Grenada is about forty-five miles west of Houston. 
General Ferguson had concentrated between twelve and 
fifteen hundred cavalry and eight pieces of artillery, four 
small and four large pieces, at the latter place. Our 
regiment bivouacked near Houston. 

Sunday, 22d. — As the Federals did not seem to be 
coming out toward Houston, the Second Tennessee 
moved back to Okolona (twenty miles), where they 
found the wagon train and Company Q. 

Monday, 2jd. — The regiment moved back to our old 
camp, at Edwards' Mill, twelve miles above Okolona. 

Saturday, 2gth. — The regiment moved from Edwards' 
Mill to Tupelo. The Second Alabama met our regi- 
ment there. 

Friday, September 4th. — The regiment left Tupelo,* 

■*I went to Aberdeen to buy a saddle, on the 29th of August, and as I had 
to wait until the saddler made one, I did not get back to camp at Tupelo until 
September 4th, after this scout had started; therefore, I did not go. 

264 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

some thought, to go to West Tennessee, but it turned 
out to be a conscripting expedition. So they returned 
to Tupelo, on the 7th, without going to Tennessee. The 
boys complained of having a hard time during this ex- 
pedition, on account of having more dust than rations. 

Thursday , loth. — Our regiment, two others, six pieces 
of artillery (six-pounders), and four smaller pieces, left 
Tupelo early in the morning, and after a march of about 
twenty miles, the brigade encamped within eight miles 
of New Albany. Here our brigade formed a junction 
with a small brigade from Pontotoc, commanded by 
Brigadier-General R. V. Richardson. He had one reg- 
iment of Mississippians, about three hundred "new re- 
cruits" from West Tennessee, and two six-pounder 
guns. General Ferguson commanded both brigades. 

Friday, nth. — The divisions moved on through New 
Albany, and after a march of twenty miles encamped 
at Orizaba, seven miles south of Ripley. 

Saturday, 12th. — About ten o'clock a. m. we heard 
that the Federals were in Ripley. Our regiment, one 
other, and four small pieces of artillery, were sent up to 
Ripley. When we got there, we learned that twenty- 
five or thirty Federals had dashed into town and out 
again early in the morning. After going about four 
miles north of Ripley, without finding any Federals, we 
returned to camp at Orizaba about dark. 

Sunday, i^th. — As the command did not move, our 
chaplain, S. C. Talley, preached for us. This was the 
first time that he had preached for us in several months. 

Monday, 14th. — General Ferguson moved his com- 
mand back to New Albany, and encamped on the Talla- 
hatchie River. As it had not rained for several days 

OCTOBEE, 1863. 265 

it was very disagreeable marching on account of so 
much dust. 

Wednesday, i6th. — The Second Tennessee moved 
from New Albany back to Tupelo — distance twenty- 
eight miles. Two regiments of our brigade remained 
at New Albany. I think Richardson went back near 

We were glad to be thus separated from the rest of 
the brigade. When a fight was on hand, " the more 
the merrier; " but when in camp, "the fewer the better 
share." When there were so many camped close to- 
gether, the ''buttermilk wouldri t go 'round.'" We had 
a pleasant day's march to-day, as the dust is laid by a 
rain that fell yesterday. 

Wednesday , joth. — The regiment drew pay for two 
months — May and June. 

Thursday, October ist. — The regiment moved from 
Tupelo to Poplar Springs — distance seventeen miles. 
We were on our way to New Albany. 

Friday, 2d. — The regiment moved on to New Albany 
early in the morning. Ferguson's and Richardson's 
Brigades were reassembled at New Albany for the 
purpose of being inspected by Lieutenant - General 
Joseph E. Johnston. The Second Tennessee was re- 
viewed by him between ten and eleven o'clock a. m. It 
was the first time that we had ever had the honor of 
being reviewed by a Lieutenant-General. Notwith- 
standing we had been in his department for some time, 
this was the first time that we had ever had an oppor- 
tunity of inspecting Joseph E. Johnston. He now ranks 
among the great generals of America. I failed to men- 

266 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

tion in- the proper place that our wagon train went to 
Pontotoc in place of New Albany. 

Saturday, ^d. — Ferguson's Brigade moved out to, and 
encamped on, Cherry Creek, eleven miles from New 
Albany and seven from Pontotoc. The wagon train 
came up from Pontotoc to the brigade at this camp the 
next day. Richardson's Brigade remained at New Al- 

Monday, ^th. — Ferguson's Brigade moved from Cherry 
Creek to Pontotoc. A Federal scout came down to New 
Albany. General Richardson had an artillery skirmish 
with them. We could hear the artillery as we were 
going on down to Pontotoc. They did not become en- 
gaged with small arms. 

Major-General Stephen D. Lee, who was J. E. John- 
ston's Chief of Cavalry, was now at Pontotoc, prepar- 
ing for an expedition into North Alabama. Besides our 
brigade — commanded still by S. W. Ferguson — another 
brigade had been sent up to Pontotoc from near Jack- 
son, Mississippi, to go on this Alabama expedition, com- 
manded by Colonel Ross. 

Tuesday, 6th. — General S. D. Lee, with the two bri- 
gades above named and two or three batteries of artil- 
lery, moved out from Pontotoc early in the morning. 
Going east through Harrisburg and Tupelo he biv- 
ouacked near Mooreville (distance twenty-seven miles). 
The most of the wagon train and camp equipage were 
left at Pontotoc. We had two wagons with our regi- 
ment — one loaded with cooking-vessels and the other 
with ammunition. 

Wednesday , yth. — After a march of about twenty-four 
miles, passing through Fulton and crossing Tombigbee 

October, 1803. 267 

River, Lee's Division bivouacked on the Tusciimbia 

Thursday, 8th. — Passing out of Mississippi into Ala- 
bama, and crossing Bear Creek, the division bivouacked 
on Cedar Creek, within five or six miles of Frankfort, the 
county seat of F'ranklin County, after a march of about 
twenty-seven miles. Here we were ordered to cook six 
days rations, which was something unusual. 

Fj'iday, gth. — The division marched on through Frank- 
fort and Tuscumbia, and bivouacked two miles above 
Florence, near the Tennessee River — marching over 
twenty-seven miles again. 

Saturday, loth. — In order to be more convenient to 
water and forage, the division moved one mile up the 


1 . We marched from Pontotoc to the Tennessee River, 
near Florence, in four days, and did it with ease to our- 
selves and horses. General Lee was a " West Pointer," 
and I think that he exhibited his training at that school 
by the systematic manner in which he moved his di- 
vision from Pontotoc to Florence. 

2. We learned that General Wheeler's cavalry was 
crossing from the north to the south side of the Tennes- 
see River, at Lamb's Ferry, some distance above us. 
He was from Bragg's army, near Chattanooga. Cross- 
ing the Tennessee River east of Chattanooga, General 
Wheeler had come round by the way of McMinnville, 
Woodbury, Murfreesboro, and Shelbyville. We heard 
that he captured all the above places, except Murfrees- 
boro. It was thought by some that Lee left Pontotoc 
with the expectation of forming a junction with Wheeler 

268 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

somewhere in Tennessee, perhaps Murfreesboro, and 
assist him in his operations in rear of Rosecrans. His 
rapid march and his order to cook six days' rations the 
night before he got to Tennessee River, go far to prove 
that Lee did have such a move in contemplation. A 
misunderstanding between Joseph E. Johnston and 
Bragg, in reference to the time that Wheeler started on 
his raid, might have been the reason why Lee did not 
start in time to form the intended junction. However, 
be that as it may, the junction was formed at the Ten- 
nessee River in place of Murfreesboro. Or, perhaps, 
it was only intended for Lee to assist Wheeler in pass- 
ing to the south side of the Tennessee. 

3. By this time General Bragg had driven Rosecrans 
back into Chattanooga, and had seized and was still 
holding the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, which 
was Rosecrans' only line of communication by rail, thus 
forcing him (Rosecrans) to bring his supplies, by wagon, 
over a rugged mountain road, seventy miles long. Ac- 
cording to their own account, " The Federal army was 
on half rations, ten thousand mules and horses had died 
of starvation, and there seemed no possibility of rescue. 
The Government," continues the writer, "became greatly 
alarmed, and at once sent for Grant to take command of 
Rosecrans' army." So Grant was now on his way from 
Vicksburg to Chattanooga, going by the way of Cairo 
and Louisville. 

Though, some time previous to this, perhaps about the 
ist of September, "Grant was directed to send all his 
available force to the support of Rosecrans." Accord- 
ingly, Sherman, with a whole corps, was sent up the 
Mississippi River to Memphis, thence along the Mem- 
phis and Charleston Railroad toward Chattanooga ; 

October, 18G3. 269 

and by this time (loth of October) was somewhere in 
North Mississippi, perhaps about Corinth. 

Therefore, I am sure that one object of Lee's expedi- 
tion into North Alabama was to tear up the railroad in 
front of Sherman, and otherwise annoy him, so as to 
either make his march along the railroad very slow, or 
force him to abandon that route, thus holding him back 
as long as possible from the support of Rosecrans. The 
following pages will show the result. 

Monday, 12th. — Our division moved, from where we 
bivouacked, three miles above South Florence, on the 
lOth, four miles further up the river, where we remained 
four days. It rained a great deal during those four days. 

Friday, i6tJi. — The division moved seven or eight 
miles east, and bivouacked near Hennington's Spring, 
a beautiful spring, affording an abundance of water. 
How delightful it would be if we could always have such 
a spring near camp. 

Tuesday, 20th. — About ten o'clock r. m., General 
Ferguson, with our regiment, commanded by Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Morton, the F"ifty-sixth Alabama, Major 
Sanders' Battalion, and two pieces of artillery, moved 
out west from our bivouac near Hennington's Spring, 
After a march of about twenty-three miles, we halted 
three miles west of Tuscumbia, where we rested until 

Wednesday, 21st. — General F'erguson, moving about 
twelve miles west along the Memphis and Charleston 
Railroad, met the advance of Sherman's army. 

You may pause here, my dear reader, while I lift the 
vail from this scene, and allow you to take a look (in 
your imagination) at not exceeding nine hundred and 

270 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

fifty " rebs " facing Sherman's army of, perhaps, twenty 
thousand men. However, I do not suppose that Fer- 
guson expected to defeat Sherman on that field, but try 
to check his advance for a short time. When we met 
the Federals, the Fifty-sixth Alabama was deployed in 
line on the left of the railroad, and our regiment and 
Sanders' Battalion on the right. Dismounting, the 
Second Tennessee advanced through a woods-lot, and 
just as we emerged from this lot the firing became tol- 
erably heavy. Pressing on through the woods beyond 
the lot, the firing became so heavy that we fell back a 
little, and then charged the Federals again. But, as 
they had a good position behind the embankment of the 
railroad, we still failed to move them from it. Had the 
Fifty-sixth Alabama swung round on their right as a 
pivot, taking the Federals by their right flank or rear, 
perhaps we might have succeeded in moving them from 
their position. But they failed to come to our relief in 
mty way whatever. If one of them fired a gun I did not 
know it ; nor am I able to explain why they did not do 
anything. After we had been engaged about two hours, 
still holding our position, Colonel Morton ordered us to 
fall back to our horses. 

After falling back to and remounting our horses, we 
moved off slowly, halting and deploying in line every 
now and then, thinking that perhaps the Federals would 
follow and charge us. After falling back thus for about 
one mile, unmolested, the Second Tennessee fell in with 
the rest of the brigade, which was now drawn up in bat- 
tle line on an elevated portion of ground in a large, 
open field, from which position we had a good view 
back to the woods in which we had just been engaged. 
About this time we saw a line of Federal infantry emerge 

OCTOBEK, 1863. 271 

from these woods and advance about two hundred yards 
into the open field. Their artillery also moved up, un- 
limbered and opened, for the first time, from a position 
just in rear of the infantry. They cut the fuse too short, 
their shells bursting before reaching our position , though, 
perhaps, they were throwing their shells at our skirmish 
line, which was considerably in advance of the main line. 
Our artillery had been left some two or three miles in 
the rear. 

Nightfall now closed the operations of the day, and 
General Ferguson moved the brigade back a few miles, 
and camped on the east bank of Cane Creek, where he 
met General S. D. Lee with the rest of the division. 

It yet appears strange to me why General Sherman 
allowed Colonel Morton to hold his [Morton's] position 
as he did for two hours (with not exceeding three hun- 
dred men), and then move off unmolested. 

While my manuscript was in the hands of Lieutenant- 
Colonel Morton, he added the following in reference to 
the above engagement, which was afterward known as 
the "Action at Cherokee:" 

We did not fall back until ordered by General Ferguson. He 
could not get either one of his staff to carry the order, but it was 
finally sent to me by a courier. 

It was then that Ferguson formed the Second Tennessee in line 
and made a speech, complimenting them for their bravery. 

This was one among our best fights during the war. 

Our gallant leader [Morton] narrowly escaped being 
killed during the action ; three balls passed through his 
coat, and one man was shot down by his side. This 
was the only man who was killed on the field. I think 
that he was a member of Company H, a company of 
Alabamians that was attached to the Second Tennes- 
see at that time. The Orderly Sergeant of this com- 

272 11. 11. Hancock's Diary. 

pany was severely wounded and left in the hands of the 
enemy. Captain Thomas Puryear* (Company G) was 
mortally wounded while gallantly leading his company. 
He lived about eight days. James R. Dickerson (Com- 
pany D) was mortally wounded; died a few days after 
the battle. Steve Harland (Company E), Thomas Link 
(Company F) and E. D. Thomas f and H. G. Stephens 

*See Appendix A, for biographical sketch. 

t Thomas, who was thought to be mortally wounded, was left at the first 
house, and there fell into the hands of the Federals. His brother, J. H. Thomas, 
who remained with him, was also captured. While waiting at Sherman's head- 
quarters the next morning for the doctors to get ready to extract the ball that 
had lodged in his left side, the following dialogue took place between E. D. 
Thomas (who is a reliable man) and General W. T. Sherman: 

ShermAn — Reb, how many men did you have in the fight yesterday ? 

Thomas — About three hundred, less one-fourth holding horses. 

.S'. — I did not ask you for a lie. I saw about ten times that number with my 
own eyes. 

T. — I supposed that you asked for the truth; that is why I told you the 
truth. Had I thought you wanted a lie, I could have told one. But where did 
you see so many men ? 

S. — Deployed in line back on that hill after the engagement was over. 

T. — O yes! I guess that you saw the whole brigade in that line; but only 
one regiment — the Second Tennessee — was engaged yesterday. We have enough 
cavalry in the valley above here to whip your whole army. 

[Lee, Roddy and Wheeler were all in North Alabama at that time. — R. R. H._j 

.S*. — I guess you are mistaken about that, too. Another reason why you 
must be mistaken about the number engaged yesterday is, that one hundred of 
my men were killed on the field ; and no three hundred men could have killed 
so many in so short a time. 

T. — I am sure that the number engaged did not exceed three hundred; and 
if there was a single man killed on our side I did not hear of it. 

J. H. Thomas was sent right on to Alton, Illinois; they would not allow him 
to remain with his brother. 

E. D. Thomas says that forty ambulances were sent to luka, in one train, 
loaded with wounded — from two to three in each ambulance — and all Federals 
except himself and one more. After remaining at luka about eleven days, he 
was sent to Memphis, where he remained about three months. He had now 
about recovered from his wound. He was sent from Memphis to Alton, Illi- 
nois, and, after remaining there about two months, he and his brother were sent 
to Fort Delaware. Being paroled at that prison, after staying there about 
eleven months, they arrived at Richmond, Virginia, on the 3d of March, 1865. 
From there, by a circuitous route through Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, 
they went to West Tennessee, vtrhere they remained until the war closed, 

October, 1863. 273 

(Company C) were wounded. Perhaps one or two oth- 
ers were wounded. To recapitulate: Our loss was one 
killed and about eight wounded — two mortally. If there 
was a man killed or wounded in the Fifty-sixth Alabama 
or Sanders' Battalion, the writer never heard of it. 

I cannot see what General Ferguson expected to ac- 
complish by attacking General Sherman's army at all ; 
and I am yet at a still greater loss to explain why he 
allowed the Second Tennessee to contend ao-ainst such 
fearful odds, 2tnsicpported, for two long hours before he 
ordered them to fall back. However, as this was their 
first action under his command, I am of the opinion that 
his main object was to try their mettle. 

Sherman's advance (about four regiments of iniantry) 
had been camping near Tuscumbia, but had moved back 
to the main army that morning just in advance of us. 
It was a rainy day, and as the Federals had got wet 
•during their march that morning, they were in their 
tents changing their clothing at the time we attacked 
them. It is strange that Sherman would allow himself 
to be taken as completely by surprise as it seemed that 
he was this time. I suppose that he thought that 
there were no Confederates nearer than Tuscumbia, as 
those regiments (infantry) had just come from a point 
a little west of that place without being molested. But 
it so happened that we followed right at their heels. It 
was the complete surprise that must have made the 
great difference between the Federal and Confederate 
losses in this engagement. (See foot note.) 

After the death of Captain Puryear Lieutenant J. M. 

Hastes was made Captain of Company G by promotion. 

B. H. Moore was promoted to First Lieutenant and A. 

W. Lipscomb to Second, thus leaving the Third Lieu- 


274 . R. E. Hancock's Diary. 

tenancy vacant. J.J. Lawrence was elected to fill said! 

Thjirsday, 22d. — Ross' Brigade went out on picket.. 
A part of our regiment was tearing up the railroad and 
burning cross-ties. All quiet in front. 

Friday, 2jd. — Ferguson's Brigade, with two pieces of 
artillery, went out to relieve Ross' Brigade. Lee still 
kept part of his division ''fixing''' the railroad in ad- 
vance of Sherman. I guess that when he (Sherman) 
examined it he thought that some one had been fixing 
it. There was a line of couriers, two every six miles, 
from Lee to Bragg, near Chattanooga. By this means 
the latter was kept posted in reference to the progress 
that Sherman was making in his march to Chattanooga. 
Sherman was kind enough to let us rest that day. 

Saturday, z^th. — Ferguson's Brigade was still on' 
picket. The two pieces of artillery that we had with us 
were supported by the Second Tennessee. Had a nice 
position for our artillery, a good view for some distance- 
west. About daybreak the Federal skirmish line ad- 
vanced, driving our skirmish line before it. They then 
moved up their artillery in sight of our position and 
threw a few bomb-shells, which fell far short of us. 
The captain of our artillery thought that he would not 
waste his powder and balls at such long range, but wait 
until they came up closer. However, they soon fell 
back without having any general engagement, so our 
artillery did not fire a shot. Being relieved in the even- 
ing by Ross' Brigade, Ferguson moved back to his biv- 
ouac east of Cane Creek. 

Sunday, 2^th. — All quiet in front again, and we are 
still occupying the same bivouac that we did the 21st. 
It seems that Sherman is moving very slow; especially^ 

October, 1863. 275 

does it seem so when we consider that he has been or- 
dered to move with all possible speed to the relief of 
the Federal army at Chattanooga, now in an awful 
strait. Though, perhaps, Lee is woX. fixijig the railroad 
to suit him, and, therefore, he has to stop and rejix it in 
some places. 

An explanation is necessary here before I give the 
next move in which the Second Tennessee took part, 
A good many "tories" in Marion, Winston, and Fay- 
ette Counties, Alabama, had joined the Federal army. 
I suppose that they thought that while Sherman's army 
was in North Alabama, holding the attention of all the 
Confederate Cavalry in that section, it would be a g-ood 
time for them to take the "old woman and children" 
some sugar and coffee. So General Lee happened to 
learn that the First Alabama tory Cavalry (about seven 
hundred strong) had been out in the above named coun- 
ties and was then on its return to luka. So Lee 
thought that he could spare two regiments and still have 
enough left to manage Sherman — that is to fall back as 
fast as the latter would advance. Therefore, General 
Ferguson, with the Second Tennessee and Second Ala- 
bama Regiments, moved out from his bivouac on Cane 
Creek about half after seven o'clock p. m. After a 
march of about thirty-five miles in a south-west direc- 
tion, over an awful rough, hilly country, we halted about 
sunrise on the 26th and fed our horses near the junction 
of Cedar and Bear Creeks. Swinging ourselves into 
the saddle again, after a hasty, scanty breakfast, cross- 
ing Bear Creek, we moved west to the Eastport-Fulton 
road, thence in the direction of Fulton. We had not 
gone far in the direction of Fulton before the Second 
Alabama, which was in advance, met that Federal-tory 

276 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

scout. Hearing the firing in front, our regiment halted, 
and while waiting for orders, the Federals threw a few 
canister-shot among us, from a couple of small pieces of 
artillery which they had along with them ; but, luckily, 
no one was hurt. Our regiment and two companies of 
the Second Alabama formed and dismounted in an old 
field to the left of the road, while the rest of the Second 
Alabama was thrown out to the right. The Federal 
skirmish line, on the left of the road, was in a skirt of 
woods a short distance in our front, while their main 
line was just behind this skirt of woods in another old 
field. All things being now ready the whole line was 
ordered to charge. Their skirmish line fell back through 
those woods as we advanced, and after heavy firing 
from both sides for a few minutes we drove them from 
their position on the left of the road. Seeing that the 
squadron from the Second Alabama had failed to move 
the Federals on the rigfht Lieutenant-Colonel Morton 
dashed across the road to their assistance with two 
companies of the Second Tennessee, and he soon suc- 
ceeded in driving them from their position on the right 
also. Then our whole line moved forward a few hun- 
dred yards without meeting any opposition. As soon 
as our horses could be brought to us we mounted. 
Dashing forward a short distance we dismounted again, 
but as it proved to be only a few skirmishers we re- 
mounted. However, not far from this they made an- 
other stand. Charging up within one hundred yards 
of their position they poured a volley among us, and 
our daring leader, Colonel G. H. Morton, fell from his 
horse. Leaping from our saddles, charging on foot, we 
o completely routed the Federals that they did not 
make another stand, but dashed through the woods to 

OcTOBEK, 1863. 277 

our right. Seeing- that Colonel Morton had fallen, our 
Adjutant, Pleas. A. Smith, immediately assumed com- 
mand, and very gallantly lead the Second Tennessee in 
this last charge. Remounting and dashing down the 
road we soon learned that none of the Federals had 
retreated along the main road. Turning and passing 
back through the battlefield our hearts leaped for joy 
on seeing Colonel Morton in the saddle again. He had 
been struck in the breast by a spent ball, which, though 
knocking him lifeless for a few moments, bruising him 
considerably, did not break the flesh. As it was now 
about nightfall we did not pursue, but moving back to 
we bivouacked near our hospital. 

Notwithstanding he had been successful in completely 
routing this Federal-tory scout, I think that General 
Ferguson had failed to accomplish all that he had de- 
signed. Mooreland's Battalion, from General Roddy's 
Brigade, was to attack the Federals in the rear about 
the same time that he [Ferguson] attacked them in 
front, and thus make a capture in place of a roiU. But 
owing to some mishap or other Mooreland failed to ap- 
pear in the rear at the proper time. However, I think 
that he arrived upon the scene in time to follow a short 
distance, giving them a few parting shots. The Second 
Tennessee lost two killed. One of them, George 
Brown,* was the First Sergeant of Company D, and the 
other, Dave Reeves,* a private from Company G. 
Three, besides Colonel Morton, were wounded. Two 
of them, Richard Davenport and J, H. Cavender, were 
from Company C (McKnight's Company). The latter 
was so severely wounded that his leg had to be ampu- 

■■■■They were decently buried at Fulton, Mississippi, the next evening. D. 
B. Willard, of Company C, superintended. 

278 E. B. Hancock's Diary. 

tated. The Second Alabama had three or four wounded, 
none killed. 

I do not know the exact loss of the Federals. How 
ever, from the best information I could g^et their loss 
was about eleven killed and twenty wounded. We cap- 
tured about twenty-five, besides their wounded. We 
also captured their two pieces of artillery, several horses 
and mules, cavalry and pack saddles, a good many over- 
coats and blankets, a few small arms, some ammunition, 
and two or three sacks of coffee. The prisoners said 
that they burned their wagons back in Alabama. (We 
met them in Mississippi.) We thought that, perhaps, 
their wagons were concealed, in place of being burned. 

The Federals advanced on General Lee, drivinof him 
back a few miles east of Tuscumbia. However, they 
remained in Tuscumbia only one night, falling back the 
next day — the 27th. Lee followed them down below 
Cane Creek. 

Ttiesday, 2ph. — Moving out east, alter proper ar- 
rangements had been made for the burial of the dead, 
and takinor care of the wounded. General Ferguson 
bivouacked within nine miles of Russellville. C^3tain 
McKnight's Company was stopped two miles west for 

Wednesday, 28th. — Marching on through Russellville, 
thence along the Courtland road, he bivouacked ten 
miles east of the former place. 

Thursday, 2gth. — Moving on north-east we camped 
at Courtland, some twenty-four miles west of Decatur. 

Friday, joth. — Marching fourteen miles in the direc- 
tion of Florence we bivouacked with the rest of the 
brigade. Here we learned that Sherman* had aban- 
doned the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, crossed 

■■■■ He got to Bridgeport on the 13th of November. 

NOYEMBER, 18G3. 279 

the Tennessee River at Eastport, and was marching 
toward Chattanooga along the north side of the river. 
This was a very disagreeable day on account of so much 

Saturday, j/i"/. -^Ferguson's Brigade marched south 
to Leaton, thence east along the railroad to Town 
Creek, and encamped in a nice oak grove. 

Wednesday, November ^th. — The brigade left the nice 
oak grove on Town Creek, marched seven miles east, 
and bivouacked at Courtland, 

Thursday, ^th. — By taking a wrong road we were 
nearly all day moving three miles east of Courtland. It 
was really provoking to think that we had to ride all 
day in a cold November rain, when we should have 
made the trip in one hour. 

Sunday, 8th. — A detachment of fifty men, from the 
Second Tennessee, under the command of Captain T. 
B. Underwood, left our bivouac, three miles east of 
Courtland, at seven o'clock p. m. We supposed that 
they were going to cross the Tennessee River. I shall 
speak of this scout again when they return. 

Monday, gth. — Ferguson's Brigade moved a few miles 
nearly north, and bivouacked within two miles of Brown's 
Ferry. Some think we are going to cross the Tennessee 
JR-iver, while others are of the opinion that we are going 
back to Mississippi. It is evident that all this cavalry 
will not remain in North Alabama much longer, from 
two considerations : First, Sherman has now passed on 
toward Chattanooga; and, in the second place, forage 
is too scarce. 

Tuesday, loth. — Moving out about ten o'clock a, m. 
the brigade passed on through Courtland, thence along 
the Russellville road, and camped on Mr. East's planta- 

280 E. E. Hancock's Diary, 

tion, some ten miles east of the latter place. Marched 
thirty miles. The question, as to where we are going, 
is now no longer debatable — this day's march has de- 
cided that we are going back to Mississippi. 

Wednesday, nth. — The two brigades met at and 
camped near Russellville, Ross' Brigade had come 
down the Malton-Russellville road. So the division was 
together again, for the first time since the 25th of Oc- 

Thursday, 12th. — After a march of twenty-one miles- 
Lee's Division bivouacked near Burlison, on Bear Creek. 

Friday, ijth. — The division passed back out of Ala- 
bama into Mississippi again. After a march of about 
twenty-seven miles we bivouacked on the Smithville 

General Lee sent W, W, Hawkins and the writer to 
White's Ferry, seven miles from our camp, on the Tom- 
bigbee River, to examine the boat and see if the river 
could be forded at that point. On returning to his 
headquarters we reported no boat there, and the river 
not fordable, 

Saturday, 14th. — Ferguson's Brigade, turning nearly 
south at Smithville, forded the Tombigbee about one- 
half mile above Cotton Gin Port, and bivouacked on the 
west bank of the river. Ross' Brigade crossed the 
river near Smithville. 

Sunday, i^th. — The division got back to Okolona on 
the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. Ferguson's Brigade 
encamped one mile north of town, where we found our 
tents and the balance of our wagon train, which were 
left at Pontotoc on the 6th of October. As it is now 
nearly midwinter, we are glad to get back to our tents 
again. However, we had the pleasure of resting and 



Captain T. B. UNDERWOOD. 

November, 18G3. 281 

enjoying our tents only about ten days before we had to 
go on another expedition, as the following pages will 

Saturday, 21st. — The Second Tennessee was paid for 
two months' service — July and August. 

Captain T. B. Underwood, who left the regiment near 
Courtland, the 8th inst., with fifty men. got back to 

Besides the fifty well-mounted men. Captain Under- 
wood had with him, on this Tennessee expedition. Lieu- 
tenants A. H. French (Company A) and A. W. Lips- 
comb (Company G), and our Adjutant, P. A. Smith. 

Notwithstanding Sherman's army was, at that time, 
moving eastward along the opposite bank of the Tennes- 
see, Captain Underwood was instructed to cross that 
stream, and, with his gallant little band of followers, 
burn as many bridges and trestles as he possibly could 
alone the Nashville and Decatur Railroad south of Co- 

Having set out from our camp, near Courtland, Ala- 
bama, about nightfall on the 8th instant (as previously 
mentioned), they succeeded in crossing the river at De- 
catur by ten o'clock the next morning, and soon learned 
that the enemy was near by ; but, as their object was to 
attack the railroad and not the Federals, they, by skill- 
ful maneuvering, avoided coming in contact with the lat- 
ter, and, after hard riding, they struck the former just 
north of Pulaski, burning the bridges and trestles along 
the railroad to a point within ten miles of Columbia. 
As a considerable Federal force, commanded by Gen- 
eral Negley, was at that place, and as the object for which 
this expedition had been set on foot was now mainly 
accomplished, they decided to return — or at least make 

282 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

an effort to do so, for well did they know that this would 
be a difficult matter, from the fact that Sherman's army, 
estimated at twenty thousand men, was between them 
and the Tennessee River; and that broad stream was 
another barrier between them and their command. 

The Federals were not using- the railroad south of 
Columbia, but were preparing to send out trains ; and 
the road was in condition to be used before it was at- 
tacked by Captain Underwood's scout. 

His horses, as well as his men, were now very much 
fatigued, as the Captain had scarcely stopped, day or 
night, longer than to feed. 

Soon after setting out on their return, Underwood and 
his men found themselves in the fork of the pikes, the 
right prong of which led to Shelbyville and the left to 
Columbia from Pulaski, with Federals encamped on both 
roads for six miles. Deciding that it would be too haz- 
ardous to attempt to pass through the enemy's camp 
that night, they fell back into the hills some two or three 
miles, where they expected that they would have to re- 
main for some time ; but, on learning from a citizen at 
ten o'clock the next morning that a heavy cavalry force 
was near their camp, they immediately started again to 
make their way out. Fortunately evading coming in 
contact with the enemy they drew rein about daylight 
the next morning in the vicinity of Athens, Alabama, 
after a ride of about ninety miles. Here they learned 
that seven hundred cavalry were in that place, with a 
picket at Decatur, where they had been expecting to be 
able to recross the Tennessee. Deciding to make an 
effort to recross at some point lower down the river — 
perhaps about Lamb's Ferry — they turned and marched 
westward to Elk River, where they halted and rested 
the balance of the day. 

NOYEMBER, 1863. 283 

They were now within twenty-five miles of Lamb's 
Ferry; and how it saddened the hearts of these daring 
riders to learn that this ferry, too, was guarded by three 
hundred Federal cavalry! They now began, to despair 
of being able to cross the river, and some of them were 
trying to make up their minds to go to Hickman County 
and join the guerrillas. 

After consultation Captain Underwood decided to let 
Lieutenant Lipscomb and Allen L. Wylie descend Elk 
River after dark to its mouth, and make an effort to pro- 
cure floats by which the command might be able to cross 
the Tennessee at or near that point. Soon after they 
had started, Underwood learned from a citizen direct 
from Lamb's Ferry that the enemy had left that ferry, 
and also that the way was open to that point. At the 
receipt of this intelligence a shout of joy went up from 
that camp. Procuring a guide and setting out at once 
(about nine p. m.), the Captain got to Lamb's Ferry at 
sunup next morning, and by ten o'clock a. m. he had all 
his men on the south bank of the Tennessee, except 
Lipscomb and Wylie, whom he had now about given up 
as lost; but, greatly to the joy of their comrades, these 
gallant troopers succeeded in crossing the river, and re- 
joined the command late that afternoon. 

Being now out of danger they moved at their leisure 
until they rejoined the regiment, near Okolona, Missis- 
sippi, as previously mentioned. 


I. As Brigadier-General N. B. Forrest, who is now 
somewhat famous as a cavalry commander, is now at 
Okolona, perhaps it will not be amiss to give, just here, 
some explanation in reference to how it so happened 

284 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

that he was sent, just at this time, to the North Missis- 
sippi Department. 

Soon after the battle of Shiloh Forrest was transferred 
to General Bragg, and did service under him until he 
was sent to this department. A few days after the bat- 
tle in front of Chattanooga (which was fought the 19th 
and 20th of September) General Forrest was ordered to 
transfer all his command but one brigade to General 
Wheeler for an expedition into Middle Tennessee in 
rear of Rosecrans. He frankly presented to his supe- 
rior that he regarded this reduction of his command as 
an injustice to himself. Whereupon, General Bragg as- 
sured him that his old command should be restored to 
him at the conclusion of Wheeler's expedition. With 
this understanding, and there being no service impend- 
ing of importance on the immediate flank where his 
present force was posted, Forrest now applied for a leave 
of absence for ten days to go to LaGrange, Georgia, on 
the railroad southward, to see his wife, for the first time 
in eighteen months. 

On the 5th of October, however, when at LaGrange, 
he received an order dated the 3d, placing him hereafter 
under the command of General Wheeler. In view of 
assurances so recent of a different arrangement — remem- 
bering, too, the ill-fated expedition against Dover in 
February, 1863, in which he took part under the com- 
mand of Wheeler, and feeling that his usefulness as a 
cavalry soldier, if again placed under him, must be de- 
stroyed, he was, therefore, extremely dissatisfied. 

Many of the prominent people of West Tennessee 
and North Mississippi* had, about a month previous to 

■•■■North Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee, had been the home of Forrest 
from the age of thirteen to the beginning of the war. Consequently he was well' 
known to these petitioners. 

NovEMBEK, 1863. 285 

this, made urgent appeals to him to come to their sec- 
tion and attempt to assemble their scattered resources 
for defensive as well as offensive operations. 

Being confident that he could soon be at the head 
of a fine command here in North Mississippi, the main 
elements of which were, as yet, scattered over West 
Tennessee, inside the Federal lines, and consequently 
substantially lost to the service, he therefore sent his 
resignation as Brigadier-General to Bragg, at the same 
time requesting a transfer to this department. Presi- 
dent Davis was at Bragg's headquarters when Forrest's 
resignation reached it, and wrote him a letter in grace- 
ful language, announcing that he could not accept his 
resignation* or dispense with his services; but, after a 
personal interview some days later, he agreed that For- 
rest should be transferred, with such forces as General 
Bragg could possibly spare. General Forrest was al- 
lowed to bring with him to his new field of command 
and action, in addition to his escort company, Mc- 
Donald's Battalion (Forrest's old regiment) and John 
W. Morton's Battery of four guns — a force, all told, em- 
bracing three hundred and ten, rank and file. This force 
marched from Chickamauga, by the way of Rome, Geor- 
gia, Talladega and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Colum- 
bus, Mississippi, to Okolona, where it arrived about the 
1 8th instant. General Forrest, coming by rail, arrived 
three days earlier. 

As his first design was to throw himself, through the 
Federal line, into West Tennessee, and bring to bear 
his personal influence upon the scattered fighting ele- 
inents abounding there, and thus to bring them together 

*In place of accepting his resignation as Brigadier-General, Forrest was, a 
ifew days later (December 4th), promoted to the rank of Major-General. 

286 R. E. Hancock's Diary. 

in numbers sufficient to make an effective offensive force,, 
and as he would need help to effect a passage across the 
formidable barrier of the fortified line of the Memphis 
and Charleston Railroad, he therefore, while on his way 
to Okolona, had called on the commander of this de- 
partment — Joseph E. Johnston — at Meridian, and ex- 
plained in full his views and the scope of projected oper- 
ations. That officer, giving him a cordial welcome within 
his department, expressed his approbation of his projects, 
and at once caused the proper orders to be issued, in- 
cludino- instructions to S. D. Lee to second his under- 
takings in all possible ways. 

2. Four small brigades and two hundred and forty 
West Tennessee partisans, under General R. V. Rich- 
ardson, constituted the Confederate force in all North 
Mississippi, except the veterans coming with General 
Forrest. General James R. Chalmers' Division, which 
is composed of two demi-brigades, commanded by Mc- 
Culloch and Slemmons, extends from Panola, along the 
south bank of the Tallahatchie River, to Rocky Ford. 
The other two brigades — Ross' and Ferguson's — are at 
Okolona. There are now no Federals in the interior of 
West Tennessee, but they have a strong force at Mem- 
phis and Corinth, with various posts along the line of 
the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, with rapid means 
of intercommunication and mutual succor. 

Wednesday, 2§th. — As General Forrest was now ready 
to start on his West Tennessee expedition. General 
Lee commenced the movement of his force for the pur- 
pose of assisting the former in passing the Federal 

After resting ten days at Okolona our brigade (Fer- 
guson's) took up the line of march again. Moving only 

0^ ' tov 




NOYEMBER, 1863. 287 

five miles, we camped for the night on the Pontotoc 
road. All of our tents and a part of our cooking ves- 
sels were left at Okolona. 

As his superiors were absent, Captain M. W. Mc- 
Knight was in command of the Second Tennessee^ 
leaving Lieutenant H. L. W. Turney in command of 
Company C. 

Thursday, 26th. — After marching some twenty miles 
the brigade halted for the night near Pontotoc. Ross' 
Brigade also moved from Okolona to Pontotoc. Both 
brigades were now under Ferguson. 

Friday, zjth. — The division moved to New Albany, 
eighteen miles north. About eight p. m. the command 
drew six days' rations of flour, and we were ordered to 
cook it all that night. About midnight — just as we had 
finished cooking our rations — we were ordered to sad- 
dle and mount immediately. It was reported that six 
hundred Federals were moving from Chesterville (eight- 
een miles south-east) to Ripley (seventeen miles north). 
Ferguson moved out from New Albany, with his brig- 
ade, in the direction of Ripley, hoping to intercept this 
Federal scout at that place. It was raining when we 
started, and it continued to rain. McKnight's Com- 
pany, with Lieutenant H. L. W. Turney in command, 
was the advance guard. After a march of about nine 
miles we came to a creek that was too full for the com- 
mand to cross, and no hope of its falling soon, for it was 
still raining. Therefore Ferguson gave up the Federal 
hunt and returned to New Albany. We got back to 
camps a little after sunrise on the morning of the 28th, 
and a set of cold, wet " rebs " were we. It was an aw- 
ful disagreeable night. 

The Second Tennessee and Fifty-sixth Alabama are 

289. R. E. Hancock's Diary. 

encamped on the north-west side of the Tallahatchie 
River; the rest of the division has not crossed yet, but 
encamped on the south-west side. 

Simday, zgtJi. — The Tallahatchie is now so swollen 
that it is past fording. So we have to stop and go to 
work. They first undertook to build a raft, but, for 
some cause, they have quit the raft and are now rep^air- 
ing an old bridge for the rest of our division, as well as 
Forrest's command, to cross. As we have been de- 
layed by high water more rations have been issued, and 
we are again ordered to cook six days' rations. 

Monday, joih. — The Federals are reported within 
three miles of our camps. The rest of our brigade 
have crossed the river on a foot-log, as the bridge is not 
yet done. False alarm— the Federals did not come. 
Companies C and D went to Lee's mill, seven miles 
above New Albany. No Federals had been there. We 
learned that they had camped about two miles south of 
Ripley the night before. After feeding our horses we 
returned to camps. That portion of our brigade that 
had crossed on the foot-log to our assistance returned 
to their camps. , 

Lieutenant-Colonel Morton havingf arrived, took com- 
mand of the Second Tennessee. Therefore, Captain 
McKnight took command of his company. Generals 
Forrest, Lee, and Richardson are at New Albany. The 
latter is going through with Forrest. The bridge is 
now finished ; so all things are again ready for a for- 
ward movement. 

Tuesday, December ist. — The whole command, includ- 
ing Forrest's, moved out in the direction of Ripley, with 
Ferguson's Brigade in front. When within about six 
miles of Ripley his advance guard met a small Federal 

December, 1803. 289 

scout, which turned and went back in the direction of 
Ripley. The advance guard fired a few shots occasion- 
ally, as they would happen to get sight of the Federals. 
From Ripley they lell back in the direction of Poca- 
hontas, Tennessee, still followed by our brigade. Skir^ 
mishing grew heavier after we passed Ripley, for the 
Federals increased to perhaps one thousand by the time 
they were five miles north of that place. Ferguson con- 
tinued driving the Federals back, without meeting with 
any heavy resistance, to a point about ten miles north of 
Ripley, and within fifteen miles of Pocahontas. There, 
giving up the chase, he turned back. Confederate loss 
was one man wounded and one horse killed. The Fed- 
eral loss was one man wounded. That is all that I heard 
of on either side. Our brigade camped five miles north 
of Ripley on the Middleton road. Ross' Brigade, as 
well as Forrest's command, camped near Ripley. 

Wed?iesday, 2d. — Saulsbury, on the Memphis and 
Charleston Railroad, twenty-seven miles north-west from 
Ripley, and about seven miles east of Grand Junction, 
was the place selected to let Forrest through the Fed- 
eral lines. Accordingly, the command moved out in 
that direction, with our brigade in front again. The 
Federal pickets (perhaps thirty or forty of them, posted 
some eight or ten miles from Saulsbury) fired on our 
advance guard, wounding two or three horses, then 
dashed oft in the direction of Saulsbury. Nor did they 
stop there, for when we got to Saulsbury we found only 
one white soldier and one colored. We were agreeably 
surprised, for we had been expecting to have hard fight- 
ing to do before we got possession of the place. 

The way now being opened, General Forrest, here 
parting with General Lee and the convoy, passed 011 

290 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

into West Tennessee with five hundred officers and men, 
two pieces of artillery, and five ordnance wagons. P or- 
rest had left two pieces of Morton's Battery and fifty 
men at Okolona for the want of horses, thus reducing 
his force of trained soldiers to two hundred and sixty. 
The West Tennessee partisans under Richardson being 
added, gave him a force all told of five hundred. 

I do not know whether the F"ederals had set fire to 
their stores and the two box cars at this place, or Fer- 
guson's advance guard. At any rate, this small village 
was burned, except a few dwellings. This affair of let- 
ting Forrest through the Federal lines has been very 
handsomely accomplished, be it said to the credit of 
General Lee. By sending Ferguson's Brigade to make 
a feint on Pocahontas last evening the Federals fully 
believed Lee was going to attack that place in force 
this morning. Therefore, the troops stationed here and 
at Grand Junction all, except small squads, moved out 
in the direction of Pocahontas early this morning, so say 
the citizens here. Besides, we Can plainly see signs 
of their march along the road. Thus while they were 
concentratinor their forces to meet Lee at Pocahontas 
Forrest passed here unmolested. 

There had been some talk of our regiment going with 
Forrest, but from some cause we did not go. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Morton was ordered to take his 
regiment and two pieces of artillery and picket the Po- 
cahontas road. Accordingly we moved out about one 
mile, dismounted, and formed in battle line on an ele- 
vated portion of a large, open field. It was now about 
nightfall. We remained there all night. However, we 
were allowed to fall back a few paces and build fires 
along the line so as to prevent suffering with cold. 

Dfx'EMBKK, 1803. 291 

Every fourth man was with the horses, some two hun- 
dred yards to the rear. 

TImrsday, jd. — A httle after midnight, two regiments 
of our brigade. Twelfth Mississippi and Second Ala- 
bama, moved out east on the Pocahontas road. 

Going about five miles and meeting the Federals, 
they turned back, skirmishing occasionally, but avoiding 
a general engagement. A lieutenant in the Second 
Alabama was killed by one of his own men through 
rnistake. This shows the double danger of night fight- 
ing. By daybreak the skirmishing was in sight of our 
position ; soon after which those two regiments fell back 
and formed, one to the rigrht and the other to the left of 
Colonel Morton's position. There was an open field for 
half a mile to our left and right, and also in front, so we 
had a splendid view. It was a beautiful, clear morning. 
The Federals moved their artillery out into the opposite 
^ide of this old field, in plain view of our position, un- 
limbered and opened just about sunrise. We could see 
the smoke curling from the cannon's mouth, and the 
bursting of the shells in mid-air; it was almost equal to 
a display of fireworks. The scene was more beautiful 
than pleasant, though it seemed as if they were throw- 
ing those shells just for our amusement, for they did not 
come any ways near us. We still had the two pieces of 
.artillery that we brought out on picket with us the even- 
ing before, so Colonel Morton thought that he would let 
the "F"eds" know that we had some artillery, too; and 
also let our gunners try and see if they could do any 
better shooting than had been done from the other side. 

By this time the Federals were moving in columns to 

our right and left, through this old field, as well as ad- 

" vancing on our center. Our artillery opened, " Look! 

292 E. E. Hancock's Diary. 

boys, look! that was a good shot." The Federal col- 
umn movine to our ri^ht was cut in twain. " That beats 
anything that the F"ederal guns have done, for they have 
not yet thrown a single ball to our line." 

By this time we could plainly see that the Federals 
were outflanking us, both right and left. It was now 
evident that, if we remained there much longer, we 
would either have hard fighting to do, or be made pris- 
oners on the spot. However, General Lee, taking in 
the situation at a glance, addressing General Ferguson, 
said, "General, withdraw your brigade immediately!" 
x\ll the brigade moved off except our regiment. The 
Federals were now forming in gunshot of us, but we 
had orders not to fire a gun. The Federal artillery, 
having been brought up within easy range of us, threw 
a few well-aimed shots at our regiment, one bomb burst- 
ing nearly directly over McKnight's Company. Colonel 
Morton, now being ordered to withdraw, moved the 
Second Tennessee back to their horses, in good order,, 
under fire of the Federal artillery, without having a 
siJigle man Jmrt. Mounting and moving back across a 
creek, and up a short hill, the regiment halted and 
formed just in rear of where the Confederate artillery* 
had taken another position. The Federal artillery was 
soon brought up and planted on the hill that we had just 
moved from. The batteries now opened, being about 
equal as to position, and in easy range of each other. 
Right here we had about as nice an artillery duel as 
some of us had ever witnessed. However, it was ot 
short duration, for the Federal guns were soon silenced, 
by being dismounted, or otherwise injured, while not a 

* I regret that I do not know whose battery this was. They deserve praise 
for what they <lid here. I think, however, that it was S. C. Waite's Battery. 

DECEMBEK, ^Xi')o. 2!>3 

gun, horse, or man of the Confederate battery was hurt; 
but they now played with effect upon the Federal col- 
umn, which, by this time, was moving down toward the 

As General Lee had accomplished all that he had de- 
signed at this place — that of tearing up the railroad, 
destroying the Federal supplies, and passing Forrest 
through their lines — he now moved out, nearly west, 
along the south side of the railroad, without having a 
general engagement. He had remained this long in 
order to attract the attention of the Federals, and thus 
prevent them from following Forrest, who, by this time, 
must have been well on his way toward Jackson. Col- 
onel Morton was ordered to bring up the rear; there- 
fore, he was again the last to leave his position, though 
the Federals were very kind in allowing him to move oft 
quietly unmolested. After going about five miles we 
halted for an hour or more. Here the Federal advance 
came in sight for the last time during the day. After a 
march of about seventeen miles, Ferguson's Brigade 
bivouacked some five miles north-west of Salem, on the 
LaGrange road. We had a slow, disagreeable march, 
on account of the bottoms of Wolf River being so very 
bad. Ross' Brigade bivouacked a little west of Fergu- 

Meanwhile, General Chalmers, with a demi-brigade, 
under McCulloch, had crossed the Tallahatchie at Rocky 
P^ord to co-operate with Lee. He bivouacked about 
three miles west of Ferguson. Chalmers' other brigade, 
under Colonel Slemmons, crossing at Ponola, was ad- 
vancing to threaten the railroad west of Moscow, and 
occupy the enemy in that quarter. Moscow is eight or 
ten miles west of LaGranofe. 

294 R. K. Hancocks Diary. 

FiHday. ^th. — The Memphis and Charleston Ra; ^aa 
crosses Wolf River about one mile west of Moscow, 
To make an attempt to burn the railroad bridge that 
spans Wolf River, at the above named place, is the ob- 
ject for which Lee set his command in motion this morn- 
ing. Moving out early, Chalmers in front and Fergu- 
son in rear, we crossed the Mississippi Central Railroad 
at Lama, thence north-west in the direction of the above 
named bridge. General Lee, with McCulloch's and 
Ross' Brigades, met and engaged the Federals in the 
river bottom near said bridge. After heavy firing for 
an hour or more, from both small arms and artillery,* 
Lee drove the F'ederals back to the river, capturing 
about forty men, and several horses. He pressed them 
so close that they did not all have time to cross on the 
bridge ; therefore, a number of them plunged into the 
river. But they did not all reach the opposite bank;, 
some were killed, some were drowned, while others 
would turn back and surrender. Meanwhile, the Fed- 
erals had collected such a heavy force on the opposite 
side of the river, that Lee, thinking that the damage in- 
flicted by his burning the bridge would not compensate 
for the men that he would probably have to sacrifice in 
burning it, withdrew without accomplishing the full ob- 
ject for which he made this attack. 

As our brigade was in the rear we did not get there 
until the fighting was over. From the best information 
that I can get, Lee's loss was about ten or twelve killed 
and perhaps more wounded. Ross' Brigade suffered 
most. While the Federals were concentratingr their 
forces to protect this bridge, Slemmons dashed into La- 
fayette, about six miles west of us, capturing eight Fed- 

* Owing to the nature of the ground Lee used his artillery but little. 

December, 18G3. 295 

era. afand burning their supplies without having any- 
fighting to do. 

Another object that Lee had in view was to hold the 
Federals back from following Forrest as long as possible. 

The following, which explains itself, is from "Cam- 
paigns of General Forrest," page 379 : 

It is pro[)er 10 add that the success of this handsome operation was 
assisted, unquestionably, by General Lee's attack upon Moscow on 
the afternoon of the 4th of December with McCulloch's and Ross' 
Brigades. This affair, though it failed to accomplisli the main pur- 
poses for which it was ordered — the destruction of the railroad bridge 
at that point over Wolf River and the capture of the garrison — served 
to inflict a heavy loss upon a strong column of the F.-derals, taken by 
surprise, and doubtless kept at a stand subsequently in that quarter a 
force that was destined to [nirsue Forrest, a force vvhich otherwise 
might hive brought his exi)edition to a prem iture close, far short of 
the satisfactory results which we have just enumerated. 

Lee camped at Mount Pleasant, some seven or eight 
miles south-west of Moscow. 

Saturday, ^tli. — -The division — now three brigades — 
moving by the way of Holly Springs, camped eight 
miles west of that place. The Federals had burned a 
number of corn-houses through this section. Here we 
had the pleasure ot resting one beautiful Sabbath day. 

Monday, ylh. — Moving ten miles south the division 
camped at Tullahoma. Had some rain that night, for 
the first time since the 28th of November. 

Tuesday, 8tk. — In the saddle and moving by daybreak 
— Ferguson's Brigade in front. The division crossed the 
Tallahatchie at Wyatt — that is, where Wyatt had been ; 
every house had been burned by the Federals. Here 
Chalmers was left to occupy his old position along the 
south-east side of the river. Ross' Brigade was sent 
down about Grenada. Ferguson's Brigade, being- or- 
dered back to the Mobile and Ohio Raih-oad, moved 

296 E. E. Hancock's Diaky. 

on to Oxford, on the Mississippi Central, and camped 
for the night near that place. 

Wednesday, gth. — After a march of about twenty-two 
miles, a little south of east, the brigade camped near 
Buttermilk Springs. 

TJiuj^sday, loth. — Marching only about twelve miles 
the brigade camped near Pontotoc. Well, we feel like 
we are getting back home again, for we have frequently 
camped on this same spot — one mile east of Pontotoc. 
Here we rested one day. 

Saturday, 12th — The brigade moved from Pontotoc 
to Verona, nineteen miles. Here we met our wasfons 
with our tents and the balance of our cookingr vessels, 
which we had left at Okolona. We remained at that 
place eight days. 

Sunday, 20tJi. — Ferguson's Brigade moved from Ve- 
rona to Okolona, and encamped about one mile west of 

Thursday, 24th. — General Ferguson, having been or- 
dered to meet General Lee at Lama by Saturday night 
to assist Forrest in his exit from West Tennessee, moved 
out from Okolona with his 'brio^ade at two o'clock \\ m. 
However, he had gone only two miles when the order 
was countermanded. So we returned to camp with or- 
ders to hold ourselves in readiness to move at a mo- 
ment's warnine. 

This is Christmas Eve, and plenty of whisky in camp. 
The boys were cutting up at such a terrible rate, and 
shooting so much all through the brigade, that, awhile 
after dark, Ferguson ordered the commanders of regi- 
ments to send the next man who shot a gun to his head- 
quarters, if he could be found ; but if he could not be 
found, the whole regiment must be ordered into line and 

December, 1863. ' 2!)7 

stand for one hour. There was not much more shooting 
after that. 

Christmas Day was a noted day in the history of the 
Second Tennessee. I am sure that that day is still vivid 
in the memory of quite a number of the boys who were 
present on this special occasion, though, perhaps, I had 
better not say too much. Well, I shall not accuse any 
of the boys of being drunk, but I hope that they will 
excuse me for saying that some of them had either 
smelled or tasted of something that made them appear a 
little " funny." 

Tuesday, 2gtJi. — Leaving all the tents and cooking 
vessels at Okolona, Ferguson marched his brigade to 

Wednesday , joth. — The brigade marched from Ponto- 
toc to New Albany — eighteen miles. We drew seven 
days' rations of crackers — hard tack — at the latter place, 
something unusual. Therefore, we thought that a con- 
siderable expedition must be on hand. 

Thursday, Jist. — The brigade moved out early in the 
morning on the Ripley road. It rained "in the morning, 
but just before we got to Ripley in the evening there 
was a very sudden change in the weather, and as we 
passed through the above named place it began to snow ; 
nor had we gone far beyond before our wet blankets and 
clothing were stiff frozen. Our regiment was marching 
in the rear, even of the artillery, which was now moving 
slowly on account of so much mud. Seeing that we 
could stop awhile and then soon overtake the artillery. 
Colonel Barteau called out, " Dismount and build fires." 
This was a little before sundown. We soon had several 
good fires made of fence-rails. While the side next to 
the fire thawed the other would freeze. About dark we 

2<J8 K. E. Hancock's Diary. 

remounted and moved out lively for about two miles be- 
fore overtaking the artillery. As their horses were about 
given out and the men were about frozen out, they had 
halted for the night, about two miles in rear of the rest 
of the brigade, when we overtook them. A large pile 
of wood that some grood farmer had laid in for his own 
use was perhaps another inducement for their stopping 
just at this particular place. So the Second Tennessee 
halted here for the night, and helped those artillerymen 
to burn that pile ot wood. We were now about eight 
miles north of Ripley, on the Pocahontas road. Fortu- 
nately for us it only snowed about enough to cover the 
ground. The wind blew a cutting blast all night. There 
was not much sleeping done by us that night. By stand- 
ing by good fires, with our blankets around us, we did not 
freeze, though some were frost-bitten. This memorable 
night, in which the old year (1863) stepped out and the 
new stepped in, was the coldest night of the war. I am 
confident that there is not a member of the Second Ten- 
nesse who is now living and was on this expedition but 
will remember the above named night. 

Friday, January ist, iS6-f. — Colonel Barteau moved 
the Second Tennessee and the two pieces of artillery up 
with the rest of the brigade early in the morning. 
Ferguson was now within seventeen miles of the Mem- 
phis and Charleston Railroad. F"orrest had passed out 
of West Tennessee, between Moscow and Memphis, a 
few days previous to this. So, while the Federals were 
thus attracted to that section, I suppose that Ferguson 
had been ordered to tear up the railroad in the neigh- 
borhood of Pocahontas, and, if possible, destroy their 
stores at that place. However, as the weather was so- 
awfully cold, he very prudently decided to take the bri- 

January, 1864. 2{)9> 

gade back to camp as quick as possible. So, turning 
his face campwarcl and passing back through Ripley^ 
Ferguson bivouacked six miles south-west of that place. 
We had to walk a good portion of the way during that 
three days' march on account of the intense cold. 

SatiLrday, 2d. — After a march of about twenty-two 
miles the brigade bivouacked six miles south-east of 
New Albany. The roads are still as solid as a turnpike,, 
though not as smooth by a great deal. 

SiLuday, jd. — On arriving at Pontotoc the brigade 
scattered in order to get forage for our horses. The 
Second Tennessee moved out eight miles on the Houston 
road. The weather began to moderate some that day. 

Monday, ^th. — The brigade got back to camp, near 
Okolona. Had some rain that day and the night before,, 
yet it was still cold. The ground was not thawed but 
about one day in twelve. 

I shall now give a short sketch of Major-General N. 
B. Forrest's expedition into West Tennessee. From 
Saulsbury he moved on by the way of Bolivar to Jack- 
son, where he established his headquarters about the 
4th of Decembei*. The simple fact that he increased 
his command during the twenty days he remained at 
Jackson from five hundred to thirty-five hundred, fully 
exhibits both the energy and popularity of General 
Forrest. However, only about six hundred were armed. 

Meanwhile the Federals were not idle. Major-Gen- 
eral Hurlbut, the Federal commander of the district, had 
set to work to organize a large force — twenty thousand, 
according to his official admission — which he hoped so 
to dispose as to hem in the Confederate leader and cut 
off his escape or return to his base. So Forrest had to 
fight his way out. His troops fought successfully five 

300 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

combats, at Jack's Creek. Estenaula, Summerville, La- 
fayette, and Collierville, losing during the expedition 
not more than thirty killed, wounded and captured, and 
inflicting a loss upon the enemy of fully fifty killed and 
one hundred and fifty wounded and captured. In com- 
menting upon this expedition the writer of Forrest's 
Campaigns sums up the results thus : 

Forrest, entering West Tennessee at Saulsbury on the 4th* of 
December with only some five hundred men, two guns, and five ord- 
nance wagons, quit it at Lafayette Station on the 27th with thirty-five 
hundred men, well mounted, forty wagons and teams loaded with 
subsistence, two hundred head of beef cattle, three hundred hogs, 
and his artillery intact. 

A Federal writer puts it in these terms : 

Forrest, with less than four thousand men, has moved right through 
the Sixteenth Army Corps, has passed within nine miles of Memphis, 
carried off over one hundred wagons, two hundred beef cattle, three 
thousand conscripts, and innumerable stores, torn up railroad track, 
cut telegraph wire, burned and sacked towns (?), run over pickets 
with a single Derringer pistol .... And all this in the face of ten 
thousand men. — Correspondent Cincinnati Commercial^ Memphis, Jan- 
uary i2th, 1864. 

As S. D. Lee had assisted Forrest in passing the 
Federal line at Saulsbury, I suppose that this writer, in 
estimating Forrest's force at four thousand, included 
Lee's command, or he may have thought that it would 
look too bad to say that Forrest had effected all this 
with six hundred in the face of twenty thousand men. 

Thttrsday, jtJi. — Ferguson's Brigade moved from 
Okolona about nine miles south and encamped some 
three or four miles west of the railroad near Pikeville, 
where the Second Tennessee remained twenty days. 

Tuesday, 26th. — There had been, some time previous 
to this, a change of department commanders. General 

'•■•This is a mistake; he passed Saulsbury on the 2d of December. — R. R. H. 

Januaky, lS(i4. 801 

Joseph E. Johnston had been reHeved from duty by the 
President, and Lieutenant-General Polk placed in his 
stead. During a visit to Polk's headquarters at Jack- 
son, Mississippi, on the 13th instant, the command of a 
district was formally assigned General Forrest ; that is, 
" P^orrest's Cavalry Department," embracing all cavalry 
commands in West Tennessee and North Mississippi, 
to the southern boundaries of the counties of Monroe, 
Calhoun, Chickasaw, Yallabusha, Tallahatchie, and that 
part of Sunflower and Bolivar 'ying north of a line 
drawn from the south-east corner of Tallahatchie County 
to the town of Prentiss, on the Mississippi River. At 
the same time he secured arms and ammunition for his 

Ferguson now had orders to move his brigade further 
south, perhaps to the neighborhood of Jackson. The 
Second Tennessee was, trom various considerations, 
bitterly opposed to going any further south. In the first 
place, there was not the best of feeling existing between 
Ferguson and the Second Tennessee. While he was 
too strict to suit them, they were too independent to 
suit him. And especially'did this state of feeling exist 
between Ferguson and Company C. In the second 
place, we imagined that it would be more unhealthy 
further south. In the third place, we were the only 
Tennesseans in Perguson's Brigade, while the majority 
of Forrest's troops were Tennesseans, and we much 
preferred serving with troops from our own State. 
Therefore, we very earnestly begged for a transfer to 
Forrest's command.* In the fourth place, if we re- 
mained in his department, which embraced a part of 

* Ferguson's Brigade was now in Forrest's department, though not a part of 
his command, and hence it was ordered to move South; or in other words, For- 
rest had superseded Ferguson in command of this department. 

-302 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Tennessee, we had some hope of going back to our 
native State occasionally, while, if we went with Fergu- 
son, we had no hope of seeing Tennessee until the war 
closed. What a sad thought was this ! The all-impor- 
tant question now was, "Will the regiment be trans- 
ferred?" How anxiously did the Second Tennessee 
wait for an answer to that question. The brigade was 
to start south the next morning-. Dark came, yet no 
transfer. " What will we do? " " Colonel Barteau, can 
you not help us out of this trouble?" "Can't you. 
Colonel Morton?" "Is there any hope of a transfer?" 
■*Ts it possible that we will have to start south in the 
morning with F"erguson?" "Do. not despair, men, per- 
haps we will be transferred yet." Eight, nine, and ten 
o'clock came, and yet no transfer. Some lay down to 
Test, though, perhaps, too much troubled to sleep. 
Finally, about eleven o'clock v. m., ''The Second Ten- 
nessee is transferred to Forrest, '^ spread like lightning 
through the camp. Those who had been trying in vain 
to while away the time in sleep now sprang from their 
tents to unite with the rest in yelling, hallooing, shout- 
ing, and such another jollification as they had from then 
until daylight next morning had never been witnessed 
in the camp of the Second Tennessee Cavalry before. 
If General Ferguson is now living I guess that he has 
not forgotten the serenade that a lot of the boys gave 
him that night with tin pans, camp kettles, etc. We 
had no cannon by which we could give Ferguson a part- 
ing salute; however, some of the boys got up a right 
good substitute by boring holes in logs and filling with 
powder. But after all the big guns and the little guns, 
Ferguson still remained quiet, and did not order any of 
the Second Tennessee to be sent to his headquarters. 

jANU.un-, l<(i4. 303 

Wednesday, zjth.^ — The Second Tennessee belonged 
to " Forrest's Cavalry" from the above date to the close 
of the war — fifteen months and fourteen days. Bidding" 
Ferguson a " final farewell," the re'^;iment moved north 
— not south — and camped for the ni ;ht near Okolona. 

Thursday, 2Sth. — After a march oi about fifteen miles 
the regiment camped near Saltillo. 

General Forrest's headquarters were now at Oxford, 

Mississippi, on the Mississippi Central Railroad. 

The first order received from General Forrest seemed strikingly 
characteristic. It was to move up to Corinth, co-operate with Gen- 
eral Gholson (commanding militia) in blowing up and destroying the 
.abandoned works of that place; afterward destroy the railroad west- 
ward to Grand Junction; then to leave General Gholson and go into 
West Tennessee to capture the notorious Colonel Hurst, or drive him 
out of that district. This seemed more like work than anything we 
had been commanded to do from the battle of Corinth, under Van 
Dorn, up to that time; and the regiment, feeling that a more glorious 
career was foreshadowed, undertook, with a new vigor, the fulfillment 
■of this order. t 

Friday, 2gih. — The regiment, ^till moving nearly par- 
allel with the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, camped for the 
night three miles west of Guntown, 

Saturday, joth. — Coming up with General Gholson, 
Barteau halted and camped some three miles north-west 
■of Booneville, and within twenty-two miles of Corinth. 

Su?iday, J 1st. — General Gholson, with the Second 
Tennessee and one regiment and one battalion of State 
troops, moved on through Danville, crossed Tuscumbia 
River, and about one-half mile from the river, on a flat 
hill, he passed through a Federal fort or stockade called * 

*T was, and had been since the 20th, ar one Mr. Gunn's, three miles from 
camp, waiting on A. Barrett, who was sick with the fever. As W. F. Odoms 
horse was lame he was sent to Mr. Guan's to take my place. So' I joined the 
a-egiment on the night of the 28th, while encamped fifteen miles above Okolona- 

t Colonel C. R. Barteau's Manuscript Notes. 

o04 \{. R. Hancock's Diary. 

" Camp Davis." Here we found about four acres of an 
old field inclosed by large posts some ten feet high be- 
ing set in the ground, touching each other, and the upper 
ends oi these posts, or picketing, were sharpened. A 
large ditch was dug around on the outside. The dirt 
from this ditch made an embankment about half a^ high 
as the posts. Port-holes were cut between the posts 
just above the embankment. There was a gate on the 
north, south and east sides. We marched in at the 
south and out at the north gate. It was a splendid fort 
for defense against small arms. From Camp Davis 
Gholson moved on through Corinth, and camped one 
mile and a half north of that place. The Federals, 
after burning all the buildings that they had put up and 
a good many others, had evacuated Corinth about a 
week previous to this. 

Monday, Febj'iiary ist. — Leaving Gholson at Cjrinth 
Colonel Barteau moved the Second Tennessee back to 
Danville ; there turning- west he camped for the night 
in Tippah County, within one mile and a half of Big 
Hatchie River. 

Tuesday, 2d. — As the river could not be forded the 
regiment moved some two or three miles up the river to 
a foot-log. Making our horses swim we carried our 
saddles and other baoforaae across on this foot-lop-. We 
marched north-west from the river to Jonesborough, Mis- 
sissippi, and thence north to Pocahontas, in Hardeman 
County, West Tennessee, where Company C and two 
• others camped for the night, leaving the rest of the reg- 
iment three miles south of that place, which is on the 
Memphis and Charleston Railroad, 

Wednesday, jd. — Instead, however, of finding Colonel Hurst we 
Avere brought to a halt by the advance force of General Smith (Fed- 

February, 1864. 305 

eral), who was preparing for his great movement through the heart of 
Mississippi to effect a junction with the army of General Sherman at 
Meridian. . ..... . . . . 

A detached brigade (Wilder's, I believe) had landed as infantry 
into Western Kentucky, and had thence come into West Tennessee, 
stripping the country of horses and mules as they went in order to 
mount themselves for the great march to Meridian. They were all 
mounted at Bolivar, and well equipped with the riggings of cavalry, 
which they had for the purpose brought along in wagons. They were 
soon joined by another brigade (Holder's, I think, from Nashville), 
and in three days more were ready to pursue the march.* 

It was in this county (Hardeman, of which Bohvar is 
the county seat) that we had expected to find Colonel 
Hurst's command ; but, on learning that we were now 
confronted by a heavy Federal force, our colonel very 
prudently decided to turn back. Therefore, after de- 
stroying some railroad bridges in the vicinity of Poca- 
hontas, the regiment moved eight miles south late that 
afternoon, and bivouacked near Jonesboro, Mississippi. 

Thursday, 4th. — Having met a courier with a dispatch 
from General Forrest, requesting him to ascertain, as 
nearly as possible, the strength of the Federal force 
which was now preparing to move into North Missis- 
sippi, and desiring more definite information upon which 
to found his report. Colonel Barteau moved back into 
Tennessee again. Crossing the Memphis and Charles- 
ton Railroad some six miles east of Saulsbury, he halted 
for the night about four miles beyond, on the Jonesboro- 
Bolivar road. 

Friday, ^th. — The regiment moved out early that 
morning in the direction of Bolivar, When within ten 
miles of that place (south) Colonel Barteau sent out a 
detachment of twenty picked men, under Captain Higgs 

•■•"Colonel C. R. Barteau's Manuscript Notes. 

306 E. B. Hancock's Diary. 

(one of General Forrest's scouting officers), with in- 
structions to make a close reconnoissance of the Federal 
camp at Bolivar, and get all information possible in ref- 
erence to their strength, movements, etc. Moving on 
about six miles in a north-east direction our colonel 
halted, some nine miles south-east of Bolivar and within 
one mile of Big Hatchie River, to feed his horses and 
wait for Captain Higgs to report. Wishing to avoid 
coming in contact with the enemy, and desiring to see 
as much of his camp as possible. Captain Higgs turned 
leftward, went within about two miles of Bolivar, and 
then rightward, crossing the main road between the 
Federal pickets and Bolivar, in full view of their camp. 
Then swinging around eastward he returned to the main 
road again south of their pickets. While thus inspect- 
ing their camp he unfortunately exposed the smallness 
of his force to the enemy. Seeing that it was only a 
small scouting party the Federal commander selected 
one hundred of his best mounted men and sent them forth 
to capture Captain Higgs and his men.* The Federals 
were soon seen coming, almost at full speed, and then 
and there occurred one of the hardest and lo7igest races 
that perhaps any of the Second Tennessee took part in 
during the war. The road over which the race was run 
being very rough some of our horses fell and others 
gave out, therefore about twelve of our regiment were 
captured during the eight mile race which now ensued. 

In speaking of this affair Colonel Barteau (in his man- 
uscript notes) says : 

After the first volleys were discharged they did not stop to reload, 
but both parties turned the affair into a question of speed 

-The above was learned from some of this one hundred, who were captured 
(February 22d) near Okolona, Mississippi. These were the first Confederates 
whom they had seen. 

February, 1864. 307 

Twelve of my men had been literally pulled ofif their horses, while the 
balance having flanked to the right and left, or keeping near Captain 
Higgs, would not "shtop" at the Duchmen's orders, but came helter- 
-skelter into my camp on the shortest notice, with the enemy right at 
their heels. 

John Byrns, Sid Ray, Dempsy King, James Henley, 
and John Tompkins (all from Company D) were among 
the captured. The five men from Company C (W. E. 
Rich, C. Garrison, France Willard, J. M. A. Odom, and 
J. E. J. Hawkins) all being well mounted made good 
their escape, though some of their horses were not of 
much account afterward. 

Our horses had about finished eating when our boys 
•came dashing into camp. The situation just at this 
juncture appeared somewhat alarming — the enemy in 
rear and the river in front. Mounting and moving out 
in a south-east direction we marched about sixteen miles 
in a circuitous route, and after passing through an awful 
bad swamp after dark we bivouacked within four miles 
of where we had camped the night before. 

Saturday, 6th. — Moving only a few miles west we biv- 
ouacked about ten miles south of Bolivar. Late that 
afternoon Colonel Barteau received a dispatch from 
General Forrest ordering him to Abbeville, Mississippi. 

Sunday, yth. — In the saddle and moving by four 
o'clock A. M., passing through Saulsbury and crossing 
Wolf River, we camped five miles north-east of Salem, 
in Tippah (now Benton) County, Mississippi. 

Monday, 8th. — The regiment marched about twenty- 
eight miles south-west, the most of the way along by- 
paths, and camped in Marshall County. We got no 
forage for our horses that night, except, perhaps, a few 
may have found corn and bought it themselves. 

Tuesday, gth. — The regiment moved south-west to 

308 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Waterford, and thence south along the Mississippi Cen- 
tral Railroad to Tallahatchie River. Here we had to 
swim our horses and cross our saddles on a hand car. 
Moving three miles from the river the regiment camped 
at Abbeville, within ten miles of Oxford. Here we 
rested one day. 

Thursday, nth. — The regiment moved down to Ox- 
ford. Here our wagon train, which we had left on the 
Mobile and Ohio Railroad, met us. The Second Ten- 
nessee was attached to the Third Brigade of Forrest's 
Cavalry, commanded by Colonel T. H. Bell. We now 
for the first time belong to a brigade composed of Ten- 
nesseans. We found that Major-General Forrest had 
organized his command into four brigades, as follows : 

The First, commanded by Brigadier-General R. V.. 
Richardson, was composed of five regiments, command-^ 
ed by Lieutenant-Colonel J. U. Green, Colonels F. M. 
Stewart, T. H. Logwood, and J. J. Neely, and Major 
Marshall ; and two battalions, commanded by Street and 
Bennett, all West Tennessee troops, one thousand five 
hundred rank and file. 

The Second, Colonel Robert McCulloch (Second Mis- 
souri) commanding, was made up of the Second Mis- 
souri Regiment (commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel R. 
A. McCulloch), Leo Willis' Texan Battalion, Colonel 
W. W. Faulkner's Kentucky Regiment, Keizer's Ten- 
nessee Battalion, A. H. Chalmers' Mississippi Battalion^ 
and a fragment of the Second Arkansas Cavalry (com- 
manded by Captain F. M. Cochran). 

The Third, under Colonel Tyree H. Bell, was consti- 
tuted of Colonels Russell's, Wilson's, and Barteau's 
Tennessee regiments. 

And the Fourth, commanded by Colonel J. E. For- 

February, 1864. 309 

rest, was formed of McDonald's Battalion (General For- 
rest's old regiment), W. L. Duckworth's Tennessee 
Regiment, John McGuirk's Mississippi Regiment, the 
Fifth Mississippi Regiment and Duff's Mississippi Bat- 
talion — one thousand strong. 

McCulloch's and Forrest's Brigades were organized 
into a division, commanded by Brigadier-General James 
R. Chalmers. 

Friday, 12th. — The disposition to leave camp without 
permission — especially among those new levies that F'or- 
rest had recently brought from West Tennessee — pre- 
vailed to such a degree as to render severe measures 
imperative. Among those who thus abandoned their 
colors to return home were nineteen, who went off in 
a body. Promptly pursued, captured and brought back 
in ignominy, their commander, giving orders that, in con- 
sequence of their flagrant, defiant desertion, the whole 
detachment should be shot, issued the necessary instruc- 
tions regulating the ceremonies of an early execution. 
Their coffins were made, their graves dug and the cul- 
prits advised to make their peace with their Maker and 
the world. As this was the day and date set for their 
execution. Bell's Brigade, mounting and moving out into 
a large field, was formed in line on three sides of a 
square, while the culprits, blindfolded and seated on 
their coffins, occupied the center of the other side of 
the square. This was quite a solemn and impressive 
scene. The men who were to do the shooting were 
standing in front of the culprits. All things being now 
ready the commanding officer said, " Present arms, make 
ready, take aim" — ^just at that moment (and before the 
next command, which would have been "Fire," was 
^iven) a staff officer came dashing up and said, address- 

310 E. E. Hancock's Diary. 

ing the cLilprits: "General Forrest has requested me to 
say to you that it was unpleasant to him to shfed blood 
in this manner, and that, through the petitions of the 
clergy, the prominent citizens and ladies of Oxford and 
your officers, if you will now promise to make good and 
faithful soldiers he would pardon you," They shouted : 
" We will! WE will! " A loud cheer now went up from 
the whole brigade. So, 1 am glad to say, we returned 
to camp without seeing any one shot. 

Saturday, ijth. — About this time, as spring was now 
about to open, it seemed that the Federals were bent on 
making heavy inroads into the State of Mississippi. 
Sherman was now afield with a heavy Federal column, 
moving from Vicksburg in the direction of Meridian, on 
the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. A few days previous to 
this, Colonel J. E. Forrest, with the fourth brigade, had 
been sent south to Grenada to watch a Federal force 
which had been put on foot up the Yazoo River. About 
the same time a brigade of infantry (about sixteen hun- 
dred men), with perhaps two hundred cavalry, a battery 
and supply-train had moved southward from Memphis, 
by way of Hernando toward Panola, and still another 
force from Collierville, on the Memphis and Charleston 
Railroad, toward Holly Springs. To meet these hostile 
movements Chalmers had been instructed to dispose his- 
troops so as to guard the various crossings of the Tal- 
lahatchie from Panola to Abbeville. As the Federals 
had now made their appearance in front of Chalmers, 
Bell's Brigade, leaving Oxford early in the morning, 
moved out in the direction of Wyatt, but before we got 
to that place, being ordered up the river, we turned 
nearly east, passing through Abbeville, and about six 
miles beyond we turned and marched back to Oxford. 

February, 1864. 311 

Some of Chalmers' men had a skirmish where the Mis- 
sissippi Central Railroad crosses the river (in which four 
Confederates were wounded), and also at Wyatt, some 
five miles below. Some cannonading at the latter place ; 
however, I do not think that there was much damage 
done on either side. In the meantime General Forrest 
had learned through Colonel Barteau that a heavy cav- 
alry force* under General Smith was afield from West 
Tennessee, moving in the direction of Holly Springs. 
Forrest at once perceived that this Federal force in his 
immediate front was a mere feint to occupy his attention, 
while Smith was expecting to move, by the way of Oko- 
lona, through the rich prairies along the Mobile and 
Ohio Railroad and finally form a junction with Sherman 
at Meridian. Now deciding that he would pay no more 
attention to those Federals that were apparently trying 
to force their way across the Tallahatchie, but look after 
Smith, Forrest therefore ordered General Chalmers to 
concentrate all his troops at Oxford immediately. Our 
wagon train moved out in the direction of Grenada. 

Sunday, 14th. — Forrest set out early in the morning 
with Richardson's and Bell's Brigades, his escort and 
the artillery, and after a march of thirty miles he camped 
on the Mississippi Central Railroad within five miles of 
Coffeeville, in Yallabusha County. Chalmers was di- 
rected to move so as to keep on Smith's right flank, to 
which end his command, McCulloch's Brigade, was in 
movement for Houston, forty-five miles south-west of 
Oxford, late in the afternoon. Colonel Forrest had 
been previously directed to move swiftly eastward with 

*It was composed of the Sixth, Seventh and Ninth Illinois, Ninth Pennsyl- 
vania, Second, Fourth, and Sixth Tennessee, Second Iowa, Twenty-second New 
Jersey, Third Michigan, Seventh and Twelfth Indiana, and Second and Fourth 
Missouri — about seven thousand strong. 

312 K. R. Hancock's Diary. 

his brigade from Grenada to West Point, on the Mobile 
and Ohio Railroad, in the menaced region, and from 
that place to establish a line of couriers to Houston, so 
as to open communication with Chalmers. 

Monday, i^tJi. — After a march of about twenty miles, 
overtaking his wagon train, General Forrest camped 
near Grenada. 

Tuesday, i6th. — Moving south along the railroad for 
about eigfht miles, thence east. General Forrest, with the 
above named troops, camped about nine miles from the 
railroad. Chalmers, notwithstanding the rain and mud 
had impeded his progress some, arrived at Houston. 

Wednesday^ lytk. — After a short ride — sixteen miles 
— Forrest camped thirteen miles north of Greensboro, 
while Chalmers moved to Palo Alto. 

Thursday, i8ih. — After a forced march of thirty-five 
miles our brigade (Bell's) camped two miles south of 
Starkville, the county-seat of Oktibbeha County, while 
Richardson's Brigade stopped some five miles west. 

General Forrest, establishing his headquarters at 
Starkville, some twenty-five miles west of Columbus, 
opened communication with Chalmers, who was by this 
time at Tampico. He also directed Colonel Forrest to 
move forward toward Aberdeen with his brigade to 
meet, harrass, and delay the enemy as much as practi- 
cable, without becoming involved in a serious engage- 

Friday, igth. — In the meanwhile the Federal column, 
under Smith, had been traversing the country in a line 
through Holly Springs, New Albany, Pontotoc, and 
Okolona. Colonel Forrest, meeting the Federals at 
Aberdeen, was now skirmishing and falling back toward 
West Point. Chalmers joined General Forrest at Stark- 

February, 1864. 313 

ville. In view of the possible purpose on the part of 
the Federal General to throw his force across at Aber- 
deen, and move down the east bank of the Tombigbee, 
Forrest detached Bell's Brigade, under Colonel Barteau 
(Colonel Bell being sick), with orders to cross that 
stream at Columbus, and moving up toward Aberdeen, 
oppose any such enterprise. Therefore, Colonel Bar- 
teau set out early in the morning with our brigade, and 
crossing- the Mobile and Ohio Railroad a few miles south 
of West Point, arrived at and commenced crossinof the 
river opposite Columbus about sunset. All the brigade 
crossed that night except the Second Tennessee, which 
camped on the west bank. 

Saturday, 20th. — The Second Tennessee began to 
-cross about sunrise, and as we had only two flat or ferry- 
boats, the crossing was somewhat slow. Leaving Co- 
lumbus about two p. M., going up the river seven miles, 
and finding that the Federals were not making any at- 
tempt to cross to the east bank, Colonel Barteau com- 
menced throwing our brigade to the west bank a little 
before sunset. The theatre of approaching operations 
was one that called for prudence and judgment on both 
sides. To the eastward was the Tombigbee, a naviga- 
ble river, swollen with rains at the time ; to the west, 
and for miles running nearly parallel with it, from twelve 
to fifteen miles distant, was the Sakatonchee River, a 
considerable stream, which, after receiving a number of 
prairie creeks, is crossed by the Mobile and Ohio Rail- 
road five miles south of West Point, as it flows nearly 
due east to empty into the Tombigbee not far above 
■Columbus. Into the angle thus formed by these streams 
Forrest hoped to draw and hold the Federals until Gen- 
<eral S. D. Lee should come upon the scene, and enable 

314 R. R. Hancock's Diary, 

the Confederates, by taking the offensive vigorously, to 
cut off their retreat or escape. 

General Forrest marched from Starkville at sunrise 
with McCulloch's Brigade and six hundred of Richard- 
son's (under Neely), and the artillery, to the support of 
Colonel Forrest, who was receding toward West Point 
as slowly as was practicable, without becoming involved 
in a serious action with the largely superior force press- 
ing him back. By the road upon which Forrest moved 
the Sakatonchee was only to be crossed at a bridge 
about thirty yards in length some four miles west of 
West Point, the only approach to which was over a long, 
narrow, thrown-up, dilapidated causeway, while the 
banks of the stream on either side were steep and miry. 
These conditions made it hazardous for the Confederates, 
to advance beyond it in much force. Nevertheless, on 
reaching the position about two p. m., Forrest pushed 
adventurously forward through and several miles beyond 
West Point, until he met Colonel Jeffrey Forrest hold- 
ing the Federals at bay in the prairie. Their lines ex- 
tended in formidable proportions across the highway. 
However, it was not Forrest's policy to fight as yet, but 
merely to maneuver for delay until Lee came up with, 
reinforcements that must be near at hand ; therefore, 
after some very light skirmishing, he withdrew through 
West Point and behind the Sakatonchee again. Dis- 
posing his forces to hold the bridge that I have above 
mentioned, Forrest at once led a portion of McCulloch's 
Brigade to a point called Siloam, some four miles higher 
up the river, where it was reported that the Federals, 
were making an effort to cross and thus turn his posi- 
tion. It was not, however, a serious movement; but a. 
small party had already crossed the stream, and, taken. 

February, 1864. 315- 

by surprise, some were killed, and the rest, twenty-three 
in number, were captured. 

To recapitulate : Nightfall found all of Forrest's forces 
(except Bell's Brigade) stationed along the west bank 
of the Sakatonchee, the head of the Federal column at 
and around West Point, and Barteau throwing our 
brigade to the west bank of the Tombigbee, near 
Waverly, some twelve miles east of West Point, as 
rapidly as possible. 

That night the whole country northward was illumi- 
nated by burning homesteads, cotton-gins, corn-houses, 
and stack-yards, inspiring the Confederates with a pas- 
sionate resolution to do all in the power of men to pun- 
ish such an unmanly, heathenish method of warfare. 

Su?iday, 2ist. — Early in the morning a force was again 
thrown to the north side of the bridge, where it was 
quickly attacked, but with light loss to either side, though 
there was a prolonged, incessant noise and rattle of fire- 
arms until about noon, when the enemy, after several 
attemps to force the position, drew off. Forrest followed 
at once with his ever-staunch escort to satisfy himself of 
the actual situation; then, calling up one hundred of 
Faulkner's Kentuckians, he discovered, to his chagrin, 
that the Federals were apparently in retreat. McCul- 
loch's and Colonel Forrest's Brigades were now ordered 
to advance ; and with this force he pressed closely at 
their haunches, leaving orders for General Chalmers to 
collect all remaining troops, and with them guard the 
bridge and the crossings northward of it against any 
possible hostile flank movement from the northwards 
The Federals were soon found in position in some post- 
oak timber at the edge of the prairie, four miles north- 
ward of West Point; but, dismounting and deployings 

316 E. E. Hancock's Diary. 

as skirmishers, the Confederates quickly drove them 
rearward some five miles, with the loss of some fifteen 
killed and wounded, when they again halted, and formed 
in battle array across the mouth of a lane, in which there 
was a narrow, slippery bridge and causeway over a nar- 
row slash that could not be turned. About one hun- 
dred and fifty Confederates had been thrown across it 
when the Federals charged with vigor; but Forrest, 
seeing the peril, with characteristic audacity, lead a 
counter-charge, while McCulloch, alive to the exigency, 
threw forward on foot, at double-quick, a number of men, 
who rushed across with a loud shout. The Federals, 
however, again gave way to their main line, a short dis- 
tance northward, in a woods. For a few moments the 
situation was dangerous, the fighting sharp, and, as was 
his way. General Forrest was in the heart of it, killing 
with his ready pistol a Federal trooper who was in the 
act of shooting him. The Federals now confronted did 
not number less than four thousand men. Forrest, dis- 
mounting the Confederates — not more than one thou- 
sand troopers — immediately threw them forward as rifle- 
men to give battle, and a warm engagement began. 
The Federals, however, slowly fell back through the 
woods for a mile into the prairie to a strong position 
behind a stout picket-fence, quite half a mile long. 
Promptly detaching a regiment to move round by the 
right and turn this formidable barrier, he moved upon 
it with his men in two lines as soon as the regiment in 
question became well engaged. The Federals giving 
way, Forrest's men rushed up to the fence, and from 
behind it delivered a galling fire upon their rear. 

Up to this time Forrest's losses that day had been 
about eighty killed and wounded, while that of the en- 

February, 1864. 317 

emy may be set down at two hundred, including sev- 
enty-five prisoners taken. 

Remounting and pursuing, Forrest, notwithstanding 
the roads were now fearfully cut up, was able to bring 
his advance into more than one sharp collision that aft-_ 
ernoon with the Federal rear guard, which had been 
made heavy, and evidently now of their best men. In 
attempting after dark to traverse a field with his escort, 
so as to intercept a body of the enemy, Forrest became 
entangled in some ditches, so that — a number of the 
Confederates getting ahead by the road — as he came 
up in the darkness they mistook each other for the en- 
emy they pursued, and both parties fired, killing one 
man, and a ball passed through the General's clothes. 
Under these circumstances, the command was ordered 
into bivouac on the same ground from which the Fed- 
erals had just retired, leaving around a good deal of 
subsistence and forage and camp-fires that were greatly 
enjoyed by the weatherbeaten, jaded, hungry Confed- 

As we have followed Forrest through the operations 
of the day and into bivouac some fourteen miles south 
of Okolona, we will now go back and come up with 
Bell's Brigade, which, as you will remember, we left last 
night at dark crossing to the west bank of the Tombig- 
bee. The crossing was not completed until eight o'clock 
this morning. Had the Federal commander known our 
position, and thrown a portion of his forces out toward 
the river to the north of us, our brigade — only about 
one thousand two hundred strong — would have been 
completely surrounded by Federals and water; and our 
only means of escape, in that case, would have been to 
fight our way through the lines of the former or swim 
through the latter. 

:318 E. K. Hancock's Diary. 

As soon as the brigade had all crossed Colonel Bar- 
teau set out in a north-west direction, with the Second 
Tennessee in rear of the brigade. We had not gone 
far before we heard artillery firing in the direction of 
West Point. Our regiment, now being detached and 
thrown forward, under Captain M. W. McKnight,* at a 
swift gallop for some three or four miles, came in sight 
of the Federal column, now in full retreat along the 
west side of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, a few miles 
north of West Point. Throwing forward skirmishers, 
McKnight halted here until Colonel Barteau came up 
with the rest of the brigade. Being ordered to keep on 
the Federal right flank, Barteau now moved out north- 
ward through the prairie, on the east side of and paral- 
lel with the railroad, with the Second Tennessee again 
in front. A skirmish was now kept up and continued 
the rest of the day between our and the Federal skir- 
mishers as they moved on between and parallel with 
the moving columns. When about opposite Egypt Sta- 
tion McKnight halted, and, deploying his men in line, 
again waited for the rear of the brigade to come up. 
While in this position (about the time the rear of the 
brigade had closed up) the Federals made their appear- 
ance in battle array on an elevated portion of the prai- 
rie southward, driving our skirmishers before them. 
For a few moments the situation was fearful. The bri- 
gade was about to be enveloped, in its isolated position, 
by the Federals. However, the movement was happily 
discovered in time to be met with decision by Colonel 

*As Colonel Barteau was in command of the brigade, Lieutenant-Colonel 
Morton on detached duty, and Major Parrish sick, Captain McKnight com- 
ijTianded the regiment. 

February, 1864. 319 

I take the following in reference to the above affair 
from Colonel Barteaii's Manuscript Notes: 

Night found us at the intersection of the Aberdeen and Egypt 
road. Here the enemy made an unsuccessful attempt to strike a blow 
upon our comparatively small force. He had gained a quarter of a 
mile ahead of us, and attempted with a force from the head of his col. 
umn to take possession of this road before we could come up, while a 
force from the direction of his rear was detached to close rapidly on 
us. But apprehending this we immediately drove the detachment in 
front away from the road with Colonel Wilson's Regiment, while my 
own under the gallant Captain McKnight protected the flank, and 
Colonel Russell managed admiirably well the portion of the enemy 
who attacked our rear. 

All things being well now we moved out on the Aberdeen road to its 
junction with the Okolona road and went into camp* [four miles 
from Aberdeen]. 

The Federals bivouacked some four miles south of 
Okolona, on the west side of the railroad. 


Monday, 22d. — By three o'clock in the morning our 
brigade was in the saddle and moving toward Okolona. 

*"An amusing little incident look place that night while we were in camp. 

"The scouts were watching and surveying the camp of the enemy, and in 
doing so came upon a big Dutchman in the back yard of a farm house. He had 
just robbed alien roost, and a lusty chanticleer seemed to be his only prize. He 
was easily captured himself, but persisted in denying the right of his captors to 
take from him his lawfully captured rooster. He was brought into camp hold- 
ing his fowl by the neck. All efforts to get 'plain English' out of him or to get 
away his 'bird' were equally fruitless; but by the aid of a limited knowledge 
of his native tongue and the assistance of a good interpreter whom I soon found, 
1 learned that he belonged to the Second 'New Zhorky,' and that the entire 
wagon train had been ordered to be on the Pontotoc road by daylight. 

" He had been one of the wagon guard that day, and understood that they 
were all going back to Memphis (as he said) 'to be dismounted and sent down 
■the river.' 

" Whether all of his information was true or not, I now considered it certain 
that the enemy would not attempt to cross the Tombigbee, and I gave orders 
immediately to move, that if possible we might intercept the wagon train on the 
Pontotoc road, or strike it at daylight just west of Okolona." — Manuscript 
J^Jotes of Colonel Barteau. 

320 R. E. Hancock's Diary. 

When within one mile and a half of that place Colonel 
Barteau ordered the brigade to halt and dismount. Skir- 
mishers* being thrown out toward the railroad, mounted, 
soon came in contact with the Federal skirmishers, when 
a lively skirmish commenced, and was kept up for some 
time, while we were thus waiting for Forrest to move 
on their rear. As we had bivoaucked a few miles in ad- 
vance of Forrest, and also started about one hour earlier 
that morning, we had to wait here longer than was pleas- 
ant; for we were in dangerous proximity to the Feder- 
als, had they been handled with a resolution or skill 
commensurate with their great numerical advantage. 
Such inquiries as, " What can Forrest be doing ? " " Why 
does he not attack the enemy in the rear?" could now 
be frequently heard along our line. Finally, hearing 
skirmishing west of the railroad, a little south of us, 
we knew that at least a portion of Forrest's men were 
now in supporting distance; so we then felt somewhat 

*D. B. Willard (Company C) and Lieutenant T. C. Atkinson (Company A), 
two daring riders, were among the skirmishers thus thrown forward. Ventur- 
ing a little too far into a field, they soon found that their only means of escape 
was through a hedge fence. Nor did they have any time for parley, as the balls 
were now flying thick around them. "Selecting," says Willard, "the thinnest 
and lowest place, I made my horse leap that hedge, followed by Atkinson, and 
we thus made our escape." Soon after this, as the brigade neared Okolona, 
these two troopers, being in advance, dashed boldly into town. Just as Atkin- 
son had dismounted and entered a house for some purpose, Willard, seeing a 
squad of Federals coming dashing down the street toward him, seeing that he 
had no time to lose, after calling out to Atkinson, he went dashing out of town 
with the Federals at his heels with drawn sabers, yelling, "Halt! halt!'' 
Willard replied, "I don't belong to that command; therefore I shall not obey 
your orders." So he soon made his escape. Before Atkinson could come out 
and mount the Federals were upon him ; therefore he surrendered. However, 
the Federals in their eager pursuit after Willard, passed him. Seeing at once 
that this was his opportunity, he leaped into the saddle, grabbing the reins of a 
splendid horse that the Federals had been leading, and by a circuitous route 
southward, making good his escape, rejoined his command (Second Tennessee) 
soon after with his prize. 

February, 1864. 321 

relieved. About that time Colonel Barteau received a 
dispatch from General Forrest stating that he had two 
brigades at Egypt Station, and directing him to continue 
flanking the enemy on the right, as he had been doing. 
The brigade then mounted and moved out for Okolona. 
Just before we got to that place our column and that of 
the Federals came in full view of each other, moving 
nearly parallel with and only a few hundred yards from 
each other. Thus the two columns continued to move 
until the head of each passed to a point a few hundred 
yards north of town, when both halted, and, by facing — 
the Confederates to the left and the Federals to the 
right — the two lines now stood in battle array in full 
view of and fronting each other, each on an elevated 
portion of the prairie, with the railroad midway in a de- 
pression between the lines. The Confederate left ex- 
tended to a point east of Okolona, and the Federal right 
to a point west. Our brigade dismounted, while the Fed- 
erals remained mounted. Soon after we had thus formed 
some Federals came dashing down through the town as 
though they were going to try to move us from our po- 
sition. However, a few volleys from the left of the brig- 
ade sent them back the other way. By this time the 
head of the main Federal column must have been two or 
three miles from Okolona on the Pontotoc road. 

Meanwhile, General Forrest, dashing ahead with his 
staff and escort to acquaint himself as soon as possible 
with the state of affairs in front, had overtaken and har- 
assed the Federal rear guard for a few miles southward 
of Okolona, and pressed them into the place, soon after 
we had taken the position as above indicated. Seeing 
the Federals drawn up in strong force in several lines, 
as if for battle, and discovering our brigade at the same 

322 E R.. Hancock's Diary. 

time, he left his staff and escort south of town and im- 
mediately hastened, alone, to our position ; and as he 
made his appearance on our front the effect was pro- 
found. Every countenance irradiated with confidence, 
couraofe, and enthusiasm, which found immediate ex- 
pression in loud cheers and prolonged shouts of mingled 
joy and defiance, in recognition of which Forrest lifted 
his hat and politely bowed to us as he passed our front, 
from left to right, at a gallop, saying, mildly, " Mount 
your horses;" and, on reaching our right, he gave im- 
mediate orders for the brigade to charge.* He, at the 
head of Russell's Regiment, dashed across the railroad 
north of town, and Barteau and McKnight, at the head 
of the Second Tennessee, went through town, while 
Wilson's divided, a part going to the support of each 
of the other regiments. The Confederates began to 
fire, with their long rifles, as they came within one hun- 
dred and fifty yards of the enemy ; but the short breech- 
loading firearms of the Federals gave the latter an ad- 
vantage which told perceptibly, and the Confederates 
were staggered for some moments, which Forrest, ob- 
serving, ordered to be cured by an immediate charge of 
Wilson's and Russell's Regimentsf on foot, while he, with 
the Second Tennessee, mounted (now drawing his sword 

•:•:■ "Forrest's only question is, 'Where is the enemy's whole position?' My 
answer, 'You see it, General, and they are preparing to charge.' 'Then we will 
charge them,' was his reply, and in a moment the three regiments were wheeled 
into columns of platoons. .......... 

"We dashed into the town by two different streets, and struck the enemy in 
his very face just as he was preparing to execute the same movement on us. He 
seemed astonished and confounded, and his partially executed movements were 
turned into confusion and disorder." — Manuscript Notes of Colonel C. R. B. 

t Here the writer of Forrest's Campaigns adds Newsom's Regiment, which 
is a mistake, for that regiment was not attached to Bell's Brigade until about the 
first of May following. 

February, 1864. 323 

and brandishing the glittering steel over head, said, 
"Come on, boys"),* swept around to attack the Fed- 
eral right flank, an attack which was made with excel- 
lent spirit, while the dismounted men pressed with equal 
spirit upon their front. The enemy, now giving way, 
fled in confusion alongr the Pontotoc road. The Fed- 
eral loss in this affair was light, only about thirty killed, 
wounded, and captured ; that of the Confederates trivial, 
notwithstanding the superior character of arms used by 
the enemy. Colonel Barteau was knocked from his 
horse by a spent ball striking the clasp of his pistol belt; 
however, not being seriously wounded, he was soon in 
the saddle and at the head of the brigade again. f 

The chase now became general and eager, Forrest 
leading with his escort and the Second Tennessee, but 
swiftly followed by the other regiments as fast as they 
could mount. For the next four miles Forrest's best 
mounted men were constantly up and in conflict with 
the worst mounted fugitives, and many of the latter, in 
that distance, were either killed or captured. Mean- 
while, in the keenness of the pursuit, we became greatly 
scattered, and the men of the several regiments were 
necessarily so intermingled that, for the time, there was 
no distinct regimental organization, which Forrest ob- 
served and ordered the brigade to halt and organize. 

*In this "Come on, boys," lay one of the secrets of Forrest's unparalleled 
success as a cavalry leader. 

t " On seeing our gallant Colonel fall I immediately dashed to his assistance 
and to examine the nature of his wound. As he was for a few moments speech- 
less, he made no reply when I asked, 'Colonel, are you seriously wounded? ' 
His first words (at the same time taking hold of me and attempting to rise 
to his feet) were, ^Forward, Second Tennessee !^ 

"He had received a severe shock, though not a serious wound, and a few 
moments later he was in the saddle and in the lead again." — Verbal report of 
Assistant Surgeon. Dr. J. W. Harrison. 

324 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

After which, moving about one mile and a half further, 
we came up with the Federal rear again. The Second 
Tennessee was ordered to dismount and charge on foot, 
being led by Captain M. W. McKnight. The enemy, 
however, making only a feeble stand here, were soon 
'driven to a point one mile and a half beyond. Being 
so nearly exhausted by this time, we were ordered to 
halt until our horses were brought up,* 

In the chase from Okolona to this point, some seven 
miles, Forrest, with our brigade and his escort, had cap- 
tured seven pieces of artillery and their caissons. Only 
a few hundred yards from where we thus halted there 
was a high ridge, covered with small post-oaks and a 
dense undergrowth, which sloped down steeply into 
marshy valleys on either hand, that covered both flanks^ 
This being a very favorable position for defense, the 
Federals rallied and made a stubborn stand. 

Colonel Forrest's and McCulloch's Brigades coming 
up only a few moments after we had halted, were or- 
dered, the first to move to the right, the second to the 
left of the highway, and assail the enemy's position. 
(Colonel Russell's Regiment being detached from Bell's 
Brigade moved forward with Forrest's Brigade.) Both 
brigades swept forward at an equal pace and quickly 
carried the first line of cover in the face of a withering 
fire ; but behind was a second position, strongly fur- 
nished, from which streamed a hissing torrent from the 
Federal breech-loaders, that cut down many of the 
dauntless men who breasted it. Among others, Colonel 

*McKnight's Company halted near a pond, some fifteen feet in diameter, 
and, notwithstanding the Federal cavalry horses had just been passing through 
and thus stirred it until the v/ater was thick with mud, some of the boys were 
so nearly famished for water that they ran and drank of it as though it had beea 
clear spring water. 

February, 1864. 325 

J. E. Forrest (the youngest of four brothers, the General 
being the eldest) fell mortally wounded, shot through 
the neck. General Forrest being informed of his broth- 
er's fall, rushed to the spot and dismounted. The Col- 
onel was not yet dead, and his mortal existence ter- 
minated in the arms of the General, whose soul at that 
supreme instant was moved by such an excess of sorrow 
that it served even to hush, for some ten minutes, the 
storm of battle. Says Colonel Russell, who was pres- 
^ent : 

The moment was too sacred for angry passion to have sway, and 
•catching its inspiration I ordered the men to cease firing, that all 
might join in sympathy with our suffering General. After nature had 
triumphed for awhile, continues Colonel Russell, he rose up, and cast- 
ing aside those reflections which had unmanned him for a few moments, 
by a strong mental effort Forrest was himself again. 

Remounting in stern silence, Forrest, taking in the 
situation at a glance, ordered his staff and escort to fol- 
low, and shouting in a loud, passionate voice, " Gaus, 
sound the charge!"* dashed with great fury upon the 
enemy in front just as they were remounting to retreat, 
and for some moments there was sore havoc in the Fed- 
eral mass as it flowed rearward, heavily packed in the 
narrow road, for a mile to another position even stronger 
and better prepared for defense, behind rail and log 
breastworks. The Forrest Brigade, now under Colonel 
Duckworth, was dismounted on the right of the road 
.and thrown forward to storm the cover. The defense 
was stubborn and bloody, and the assault equally stren- 
uous ; however, the Federals were forced back, but only 
for a half mile, where the around afforded another favor- 
able position, with abundance of rails available for an- 
other temporary breastwork. Lieutenant-Colonel J. A. 

•■■■Jacob Gaus ■was the name of his favorite orderly bugler. 


R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Barksdale fell mortally wounded while gallantly leading 
the Fifth Mississippi, during the above onset. 
^ McCulloch was now up with his Texans and Missou- 
rians, who charged forward, shouting that their colors 
should not lag behind any on that field; the Forrest 
Brigade dashed forward also, with a similar resolve. 
Therefore, the conflict for the position was short, but 
very bloody. The Federals yielded the ground, suffer- 
mg a great deal as they retired, especially the Fourth 
Regulars and Sixth and Ninth Illinois Cavalry. The 
Confederate losses also were severe before the position 
was carried. A mile beyond the enemy stood at bay 
agam behind a cluster of log cabins and some out-build- 
ings and strong fencing. Forrest and his escort were 
with the advance, and active in the onslaught.* The 
musketry was again deadly to both sides, and Forrest's 
horse fell under him, pierced with five balls, besides 
which his saddle, struck three times, was shattered 
under him. A trooper, observing the situation of our 
leader, dismounted and gave up his horse, which was 
taken as promptly as it was offered, but was likewise 
killed before Forrest had ridden it one hundred and fifty 
yards, but, fortunately, just as one of his own horses, a. 
favorite iron gray gelding, was brought to him from the 
rear. It was about this juncture, too, that Colonel Mc- 
Culloch was painfully wounded in the hand, and had to 
quit^ field, and , consequently, his brigade was brought 

*The writer of Forrest's Campaigns says: " Disposing the Second and Sev- 
enth Tennessee on the right, and McCulloch's Brigade on the left, an attack 
followed with little delay." (Page 398.) Hence this writer gives the Second 
lennessee the honor of taking part in this onset-an honor which we do not 
claim, for according to what I wrote then, which corresponds with my memory 
now (1886), the Second Tennessee was not ordered to the front until the Feder- 
als had taken the next and last position, as nightfall closed the operations of the 
day at the next stand. This is correct.— Q. R. B. 

Februaky, 1864. 327 

to a stand for a while by this mishap, and Forrest found 
himself in advance, with scarcely three hundred officers 
and men from all the different regiments engaged ; but 
with this small force he nevertheless hung close upon 
the enemy's rear, and just at sunset came upon them, 
drawn up in four strong lines upon an elevated ridge, 
in the western skirt of a field of the area of about one 
hundred acres, ready to descend upon this small band 
of dismounted Confederates. Forrest threw his men 
into line as quickly as possible behind a gully which 
furrowed the field, to meet the approaching onset. 

We will here pause to describe more fully the Federal 
position at this place. The Pontotoc road approaching 
the north-east corner of the above named field, passing 
alono- the north-east side, with woods on the right, 
turning the north-west corner in a curve, a short distance 
from which, at a farm-house in the north-west side of 
said field, turned square to the right, leading off through 
a lane. The Federal lines extended from this house 
along the north-west side of said field, to and along the 
south-west side. Two pieces of artillery were planted 
near said house in the yard. 

To return now to Forrest's position. The first line 
of Federals dashed down the slope in excellent order to 
within sixty yards of the Confederates, who, at that 
distance, poured into it a scorching volley which sent it 
reelino- rearward, and strewed the ground in front with 
a number of dead and wounded horses and men. The 
second line was buffeted back in like manner, and also 
the third, after making a still nearer approach. The 
remaining line, the largest and most menacing, was now 
put in action, with such persistence that, notwithstand- 
ing it was met by a warm fire, the mass of it pressed up 

328 R. E. Hancock's Diary. 

to the gully we have mentioned, and many even sprang 
across and broke through the Confederate ranks. The 
Confederates, throwing down their guns, betook them- 
selves to their revolvers, in the desperate hand-to-hand 
struggle that now came to pass.* Just at this juncture 
Lieutenant-Colonel McCulloch opportunely brought up 
McCuUoch's Brigade, and meeting the portion of the 
enemy that had broken through and passed to the rear 
of Forrest's position, killed and wounded a number, 
among others an aid-de-camp of General Grierson. 

About this time Colonel Barteau came to the front 
with the Second Tennessee and Wilder's Regiment 
(Russell's having been detached, as previously men- 
tioned). The Federal artillery now opened for the first 
time during the day. Colonel Barteau, being ordered 
to attack the Federal left fiank, and, if possible, take 
the section of artillery that was playing upon us, moved 
his demi-brigade along the north-east side of the field I 
have mentioned for a few hundred yards, and then he 
ordered us to halt and dismount. The two regiments 
(with the Second Tennessee in front)', led by the gal- 
lant Barteau, moving on to the north-west corner of said 
field, there emerging from the woods that had afforded 
us some protection to that point from the continued 
stream of grape-shot that the Federal artillery had been 
pouring among us all the while, and dashing forward 
with spirit, began to fire when within one hundred yards 
of the Federal position, around the farm-house we have 
mentioned, and, soon brushing back the enemy, f cap- 

* Seeing a Federal officer in the act of shooting one of his staft (Major T. S. 
Tate), who had no weapon save an empty carbine, Forrest, with one sweep of 
his saber, nearly severed the Federal officer's head from his shoulders. The man 
toppled to the ground, and as he did so Tate, taking the revolver from his hand, 
swung himself into the vacated saddle. 

tThe Federal Second Tennessee was among the supporters of this section of 
artillery, so here, for once, the Confederate Second Tennessee met and engaged 
the Federal Second Tennessee. 

February, 1804. 329 

tured one piece of artillery, with the horses hitched to 
it, and one flag". After dashing along the lane for some 
distance beyond the house, close after the other piece of 
artillery, we were ordered to cease hring, iall back and 
form inside the yard fence. 

While Barteaii was thus driving back the Federal left 
flank, their right dashed down upon his horse-holders, 
who, turning the horses loose, betook themselves to 
their guns and very gallantly repelled the enemy, not- 
withstanding they were "few and far between."* 

As it was now dark Forrest, ordering his men to halt, 
did not pursue the enemy any further. We thus came 
to a halt some fifteen miles north-west of Okolona, on 
the Pontotoc road ; and it had been almost one continu- 
ous rattle of fire-arms for the whole of that fifteen miles. 
The Federal losses were not less than six hundred 
killed and woundec| and three hundred prisoners. The 
Confederate losses were some fifty killed and one hun- 
dred and fifty wounded. The Second Tennessee was 
very fortunate — none killed and only about five slightly 
wounded. The losses of McKnight's Company were : 
W. W. Hawkins, slightly wounded; Jim Dougherty, 
somewhat jarred by a spent grape-shot striking his 
shoulder ; and two horses killed and another's leg broken. 

Barteau, with Bell's Brigade, moved back about two 
miles and bivouacked. About eight p. m. General Ghol- 

* Since writing the above I have learned that it was the Fourth Regulars, 
under Captain Allen, that dashed down upon our horse-holders. In the hand- 
to-hand conflict that now ensued, H. C. (Red) Odom (Company C) shot and 
killed Captain Allen, who at that moment was making an attempt to kill Jim 
Petway (Company G) with his saber. So grateful did Petway feel toward Odom 
for thus saving his life that he off"ered to make Odom a present of a fine horse ; 
■but as Odom had captured four horses during the day, and consequently did not 
need Petway's horse, he very prudently declined to accept the offer. Three of 
the four horses that S. C. Odom was holding were shot in the above affair. 

330 R. E. Hancock's Diary. 

son arrived upon the field with a brigade — seven hun- 
dred strong — of State troops. 

Tuesday, 2jd. — General Gholson was directed to take 
up the pursuit with his fresh troops early in the morn- 
ing, which he did as far as Cherry Creek, capturing 
some fifty stragglers. At Tippah River, where the boat 
was destroyed, and a halt became necessary for the con- 
struction of a temporary bridge, some scouts having 
fired upon the demoralized enemy from the surrounding 
bushes, a rush was made into the stream in so frantic a 
manner that many horses and some men were drowned^ 
and thenceforward to Memphis there was little organi- 
zation in this command, which, scarcely a fortnight be- 
fore, had left West Tennessee seven thousand strong,, 
and as splendidly equipped a corps of cavalry as ever 
took the field. Had Smith been successful in forming 
a junction with Sherman at Meridian, it was no doubt 
the intention of the latter to move on to Mobile, Ala- 
bama. Sherman arrived at Meridian the 15th of Feb- 
ruary, and began his retreat from Meridian to Vicks- 
burg a few days after Smith had been driven back to 

^ In A. H. Stephens' " War Between the States" (Vol. 
II, page 582) I find the following: 

A little before this General William T. Sherman had set out on his 
grand projected expedition to Mobile through Mississippi and Ala- 
bama. This most formidable and threatening movement was com- 
pletely checked by several brilliant cavalry exploits of Major-General 
N. B. Forrest, particularly the one at Okolona on the 22d of Febru- 
ary, the opening day of the fourth year of the war. Sherman's army, 
estimated at fifty thousand, was thus stopped at Meridian, Mississippi. 
From this point he retraced his steps to Vicksburg, and by Grant was 
put at the head of a new army to make another '■'■ omvard^^ upon At- 
lanta and through Georgia. 

Having set parties to burying the dead, both Confed- 

February, 1864. 331 

erate and Federal, and pressed wagons to remove the 
wounded of both sides ahke to the hospital at Okolona^ 
Forrest left the field with his staff and escort, and re- 
established his headquarters at Starkville on the 24th. 

Meanwhile Lee, on the morning of the 2 2d, had ar- 
rived, with Jackson's Division, at Chalmers' headquar- 
ters, behind the Sakatonchee ; and, hearing that the 
Federals were on the retreat northward, he fell back as 
far as Starkville, county seat of Oktibbeha County, 
where he waited Forrest's arrival. After moving a few 
miles from the main road to feed our horses our regi- 
ment moved on to Okolona. There we learned that the 
rest of our brigade had passed, going south. We 
camped for the night near town. 

Wednesday, 24th. — The regiment moved down to their 
old camp near Pikeville, nine miles south of Okolona. 
It had been twenty-nine days since we left this camp, 
and we had been in the saddle twenty-seven days out 
of that twenty-nine. 

TJmrsday, 2^th. — After a march of some twenty miles 
our regiment camped for the night within thirteen miles 
of Starkville. 

Friday, 26th. — Moving on to Starkville, we found our 
wagon train one mile and a half south of town, and 
there we went into camps. The rest of our brigade 
(Bell's) and Chalmers' Division arrived also. 

Sunday, 28th. — Bell's Brigade moved from Starkville 
to Tibbee Station — thirteen miles — which is the first sta- 
tion south of West Point. We remained here for two 
weeks to rest and recruit our horses, and they had, per- 
haps, never needed rest before as they did just at this 

In the first week of March Forrest's command was 

332 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

augmented by Colonels A. P. Thompson's (Third), Ed. 
Crossland's (Seventh), and H. B. Lyons' (Eighth) Ken- 
tucky Regiments, who, having served hitherto as infantry, 
were now sent into his department to be mounted and 
transferred to the cavalry arm. They were so greatly 
reduced, however, all three together did not number 
more than seven hundred effectives, about one third of 
whom had received horses already ; the remainder were, 
as yet, to be horsed. Brigadier-General A, Buford 
came with them. W. W. Faulkner's Regiment (Ken- 
tuckians from McCuUoch's Brigade) and Jeffrey E. For- 
rest's Regiment (now commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel 
Wisdom) were added to this Kentucky Brigade, which, 
together with Bell's Brigade, constituted the Second 
Division of Forrest's Cavalry, with A. Buford as divi- 
sion commander; thus leaving Colonel A. P. Thompson 
in command of the (Third)* Kentucky Brigade, and 
Lieutenant-Colonel G. A. C, Holt in command of the 
Third Kentucky Regiment. Buford assumed command 
on the 8th of March, with headquarters at Tibbee Sta- 
tion. Chalmers commanded the other, or First Division, 
with headquarters at Mayhew Station (four miles south 
of Tibbee), where the Second Brigade, McCulloch com- 
manding, was established on the 6th ; also the Seventh 
Tennessee Cavalry (Colonel Duckworth), of the First, 
or Richardson's Brigade, the other three regiments of 
which had been previously detached in the direction of 

In this reorganization of Forrest's Cavalry the brig- 
ade which had been commanded by the lamented Colo- 
nel J. E. Forrest was divided up among the other brig- 
ades ; so the four brigades above named contained all 
of Forrest's command. 

* Bell's was now the Fourth Brigade. 

Febkuart, 1864. 333 

As the Second Tennessee had as yet only seven com- 
panies, three splendid companies of West Tennesseans 
were added about this time in order to fill out the regiment 
to ten companies. These three companies were well 
officered, and the men were gentlemen as well as good 
soldiers. These three companies had been raised in 
Obion and Weakley counties in the latter part of 1863 
and the beginning of 1864, and when attached to our 
regiment became Companies H, I, and K. The two 
first named were transferred from Russell's Regiment. 
The following rolls of said companies have been copied 
from the muster rolls which were made out at Tupelo, 
Mississippi, May loth, 1864, and are now in the Con- 
federate archives at Washington City:* 


B. Edwards, Captain, 

J. Bedford, First Lieutenant. 

E. Lasiter, Second Lieutenant. 

J. L. Stubblefield, Third Lieutenant. 

R. Woody, First Sergeant. 

J. D. W. Barton, Second Sergeant. 

C. S. Brown, Third Sergeant. 

J. J. Dreemon, Fourth Sergeant. 

A. Miller, Fifth Sergeant. 

J. W. C. Harmon, First Corporal. 

F. M. Smelledge, Second Corporal. 
F. H. Edwards, Third Corporal. 
Q. C. King, Fourth Corporal. 

Bedford, A. A. Carter, J. L. 

Brown, J. R. Crocket, E. B. 

Burton, Wesley. Climar, J. A. 

Brown, James. Cummings, V. B. 

Barnett, F. • Cummings, John. 

Baird, R. H. Crutchfield, F. 

Baird, James. Cardell, W. A. 

* I am under obligations to the Secretary of War, Hon. Wni. C. Endicott^ 
for copies of the above named rolls. 


R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Carter, M. E. 
Collier, D. 
Callicoat, J- H. 
Crutchfield, 1. 
Coachran, O. A. 
Davis, P. M. 
Davis, J. C. 
Freeman, R. W. 
Caloway, H. B. 
Grisham, A. A. 
■Granger, John E. 
Harriss, Van. 
Hoosier, A. 
Holloway, R. 
Hazlerigg, A. J. 
Harrison, J. B. 
Hallen, J. A. 
Inpian, Tho. B. 
Jacobs, Hugh. 
Jacobs, Robert. 
Jeffress, P. D. 
King, P. C. 
Kindell, W. 

Miller, W. M. 
Mangrum, J. E. 
McAdams, I. K. 
Noah, P. D. 
Porter, J. W. 
Porch, S. M. 
Rodman, T. W. 
Robinson, B. B. 
Reed, G. W. 
Rine, G. C. 
Stacy, D. B. 
Shore, J. J. 
Smith, P. H. 
Summers, B. F. 
Tomlinson, F. M. 
Vardell, R. B. 
Vaughn, A. J. 
Wilson, S. H. 
Wade, H. I. 
Wade, S. M. 
Wright, John. 
Young, J. M. 

The following names, not on the above named muster 
roll, I find on the roll made out June 30, 1864: 

Canady, John. Fields, N. W. 

Cook, John. Osburn, William. 


S. H. Reeves, Captain. 
William Lattimer, First Lieutenant. 
J. H. Bittick, Second Lieutenant. 
W. C. Roberts, Third Lieutenant. 
A. L. Boyett, First Sergeant. 
M. Rosson, Second Sergeant. 
J. C. Hamilton, Third Sergeant. 
N. K. Moore, Fourth Sergeant. 
S. A. Williamson, Fifth Sergeant. 

February, 1864. 


G. T. 

C. B. 

W. B. 

J. W. 
Alexander, J. H. 
Bittick, N. D. 
Bittick, John. 
Boyett, G. T. 
Boyett, T. F. 
Branham, W. G. 
Coatney, J. H. 
Carter, J. L. 
Clark, A. S. 
Clark, L. P. 
•Cary, P. S. 
Culberson, W. M. 
Cloar, William. 
Cloar, J. A. 
Cloar, T. C. 
Cloar, J. E. 
Cowsert, I. W. 
Cowsert, W. S. 
Dozier, I. N. 
Dozier, J. J. 
Dozier, W. A. 
Dillon, H. 
Fullerton, R. B. 
Fentress, G. W. 
Fletcher, T. J. 
Glover, J. T. 
-Glover, P. T. 
Glover, G. W. 
Gallaway, H. B. 
Glisson, T. H. 
Grey, J. 

Glover, Thomas. 
Hudson, B. W. 
Howell, J. W. 
. Harrison, J. W. 
Hargett, J. A. 
Howard, G. G. 

Brownlow, First Corporal. 
Howell, Second Corporal. 
Molett, Third Corporal. 
McDaniel, Fourth Corporal. 

Johnson, D. C. 

Johnson, Sol. 

Jones, R. T. 

Kerr, E. B. 

Kerr, William, 

Lassiter, R. A. 

Lattimer, T. J. 

Lattimer, D. A. 

Lattimer, J. S. 

Lattimer, Alex. 

Lasley, J. T. 

Moffatt, J. F. 

Moppin, J. A. 

Morrow, W. L. 

Macksey, C. 

Masters, W. H. 

Owen, A. I. 

Powell, R. W. 

Pickard, L. P. 

Reeves, J. H. 

Rust, J. A. 

Rust, S. A. 

Rosson, Samuel. 

Smith, C. W. 

Smith, S. R. 

Teaton, H. C. 

Tilghman, E. C. 

Watts, C. H. 

West, A. G. 

West, J. W. 

Williams, J. G. 

WilHams, F. 

Williams, B. F. 

Williams, J. S. 

Walker, E. 

Wright, H. W. 

336 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

I learn from muster roll of Company I, made out June 
30th, 1.864, th^-t William Lattimer (First Lieutenant), 
J. H. Bittick (Second Lieutenant), A. L. Boyett (First 
Sergeant), M. Rosson (Second Sergeant), and C. B. 
Howell (Second Corporal) were transferred to infantry 
on the 23d of May, 1864. The vacancies thus made 
were filled as follows: J. C. Hamilton was made First 
Lieutenant; J. W. Howell, First Sergeant; P. T. Glover, 
Second Sergeant; and N. B. Molett, Second Corporal. 

The following are the names of those found on mus- 
ter roll of June 30th, not on roll of May loth, 1864: 

Carter, G. L. Howell, J. B. 

Clendenning, W. Moody, West. 

Cook, Frank. Wright, Y. 
Hamilton, A. B. 


O. B. Farris, Captain. 

J. W. Neel, First Lieutenant. 

F. M. McRee, Second Lieutenant. 

Henry Prior, Third Lieutenant. 

H. D. Fox, First Sergeant. 

Wellington Scearce, Second Sergeant. 

T. H. N. Adams, Third Sergeant, 

C. P. Edwards, Fourth Sergeant. 

W. J. F. Ragan, Fifth Sergeant. 

William Polk, First Corporal. 

A. M. Perry, Second Corporal. 

Henry Walker, Third Corporal. 

Henry Killion, Fourth Corporal. 
Adams, R. F. Curry, Samuel. 

Allison, R. William. Collin, Robert. 

Benton, W. E. Campbell, T. J. 

Baker, S. A. Carroll, C. H. 

Bartlett, William. Caruthers, S. L. 

Bradford, C. G. Calhoon, J. W. 

Buckhanan, J. M. Darbin, J. A. 

February, 1864. 


Edwards, William. » 
Everett, W. T. 
Fuzzell, J. H. 
Fuzzell, Green. 
Flemming, J. R. 
Flemming, B. W. 
Farris, B. F. 
Green, Obed. 
Haily, J- W. 
Head, F. S. 
Head, J. W. 
Hill, S. J. 
Hill, A. N. 
Hughes, J. W. 
Hutchinson, J. M. 
Hickman, J. S. 
Hubbard, John. 
Hays, Jacob. 
Inman, I. F. 
Inman, F. 
Johnson, T. H. 
Kisterson, J. H. 
Killion, J. D. 
Killion, Robert. 

I learn from muster roll made out June 30th, 1864, 
that the following promotions were made June ist: F. 
McRee was promoted from Second Lieutenant to First 
Lieutenant; W. H. Farris Company C, Seventh Tennes- 
see Cavalry, to Second Lieutenant in the above compa- 
ny ; Wellington Scearce, from Second Sergeant to Third 
Lieutenant ; John Pryor, from private to First Sergeant; 
and Henry Killion from Fourth Corporal to Second 

Company K was recruited as follows in May, 1864. 

Anthony, John. Brown, J. R. 

Baker, J. S. Blankenship, H. E. 

Brown, H. R. Bennett, W. H. 

McRee, T. F. 
Mooring, J. W. 
Mooring, C. T. 
Miller, R. W. 
Moffatt, J. C. 
McKay, R. F. 
McKay, W. J. 
Polk, James. 
Parks, H. B. 
Phillips, Robert. 
Phillips, Samuel. 
Peacock, CM. 
Riley, J. H. 
Roach, S. M. 
Reeves, J. J. 
Raynolds, Saylor. 
Sinclair, J. S. 
Smith, John. 
Singleton, Green. 
Tliompson, Thomas. 
Thompson, Samuel. 
Wells, G. W. 
Youree, William. 

338 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Bolton, H. C. Inman, T. B. 

Cunningham, E. F. Jackson, R. H. 

Cage, J. E. Lawson, S. P. 

Crockett, R. Moultrie, L. 

Dougherty, Sam. Prior, John. 

Davis, P. Smith, William. 

Davidson, O. J. W. Sandling, John. 

Farris, W. H. Tucker, G. L. 

Glasscock, L. O. Tucker, J. W. 

Grisham, George A. Wilson, W. A. 

Garrison, O. J. Walker, W. 
Hunter, J. S. 

Szmday, March i^th. — Chalmers' Division, at this time 
commanded by Colonel McCulloch, was ordered by Gen- 
eral Forrest to return to Panola. Colonel Duckworth's 
Regiment, from Richardson's Brigade, and McDonald's 
Battalion, from McCulloch's Brigade, remained on the 
Mobile and Ohio Railroad to accompany General Forrest 
on another expedition into West Tennessee and, if pos- 
sible, into Western Kentucky ; to which he was incited 
by several motives : 

First — Buford's Kentuckians were in pressing need 
of clothing and horses ; he therefore desired to give 
that command an opportunity to refit in their own State. 

Second — The Tennesseans brought out in December 
were also, for the most part, in great need of clothing, 
and had left their homes so suddenly as to make it im- 
portant that they likewise should be indulged in a brief 
visit to that region. 

Third — He wished to do all that he could to distract, 
harass and hurt the enemy in his field of command. 

Forrest's headquarters were now, and had been since 
the 27th of February, at Columbus. 

Monday, 14th. — All needful preparations for the con- 
templated expedition northward being now completed 

March, 1864. 339 

Bell's Brigade took up the line of march from their 
camp near Tibbee Station. Moving- west some seven 
miles to a bridge across Tibbee Creek, and thence about 
thirteen miles along the Okolona road, the brigade 
camped for the night west of the railroad. 

Tuesday, i^th. — General F'orrest and his staff and es- 
cort set out northward from Columbus this morning. 
Thompson's Brigade, Duckworth's Regiment (Seventh) 
and McDonald's Battalion were also put in motion along 
the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. Continuing its march 
along the Okolona road, Bell's Brigade camped five 
miles south of that place. 

Wednesday, /d///.— Bell's Brigade marched on through 
and camped eight miles north of Okolona. 

Thursday^, ijth. — Our brigade moved on to Tupelo, 
where we found General Buiord with the rest of our 
division. General Forrest set out with his escort Sev- 
enth Tennessee and McDonald's Battalion — that morn- 
ing from Tupelo, with two days' rations of corn, on their 
horses, for Jackson, Tennessee. Going by the way of 
Corinth he arrived at the former place the 20th. 

Friday, /c?///.— Faulkner's Regiment, being detached 
from Thompson's Brigade and thrown out on the left 
flank, crossed the Memphis and Charleston Railroad at 
Pocahontas, and thence, through Bolivar, on to Den- 
mark, west of Jackson. The rest of Buford's Division 
went by the way of Corinth. However, as the Second 
Tennessee moved detached from the division, though 
on the same general line of march, we will follow it only 
through its daily marches until it meets "with the divis- 
ion again. 

After a march of about twenty -five miles our regi- 
ment camped seven miles west of Baldwin. We carried 

340 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

no corn on our horses, but foraged off of the country 
through which we passed. I suppose that that is the 
main reason why we moved detached. 

Saturday, igth. — In the saddle early. Marching some 
thirty-five miles we camped within five miles of Corinth. 

Sunday, 20th. — Crossing the Memphis and Charleston 
Railroad at Corinth, and the State line a little north of 
that place, thence continuing our course nearly north, 
our regiment bivouacked three miles east of Purdy, the 
county seat of McNairy County, Tennessee. Marched 
some twenty-five miles. 

Monday, 21st. — Our regiment passed through and 
camped four miles north of Mifflin, in the western part 
of Henderson County. 

Tuesday, 22d. — After h.e had marched at)Out fifteen 
miles Colonel Barteau came up with the rest of Buford's 
Division at a country village called Spring Creek, in the 
northern portion of Madison County, south of Middle 
Forked Deer River, twelve miles north-east of Jackson. 
After directing General Buford to send Colonel Wilson, 
with five companies of his regiment and all the dis- 
mounted Kentuckians who were unable to make the 
march northward, to Jackson to occupy that place dur- 
ing the expedition, Forrest repaired to Trenton with his 
staff, escort — the Seventh Tennessee — and Faulkner's 

Wednesday , 2jd. — Detaching the Seventh Tennessee, 
McDonald's Battalion and Faulkner's Regiment, under 
Colonel Duckworth, to move upon Union City and cap- 
ture any Federal force there, Forrest set out for Padu- 
cah with his escort and the rest of Buford's Division, 
which, after a march of some thirty-seven miles, camped 
(half after ten p. m.) fifteen miles north-east of Trenton, 
on the Dresden road. 

March, 1864. 341 

Thursday, z^^th — Passing through Dresden and Duke- 
dom we bivouacked about four miles south of Mayfield 
(near midnight), in Graves County, Kentucky. Marched 
forty- two miles. 

Friday, 2^th. — -We only had about twenty-six miles 
to ride before reaching our point of destination — Padu- 
cah. Thompson's Brigade marched in front and Bell's 
in the rear, with four pieces of artillery between. As 
Colonel Thompson was goi?ig home he moved at quite a 
lively gait. The artillery had to move very rapidly down 
grade and on level road in order to make up time lost in 
going up grade. Therefore, our brigade moved at a 
gallop the greater portion of that twenty-six miles. We 
had, perhaps, never done as hard riding, for the same 
distance, as we did that day. A gentle shower of rain 
that was falling at the time was a great advantage in 
keeping our horses cooled off. We arrived before Padu- 
cah about two p. m. 

Forrest dashed into town with his advance guard, 
forcing the Federals to betake themselves, in hot haste, 
to their stronghold — Fort Anderson — a large inclosed 
earthwork in the western suburbs of town, about one 
hundred yards from the river bank, and surrounded by 
a broad, deep ditch, fringed with a strong abatis. This 
formidable work was garnished with- at least six pieces 
of artillery, and all the Federal troops at Paducah took 
refuo-e in it — from seven hundred to one thousand in 
number. Buford, dismounting his men in an open space 
a little south of west from town, threw Thompson's Bri- 
o-ade forward and leftward, in the direction of the fort, 
while Bell's, being on the right, moved into town. How- 
ever, it was not Forrest's purpose to attack the fort, and 
he gave no orders looking to such a step. But speed- 

342 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

ily was heard the sound of rapid, heavy firing of small 
arms and artillery in that direction, and, on sending 
Captain Anderson, his aid, to ascertain the cause, that 
officer, returning in a few moments, reported that an 
attack had been made by Colonel Thompson with about 
four hundred men of the Third and Seventh Kentucky, 
which, though gallantly led and made, had been repulsed 
with the loss of that distinguished officer. The fire con- 
centrated upon this band of Kentuckians was too con- 
suming to be endured, and Colonel Crossland, who sue- 
ceeded to the command, promptly distributed his men 
among the numerous houses, from the upper stories and 
roofs of which they poured a deadly fire over the para- 
pets of the works. Colonel Albert P. Thompson was 
killed in sight of the place of his birth, the house of his 
father, the home of his proud, useful manhood, the field 
of his professional distinction. 

Made aware of the situation, Forrest sent a positive or- 
der to Buford not to attempt to storm the Federal posi- 
tion, and at the same time causing a bugle to be sounded 
in indication of his wish for a parley, presented a formal 
demand for the surrender of the place. Colonel Hicks, 
the Federal commander, flushed with his recent ad- 
vantage, promptly answered the demand for his capitu- 
lation with a defiant refusal. Meanwhile the Confeder- 
ates had complete possession of the town itself, the 
streets of which the guns of the fort and the two gun- 
boats were sweeping with incessant discharges of solid 
shot, shell, and grape, doing a great deal of damage to 
the buildings. Scattered in detachments, Bulurd's men, 
nevertheless, began to collect in the various stores, ware- 
houses, and stables the clothing, supplies, and horses, 
for which the operations had been chiefly undertaken ; 

March, 1864. 343 

and other parties were set to destroy such public prop- 
erty and war material as could not be removed, includ- 
ing- the quartermaster's stores, railroad depot with all 
the rolling stock, and the Marine Way with the steamer 
Dacotah, on the stocks for repairs. 

Forrest, having closely reconnoitered the work, be- 
came fully satisfied that to storm it would involve a 
greater sacrifice of valuable life than would be justified 
by the capture of the force that defended it, withdrew 
all his troop without making any other effort to assault 
the work than that which had so unfortunately resulted 
in the loss of Colonel Thompson. The withdrawing 
did not commence, however, until after dark, and then 
it was effected by small detachments falling back to their 
horses, one after another, so that the enemy would not 
know when the place was evacuated. Paducah was in 
possession of the Confederates from a little after two 
until eleven p. m. Then Forrest moved his main force 
some four miles southward and camped, taking with 
him some fifty prisoners, about four hundred horses and 
mules, and a very large supply of clothing and quarter- 
master's subsistence, and military supplies, including 
saddles and other horse equipments, for the procure- 
ment of which, as I have said, the expedition had been 
mainly made. The Federals continued the bombard- 
ment of the town for some time after we had thus gone 
into carnp. 

I have seen no official reports of this affair at Paducah, 
and I reo^ret to find that the writer of "Forrest's Cam- 
paigns " is silent in reference to the loss of Forrest's 

I take the following from J. C. Ridpath's " History of 
the United States," page 523 : 

344 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

He [Forrest] reached Paducah, Kentucky, made an assault on Fort 
Anderson in the suburbs of the town, but was repulsed with a loss of 
three hundred men.* 

The loss of the Second Tennessee in this affair was 
two men (B. F. Odoni. Company C, and Wm. Ayers. 
Company D) killed and twelve wounded ; among the 
latter was our Lieutenant-Colonel, G. H. Morton, who 
was severely wounded in the shoulder. Nute Carr, 
Company E, S. W. Love, Company D, and Nat. C. 
Pope, Company G, were also among the wounded. 

Company C was very unfortunate. B. F. Odom (as 
before stated) was killed, a cannon-ball taking off the 
top of his head. He was a noble, kind-hearted young 
man as well as a good soldier, and consequently highly 
esteemed, much beloved, and greatly missed by all his 
comrades. A brick chimney, attached to a house in 
which Captain McKnight and several of his company 
had taken refuge, was struck by a cannon-ball, knock- 
ing the inmates around at a fearful rate by the flying 
and falling bricks. Captain McKnight was taken from 
the debris in a lifeless condition ; however, he soon suffi- 
ciently recovered from the terrible shock (his head was 
fearfully bruised and mashed) to be brought off in a 
buggy. Two others — S. C. Odom and T. D, Elkins — 
were considerably hurt. Another chimney was knocked 
down, falling on several of one company, though with- 

* Since writing the above I have received through the politeness of General 
M. J. Wright, General Forrest's official report, dated "Dresden, Tenn., March 
27, 1S&4," and addressed to " Lieutenant-General Polk, Demopolis " [Alabama], 
from which I take the following: 

■'H-eld the town for ten hours, and could have held it longer, but 
found the small-pox was raging, and evacuated the place. . . . My loss at 
Union City and Paducah, as lar as known, is twenty-h\e, killed and wounded. 
I hold possession of all this country except posts on the river. Think 
if I can remain unmolested here fifteen days I will be able to add two thousand 
men to my command." 

March, 1864. 345 

out serious injury to any. John N. McKnight was 
wounded in the arm by a small ball. L. VV. McKnight's 
leg" was broken at the knee, and consequently had to be 
amputated just above the knee. He was the only man, 
except the two killed, that our company or the regiment 
left in the hands of the enemy. He died soon after at 
Paducah. So our company (C) lost another excellent 
soldier by this Paducah affair. In fact, the company 
had never suffered so great a loss in any previous en- 

Saturday, zdtli. — The Federal commander, apprehen- 
sive of another attack, threw out detachments from his 
fortress, and set fire to a large number of buildings, in- 
cluding some of the best dwellings and business houses 
of the place, which, in that event, might be occupied by 
hostile sharp-shooters to his annoyance. However, this 
waste of property was the fruit of an idle apprehension. 

At nine a. m. Forrest sent, imder a flag of truce, a 
proposition for an exchange of prisoners, but this was 
declined, for alleged want of authority. 

Moving" fourteen miles southward Forrest bivouacked 
some four miles north of Mayfield. The Third and 
Seventh Kentucky Regiments were detached by squads 
to repair to the several neighborhoods in South-west 
Kentucky, in which they had been enrolled, to visit their 
kindred, from whom they had been long separated. 
They were ordered to reassemble by the end of tfie 
month at or near Mayfield, Kentucky. 

Sunday, 2yth. — The rest of our division moved down 
to Mayfield, where Buford, with six companies of the 
Second Tennessee and the Eighth Kentucky remained 
to await the return of the two disbanded regiments, 
while Forrest, with his escort, Russell's Regiment, five 

346 E R.. Hancock's Diary. 

companies of Wilson's, and four (including the three 
companies from West Tennessee) of the Second Ten- 
nessee, proceeded southward to Trenton, Tennessee. 
As Wilson's and Russell's men belonged in that vicinity, 
they were allowed to visit their families and friends, and 
to procure summer clothing. So Forrest's command 
was now well scattered over West Tennessee and Ken- 
tucky and Northern Mississippi. 

Colonel Duckworth, who was detached at Trenton on 
the 23d to move upon Union City with less than five 
hundred men, appeared in front of that place before 
daylight on the morning of the 24th, and discovered by 
the light of some burning buildings that the Federals 
were strongly entrenched in a square redoubt. A close 
and vigorous investment ensued, however, and for sev- 
eral hours there was a good deal of sharp-shooting, 
while Faulkner's Kentuckians made a charge to within 
twenty or thirty yards of the work. Without artillery, 
and the force within the works being equal in numbers 
to his own. Colonel Duckworth now resorted to the 7'use 
of presenting a peremptory demand for the surrender of 
the position in the name of General Forrest. The Fed- 
eral commander. General Hawkins, who had surrendered 
to Forrest in December, 1862, asked time to consider, 
and besought, moreover, a personal interview with For- 
rest, which, of course, was impracticable. Duckworth, 
therefore, cleverly answered in the name of his chief, 
that other important military movements would not 
allow any time for deliberation ; that the answer must 
be, therefore, immediate and conclusive; that he (For- 
rest) was not in the habit of meeting officers inferior in 
rank to himself under fiagf of truce, but would send 
Colonel Duckworth, an officer of equal rank, clothed 

April, 1864. 347 

with power to arrange torms, and any arrangement 
made by him would be strictly observed. The inter- 
view took place, and the capitulation was therefore 
made at eleven a. m., and four hundred and seventy-five 
men, with their arms and ammunition, camp and garri- 
son equipage, and three hundred horses were the results 
of this adroitly-managed stratagem. 

Tuesday, 2gth. — General Buford, with the Eighth 
Kentucky (perhaps a part of them had been disbanded 
to visit relatives and friends) and six companies of the 
Second Tennessee, moved out about seven miles south- 
west of Mayfield. 

Wednesday, jo//^.— Moving southward he camped 
within some two and a half miles of Dukedom, which 
is on or near the line between Kentucky and Tennessee. 

Thursday, Jist. — After a short march, about three 
miles, we camped half a mile south of Dukedom. 

Friday, April ist. — The most of the Kentuckians 
having returned to their colors by this time, Buford now 
took up the line of march for Trenton, halting for the 
nitrht at Dresden, fifteen miles south of Dukedom, in 
Weakley County, Tennessee. 

Saturday, 2d. — Marching about twenty-three miles a 
little west of south, crossino- the south fork of the Obion 
River, Buford camped within three or four miles of 
Trenton, in Gibson County. 

Sunday, jd. — Buford established the headquarters of 
his division at Trenton, while Colonel Barteau, with six 
companies of his regiment, went thirteen miles further 
west and encamped near Eaton, where he remained one 
week. While here he was rejoined by the four com- 
panies that had been detached at Mayfield, Kentucky. 
And also Wilson's and Russell's Regiments reassembled 
at this camp near Eaton. 

348 R. E. Hancock's Diary. 

Faulkner's Regiment rejoined the Kentucky Brigade 
at Trenton, and also the dismounted Kentuckians, who, 
being unable to accompany the expedition to Paducah, 
had been left nieanwhile at Jackson. 

While at Trenton, Butord having noticed in a northern 
newspaper the statement that the horses which had been 
recently carried off from Paducah belonged exclusively 
to the citizens, while those of the United States had es- 
caped by their adroit concealment in an old foundry or 
rolling-mill in the outskirts of the town, acquainted For- 
rest with the circumstances, and requested and obtained 
authority to return at once with the Kentucky Brigade, 
or some eight hundred of them, and complete his re- 

Setting out on the 8th Buford was in the vicinity of 
Columbus on the 1 2th, when he detached two companies 
to make a vigorous demonstration on the Federal posi- 
tion at that place, with the hope of thus drawing thither 
reinforcements and distracting the movements of the 
Federal forces. Other detachments were also thrown 
out, especially at points on the Tennessee River, and on 
the 14th Buford, with his main force, suddenly appeared 
at Paducah about one p. m. Boldly entering the town, 
he sent a detachment to the rolling-mill to search for 
horses, and another to investigate the quartermaster 
and subsistence store-houses. Some one hundred and 
forty excellent horses were soon found concealed, as had 
been anticipated, but, for the most part, the subsistence 
and other supplies had been removed across the river 
that day in anticipation of an attack. Meanwhile a 
furious bombardment had been opened on the town 
from the fort and four gunboats, but no movement was 
made on the part of the Federal commander to throw 

April, 1864. 349 

his troops from their cover. Buforcl's next measure was 
now to beguile, his adversary with the apprehension of 
a serious attack. So he formally notified the Federal 
commander of his intention to attack him, and granted 
a truce for one hour for the purpose of moving the 
women and children. This was accepted, and the navy 
officers begran to remove the women and children to the 
Illinois shore. Meanwhile Buford began to withdraw 
southward with his main force and spoils, leaving Faulk- 
ner to threaten the place for some hours longer, and 
then retire westward on the road to Blandville, to con- 
tinue the deception as to the objects and the strength 
of these Confederate movements. Buford himself fell 
back slowly to Dresden on the i8th, and established his 
headquarters there until the 30th, under orders from 
General Forrest, for the purpose of recruiting and pro- 
curing additional artillery and cavalry horses. 

While on his way to Paducah- about the time he was 
leaving Jackson — Forrest ordered Chalmers, who was at 
Panola, Mississippi, to send the First Brigade (now un- 
der Colonel J. J. Neely, Richardson having been re- 
lieved from command) into West Tennessee, with in- 
structions to take post at or about Brownsville. Accord- 
ingly Neely, getting in motion on the 25th of March, 
was at Bolivar on the 29th, and there met, engaged, 
and completely routed a Federal force under Hurst, 
killing about twenty and capturing some thirty and their 
wagon train (five wagons and teams) and two ambu- 
lances, with their contents, including fifty thousand 
rounds of ammunition, much needed, as it happened, by 
the Confederates at the time. 

Hearing that Grierson had been detached with a heavy 
cavaky force from Memphis to operate upon Forrest's 
rear, General Chalmers, leaving two battalions to guard 

350 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

the crossing of the Tallahatchie, crossed into West Ten- 
nessee with the remainder of McCulloch's Brigade, at 
or near LaGrange, on the 29th of March, and was at 
Bolivar early on the next day. Meanwhile the prison- 
ers accumulated in the course of the expedition at Jack- 
son, some six hundred in number, were detached en route 
for Demopolis, Alabama, under a strong escort, in the 
direction of Corinth. Hearing of large bodies of Fed- 
eral troops in that quarter, the officer in command turned 
riirhtward, toward Pocahontas, and Chalmers' Division 
was likewise detached, to insure their safe conveyance 
beyond the dangerous ground of the line of the Mem- 
phis and Charleston Railroad. After safely conveying 
the prisoners across the border Chalmers' Division re- 
turned northward — McCulloch's Brigade to Jackson, and 
Neely's to Brownsville and Sommerville. 

General Grierson was sent forth from Memphis with 
perhaps two thousand cavalry to feel, attack and crip- 
ple Forrest as much as possible. On the 3d of April 
Lieutenant-Colonel Crews, with sixty of McDonald's 
Battalion, came in contact with a part of this force some 
twenty-five miles from Memphis, on the Sommerville 
road, and by adroitly displaying his colors and men, as 
well as by bold attacks, he so completely deceived the 
enemy as to make him believe that Forrest's whole com- 
mand was upon him, and a hasty retreat back to Mem- 
phis was the result, with the destruction of all the bridges 
behind him, leaving Crews in possession of the field. 
Grierson reported to General Hurlbut that " Forrest was 
a little too strong for him," when, as incredible as it 
may seem, he had come in conflict with no part of For- 
rest's command but Crews and his sixty men.* 

*A full account of this affair may be found in "Campaigns of General For- 
rest," pages 420-22. 

April, 1864. 351 

SiLuday, loth. — Ever since his advent into West Ten- 
nessee Forrest had been distressed by well-authenticated 
instances, repeatedly brought to his notice, of rapine 
and atrocious outrage upon non-combatants of the coun- 
try by the garrison at Fort Pillow. According to the 
information received the garrison in question consisted 
of a battalion of whites commanded by Major Bradford 
(a Tennessean), and a negro battalion under Major 
Booth, who likewise commanded the post. Many of 
Bradford's men (West Tennesseans) were known to be 
deserters from the Confederate army. The families of 
many of Forrest's men had been grievously wronged, 
despoiled and insulted by detachments of Bradford's 
men, and many of his (Forrest's) officers, uniting with 
the citizens of the country, in a petition beggeci to be 
permitted to remain to shield their families from further 
molestation. This was impossible, of course ; but P or- 
rest determined to break up their lair, and capture or 
destroy them before leaving that section of the country 
for other operations ; and the orders necessary to that 
end were issued on the above date from his headquar- 
ters at Jackson, Bell's Brigade of Buford's Division and 
McCulloch's Brigade of Chalmers' Division, with Wal- 
ton's Battery — four mountain-howitzers — being selected 
for the operation, Chalmers with McCulloch's Brigade 
set out at once from Jackson by way of Brownsville; 
but as Bell's Brigade was camped near Eaton, in Gibson 
County, some thirty miles from Jackson, and as a courier 
had to be sent from the latter place to notify Bell of the 
move, he did not get his brigade in motion until about 
nine p. m., and then only to mount and move out into 
the road and wait until about midnight for the artillery, 
which had to come through a very bad bottom. Then, 

352 E. E. Hancock's Diary. 

moving about ten miles south, Bell halted, about one 
hour before day, and allowed his men to take a short 
nap. (They had the pleasure of only about one hour's 
sleep out of sixty.) 

Monday, nth. — In motion early Bell halted to feed 
about ten a. m., after which he pressed on in rear of 
McCulloch's Brigade. 

Forrest, leaving Jackson that morning, overtook Chal- 
mers at Brownsville at two v. m., and ordered that officer 
to push ahead with the troops by a forced march, so 
that they might be in close proximity to Fort Pillow by 
daylight the next morning. The distance was thirty- 
eight miles. It was raining, and so dense was the dark- 
ness after midnight that it was difficult to distinguish 
the road or "to see a file-leader." Nevertheless, onward 
and onward pushed Chalmers — with McCulloch's Bri- 
gade still in advance — and just before dawn on Tues- 
day, Ap'ril 1 2th, his advance guard surprised the Federal 
pickets and captured all except one or two, who, escap- 
ing to the fort just at sunrise, gave the first warning of 
the danger impending. Thus Bell's Brigade had made 
the trip from Eaton to F'ort Pillow — about seventy 
miles — in thirty hours. McCulloch's men had decidedly 
the advantage of Bell's, from the fact that by getting 
well on their way Sunday they got to rest Sunday night, 
while, as we have seen, Bell's men were in the saddle 
nearly all night, and then also Monday and Monday 
night, resulting in many of Bell's men being made sick. 

Fort Pillow, first established in 1861 by the State of 
Tennessee, and still better fortified by the Confederate 
States Engineers, under the orders of General Beaure- 
gard, in March and April, 1862, is on the east bank of 
the Mississippi River, in Lauderdale County, some three 

April, 1864. 353 

and a half miles above Fulton, and just below the mouth 
of Coal Creek. The lines of works erected by the Con- 
federates were upon a very extended scale — far too large 
to be of the least use or value to a garrison so small as 
that which the Federals habitually kept there, there- 
fore they had freshly thrown up breastworks upon the 
highest part — perhaps fifty feet above the water level — - 
of a bank or bluff which extended for several hundred 
yards nearly parallel with the river, leaving a space, 
comparatively level, between its base and the river bank 
proper, perhaps thirty to fifty yards wide. The fort was 
near the southern extremity of this bluff, it being the 
hiighest, and about seventy-five yards from the river. 
About one acre of land was inclosed by earth works 
thrown up on three sides — north, south, and east. The 
wall was about eight feet high, exterior to which there 
was a ditch six feet deep and twelve feet broad.* East- 
ward there was a gradual slope from the fort for from 
forty to fifty yards, when the descent became sudden 
into a narrow gorge which, extending northward four 
or five hundred yards, thence westward to Coal Creek, 
thus separated the bluff upon which the fort stood from 
a labyrinth of hills and ridges, divided from each other 
by a net-work of interlacing, narrow ravines, and this 
slope was broken by several crooked and deep gullies, 
affording well-covered approaches for an enemy to within 
thirty to one hundred yards of the fort. Southward, 
this eminence also fell off gently for about two hundred 
yards, and then rapidly into a narrow valley, the course 
of which was perpendicular to the river, and in which 
were a number of trading houses and other buildings 

■■As I failed to take these measurements while at the work, I have adopted 
the above from "Campaigns of General Forrest." 


354 R. R. Hancock's Diary, 

known as the town. This slope was seamed by a ravine 
which gave hostile access to within one hundred and 
fifty yards of the southern face of the works. • Between 
this ravine and the fort were three or four rows of tents 
and cabins, and rightward from these, stretched around 
to the north for some two hundred yards a rifle-pit along 
the eastern verge of the acclivity. The armament con- 
sisted of two ten-pounder Parrott rifled guns, two twelve- 
pounder howitzers, and two six-pounder rifled-bore field, 
pieces, and the whole garrison did not exceed five hun- 
dred and eighty men. One gunboat — New Era — was 
present and took part in the defense. The timber was 
cut down for several hundred yards in front of the fort. 
Upon the capture of the pickets, McCulloch's Brigade 
was pressed rapidly on with instructions to take up a 
position southward of the fort, and as near as possible 
to the river bank and work; therefore, McCulloch soon 
seized a position with his left flank on the river bank, 
about half a mile southward of the fort, the remainder 
of his line disposed in the ravines extending around and 
toward the north-east, in close proximity to a high ridge 
upon which were the old Confederate works, the most 
elevated point of which was occupied at the time by a 
Federal detachment. He then and there came to a halt 
to wait for Bell's Brigade (which was about two miles 
from the fort when the Federal guns first opened, a little 
after sunrise) to come up and take position. As soon 
as up Wilson's Regiment of Bell's Brigade was deployed 
directly in front to occupy the close attention of the 
garrison by an immediate, vigorous skirmish, while Col- 
onel Barteau led the Second Tennessee rightward, wind- 
ing his way as best he could through the woods to Coal 
Creek bottom, and there dismounting threw his men 

April, 1864. 355 

forward to a good position a few hundred yards north of 
the fort along the north-east face of a hill. From this 
position skirmishers were thrown forward to brush the 
small force of Federal sharp-shooters back from their 
advanced positions ; this drew the Federal guns from 
both fort and gunboat upon our position. Meanwhile 
Colonel Russell threw his regiment forward to a position 
between Barteau and Wilson. The investment was now 
complete, though it was at long range ; and about this 
time, too (nine a. m.). General Forrest came upon the 
field, and about the same hour Major Booth, the Federal 
commander, and his adjutant by his side, were killed. 
Coming immediately to our position,* thence along the 
top of the bluff upon which the fort stood. General For- 
rest made as close an inspection of the fort and its sur- 
roundings as he possibly could, thus ascertaining that 
the conformation of the ground around the Federal works 
(as previously described) was such as to afford protection 
to his troops, while two ridges, from four to five hundred 
yards distant, eastward and north-eastward from the 
enemy's position, gave the Confederate sharp-shooters 
excellent cover, from which they completely commanded 
the interior of the Federal works, and might effectually 
silence their fire. He therefore decided at once to make 
a close investment, returned to our position and ordered 
Colonel Barteau to " move up." Accordingly the Second 
Tennessee "moved up" to the top of the bluff and 
opened fire upon the Federal garrison. By dropping 
over a little to the right and moving along the side of 
the bluff facing the" river, it gave us some protection 
from the garrison, while at the same time this move 

■■■The writer heard Forrest remark as he passed : " There are not many — we 
must take them." 

350 R. K. Hancock's Diary. 

placed us in easy range and plain view of the gunboat, 
which moved up as we moved down, and when about 
opposite to us she turned broadside as though she was 
going to give us "Hail Columbia;" however, after 
maneuvering around for a while, as though she was try- 
ing to scare us off of that bluff without firing a gun, she 
finally came to a halt several hundred yards above the 
fort, and (to our great relief) remained a " i-z7^/2/ spec- 
tator'' during the rest of the engagement.* Moving 
along this bluff to within about one hundred yards ot 
the north side of the fort — perhaps some were nearer — 
Colonel Barteau halted and waited for the rest of the 
command to close up. 

After advancing a short distance with our regiment, 
Forrest turned and went round leftward to move up the 
rest of Bell's Brigade as well as McCulloch's. Accord- 
ingly Russell's and Wilson's Regiments were thrown 
forward, to the left of Barteau's, to a position in which 
their men were well sheltered by the conformation of 
the ground. McCulloch, advancing about the same 
time, soon brushed the Federals back from the old Con- 
federate intrenchments, on the highest part of the ridge 
immediately in front of the south-eastern face of the 
work. The Federals fell back without further stand to 
their main work and the rifle-pit in its front, closely 
pressed by McCulloch, who seized and occupied the 
cluster of cabins on the southern face of the work, which 
were only about sixty yards from it, foiling an attempt 
on the part of the enemy to burn the buildings. He 
also carried and occupied the rrfle-pit rightward, thus 

*I do not know why Captain Marshall, the commander of the gunboat, 
ceased firing when he could have used his guns with such telling effect upon our 
regiment, unless it was because he was scarce of ammunition or afraid to open 
his port-holes, fearing we would kill his gunners. 

April, 1804. 357 

completing the investment at short range, extending 
from the river banlv north of the fort to the river bank 
south. These positions thus secured were fatal to the 
defense, for the Confederates were now so placed that 
artillery could not be brought to bear upon them with 
much effect, except at a mortal exposure of the gun- 
ners, while rearward of the advance line were numer- 
ous sharp-shooters, favorably posted on several com- 
manding ridges, ready to pick off any of the garrison 
showing their heads above, or, indeed, any men moving 
about within the circuit of, the parapets. Fully satisfied 
of his ability to carry the position without difficulty or 
delay, but desiring to avoid the loss of life that must 
occur in storming the works, Forrest determined to de- 
mand the surrender of the place. Accordingly, caus- 
ing the signal for a cessation of hostilities to be given, 
he deputed Captain W. A. Goodman, Adjutant-General 
on the staff of General Chalmers, to bear a flag of truce 
with a formal demand in writing,* addressed to "Major 
L. F. Booth, commanding United States forces," as he 
was thought to be still in command. However, as we 
have seen, he had been dead for several hours, and the 
command had fallen into the feeble hands of W. F. 
Bradford, the commander of the odious Thirteenth Ten- 
nessee Battalion of Cavalry. Nevertheless, the answer 
received, after some delay, bore the name of Major L. 
F. Booth, and required an hour for consultation with 
his officers and those of the gunboat in regard to the 
demand for the surrender of his post and the vessel. 
On receiving this communication Forrest immediately 

*After some discussion among the officers present it was agreed by both For- 
rest and Chalmers, "that if the port was surrendered the whole garrison, 
white and black, should be treated as prisoners of war." — "Campaigns of Gen- 
eral Forrest," page 431. 

358 li. R. Hancock's Diary. 

replied, in writing, that he had not asked for, and did 
not expect, the surrender of the gunboat, but that of 
the fort and garrison, and that he would give twenty 
minutes for a decision. Moreover, so great was the an- 
imosity existing between the Tennesseans of the two 
commands, he added, that he could not be respo7isible for 
the conseque?ices if obliged to storm the place. 

During the period of the truce the smoke of several 
steamers* were discovered ascending the river; and 
speedily one crowded with troops, and her lower guards 
filled with artillery, was distinctly seen approaching, near 
at hand, and manifestly bearing directly for the be- 
leaguered fortress. Apprehensive that an attempt would 
be made to land reinforcements from these steamers, 
Forrest promptly dispatched his aid-de-camp. Captain 
Anderson, with a squadron of McCulloch's Brigade, 
down to the river bank under the bluff and just below 
the southern face of the invested work. And the Olive 
Branch, in her course, soon came so near that by open- 
ing with a volley on the mass of men with whom she 
was laden a heavy loss of life must have been inflicted ; 
but Captain Anderson, limiting himself strictly to pre- 
venting the landing of any reinforcements during the 
truce, caused two or three admonitory shots to be fired 
at the pilot-house, with the immediate effect of making 
her sheer off to the opposite shore, and pass on up the 

Some minutes later the answer to the second demand 
was brought out of the fort and handed to Forrest by 
Captain Goodman. It ran as follows: "Your demand 
does not produce the desired effect." The Confederate 

* These were the Olive Branch, with General Shipley and troops on board, 
the Hope, and the M. R. Cheek. 

April, 18G4. 359 

General exclaimed: "This will not do; send it back, 
and say to Major Booth " — whose name was attached — 
^'that I must have an answer in plain English — yes or 
no!" Captain Goodman returned not long after with 
the Federal answer, a brief but positive refusal to sur- 
render the post. As soon as he had read this communi- 
cation, turning to his staff and some officers around him, 
Forrest ordered that his whole force should be put in 
readiness for an immediate and simultaneous assault. 
After stimulating his troops with a few energetic words 
he, with a single bugler, rode to a commanding emi- 
nence, some four or five hundred yards east of the fort, 
from which he had a complete view of the field of oper- 
ations, and, scanning the field, and observing that all 
was ready, caused the signal to be given for the resump- 
tion of hostilities ; and at the first blare of the bugle 
the Confederate sharp-shooters, at all points, opened 
a galling fire upon the hostile parapet, to which the gar- 
rison replied for a few moments with great spirit. But 
so deadly was the aim of the Confederates from their 
enfilading positions that their enemies could not rise 
high enough from their scanty cover to fire over at their 
foes, nor use their artillery on the southern face without 
being shot down. Consequently there was practically 
little resistance, when, a few moments later, the bugle 
still sounding the charge, the main Confederate force, 
surging onward as with a single impulse, leaped head- 
long into the ditch, and, helping each other, they clam- 
bered nimbly, swiftly and simultaneously over the breast- 
works beyond, opening from its crest a fearful, converg- 
ing fire, from all its forces, upon its garrison within. 

In anticipation of this contingency Major Bradford, 
it appears, had arranged with the captain of the gun- 

360 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

boat that, if beaten at the breastworks, the garrison 
would drop down under the bank and the gunboat would 
come to their succor and shelter them with its canister. 
The prearranged signal was now given, and the whole 
garrison, white and black, for the most part with arms 
in their hands, broke for the place of refuge and naval 
aid there expected, leaving the Federal flag still aloft 
on its staff.* The gunboat, however, was recreant at 
this critical moment, and failed to give the least assist- 
ance ; and no timely shower of canister came from its 
ports to drive back the Confederates, who swiftly and 
hotly followed after the escaping negroes and Tennes- 
seans. As soon as we entered the fort two of the cap- 
tured gunsf were turned upon the gunboat, which 
caused her to move further up the river in place of com- 
ing to the relief of the garrison, as her commander had 
distinctly agreed to do. The left of the Second Ten- 
nessee entered the fort at the north-west corner, while 
the right extended westward down the bluff toward the 
river; and while they were pouring a volley into the 
right flank of the retreating Federals, the troops that 
had been stationed below the fort to watch the steam- 
ers did likewise for the enemy's left flank. Thus being 
exposed to a fire from both flanks, as well as rear, their 
ranks were fearfully thinned as they fled down that blufl 
toward the river. Finding that the succor which they 
had been promised from the gunboat was not rendered, 

* Doak Can- (Company D, Second Tennessee) took down the Federal flag. 

tSo well was one of these guns handled by B. A. High (who was afterward 
made Orderly Sergeant, Company G, Second Tennessee) that Forrest offered to 
promote him to the rank of Captain and allow him to go with the captured guns 
to Mobile, Alabama. He declined to take the command of the battery from the 
fact that he was not willing to leave his comrades. He would have accepted if 
Forrest had kept the battery with his own command. 

April, 18G4. 361 

nor at hand, they were greatly bewildered. Many threw 
themselves into the river and were drowned in their mad 
attempt to swim away from the direful danger which, 
they apprehended ; while others sought to escape along 
the river bank southward, as well as northward, and, 
still persisting in their efforts to get away, were shot or 
driven back. In the meantime, or as soon as he could 
reach the scene, Forrest, as well as Chalmers and other 
officers, interfered so energetically to stop the firing 
that it ceased speedily — ceased, in fact, within fifteen 
minutes from the time the bugle first sounded the charge. 
The earrison, as a whole, be it remembered, did ?ioi sur- 
render at all. When we poured over, on all sides, into 
the work they did not yield — did not lay down their 
arms nor draw dov^n their fiag, but fied (some returning 
the fire of their pursuers) toward another position in 
which they were promised relief. Such was the animos- 
ity between the Tennesseans of the two commands, and 
as such is frequently the case in places taken by storm, 
some, no doubt, were shot after they had thrown down 
their arms and besought quarter; no such cases, how- 
ever, happened to come under the immediate observa- 
tion of the writer. The first order now issued by For- 
rest was to collect and secure the prisoners from possi- 
ble injury, while details were made from them for the 
burial of the Federal dead. Among the prisoners taken 
unhurt was Major Bradford, the commanding officer of 
the post since nine in the morning, and at his special 
request Forrest ordered the Federal dead to be buried 
in the trenches of the work, the officers to be interred 
separately from their men.* Bradford was then tempo- 

* Captain O. B. Farris (Company K, Second Tennessee) superintended the- 
burial of the dead. 

302 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

rarily paroled to supervise the burial of his brother, 
Captain Bradford, after which, under a pledge not to 
attempt to escape, he was placed for the night in the 
custody of Colonel McCulloch, who gave him a bed in 
his own quarters, and shared with him his supper. This 
pledge Major Bradford violated ; taking advantage of 
the darkness and his knowledge of the locality, when 
his host was asleep, he effected his escape through the 
careless line of sentinels, and, in disguise, sought to 
reach Memphis.* 

Among the prisoners taken was Captain Young, who 
with Captain Anderson, was sent up the river-side with 
a white flag to endeavor to open communication with 
the gunboat New Era, but every signal was obdurately 
ignored or disregarded, and keeping on her course she 
soon disappeared up the river. The object was to de- 
liver into the hands of Captain Marshall, the commander 
of the New Era, as soon as possible, all the Federal 
wounded. As fast as possible, meanwhile, the wounded 
of both sides were gleaned from the bloody field and 
placed under shelter and the professional care of Con- 
federate surgeons of the several regiments present. 

This brilliant success was not achieved without severe 
loss on our part — the loss of some of our best soldiers. 
The whole command lost fourteen officers and men 
killed, and eighty-six wounded. Lieutenant George 

*'• Major Bradford . . . was, several days afterward, recaptured in dis 
guise. At first he affected to be a conscript, but being recognized was remanded 
to custody as a prisoner of war. He was then sent in charge of a party — a 
subaltern and some five or six men — to Brownsville. On the way he again at- 
tempted to escape, soon after which one of the men shot him. It was an act in 
which no officer was concerned, mainly due, we are satisfied, after the most 
rigid inquiry, to private vengeance for well authenticated outrages committed 
by Bradford and his band upon the defenseless families of the men of Forrest's 
Cavalry."- — "Campaigns of General Forrest," page 455. 

April, 1864. 363 

Leave* (Company D, Second Tennessee), who was 
Icind and generous as well as gallant and brave, fell 
mortally wounded by a canister-shot. Twelve more of 
our regiment besides Leave were wounded, four of them 
from Company C, as follows : W. L. Womack and Lieu- 
tenant H. L. W. Turney were slightly wounded, and 
C. E. Thomas and W. W. Hawkins severely. J. K. 
Dodd (Company D), William Duke and Nute Carr 
(Company E), John K, Brinkley and James Link (Com- 
pany E), were among the wounded. William Duke's 
leg was broken near the ankle joint by a rifle-ball, and 
after examination and consultation our surgeons decided 
to amputate his foot. As soon as Duke learned their 
decision he called on D. B. Willard (a member of Com- 
pany C who had carried him from the field) to hand him 
his pistol, and said, "I'll shoot the first man who at- 
tempts to cut off my foot." 'Tf you don't want it cut 
off it will not be done," said Willard. By request of 
Duke, Willard made some splinters, and finally the sur- 
geons assisted in bandaging his leg, and the result was 
he soon got well, and thus saved his foot. 

Turning over the command of the troops to General 
'Chalmers, with instructions to complete the burial of 
the dead, collect the arms and other portable property, 
transfer, if possible, the Eederal wounded to the first 
steamer that might be passing, and then follow, as soon 
as practicable, with the division and unwounded pris- 
oners to Brownsville, Eorrestf set out about sunset to 

* See Appendix A for sketch. 

tjust after the firing had ceased (about three P. M.), and while standing in- 
side the fort, the writer heard Forrest say, pointing to the eminence from which 
he had caused the signal for the assault to be given: "When from my position 
on that hill I saw my men pouring over these breastworks, it seemed" — now 
placing his right-hand upon his left breast — '' that my heart would burst within 

364 E. E. Hancock's Diary. 

return with his escort and staff to Jackson, Tennessee, 
encamping that night at a farm-house some six or seven 
miles eastward. Bell withdrew his brigrade about one 
mile and a half east and encamped, while McCulloch's 
Brigade camped nearer the fort. 

Wednesday, ijth. — A detail was sent back to the fort 
to collect and remove the remaining arms and to finish 
burying the dead. They had been at work but a short 
time when a gunboat (the Silver Cloud) came up and 
began to shell them. A flag of truce and parley was 
hoisted, which being accepted by the Master of the Sil- 
ver Cloud, Captain Ferguson, an arrangement soon re- 
sulted for a truce until five p. m. It was agreed that 
during that time the Federals might send parties ashore 
to visit all parts of the scene and look after their dead 
and wounded. During the day several transports came 
to the landing, and before the hour when the truce was 
to expire the wounded prisoners had all been tansferred 
to the cabin of the steamer Platte Valley, numbering 
about seventy, officers and men. Seven officers and two 
hundred and nineteen enlisted men (fifty-six negroes 
and one hundred and sixty-three whites), unwounded,*!* 
were brought off as prisoners of war, which, with the 
wounded, make an aggregate of those who survived, 
exclusive of all who may have escaped (it was said that 
about twenty-five escaped in a skiff), two hundred and 
ninety-six, or a little over half of the garrison. 

;«(?." "Men," continued he, ''if you will do as I say I will always lead you to- 
victory. I have taken every place that the Federals occupied in West Tennessee- 
and North Mississippi except Memphis, and if they don't mind I'll have that 
place too in less than six weeks. They killed two horses from under me to-day" 
— a third was wounded — "and knocked me to my knees a time or two, so I 

thought by they were going to get me any way." 

tA list of the names of the wounded (two hundred and twenty-six) may be: 
found in "Campaigns of General Forrest,"' page 704. 

April, 1864. 365 

Having, several hours previous, put his main force in 
motion toward Brownsville, General Chalmers withdrew, 
about four p. m., with his staff and escort, in the same 
direction, and there remained at Fort Pillow none save 
the dead who had fallen in storming it, and the dead of 
the late garrison, victims, not of unlawful acts of war, 
as has been so virulently alleged and generally believed 
at the North, but of an insensate endeavor, as foolishly 
resolved as feebly executed, to hold a position naturally 
untenable and badly fortified ; victims, we may add, of 
the imbecility and grievous mismanagement of those 
weak, incapable officers whom the fortunes of war un- 
happilyhad placed over them. The two brigades camped 
some twelve miles east of the fort. 

At Brownsville, that afternoon, the citizens of all 
classes — men, women, and children — received the Con- 
federate General with tokens of deep-felt gratitude. 
The ladies of the vicinage, assembling at the court- 
house, received him publicly, and testified their profound 
personal appreciation of his recent operations, by which 
they had been delivered from the apprehensions of fur- 
ther outrages, insults, and distressing annoyances from 
that pestilent band of ruffians and marauders which had 
been so thoroughly uprooted. The next day headquar- 
ters were re-established at Jackson, where Forrest re- 
mained until the 2d of May. 


I. In answer to an inquiry in reference to what com- 
mand first entered the works at Fort Pillow, Colonel 
Barteau says : 

Colonel McCulloch and I met in the middle of the fort. He com- 
manded the Second Missouri Cavalry as I did the Second Tennessee, 
and he came in from the extreme left next to the river as most of my 

300 R. E. Hancock's Diary. 

regiment did from the extreme right next to the river. He and I 
talked the matter over, and we both concluded that we entered the fort 
just about the same time. I could not say for myself which was first, 
but Captain Farris thinks the Second Teanessee was first. 

B. A. High and others agree with Captain Farris in 
thinking that the Second Tennessee was first to mount 
the parapet. As will be remembered, it was also the 
first to move up in close range of the fort. B. A. High 
was among- the first to mount the works. Another man 
(whose name I have not been able to learn), in attempt- 
ing to ascend rather in advance of High, was shot, and 
rolled back into the ditch a corpse, while High suc- 
ceeded in going to the top, and captured a cannoneer, 
whose gun he soon after turned upon the Federal gun- 
boat, as previously mentioned. Several of Company C 
were close after High. Among the number was J. C. 
McAdoo, who was /on^ enough to jump into the ditch 
but ^00 short to leap out until Colonel Bell came to his 

In the manuscript notes of Colonel Barteau (which I 
have before me) I find the following : 

In this action the courage and self-reliance of the troops were par- 
ticularly exhibited, and I think a satisfactory proof given to the com- 
manding General that he could rely on his men in any emergency. 

Among my own soldiers who particularly distinguished themselves 
that day was Perry Marks, private of Company D, one of the first 
men on the fort, and also Lieutenant A. H. French, who was foremost 
with his men over the works, and Captain W. A. DeBow, who was in 
command of the regiment a part of the day.* 

2. A flag of truce was sent in demanding the surrender. The an- 
swer received was one of defiance and insult, for the same reply that 
was given to General Forrest seemed to be the one heralded from the 
negroes on the works to our men on the outside. "If you want the 
fort come and take it," and "D — n you, what are you here for?" 

*Our Lieutenant-Colonel (Morton) was absent on account of a wound re- 
ceived at Paducah. 

Lieutenant GEORGE LOVE, Co. D. 


April, 1864. 36T 

These were the taunts thrown out to our men who were during the 
truce in speaking distance. Moreover, several shots were fired during 
the truce at our men, who did not return them. No sooner had the 
flag retired than a defiant shout went up from the fort, and an active 
fire commenced. Our men, as by one impulse, seem to have deter- 
mined they would take the fort, and that too independendy of officers 
or orders, and had no command been given to " charge" I verily be- 
lieve that after the insults given them during the truce they would have 
taken the fort by storm any way. 

3. The troops in the fort had evidently been made drunk, for those 
we took were more or less intoxicated, and we found barrels of whisky 
and ale and bottles of brandy open, and tin cups in the barrels out of 
which they had been drinking. 

We also found water-buckets sitting around n the 
fort with whisky and dippers in them, which showed 
very clearly that the whisky had been thus passed around 
to the Federal troops. 

The following, from the Detroit Free Press of Decem- 
ber I St, 1884, explains itself: 

To the Editor of the Detroit Free Press : 

Bartlett, Tenn. : — In the account given by "M Quad" of the 
Confederate capture of Fort Pillow he speaks of "Barton's Regiment." 
There was no such regiment in Forrest's Cavalry, but it was Barteau^s 
Regiment, the Second Tennessee Cavalry, and as Colonel Barteau is 
still living, and is a convenient witness to all the particulars of that af- 
fair, I have taken the liberty to ask of him an expression upon " M 
Quad's" account of it. 

Admitting "M Quad's" article to be an exceedingly forcible and 
succinct statement and a vivid description of the investment, assault, 
and capture of Fort Pillow in its general view, he yet differs from " M 
Quad " in his view of some features of the case. 

Colonel Barteau says : " For days before the capture of Fort Pillow 
citizens fleeing to us from its vicinity brought doleful tales of outrages 
committed by the Federal forces in that stronghold. The helpless 
families of some of our soldiers had been victims of their raiding 
parties. A strong feeling prevailed in favor of capturing the fort, but 
it was not expected to be done without fighting and loss of life. If 
the commander of that garrison was taken by surprise it was gross 

368 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

negligence on his part ; we surely did not expect to surprise him. 
But it seems that the Federals believed we would never storm their 
■works, and this was their idea even up to the very moment of the as- 
sault, for during the truce, when our lines were in close speaking dis- 
tance, a position we had gained by several hours' hard fighting, the 
negroes of the fort called to us with opprobious names and dared us to 
the attempt. We did not move our position during the truce. We 
had gained it not without sacrifice ; it was all we wanted then, for it 
was what we knew Forrest must have before he could be in a position 
to demand a surrender. 

"It was the plain duty of the Federal commander, in view of the 
situation, to yield to the demand and thus save human life. But he 
■did not, and his men did not at all believe evidently that we would 
jiiake the assault, and now foolhardy and unwise as they had been, 
when they saw us making for the ditch and climbing the parapet they 
were totally confounded with surprise. 

Nor did they surrender. They made a wild, crazy, scat- 
tering fight. They acted like a crowd of drunken men. They would 
at one moment yield and throw down their guns, and then would rush 
again to arms, seize their guns and renew the fire. If one squad was 
left as prisoners ... it was soon discovered that they could not 
be trusted as having surrendered, for taking the first opportunity they 
would break loose again and engage in the contest. Some of our men 
-were killed by negroes who had once surrendered. 

"They would not, or at least did not, take down their flag. I 
•ordered this done myself by my own men in order to stop the fight. 
If barbarities were committed, as ' M Quad ' says, after the flag was 
1:aken down, it must have been under the circumstances of the contest 
as just stated. General Forrest came into the fort about this time, and 
all agree that he did not sanction them, nor could they have taken 
place in his presence. ' M Quad' says, referring to the two brigades, 
Bell's and McCuUoch's: 'The best fighting men in those two Confed- 
erate brigades had no hand in the barbarities;' and concludes by say- 
ing: 'Only one hundred and fifty men out of the two brigades had any 
hand in it, and their atrocities disgraced them in the eyes of the bet- 
ter soldiery.' As I was immediately with Bell's Brigade, and in com- 
mand of it a part of the time, I will say that no men at all of this 
-command, and certainly none of my own regiment, engaged in any 

"I saw McCuUoch, and we conversed about the affair the same 

April, 18G4. 360 

evening after the capture. He was earnest in his expressions of the 
good conduct, forbearance, and obedience of his men after the fool- 
hardy and strange manner in which the Federals had acted, causing 
unnecessary sacrifice of life. ....... 

"The third day after the surrender all the prisoners were placed in 
my charge, and I was ordered to take them from Sommerville with my 
regiment to Tupelo. On the way, which was several days' march, 
they freely expressed themselves as to the conduct of many of their 
white officers, and many of them admitted with expressions of con- 
demnation the great error into which they had been led as to the de- 
fense of the fort, their drunkenness and folly of conduct, putting the 
blame upon their officers." 

Colonel Barteau thinks that true history should place the blame 
upon the Federal side and not the Confederate. 

« John F. Cochran. 

T/nu'sday, i^tli. — After a march of about twenty-five 
miles, passing' through Durhamville, Chahiiers camped 
near Brownsville, in Haywood County, 

Friday, i^ik* — While on the way from Fort Pillow 
to Jackson, having received instructions to detach a por- 
tion of his command to repel a raid understood to be 
immediately impending from the direction of Decatur, 
through the interior of North-western Alabama, Forrest 
ordered Chalmers to repair at once, by way of Okolona, 
to the menaced border with the two brigades (McCul- 

■ *I had been unwell for several clays, and on the morning of the above date 
I had a hard chill. Thinking that pethaps Forrest's whole command was going 
out of West Tennessee, and unwilling to remain and run the risk of being made 
prisoner, I mounted my horse, folded my arms and shut my eyes while my 
brother led my horse, and thus we followed the command. So sick was I that I 
actually fainted while riding along, though I did not fall from my horse. As 
we did not move with but in advance of the command for the next two days, we 
did not learn until after we had put up for the night tive miles south of Holly 
Springs, on the eve of the 17th, that our regiment was not with the brigade, but 
had been detached at Sommerville and was going through toward Verona with 
the prisoners. Turning eastward on the i8th we met with the regiment at Pop- 
lar Springs on the 19th. There my brother (W. C. Hancock) fell in with the 
regiment, while I, after remaining with one Mr. Price six miles south-west of. 
Tupelo for a few days, rejoined the regiment at Verona the 24th. 


370 R. K. Hancock's Diary. 

loch's and Bell's) which he then had with him. There- 
fore, turning southward at Brownsville, and crossing the 
Big Hatchie River, Chalmers camped for the night near 
Sommerville, in Fayette County. 

Saturday, i6th. — Colonel Barteau, with the Second 
Tennessee, being detached to convey the prisoners to 
Demopolis, Alabama, set out from Sommerville early in 
the morning, crossing the Memphis and Charleston 
Railroad at Saulsbury, and thence by the way of Ripley, 
New Albany, Poplar Springs and Chesterville, arrived at 
Verona, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, the 20th. A 
detail from the Second Tennessee went through by rail 
from Verona to Demopolis with the prisoners. The rest 
of the regiment went into camp at the former place, 
where they remained until the 25th. 

Being rejoined at Sommerville by Neely's Brigade, 
Chalmers, with the three brigades, arrived at Holly 
Springs, Mississippi, on the 17th. Here on the i8th 
information was received from General Polk by tele- 
crraph that the presence of Forrest's troops under his 
previous requisition was not needed, and accordingly 
the movement of Chalmers was halted, and Bell's Bri- 
gade — except the Second Tennessee — and Neely's also, 
were ordered to return to West Tennessee, while Mc- 
Culloch resumed his old pos't behind the Tallahatchie 
River, about Panola, and Chalmers took up his head- 
quarters at Oxford until the 2d of May. Then, accord- 
incr to orders from his superior, he set out for Tupelo, 
on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, with McCulloch's 
Brio-ade, except the Eighteenth Mississippi Battalion, 
which was left to guard the crossing of the Tallahatchie, 

Monday, 2§th. — The Second Tennessee moved from 
Verona to Tupelo (five miles north), Vvdiere they had 

May, 1804. 371 

heavy duty to do — unloading and guarding forage, which 
was now being brought up by rail in large quantities 
for Forrest's command, that was expected to be concen- 
trated at that point in a (ew days. 

Mojiday, May 2d. — ^Gholson's Brigade, now at Tupelo, 
was transferred from the State to the Confederate serv- 
ice. The Governor of the State of Mississippi (Clark), 
being present, made a short talk to Gholson's men, com- 
plimenting them for past services, and telling them to 
act well their part in this, the "last hour of the strug- 
gle." "I think," continued Governor Clark, "that the 
war will close this year." This brigade remained at 
Tupelo until about the 26th, when, pursuant to orders 
from Major-General Lee, it was detached and placed 
under command of General Wirt Adams, at Canton, 
Mississippi, some thirty miles north of Jackson, on the 
Mississippi Central Railroad. 

You will remember that after Buford's second expedi- 
tion to Paducah he established his headquarters at Dres- 
den, Tennessee, on the i8th of April. By the 28th he 
had assembled his Vv^hole division, including Bell's Bri- 
gade (except the Second Tennessee) at Jackson, and 
on the 30th received orders to move on the 2d of May 
with it and Neely's Brigade to Tupelo, conveying a large 
and heavy ox train, freighted with subsistence and a 
large amount of liquor (for hospital purposes) and 
leather, and some three hundred prisoners. The Ken- 
tucky Brigade, which had entered on the campaign with 
an effective total of one thousand and four men, now 
numbered one thousand seven hundred and seventeen 
fighting men ; and Bell's, which took the field one thou- 
sand two hundred and fifty-seven strong, now mustered 
over one thousand seven hundred well-mounted horse- 

372 E. 1\. Hancock's Diary. 

men. Moving by way of Purdy and Corinth Buford 
accomplished the distance — seventy-eight miles — to 
Rienzi by the 4th of May, and there, having transferred 
the supplies and prisoners for further transportation 
southward to the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, was able 
to reach Tupelo on the 6th. 

General Forrest, breaking up his headquarters at Jack- 
son on the 2d of May, set out also for Tupelo with his staff 
and escort, taking the road through Bolivar, Learning 
that afternoon that a heavy cavalry force, quite two thou- 
sand strong, under General Sturgis, was then engaged in a 
sharp skirmish with McDonald's Battalion, under Crews, 
some two miles west of Bolivar, Forrest, with his escort, 
repaired at once to the point where Crews still held the 
enemy at bay. Placing himself at the head of the 
Confederates, he presently drove back their skirmish 
line for three-fourths of a mile upon their main force, 
inflicting a loss of some forty killed and wounded. 
Unable, however, to pursue this advantage further 
ap-ainst such odds, Forrest now withdrew a short dis- 
tance and took post, with Crews' men dismounted, in 
the outer line of fortifications which had been thrown up 
some time previous by the Federals in the western 
suburbs of Bolivar. The enemy advanced vigorously 
upon his position, but on being met by a hot fire at short 
rano-e from the steadv rifles of the dismounted Confed- 
erates, they, breaking in disorder, immediately quit the 
field and disappeared. Then resuming his march For | 
rest caught up with- his train, encamped five miles south 
of Bolivar. Flurrying on, without further incident, by 
the way of Ripley, Mississippi, he arrived at Tupelo, 
early on the 5th, a day in advance of Buford, and about 
one day after Chalmers had arrived with a part of Mc- 
Culloch's Brigade. 

May, 18G4,. 373 

Fi'iday, 6tk. — The Second Tennessee moved out and 
encamped three miles west of Tupelo, on the Pontotoc 
road, where it was joined by the rest of Bell's Brigade. 
On his arrival at Tupelo, Buford returned Neely's 
Brigade to Chalmers. 

Monday, gth. — Our Major, William Parrish, died, after 
a long spell of sickness, at Mr. Sam Word's, six miles 
south-east of Okolona, Mississippi. 

Tuesday^ loth. — All of the seven original companies 
of the Second Tennessee were allowed to attend the 
burial of our beloved Major. He was buried by the 
Masonic Fraternity, and also with the honors of war, in 
Mr. Word's family graveyard. William Parrish was 
the Orderly Sergeant of Company C when the First 
Battalion was organized in July, 1861, and he was made 
Captain of said company in October, 1861, and Major 
of the Second Tennessee in June, 1863. Owing to ill 
health he did but little more service after he was made 
Major. He had all the attributes of a good soldier, as well 
as a true o-entleman, and hence was much admired and 
greatly lamented by all of his comrades. I have learned, 
through J. L. McGan (Company B), that the Major's 
family are all dead, and therefore I have not been able 
to procure either biographical sketch or portrait of this 
noble and gallant officer, though I have made every 
effort to gfet both. 

Thursday, iztJi. — Colonel John F. Newsom's Regi- 
ment was reorganized, certain Alabama companies being 
transferred to Roddy's conimand. Their places were 
filled by independent companies from Tennessee, and 
attached to Bell's Brigade, Buford's Division. Colonel 
Ed. Crossland (Seventh Kentucky) was still in command 
of the Kentucky Brigade. 

374 R E.. Hancock's Diaky. 

Satur'day, i^th. — We, the Second Division of Forrest's 
Cavalry, had the honor of being reviewed by Generals 
Forrest and Buford. 

Monday, i6tli. — Buford, with his division, moved 
northward to Baldwin, by the way of Birmingham — dis- 
tance, twenty-three miles. Chalmers' Division remained 
at Tupelo. 

Tuesday, ijth. — Continuing his march northward 
about thirty miles, Buford camped some two miles south 
of Corinth, It was generally thought that Buford had 
started to Middle Tennessee, but owing to the move- 
ments of the enemy at other points, he was brought to 
a halt at Corinth until the 23d, when, turning southward, 
and camping that night near Booneville, he returned to 
Tupelo the 24th, leaving Newsom at Corinth. 

Forrest had been closely occupied, since his recent 
campaign into Tennessee and Kentucky, with means 
and measures for increasing the efficiency of his force. 
Now well mounted, and materially recruited, he sought 
by every means in his power to consolidate his organi- 
zations and perfect their equipments. His artillery was 
formed into a battalion of four batteries, of four guns 
each, under Captain John W. Morton, as Chief of Ar- 
tillery. About this time a new brigade was organized 
of the Seventh Tennessee and Eighteenth and Nine- 
teenth Mississippi, with Colonel E. W. Rucker as bri- 
gade commander. It was about this time, too, that 
Colonel H. B, Lyon was assigned to the command of 
the Kentucky Brigade in place of Ed. Crossland. For- 
rest's force, as now constituted, was as follows : 

Four batteries — Morton's, Thrall's, Rice's, and Wal- 

Chalmers' Division — McCulloch's, Neely's, and Ruck- 
er's Brigades. 

May, 18G4. 375 

Buford's Division — Bell's and Lyon's Brigades. 

In all, twenty regiments, four battalions, five independ- 
ent companies, and sixteen guns. 

Wednesday, 2^th. — Our brigade moved out three miles 
north-west of Tupelo to a better camping ground. It 
was about this time that Chalmers was detached with 
McCulloch's and Neely's Brigades and Walton's Bat- 
tery on an expedition to Montevallo, Alabama, some 
fifty miles north of Selma and forty eastward of Tusca- 
loosa, for the purpose of meeting a hostile raid against 
the iron works of that region, anticipated from the di- 
rection of Decatur and Huntsville, Alabama. 

Sunday, 2gtJi. — Information having been received that 
the Federals were pressing General Roddy in the vicin- 
ity of Decatur, Alabama, Buford's Division was placed 
in readiness to start the next morning to that officer's 
succor with five days' rations for the men and two for 
the horsey. 

Monday, ^oth. — That morning, before he had put Bu- 
ford's Division in motion, Forrest received a dispatch 
from Roddy to the effect that the Federal force had 
fallen back to Decatur, and apparently was projecting 
an expedition in the direction of Kingston, Georgia. 
Forrest, therefore, decided to await further develop- 
ments of the enemy's purposes before moving, and no- 
tified General, Roddy of his conclusions. 

• Tuesday, 31st, — Forrest, having determined that the 
time had now come to effect a junction with Roddy, 
transmitted a notification of his purpose in these terms : 

Your dispatch of the 29th just received. I will start from this 
place to-morrow morning with two thousand four hundred men and six 
pieces of artillery to join you. I wish you to ascertain which direc- 
tion the enemy has taken and keep me posted. I will move by Ful- 
ton and on tlie road to Russellville unless you should advise differently. 

376 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

If the enemy goes in the direction of Rome I think they will join the 
main army. If they turn south you will let me know at once; if they 
go to Rome I will move in another direction and will meet you. Be 
certain to have with you one thousand of your best men and horses. 
I have sent my aid de-camp, Captain Charles W. Anderson, to see and 
confer with you as regards our future movements. You will send 
couriers and scouts on the enemy's right flank and keep General 
Chalmers posted. You will find him at Montevallo,^ Alabama, 
whence he was sent to find which road the enemy took from Sommer- 
ville. Send courier also to General Johnston at Marietta, Georgia, 
giving him the facts. 

Wednesday, Jitne ist. — General Biiford, with Lyons' 
Brigade, Barteau's and Wilson's Regiments, of Bell's 
Brigade (Newsom's Regiment was left at Corinth and 
Russell's at Tupelo), and Morton's and Rice's Batteries, 
moved out from Tupelo early in the morning, and For- 
rest followed, somewhat later in the day, with his escort. 
The whole force, numbering some two thousand six hun- 
dred, rank and file, camped that night six miles beyond 
Fulton, on the Russellville road. ' 

T/mrsday, 2d. — After a march of about twenty miles 
Bell's Brigade camped on Big Bear Creek, in Franklin 
County, Alabama, while Lyon's Brigade moved six miles 
further and camped on Little Bear Creek, some eight 
miles west of Russellville. 

Friday, jd. — Several days previous Captain J. G. 
Mann, Chief Engineer, had been sent ahead with his 
Engineer Company to the Tennessee River, about the 
mouth of Town Creek, to build or repair a sufficient 
number of boats for the prompt ferriage of that stream. 
At Russellville Forrest was met by a dispatch from his 
Aid-de-Camp, Captain Anderson, acquainting him that 

* Chalmers arrived at Montevallo the same day (31st) that Forrest wrote this 
dispatch, and on the following day Neely's Brigade was detached to Blue 
Mountain to report to General Pillow. 

JUXE, 18G4. 377 

the requisite number of boats would be ready to begin 
the passage of the Tennessee River at four o'clock that 

Thus affairs stood about midday, when a dispatch 
was received from General S. D. Lee recalling the force 
to Tupelo to meet a heavy column of mixed arms, pen- 
etrating the country in that direction from Memphis. 
Therefore, Forrest, after ordering Roddy to send John- 
son's Brigade from Cherokee, on the Memphis and 
Charleston, across to Rienzi, on the Mobile and Ohio 
Railroad, turned the head of his column westward. Our 
brigade, turning at Little Bear Creek, marched back to 
within six miles of Fulton, camping on the same ground 
that we occupied on the night of the ist, while Lyons' 
Brigade camped several miles east of us. That morn- 
ing we of the Second Tennessee were in fine spirits 
•and high glee at the idea of going to Middle Tennessee. 
We had made several starts, as we thought, previous to 
this, but from some cause or other we had always been 
disappointed in our expectations ; however, this time the 
way appeared to be open and all things ready, therefore 
we were sure that there would be no disappointment 
this time. But alas! how little a soldier knows one day 
where he will be the next. So here we are within six 
miles of F'ulton to-nigrht, notwithstandinor our exoecta- 
tion, this morning, of being at the Tennessee River, ere 
this, either crossing or ready to cross. 

There was another — J. E. Johnston — who was sadly 
disappointed by this turn-back, for he had been very 
anxious for Forrest's Cavalry to operate in Sherman's 
rear, either in North Georgia or Middle Tennessee. 
Though while Johnston gi'ieved Sherman rejoiced. 

SatM7^day, ^th. — Bell's Brigade returned to Tupelo, 

378 K. K. Hancock's Diary. 

while Forrest, Buford, Lyon's Brigade, the artillery and 
wagons did not arrive until the next day. The first day 
we had plenty of dust, and mud in abundance the other 
three, as it rained each day. 

Monday, 6tJi. — Dispatches from trusty scouts were 
received, reporting the main body of the enemy, some 
thirteen thousand strong, at or near Salem at midday 
on the 4th. General Lee came up to Tupelo by rail in 
the afternoon. He and Forrest had an immediate con- 
ference touching the situation and their means for meet- 
ing the emergency. 

Tuesday, ytk. — The enemy, meanwhile, was reported 
as still moving eastward, in the general direction of the 
Memphis and Charleston road ; and it was supposed, 
from this state of affairs, that the ultimate purpose of 
the enemy was a junction with Sherman, then pressing 
Johnston backward to Atlanta. It was, therefore, de- 
termined to concentrate all disposable forces to follow 
and harass the movement to the utmost; and to that 
end comprehensive orders to the several officers were 
promptly distributed. Buford's Division, with Morton's- 
and Rice's Batteries, moved twenty-five miles north, 
and camped near Baldwin. Rucker, who had been or- 
dered several days previous to this to move from Ox- 
ford upon the Federal flank, crossed the Tallahatchie at 
New Albany late in the afternoon of the above date, 
and soon after struck a brigade of Federal cavalry, un- 
der Colonel Winslow. Attacking vigorously with the 
Seventh Tennessee and a squadron of Eighteenth Mis- 
sissippi, he drove the enemy for two miles, when dark- 
ness put an end to the conflict. The main Federal force 
was reported by scouts to be at Ruckerville, ten miles 
north-east of Ripley, on the road to Pocahontas. 

June, 18G4. 379 

Wednesday, 8tJi. — The headquarters of both Lee and 
Forrest were now at Baldwin. Continuing his march 
northward Buford was soon brought to a halt at Twenty- 
mile Creek, which was so swollen at the time from recent 
heavy rains as to be unfordable, especially for wagons 
and artillery. Therefore, Companies A and C of Bar- 
teau's Regiment were detailed to build a bridge across 
that stream, while a detail from Wilson's Regiment was 
sent two miles ahead to build a bridge across Wolf 
Creek. Captain McKnight was in command of the de- 
tail from Barteau's Regiment. However, General Bu- 
ford * went with us and superintended the building of 
the first bridg-e. Trees were soon felled, out of which 
a temporary bridge was constructed. Captain Mc- 
Knight, ordering his detail to mount, proceeded to the 
next bridge, which was not yet completed, and the water 
by this time was out in Wolf Creek bottom so that it 
would be over axle deep to wagons before reaching the 
bridge. Under these circumstances — besides it was now 
growing late in the afternoon — Forrest told McKnight 
to go back and say to Buford that he had better not 
attempt to cross Wolf Creek that evening. Buford had 
crossed the command over the first bridge and was pro- 

'•■•The command halted perhaps three hundred yards from the creek. As 
soon as Buford got to the creek he sent a runner back to the command to order 
his staff officers to report to him immediately. Some of them soon came dash- 
ing down to the creek, wishing to know the will of their superior (thinking, as 
a matter of course, that he wanted them to attend to some of the duties of their 
office, such as procuring forage, rations, etc.), when, to their great surprise and 
chagrin, he said: "Dismount, I want you to help build this bridge — I want to 
see yott get wet.'''' It was really amusing to us to see how completely they were 
taken down as Buford would take them by the arm with one hand while he 
pointed out what he wanted them to do with the other. And it had the desired 
effect, too, for we did not mind what we had to do after he put those officers to 
work. However, some of his staff finding out by some means what was up, 
failed to report. After the bridge was completed we decided that we had seen 
fun enough to pay us very well for all we had done. 

380 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

ceeding to the next, when, on being met by McKnight 
and receiving Forrest's message, he remarked, ''Forrest 
don t know'' and went right on to the second bridge in 
spite of the mud and water in his way. On arriving at 
this last bridgre McKnig^ht's detail was ordered to dis- 
mount (except every fourth man to hold horses) and 
assist in roiling the wagons and artillery through a place 
of mud and water about knee deep, and then upon the 
bridge.* By the untiring energy and perseverance of 
General Buford the whole division, including the wagons 
and artillery, was on the north bank of Wolf Creek be- 
fore sunset. Then moving on to Booneville Buford es- 
tablished his headquarters at that place. After halting 
long enough to draw rations and forage, Bell's Brigade, 
setting out from Booneville about midnight, moved out 
eight miles north-west to Blackland, and there, dis- 
mounting, took a short nap before day. 

Thursday, gth. — In the saddle by daylight. Colonel 
Barteau, with the Second Tennessee, moved northward 
about seven miles to the Rienzi-Ripley road, where he 
halted until about noon ; then turning eastward and 
marching some nine miles, he met with the rest of the 
brigade at Rienzi, a station on the Mobile and Ohio 
Road, where the brigade camped for the night. 

Newsom's Regiment, which was left at Corinth on the 
23d of May, and had not been with the brigade since, 
had met at Rienzi a few days previous to this and drove 
back westward a Federal scout. 

■•■■Buford allowed the boys to have some fun here too. A neg-fo who evidently 
feared that Buford would order him to help roll the wagons through " that mud- 
hole," was lying in a wagon to keep the General from seeing him. Some of the 
boys seeing him remarked, "Here is a negro in this wagon." Buford said: 
"Take him out! take him out and duck him!" No quicker said than done, 
the boys lifted him out of the wagon into the creek. 

June, 1804. 381 

Lyon's and Rucker's Brigades were now at Booneville, 
and Johnson's, from North Alabama, was at Baldwin. 
Confederate headquarters were at Booneville, ten miles 
north of Baldwin and eight south of Rienzi. Thus 
stood affairs on the eve before the memorable 


Information was brought to the Confederate Generals 
that General Sturgis (the Federal commander j, having 
broken up his encampment at Ruckerville, was moving 
toward Ripley, and later, that having passed that place, 
he was marching south-eastward toward Guntown. 
General Lee now determined to fall back with the whole 
force toward Okolona, so as to form a junction with 
Chalmers, and such other forces as he hoped to be able 
to glean from Mobile, before grappling with the enemy. 
Accordingly Lee proceeded southward by rail that night, 
while Forrest was ordered to follow next mornine with 
the whole force, and get between the Federal column 
and Tupelo. 

Brice's Cross-Roads, four miles due west from the 
Mobile and Ohio Railroad at Baldwin, and six miles 
north-west of Guntown, is at the intersection of the road 
from Ripley through Guntown to Fulton with that from 
Carrollville through EUistown to Pontotoc. Carrollville 
is five miles north-east of the cross-roads, and about 
two miles west of the railroad, on the road leading from 
Booneville to the cross-roads. 

The Federals camped on Stubbs' farm, about ten 
miles north-west of the cross-roads, and about twelve 
south-east of Ripley. To recapitulate: Johnson's Bri- 
gade had to march about seven miles (by the way of 
Carrollville), Rucker's and Lyon's fourteen, and Bell's 
twenty-two to reach the battle-field next morning. 

282 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Friday, loth. — Leaving Rienzi by daylight, Bell's 
Brigade (except Newsom's Regiment, which was some- 
where in the neighborhood of Corinth) marched south 
to Booneville, where it halted to draw t*wo days' rations 
for both men and horses. Here we learned that Forrest 
had left that place before dawn with Lyon's and Rocker's 
Brigades, hoping to get between the Federal column 
and Tupelo. Buford, who had been left at Booneville to 
bring up the rear, now followed with Bell's Brigade. 
The night had been rainy, but the sun rose brightly, 
and dispelling the morning mist, became warm and 
somewhat oppressive to the men and jaded horses ; and 
the roads, saturated with water from recent continuous 
heavy rains, were so much cut up as to retard the prog- 
ress of the artillery. 

At CarroUville scouts reported to Forrest that the 
advance of the Federal cavalry had been seen within a 
mile of Brice's Cross-Roads, and hence it was now evi- 
dent that the Federals were about to intercept the line 
of his march. Taking into consideration the advantage 
of striking the enemy while in line of march, and conse- 
quently not prepared for battle, besides, seeing no way 
of avoiding this contingency, and Johnson's Brigade 
having come up meanwhile, Forrest promptly resolved 
upon the offensive and an immediate encounter, and thus 
force General Sturgis to bring his men into action by 
detail. Forrest's force (three brigades) immediately in 
hand at the moment numbered about two thousand rank 
and file. Lyon was ordered to move rapidly forward 
with his brigade and feel the enemy while Rucker's and 
Johnson's men were replenishing their exhausted car- 
tridge boxes. A courier was also dispatched with in- 
structions to Buford to detach a regiment at CarroUville 

June, ISG-i. 383 

to o-ain the Federal rear, and, if possible, destroy their 
train, and to hurry forward the artillery at a gallop, as 
well as the other regiments of Bell's Brigade. On 
meeting this courier, within four miles of Carrollville, 
Buford moved out at a gallop, and "close up" soon 
passed from front to rear of Bell's Brigade. Colonel 
Barteau being detached at the above named place, with 
about two hundred and fifty of the Second Tennessee,* 
turned westward to gain the Federal rear, while Buford 
pressed on with the other two regiments (Russell's and 
Wilson's) and Morton's and Rice's Batteries at a gallop. 
Meanwhile Colonel Lyon, having gained the enemy's 
front, on the road leading toward Tupelo, through 
Brice's Cross-Roads, ordered Captain Randle to dis- 
mount his company and advance on foot to develop the 
Federal position. This done with spirit, speedily the 
enemy's cavalry were found strongly posted in heavy 
force in front. The Third Kentucky, dismounting, was 
thrown forward at a double-quick in support of Randle, 
and brought at once into action. The Federal position 
was strong; Lyon, therefore, dismounting the Seventh 
Kentucky and Faulkner's Regiment — except two com- 
panies held as cavalry to guard his flanks — immediately 
advanced, the former on the right and the latter on the 
left, in line with the Third Kentucky, while the Eighth 
Kentucky was held as a reserve in rear of the center 
within supporting distance. Thus disposed, Lyon 

■•■■'A heavy detail had been taken from our regiment to guard a wagon train ; 
and two of the companies from West Tennessee (Captains S. W. Reeves and O. 
B. Farris) that were sent on picket last night at Rienzi and had not caught up 
when the regiment was detached this morning, fell in with the rest of the bri- 
gade and remained with it throughout the battle and chase. Captain Farris be- 
ing on detached duty his company was commanded by his gallant First Lieuten- 
ant, F. M. McRee, who made a daring charge with Company K upon the Fed- 
eral rear guard, capturing a whole company of negroes. 

384 R. 1?. Hancock's Diary. 

pressed steadily up through a skirt of woods, brushing" 
the enemy back as he advanced. But discovering that 
the Federals were being heavily massed in his front, as 
if for an attack, Lyon halted his line, reconnoitered the 
position, and directed his men to throw up such cover 
as could be quickly made of rails and fallen timber at 
hand. The enemy, already having several pieces of ar- 
tillery in position, opened a hot fire with shell and can- 
ister, while a large force menaced an onset upon Lyon's 

Informed of the state of affairs on the field, Forrest 
ordered Colonel Lyon to take the offensive with the 
Third Kentucky and F'aulkner's Regiment. This gal- 
lantly performed, the enemy was presently driven back 
for three hundred yards to the edge of an old field. 
Forrest had moved up meanwhile the Seventh and 
Eighth Kentucky to a position somewhat in advance 
and rightward of the road. Lyon then brought up the 
Third Kentucky and Faulkner's Regiment to the same 
line. Rucker, at the same time, was dismounted and 
ordered also to form in line of battle on the left, which 
being done with alacrity and characteristic dasJi, he soon 
became warmly engaged with the enemy, who opened 
upon him with a sharp musketry fire from the shelter of 
a fence and dense thicket of dwarf oaks. Hearing the 
sounds of this brisk engagement the Confederate Gen- 
eral next dispatched Johnson's Brigade, mounted, at a 
rapid pace to gain and guard Lyon's right. Meanwhile 
Morton's and Rice's Batteries, having been brought up 
at a gallop for some eight miles, were immediately 
thrown forward into position in an open field on a hill, 
in rear of Lyon, and opened with spirit and execution, 
especially upon the Federal infantry confronting Rucker. 

JUx\E, 1804. 385 

Duff's Mississippians being detached leftward half a 
mile to guard that flank from being turned, Rucker now 
charged with the Seventh Tennessee and Chalmers' 
Battalion (Eighteenth Mississippi) across an open field 
in the face of a heavy hostile force of infantry, Chal- 
mer's Battalion, unsupported on its left flank at the time, 
being overlapped by the enemy, was thrown into con- 
fusion by a terrific enfilading fire, and receded to the 
shelter of the woods in its rear; but, though warmly 
pressed back to that position, it was speedily rallied, 
and handsomely resumed the onset. Led with note- 
worthy courage and vigor by Colonel Rucker and Lieu- 
tenant Colonels Taylor (Seventh Tennessee) and Chal- 
mers, they intrepidly breasted the fire of rifles and 
artillery that swept the ground over which they ad- 
vanced, and carried the position. The loss was serious 
among those brave Mississippians and Tennesseans. 
At the same time Lyon, advancing with his brigade in 
the face of an actively-plied artillery and warm fusilade 
of small arms, drove back the force opposed in his front, 
after some obstinate fighting and several efforts to charge 
him with a superior force. And Buford having come up 
at half-past eleven a, m. with Bell's Brigade, or rather 
Russell's and Wilson's Regiments, Forrest had placed 
them, dismounted, immediately in line on the left of 
Rucker, about the time that bricjade had faltered, as we 
have mentioned. 

The enemy now occupied the arc of a circle three- 
fourths of a mile at least in extent, and about half a 
mile from Brice's house, the right of which lay across 
the Ripley-Guntown road. They were also in heavy 
force of infantry as well as cavalry ; but a large portion 
of the infantry had been brought up at a double quick 

386 R. E. Hancock's Diary. 

for some six or eight miles, and of course were much 
blown and flurried, and not in good fighting condition 
Lyon's Brigade, confronting them on both sides of the 
Baldwin road, was formed in line in the edgre of a thick 
wood; Rucker, as we have stated, was next on the left, 
and Bell next, with Duff's Mississippians on his and the 
extreme Confederate left ; while Johnson's Brigade was 
on Lyon's and the extreme Confederate right. Mean- 
while, Buford had been assigned to the command of the 
right and center, embracing Lyon's and Johnson's Bri- 
gades, and the artillery (eight guns), with instructions 
to attack strenuously as soon as Bell was heard in ac- 
tion. And this was the posture of the combat about 

The ground held by the enemy, somewhat more ele- 
vated than that occupied by the Confederates, was un- 
dulating, and thickly clad with stunted trees and tan- 
gled undergrowth, which, veiling their presence, fur- 
nished excellent cover in addition to the breastwork of 
rails and logs that they had erected. Nevertheless, Bell 
advanced to the onset about half-past one p. m., and 
speedily a prolonged musketry fire blazed and gushed 
in the face of his line, and many of his bravest officers 
and men went down before it. Right gallantly and 
staunchly did these regiments endeavor to stem the 
adverse tide, but finally they wavered. Wilson's Reg- 
iment, flanked and enfiladed, gave back, and the issue 
seemed inevitably unfavorable for a time. But, ani- 
mated by their officers, the men regained a footing, and, 
happily, Lieutenant-Colonel Wisdom reached the ground 
at the same juncture with about two hundred and fifty 
men of Newsom's Regiment. These were quickly dis- 
mounted and advanced to a position on Wilson's left. 

June, 1864. 387 

.The offensive was now vehemently resumed by the Con- 
federates on all parts of their line. The Federals fought 
;well. and made several persistent charges, in heavy force, 
upon Johnson's, Lyon's, Rucker's, Bell's and Duft's po- 
sitions, and more than once defeat seemed unavoidable. 
Two strong lines of Federal infantry pressed upon 
Rucker, Bell and Duff through an open field, their front 
line coming within thirty paces of the Confederates, who 
then drew their revolvers and drove the enemy back 
with great slaughter. At the same time Lyon and John- 
son repulsed those who had assailed them ; while the 
escort, under Captain Jackson, with characteristic dar- 
ing, had dashed down upon some negro infantry on the 
Federal rigfht and thrown them into great confusion. 
Urged forward by their officers the Confederates pressed 
the enemy back by the sheer valor and tenacity with 
which they were handled. Nevertheless, the Federals, 
constantly reinforced by fresh regiments, brought up one 
after another, were so greatly superior in numbers that 
the result was still extremely doubtful. Forrest there- 
upon repaired in person to where his artillery was in 
position in front of Lyon. Ordering the pieces to be 
double-shotted with canister — a favorite practice — and 
limbered up, he moved with them down a gentle wooded 
slope to within sixty yards of the Federal lines, to the 
edge of a field about a quarter of a mile north-east of 
Brice's house, just at the moment a strong Federal line, 
resuming the offensive, was emerging from the woods 
into the open ground. In this position the Confederate 
artillery (eight pieces) were opened with signal execu- 
tion ; and, after two or three discharges, Lyon and John- 
son charged upon the Federal left. Hotly engaged at 
all points, about two p. m., the conflict had now become 

388 Pt. R. Hancock's Diary. 

general and desperate. There was no faltering at the 
juncture anywhere in the Confederate ranks. Buford 
was steadily pressing the Federals back upon Brice's 
house, with Lyon's and Johnson's Bridgades ; Bell's and 
Rucker's Brigades moving across the fields and over the 
fences in their front, using their revolvers freely, bore 
backward all before them in the same direction. The 
Confederate fire of small arms and artillery was rapid, 
incessant, desolating.* Forrest's line was now short- 
ened, and hence strengthened, as it converged upon the 
cross-roads, and the Federals were driven back at all 
points into a broad ravine, westward of Brice's house, 
leading to Tishamingo Creek — infantry, cavalry, artil- 
lery, wagons and ambulances huddled together in an 
almost inextricable coil ; and upon this mass Morton's 
and Rice's Batteries were brought to bear with fearful 

By this time six guns had been captured at Brice's 
house, and several of these, manned by the Confederate 
artillerists, were turned upon the Federals, disabling the 
horses of another Federal battery some three hundred 
yards westward of the Ripley road. Seeing this. Cap- 
tains Morton and Rice moved their batteries forward at 
a gallop up to the obstructed mass of the enemy, and 
poured upon it a deadly tide of canister. The havoc 
was ghastly, and the second battery was abandoned as 
the enemy crowded back along the Ripley road toward 
Tishamingo Creek, the bridge over which, still standing, 
was blocked up with wagons, some of whose teams had 
been killed, and more than one hundred of the Feder- 
als were killed or wounded in attempting to pass across 

*About eight hundred Federals lay dead around Brice's house and on the 
field to the east and south of it. 

June, 18G4. 389 

the bridge thus obstructed. Finding their way thus 
barred the enemy rushed into the creek on both sides 
of the bridge ; but as they emerged from the water on 
the west bank in an open field the Confederates' artil- 
lery played upon them for half a mile, killing or dis- 
abling a large number. 

In the interim the wagons left on the bridge had to 
be thrown into the stream before the Confederates, in 
any effective numbers, could pass over; otherwise, the 
captures must have been much more numerous. A sec- 
tion of Rice's Battery, however, was worked across, 
and, supported by the escort, overtook and opened upon 
the negro brigade, with double-shotted canister, with 
appalling effect. The rest of the artillery followed 
swiffly the advance section, ahead, for the moment, of 
any support, and, securing favorable positions, joined 
in the havoc. 

The order was now given for the cavalry to halt, re- 
organize, remount as fast as possible, and pursue. The 
road was narrow, with dense woods on either side, so 
that it was impossible to use more than four pieces at a 
time ; but that number were kept close upon the heels 
of the retreating enemy, and in murderous play, pre- 
venting them from making a stand. Nothing could ex- 
ceed the daring spirit, energy and execution with which 
the Confederate Artillery* was handled by its officers. 

■■■■As Captain JoJin W. Morton was in chief command, -with R. M. Blakemore 
as adjutant, his battery (four three-inch rifle guns) was commanded by the gal- 
lant Lieutenant T. S. Sale, assisted by Lieutenants Mayson and Brown. 

The spirit that animated the men may be illustrated by the behavior of one 
— Jimmie Moran, of Morton's Battery — who, when shot through the arm, on 
being told by his officers to go to the rear invariably replied : "No, sir; I'll stay 
with you as long as I can stand up," and continued to drive his gun team with 
his arm in a sling tlirough the entire fight. Rice's Battery consisted of two 
twelve-pounder howitzers, and two sixpounder smooth-bore guns. 

390 R. E. Hancock's Diary. 

About two miles from the cross-roads the enemy ral- 
lied at length in strong force, and again made stout bat- 
tle for about half an hour, in the course of which, con- 
centrating, they made a spirited charge upon their eager 
pursuers, and drove them back upon Rice's Battery ; but 
that, opening with double charges of canister, and Ly- 
on's Brigade springing forward with loud cheers, hurled 
them back with so stormful an onset that the Federal 
array dissolved before it into a molten mass of frag- 
ments and stragglers, and their defeat was consummate. 
The largest portion of their wagon train was left on the 
ground, with many caissons, and the road was so thickly 
strewn as to be encumbered with the dead, the dying, 
and wounded, with cast-away arms, harness, accoutre- 
ments, baggage, dead animals, and other v/reck of a 
routed army. It was now sunset, but the pursuit was 
maintained, weary and overspent as the Confederates 
were, for some five or six miles beyond, and until it be- 
came quite too dark to go further. As the negro sol- 
diery broke, after their last stand, they were seen gen- 
erally to tear something from their uniform and throw 
it away, which subsequently proved to have been a 
badge on which was printed, " Remember Fort Pillow," 
while at the same time their officers (whites) threw off 
their shoulder straps, or insignia of rank. 

After being detached at Carrollville, as previously 
mentioned, Colonel Barteau, with a part of his regiment, 
moving westward, struck the Ripley-Guntown road some 
four or five miles north-west of Brice's Cross-Roads ; 
and thence, moving in that direction, he struck the Fed- 
eral rear within about three miles of said cross-roads. 
Deploying his little band in line, in the woods on the 
east side of the road, he threw forward a lengthy, though 

June, 1864. 391 

thin, line of skirmishers in close proximity to the Fed- 
erals. As Barteau wished to make a feint of a heavy 
attack, without revealing his real strength, the position 
that he now occupied was a good one for that purpose. 
The stunted trees and tangled undergrowth not only 
furnished excellent cover for his men, but completely 
veiled his weakness from the enemy.* 

In speaking of Barteau's attack upon the Federal 
rear, the writer of "Forrest's Campaigns" (page 476) 
says : 

Deploying his men as skirmishers, on a line nearly three-quarters 
of a mile, and with other admirable and daring dispositions of his 
force, well calculated to conceal his weakness, Barteau contributed 
materially to disturb and disorder the enemy, and prevent the escape 
of their train. This drew to that quarter a large part of their cavalry, 
while the battle was raging with greatest fury at the cross-roads. 

I take the following from the manuscript notes of 
Colonel Barteau : 

Seeing the great heat of the engagement had now come, and the 
result doubtful, I thought it best, as I had thus far gotten to the ene- 
my's rear without his knowledge, to deceive him in regard to my num- 
bers. For this purpose, after detaching one company to picket still in 
my rear, I deployed the regiment into a line nearly as long as that of 
the line of battle, and at once begun an attack by scattering shots. 
This led him to believe that my force was large, and to continue the im- 

*A negro, a cook for some of the Second Tennessee, fell into the hands of 
the Federals about this juncture. On making his escape and returning to the 
regiment that night or the next day, he reported the following dialogue which 
took place between himself and a Federal officer when he was first captured: 

Federal Officer — How many men in those woods? 

y^egro — A regiment. 

Federal Officer— Yo\x can't fool me, there is a brigade in there. 

"T'hen," continued the negro in relating the story to us, "the Federal officer 
wrote something on a piece of paper and sent it in haste toward the front.'' 

No doubt but that dispatch addressed to General Sturgis ran somewhat thus 
" We are attacked in the rear by a brigade or more." 

392 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

pression I instructed my bugler* to gallop along the whole line and at 
various points to sound the charge. 

I thought then, and I think now [April, 1865], that the deception 
was a complete one, and at least had a good effect, for the enemy's 
cavalry, ten times larger in force than my own, came back to attack 
us, which must have considerably weakened their own line in front. 

Referring to this occasion in commenting on our war, 

a European journal compliments our colonel thus: 

Barteau's maneuver in rear of the enemy on that occasion was not 
equaled by the strategy of Napoleon or Caesar. 

As soon as Colonel Barteau was fully satisfied that 
"the day was ours," and that the Federals were in full 
retreat back toward Ripley, and, consequently, he was 
in front and Forrest in rear, he collected his men to- 
gether as quickly as possible, and after moving along 
their right flank for some five or six miles and coming 
to a road (a little after dark) leading westward across 
the Ripley road, he decided to dismount his men, in 
order to move more quietly, and attack the Federal 
column, which could now be distinctly heard moving 
along the latter road, hoping thus to cut off, and perhaps 
capture, a portion of the Federal rear. However, the 
Colonel had moved only a few hundred yards when he 
met Lieutenant John E. Denning (Company F), who 
had been out as far as the first house on the road, and 
there learned that we would have to cross a creek and 
a bad bottom before reaching the road along which the 
Federals were moving. Meanwhile the enemy appeared 
to be halting, perhaps to bivouac for the night; there- 
fore, after a consultation with commanders of companies, 
Barteau decided that he would not attempt to cross that 

■•■ Our bugler (Jimmie R. Bradford) who greatly alarmed the enemy on this 
occasion by making it appear that so many different buglers were sounding the 
charge, died near New Middleton, Tenn., in 1882. 

JUXE, 1804. 393 

^ bottom 'mid the darkness of the night. We bivouacked 
perhaps one and a half or two miles in advance of where 
Forrest, soon after, stopped the chase.* 

Saturday, nth. — On reaching the Ripley road a little 
after daylight, Colonel Barteau learned that General 
Forrest was in advance with the Seventh Tennessee, 
from Rucker's Brigade. Moving out at a gallop, the 
former soon overtook the latter. 

Meanwhile, Forrest had struck the Federal rear about 
daylight at Stubbs' farm. A slight skirmish ensued, 
when the enemy broke, abandoning the remainder of 
their wagon-train, nine pieces of artillery, and some 
twenty-five ambulances, with a number of wounded, at 
the crossing of a small fork of the Hatchie. It was 
apparent that the enemy were now greatly scattered 
through the surrounding country. Therefore Forrest 
threw that portion of the Second Tennessee that was 
yet with Colonel Barteau on the left flank, and another 
regiment on the right, to sweep for some distance on 
either side of the highway, and all the morning the din 
of firearms was to be heard at the harsh, stern work of 
war. Bell's Brigade (including the other portion of the 
Second Tennessee) having come up, relieved Rucker 
soon after sunrise. About four miles eastward of Ripley 
the Federals were found rallied and in position for an- 
other stand at the crossing of Hatchie Creek, where the 
bottom was almost impracticable, except by the road 
over a causeway, which was about three hundred yards 
long. They had already effected the passage of the 
stream, and were drawn up on a ridge some seven hun- 
dred yards from its west bank, with a strong line of 

*The Federals bivouacked on Stubbs' farm, some three miles in advance of 
Forrest. v 

394 R. E. Hancock's Diary. 

skirmishers thrown forward to the woods near the water's 
edge to dispute the Confederate advance. No artillery 
being visible, Forrest, quickly dismounting two regi- 
ments of Bell's Brigade, moved with them and his es- 
cort (the latter mounted) up the creek leftward, and 
crossed without any resistance, taking the Federals on 
their right fiank. At this moment they again broke, 
after a very slight skirmish, and the whole Confederate 
force, crossing the stream, resumed the pursuit. 

As the advance of Bell's Brigade — Wilson's Regi- 
ment — approached Ripley, about eight a. m., the enemy 
were found drawn up in two strong battle lines just in 
the outskirts, north-west of the place, stretching across 
the roads leading to LaGrange and Salem. Forrest, 
coming up with his escort, immediately dismounted 
them and Wilson's men, and without waiting for any 
-additional force advanced to the attack ; but sending 
orders, however, to General Buford to throw Rucker 
around to gain their rear on the LaGrange road, and to 
hurry up with the other regiments. Wilson's Regiment 
and the escort, advancing under cover of the houses and 
fences of Ripley, opened with an effective fire upon the 
Federal lines, inflicting so sharp a loss that, after a few 
moments, they broke, leaving upon the field thirty of 
their dead and sixty wounded. 

Buford, having now brought up the other troops, was 
directed to pursue with Lyon's and Rucker's Brigades, 
and hang closely upon the Federal rear on the road 
toward Salem, through Davenport, while Forrest,* with 

* Several miles before reaching Salem the Confederate General fell from hij 
liorse from sheer exhaustion, and for more than an hour lay in a state of stupor 
by the roadside. This, perhaps, is another reason why he failed to intercept 
the enemy at Salem. It is about fifty miles from Brice's Cross Roads to Salem, 
and Ripley is about midway between. 

June, 1864. 395 

Bell's Brigade, would endeavor to reach Salem sooner 
by a left-hand way, somewhat more direct, with the hope 
of thus intercepting- the main body of the retreating 
enemy at this point. Buford, however, took up the 
pursuit with such vigor that this expectation was disap- 
pointed, ■ Directed to lead and charge without dismount- 
ing, Rucker made several spirited onsets upon the Fed- 
eral rear guard. Sweeping it rapidly ahead of him, 
capturing several hundred prisoners, Rucker's horses 
became finally so jaded that Buford relieved that brigade 
with Lyon's. Meanwhile Colonel Barteau, having been 
detached, as previously mentioned, with a part of the 
Second Tennessee, dashing ahead — sometimes along 
country roads, and at other times through the woods, 
leaving Ripley about two miles to the right — finally 
struck the Federal column some eigfht miles from that 
place on the Salem road. The enemy were now moving 
along a ridge four deep — infantry in the center and cav- 
alry on each side of the road — with a beautiful open 
woods between them and Barteau's men. Taking in 
the situation at a g-lance, and deciding: that this was the 
time and place to strike a blow, the Colonel, quickly 
dismounting his small band, gallantly led them to the 
onset. Strange as it may appear, the Federals did not 
seem to observe the approach of the Confederates until 
the latter turned loose a volley within sixty or seventy 
yards of the former. The road in our immediate front 
was cleared in an instant, and the enemy fired but few 
shots at us. As he had heard no firing in the rear for 
some time previous to this, and thinking that perhaps 
Forrest had stopped the chase, Barteau decided that it 
would be prudent for him to fall back a short distance in 
order to ascertain what was oroina on in the rear. Doak 

396 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Carr (Company D) and B. A, High (Company G), twa 
daring riders, remained and skirmished with the enemy 
a short time, when General Buford, closing up on their 
rear with Lyon's Brigade, captured about eight hundred 
Federals that Barteau had cut off as above named. As 
soon as he learned that the Confederates were still in 
pursuit, Barteau, turning westward again, arrived at 
Salem about sunset, and went into camp.* By the 
time Salem was reached, however, it was apparent that 
no body of the Federal force was retreating on that 
road, but only widely dispersed stragglers. Buford, turn- 
ing northward, with Lyon's Brigade and Russell's Reg- 
iment, resumed the chase in the direction of LaGrancre, 
while a detachment under Lieutenant- Colonel Holt 
(Third Kentucky) followed toward Lamar. So ex- 
hausted had the horses now become generally that few 
were able to keep up and reach the extreme points of 
pursuit on the iith, which, on the way to LaGrange, 
was Davis' Mi^ll, where Buford halted after dark, and 
gave his men and animals several hours' rest. 

Meanwhile, Forrest, having led Bell's Brigade (ex- 

* Since writing the above I have received a letter from Lieutenant A. H. 
French (Company A) from which I take the following: 

"Only for the action of Colonel Dawson, of General Forrest's staff, our reg- 
iment would have captured half of the enemy's forces at a point west of Ripley, 
Mississippi, on the' Salem road, wheie we intercepted and attacked the advance 
of the retreating enemy; and right here tliey turned due north, through woods 
and fields, and fled to a post on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad (Poca- 
hontas, I think). 

"As we were in the act of pursuit Colonel Dawson came up and informed us. 
that we were being surrounded and would soon be cut off and captured. Colo- 
nel Barteau acting on this ordered a retreat — thus losing to us one of the best 
opportunities of winning a name that would have gone down to coming gener- 
ations in flames of glory. 

" But few of the officers of the regiment who knew of Colonel Dawson's re- 
port believed it, and many were quite loth to obey the command to halt and 

June, 18G4. 397 

cept a part of the Second Tennessee), as I have related, 
by a shorter route, nevertheless, on reaching Salem, 
found that Buford was in his advance. Thereupon, per- 
mittinof Colonel Bell to return to the battlefield to look 
after the dead and wounded, he directed Colonel Wil- 
son to proceed with a part of the brigade, including a 
detachment of the Second Tennessee (previously men- 
tioned), on the route taken by Buford, and sweep the 
country for prisoners and arms, but not long after dis- 
patched orders to Buford recalling the pursuit. How- 
ever, Colonel Wilson, with his regiment and Companies 
I and K of the Second Tennessee, foUowing two days 
longer and capturing a few more prisoners, turned back 
six miles west of Moscow, in W^est Tennessee. Ruck- 
er's and Johnson's Brigades turned back at Salem. 

Having directed his command to scour the country for 
Federal stragglers and property (the road was profusely 
strewn with harness, small arms, ammunition and other 
accoutrements of a routed army) as they returned to 
the battlefield. General Forrest, still greatly fatigued 
and exhausted by the extreme mental exertion he had 
undergone, now set out on his return, and slept that 
night (nth) with his staff and escort, at the house of 
a paternal uncle — Orrin Beck — three or four miles from 
Salem, and almost within sight of the little farm upon 
which had been passed the years of his youth, for the 
most part in a hard, resolute struggle for the means of 
support for a widowed mother and her family of eleven 


I. The Federal force engaged, says their Official Re- 
port, consisted of Warren's and Winslow's Brigades, 

* Forrest's Campaigns, page 481. 

398 1\. It. Hancock's Diakv. 

three thousand three hundred cavalry ; Wilkins' and 
Hoge's (white) and Benton's (negro) Brigades of in- 
fantry, five thousand four hundred strong — total eight 
thousand seven hundred. The Confederate force at no 
time exceeded three thousand two hundred men ; and 
of this number one-fourth, or eight hundred, were de- 
tached to hold the horses, thus reducing the fighting men 
actually to about two thousand four hundred, less (by 
five hundred) than one-third of the Federal army. Not- 
withstanding the great odds against the Confederates, 
"seldom," says the writer of "Forrest's Campaigns" 
— "almost never — was an army more completely beaten 
and dispersed than that of Sturgis' on this occasion." 
In speaking of the Confederates the same writer says : 
"The courage manifested throughout, rarely equaled in 
the aggregate on any field, has never been surpassed." 
2. The enemy began to retreat about four p. m. on 
the loth, and by nightfall on the iith they had been 
driven some sixty miles, with the loss of nineteen pieces 
of artillery, twenty-one caissons, over two hundred wag- 
ons and thirty ambulances,* with parts of their teams 
and large quantities of subsistence, small arms, ammu- 
nition, and other material of war. More than two thou- 
sand officers and men, including the wounded, were 
taken prisoners, and one thousand nine hundred of their 
dead were left on the field or by the wayside between 
the battlefield and Ripley. The Confederate losses 
were at least one hundred and forty officers and men 

■•■■"One very large ambulance, which was constructed for the purpose, might 
be termed a portable drug store. It was well filled with both drugs and sur- 
gical instruments. Dr. J. W. Harrison (our Assistant Surgeon, who, I think, 
was the first to discover its contents) fortunately procured a good supply of 
medicine for the use and benefit of the Second Tenneasee; and, to use the Doc- 
tor's own language, "I [he] got from that ambulance a case of the finest sur- 
gical instruments that I ever saw." 

June, 1804. 399 

killed, and nearly five hundred were wounded. Bell's 
Brigade lost twenty-six killed and one hundred and six 

3. The action was far bloodier than it would have 
been had not the negroes entered upon the campaign 
inspired by their ofiicers with the conviction that no 
quarter would be given them; inspired, too, with the 
resolution to give no quarter. In fact, General Wash- 
burne confesses, in his letter to General Forrest (printed 

hereafter, page ) that these negro troops had, while 

on their knees before leaving Memphis, taken an oath 
to avenge Fort Pillow, and that they would show For- 
rest's troops no quarter. Impressed with' this notion, 
and animated by the apprehension engendered, they per- 
versely refused to halt and surrender. Consequently 
many of them were shot down while thus wildly persist- 
ing in seeking safety in flight. They got rid of every 
thing that impeded their progress. Some of them even 
went so far as to cut off the legs of their pants at the 

The above facts show why so many were killed and 
so few captured. Had they (both white and black) 
known how kindly they would have been treated by 
Forrest and his men, I am sure that many more of them, 
if not all, would have surrendered in place of taking to 
the woods and swamps as they did after becoming ex- 
hausted. I am aware of the fact that the foregoing, or 
any true account of this action and pursuit, will appear 
exaggerated to any one who was not an eye-witness. 

Smiday, iztJi. — Forrest's command all turned back, 
except (as previously mentioned) Wilson's Regiment 
and a part of the Second Tennessee, scouring the coun- 
try for some distance on either side of the highway for 

400 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Federal stragglers and property as they returned. Col- 
onel Barteau ordered his squadron to move, in small 
detachments, through the country on the left or north- 
east side of the main road, take up all the Federal 
stragglers that could be found, and report at Ripley by 
eight o'clock next morning. 

The followingr incidents will illustrate the manner in 
which the enemy were " hunted down," both in the chase 
and on the return : Four of Company C (including the 
writer) were riding along together when a lady standing 
by the road remarked to us, "I saw a negro passing 
through those bushes only a few moments ago." Dash- 
ing out in the direction the lady pointed we soon found 
three negroes, who had concealed themselves as best 
they could among some logs in the bushes. We were 
more humane to them, however, than they had sworn to 
be to us. We did not kill them on the spot, as the poor, 
misguided wretches had been made to believe, but, on 
the contrary, we treated them as kindly as we would 
have done had no threats been made, and marching 
them to Ripley turned them over to the Confederates 
who had charge of the other prisoners. Sometimes 
they were made prisoners thus : As the Confederates 
would be passing a place where the undergrowth was 
so dense that one could not be seen five steps, they, 
without seeing any one, would halt and call out : " Come 
out of there, you grand rascals, or I will kill you." 
Perhaps two or three, thinking that they had been dis- 
covered, would come crawling out and surrender. 

Monday, 13th. — Barteau's Squadron having, accord- 
ing to previous orders, reassembled at Ripley by eight 
A. M., moved down and camped near the battlefield, 
within five miles of Guntown. General Forrest estab- 
lished his headquarters at that place in the afternoon. 

June, 18C4. 401 

Tuesday, i^th. — Johnson's Brigade of Roddy's Divis- 
ion was ordered to Baldwin, and from there to Corinth. 
Buford's Division moved to Guntown on the Mobile and 
Ohio Railroad. Forrest's command was now all very 
busy collecting and burying the dead, removing the 
wounded of both sides to hospitals along the line of the 
railroad, and gleaning and hauling the spoils from the 
battlefield to Guntown ; * from there they were being 
shipped south by rail. 

Wednesday, i^th. — General Forrest repairing to Tu- 
pelo with his staff and escort, established his headquarters 
at that central position. General Chalmers, having been 
previously ordered from Montevallo, Alabama, was now 
at Columbus, Mississippi, with McCuUoch's Brigade 
and Walton's Battery, and after a few days Rucker's 
Brigade was directed to take post at the same place. 
Mabry's Brigade, which had been previously doing ser- 
vice in the western part of Mississippi, along the Yazoo 
River, likewise had come within the limits of Forrest's 
command, and was now posted at Okolona. This bri- 
gade, which was attached to Buford's Division, was 
composed of the Fourth, Sixth, and Thirty-eighth 
Mississippi, and the Fourteenth Confederate Regi- 

Saturday, i8tJi. — General Buford, with Lyon's Brigade^ 
moved from Guntown to Baldwin. 

Sunday, igtJi. — Bell's Brigade moved from Guntown 
(south) to Saltillo. 

The following congratulatory order explains itself: 

*A good citizen who lived in that vicinity on being informed that Forrest 
wanted to borrow some of his mules to assist in hauling p'under from the bat- 
tlefield, replied: "Yes, sir, General Forrest can get anything that I have except 
viy ivife.''^ 


402 K. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Headquarters Second Division, Forrest's Cavalry. 

Baldwin, Miss., June 19th, 1864. 
Soldiers of the Second Division : 

Your action on the loth and nth instant marks an era in the history 
of war. No parallel can be found in history of such a battle fought 
and won by cavalry. No battle was more decisive, no victory more 
full, no defeat more complete, no pursuit more rapid and exciting. 

Contending with the enemy in infantry (twice your number) fully 
and splendidly equipped and protected by cavalry superior to the 
whole force engaged, you demolished his army, captured his artillery 
and wagon train, obtained his supplies, and rescued a helpless popula- 
tion from the insolent domination of a ruthless foe. 

Kentuckians and Tennesseans of the Third and Fourth Brigades, 
you have placed your names conspicuously on glory's most honorable- 
roll. Veterans and recruits, you emulated each the other in coolness, 
bravery and determination. Your immediate commanders. Colonels 
Lyon and Bell, may well congratulate themselves in commanding 
troops so vigorous in action, so unflinching in endurance, so prompt 
in obedience, and so irresistible in battle. 

To the brave ones who fell we drop a soldier's tear. We feel their 
loss. The memory of their noble deeds will be emulated by the liv- 
ing and their blood avenged on the dastard foe. 

Where all officers and privates displayed such high courage and such 
noted gallantry it would be invidious to draw distinctions. Let us 
rather return thanks to an allwise Providence for the signal exhibition 
of his power vouchsafed us, and press forward with renewed zeal to 
secure our independence, determined that no act shall tarnish the 
luster of the glory you so proudly have won. You merit and will re- 
ceive a country's benediction. A. Buford, 

Brigadier- General Commanding. 

Thomas N. Crowder, 

A. A. A. General. 

Monday, 20tJi. — Buford, with Lyon's Brigade, moved 
from Baldwin about twenty miles south to Tupelo, where 
he was joined the next day by Bell's Brigade. The 
Second Tennessee camped on the same ground that it 
had frequentl)^ occupied before, three miles north-west 
of town. Here our division took a much needed rest 
of sixteen days. 

June, 18G4. 403 

The following correspondence between General For- 
rest and the Federal commander at Memphis is taken 
from "Forrest's Campaigns," page 485: 

Headquarters Forrest's Cavalry, 

In the Field, June 14, 1864. 
■General Washburne, Commanding U. S. Forces, Memphis, Tenn. ; 

General: It has been reported to me that all your colored troops 
stationed at Memphis took on their knees, in the presence of Major- 
General Hurlbut and other officers of your army, an oath to avenge 
Fort Pillow, and that they would show my troops no quarter. x\gain, 
I have it from indisputable authority that the troops under Brigadier- 
General Sturgis, on their recent march from Memphis, publicly and 
in many places proclaimed that no quarter would be shown my men. 
As they were moved into action on the loth they were exhorted to re- 
member Fort Pillow. The prisoners we have captured from that com- 
mand, or a large majority of them, have voluntarily stated that they 
expected us to murder them, otherwise they would have surrendered 
in a body rather than take to the bushes after being run down and ex- 
hausted. The recent battle of Tishamingo Creek* was far more 
bloody than it would otherwise have been but for the fact that your 
men evidently expected to be slaughtered when captured, and both 
sides acted as though neither felt safe in surrendering, even when fur- 
ther resistance was useless. The prisoners captured by us say they 
felt condemned by the announcements, etc., of their own command- 
ers, and expected no quarter. 

In all my operations since it began, I have conducted the war on 
civilized principles, and desire still to do so; but it is due to my com- 
mand that they should know the position they occupy and the policy 
you intend to pursue. I therefore respectfully ask whether my men 
now in your hands are treated as other Confederate prisoners of war, 
also the course intended to be pursued in regard to those who may 
hereafter fall into your hands. 

I have in my possession quite a number of wounded officers and 
men of General Sturgis' command, all of whom have been treated as 
well as we are able to treat them, and are mostly in charge of a sur- 
geon left at Ripley by General Sturgis to look after the wounded. 
Some of them are too severely wounded to be removed at present. I 

*0r Brice's Cross-Roads. 

404 L". K. IIaxcock's Diaky. 

am willing to exchange them for any men of my command you have^ 
and as soon as able to be removed will give them safe escort through 
our lines in charge of the surgeon left with them. I made such an 
arrangement once with Major-General Hurlbut, and am willing to re- 
new it, provided it is desired, as it would be better than to subject 
them to the long and fatiguing trip necessary to a regular exchange at 
City Point, Va. I am, General, etc., N. B. Forrest, 

Major- General. 

The above communication, dispatched under flag of 
truce, drew an answer as follows : 

Headquarters District of West Tennessee, 

Memphis, Tenn., June 19, 1864. 
Major- General N. B. Forrest, Commanding Confederate Forces : 

General: Your communication of the 14th instant is received. 

In regard to that part of your letter which relates to colored troops. 
I beg to say that I have already sent a communication on the same 
subject to the officer in command of the Confederate forces at Tupelo. 
Having understood that Major-General S. D. Lee was in command 
there, I directed my letter to him. A copy of it I inclose. 

You say in your letter that it has been reported to you "that all the 
negro troops stationed in Memphis took an oath on their knees in the 
presence of Major-General Hurlbut and other officers of our army, to- 
avenge Fort Pillow, and that they would show your troops no quarter." 
I believe it is true that the colored troops did take such an oath, but 
not in the presence of General Hurlbut. From what I can learn this 
act of theirs was not influenced by any white officer, but was the re- 
sult of their own sense of what was due to themselves and their fel- 
lows who had been mercilessly slaughtered. I have no doubt that 
they went into the field, as you allege, in the full belief that they 
would be murdered in case they fell into your hands. The affair at 
Fort Pillow fully justified that belief. I am not aware as to what they: 
proclaimed on their late march, and it may be, as you say, that they 
declared that no quarter would be given to any of your men that 
might fall into their hands. 

Your declaration that you have conducted the war on all occasions 
on civilized principles cannot be accepted; but I receive with satisfac- 
tion the intimation in your letter that the recent slaughter of colored 
troops at the battle of Tishamingo Creek resulted rather from the des- 
peration with which they fought than a predetermined intention to. 

June, 1804. 405 

give them no quarter. You must have learned by this time that the 
attempt to intimidate the colored troops by indiscriminate slaughter 
has signally failed, and that instead of a feeling of terror you have 
aroused a spirit of courage and desperation that will not down at your 

I am left in doubt by your letter as to the course you and the Con- 
federate Government intend to pursue hereafter in regard to colored 
troops, and I beg you to advise me with as little delay as possible as 
to your intention. If you intend to treat such of them as fall into 
your hands as prisoners of war, please so state. If you do not so in- 
tend, but contemplate either their slaughter or their return to slavery, 
please state that^ so that we may have no misunderstanding hereafter. 
If the former is your intention I shall receive the announcement with 
pleasure, and shall explain the fact to the colored troops at once and 
desire that they recall the oath that they have taken. If the latter is 
the case, then let the oath stand, and upon those who have aroused 
this spirit by their atrocities, and upon the Government and people 
who sanction it be the consequences. 

In regard to your incjuiry relating to prisoners of your command in 
our hands, I state that they have always received the treatment which 
a great and humane Government extends to its prisoners. What course 
will be pursued hereafter toward them must, of course, depend on cir- 
cumstances that may arise. If your command hereafter do nothing 
which should properly exclude them from being treated as prisoners of 
war, they will be so treated. 

I thank you for your offer to exchange wounded officers and men 
in your hands. If you will send them in I will exchange man for 
man, so far as I have the ability to do so. 

Before closing this letter I wish to call your attention to one case 
of unparalleled outrage and murder that has been brought to my 
notice, and in regard to which the evidence is overwhelming. 

Among the prisoners captured at Fort Pillow was Major Bradford, 
who had charge of the fort after the fall of Major Booth. After being 
taken a prisoner he was started with other prisoners in charge of Colo- 
nel Duckworth foi; Jackson. At Brownsville they rested overnight. 
The following morning two companies were detailed by Colonel Duck- 
worth to proceed to Jackson with the prisoners. After they had started 
and proceeded a very short distance five soldiers were recalled by Colo- 
nel Duckworth and were conferred with by him. They then rejoined 

406 K. E. Haxcock's Diary. 

the column, and after proceeding about five miles from Brownsville 
the column was halted and Major Bradford taken about fifty yards 
from the roadside and deliberately shot by the five men who had been 
recalled by Colonel Duckworth, and his body left unburied upon the 
ground where he fell. He now lies buried near the spot, and if you 
desire you can easily satisfy yourself of the truth of what I assert. 

I beg leave to say to you that this transaction hardly justifies your 
remark that your operations have been conducted on civilized princi- 
ples, and until you take some steps to bring the perpetrators of this 
outrage to justice the world will not fail to believe that it has your 
sanction. I am, General, respectfully your obedient servant, 

C. C. Washburne, 

Major- General. 

It seems that while P'orrest's letter of the 14th of Jtine 
was on its way to the Federal headquarters, the follow- 
ing touching the same subject had been written by Gen- 
eral Washburne and dispatched on the 17th to Major- 
General Lee : 

Headquarters District of West Tennessee, 

Memphis, Tenn., June 17th, 1864. 
Major-General S. D. Lee, Commanding Confederate Forces, near Tupelo, 

Mississippi : 

General — When I heard that the forces of Brigadier-General Stur- 
gis had been driven back and a portion of them probably captured, I 
felt considerable solicitude for the fate of two colored regiments that 
formed a part of the command until I was informed that the Confed- 
erate forces were commanded by you. When I heard that I became 
satisfied that no atrocities would be committed upon those troops, but 
that they would receive the treatment which humanity, as well as their 
gallant conduct, demanded. I regret to say that the hope that I en- 
tertained has been dispelled by facts which have recently come to my 

From statements that have been made to me by colored soldiers 
who were eye witnesses, it would seem that the massacre of Fort Pil- 
low had been reproduced at the late affair at Brice's Cross-Roads. 
The details of the atrocities there committed I will not trouble you 
with. If true, and not disavowed, they must lead to consequences 
hereafter fearful to contemplate. It is best that we should now have 

June, 18G4. 407 

a fair understanding upon the question of treatment of this class of 

If it is contemplated by the Confederate Government to murder all 
colored troops that may by the chances of war fall into their hands, as 
was the case at Fort Pillow,* it is but fair that it should be truly and 
openly avowed. Within the last six weeks I have, on two occasions, 
sent colored troops into the field from this point. In the expectation 
that the Confederate Government would disavow the action of their 
commanding general at the Fort Pillow massacre, I have forborne to 
issue any instructions to the colored troops as to the course they should 
pursue toward Confederate soldiers that might fall into their hands, f 
but seeing no disavowal on the part of the Confederate Government, 
but, on the contrary, laudations from the entire Southern press of the 
perpetrators of the massacre, I may safely presume that indiscriminate 
slaughter is to be the fate of colored troops that fall into your hands. 
But I am not willing to leave a matter of such grave import, and 
involving consequences so fearful, to inference, and I have, therefore, 
thought it proper to address you this, believing that you would be able 
to indicate the policy that the Confederate Government intended to 
pursue hereafter in this question. If it is intended to raise the black 
flag against that unfortunate race, they will cheerfully accept the issue. 
Up to this time no troops have fought more gallantly, and none have 
conducted themselves with greater propriety. They have fully vindi- 
cated their right (so long denied) to be treated as men. I hope that I 
have been misinformed in regard to the treatment they have received 
at the batde of Price's Cross-Roads, and that the accounts received 
result rather from the excited imaginations of the fugitives than from 
actual facts. 

For the government of the colored troops under my command, I 
would thank you to inform me, with as little delay as possible, if it is 

*I saw tlie colored prisoners as they were marched oft from Fort Pillow, and 
consequently I kno7v that they were not murdered as above stated. 

tBut admits in his letter to Forrest (ante, page 701) that he knew at the same 
time those troops had gone into the field breathing vengeance and sworn to give 
no quarter to Confederates who might fall into their hands. Knowing as he did 
that those colored troops had gone into the field sworn to give no quarter, how 
could Washburne, in the face of these facts, complain of "atrocities" having 
been committed upon them? In the language of another: "Assuredly the 
drums around the Federal General must have driven thought from his head." 
See Forrest's reply to the above on next page. 

408 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

your intention, or the intention of the Confederate Government, to 
murder colored soldiers that may fall into your hands, or treat them 
as prisoners of war, and subject to be exchanged as other prisoners? 
I am, General, respectfully, etc., C. C. Washburne, 

Major- General. 

As this communication passed through Forrest's liands 

he repHed as follows : 

Headquarters Forrest's Cavalry, 

Tupelo, June 23d, 1864. 
Major-General C. C. Washburne, Conmiandi7ig U. S. Forces, Meniphis : 

General — I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt (per flag 
of truce) of your letter of the 17th instant, addressed to Major-Gen- 
eral S. D. Lee, or officer commanding Confederate forces near Tupelo. 
I have forwarded it to General Lee with a copy of this letter. 

I regard your letter as discourteous to the commanding officer of 
this department, and grossly insulting to myself. You seek, by implied 
threats, to intimidate him, and assume the privilege of denouncing me 
as a murderer, and as guilty of wholesale slaughter of the garrison at 
Fort Pillow, and found your assertion upon the ex parte testimony of 
(your friends) the enemies of myself and country. 

I shall not enter into the discussion, therefore, of any of the ques- 
tions involved, nor undertake any refutation of the charges madeJjy 
you against myself. Nevertheless, as a matter of personal privilege 
alone, I unhesitatmgly say that they are unfounded, and unwarranted 
by the facts. But whether these charges are true or false, they, with 
the question you ask, as to whether negro troops, when captured, will 
be recognized and treated as prisoners of war, subject to exchange, 
etc., are matters which the Governments of the United States and the 
Confederate States are to decide and adjust — not their subordinate 
officers. I regard captured negroes as I do other captured property, 
and not as captured soldiers; but as to how regarded by my Govern- 
ment, and the disposition which has been and will hereafter be made of 
them, I respectfully refer you, through the proper channel, to the 
authorities at Richmond. 

It is not the policy or the interest of the South to destroy the negro; 
on the contrary, to preserve and protect him; and all wlio have sur- 
rendered to us have received kind and humane treatment. 

Since the war began I have captured many thousand Federal pris- 
oners, and they, including the survivors of the "Fort Pillow massacre," 
black and white, are living witnesses of the fact that, with my knowl- 

June, 1864. 400 

•edge or consent, or by my orders, not one of them has ever been 
insulted or maltreated in any way. 

You speak of your forbearance in "not giving to your negro troops 
instructions and orders as to the course they should pursue in regard 
to Confederate soldiers that might fall into (your) their hands," which 
clearly conveys to my mind two very distinct impressions. The first 
is, that in not giving them instructions and orders, you have left the 
matter entirely to tlie discretion of the negroes as to how they should 
dispose of prisoners; second, an implied threat, to give such orders 
as will lead to "consequences too fearful" for contemplation. In 
confirmation of the correctness of the first impression (which your 
, language now fully develops) I refer you most respectfully to my letter 
from the battlefield of Tishamingo Creek, and forwarded to you by 
flag of truce on the 14th instant. As to the second impression, you 
seem disposed to take into your own hands the settlement which 
belongs to, and can only be settled by, your Government. But if you 
are prepared to take upon yourself the responsibility of inaugurating 
a system of warfare contrary to civilized usages, the onus, as well as 
the consequences, will be chargeable to yourself. 

Depreciating, as I should do, such a state of affairs; determined, as 
I am, not to be instrumental in bringing it about; feeling and know- 
ing, as I do, that I have the approval of my Government, my people, 
and my own conscience, as to the past, and with the firm belief that 
I will be sustained by them in my future policy, it is left with you to 
determine what that policy shall be — whether in accordance with the 
laws of civilized nations or in violation of them. 

Very respectfully, etc., 

N. B. Forrest, 

Major- General. 

Wednesday, 22d* — General Roddy's Division — John- 

•■■About this time we, of McKnight's Company, were called upon to mourn 
the loss of another one of our comrades. C. E. Hancock (son of Alfred Han- 
cock and cousin to the writer) died, after a long spell of sickness, on the 4th of 
June, 1864, at his uncle's, in Franklin County, Alabama. He was mustered 
into service, with Captain T. M. Allison's Company, June 28th, 1861. He was 
slightly wounded at the battle of Denmark, in West Tennessee, on the 1st of 
September, 1862. He made a splendid soldier, never shrinking from duty, 
whether the call was to go on picket, on a scout, or to meet the enemy upon 
the battlefield. He was greatly lamented and missed by all of his comrades, 
as well as his brother, R. M. Hancock, who was also a member of McKnight's 

410 E. E. Hancock's Diary. 

son's and Patterson's Brigades — having been placed un- 
der Forrest, was now stationed at Corinth, except three 
hundred men left in North Alabama to meet any raids 
from Decatur. By this time information was received 
from sources so reliable as to satisfy General Forrest, 
that a Federal force was preparing to march from Mem- 
phis against him larger than either of the columns which 
he had discomfited. Informing his superior of the fact, 
he made new and additional dispositions to keep the 
impending Federal movement under the closest observa- 

Thursday, 2jd. — A detachment of some four hundred 
men, drawn from Bell's and Lyon's Brigades at Tupelo, 
was thrown forward, under Lieutenant-Colonel Jesse 
Forrest, to Ripley, to hold in observation the many roads 
converging upon that important strategic position. 

The Federal force, now under Major-General A. J. 
Smith, concentrated at LaGrange, on the Memphis and 
Charleston Railroad, east of Memphis, where it remained 
for several days. 

The first week in July the work of preparation for the 
menaced conflict was pressed with unabated activity and 
attention to detail. Chalmers' Division, having been 
previously ordered up from Columbus, was now at Ve- 
rona, and Mabry's Brigade had moved from Okolona to 
Saltillo. The outpost at Ripley was strengthened by 
the First Mississippi, from McCulloch's Brigade, and 
the command of the post now devolved upon Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel S, M, Hyams, 

Thursday, July yth. — General A. J. Smith, having 
broken up camps at LaGrange on the 5th, was now 
moving south-east toward Ripley. Lieutenant-Colonel 
Hvams had a skirmish with a stronof Federal column a 

July, 1864. 411 

few miles in advance of Ripley, and was forced, by the 
weight of greatly superior numbers, to fall back to 

Friday, 8th. — Bell's Brigade, breaking up camps three 
miles north-west of Tupelo, moved out twenty-five rniles 
in the direction of Ripley, By this time the Federal 
advance had passed Ripley, and was pressing Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Hyams back in the direction of Ellistown. 
Colonel Bell, with Russell's and Newsom's Regiments, 
moved on to picket the Tallahatchie River, while Bar- 
teau's* and Wilson's Regiments, turning back, camped 
at Ellistown, eighteen miles north-west of Tupelo. 

While Smith was pressing Hyams back toward Ellis- 
town with his cavalry, he was moving his main force 
southward toward New Albany. 

General S, D. Lee came up to Tupelo by rail with 
some eight or nine hundred infantry from Mobile. All 
tents and superfluous baggage were ordered to be sent 
south by rail. 

*D. B. Willard (Company C) having been ordered to the head of the column. 
Colonel Barteau said: "Willard, the Federals, for the last two or three da3's, 
have been reported to be '■just over yonder.'' I want you to take two men with 
you, go till you find them, and then report back to me at the rate of eight miles 
per hour." John Barkley (Company C) and John M. Crow (Company B) went 
with Willard. Captain O. B. Farris (Company K) volunteered to go with them, 
but had to turn back on account of his horse becoming lame. After riding all 
night they met the enemy at New Albany about one hour by sun the next 
morning. Taking a position in a lane, where they could see the Federals march- 
ing into town, they soon found that their cavalry had swung round to the Ellis- 
town road only a short distance in rear of our boys. As the enemy now closed 
on them from both ends of the lane, they narrowly escaped capture by dashing 
ofT through an old field southward, forcing their horses to leap fences and 
ditches in their pathway. As soon as out of danger Barkley and Crow checked 
up and rode at their leisure, while Willard, ever prompt to obey orders, pressed 
on until he found Colonel Barteau and reported the whereabouts of the enemy. 
Willard's horse— a fine, large, bay charger, the one, too, upon which he had 
first entered the service, in June, 1861 — died a few days after from the effect of 
this hard ride. Perhaps there was not a horse in the regiment that was better 
known than "Old George." 

-412 E. R. Hancock's Diary, 

Satiu'day, gth. — The Second Tennessee, being de- 
tached from the brig-ade at ElHstown, was led westward 
by Colonel Barteau to the New Albany-Pontotoc road 
to watch the movements of the enemy in that quarter. 
On reaching the above-named road, six miles south of 
New Albany, Colonel Barteau deployed his men in bat- 
tle line and awaited the Federal advance. The enemy 
•crossed the Tallahatchie River at New Albany and 
•encamped on its southern bank, therefore they did 
not trouble us that evening-. Colonel Barteau fell back 
three or four miles east and encamped on a small 

McCulloch's Brigade was thrown out to Pontotoc, and 
-General Buford, with Lyon's and Mabry's Brigades, to 
Ellistown, where he was joined by Bell's Brigade — ex- 
cept the Second Tennessee detached — and thence, by a 
forced march that night, to the vicinity of Pontotoc. 
Roddy was, likewise, ordered to hasten, by forced marches 
night and day, from Corinth to Okolona. 

Siuiday, lotJi. — In the saddle before daybreak. Colo- 
nel Barteau, with his regiment, was soon on the main 
highway leading from New Albany to Pontotoc, ready 
to observe and report any movement of the enemy along 
that road. Nor was it long before the Federal advance 
made its appearance, and skirmishing commenced. The 
Colonel now divided his regiment into detachments of 
one or two companies each. These detachments were 
quickly thrown into line two or three hundred yards 
apart, extending back in the direction of Pontotoc. As 
the enemy advanced the first line would fire, fall back, 
and form in rear, then the second would do likewise, and 
so on. Thus Colonel Barteau was pressed back to 
within four miles of Pontotoc. 

July, 18G4. 413 

I take the following, in reference to the above affair,, 
from Colonel Barteau's manuscript notes : 

The enemy did not move until nine o'clock in the morning, and 
then in three columns, each preceded by a brigade of cavalry, in front 
of the middle and main one of which was my regiment, unaided by 
any other command. His first movement in the morning was a charge 
upon my little command, which we very successfully checked by hav- 
ing a good position behind a bridge, which we destroyed, and thus 
impeded his progress for two hours and a half. 

The conduct of Lieutenant T. C. Atkinson with Company A was 
particularly noticeable here — coming in hand-to-hand contact with the 
advance of the enemy's charge and emptying their saddles with his- 
own pistol. His conduct seemed to be much admired and applauded 
even by the Yankee troops, and served as an incentive to my own 

We continued to annoy the enemy's progress, contesting as best we 
could every inch of the ground until we reached Cherry Creek, where 
they camped again for the night, having advanced that day but seven 

The enemy moved very cautiously. Their advance 
guard did not move far in advance of the main column. 
They camped eight miles north of Pontotoc, on Cherry 
Creek. Barteau allowed his men to dismount and rest 
for some time when within one mile of town. After 
being relieved by a part of McCulloch's Brigade, Bar- 
teau, moving through Pontotoc, camped six miles east 
on the Tupelo road, while Buford, with the rest of our 
division, moved out and encamped on the Okolona road. 
Generals Lee and Forrest established their headquar- 
ters at Okolona, and the former, as senior, took the 
general direction of affairs. General Chalmers, arriv- 
ing at Pontotoc with Rucker's Brigade, assumed com- 
mand of all the Confederates in that vicinity. 

The Confederates were further reinforced at Okolona 
by Neely's and Gholson's Brigades, which had beerk 

414 E. E. Haxcock's Diary. 

brought up dismounted, the former from Alabama and 
the latter from South Mississippi. 

Monday, i ith. — The enemy, quitting their camp on 
Cherry Creek at sunrise, pushed McCulloch slowly 
before them until he was relieved by Lyon with his bri- 
gade at Pinson's Hill, a strong position on the Oko- 
lona road two miles from Pontotoc, which Lyon strength- 
ened by infantry cover of rails and logs. The Federals, 
however, moving cautiously and slowly, after feeling 
Lyon's pickets, disappeared from his front about sunset. 

Quitting his picket post on the Tupelo road a little 
before sunset, Barteau moved east and encamped within 
three miles of Verona, leaving the Confederates around 
Pontotoc posted as follows : Rucker's Brigade — the Con- 
federate right — occupied the Tupelo road, Mabry sup- 
ported Lyon on the Okolona road and McCulloch held 
the Houston road, to the leftward of Lyon, with a small 
force thrown out on the extreme left and south-west of 
Pontotoc, to watch the road from that place to Oxford, 
while numerous scouts were to encircle the Federal 
army. With his forces thus disposed, Chalmers was 
now ordered to skirmish obstinately with the enemy, 
and, if practicable, to detain them from reaching Oko- 
lona for two days longer, so that the preparations might 
be completed for their reception. Bell's Brigade was 
withdrawn to the vicinity of Okolona, twenty-five miles 
from Pontotoc. 

Ttiesday, iztJi. — The enemy, after some preliminary 
skirmishing, attacked Lyon's position vigorously, but 
were foiled without difficulty. Simultaneously, Federal 
columns had moved out respectively on the Tupelo and 
Houston roads, encountering and being checked by 
Duff's Reofiment on the former and Willis' Texas Bat- 

July, 1864. 415 

talion on the latter. And thus stood affairs around Pon- 
totoc at sunset. 

We of the Second Tennessee, quittuig our camp 
three miles west of Verona early in the morning, moved 
south-westward to the Okolona-Pontotoc road ; thence 
north-west to within nine miles of the latter place, when 
we were ordered to turn back and rejoin our brigade 
near Okolona. 

Meanwhile, after a consultation with General Forrest 
and other superior officers of his command, General Lee 
determined to draw the enemy into an immediate en- 
gagement. And with that object in view he put all his 
forces of every sort in motion late in the afternoon for 
the position occupied by Chalmers near Pontotoc. 
Therefore, we met Lee and Forrest within four miles ot 
Okolona at the head of a Confederate column. Turn- 
ing again, we halted and fed at Prairie Mound, seven 
miles from Okolona. By this time it was dark. We 
remained there until our brigade, and in fact the most 
of the command, had passed. Swinging ourselves into 
the saddle again, a little after midnight, we moved out 
to overtake our brigade. 

Wednesday, ijih. — The Second Tennessee overtook 
the rest of Bell's Brigade about daybreak within six 
miles of Pontotoc. Pending the coming up of the 
infantry and Neely's and Gholson's dismounted bri- 
gades, the Federals having shown no disposition to ad- 
vance, General Forrest, with Mabry's Brigade, Walton's 
Battery and his escort, went forward to reconnoiter the 
enemy's position. Within two miles of Pontotoc a P'ed- 
eral outpost was encountered, which retired, skirmish- 
ing, however, at all favorable positions, until finally 
driven by Mabry through Pontotoc and to the Tupelo 

41G E. E. Hancock's Diary. 

road. It was at this time that Forrest learned that the 
main Federal force had been in motion toward Tupelo 
for several hours. Informing General Lee of this fact, 
and taking the same direction, he followed with his 
escort and Mabry's Brigade for four miles at a gallop, 
when, coming up with, he drove their rear guard rapidly 
back to their main column, and this brought about some 
sharp fighting. When within three miles of Pontotoc 
General Lee turned the head of the Confederate col- 
umn eastward, hoping that Forrest would be able to 
hold the enemy at bay until he (Lee) could come upon 
their flank with the main Confederate force across from 
the Okolona road. But in this expectation he was dis- 
appointed. The Federals continued their movement, 
without halting to make any serious combat, as far as a 
creek about ten miles eastward of Pontotoc, and even 
there, after a short skirmish, they crossed to the east 
bank, and resumed their march toward Tupelo. More- 
over, the roads upon which Chalmers' and Buford's 
Divisions had to advance were narrow ways through 
dense woods, in large part very unfavorable for the rapid 
movement of cavalry. Therefore, General Lee was 
unable to throw his forces upon the Federal fiank while 
in movement as soon as or in the manner that had been 

Meanwhile, Chalmers, moving across to the Tupelo 
road with Rucker's Brigade, struck it about three p. m., 
at Barrow's Shop, twelve miles from Pontotoc. Select- 
ing a favorable position he succeeded in driving the 
Federals from a portion of their artillery and wagons ; 
but this was a transient success, for the devastating 
fire instantaneously poured into Rucker's small brigade 
from flank and front could not be withstood, and the 

July, 1804. 417 

Confederates were forced to withdraw, with severe loss. 
Eitrht waeons, two ambulances and one caisson, the 
teams of which having been killed in Rucker's attack, 
were here burned and abandoned by the Federals. 

Late in the afternoon General Buford struck the Fed- 
eral column with Bell's Brigade and Morton's Battery at 
the intersection of the Pontotoc-Tupelo with the Ches- 
terville-Okolona road, some four miles east of Tupelo. 
As the Second Tennessee was somewhat in advance of 
the rest of Bell's Brigade, General Buford ordered Col- 
onel Barteau to dismount his men at Coonemar Creek, 
nearly one mile south of the cross-roads above named, 
move forward quickly, and capture some wagons that 
were then passing. It would seem that Buford must 
have thoup'ht that the Federal commander was not ex- 
pecting an attack at that time and place, and that the 
wagons were moving with a light guard, as he threw 
forward only one regiment to capture them. However, 
A. J. Smith was a general of too much experience and 
cautio7i to allow himself to be taken unaware ; but, on 
the contrary, he moved thoroughly prepared for an at- 
tack, and his wagon train fully protected. So sure was 
Buford of capturing at least a part of the wagons that 
he remarked, as the Second Tennessee moved off, 
*' Boys, do not kill the mules, but turn them down this 

Colonel Barteau was pressing on and on toward the 
cross-roads, driving the Federal skirmishers before him, 
when a galling fire was suddenly poured into the Second 
Tennessee from flank and front. Barteau saw at once 
that the Federals were not only strongly posted in his 
front, but that he was also overlapped on both flanks by 
a, heavy force, and as the rest of the brigade was not 

418 E. E. Haxcock's Diakt. 

yet in supporting distance, he saw that the only alterna- 
tive to avoid having- all his men either killed or captured 
was to beat a hasty retreat. Therefore he withdrew his 
men as quickly as possible. to the rest of the brigade. 
About this time, too, the Kentucky Brigade, now under 
Colonel Crossland,* came up. The two brigades were 
then thrown forward, dismounted, to a favorable position 
to repel attack. Skirmishers were then thrown forward 
and firing was kept up until about dark. 

Forrest, now reinforced by Rucker's Brigade, still 
hung upon the Federal rear up to within about three 
miles of Tupelo. A thin line of pickets was then left, 
and the rest of the Confederate forces went into camp,, 
Chalmers' Division at the cross-roads above mentioned, 
Buford's. including Mabry's Brigade, lay in his front 
about one mile west of Harrisburg, and Roddy to his 
right. The day had been so excessively warm and op- 
pressive that the infantry and dismounted cavalry under 
General Lyon were not yet up. The Second Tennessee 
was ordered southward to picket the road leading from 
Verona to Pontotoc. 

I take the following, in reference to our engagement 
at the cross-roads on the eve of the 13th, from Colonel 
Barteau's manuscript notes: 

My regiment was thrown in first, unsupported, and for fifteen 
minutes against two batteries and two divisions of the enemy. The 
result was, we were encompassed and cut to pieces. I lost some of 
my best officers and thirty men. 

The other regiments that came to our support too late were unable 
to stand, and likewise fell back. 

Had the attack been made by all of Buford's Division at once at 
this place, as Forrest was then on the rear, I have reason to believe 
the enemy would have been thrown into great confusion, and would 

* General Lyon was commanding the dismounted division. 

Lieutenant A. 11. FRENCH, Co. A. 

July, 18G4. 419 

probably have retreated during the night. As it was, he took courage, 
and we had the battle of Harrisburg to fight the next day. 

The next morning our colonel wrote to his wife, who 
was then at Captain F"ie!d's, Okolona, Mississippi, as 
follows : 

One o'clock a. m., July 14th, 1864. 

ZoRA — The enemy moved from Pontotoc to Tupelo [HarrisburgJ 
late yesterday evening. We had an engagement near Calhoun's, in 
which my regiment was put in first, and for some time being unsup- 
ported was badly injured and compelled to fall back, as did all the 
other troops. 

I lost thirty or more killed and wounded; six officers badly wounded. 
Lieutenant French and Captain Eastes, I think, Avilldie in a few hours. 

If the enemy retreats to-day, which is the supposition, of course, 
we will pursue. Barteau. 

Lieutenant A. H. French (Company A) was thought 
to be mortally wounded, but he recovered. Captain M. 
W. McKnight was again severely wounded while gal- 
lantly leading his company (C) to the onset. W, E. 
Rich (Company C) was severely wounded. Captain 
W. T. Rickman and James Ryan (Company D) were 
wounded. Captain J. M. Eastes (Company G) was 
mortally wounded, dying the next day.* James Drury 
(Company G) was killed, M. F. M. Paschal (Company 
G) ran through the Federal line, and in attempting to 
return was captured. William Thompson (Company 
G) was carried from the field, and died that night from 
the effect of sunstroke. Lieutenant J. J. Lawrence 
(Company G) did but little more service on account of 
an injury received here by sunstroke. Lieutenant F. 
M. McRee (Company H) was knocked down by a shell 
and so stunned that he was carried from the field to the 

* See Appendix A. 

420 E. E. Hancock's Diary. 

Lieutenant George F. Hager (Company G) says : 

It was this engagement in wliich one of tho«e singular premonitions 
of death occurred. 

Private James Drury, a noble and brave soldier, always at his post, 
and ever ready to face danger, told several of his friends that he ex- 
pected to be killed in the next engagement, and gave directions to his 
Captain (Eastes, Company G) for disposal of his horse and other lit'le 
possessions, the proceeds to be returned to that faithful and loving 
wife in her lonely home in Tennessee. 

The writer urged upon him not to enter the fight, but to let one of 
the boys who volunteered to do so take his place. In a calm and 
resolute manner he replied, "No; and tell my wife I died for my 
country." He fell with the first volley, in the front rank, and so did 
his captain, to whom he intrusted the carrying out of his wishes.-'' 

I suppose that our colonel is about right in his esti- 
mate of our loss, and I regfret that I am not able to g-ive 
the names of all. 

In his official report Colonel T. H. Bell (commanding 
Fourth Brigade) says : 

The Second Tennessee (Colonel Barteau) being in advance, was 
ordered by General Buford to form on a line parallel with the road 
on which the enemy was moving. The Fifteenth (Colonel Russell), 
just in rear of the Second Tennessee, was ordered to form on the left 
of it, two companies of whicli were hardly formed before the firing 

Newsom's and Wilson's Regiments were ordered up as rapidly as 
possible, but not in time to enable the advanced regiments to hold 
their positions. No blame can certainly be attached to the men for 
falling back, as they were completely overpowered and forced to 


Tlnn^sday, — The Confederate force confronting 
their adversary on that memorable morning scarcely ex- 

* Military Annais of Tennessee, p. 6iS. 
t Rebellion Records, Vol. XVIII, p. 487. 

July, 1804. 421 

ceeded nine thousand officers and men.* The Federal 
Army consisted of the Sixteenth Army Corps, f and fell 
little short of thirteen thousand infantry, three thousand 
cavalry and twenty-four pieces of artillery. 

The position held by the enemy was a cross-road 
hamlet of a few houses called Harrisburcr.+ scattered at 
wide intervals over a somewhat commanding ridge. It 
was well chosen for defense, and those strong, natural 
advantages Major-General A. ]. Smith immediately set 
his troops to improving, as far as practicable, during the 
preceding night and that morning by breastworks made 
of logs and rails and materials of cabins and outhouses 
torn down for that purpose and covered with earth. 
Their breastworks commanded all the approaches, 
especially toward the west and south. A skirt of woods 
south of the Tupelo road extended up to within two or 
three hundred yards of the Federal works. At all other 
points the ground of approach was open fields for a mile 
or more. And thus, as may be seen, the advantages of 
position were clearly and formidably with the Federals, 
who, besides, had a decided numerical superiority. The 

*Chalmers' Division: McCullocli's Brit^ade, 1,400; Ruckei's Brigade, 900. 

Buford's Division: Bell's Brigade, 1,300; Crossland's Brigade, 900; Mabry's 
Brigade, 1,000. 

Roddy's Division: Patterson's Brigade, 700; Jolmson's Brigade, 800. 

Lyon's Infantry Division: Beltzhoover's Battalion, 900: Gholson's (dis- 
mounted) Brigatle, 600; Neely's (dismouiited) Brigade, 600. Total, 9,100. 

Artillery: Morton's Battery, 4 guns ; Rice's Battery, 4 guns ; Wahon's Bat- 
tery, 4 guns; Thrall's Battery, 4 guns: Ferrell's Battery, 4 guns. Total, 20 guns. 

'[■Subdivided as follows: First Division of Infantry, under Brigadier-General 
Mower; Third Division, under Colonel Moore, and a brigade of negro infantry 
under Colonel Benton, with Grierson's Division (four brigades) of Cavalry. 

The above estimates are from " Forrest's Campaigns," page 506. 

The cavalry being fought as infantry, one-fourth (or 1,750) were detached as 
horse holders and took no part, thus reducing the Confederate force to 7,350 — 
less than half of the Federal army. 

.jTvvo mile-; west of Tupelo. 

422 E. E. Hancock's Diary. 

Federal line, somewhat less than two miles from right 
to left, rested, the left on the railroad south of Tupelo 
and the rig-ht extended about half a mile northward of 
Harrisburg. Their line was circular in form, convex to- 
ward the southwest. By daylight a portion of Lyon's 
dismounted division had come upon the scene, but 
greatly exhausted by their long march under the hot sun 
of the season. 

The Second Tennessee, havino- been called from 
picket duty, rejoined their brigade about sunrise, near 
the spot where they had been engaged the evening be- 

General Buford dismounted his division some two and 
a half miles west of Harrisburg, and, after moving one 
mile in column, he deployed his men in line across the 
Tupelo-Pontotoc road on the left of Roddy's Division, 
as follows :* 

Bell's Brigadef was formed in rear of Mabry's and on 
the left of Crossland's. By 7 o'clock a. m., having seen 
that the Federal commander gave no evidence of a pur- 
pose to come forth from his stronghold and give battle, 

■■James Hancock, an officer (perhaps Regimental Quartermaster) in Roddy's 
Division, being present, heard the followingconversation bet'^veen Lee and For- 
res!;, which he afterward reported to the writer: 

General Lee — Let Roddy's Division form on the left and Buford's on the 

General Forrest — No, I want Buford's Division on the left and Roddy's on 
the right; 

G. L. — As Roddy is here, why not let him form on the left, and Buford can 
fall in on the right as he comes up ? 

G. F.—No, I want Buford on the left. 

G. L. — Very well, have your own way then. 

About the middle of the preceding night General Forrest, advancing with 
one of his staff to within fifty yards of the Federal position, rode along and 
reconnoitered their lines for nearly a mile. 

tWith Russell's Regiment on the righ% Barteau's on the left, and Wilson's 
and Newsom's in the center. 

July, 1804. 423 

General Lee felt obliged to take the offensive immedi- 
ately, even though he were forced to attack him upon 
ground of his own choosing. Accordingly, Forrest was 
ordered to prepare the command for battle. Buford 
and Roddy advanced about one mile further, and Mor- 
ton's Battery began an active fire from a hill half a mile 
from the Federal line, and for some moments a fruitless 
effort was made in this way to provoke the F"ederal 
commander to take the offensive. 

The Confederate order of battle being somewhat mod- 
ified now stood as follows : The extreme right was held 
by Roddy's Division, leftward of which Crossland's 
Brigade was next in line, with Rice's Battery. Bell's 
Brigade, which was next on Crossland's left, was in an 
open field north of the Tupelo-Pontotoc road, with 
Mabry on his and the extreme left, and Morton's 
Battery, under Lieutenant Sale, was attached to this 
flank. Chalmer's Division and Lyon's Infantry Divis- 
ion, with Thrall's and Ferrell's Batteries, constituted a 
second line, or reserve, posted behind slight intrench- 
ments of rails and logs across and perpendicular to the 
highway above named. 

Finding it impossible to entice the enemy from his 
cover or to assume the offensive, General Lee gave 
■orders, about eight o'clock, for the simultaneous ad- 
vance of his first line upon the Federal position. A ter- 
rific cannonade now burst forth from the Federal oruns 
as General Buford threw forward his division at a 
double-quick. Notwithstanding Bell's Brigade were un- 
protected, right gallantly did they breast the storm of 
grape and canister as they pressed onward and onward 
through that open field, somewhat up grade, toward the 
Federal position. When the division reached a point 

424 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

within one hundred and fifty yards of the enemy's 
trenches the crash of small arms was added to the roar 
of the cannons. Never had such an appalling fire of 
musketry and artillery blazed and gushed in the face of 
the Second Tennessee before, and notwithstandinof in 
spite of the fact that their ranks had never been so fear- 
fully thinned on any previous field, yet they had never 
more coolly and deliberately faced the missiles of death 
than on this memorable occasion. Not a man wavered 
save some that peradventure fell by the way from sheer 
exhaustion.* Colonel C. R. Barteauf was wounded 

•■■B; it rememliered tliat Buford's Dh'ision had marched two and a half miles 
on foot, and a good portion of that distance at a doublequick, beneath a scorch- 
ing July sun, and hence the men were very much fatigued before the baitle- 
moment had come. 

■["His wound (in the wrist) was not dangerous, though it was very painful 
and bled j^rofusely, on account of which, together with heat, thirst, and fatigue^ 
he was forced to quit the held. However, he was disabled only for a few days 
by his wound, but sickness kept him from the regiment still longer. 

Notwithstanding the din and roar of battle, I heard some one call my name.. 
Going a few paces rightward 1 found my brother, W. C. Hancock, with his right 
leg shivered to pieces between the knee and ankle by a cannon ball. I now very 
earnestly begged for help to convey him from the battlefield. After some mo- 
ments France M. Willard (Company C) and another man whose name. I regret 
to say, I did not learn, came to my assistance. [The writer is yet under many, 
many o/'ligations to those two comrades for the help thus renilered.] As we !iad 
to carry him in our arms for some distance we could not go far at a time before 
we would have to stop and rest. However, we had to take short rests, as it was 
about the time that our division commenced falling back. Using a cord from a 
hat we stopped the bleeding as best we coukl. After carrying my brother as 
above stated for a few hundred yards, and then on horseback for a short dis- 
tance, we finally came up with an ambulance (about three-fourths of a mile from 
the enemy's position) in which he was soon conveyed to the hospital, some one 
mile and a half west of the battlefield, under some beautiful shade trees in a 
yard on the Tupelo-Pontotoe road. Here we found that Buford's sui-geins were 
already very busily engaged amputating arms and legs, as well as dressing other 
wounds. The amputated limbs that lay in heaps over that yard spoke some- 
thing of the evils and horrors of war. As soon as we had an opportunity we 
laid my brother upon a table to have his leg amputated. After cording his leg 
better and giving him some stimulants, one of the doctors remarked that he 
was too much fatigued to stand an amputation just then. So we removed hun 

Private W. C. HANCOCK, Co. C. 

(Killed July t4th, 1864.) 


July, 1804. 425 

within twenty yards of the Federal works while gallantly 
leading his regiment to the onset. 

In speaking of Buford's attack on this occasion the 
writer of " Forrest's Campaigns " has this to say : 

As stoutly 0.S ever brave men affronted death did these brigades 
fa'-e the terrific torrent of fire thus let loose upon their thin, exposed 
ranks, and no battlefield was ever illustrated by more general and 
shining courage than was displayed in this onset. Urged and led by 
their officers with conspicuous gallantry, the men were pressed up close 
to the coveted position. 

The Confederate order of battle, however, had not 
been made to conform in outline to that of the enemy, 
and Buford moving on the Federal center struck it 
before Roddy had come in collision with the enemy in 
his quarter of the field. Consequently, not only was a 
heavy force of infantry massed to meet Buford's attack 

from the table to a blanket spread upon the ground in the shade of a tree. 
Perhaps he had not been lying on that blanket over furty-five minutes when he 
fainted, as I thought. I called the attention of a doctor, who, on feeling his- 
]:)ulsc, remarked, ",He is dead." Those words were "like a clap of thunder in 
a clear sky'' to me. I had no thought of his dying thus suddenly; in fact, I 
thought that he would get well. The very great fatigue and loss of blood added 
to the suffering from the wound was more than he could bear. I know of no 
language by which to express what I felt while kneeling by the side of a dying- 
brother. He was not only the youngest of three brothers, but also the young- 
est of the family. He was just in the bloom of youth. Having entered the 
service at eighteen, lie was now twenty-one. 

Having learned that Buford's Division had remounted and was moving off, 
and thinking that perhaps the enemy would get possession of the hospital before 
we would have time to bury the remains of brother Will, we wrapped a blanket 
around him, laid him in an out-house in one corner of the yard, requested a cit- 
izen to see that he was buried if we did net have an opportunity to bury him 
ourselves, and then rejoined our command. About 8:30 v. M. J. R. Dougherty 
(Company C) and I returning to the hospital, remained there the rest of the 
night. Next morning we buried the remains of my brother hastily, without any 
coffin, in a garden adjoining the yard in which he died. We rejoined our regi- 
ment between sunset and dark, just after the engagement at Town Creek. We 
met General Forrest as he was going from the field wounded. After the enemy 
had fallen back and all was quiet again I had my brother's remains taken up- 
and buried more decently in a cofifin, on the 17th. 

42G Iv. E. Hancock's Diary. 

with a scorching fire of small arms, but almost their 
whole artillery was concentrated upon Bell's Tennes- 
seans, Mabry's Mississippians, and Crossland's Ken- 
tuckians. The latter brigade was the first engaged, 
and, being uncovered on its right, was exposed to an 
oblique or enfilading fire, under which it staggered, and 
finally gave vv^ay, but not until some of the intrepid 
Kentuckians had penetrated the Federal intrenchments 
where they were either .killed or captured. General 
Buford now saw that the enemy had too greatly the 
advantage, both in numbers and position, for him to 
make any further attempt to carry their works by storm ; 
and, moreover, seeing that his men were being mowed 
down at a fearful rate, he, therefore, very prudently 
commenced the withdrawal of his division. Rice's Bat- 
tery moved forward with the Kentuckians, and kept 
well in advance with them was handled with signal 
daring and skill. And when the stress of the F"ederal 
fire was greatest. Thrall's Battery was thrown forward 
to close quarters in support of Rice. These two bat- 
teries, served with equal spirit and efficiency, rendered 
invaluable aid in covering the withdrawal of Buford's 
Division from under fire. Morton's Battery, which, as 
will be remembered, had moved forward with the left 
flank, suffered severely. Five out of the seven gun- 
ners, and six out of the eight horses of one piece were 
disabled, and its commander, Seroreant Brown, three 
times wounded ; nevertheless, he remained with his gun 
until it was carried safely to the rear by hand by Cap- 
tain Titus' company of sharp-shooters. Another piece 
was brought off by Sergeant C. T. Brady, after a wheel 
had been shot from it. The remaining pieces were re- 
tired slowly, halting and firing with the utmost resolu- 

July, 18G4. 427 

tion and effect, and thus materially assisted in covering 
the retreat in that quarter of the field. 

General Chalmers, in the meantime, had been ordered 
to throw forward Rucker's Brigade as a support to 
Mabry, leaving McCulloch to support the center, and 
cover the retreat in the event of disaster. It was in 
an opportune moment, too, that Chalmers came to the 
assistance of Buford; for about this juncture the Fed- 
eral commander threw forward his cavalry, to swoop 
clown upon the shattered remains of Buford's Division. 
However, a volley from the steady rifles of Rucker's 
men — who had taken a position under cover of a fence 
— not only checked the Federal cavalry, but sent them 
reeling rearward. Now leaping over the fence, and 
moving forward at a double-quick, w^ith a loud shout, 
Rucker's men struggled onward and onward with re- 
splendent courage for some moments. Twice wounded 
Rucker had to leave the field after leading his men to 
within sixty yards of the Federal trenches ; and many 
of his bravest officers and men were added to the num- 
ber of dead and wounded that lay on the field already, 
belonorino- to the brigades of Buford's Division which 
had preceded in the onset. At least a third of Ruck- 
er's Brigade were stricken down, either by the enemy, 
or by the heat, and the attack was repulsed. 

Chalmers now withdrew Rucker's Brigade to the 
position held by McCulloch ; and Buford, not being- 
troubled any further by the enemy, after the cavalry 
charge mentioned above, withdrew his division to their 
horses in the rear of McCulloch. 

During this time General Forrest had been on the 
right flank with Roddy's Division, which, when Cross- 
land's Brigade was repulsed, was moved rapidly by the 

428 R. E. Hancock's Diary. 

left flank to the position occupied by that brigade at the 
commencement of the action, and where the division 
was held to meet any counter or offensive movement of 
the enemy. 

The Confederate attack had now failed at all points,. 
as might have been foreseen,* and no further attempt 
to carry the Federal works by storm was made. Gen- 
eral Roddy's Division was also ordered to retire from 
the held to a position in rear of McCulloch. About 
noon, or a little after. Bell's Brigade moved back two or 
three miles to the wagon train to get forage and rations. 

General Lee now decided to await the movements of 
his adversary. f But General Smith appears to have 
been satisfied with being able to foil the attack of his 
daring assailants, and adventured no offensive move- 
ment at all. Therefore, McCulloch's Brigade remained 
unmolested in its advance position until about half-past 
six o'clock p. M., when it was noticed that the enemy 
were burning Harrisburg. General Chalmers was then 
directed to reconnoiter as closely as possible with that 
brigade, the First Mississippi Infantry, and a piece oi 
artillery. Some Federal skirmishers, soon encountered, 
were driven back by McCulloch far enough for him to 
ascertain that the main Federal force still remained in 
position at Harrisburg, and the reconnoissance was con- 
cluded. About this time, or at sunset, taking Rucker's 
Brigade, under Colonel Duckworth, General Forrest let 
it around the Federal left flank, on the road to Verona, 
some two miles southward of Tupelo, where he soon 
found himself in the presence of the Federal pickets, 
who opened a scattering fire. Dismounting the brigade, 

*And was foreseen by Buford. See ComnieiUaries under July i6th. 
fWhat lie should have done at first. 

Lieutenant GEO. E. SEAV. 

July, 1804. 429 

and taking post across the road, Duckworth threw one- 
tenth of the brigade promptly forward, and the Federal 
skirmishers were brushed back upon their main force. 
This was presently followed by the advance of the whole 
brigade, and a sharp skirmish with the enemy, who 
receded slowl)' for three-fourths of a mile, until about 
nine r. u., when the Confederates encountered a stormy 
fire from a heavy force drawn up to receive them. This 
checked the movement, and in turn the Federals essayed 
the offensive ; but their onset was speedily brought to 
a halt by a well-directed fire from Duff's Regiment. Of 
this affair, in his official report. General Forrest says : 

I ordered my men lo open fire upon him [the enemy], when the 
first line fell back to the main body and opened upon me one of the 
heaviest fires I have heard daring the war. . . . Not a man was 
killed, however, as the enemy overshot us, but he is reported as hav- 
ing suffered much from the fire of my men, and still more from their 
own, who fired into each other in the darkness of the night.* 

Directino- a small force to be left well in advance, to 
watch that road, Forrest withdrew the brigrade for the 
night to a position three miles south of Tupelo, where 
it bivouacked. About dark our brigade (Bell's) was 
ordered to the front. However, after going about one 
mile and a half, the order vv^as countermanded, and we 
returned to, and bivouacked with, our wagon train. 

The gallant Lieutenant George E. Seay (Company 
E) is now in command of our regiment, all of his supe- 
riors present having been killed or w^ounded during the 
engagements of last evening and to-day. 

In reference to this enpaofement, Lieutenant G. F. 
Flager says : 

Nothing could exceed the scathing fire we breasted at and near the 
works. Never was more shining courage displayed by both officers 
and men than here. 

-Rebellion Records, Vol. XXVIII, p. 463. 

430 I'. R. Hancock's Diary. 

It was here we lost our gallant Lieutenant Lipscomb [Company G] 
and our heroic Lieutenant Denning [Company FJ, killed on or inside 
the works. Colonel Barteau was also again wounded while endeavor- 
ing to lead our already shattered regiment into the enemy's strong- 

Our loss was extremely heavy. We went into the engagement fully 
officered (save the losses we had sustained from tlie enemy before) 
and at the close, or rather after the first assault on the works, Lieuten- 
ant George E. Seay [Company E] found himself in command of the 
regiment, his superiors having been killed, wounded, or disabled. -i^ 

I do not know the exact loss of our regiment in this 
action, though, as Lieutenant Hager says, it was "ex- 
tremely heavy." 

One hundred and eighty of the Second Tennessee moved into 
action under Colonel Barteau, and sixty-two, by actual count, came out 
under Lieutenant G. E. Seay, and they looked like they were marching 
to a funeral.^ 

Remember, it took quite a number of the unhurt to 
bring off the wounded ; the dead, and perhaps some of 
the wounded, were left on the field. 

Except my brother and the two previously mentioned 
by Lieutenant Hager, the following list contains the 
names of all the killed and wounded (Second Tennessee) 
which I now have before me : 

Company B — James Orum (mortally) and N. N. Pol- 
lard (severely) wounded. 

Company C — O. N. Grisham (from Franklin County, 
Alabama), killed; and Lieutenants S. Dennis and J. S. 
Harrison, and privates A. J. Thomas, Mat. Francis, 
Mike Larance, J. J. Francis, John H. Odom, James H, 
Odom, and J. W. Herndon, wounded. 

Company D — William Brown (mortally), wounded, 
and Eli Locket, captured. 

■'■Military Annals of Tennessee, page 6i8. 
t Verbal report of Dr. J. W. Harrison. 

July, 1804. 431 

Company E — Captain W. A. DeBow and private 
William Stalcup, wounded. 

Company F — William Bond, wounded. 

Company G — W. Clabe West, severely wounded. 

Company K — Captain O. B. Farris, wounded. 

Friday, i^tJi. — Apprehensive that the Federal com- 
mander, emboldened by the results of yesterday's suc- 
cess, would now attempt to press forward into the 
prairie country to the southward, to lay waste the grow- 
ing crops of that fertile region. General Lee resolved to 
interpose every possible obstacle, and accordingly, before 
sunrise, the whole Confederate force was concentrated 
across the anticipated route of march, and drawn up in 
line of battle, fronting the north, directly across the 
Tupelo-Verona road, about three miles from the former 
place. There being, however, no indication of any 
offensive movement on the part of the enemy, Buford 
was thrown forward (dismounted) on the Confederate 
ricrht, with our brig-ade and Crossland's, to feel the Fed- 
erals in that direction, and comino- in contact with their 
pickets bore them back for quite a mile upon the left 
flank of their main force, in some timber, where he 
halted, and throwing out skirmishers to cover his own 
position stood on the defensive. Meanwhile, so intense 
was the heat that as many as eighty officers and men 
were carried from the field exhausted, and some of them 
insensible, from the effects of the sun. 

This was the posture of affairs at eleven a. m., when 
the authentic and pleasing intelligence was received 
that the enemy were in full retreat. Chalmers was im- 
mediately ordered to move forward rapidly with McCul- 
loch's Brigade (mounted) to ascertain their line of retreat 
and apparent purposes. Overtaking their rear guard, 

432 r;. Vx. Ha-VCOCk's Diaky. 

some skirmishing ensued for an hour, during which a 
moving cloud ot dust was visible along the Tupelo- 
Elllstown road, marking manifestly the line of march of 
a large force. 

In the meantime, Buford had remounted his division 
and moved it forward to the highway a little east of 
Harrisburg, while Lee had moved up to that place with 
the rest of the Confederate force, and Forrest, with his 
staff and escort, had gone immediately to Tupelo, some 
of the few houses of which were found in ashes, the 
others filled with wounded, including two hundred and 
fifty Federals, too severely hurt to be removed, and few 
of whose wounds had been dressed. In consequence 
of this neglect, many of the w^ounds, both of the Con- 
federates and Federals, found at Tupelo were fiy-blown 
and already in a maggoted condition, from which the 
men suffered fearfully. 

While Chalmers was directed to press on with Mc- 
Culloch's Brigade, and attempt to get on the Federal 
leff flank, westward of the Ellistown road, Buford, about 
two P. M., was ordered to move upon their rear with his 
division, now dwindled down, howbeit, to not more than 
one thousand effectives. Following vigorously, and mov- 
inpf at the head of his column with a section of Rice's 
guns, just as Buford approached Town Creek, four miles 
beyond Tupelo, a warm volley was suddenly poured 
into the head of his column from a heavy ambuscade 
in a cornfield, while his own force was moving along a 
narrow road through a dense black-jack thicket. Dis- 
mounting and deploying his men into line as quickly as 
possible, he moved forward,* driving the first line of 

*With Bell's Brigade on the right and the Second Tennessee on the extreme 

July, 1864. 433 

Federals before him; when, on nearing Town Creek 
bottom, the enemy, in overwhelming numbers, spring- 
ing from the cover of the bushes with a yell drove our 
division back for some distance in confusion, and with 
■considerable loss. Here fell the gallant Lieutenant Ed. 
Bullock mortally wounded, and John Lee killed — both 
of Company D, Second Tennessee. The road was 
blocked up at the same time with led horses and artil- 
lery, and for a short while, had the enemy pressed their 
advantage with vigor, the situation was critically peril- 
ous. McCulloch's Brigade, having been pressed up at 
a gallop, was dismounted and thrown into action on the 
left of Buford's Division. That veteran force, makino- 
a characteristic charge, pushed the enemy back in its 
front. This was not done, however, without consider- 
able loss, and Forrest, who rode with it in the onset, 
was painfully wounded in the right foot, and its gallant 
leader, Colonel McCulloch, was struck in the shoulder. 
Buford was materially assisted by McCulloch's move- 
ment in saving his horses and artillery. Forrest's 
wound was now so painful that he was obliged to quit 
the field and repair to Tupelo to have his wound dressed, 
Chalmers, who was left in command, retired safely, just 
about nightfall, beyond the reach of the enemy, who, 
fortunately, was not disposed to follow up his advantage 
with any energy. McCulloch's Brigade bivouacked in 
observation for the night within half a mile of the cross- 
ing of Town Creek ; while Buford's Division moved 
about one mile and a half southward, to a small creek, 
and the rest of the Confederate force slept in the vicin- 
ity of Tupelo. 

Satui'day, i6ih.—\s the horses and men were nearly 
all broken down by this time. General Lee very prop- 


434 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

erly decided not to follow the enemy any further in 
force. However, Chalmers was directed to pursue with 
Roddy's Division and Rucker's Brigade. After some 
little skirmishing, he turned back the next day, a few 
miles beyond EUistown, leaving some two hundred and 
fifty men to follow in observation. The Federals re- 
treated rapidly in the direction of Memphis, by the way 
of New Albany and Holly Springs. 

Our division was now busily engaged in burying the 
dead and looking after the wounded. A good many of 
the latter, including the Federal, were sent by rail to 
Forrest's Hospital at Lauderdale Springs, near Merid- 
ian, Mississippi. 

According to the official report,* the Second Tennes- 
see lost during the last three days' fighting two officers, 
and six enlisted men killed, and fifteen officers and for- 
ty-three enlisted men wounded — aggregate, sixty-six. 
I know that the aggregate loss of Company C was 
thirteen, which if taken from sixty-six leaves fifty-three, 
which lacks one man of being an average of six to each 
of the other nine companies. Therefore, the above 
either falls short of our actual loss, or the loss of Com- 
pany C was more than dotible the average loss of the 
other nine companies. The writer is of the opinion 
that our aggregate loss did not fall much (if any) short 
of one hundred. 


I. Our division, including Mabry's Brigade, lost 
twenty-two officers killed and one hundred and four 
wounded ; one hundred and thirty-one enlisted men 
were killed, six hundred and ninety-four wounded, and 
forty-nine missing ; total, one thousand. Our brigade 

*" See Rebellion Records, Vol. XVIII, page 475. , 

July, 18G4. 435 

lost forty-seven killed and three hundred and fifty-five 
wounded ; First Division lost fifty-seven killed and two 
hundred and fifty-five wounded. General Forrest esti- 
mates the Federal loss to be equal to his own, which he 
puts at two hundred and ten killed, and one thousand 
one hundred and sixteen wounded, while General Bu- 
ford puts the enemy's loss at two thousand. 

2. It is said that the following conversation took place 
between Generals Forrest and Buford just after the un- 
fortunate affair at Town Creek last evening : 

General Forrest — General Buford, move your division. 
General Buford — I have no division, General Forrest. 
G. F. — Where is your division? 

G. B. — [The tears trickled down the cheeks of that noble soldier 
as he replied] They are killed and wounded. 

Well may our gallant leader weep when 07ie thousand 
of his bravest and best officers and men have been killed 
or wounded. He is not the only one who weeps over 
the results of the last three days' fighting. Perhaps 
there are but few of our division who are not called 
upon to mourn the loss of some relative or dear friend. 

3. Be it said to the honor of General Buford that,, 
knowing as he did that the enemy had greatly the ad- 
vantage in both position and numbers, and therefore 
fully believing — almost knowing — that an attempt to 
carry the Federal works by storm, as he was ordered to 
do on the 14th, would result in a repulse and fearful 
loss, he therefore p7'otested i?i person against makiiig the 
attack in that zvay* However, as his superior would 
not revoke the order, he therefore, like a true and obe- 
dient soldier, led his division to the onset, which re- 

* Manuscript notes of Colonel C. R. Barteau ; also, Buford's official report. 
See Rebellion Records, Vol. XVIII, page 471. 

436 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

suited as he had foreseen, and as has been previously 
mentioned. Was either Buford or the men he led to 
blame for failing to carry the Federal position on the 
14th? If I were allowed to answer the above question 
I should say, emphatically, neither. (Men cannot ac- 
complish impossibilities,) However, I shall let the 
writer of "Forrest's Campaigns" (p. 519) answer the 
above question thus : 

It must be regarded as an error on the part of the Confederate 
General to deliver battle at Harrisburg upon a field chosen by his ad- 
A'ersary, and, as we have seen, peculiarly favorable for that adversary. 
Furthermore, victory, under all the circumstances, never within the 
scope of reasonable probabilities for the Confederates, was made even 
less possible by the adoption of the parallel order of battle rather than 
the oblique, and the massing of the Confederates upon either win;^, 
and subsequently also by throwing the troops into battle by fragments, 
so that brigades were worsted, sadly cut to pieces in detail. 

General Lee should have thrown his force across the 
highways leading southward — selecting favorable posi- 
tions and throwing up temporary breastworks — and thus 
stood on the defensive, from the fact (which he well 
knew) that his adversary was compelled to either take 
the offensive or retreat, as there was nothiiig in the 
vicinity of Tupelo upon which his army could subsist. 

4. The Federal commander assuredly displayed much watchful- 
ness in his movements, but the least ]iossible vigor or enterprise. . . . 
Had he pressed the advantage gained on the afternoon of the i4tl'. uf 
July with resolution and with his whole force as the Confederates fell 
back repulsed and badly cut up, as he could plainly see, the conse- 
quences for the Confederates must have been ruinous. . . . And 
when he began the retrogade, as is alleged, for want of subsistence 
and ammunition, it was made with all celerity and other appearances 
of a retreat; for leaving one division under Brigadier-General Mower 
to cover his rear by making a stand at the extremely favorable position 
of Town Creek, he pushed his train on toward Memphis with all haste, 
escorted by the remainder of his force. Indeed, in view of General 

July, 18G4. 437 

Smith's mere military movements, it is difficult to comprehend with 
what objective the campaign was undertaken.-'^ 

5. In his official report Colonel T. H. Bell (command- 
ing Fourth Brigade) says : 

Colonels Barteau, Russell, Wilson, Newsom, and Major Parham 
were all wounded. Special praise is due them for their conduct in the 
several engagements. ......... 

My acting aid-de-camp (R. P. Caldwell), acting Assistant Inspector- 
General (P. A. Smith), . . . were prompt in carrying orders 
to the different portions of my brigade, and were with me, except 
when ordered off on duty, in the hottest of the fights, and discharged 
their duties Avell.t 

The following are extracts from General Abraham 
Buford's official report : 

The record of this action shows that the Second Division performed 
with alacrity and spirit every duty required of them, whether in attack- 
ing the enemy in front, on the flank, or on the pursuit, and few troops 
have ever borne themselves on a field with more distinguished cour- 
age, with more patient endurance, or with the loss of so many field 
officers — there being seven regiments which were deprived of every 
field officer by the casualties of action. ..... 

Words are inadequate to express the daring action, imperturbable 
bravery, the indomitable endurance exhibited by both officers and 
men. ............ 

To the privates no flattering words can add to their deeds. If we 
desire to look for deeds of noble daring and worthy of imitation we 
must go to the ranks. ......... 

The long list of dead and wounded echo the history of their 
action. I 

6. I find the following — "General Order No. 96" — 
in my old diary, under July 29th; however, as it has 
direct reference to the battle of Harrisburg I shall intro- 
duce it just here : 

■'■"Forrest's Campaigns," page 518. 

t Rebellion Records, Vol. XVIII, page 489. 

X Rebellion Records, Vol. XVIII, pp. 473, 474. 

438 11. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Headquarters Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and 
East Louisiana. Meridian, Miss., Jul}^ 20th, 1864. 

The Lieutenant-General expresses his thanks to the officers and sol- 
diers engaged in the recent active operations in North Mississippi for 
'their cheerfiUness, gallantry, and endurance. All did their duty and 
are entitled to praise. 

The result is that a well-equipped army of sixteen thousand veteran 
troops, under the command of a general of experience, carefully 
organized to overwhelm the gallant Forrest and desolate the State of 
Mississippi, has been discomfitled and compelled to retreat before your 
impetuous attack, well knowing the futility of an advance in the face 
of so gallant and determined a foe. 

Though all performed their duty well, the General nevertheless 
thkiks special praise should be given to the Kentucky Brigade and 
Bell's Tennessee Brigade of Buford's Division, Rucker's Brigade of 
Chalmers' Division, Mabry's Mississippi Brigade, and the artillery 
under Captain John W. Morton. 

To the desperate gallantry of these troops on the 14th and their 
tenacity under a galling fire is to be attributed the discomfiture of the 
enemy more than any other cause. 

Many of your comrades have sunk to honorable graves sacrifices 
to our sacred cause. Peace be with them I To you, their former 
companions, they have left the legacy of their brave deeds, which must 
ever command your admiration and that of the army, and gratitude of 
the country. Stephen D. Lee, 

Official: P. Ellis, Jr., Lieutenant- General. 

A. A. General. 

Monday, i8th. — Having completed the burial of the 
dead, gleaned from all the battlefields, Lkiford's Division, 
moving eighteen miles southward, camped for the night 
three miles south-east of Shannon Station. The in- 
fantry have been dispatched by rail to Mobile. 

General Lee left Tupelo yesterday by rail to repair 
elsewhere within the limits of his command where his 
presence was required. 

About this time privates George F. Hager and Gil- 
bert Siddons were made Lieutenants in Company G, 
Second Tennessee. 

July, 1864. 439 

Tuesday, igth. — Moving on through Okolona, thence 
nine miles south, our division encamped at Pikeville 
(near Egypt Station), where we remained eight days. 

Brigadier-General Chalmers, who has been in com- 
mand since Forrest was wounded, has established his 
headquarters at Okolona. His division is encamped in 
the vicinity of Oakland Church, eight miles west of 
Egypt Station. 

Gholson's Brigfade, relieved on the 20th from further 
service with Forrest, was ordered to return to their 
horses at Jackson, Mississippi. 

The following changes of department commanders 
took place about this time : 

General Joseph E. Johnston (a second Hannibal), who 
had been commandinof the Confederate Armv at At- 
lanta, Georgia, was superseded by General J. B. Hood 
(a second Varro). S. D. Lee, from our department, 
took command of Hood's Corps; Major-General Maury 
succeeded to the command of our department, leaving 
General Gardner in command at Mobile, x^labama. 

Thursday , 28tJi. — Our division moved back to where 
we camped on the night of the i8th, three miles south- 
east of Shannon Station. 

Roddy, detached with his division, proceeded by rail 
to Montgomery to meet a hostile expedition menacing 
the interior of Alabama, while his horses and wagon 
train were sent across the country to the same point ; 
and Mabry's Brigade, likewise detached to-day, started 
(mounted) for Canton, Mississippi, to assist in repelling 
a Federal movement from the southward. 

Friday, zgtJi. — The Second Tennessee, being de- 
tached, moved up to Verona and encamped one mile 
north-west of that place. We were kept busy here for 

440 E. R. Haivcouk's Diary. 

several days guarding some negroes who were at work 
on the raih-oad between Verona and Tupelo, where the 
Federals had torn it up about two weeks previous. 

In a letter addressed to General Maury, the Depart- 
ment Commander, under date ot Augrust ist, General 
Chalmers says : 

Our scouts report that the enemy is makuig preparations to move 
from Memphis, Vicksburg, and North Alabama at the same time^ 
and if successful to concentrate at Selma. 

There are now fourteen thousand infantry and cavalry assembled 
at LaGrange, and they are reported repairing the Mississippi Central 
Railroad. Three regiments of infantry and two of cavalry are re- 
ported moving from Decatur to Moulton, Alabama. . . . Some 
troops, number unknown, have been sent down the river toward 
Vicksburg. If the enemy moves in three columns as expected, it 
will be impossible for us to meet him ; and after consultation Major- 
General Forrest and I have concluded to recommend a consolidation 
of the troops in this department to meet one column. 

The northern column will be the largest; if we can defeat it the 
others may be easily overtaken and crushed. 

Our effective force is five thousand three liundred and 
fifty-seven, but we are very much crippled in officers.* 

On the 3d General Forrest resumed command, and 
Chalmers set out with his staff, escort, and Thrall's Bat- 
tery, to repair with McCulloch's Brigade to Oxford. 
On the 4th Neely's Brigade was thrown forward to Pon- 
totoc, On the 5th Forrest wrote to General Maury 
thus : * 

I regret very much that recent engagements in North Mississippi 
(Tishamingo and Harrisburg) have reduced my command so much in 
numbers. But especially am I deficient in field officers and brigade 
commanders. General Lyon having left the department,"]" Colonels 
McCulloch and Rucker wounded, leaves me, aside from Colonel Bell, 
without experienced brigade commanders, and in Bell's Brigade the 

■•■■"Forrest's Campaigns," pp. 522, 525. 

t Colonel Crossland succeeded to llie conmiaud of the Kentucky Brigade. 

August, 1864. 441 

greater number of field officers are killed or wounded. Nevertheless,. 
all that can shall be done in North Mississippi to drive the enemy back. 
At the same time I have not the force to risk a general engagement, 
and will resort to all other means in my power to harrass, annoy, and 
force the enemy back. I have ordered the impressment of negroes- 
for the purpose of fortifying positions, blockading roads and fords, 
and shall strike him in flank and rear, and oppose him in front to the 
best of my ability, and fight him at all favorable positions along his- 
Ime of march. . ......... 

My artillery in all numbers si.xteen pieces, and my effec- 
tive force as formerly reported, with Mabry added. You may rest 
assured. General, of my hearty co-operation in all things and at all 
times. 1 can take the saddle with one foot in the stirrup, and if I 
succeed in forcing this column back, will be ready to move to your 
assistance at short notice, mounted or by rail. 

Satiu'day, August 6th. — According to orders our regi- 
ment, breaking up our camp at Verona, rejoined the 
brigade near Shannon Station. 

Sunday, yth. — By this time the Federals, who were 
still under General A. J. Smith, had advanced from La- 
Grange to the vicinity of Waterford, with outposts and 
heavy picket force thrown forward to the north bank of 
the Tallahatchie. Having repaired the Mississippi Cen- 
tral Railroad as far as Waterford (eight miles south of 
Holly Springs), they were running trains to that point. 
The route, or direction, of the march of the Federal 
column being now somewhat developed. General For- 
rest decided to move the rest of his command westward. 
Accordingly, Buford's Division and the artillery moved 
from Shannon to Pontotoc, twenty-two miles. 

Tuesday, gth. — General Chalmers had only McCul- 
loch's Brigade and a section of artillery to guard and 
hold a line of some six or eight miles along the south 
bank of the Tallahatchie in front of Abbeville. Neely's 
Brigade and a battery left Pontotoc this morning to join 

442 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Leaving Pontotoc about five ,p. m., Bell's Brigade and 
Morton's Battery marched some twelve miles westward 
and camped for the rest of the night at Buttermilk 
Springs. General Buford was left at Pontotoc with 
Crossland's Brigade and a battery to guard against any 
flank movement in that direction. 

Wednesday, loth. — Moving out early we overtook 
Neely's Brigade at LaFayette Springs, in LaFayette 
County, some seventeen miles east of Oxford. Here 
we halted and fed. 

General Hatch, having crossed the Tallahatchie with 
about six thousand Federal cavalry, pressed General 
Chalmers back from Abbeville to Oxford and took pos- 
session of the latter place about five p. m. yesterday. 
Leaving the Second Missouri two miles south of Oxford 
Chalmers led the rest of his command to Taylor's Sta- 
tion, seven miles further south. 

Swinging ourselves into the saddle again, after a short 
rest, we resumed the march, with General Forrest at 
the head of the column. By a forced march, we suc- 
ceeded in reaching Oxford by ten o'clock p. m. The 
place, however, had been evacuated (just before we got 
there) by the Federal cavalry, whose commander, evi- 
dently having no stomach for a rencounter with the re- 
doubtable Confederate cavalry leader, rapidly retreated 
back to Abbeville upon hearing of Forrest's approach, 
and our horses were fed on the forage that had been dis- 
tributed to those of our adversary. 

Thursday, nth. — When many of the citizens of Ox- 
ford went to sleep last night the town was full of Fed- 
eral soldiers, but to their joy and astonishment this 
morning they found the pavements and public square 
covered with "gray coats," still holding their jaded 

August, 1804. 443 

horses by the reins as they slept soundly after their 
lonof ride. 

Moving some eic^ht miles northward along the Missis- 
sippi Central railroad our brigade took a position along 
the south bank of Hurricane Creek, within five miles of 
Abbeville, with Neely's Brigade on our right. Here we 
built a line of breastworks of rails and logs, behind which 
we remained during the rest of the day and that night 
unmolested by the enemy. Meanwhile, Chalmers, who 
had been reinforced by Mabry's brigade, moved back to 

Friday, 12th. — McCulloch's Brigade moved up and 
took a position on the right of Neely's, while Mabry's 
Brigade was thrown out on the road leading to Wyatt. 
some two miles leftward of our brigade. 

Between one and two v. m. the enemy made their ap- 
pearance on the opposite side of the creek. After a 
slight skirmish with small arms our artillery opened, 
which caused the Federals to beat a hasty retreat. Four 
or five Confederates were wounded in this little affair. 

Saturday, 13th. — A squad of our men went out on a 
scout and captured about twenty-five Federals near 

About three p. m. the enemy again made their appear- 
ance, this time in heavy force. Their artillery opened 
from a position on the north side of the creek, being im- 
mediately replied to by our guns. Mabry's Brigade, 
being overmatched, was pressed back, thus leaving the 
left of our brigade uncovered. Only the extreme left 
of our brigade had come in contact with the enemy, 
when the whole Confederate line fell back without being 
pressed to another position about two miles rearward. 
By this time it was dark, and we were not molested any 

444 E. E. Hancock's Diary. 

more by the enemy that night. Our brigade fell back 
to Oxford, and went into camp about ten p. m. 

Sunday, — A scout was sent back to Hurricane 
Creek early in the morning, but found no enemy. Late 
in the evening the Second Tennessee went out to said 
creek on picket. 

Monday, i^th. — We could occasionally see the Fed- 
eral pickets on the north side of the creek. Shots were 
exchanged every now and then through the day. On 
being relieved late in the afternoon we returned to camp 
at Oxford. We now had the pleasure of a three days' 
rest before starting on 


TJnn-sday, iStJi. — From reports of scouts, it now be- 
came evident that, having rebuilt the railroad to Abbe- 
ville, collected supplies of subsistence and forage and 
laid a pontoon bridge across the Tallahatchie, the Fed- 
eral commander designed to concentrate his whole force 
at Abbeville with the view to serious offensive move- 
ments beyond. Knowing his inability to contend suc- 
cessfully with the force of his opponent, Forrest rapidly 
reviewed the situation and happily resolved upon a 
counter movement. That is to say, he determined to 
lead, by forced marches, a picked detachment of his 
command and threaten, if not capture, the city of Mem- 
phis, with the effect, as he hoped, of forcing General 
Smith to return to the relief of that place. Therefore, 
the necessary orders for the expedition were immedi- 
ately issued, and detachments of Bell's and Neely's 
Brigades and Morton's Battery were directed to be got 
ready to move that afternoon. After their ranks had 
been carefully culled of those whose horses, on inspec- 
tion, did not promise ability for the forced marches be- 

August, 1864. 44; 

fore them, the detachments selected for the expedition 
constituted a force of about 1,500 officers and men and 
four ofuns. 

Buford was now ordered to repair with the Kentucky- 
Brigade to Oxford. Our Colonel and Lieutenant-Col- 
onel being absent, wounded, Captain W. A. DeBow 
■commanded our regiment during the Memphis expedi- 

About five r. m., General Forrest, with the above 
named force, went forth in the midst of a heavy, pelting 
rain, which had been falling without intermission all day. 
as, indeed, for much of the time during several previous 
days, in consequence of which the streams were all brim- 
full. After a march of about twenty- five miles westward 
throucrh rain and mud and dense darkness, swimminir 
many streams, we halted about two hours before day 
-and allowed our jaded horses to rest until daylight. 
Not much sleep for us, as it was still raining. 

Fidday, igtJi. — In the saddle again by daybreak, the 
'command reached Panola about seven o'clock a. m. 
Here we halted, fed, and drew rations. The artillery 
horses were now found to be so tagged as to make it 
imprudent to take more than two guns beyond that 
point. Accordingly, a selection being made of the 
most serviceable horses, all unfit were sent rearward to 
Grenada. One hundred men were also left with their 
horses, who were found unable to endure the fatigue 
of the expedition. Resuming the march about ten a. 
M., over roads knee-deep in mud and water, by the time 
the command reached Senatobia, twenty-three miles 
north of Panola, Forrest saw that our horses were so 
fagged that it was prudent to go no further that day. 

'••■■Qur Colonel, C. R. Barteau, reported for duty two days after we started to 

446 R. R. Hancock's Diary, 

Saturday, 20th. — Learning, before leaving Senatobia, 
that it would be necessary to bridge Hickahala Creek, 
a deep stream, running sixty feet broad, with full banks, 
General Forrest spread detachments over the interme- 
diate country to collect the lumber from cotton-gin-house 
floors, and carry it on their shoulders to the crossing, 
about four miles north of Senatobia. Out of the abun- 
dant, luxuriant grape-vines of the country a strong, 
twisted cable was made ; this, quickly stretched across 
the stream, was firmly fastened to a tree on either bank. 
At the same time some dry cedar telegraph-poles were 
cut down and tied together, with grape-vines also, into 
large, but comparatively light, rafts, and rolled into the 
creek to serve as pontoons. Floated into position, two 
of these were attached to the cable, likewise with grape- 
vines, and a small flatboat (about twenty feet long) was 
placed and fastened intermediately in the same manner 
as a central pontoon. Other telegraph-poles were then 
laid across the pontoons, and over these the flooring was 
spread, and a pontoon bridge was thus constructed ii\ 
little more than one hour. The command began the 
crossing at once, in columns of two, the men leading 
their horses, and the artillery, unlimbered, was safely 
carried over by hand. 

Cold Water River, some seven miles beyond, was also 
found beyond fording, with only a small ferryboat, capa- 
ble of transporting four horses at a time ; and here, 
again, a bridge was absolutely requisite, and one, too, 
double the length of that at Hickahala. Another grape- 
vine cable was quickly prepared, and, happily, some dry 
cypress logs were found at hand, with which pontoon 
rafts were m.ade and disposed as at Hickahala, while the 
ferryboat constituted the midway pontoon. Telegraph- 

August, 1864. 447 

poles furnished the necessary material, and neighboring 
lujin-houses the requisite flooring. In less than three 
hours, the second bridge being ready for service, the 
command began the passage, which, as before, was 
effected without casualty. Our regiment being in the 
rear, crossed a little before sunset, and by a little after 
nightfall we closed up the rear at Hernando, ten miles 
beyond Cold Water River, and within twenty-five miles 
of Memphis. 

Forrest was here met by some of his scouts, who had 
left Memphis that day with accurate information touch- 
ing the^ position and strength of the enemy's troops in 
and around the city, where all was quiet, and without 
the least expectation of the danger impending. Halt- 
ing at Hernando but a few moments, we now took the 
direct road to Memphis. 


Sunday, 2ist. — In spite of the mud, fog, darkness, and 
the great fatigue of our horses. General Forrest drew 
rein about three o'clock this morning at Cane Creek, 
only four miles from Memphis. By this time he was 
well informed in regard to the numbers and positions of 
the Federal troops, and the location of their prominent 
officers, as well as the exact position of the pickets on 
that particular road. There were fully five thousand 
troops, of all arms, in and around the city, for the most 
part negroes and one hundred days' men. 

Directing his force to be closed up, and summoning 
the commanders of his brigades and detachments to the 
front, Forrest gave to each definite and comprehensive 
instructions as to the part assigned their respective 
commands in the approaching drama, and at the same 
time the necessary guides were distributed. 

448 R. E. Haxcogk's Diaky. 

To a company commanded by Captain William H. 
Forrest was given the advance, with the ciiity of sur- 
prising, if possible, the pickets; after which, without 
being diverted by any other purpose, it was to dash 
forward into the city, by the most direct route, to the 
Gayoso House to capture Major-General Hurlbut and 
some staff officers who were known to be quartered at 
that hotel. Lieutenant-Colonel Logwood was to press 
rapidly after Captain P^orrest to the Gayoso House, 
with the Twelfth (Green's) and Fifteenth (Stewart's) 
Tennessee Regiments, placing, however, detachments 
to hold the junction respectively of Main and Beal, and 
Shelby and Beal streets, and to establish another de- 
tachment at the steamboat landing at the foot of Union 
street. Lieutenant-Colonel Jesse A. Forrest (with Wil- 
son's Regiment from Bell's Brigade) was ordered to 
move rapidly down DeSoto to Union, and thence left- 
ward, along that street, to the headquarters of General 
Washburne, the Federal commander, whose capture it 
was his special duty to make. Colonel Neely was di- 
rected to attack, by an impetuous charge, the encamp- 
ment of the one hundred days' men, across the road in 
the outskirts of Memphis, with a command composed 
-of his own regiment (Fourteenth Tennessee), the Sec- 
•ond Missouri, and the Eighteenth Mississippi. Colonel 
Bell, being held in reserve, with Newsom's, Russell's, 
and Barteau's Regiments — the latter under Captain 
DeBow — with Sale's section of artillery, was to cover 
the movement. And upon all commands the most rigid 
silence was enjoined, until the heart of the city was 
reached, and the surprise had been secured. These 
•dispositions and orders having been made, the several 
•detachment commanders rejoined their troops, formed 

August, 1864. 449 

them immediately into column of fours, and, at about a 
quarter past three a. im., the whole command was again 
put in motion at a slow walk. 

Captain Forrest preceded the rest of his company 
some sixty paces with ten picked men. When within 
two miles of Court Square, the sharp challenge of the 
picket, "Who comes there?" was suddenly heard to 
break the stillness of the morning hour, also the Con- 
federate Captain's cool and prompt reply: "A detach- 
ment of the Twelfth Missouri Cavalry* with rebel pris- 

The customary rejoinder quickly followed, "Advance 

Captain Forrest rode forward in person, having pre- 
viously, in a low tone, directed his men to move slowly 
but closely behind him. As soon as he was in reach of 
the unsuspecting picket, mounted, in the middle of the 
highway, the Confederate officer felled his adversary to 
the ground by one blow with his heavy revolver, while, 
at the same instant, his men sprang forward and cap- 
tured the picket-post of some ten or twelve men — dis- 
mounted at the moment — a few paces rearward, to the 
left of the highway, without any noise or tumult, except 
the discharge of a single gun, which, with no little anx- 
iety, was heard by General Forrest, who was moving 
with the head of the main column only about one hun- 
dred yards rearward. Sending the prisoners immedi- 
ately to the rear Captain Forrest pressed on for a 
quarter of a mile, when he encountered another out- 
post, which greeted him with a volley. The daring 
Confederates dashed forward, however, and scattered 
the enemy in every direction. But, unhappily, forget- 

*This regiment was known to be absent from Memphis with A. J. Smith. 


450 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

ting the strict orders to be as silent as swift in their 
operations, Captain Forrest's men shouted lustily, and 
the contagion spreading, the cheer was taken up and 
resounded rearward throug-h the whole column, now 
roused to a state of irrepressible eagerness for the fray. 

By this time the head of the column was in a few 
paces of the Federal camp, on the outskirts of the cit\- ; 
day was breaking, and a long line of tents was visible, 
stretching across the country to the eastward and west- 
ward of the highway nearly a mile. The alarm having 
been given, and the orders prescribing silence generally 
forgotten by his men. General Forrest directed his 
bugler (Gaus) to sound the charge, and all the bugles 
of several regiments took up and repeated the inspir- 
ing notes. Another cheer burst forth spontaneously 
from the whole line, and all broke ardently forward in a 
swift, impetuous charge. 

Captain Forrest, dashing rapidly by the infantry en- 
campment with his little band (some forty strong) en- 
countered an artillery encampment (six guns) eight or 
nine hundred yards beyond. Sweeping down with a 
shout and a volley from their pistols the Confederates, 
drove the F^ederals from their guns, after killing or 
wounding some twenty of the gunners. This effected 
they pressed forward into the city, and did not halt until 
they drew rein before the Gayoso Hotel, into the office 
of which Captain Forrest and several of his companions 
entered without dismounting,* and in a moment his men, 
spreading through the corridors of that spacious estab- 
lishment, were busily searching for General Hurlbut and 
other Federal officers, to the great consternation of the 

»Allen Wylie and Claib We3t (Second Tennessee) being with Captain For- 
rest, were the first to enter the Gayoso Hotel. 

August, 1864. 451 

startled o-uests of the house. Some of the Federal offi- 
cers, roused by the tumult, rushing forth from their 
rooms, misapprehending the gravity of the occasion, 
offered resistance, and one of their number was killed 
and some others captured, but General Hurlbut was not 
to be found. Happily for that officer, his social habits 
having led him out of his quarters the evening before, 
they had also held him in thrall and absent from his 
lodging throughout the night. 

Unfortunately, Logwood was moving in rear of Neely, 
and, in attempting to pass, his men became so inter- 
mingled with Neely's that he was unable to push on and 
enter the city as soon as had been expected. The time 
thus lost proved to be precious moments, for the Fed- 
erals, having been aroused by Captain Forrest, were 
flying to arms and into line and the artillery was being 
remanned. Ordered to push on into the heart of the 
city without halting to give battle on the wayside, Log- 
wood, placing himself at the head of his men, pressed 
ohward for some distance, running a gauntlet of small- 
arm volleys from the right, until a turn of the road 
brought him in the presence of a line of infantry directly 
across the way and sweeping it with their fire. Un- 
swerved, on rushed the Confederates with their well- 
known yell, and burst through the opposing ranks. 
Hastening onward, a battery* was seen to the leftward, 
but commanding a straight reach of the road ahead, and 
the gunners of which were busily charging the pieces. 
In view of the danger his command incurred from this 
battery. Logwood was obliged to charge and disperse 
those who manned it ; and, giving the command to 
charge, his men swooped down upon their luckless 

■•'■Supposed to be the same battery that Captain Forrest had encountered. 

452 E. R. Haxcogk's Diary. 

enemy, a number of whom were knocked down at the 
pieces, while the rest were driven off before they were 
able to fire a gun. Resuming his charge toward the 
city, Logwood in a few minutes entered and galloped 
down Hernando street to the market-house and up 
Beal, across Maine to the Gayoso House, and his men 
were soon busily engaged in completing the search of 
that hotel for Federal officers. The women and chil- 
dren and some men were screaming or crying with 
affright, or shouting and clapping their hands and wav- 
ing their handkerchiefs with joy as they recognized the 
mud-bespattered, gray uniforms of the Confederate 
soldiery in their streets once more. Soon, indeed, the 
scene was one of memorable excitement. Memphis was 
the home of many of those gray-coated young riders who 
thus suddenly burst into the heart of their city that Aug- 
ust morning, and the women, young and old, forgetting 
the costume of the hour, throwing open their window- 
blinds and doors, welcomed their dear countrymen by 
voice and smiles and every possible manifestation of the 
delight inspired by such an advent. 

During the same time, Lieutenant-Colonel Forrest, 
speeding with his regiment toward the headquarters of 
Major-General Washburne, on Union street, reached 
that point without serious resistance to find, however, 
the Federal commander had already flown, but several 
of his staff were captured before they could dress and 
follow their fleet-footed leader. 

Colonel Neely dashed into the Federal encampment 
on the right of the road, while Captain DeBow threw 
the Second Tennessee into position (mounted) on the 
left, in support of Lieutenant Sale's section of artillery, 
which was thrown into position and opened upon the 
enemy about daybreak. 

August, 18C4. 453 

Meanwhile Neely had met serious resistance in the 
execution of his orders. The infantry — at least a thou- 
sand strong — which it was his part to attack, had been 
formed in line in time to receive his force with a w-arm 
fire of small arms. Seeing this check, General Forrest, 
who had remained with the reserves under Colonel Bell, 
led them rapidly by the right flank to reinforce Neely, 
but on the way developed a cavalry encampment just 
eastward of the infantry, from which the Confederates 
received a heavy fire. Being in advance, Forrest 
charged promptly with his escort (mounted) over inter- 
vening fences and through some gardens, dispersing the 
dismounted occupants of the encampment, and captur- 
ing nearly all their horses, with a number of prisoners. 
Neely, at the same time making a vigorous onset upon 
the infantry, succeeded in driving them, with some loss, 
from their position ; whereupon they and the dispersed 
dismounted cavalry took refuge in the extensive brick 
buildings of the "State Female College," several hun- 
dred yards distant, a strong defensive position. Fol- 
lowed by the Confederates, the enemy poured a noisy 
and annoying fire from behind the cover afforded by the 
college. At this Forrest ordered up Captain DeBow 
with the Second Tennessee (dismounted), and also 
Lieutenant Sale with the artillery, and dismounting 
some other troops, made an effort to dislodge the Fed- 
erals, and an animated skirmish ensued. A number of 
shells were thrown and exploded in the main building, 
but it soon became apparent the position was only to be 
gained at a loss far greater than was required for the 
success of the expedition, therefore, the troops were 
withdrawn ; not, however, until after we had suffered 
some loss, for the Federals had decidedly the advantage 

454 E. K, Haxcock's Diaky. 

— they behind brick walls, while we had no protection. 
The Second Tennessee, being directly in front of the 
college, suffered more, perhaps, than any other portion 
of the command. W. W. Harrison* (Company C), 
Perry Marks (Company B), who had distinguished him- 
self in storming the w^orks at Fort Pillow, and about 
four others, were killed. Lieutenant H. L. W. Turney, 
who was in command of Company C, our color-bearer, 
H. C. Odomf (Company C), and some others, were 
wounded. All the commissioned officers of our com- 
pany (C) now being wounded, the Second Sergeant, A. 
B. McKnight (brother to our captain), took command 
of our company. 

Finding that the enemy were rapidly rallying and as- 
sembling, Forrest had previously ordered the troops to 
evacuate the city and concentrate at the Federal infantry 
camp, which I have mentioned. This order found the 

■*Than whom Company C could boast of no better a soldier. He was brother 
to Lieutenant J. S. Harrison. 

tThe gallantry displayed here by the color-bearer of the Second Tennessee 
deserves special mention. Pressing on in advance with our colors, Odom entered 
the college yard, and when within about fifteen steps of that building he and a 
Federal who was standing in the door opened fire at each other. One ball cut 
the flagstaff in two and grazed Odom's face. After Odom's third shot the door 
was closed, when on looking back he found that he was the only man inside the 
college yard, the rest of the regiment having very prudently halted at the yard 
fence, it being the only cover at hand. A stream of fire was now pouring from 
all the windows of that large building. Turning and passing out at the gate 
Odom was soon after shot down by a ball wiiich passed through his left arm and 
left lung, and lodged just under the left shoulder blade. Lieutenant Turney 
now sprang to the rescue of our colors and the assistance of Odom, but just as 
he slooped to raise Odom his [Turney's] right arm was shivered above the 
elbow. About this time the command commenced falling back. Odom suc- 
ceeded in rising to his feet and ran about one hundred and fifty jards, and by 
this time he was completely exhausted and had to stop. Luckily, Wallace Wil- 
son and Billie Watt came to his assistance, and soon after coming up with Allen 
Wylie mounted, the latter took Odom up heiiind and carried him about half a 
mile back, where the ball was cut out. B. F. S. Odom now took him in a buggy 
to where the command halted, near Cane Creek, about four miles from Mem- 

Lieutenant H. L. W. TURNEV, Co. C. 

August, 1804. 455 

Confederates greatly dispersed and widely spread over 
the city, many with the hope and object of meeting and 
greeting friends and kindred, but for the most part in- 
tent upon the discovery and appropriation of horses. 
Few, indeed, retained their regimental or, in fact, com- 
pany organizations. As soon, however, as they could 
be collected, and Lieutenant-Colonels Logwood and For- 
rest having effected a junction on DeSoto Street, they 
moved out together, but encountered a strong body of 
infantry formed across the road near Provine's house as 
a support to the battery there— the gunners of which 
were twice dispersed previously— which was remanned 
once more, and commanded the road, A warm colli- 
sion occurred, in the course of which the Confederates 
captured this battery the third time. Colonels Logwood 
and Forrest then hastened to rejoin their commander, 
as directed ; and as all the Confederates were now with- 
drawn from the city except some stragglers and those 
who had been captured or killed. General Forrest gave 
orders (about nine a. m.) for the whole force to withdraw. 
The object of the expedition having been in the main 

jihis; here our surgeons dressed liis wound and pronounced him mortally 
wounded. The comninnd was moving off, and it appears that Odom was about 
to lie left here tiy the roadside to die alone. In the meantime General Forrest 
liad stepped off to a farm house near by, and on returning to the road to mount 
and follow the command and seeing that Odom had been left, he said to him 
[Odom], ''I \\'ill see that you are taken care of." Now kindly taking him by 
the hand, the General bade him farewell and was proceeding to mount when 
Odom asked, "Mow far are you going to-night, General?" "To Hernando," 
was the reply. '' I," said Odom, "think that lean stand it to go that far; I don^( 
-iVanl to In' left here.'''' Forrest then ordered four of his escort company to take 
charge of Odom. An ambulance was soon brought back, and he and Lieutenant 
Turney, who was at a house near by, were taken to Doctor Love's, two miles 
from Hernando, where Turney remained one week and Odom three months and 
a half; the latter was then taken to Charlie Brock's, near Aberdeen, where he 
remained until the war closed. He is yet (1887) suffering from that wound. 
He stdl remembers with gratitude the kindness thus shown him by our nolde 

456 R. K. Hancock's Diary. 

attained by the confusion and consternation into which 
the garrison had been thrown by his operations of that 
morning, it only remained, to secure the entire success 
of Forrest's plans, that General Smith should receive as 
early intelligence of the occurrence as possible, and 
therefore he retired to give General Washburne leisure 
and opportunity to telegraph the menacing situation at 
Memphis and ask for succor, which it was felt assured 
he would do. 

Meanwhile, some of the Confederates who had ling- 
ered in the city, or had lost their way in the general 
dispersion which occurred, were chased out by a body 
of several hundred Federal cavalry, a strong detach- 
ment of which made a dash at some of Forrest's men 
still in the infantry camp, and just in the act of mount- 
ing. Seeing their jeopardy, Forrest sprang forward 
with a small detachment of the ever-reliable Second 
Missouri, that happened to be most convenient, and a 
close, sanguinary collision took place. Among the slain 
on this occasion was a Federal field officer (Colonel 
Starr), who, while urging his men forward, was mortally 
wounded by the hand of General Forrest. With this 
affair the contest terminated, and the Confederates 
moved back southward on the Hernando road for about 
a mile, when they were halted and directed to exchange 
their jaded horses for those captured in the city, some 
four hundred in number. 

Company C, Second Tennessee, under the gallant A. 
B. McKni^ht, stood on ouard in the rear while the 
command was halted here. It was now found that some 
six hundred prisoners had been brought away, including 
some citizens, and many convalescent soldiers, who, 
when the alarm was pfiven, havinof fied from their hos- 

August, 18G4. 457 

pitals into the streets, had been captured. Nearly all 
were bareheaded, and numbers were without shoes or 
clothing, except that in which they slept. After some 
delay at this point the march was resumed about noon, 
but on reaching Cane Creek it was apparent that few 
of the prisoners were able to walk in their shoeless 
condition, while the convalescents were utterly unable 
to make such a march as was impending. General 
Forrest therefore dispatched a flag of truce by Captain 
Anderson, accompanied by a captured staff officer, to 
propose, as an act of humanity, that the prisoners in his 
possession be exchanged for those of his own command 
taken that morning, and that the rest would be turned 
loose on parole, provided General Washburne would 
accept the arrangement as binding; but in the event 
that this proposition was rejected, he would wait at 
Nonconnah Creek for the necessary clothing to be sent 
out. A little after two r. m. Captain Anderson returned 
w^ith General Washburne's reply, to the effect that, hav- 
ing no authority to recognize the proposed parole of the 
prisoners, he could not do so, but thanking Forrest for 
the proffered privilege of supplying them with clothing, 
that should be done as speedily as possible. After some 
delay. Colonel W. P. Hepburne and Captain H. S. Lee, 
two officers of the F'ederal army, appeared with a flag 
of truce and clothincr for both officers and men, which 
were promptly and properly distributed. This done, 
the prisoners were drawn up, and after examination by 
surgeons, the able-bodied were selected, some four hun- 
dred in number, and mounted upon the led horses to 
accompany the command. The others — that is, the 
sick or disabled and all citizens — were then marched 
back across the Nonconnah and turned adrift to return 

458 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

to Memphis, but with the promise exacted not to bear- 
arms, or otherwise injure the Confederate cause, until, 
they should be regularly exchanged. 

Another difficulty now presented itself in connection' 
with the remaining prisoners. Exposed since leaving; 
Oxford to the continuous heavy rains, and in the swim- 
ming of streams, the rations of the command, it was; 
found, had been almost all destroyed, and there were- 
consequently none for issue to the prisoners. In this 
dilemma, with that readiness which ever served him, 
General Forrest, before leaving Nonconnah, wrote to- 
General Washburne, and setting forth in emphatic terms, 
this inability to feed his prisoners, suggested, as he 
would not receive them on parole, that he should at 
least send something that night for them to eat on the 
road to Hernando, where he would be found. This 
communication having been dispatched, Forrest resumed 
his movement toward Hernando, at which place — seven- 
teen miles distant — he arrived in four hours, and then 
halted for the night. The Second Tennessee camped 
about three miles north of Hernando, in DeSoto Count)-. 

Monday, 22d. — About daylight. Colonel Hepburne, 
Captain Lee, and several Federal officers, overtook the 
Confederate command with two wagon-loads of supplies,, 
of the contents of which, after issuing two days' rations 
to the prisoners, enough was left for the whole command 
for a day. 

Remaining at Hernando, as if intending to retire no- 
further, Forrest gave his men rest until the Federal 
officers with the subsistence wagons had left to return 
to Memphis, when, about eight a. m., he rapidly resumed 
his march to Panola, which place he reached by ten 
o'clock that night ; however, some of the command did' 
not arrive until after midnight. 

August, ]S04. 450 

Tuesday, 2jd. — General Forrest, with his staff, escort, 
and the section of Morton's Battery that liad been with 
him on the expedition, went by rail to, and fixed his 
headquarters at, Grenada, leaving orders for the several 
commands that had accompanied him to Memphis to 
rejoin their respective divisions, still under General 
Chalmers, along the Mississippi Central Railroad. 

Wed7tesday, 2^th. — Our brigade, having set out from 
Panola to rejoin the division, marched sixteen miles 
south-west and camped for the night on Zacona River. 

TJuirsday, 2^tJi. — Crossing to the south side of the 
Zacona and moving some twenty miles eastward, we 
struck the Mississippi Central Railroad at Water Val- 
ley ; thence moving northward along the railroad about 
six miles, we found the rest of our division and encamped 
with it near Springdale, some twelve miles south of Ox- 

Our Colonel — C. R. Barteau — took command of the 
regiment again for the first time since being wounded 
at Harrisburg. Having reported for duty (the 20th) 
too late to go with us to Memphis, he was assigned to 
duty on General Buford's staff until his regiment re- 

Reverting to affairs at Oxford, we find that General 
Chalmers skillfully disposed and handled his small com- 
mand (about two thousand effectives) to conceal the ab- 
sence of his superior with so important a part of the 
Confederate force. With this view, during the 19th, he 
made several sharp attacks upon the outposts on all the 
roads occupied by the Federals. Nevertheless, the en- 
emy pressed forward heavily, and, by a flank movement 
of the enemy, Chalmers was forced to evacuate Oxford 

* Manuscript Notes of Colonel C. R. Barteau. 

460 R. E. Hancock's Diary. 

and fall back south of the Zacona on the 21st. The 
Federal advance, however, did not enter Oxford until 
about eight o'clock on the morning of the 2 2d, but a 
column of infantry soon followed. The railroad depot 
was burned in the morning, but no private buildings 
were sebon fire. About midday,* however, orders were 
given by the Federal commander for the burning of the 
public buildings and unoccupied houses. In this con- 
flagration were consumed all the principal business 
houses, with an accidental exception, the two brick 
hotels of the place, and of course the flames spread 
rapidly to several dwellings occupied by women and 
children and sick persons, happily rescued, however, 
from destruction by the exertions of the inhabitants ot 

By the 22d dispatches were received of Forrest's movement upon 
Memphis, and the Federal commander, exasperated by the manner in 
which he had been outwitted, wantonly destroyed the town of O.Kford, 
under pretence of retaliation for exaggerated wrongs done by our men 
(as they said) in Memphis. 

A more shameful and unwarranted act can hardly be found in the 
history of the war.f 

About five p. M.. on the 2 2cl, the Federals were sud- 
denly withdrawn from Oxford, and they began their re- 
treat as rapidly as practicably back toward Memphis, by 
the way of Holly Springs. 

Sunday, 28th. — Our division (Buford's) moved up to 
where Oxford had been, and there we rested about nine 

Chalmers' Division was quartered for a time ten miles 
west of Water \'ailey, and subsequently at Oakland, a 

■•■■'It is supposed that General Smith received a dispatch from Washburne at 
at that time. 

t Manuscript Notes of Colonel C. R. Barteau. 

Skptemuer, 1804. 401 

station midway between Panola and Grenada, on the 
Mississippi and Tennessee Railroad. About the end of 
the month, however, under a requisition from Major- 
General Maury, Chalmers' Division was detached to 
proceed to West Point, on the Mobile and Ohio Rail- 
road, 671 route to assist in the defense of Mobile. Ma- 
bry's Brigade had likewise been ordered away to co- 
operate with General Wirt Adams in the direction of 
the Yazoo. It was about this time, too, that Brigadier- 
General Lyon (formerly Colonel of the Eight Kentucky) 
rejoined Buford's Division, and was again placed in 
command of the Kentucky Brigade ; and also Colonel 
McCulloch returned, sufficiently recovered from his 
wound to be put at the head of his brigade. And on 
the 4th of September Forrest, directing Buford to hold 
his division in readiness to follow at a moment's notice, 
left Grenada with his staff and escort to proceed, by 
way of Jackson and Meridian, to take part in the de- 
fense of Mobile. 

McCulloch's Brigade — except the Fifth Mississippi, 
which was on detached service — the advance of Chal- 
mers' Division, having reached West Point on the 3d, 
was at once dispatched by rail to Mobile, and remained 
there, detached from Forrest's Cavalry, for six months ; 
but just as Rucker's Brigade (now under Colonel Kel- 
ley) was about to set out, on the 4th, for the same point, 
a telegram was received from General Maury dispens- 
ing with further aid from Forrest's command. There- 
fore, arriving at Meridian on the 5th, General Forrest 
proceeded by rail to and fixed his headquarters at Ve- 
rona, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. Orders were 
given at the same time to impress negroes and employ 
them, guarded by details of dismounted men, to repair 

462 K. E. Hancock's Diary. 

the Mobile and Ohio Railroad as speedily as possible to 
Corinth, as Forrest had now conceived the plan of throw- 
ing his force, with that of Roddy, across the Tennessee 
River upon the line of Sherman's communications in 
Middle Tennessee, and cuttino" him off from his base of 

Buford's Division, Rucker's Brigade, and two batter- 
ies — Morton's and Walton's — were now ordered to 
concentrate at Verona. With his command in North 
Alabama, General Roddy was instructed to repair the 
Memphis and Charleston Railroad east of Corinth, as 
well as to prepare boats for the ferriage of the Tennes- 
see River in the vicinity of Cherokee Station. General 
Chalmers was directed to take post at Grenada, in com- 
mand of all the troops (Mabry's Brigade, brought up 
froni Lexington, the Fifth Mississippi, of McCulloch's 
Brigade, and the State Reserves, or militia) not to be 
carried upon the expedition impending. 

Wedgies day, September yih. — General Buford set out 
from Oxford with Lyon's and Bell's* Brigades, and, 
after marching seventeen miles eastward, camped for 
the night at LaFayette Springs. 

Thursday, 8th. — Moving about twenty miles east our 
division camped at Pontotoc, and on the 9th we 
marched through and encamped four miles south-east of 
Verona. [About twenty miles from Pontotoc to Ver- 

The Second Tennessee was now in fine spirits and 
high glee, from the fact that Forrest's command was 
now actively occupied in making preparations for 


Friday, i6th. — All things being now ready, General 
Forrest left Verona this mornings with four hundred and 

'^■" Stitl composed of Barteau's, Wilson's, Russell's, and Newsoni's Regiments. 

September, 1804. 463 

fifty dismounted men. under Lieutenant-Colonel Bar- 
nett, and the c^uns and caissons of his batteries to pro- 
ceed, by rail, to Cherokee Station, sixteen miles west of 
Tuscumbia, Alabama, by the way of Corinth. Four 
trains followed freighted with subsistence and quarter- 
master's stores for his command. 

General Buforcl, setting out also from Verona this 
morning for the same destination with his division, 
Rucker's Brigade, and the horses of Morton's and Wal- 
ton's Batteries, marched to (about twenty-one miles) 
•and encamped on Tombigbee river, near Fulton. 

Saturday, ijth. — After a march of about thirty- five 
miles we bivouacked on Little Bear Creek. 

Sunday, i8tJi. — We marched to and camped at Cher- 
okee. As General Forrest had to repair the railroad in 
many places and all the wood used by the locomotives 
had to be cut by the wayside by his troops, who like- 
wise, in the absence of tanks, kept the boilers filled with 
water brought in buckets from the streams that bor- 
dered or intersected the road, he did not arrive at Cher- 
okee until the 19th. 

Roddy's Division was reported to be in readiness for 
the field, but during the 20th the whole command re- 
mained at Cherokee, actively occupied in cooking their 
rations, or other preparations, especially the shoeing ot 
their horses. 

Wednesday, 21st. — General Roddy had collected the 
requisite means of ferriage for the artillery at Colbert's 
Ferry, just above the head of Colbert Shoals, about 
seven miles from Cherokee, and to that point the dis- 
mounted men and batteries repaired, while the cavalry 
moved to the ford at the lower extremity of the shoals. 
Placing a guide at the head of the column, Forrest di- 

464 It. K. Hancock's Diary. 

rected it to make the crossing in a column formed by 
twos and kept well closed up, so as not to lose the de- 
vious and obscure pathway through the breakers. Thus 
disposed, our cavalry, venturing into the river, boldly 
dared the perils of a ford, to stray from which a short 
distance, either to the right or left, was almost certain 
destruction, for falling into some pit the luckless trooper* 
would have been drawn down stream f by the current 
and dashed against the jagged rocks which crowded the 
rapids on all sides with almost certain hazard of being 
disabled and drowned. At one time the whole ford from 
side to side was filled with horsemen, presenting the ap- 
pearance of a huge, sinuous, tawny serpent stretched 
across the river amono- the breakers. The river at this 
point was about 2,000 yards broad in a straight line ; 
but the ford, winding along the shallows on the ledges 
of the shoals, was quite two miles in length. This dan- 
gerous feat having been happily accomplished, the com- 
mand pressed on in the direction of Florence, and biv- 
ouacked for the night within two miles of that place. 

Thursday, 22d. — Roddy's command, having crossed 
the river the day before- at Bainbridge and in that vicin- 
ity, effected a junction at Shoal Creek with the troops 
from Mississippi, and Forrest's whole force was now as- 
sembled, about 4,500 strong of all arms. 

Only making a short march the command bivouacked 
ten miles north-east of Florence, Alabama. 

"One horse fell, but the rider succeeded in gaining a footing on a rock a 
little under the surface of the water, where he remained until some one went to 
his rescue. 

IB. A. High says: "I saw a trooper who, getting a little too low down, 
floated off down the river; however, I think that the horse swam to shore with 
the rider." 

If a single ii(e was lost I did not hear of it. 

SKPTEMF5EK, 18(54. 105 

Friday, 2^d. — The line of march taken led eastward 
through Rogersville, across Elk river to Athens, Ala- 
bama (about forty-five miles east of Florence), an im- 
portant point on the Nashville and Decatur Railroad, 
known to be occupied in force by the enemy, and in that 
immediate vicinity the head of our column arrived about 

A considerable Federal encampment was visible in 
the north-eastern suburbs of the place. Pressing for- 
ward his command, mounted, Forrest soon iorced the 
Federals, who were very much surprised by this sudden 
onset, to take refuge in a strong fort about three-quar- 
ters of a mile distant, south-west of Athens, leaving the 
horses and equipments of their cavalry in the hands of 
Forrest's men. 

About dark the Second Tennessee, under Colonel 
Barteau, was detached to tear up the railroad northward 
of Athens. Barteau deployed his men in line (with 
about two men to a cross-tie) along the railroad, and 
when the command "All together" was given, a portion 
of the road the length of the regiment was lilted from 
its bed.* Then moving to another place the same pro- 
cess was repeated, and so on. After thus " swapping 
sides " with a considerable portion of the track. Colonel 
Barteau rejoined our brigade at Athens. Forrest de- 
ployed his force so as to encompass the town and three 
sides of the fort, and thus awaited daylight before 
undertaking further operations. 

Saturday, 2^th. — Having to bivouac without shelter 
last night some of our ammunition was injured by a 
heavy rainfall. 

■•■■'While thus engaged William F. Odotu (Cumiuiny C) was seriously hurt by 
a railroid iron flying back and striking him. 


466 E. R. Haxcociv's Diart. 

Fully three hours of the morning were necessarily 
occupied in preparation for the attack. The dismounted 
men were established meanwhile as supports to the 
artillery, which occupied four commanding positions 
around the redoubt, and about eight hundred yards dis- 
tant from it. Our regiment was placed in line, along 
the embankment of the railroad, about the same dis- 
tance east, while the rest of our brigade extended (left- 
ward) around to the south-east of the work; Lyon 
about six hundred yards immediately southward ; and 
Rucker's Brigade, as far from the Federal position, to 
the westward of it, while Johnson occupied the town 
with Roddy's men,* so extended in three lines through 
the streets as to make it impossible for the enemy to 
estimate their actual strength. Detachments from each 
brigade were held, mounted, and thrown out to cover 
all the approaches, and the rest, or greater part of the 
command, were dismounted, with the usual horse-hold- 
ers, who were concentrated in one body. Thus, by 
half-past ten a. m., the Federal position was thoroughly 
invested with a double line of riflemen, the foremost 
circle (skirmishers) being within one hundred and fifty 
yards of the Federal trenches. Being now ready for 
the attack, Forrest determined to test the efficacy of a 
flag of truce, and accordingly ordered the signal for a 
parley to be sounded. 

A few moments later Major Strange, a staff officer, 
accompanied by Captain Pointer, bearing the usual flag 
of truce, presented a formal demand for the uncondi- 
tional surrender of the Federal garrison. The answer, 
an absolute refusal to capitulate, was not long delayed. 
General Forrest immediately sent forward another com- 

* General Roddy was sick and left at Tuscumbia, Alabama. 

September, 18G4. 467 

munication requesting a personal interview with his ad- 
versary, which soon took place. 

Our leader, at once approaching the business of the 
interview, earnestly expressed his desire to avoid the 
unnecessary shedding of blood ; declared that his means, 
including artillery, were so ample that he could carry 
the position by storm, without any hazard or failure ; 
and so assured did he feel — he observed — of this fact, 
that he was quite willing to exhibit his forces to the 
Federal Commander, Colonel Campbell, who would find 
it to be fully eight thousand strong, of all arms. In 
reply, Campbell remarked that, of course, if he could 
be satisfied such a force actually surrounded him, he 
would not feel authorized to maintain so useless a de- 
fense. His dispositions being favorable for his purpose 
Forrest proposed that his adversary should at once re- 
view his lines, and they rode together for that purpose. 

The first troops displayed were the dismounted cav- 
alry, w^ho were deployed as infantry, which they were 
represented to be. Some six hundred yards rearward 
the horse-holders were drawn up, mounted, the horses 
in their charge so disposed as to be mistaken for a body 
of at least four thousand cavalry, the number indicated 
by the wily Confederate. The batteries were exhibited 
in turn, and adroitly shifted from position to position, 
• so as to do double duty in the display. By the time the 
inspection was concluded Colonel Campbell declared 
that what he saw far exceeded his conception of the 
force that confronted him, a force which, he added, ap- 
peared indeed to be fully ten thousand strong, and 
made defense on his part fruitless and unwarranted. 
He therefore proposed to capitulate, asking only that 
his officers might be allowed to retain their private prop- 

468 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

erty and side-arms. Of course this proposition was ac- 
cepted without discussion ; and Major Strange and Cap- 
tain Anderson, of Forrest's staft, returned with Colonel 
Campbell, in order that the surrender should take place 
as speedily as practicable. Accordingly, the garrison 
was soon marched forth without arms, some fourteen 
hundred, rank and file, and the capitulation was effected 
by one i^ m. 

"The work thus surrendered was a strong, square 
redoubt, built upon a high hill, with parapets from eight 
to ten feet high, encompassed by a ditch ten feet deep, 
and fifteen feet broad, also with a line of abatis; and 
the ditch was lined with sharp palisades."* 

About the time the Federal Colonel was reviewing 
our lines a train came up from the direction of Decatur 
filled with Federal infantry, who disembarked about 
one mile from the work, and were moved forward with 
the evident purpose of forcing their way to a junction 
with the invested garrison. The Seventh Tennessee, 
having been already posted in observation in that 
quarter, became immediately engaged in a lively skir- 
mish with these troops, as, soon after, did a detachment 
of Wilson's and Russell's Regiments, under Lieutenant- 
Colonel Jesse F'orrest (from Wilson's Regiment), de- 
tached for that purpose by Colonel Bell from his brigade. 
After passing through or by the detachments above , 
named — still pressing on toward the fort, along a flat 
ridge west of the railroad — The Second Tennessee 
opened upon their right flank, while a detachment of 
the Fifteenth Tennessee under Lieutenant-Colonel Log^- 
wood, also fell upon their left. The enemy fought, and 
were handled with decided courage and resolution; 

*" Forrest's Campaigns," page 563. 

Septemher, 1864. 469 

many of their number were killed or wounded. On 
coming- in sight of the fort, and seeing that it was in 
the hands of the Confederates, they quickly threw 
down their arms and surrendered to the number of four 
hundred, after having struggled hard for nearly an hour 
to eain the fort, during- which time they had inflicted 
a considerable loss upon our side.* 

Fortunately, the garrison in the fort had surrendered 
just in time for us to take in this reinforcement. 

Two block-houses — one half a mile and the other one 
mile and a half distant from Athens, on the line of the 
railroad to Decatur — still remained to be reduced. Both 
were immediately summoned to capitulate. The one 
most remote succumbed at once, and the garrison 
(eighty-five officers and men) laid down their arms on 
the like terms to those granted Colonel Campbell. But 
a stouter soldier, apparently, held the other fortalice, for, 
upon being approached by Claib West (Company G, 
Second Tennessee) with his handkerchief tied to a stick 
for a white flag, the enemy at first fired upon the flag,t 
but finally respected it. West advanced and demanded 
his surrender, whereupon the Federal officer in charge 
haughtily replied that, having- been placed in command 
by his Government, he would forfeit his life rather than 

Captain Morton, Chief of Artillery, having closely 
observed the block-house, formed and expressed to 
General Forrest the opinion that, notwithstanding the 
great thickness of its walls of hewn oak timber, by firing 
at the joints — somewhat wide from shrinkage — ^he might 

•■Lieutenant-Colonel Jesse Forrest was severely wounclei! through the thigh. 
tWest afterward remarked that his handkerchief was so dirty that perhaps 
the enemy mistook it for a black flag. 

470 E. R. Haxcock's Diary. 

penetrate within the work with his projectiles. There- 
upon Morton was ordered to turn four of his three-inch 
rifled pieces upon it. This done at a range of not ex- 
ceeding three hundred yards, the first shot striking the 
roof, scattered earth and plank in every direction, while 
two other shells, penetrating, exploded and killed six 
and wounded three of the garrison. The effect was 
instantaneous; the wicket was thrown hurriedly open, 
and an officer, rushing forth with a white flag, exclaimed 
in accents of great excitement, as General Forrest rode 
forward in person to meet him: "You have killed and 
wounded nearly all my men ; your shells, sir, bore 
through my block-house like an auger ! " This garrison 
numbered thirty-five, making the aggregate of prisoners 
now taken around Athens about nineteen hundred. 

General Buford was able to improve materially the 
armament of his division, and to provide about two 
hundred of his dismounted men with excellent mounts. 
Colonel Wheeler, of the First Tennessee Cavalry, came 
up about this time with some two hundred men belong- 
ing to General Wheeler's Cavalry, left in the country 
during that officer's recent expedition. His men, too, 
were furnished with arms and equipments. Four pieces 
of artillery, five or six ambulances, and some twenty 
wagons and teams were among the spoils. The cap- 
tured wagons were loaded with such supplies, medical 
stores and instruments, and ammunition, as were se- 
lected by the proper staff" officers. The rest of the 
stores, to a considerable amount, were then set on fire 
and consumed, together with the two block-houses, the 
adjacent trestle-work of the railroad, which they com- 
manded, and all the buildings in and around the redoubt 
that had been used by the enemy. Meanwhile the dead 

Septej[bek. 1864. 471 

were buried, and the wounded of both sides collected 
and properly disposed of in Athens for treatment. 
Some forty of the enemy were killed, and about one 
hundred wounded. The Confederate loss was not over 
twenty killed and sixty wounded. Our regiment lost 
but one man (Bob Fullcrton, from West Tennessee) 
killed. "We wrapped him in a blanket and buried him 
where he fell."* 

The prisoners and captured artillery and wagons, 
properly guarded, were dispatched rearward in the di- 
rection of Florence about five p. m. ; and at the same 
hour Forrest put his main command in motion again, 
along the line of the Nashville and Decatur Railroad to 
the northward, for what is known as the "Sulphur Tres- 
tle," about eleven miles from Athens. On the way two 
other block-houses were encountered and captured with 
their garrisons (seventy) without firing a gun. This was 
effected by a detachment of Roddy's Division, under 
Lieutenant-Colonel Windes. Both these block-houses 
and the bridges which they guarded were destroyed. 
The command bivouacked some eig-ht miles north of 

Sufiday 2^th. — Having only three miles to march, 
Forrest was in front of Sulphur Trestle early in the 
morning. The trestle was a costly structure which 
spanned a deep ravine, with precipitous sides, some 
four hundred feet broad. It was sixty feet high, and, 
as may be seen, formed a most vulnerable link in the 
chain of communication and supply between the Fed- 
eral forces in North Alabama and their base at Nash- 
ville. Hence, its protection was a matter of vital mili- 
tary importance to the former, and accordingly the 

* Manuscript Notes of Colonel C. R. Barteau. 

472 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

position had been fortified. A square redoubt, with 
faces of about three hundred feet in length, had been 
thrown up on an eminence to the southward so as to 
command the trestle and all approaches. This was 
furnished with two twelve-pounder howitzers, arranged 
so as to sweep all possible avenues to the trestle, while, 
some two hundred yards in advance, on three sides, it 
was surrounded by a line of rifle-pits. And two for- 
midable block-houses were built in the ravine, at each 
extremity, so as to command the ravine and prevent 
hostile approach to the trestle by that way. These 
block-houses and the fort were garrisoned by about one 
thousand men.* ^ 

Rucker's Brigade being in advance, supported by 
Roddy's command, and dashing across an open field, 
charged the rifle-pits and made the enemy seek shelter 
in the fort after a short skirmish, but not without the 
loss of several Confederates. Making a close recon- 
noissance, P'orrest saw that the works made the position 
almost impregnable to his resources, especially since 
the block-houses were sheltered from his artillery. He 
spent several hours in unimportant light skirmishes, in 
the course of which he succeeded, with slight loss, in 
establishing a considerable portion of his force within 
one hundred yards of the breastworks of the fort, under 
cover of the acclivity of the ridge upon which it was 
built, and some ravines which seamed it. In the mean- 
time, also. Captain Morton had found and reported four 
positions for his artillery severally within eight hundred 
yards of and commanding the fort, from which he might 
easily explode his shells in it. At this stage of opera- 

* Third Tennessee (Federal) cavalry, four hundred strong, and about six hun- 
dred and twenty negro infantry. 

September, 1864. 473 

tions Forrest determined to resort aorain to the artifice 
of demanding a surrender, and, accordingly, Major 
Strange was sent forward, under tiag of truce, with the 
summons. Fully an hour elapsed before he returned 
with the answer — a positive refusal. 

Captain Morton was now ordered to establish his bat- 
teries in the positions which he had selected, and to 
open with them without delay. Walton's guns were 
soon in position at two points, from which he enfiladed 
a large portion of the southern and western faces of the 
work, while Morton's own battery, to an equal extent, 
raked its other two faces, and Perrell's guns were 
brought to bear from a somewhat more exposed posi- 
tion in a cornfield within short range of the fort. From 
these hurtful positions the Confederate artillery was 
speedily plying with perceptible effect. 

Meanwhile, our regiment, under Colonel Barteau, had 
been thrown round to an elevated position in an open 
field north-west of the fort. From this position we had 
a splendid view of the interior of the Federal works.* 

For a time the enemy responded vigorously with their 
two guns, but a shell from Lieutenant Sale's section of 
Morton's Battery striking the lower lip of one of them, 
glanced, and, striking the axle, exploded, killing, it is 
said, five men and overturning the piece, and soon the 
other was dismounted by a shot planted squarely in its 
mouth by Lieutenant Brown of the same battery. The 
Confederate practice was excellent ; every shell fell and 

*A somewhat amusing incident happened about this time. A negro who 
had come out of the fort and was trying to make good his escape, was captured 
by some of our boys. As soon as his fright was somewhat over he said: "When 
dat letter come in dar wid Mr. Forrest's name to it I node dat was no place for 
dis nigger — I node Mr. Forrest before the wah — I node him as well as I node 
Mas Jim — lie was hard on niggers before the wah." 

474 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

exploded within the fort, whose faces, swept in great 
part by an enfilading fire, gave little or no shelter to the 
garrison, who were to be seen fleeing alternately from 
side to side, vainly seeking cover. Many found it, as 
they hoped, within some wooden buildings in the fort, 
but shot and shell crashing- and tearino- through these 
feeble barriers either set them on fire or leveled them to 
the ground, killing and wounding their inmates and ad- 
ding to the wild helplessness and confusion of the 
enemy who, though making, meanwhile, no proffer to 
surrender, had, nevertheless, become utterly impotent 
for defense. Seeing their situation, and desiring to put 
a stop to the slaughter, Forrest, ordering a cessation of 
hostilities, again demanded a capitulation. This time 
the demand was promptly acceded to and the surrender 
of the block-houses, as well as the fort, was speedily ac- 
complished through the proper staff ofiicers. 

The interior of the work presented a sanguinary, sick- 
ening spectacle, another shocking illustration of the lit- 
tle capacity for command and deficiency of military 
knowledge of those appointed by the Federal Govern- 
ment over their negro troops, rather than an example 
of a stout, loyal maintenance of a soldier's post on the 
part of the garrison. Eight hundred rounds of ammu- 
nition had been expended by our artillery in this affair, 
and at least two hundred Federal officers and men lay 
slain within the narrow area of that redoubt, giving it 
the aspect of a slaughter-pen. Among the dead were 
Colonel Lathrop, the commander, and a number of offi- 
cers. Comparatively few of the garrison (about thirty) 
had been wounded. The bursting shells had done their 
work effectively upon this poor, misofficered force, 
whose defense, manifestly, from its feebleness, had been 

September, 18i;4. 475 

thus prolonged, because the officers, paralyzed under 
the tempest of iron showered upon them, knew not what 
to do in the exigency. Eight hundred and twenty offi- 
cers and men capitulated ; the other results were two 
pieces of artillery, twenty wagons and teams, about three 
hundred and fifty cavalry horses, with their equipments, 
complete, and a large quantity of ammunition and com- 
missary stores. This was not achieved, however, with- 
out some loss on the Confederate side. Captain J. J. 
Kirkman, of Florence, Alabama, in command of Colonel 
Johnson's escort, was among the killed. Major J. H. 
Doan and Captain Carter, of Roddy's command, were 
severely wounded. 

Late in the afternoon, Buford was detached with 
Lyon's Brigade to push forward and destroy the rail- 
road bridge over Elk River, some seven miles north- 
ward. Still later our brigade (Bell's), being dispatched 
to follow and rejoin Buford, camped for the night within 
one mile and a half of Elk River. The other troops 
were busily occupied during the rest of the evening and 
that night in burying the dead, collecting and providing 
for the wounded of both sides and destroying the trestle 
and block-houses. 

Having already expended so large a portion of his 
artillery ammunition, Forrest now determined to send 
back to Florence, and across the Tennessee, four pieces 
of his own artillery, the captured guns and wagons and 
prisoners, with a suitable escort, commanded by Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Logwood. 

Monday, 26th. — Setting out from Sulphur Trestle 
early in the morning, Colonel Johnson, with Roddy's 
Division, swung round eastward by the way of Upper 
Elkton, while Forrest, with Rucker's Brigade, moved by 

476 R. E. Hancock's Diary. 

a way nearer the line of the railroad, so as to be in 
supporting distance of Buford, who was ordered to ad- 
vance along that line as far as Richland Creek, seven 
miles south of Pulaski, and there Johnson also was in- 
structed to join him. 

In the saddle early our brigade rejoined Buford at 
Elk River. The Federals had evacuated their fort and 
block-houses at this point during the preceding night. 
After destroying the large railroad bridge, the block- 
houses and some trestle, Buford set out with his divis- 
ion in the direction of the railroad bridge which spans 
Richland Creek, some eight miles northward. On the 
way he destroyed another deserted block-house and 
about 10,000 cords of wood, collected for the operation 
of the road, in the burning of which he likewise effect- 
ually impaired at least a mile of the track. The com- 
mand was then concentrated, and moved on to Richland 
Creek, over which there was a truss railroad bridgfe two 
hundred feet long, defended by a heavy block-house, the 
garrison of which (forty-live strong) surrendered after a 
few shells had been burst against it. The bridge and 
block-house were then consigned to the torch, and the 
command (includinor Roddv's Division and Rucker's 
Brigade) camped for the night. 

General Forrest has now redeemed the promise which 
he made to the Second Tennessee while standing inside 
the Federal works at Fort Pillow. He, then and there, 
promised to take our regiment home to Middle Tennes- 
see.* It will be remembered that he would have re- 
deemed that promise soon after it was made had it not 
been for the Sturgis raid. We left our native State 

* It will be lemembeied that all of our regiment except three companies 
were from Middle Tennessee. • 

SEPTEilBEK, 18(54. 477 

about two years and a half ago, and many of us have 
not had the pleasure of visiting- our section of the State 
since until to-day. How even a very slight prospect of 
seeing home and kindred cheers the heart of a poor 
soldier who has been absent so long ! 

Tiiesday, 2^/111. — Forrest put his command in motion 
early that morning toward Pulaski in the following order : 

Buford still moved along the railroad, Johnson to the 
right of it, deployed across the turnpike, followed by 
Rucker's Brigade. In this order the Federal pickets 
were encountered a mile beyond Richland Creek, and 
were borne back for another mile, when a heavy Fed- 
eral force was developed in line of battle, stretched 
across the turnpike and railroad, here about four hun- 
dred yards apart, and on a range of hills affording an 
excellent position. It was a mixed force of cavalry, 
artillery, and infantry, apparently not less than six 
thousand strong, while our force was now reduced to 
about thirty-three hundred men and four guns. Never- 
theless, our leader, resolving on the offensive, dis- 
mounted Buford's and Johnson's small divisions and 
deployed them across the roads, as Rucker's Brigade, 
still mounted, was boldly launched to make a detour to 
the eastward and gain the Federal rear. ^ 

General Forrest threw forward his escort, on foot, as 
skirmishers in front of Johnson and to the rightward ot 
the turnpike. Charging up a hill held by the enemy in 
that part of the fielci, they brough on the engagement 
and gained the position, with a loss of some seven or 
eight of their number killed or wounded. Meanwhile, 
Buford and Johnson pressed up with vigor, and an ani- 
mated musketry and artillery affair ensued.* The 

•■''Here Colonel Johnson wa^ -.eveiely wouiuieJ, and the command of Roddy's 
force devolved for the rest of the expedition upon Colonel J. R. B. Burtwell. 

478 K. E. Hancock's Diary. 

enemy, however, did not stand their ground, and soon 
were observed retiring toward Pulaski. At this, order- 
ing his men to remount and follow, Forrest led the way 
with his staff and escort, and a running skirmish was 
kept up until, finally, about three p. m., the Federals 
filed into position behind their works at Pulaski.* These 
consisted of a chain of detached redoubts of command- 
ing positions, interlinked by rifle-pits, the whole fur- 
nished with artillery, and bristling with abatis. 

Seeing that the enemy were well fortified at this point, 
and fully believing that their force was far superior to 
his own, Forrest only made a menace of an attack upon 
the southern and eastern faces by pushing forward, 
slowly but steadily, a strong skirmish line up to within 
four hundred yards of the Federal intrenchments by 
nightfall. f And after dark a broad, long belt of camp- 
fires, by his orders, blazed on a ridge about a mile and 
a half from the threatened part of the Federal works. 
Maintaining his pickets close up to the enemy, and re- 
newing the camp-fires about nine o'clock, the Confed- 
erates were quietly formed, and at ten o'clock drew off 
by the road to the eastward, in the direction of Fayette- 
ville, with the purpose of striking the Nashville and 
Chattanooga Railroad at, and in the vicinity of, Tulla- 
homa.;]: The rain, however, began to pour down, and 
the night soon became so dark that the artillery and 
wagon train could not be forced along over the miry, 
rugged roads of the country, and the command was 

* Gaus, Forrest's favorite bugler, had his bugle disabled by three balls in 
this ride. 

tElisha Briley (Company F, Second Tennessee) was here mortally wounded. 

J Forrest also sent back to Florence from in front of Pulaski all unnecessary 
wagons and teams, some two hundred prisoners, and forty wounded men, under 
a suitable escort. 

September, 1804. 479 

halted for the night after a short march of six or seven 

Wednesday, 28th. — In the saddle by daybreak the 
movement was resumed, and though the route was by 
narrow cross-ways, through a broken, extremely rough 
country, made boggy by recent hard rains, nevertheless 
the command, much of the time at a sharp trot, marched 
thirty miles and bivouacked at dark five miles beyond 
Fayetteville,* on the Tullahoma road. 

TJmrsday, 2gth. — Still pressing on toward Tullahoma, 
till within fifteen miles of that place, Forrest was there 
met by scouts with the tidings that a heavy column of 
Federal infantry was advancing from Chattanooga to 
meet him, and that the forces which he had left in the 
lurch intrenched at Pulaski were now on the way by 
rail, through Nashville, to confront him at Tullahoma. 
Thus anticipated, Forrest found it expedient to make a 
radical change in his plan of operations. It was still 
raining, and the Tennessee River was rising rapidly, 
while there were no means of ferriage available, except 
a few old flats at or near Florence. And besides, the 
enemy in the country were greatly his superior in num- 
ber, even in cavalry. The situation was extremely pre- 
carious, and one indeed that required a large measure 
of coolness and judgment for extrication. Our leader 
therefore resolved to subdivide his command. General 
Buford, with Roddy's Division and a part of his own, 
the artillery and wagon train (about one thousand five 
hundred men), was ordered to move swiftly upon Hunts- 
ville, Alabama, seize that place if practicable, and after- 
ward, destroying as much of the railroad thence to De- 

* Fayetteville is about thirty miles east of Pulaski and thirty south-west of 

480 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

catur as he could, throw his command south of the Ten- 
nessee at that point, if the means were found there. 
Putting himself at the head of the other detachment, 
likewise about one thousand five hundred strong, For- 
rest proposed to move rapidly across the country to 
Spring Hill, strike the railroad there, and break it up 
between that point and Columbia, and at the same time 
drawing after him hostile forces that otherwise would be 
sure to follow Buford, and prevent, most probably, the 
escape of our wagon train and artillery across the Ten- 
nessee River. 

Our regiment moved with General Forrest. This 
suited some of our boys, especially Company B, for a 
number of that company lived in Williamson County. 

Both subdivisions were put in motion that afternoon. 
Turning north-west and crossing the Fayetteville and 
Shelbyville turnpike, we encamped some fifteen miles 
south-west of the latter place at a hamlet called Peters- 
burg. Here Forrest learned through scouts that a strong 
Federal cavalry force, on the march from Pulaski to Tul- 
lahoma, was only eight miles distant to the north at the 
time. Nevertheless, as our weary animals needed rest, 
Forrest allowed us to remain encamped all night. 

Friday, joth. — Resuming our march across the coun- 
tr) , passing through Lewisburg and crossing Duck 
River at Hardison's ford, to the eastward of Columbia, 
we camped for the night on the north bank of that river. 

Saha-dav, October ist. — After marching a few miles in 
the direction of Franklin we turned westward and struck 
the Nashville and Decatur Railroad at Spring Hill about 

Here, seizing the telegraph office by surprise, Forrest 
found the line in operation from Pulaski to Nashville, 

October, 186-t. 481 

and most opportunely intercepted several official dis- 
patches, which gave precise information with regard to 
the location at the time of the principal bodies of troops 
which were afield in pursuit of him. From one of these 
he was particularly annoyed to learn that General Steed- 
man was marching with a heavy column toward Hunts- 
ville. Alabama, with the evident object of cutting off his 
retreat to the south bank of the Tennessee River. Hav- 
ing thus acquired as much information as possible touch- 
ing the movements of the enemy, and sent several mis- 
leading, spurious dispatches to General Rousseau at 
Nashville in regard to the Confederate movements, For- 
rest broke up the telegraph line around Spring Hill, 
and at two v. m. turned the head of his column toward 
Columbia, having previously detached a force to destroy 
the small trestles on the railroad as far northward as 

Large piles of wood collected for the locomotives were 
burned, as also an extensive Government savv^mill and a 
large quantity of public lumber, about three miles south- 
ward of Spring Hill ; and here were captured thirty fat 
oxen, six wagons, and some forty mules. Near by were 
several stronof block-houses, but being" now without 
artillery Forrest was perplexed as to the speediest 
method for their reduction. Howbeit, promptly display- 
ing his force so as to make a formidable show, the oft- 
tried device of a peremptory demand tor a surrender 
was again adventured. Meeting with an equally prompt 
refusal he next requested a personal interview with the 
Federal commander, which being assented to, they met. 
Proposing to show to his adversary the forces at his dis- 
position, so that it might be seen there was no decep- 
tion on the Confederate side, and furnishing a horse to 

482 E. R. Hancock's Diaky. 

the Federal officer, they actually made tog^ether a rapid 
survey of the investing force. Moreover, Forrest, as- 
suring his antagonist as he was approaching his ambu- 
lance that he had the means to destroy the block-houses 
without artillery, called upon the driver of that vehicle 
to bring him a vial of " Greek fire." This being done, 
it was thrown and broken against a fresh oak stump, and 
the fluid spreading the blaze immediately covered the 
still green bark. The men cheering lustily at this for 
the "Greek fire," Forrest, taking advantage of the tu- 
mult, remarked that as his men were growing excited it 
were best for them to retire toward the block-house, 
whither they galloped immediately before the officer was 
able to scan the positive effects of the Greek fire. The 
Federal officer now expressing himself satisfied as to 
the hopelessness of any defense under the circumstances, 
capitulated both block-houses at five p. m., with sixty- 
five officers and men. Both structures and the truss 
bridge, one hundred and fiity feet long, which they 
guarded, were now thoroughly fired and destroyed. 
Major Strange was next dispatched with a flag of truce 
to demand the surrender of another block-house half a 
mile distant. The commander was a German, who, 
greatly excited by the demand, refused not only to yield, 
but to hold any conference, swearing roundly that he 
had heard of Forrest before ; that he was a d — d rebel, 
with whom he would have nothing to do. The man 
went so far as to threaten to fire on the flag. Hearing 
this, Forrest set men to collecting and filling sacks with 
dry chips and other light combustibles, which were then 
saturated with turpentine and oil, carried for the con- 
tingency. It was now nine o'clock, and very dark. 
Colonel Russell was ordered to dismount his reo-iment 

October, 18G4. 4Sc 

and make an effort to burn the bridge which was guarded 
by this block-house, in spite of its haughty commander. 
Russell at once pressed some of his men close up to the 
work, under cover of the railroad embankment, and 
while they opened a noisy fire upon the block-house, 
others — picked men, provided with the bags of combust- 
ibles — crept to the bridge, and placing these under its 
braces, at the signal ignited them with the Greek fire, a 
small vial of which each man carried also. In a moment 
the bridge was effectually in flames, and the men who 
had applied the fire rejoined their companies without 
hurt. The Confederates, now cheering heartily, ban- 
tered their adversary, while the Dutchman swore pro- 
fusely as the Confederates rode away. 

While this was going On, Colonel Wheeler, whose 
command was now increased to five hundred men, had 
been detached and directed to menace Columbia. Meet- 
ing a stage with several Federal officers, these were 
captured and the horses appropriated. Coming pres- 
ently, however, across a force of three hundred Federal 
cavalry moving after the stage, a sharp collision occurred, 
in which the Confederates were worsted to the verge of 
disaster. But, happily, a detachment of the old Forrest 
Regiment, under Captain Forrest, came up opportunely, 
and Wheeler, thus reinforced, charged in turn, and 
drove the enemy rapidly back into Columbia, capturing 
some twenty-five prisoners and fifty horses. He re- 
mained for several hours menacing the passage of Duck 
River and an attack upon Columbia, but after eight p. 
M., quietly withdrawing, rejoined Forrest two hours 
later, encamped on the road leading down the north 
bank of Duck River, toward W^illiamsport. 

Four block-houses and as many large truss railroad 

484 K. II. Hancock's Diaky 

bridges had been burned, and so eftectually was the 
railroad impaired that it would be useless to the enemy 
for weeks, 

The following letter will explain how Company C, 
Second Tennessee, lost (on the above date) a gallant 
soldier (E. L. Ewing) by mere carelessness: 

Greenville, Hunt County, Texas, May 8th, 1887. 
Mr. R. R. Hancock: 

My Dear Friend — .... I was placed on picket near the 
turnpike, between Spring Hill and Columbia, with instructions to 
come in at the sound of the bugle, but the bugle never sounded, and 
I never went in; and thus I was left on post. While there the Yankees 
came upon me, and one of theni shot and wounded me in the shoulder, 
but did not knock me off my horse. The Yankees did not pursue. I 
rode about one mile and a half to Mr. James T. Moore's, where I had 
to give it up. I dismounted and walked right into the house, without 
leave or license, threw myself upon the carpet, and began to feel about 
for my checks, because I thought that the time had come for me to 
hand them over; but I was mistaken, for I am here yet. 

The Yankees got everything that 1 had, but I fell in the best place 
in the world. I remained at Mr. Moore's under the treatment of Dr. 
S larber — a man I never shall forget — until the Hood campaign. 

When Hood retreated from Nashville I fell back across the Ten- 
nessee River, where I remained until the war closed; but I was never 
able to take up arms any more after I was wounded — in fact, I am a 
cripple to this day. ......... 

Yours truly, E. L. Ewing. 

Sunday, 2d. — Throwing his command to the south 
bank of Duck River, and spreading details over the 
country to collect beef cattle and bread rations. Forrest 
meanwhile halted his main force about six miles from 
Columbia, which he next proceeded to threaten with an 
attack by a detachment under his own immediate com- 
mand. Colonel Barteau was ordered to threaten an 
attack upon the west side of town, while Forrest, turn- 
ing rightward, was to strike the railro id south of town. 
In speaking of this affair, Colonel Barteau says : 

October, 1864. 485 

Two of my best companies were detached and many men detailed 
for various purposes, being familiar with the country. I had, there- 
fore, but fractions of companies, and about seventy-five men in all. 

With these I was ordered to go down the turnpike to Columbia, 
while all the other troops made a detour to the railroad to capture 
stockades, etc. Within a mile of the town we encountered a picket 
of fifty men, which we drove rapidly in. Remaining near the place 
some two hours the enemy had fall opportunity of viewing our whole 
strength, and came out in force, to all appearances, and according to 
the best judgment of some of my men, about eight hundred strong. 

Knowing that there would be great danger of having 
his men all captured if he attempted to make a stand 
before passing through a deep cut on the west side of 
Caruthers' Creek, Colonel Barteau now withdrew rap- 
idly behind that stream, where he succeeded in checking 
the enemy, who had in the meantime pressed hotly after 
him. Thomas Barnes (Company D) was captured in 
this affair at Columbia. After he had surrendered a 
I'ederal struck him on the head with a gun. He died 
soon after in prison, and it was thought that his death 
was caused by the severe blow mentioned above. E. 
L. Ewing (Compan)- C) was so severely wounded that 
he had to be left. 

While Colonel Barteau was thus attracting the atten- 
tion of the enemy on the west side of town. General 
Forrest swung round to the south side ; but, finding the 
position to be well fortified, he nevertheless remained on 
the outskirts of the place until late that evening, harass- 
ing the garrison and burning some short trestles in the 
direction of Pulaski. Meanwhile his main force, after 
his commissary details had discharged their duties, had 
moved across to Mount Pleasant and bivouacked, and 
there he and Barteau joined them that night. 

Monday, jd. — Scouts now reported the rapid rising of 
the Tennessee River; that Buford, unable to capture 

486 li. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Huntsville, had likewise failed to destroy the Memphis 
and Charleston Railroad ; that General Steedman was 
moving with a column of infantry, reported to be 8,000 
strong, with the evident object of intercepting the Con- 
federates, in their retreat, at Decatur; that a heavy cav- 
alry force was pressing across from Tullahoma toward 
Florence, and a column of infantry and cavalry under 
Rousseau, from the direction of Nashville.* Thus fully 
15,000 P'ederal troops were now afield after Forrest, 
who determined to effect a junction with Buford without 
delay, for in that event he would be able, he hoped, to 
beat off any cavalry force that he might meet, and by 
maneuver he would elude any infantry column if unable 
to effect the passage to the south bank of the river. 
But for some cause (unknown to the writer) we marched 
only seven or eight miles, and bivouacked on the road 
leading through Lawrenceburg. 

Tuesday, ^Ih. — Passing through Lawrenceburg, thence 
in the direction of Florence, Alabama, we camped for 
the night, after a march of about thirty-six miles. 

Wednesday, ^th. — After a short march Forrest halted 
within seven miles of Florence until after midnipfht. 
We suppose that he made this halt in order to give his 
scouts time to report. 

Buford had passed through. Florence, and was now 
ferrying the wagons and artillery at the mouth of Cy- 
press Creek and Newport. 

Thursday, 6th. — Detaching Company B of the Sev- 
enth Tennessee to push on with the beef cattle by the 
direct road to Colbert's Ferry, at the head of Colbert 
Shoals, Forrest led the rest of his command, before day- 

■•■■ Rousseau's infantry mainl)- moved in wagons, to secure rapid transporta- 

October, 1864. 487 

light, to Florence. The rapid approach of Steedman, 
from the direction of Huntsville, and Rousseau, from 
Nashville, made the situation urgent, and our leader 
now gave his special attention to every possible means 
for increasing the facilities for ferriage by distributing 
his command at all practicable points of crossing from 
the mouth of Cypress Creek to Colbert Shoals. 

The Fourth Alabama, under Lieutenant-Colonel 
Windes — from ^loddy's command — was left to guard the 
Huntsville road, while Colonel Barteau was ordered to 
move the Second Tennessee out a lew miles from Flor- 
ence to picket the "Old Military," or Nashville road. 

The following is from the manuscript notes of Colonel 
Barteau : 

About seven o'clock on the morning of the yth. in obedience to 
instructions I withdrew from the military road to join Colonel Windes 
who had been pressed back on the Huntsville road. We both passed 
through Florence and took a position some two and a half miles west 
on Cypress Creek, at Martin's Mills, on what is called Martin's Bluff, 
commanding the main road to the various points at which Forrest was 
crossing his troops. 

The enemy came into Florence, and remaining perhaps an hour, 
fell back to their camps on the Huntsville road to await, as I now 
suppose, the arrival of the force from Nashville. This was so dis- 
patched to General Forrest, thinking, as I did, that the enemy would 
not further pursue or annoy us. At the same time Lieutenant-Colonel 
Windes left with his regiment to make an effort to cross the river* 
while I waited for instructions and in the meantime was joined by a 
part of the Seventh Tennessee, which^kindly consented to remain. 
We camped on the bluff that night. 

On the morning of the 8th I received a dispatch from Forrest to 
follow the enemy if they retired toward Huntsville, and to cross the 
river at some point above. Information, however, reached us through 
scouts at once that the Federals were moving toward the mills in con- 
siderable force, and that troops had reached Florence from Nashville. 
We therefore determined to hold the position at all hazards, knowing 
it the only safety for the troops that were then engaged in crossing the 

488 R. K. Hancock's Diary. 

The river, already very high, was still rising, and so 
full of driftwood as to be e.xtremely dangerous to the 
swimming horses, while three small flatboats and not 
more than ten skiffs were the means of ferriage at For- 
rest's commiand. Nevertheless, by this time all the ar- 
tillery, the wagon-train, and the larger portion of the 
troops, had been safely landed on the south bank of 
the Tennessee, as well as a large number of horses. 
However, at least one thousand of Forrest's men, with 
their horses, were still on the north bank of the river, 
besides those under Colonel Barteau, who was still hold- 
ing the Federals in check at Cypress Creek. As he 
(Barteau) was in command of all the troops now con- 
frontingf the Federals, our Lieutenant-Colonel, G. H. 
Morton, was in command of the resfinient. 

So well had nature fortified the crossing of Cypress 
Creek at Martin's Bluff that Barteau, with only a few 
men, held the heavy F"ederal force which now confronted 
him at bay until, finally, about three p. m., General 
Steedman, finding himself unable to force the position, 
sent a brigade of his cavalry around, by a crossing three 
miles above, while, soon after, another detachment was 
sent around by the way of a ford below. Barteau had 
taken the precaution to place guards at the crossing 
above as well as below; but, however, the Federals did 
not give our guards time to report — pressing after them 
at a swift gallop along the roads which concentrated at 
a point in the Colbert Ferry road only a short distance 
in rear of our position at Martin's Bluff. Anticipating 
these movements, Barteau had sent a detachment of the 
Second Tennessee, under Lieutenant-Colonel Morton, 
to reinforce the picket at the upper ford. The Federals 
had crossed, as above stated, and after a warm collision, 

October, 1804. 489 

in the course of which he found that he was over- 
matched, Morton fell back, as he thought, on Colonel 
Barteau, who had learned, in the mean time, that he was 
surrounded, and, with the balance of the Second Ten- 
nessee and a part of the Seventh, Barteau was now cut- 
ting his way through the Federal brigade that had 
swung- round to his rear from the other crossing. See- 
ing no other way of escape, Morton, with his little band, 
now dashed boldly out between two lines* of Federals, 
capturing and bringing off two prisoners. f 

In speaking of this affair Colonel Barteau says : 

Being now surrounded by the enemy on all sides, we were com- 
pelled to charge and break through their lines in order to rescue the men 
from capture. Lieutenant-Colonel Morton, who led a portion of the 
Second Tennessee, deserves especial credit for the manner in which he 
performed this duty, while I, with apart of the Seventh Tennessee and 
the balance of the Second, turned back the flank of the enemy which 
were on their rear, and put them [the enemyj in temporary disorder. 

I did not have here exceeding two hundred and fifty men, while 
the Federals were not less than three thousand. 

After this I was joined the same evening by Colonel Wilson, with 
a hundred men, while the Seventh Tennessee went to the river to 
cross. We spent the night in clese proximity to the enemy. 

•■•After Morton had thus passed out it was <-aid that those two lines opened 
a heavy fire upon each other, eacli taking the other to be tlie enemy. 

tOn reaching the point on the road leading westward from Morton's Bluff, 
wliere the roads from the upper and lower crossing came into it, J. W. Kennedy 

and I halted to watch the road leading back to the upper crossing, while 

Dotson (Company B) dismounted from his iiiule to lay down a fence on the south 
side of the road for the command to pass through. As they dashed through 
the gap, whicli was about two hundred yards from us back on ihe road leading 
toward the lower crossing, the boys called out that the Federals were upon them 
from below. Putting spurs to my horse I passed through the gap just hi time, 
while Kennedy, who did not understand the boys, as I thought he did, was too 
late to pass through the gap; he made his escape, however, by forcing his horse 
to leap two or three fences. By the time Dotson had remounted the Federals 
were upon him and he surrendered, after which his mule, not being willing to 
surrender, turned and followed the command in spite of his rider, and thus 
Dotson was lirought safely out. 

490 E. R. Haxcock's Diary. 

I do not know our exact loss in the above affair ; 
however, I suppose that the loss of our regiment in 
killed and wounded and captured did not exceed ten 
men. Jared (Mars) Averett was killed and Thomas 
Nixon and R. B. Dobbins (Company E) were among 
the captured. Some of our men lay concealed in the 
woods all night, so close to the enemy, that they could 
be heard talking, but making their escape next morning ' 
they rejoined us. 

Sunday, ()th. — The way being now opened to the river 
for the Federals, General Forrest was forced to aban- 
don the upper ferries and to complete the ferriage ot 
his cattle from an island at the head of Colbert Shoals 
and to throw the rest of his horses and men to the south 
bank, except those under Colonel Barteau, who was 
now cut off from the rest of Forrest's command, as well 
as from an opportunity to cross the river, and was left 
with his little band (a part of his own regiment and 
about one hundred of Wilson's) to take care of himself 
and men as best he could. Our colonel had quite a 
small force with which to compete with about 12.000 
Federals. He fell back into the hills north-west of 
Florence, moving his camp daily from five to ten miles 

Wednesday, /i"///.*— Finding that the way was now 
clear, Barteau moved his men to the river (about fifteen 
miles), and the command was all on Coga's Island a 
little before sunset by fording that portion of the Ten- 
nessee which runs around the north side of that island. 
The command immediately commenced crossing from 

* Rations were very scarce, and besides we had no cooking vessels. Some of 
the boys managed to get some flour which we made up on an oilcloth, and then 
rolling the dough around sticks we baked it before the fire. 

OCTOBER, 18G4. 491 

the south side of the island by means of two flat-boats* 
and one skiff, and by nine a. m., on the 13th, we had all 
landed safe on the southern bank of the river. We 
then moved down to luka, Mississippi, where we re- 
mained for the night. 

Friday. 14th. — We rejoined our division at Corinth. 

In the course of the expedition into Middle Tennessee General 
Forrest placed hors dc combat fully three thousand five hundred Federal 
officers and men, including those taken prisoners. He also captured 
eight pieces of artillery with their caissons and ammunition, nine hun- 
dred head of horses and mules, more than one hundred head of beef 
cattle, about one hundred wagons, the most of which were destroyed, 
three thousand stands of arms and accoutrements, with large stores of 
commissary, ordnance, and medical supplies. 

He destroyed six large truss railroad bridges, nearly one hundred 
miles of railroad, two locomotives and some fifty freight cars, several 
thousand feet of heavy railroad trestling, a Government sawmill, with 
a large amount of lumber, at least five thousand cords of wood, and 
finally captured and destroyed ten of their best block-houses, which, 
Avith one exception, be it noted, were actually impregnable to ordinary 
light field artillery. 

He also brought out of Middle Tennessee a thousand men added 
to his own immediate command, as well as six or eight hundred who 
had straggled from Major-General Wheeler in the course of his recent 
•expedition in that region. 

All this was achieved at the expenditure of about three hundred 
officers and men killed and wounded. ... It was accomplished, 
moreover, in twenty-three days, in the course of which, from Corinth 
back to Cherokee Station, the Confederate troops marched over five 
hundred miles, f 

Roddy's Division was left in North Alabama, while 
the men belonging to General Wheeler's command were 
-detached, with orders to repair to Gadsden, Alabama, 
and rejoin their division. 

* B. A. High and Claih West found the boats and reported that the way was 
open to the river, for which they deserve special praise. 
t" Forrest's Campaigns," p. 588. 

492 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

I shall 'here mention a little affair that happened a 
day or two before our arrival at Corinth. In the dispo- 
sitions made to meet any attempt to throw a force 
against Forrest by the river, Colonel Kelly was dis- 
patched to Eastport, where he arrived with less than 
three hundred men and two guns, just as a fleet of 
three Federal transports heavily laden with infantry and 
artillery, and conveyed by two gunboats, came in sight. 
He threw his men and guns in position without being 
observed. Fully twelve hundred Federals, three six- 
pounder rifle guns and about sixty horses were ashore 
and the infantry formed in line along the river bank be- 
fore Kelly suffered his riflemen and artillery to open 
upon them at a moment when the staging was still filled 
with troops. As soon as Kelly opened the action with 
both artillery and small arms, the Federals broke ranks 
beyond the control of their officers and rushed toward 
the transports. Shell after shell was sent plowing 
through the flying throng ; others crashed and splint- 
ered through the sides of the transports, and at least 
two were exploded in a gunboat. At this juncture 
the cables of the transports being cut loose, drifting off 
from the bank, their stagings were dropped into the 
water when crowded with men, who were plunged head- 
lonor into the stream, as well as another ofun and caisson. 
In their panic some of the Federals, springing into the 
river, attempted to swim to and clamber upon the 
steamers, while others, throwing down their guns, 
blankets and haversacks and runninof down the river 
bank, effected their embarkation about half a mile be- 
low upon one of the steamers which ventured to touch 
the bank for that purpose. The results of this brilliant 
little affair were the capture of seventy-five officers and 

October, 1804. 493 

men, three pieces of rilied field artillery and sixty 
horses, one gun and two caissons sunk in the river and 
the drowning and killing of at least two hundred and 
fifty Federal officers and men, including those hurt on 
the transports and gunboats. Meeting with such a sum- 
mary hostile reception the Federal fleet left that portion 
of the river as rapidly as possible, reporting, it is said, 
that they had been attacked and beaten off by all of 
Forrest's cavalry. 

Forrest, reporting to Lieutenant-General Taylor, his 
superior, the results of his expedition into Middle Ten- 
nessee, asked that General Chalmers, who had been de- 
tached from his command during his absence should be 
restored to it, to enable him to make another expedition 
into the northern part of West Tennessee with a special 
view toward the destruction of the Federal depot at 

All were now astir, shoeing horses and making other 
necessary preparations for the 


Our brigade (Bell's), setting out from Corinth early 
on the 1 6th, camped the first night at Purdy, the second 
a few miles north of Mifflin, the third near Lavinia, and 
the fourth .( 19th) eiglit miles further north, where ew 
halted two days. 

Meanwhile, Buford, having left Corinth on the 17th, 
with Lyon's Brigade and Morton's and Walton's Batter- 
ies, arrived at Lexington the 20th. Our brigade, hav- 
ing been ordered to join Buford at that place, was again 
put in motion about one a. .m. on the 2 2d. After march- 
ing back through Spring Creek, thence six miles in the 
direction of Lexington, the order was countermanded, 
and we again turned back and camped for the night 

494 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

within four miles of Spring Creek. Continuing our 
march north-east on the 23d, our brigade rejoined Bu- 
ford at Huntingdon on the 24th, where we again halted 
for three days. 

Setting out from Corinth on the i8th, General For- 
rest followed with his escort and Rucker's Brigade, 
under Colonel Kelly, en route for Jackson, by way of 
Purdy and Henderson Station, effecting a junction at 
the latter place on the 20th with Chalmers, who had 
about seven hundred and fifty men of Mabry's Brigade. 
The next day Forrest established his headquarters at 
Jackson, where Colonel Rucker, haying reported for 
duty, was reassigned to the command of his brigade,* 
which thereupon was reported again to General Chal- 
mers as divisional commander ; whereupon, he was 
directed to move his division to McLemoresville, some 
ten miles west of Huntingdon. 

Thursday, 2jth. — Buford's Division, with Morton's 
Battery and two twenty-pounder Parrott guns which 
had been brought up from Mobile for this expedition, 
moved from Huntingdon to Paris — twenty-four miles. 

Friday, 28th. — Continuing his march Buford arrived 
at Paris Landing, on the west bank of Tennessee River, 
just below the mouth of Big Sandy River, late that 
afternoon. After a careful reconnoissance, he estab- 
lished Bell's Brigade, with a, section of Morton's Bat- 
tery, at Paris Landing; while Lyon, with his brigade 
and the twenty-pounder Parrotts, was put in position at 
Fort Heiman, some five miles below, and the other sec- 
tion of Morton's Battery, under Lieutenant Brown, was 
posted some six hundred yards north of Lyon, with 

■•■■Which had' been commanded by Colonel Kelley during Rucker's absence. 
The latter -was wounded at Harrisburijr. 

OCTOBEE, 1864. 495 

orders not to disturb any transports or gunboats until 
the batteries were thoroughly prepared for action, nor 
then to fire until such steamer or steamers should have 
passed into the reach of the river between the batteries. 
The batteries were in position and ready for action 
by a little after nightfall. How anxious were the gun- 
ners to see a steamer pass, in order to have an oppor- 
tunity to try their skill. By and by, four transports 
were seen coming down the river. Each man was now 
at his place ready for the fray, when General Buford, 
coming up, said : 

Keep quiet, men^ keep quiet, don't fire a gun. These are empty 
boats going down after more supplies for Sherman's army. I want a 
loaded boat, a richer prize. Just wait until one comes up the river and 
then you may take her in if you can. 

On sped the steamers, unmolested, and soon passed 
out of sight, without knowing any thing about the lurk- 
ing danger. All was now quiet, and remained so for 
the rest of the night. 

Satia-day, zgth. — Daylight found Buford's Batteries 
well masked, and his men still lying in wait for the up- 
coming steamer. Finally, about half-past eight a. m., 
the long-looked-for hove in sight. It was the transport 
steamer Mazeppa, No. 55, heavily laden — with a barge 
in tow. "See how beautifully the blue smoke curls as 
she rounds the bend." At nine she passed the lower 
battery at Fort Heiman. Brown's section of Morton's 
guns was immediately opened upon her, followed 
promptly by the heavy Parrotts, commanded by Lieuten- 
ant W. O. Hunter, and with such effect that, her ma- 
chinery being speedily disabled, she became unmanage- 
able., and drifting to the opposite shore, was deserted by 
her crew. 

490 IJ. II. Ha.XCOCK's DlAKY. 

A daring feat was here performed by Claib West, of 
Company G, Second Tennessee. Getting on a slab, 
and usinof a chunk for a seat, he crossed the Tennessee 
by the aid of a paddle which he had made with his 
knife (in anticipation of this trip), and was lifted on 
board by the captain, who had remained with his boat; 
and' thus West was the first Confederate who boarded 
the Mazeppa. The captain, by order of West, imme- 
diately crossed to the west bank in a yawl, in which 
General Buford,* with a party of men, at once repaired 
to the Mazeppa, and taking possession, she was soon 
broueht across to the west bank of the river. She 
proved to be heavily freighted with flour, hard bread, 
blankets, shoes, clothing, axes, and other military stores, 
and by five p. m. the greater part of these were safely 
discharged upon the bank of the river. 

At this juncture, however, three Federal gunboats 
came upon the scene, and taking position out of range 
of our guns, shelled the landing and the Mazeppa with 
such vigor and precision that Buford found it expedient 
to burn the steamer, and address himself at once to the 
security and removal of the stores already landed. Set- 
ting the Mazeppa on fire, she was soon consumed, and 
shortly after sundown the gunboats withdrew down the 
Tennessee. Thus left in possession ot the field, our 
division worked all that night in hauling the captured 
supplies to a place of safety, with wagons and teams 
mainly impressed for the service from the neighborhood. 

On hoar.lin;,^ the steamer and seeing thai West had a demijohn, Buford 
called nut, " fhe supplies for the soldiers but the brandy for the Geiwral.''^ At 
this away went Claib with tlie demijoha and I3urord after him. The former, 
however, soon succeeded in getting out of sight of the latter by dodging among 
the cabins, and as soon as he iiad iilled his canteen he handed the demijohn over 
to the General. 

October, 1804. 497 

Siniday, jof/i. — The Second Tennessee was camped 
in a very nice wood, about one mile and a half or two 
miles from the river, on the north side of the Paris 
road. Our men were still hauling the supplies, which 
had been taken from the Mazeppa the day before, back 
to our camp. 

"Now, boys, if you will look at the good shoes, blankets, and 
clothing lying in heajos over our camp this morning, I think that you 
will decide that Buford's head was level when he would not allow our 
artillery to open on those empty boats which passed clown night before 
last, for at least one of them might have passed our batteries and 
stopped the loaded boat from coming into danger." 

"We are much obliged to Uncle Abe for the supplies that he sent 
to us by the Mazeppa." 

" Perhaps we had better return thanks to General Buford for mak- 
ing the requisition, and to Captain Morton for enforcing it." 

" Well, well, so 2ve get the supplies we will have no quarrel about 
7vho gets the thanks." 

Early in the morning another transport, the Anna, 
from above, passing Paris Landing, unaware of the 
snare in her path, drew the fire of Morton's section of 
three-inch rifles there; the heavy Parrotts next opened; 
but Buford. anxious to capture the boat uninjured, if 
possible, galloping to the bank, ordered her to come to. 
Promptly replying that he would do so, the pilot ringing 
his siornal-bell to that effect, Buford directed the firing- 
to cease. The pilot then cried out that he would round 
to at the lower landing, but really kept on his course. 
Speedily apprehending perfidy, Buford ordered the bat- 
teries to reopen ; nevertheless, the i\nna made good 
her escape from under fire, though well riddled and 
badly damaged. 

Several hours later the gunboat Undine came in sight, 
also from above, conveying the transport Venus, with 
two barges attached. Permitted to pass by a short dis- 

498 E. R. Haxcock's Diary. 

tance, the upper battery was turned upon the gunboat, 
which then engaged the Confederates with spirit lor 
nearly an hour, during which Bell's sharp-shooters were 
so actively employed that, under the effect of the three- 
inch artillery and Confederate riflemen, presently dropped 
down the river in contact with the battery at Fort Heiman, 
which was speedily found too formidable to attempt to 

A short time previous to this. Colonel Barteau had 
received orders to move his regiment from camp to 
Paris Landing. On arriving at that place a portion of 
our regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Morton, was 
sent down the river. Reaching a point some eight hun- 
dred yards below the landing, and throwing his men 
into line, Morton gave the famous command, " Dismount, 
and prepare, on foot, to fight a gunboat." He then 
deployed his men into line, several paces apart, along 
the bank of the river, to watch the maneuvering of the 
gunboat, which had withdrawn, with the* Venus, above 
and behind the bend of the river, from which position it 
began a noisy shelling of the upper battery, and also 
the wood in which the Second Tennessee was posted,* 
while at the same time repairing damages in the hull 

"•'■ You have now arrived at the time and place, my dear reader, where the 
career of the writer as a soldier was brought to a close. As the gunboat at the 
time of the shelling above named was about one mile below us, and consequently 
out of range, we were now engaged with small arms just at that time. In order 
to protect myself, as I thought, from the shells that were flying through the tim- 
ber, I took a seat on the ground (facing the river) just above a large tree. Soon 
after which a shell, passing only a few paces in front of me, fell and exploded 
some thirty or forty yards above, a piece of which, flying back, struck me just 
at the upper extremity of my right thigh, cut oft' the end of my backbone and 
lodged below my left hip, producing a severe, and our surgeon thought, a mor- 
tal wound. By my request B. A. High went after Dr. J. M. Hughes, our sur- 
geon, while some of the boys carried me back toward our horses. After being 
examined by our surgeon I was carried on a blanket by six of my comrades back 
to meet an ambulance, which Burt Willard had been sent to order up. The 


October, 1864. 499 

and steam-pipe. During this time, another transport, 
the J. W. Cheeseman, coming down stream, was speedily- 
brought to, disabled in her machinery by the artillery at 
Paris Landing. 

It was now about noon, and General Chalmers had 
just arrived with Rucker's Brigade and four guns (two 
of Rice's and two of Walton's), leaving Mabry's Bri- 
gade and Thrall's Battery at Paris. 

Being informed of the situation of affairs by Colonel 
Bell and Captain Morton, Chalmers ordered Colonel 
Rucker, who had, meanwhile, made a personal recon- 
noissance to the immediate vicinity of the Undine and 
Venus, and returning, reported the way practicable for 
artillery, to take the section of Walton's ten-pounder 
Parrot guns, supported by the old Forrest Regiment, 

boys bowed to the passing shells many times as they were carrying me oft, 
though none of them were hurt. 

Willard found an ambulance perhaps over a mile from the river, but the 
driver refused to go any nearer. Drawing his revolver, Willard soon made that 
driver believe that he was in more danger standing there than in driving toward 
those shells coming from the gunboat, therefore he made those mules move at a 
lively gait until he met the boys who were carrying me. I was then placed in 
the ambulance and taken to a house two and a half miles from the river, where 
our surgeons cut out the piece of shell (it weighs eight and a half ounces) late 
that afternoon. 

On November ist I was sent to Mr. E. J. McFarland's, on the Paris road, 
ten miles from Paris Landing, where I remained seven months. B. D. Ewing 
(Company C) remained with me. He proved to be a good and faithful nurse, 
for which I am yet under many, many obligations to him. 

I thus fell in the hands of strangers, though they proved to be good friends. 
I could not have asked better treatment of a brother than I received from Mr. 
McFarland, or from sisters than from Mrs. McFarland and her sister (the 
Widow McCormack) who was living with her at the time. I regret to say that 
Mr. and Mrs. McFarland are both dead. Mrs. McCormack was happily mar- 
ried to one Mr. Gus Sidebottom in 1867 or '68, and when last heard from was 
living in Paris, West Tennessee. How oft did she cheer me up during my 
lonely hours of suffering, not only by her presence and good company but also 
by her sweet music, both vocal and instrumental! I am under many obliga- 
tions, also, to Dr. Weldon for treating my case as best he could free of charge. 
Notwithstanding I was not able to sit up when the war closed, though believ- 

500 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

under Colonel Kelly, and Fifteenth Tennessee, and 
attack as quickly as possible. Dismounting", and taking 
a position under cover of the bushes, below the gun- 
boat. Colonel Kelly, opening a rapid fire, both upon the 
Venus and at the port-holes of the Undine with his 
rifles, attracted the attention of the enemy, while the 
artillery was moved up by hand into position, from 
which a vigorous fire was promptly opened, and main- 
tained with such precision that the Venus soon surren- 
dered to Colonel Kelly, while the Undine was driven 
to the opposite shore, in spite of her eight twenty-four- 
pounder Howitzers. One shot striking the bow, passed 
throuorh from stem to stern, and she had been forced to 
close her port-holes from the effects of sharp-shooters. 
Her officers and men not killed or wounded then es- 
caped ashore. Colonel Kelly, boarding the Venus with 
two companies, and crossing over, took possession of 
the Undine, raised steam, and carried both gunboat and 
transport to Paris Landing. 

ing that I could be moved home without serious injury, and having no money 
to pay my way, I requested Ewing to go liome and inform my brother, B. A. 
Hancoclc, that I was still living, and request him to come after me. Accord- 
ingly, Ewing went home, and soon after my brother came for me. Leaving 
Mr. McFarland's on the 28th of May, 1865, I was hauled on a cot in a wagon 
to the river, thence up the Tennessee by boat to Johnsonville, thence by rail to 
Nashville, and thence by wagon again until met by Mr. John F. Weedan, with 
a bed in his carriage, in which I was brought to my brother's, near Auburn, 
Cannon County, Tennesssee, arriving on the 3d day of June. 

Believing that there were loose pieces of bone in my wound that ought to be 
and would have to be taken out before I could ever recover I sent for Doctor 
Avant, of Murfreesboro. On the 2d of August, 1865, he took out nine pieces 
of my 'backbone, ranging in size from a grain of wheat to a grain of corn. On 
the 2d of November he took out three more pieces and on the ilth of April, 
1S66, one, and the last. After I had been confined to my bed for eighteen long- 
months my friends, for the first time, began to have some hope of my recovery. 
I was sufficiently recovered by the 30th of August, 1866, to start to school to 
Professor L. D. Stroud, at the Auburn Academy; and, contrary to the expecta- 
tions of all who saw me, I finally fully recovered from my wound. 

October, 18G4. 501 

During this time another gunboat, descending the 
stream at the sound of the conflict, came to anchor about 
a mile and a haH' abov^e Brigro-s' section of Rice's Bat- 
tery, which Chalmers had established several hundred 
yards south of the position that Morton's guns had held, 
and began a vigorous shelling of the Confederate posi- 
tion. Briggs' pieces being too far from the gunboat for 
execution, Chalmers directed them to be moved up to 
shorter range. Securing a good position, Lieutenant 
Briggs forced his adversary to weigh anchor and with- 
draw up the river. 

The Cheeseman had a small freight of commissary 
stores, including coffee, candies, and nuts, and a quan- 
tity of furniture.* Finding that she was too badly 
damaged for use, she was burned, after being unloaded. 
Finding that the Undine and Venus were not injured 
materially, either in hull or machinery, mechanics, 
gleaned from the command, as well as those on ihe 
Venus, were set to v/ork to place them in serviceable 
condition. A detachment of infantry had been on the 
Venus, ten of whom were killed or wounded, and an 
officer and ten men captured. The barges, being emp- 
ty, were destroyed. 

The day's work now being closed, Colonel Barteau 
moved the Second Tennessee back to their camp. 

■•■■The furniture, together will) such supplies as could not be carried away by- 
Forrest's command, for want of transportation, was distributed among the citi- 
zens of the vicinity. 

Volume II 

The following account of the movements of Forrest's Cavalry, as 
well as the Second Tennessee, from Paris Landing (where I was 
wounded) to Florence, Alabama, I take from Manuscript Notes of 
Colonel Barteau and "Campaigns of General Forrest" — 

General Forrest, coming upon the ground on the morning of the 
31st, with his habitual energy urged forward the pre])arations for mov- 
ing upon Johnsonville. Crews and officers were detailed from the 
command for the LTndine and Venus, upon both of which the Confed- 
erate flag was now floating, to the great delight of the men. 

Captain Gracy, of the Third Kentucky, commanded the Undine, 
and Lieutenant-Colonel W. A. Dawson the Venus, while upon the 
latter the two twenty-pounder Parrotts were placed as armament; and 
that afternoon General Forrest made a "trial trip" with his fleet as far 
as Fort Heiman, to see that all was in efficient service; and stopping 
there long enough to take on board the Venus a quantity of shoes, 
blankets and hard bread, which had been secured from the Mazeppa, 
he moved back to Paris Landing, satisfied that both boats were in ser- 
viceable condition, and orders were given for a general movement on 
the following morning. Lieutenant-Colonel Dawson, placed in com- 
mand of the fleet, was instructed to move slowly up the river, as soon 
as the cavalry and artillery had taken up their line of march along the 
bank, so that he might keep his steamers under cover of the batteries. 
Chalmers' Division, being in advance, was to be kept as close to the 
river as possible, to shield the steamers from an attack from above, 
while Buford, following Chalmers, was to cover them from any gun- 
boats which might come from the direction of Paducah. 

At noon on the ist of November, all were in motion, as directed, 
but a steady rain began to fall, and the roads, naturally rough and 
through a rugged country, became slippery and difficult. That night 
the Confederates encamped just south of the ruins of the railroad 
bridge over the Tennessee River, and the steamers were anchored 

504 Iv. R. Haxcouk's Diary. 

under the shelter of the field batteries ashore. A hard rain through 
the night, making the roads v.orse even than before, caused the troops 
to move slowly, and the fleet unfortunately steamed ahead of the sup- 
porting land batteries until at a sudden bend in the river, above Da- 
vidson's Ferry, they were brought into the immediate presence of 
three Federal gunboats, when an immediate animated collision ensued. 
The Venus, soon receiving a shot among her machinery and her tillei- 
rope being cut, became unmanageable, so that Colonel Dawson was 
obliged to run her ashore, and as the Undine, overmatched, fell back, 
he, with his crew, abandoned the Venus under a hot fire. She was 
then recaptured by the enemy with her armament (the two twenty- 
pounder Parrotts) and the stores that had been taken from the A'la- 
zeppa. In tlie meantime Chalmers threw his artillery into position at 
Davidson's Ferry in time to make an effective diversion in favor of the 
Undine, and the enemy, forced to forego their prey, bore off, taking 
the Venus in tow. After this untoward affair, resuming the march, 
the head of the Confederate column encamped that evening a mile 
below Reynoldsburg. 

Mabry, who had been directed several days previously to establish 
himself with Thrall's Battery and his brigade on the river above John- 
sonville, was now ordered to take position as nearly opposite to John, 
sonville as possible the next morning, keeping carefully out of sight of 
the enemy. Meanwhile, some light skirmishing occurred with several 
gunboats that were now hemmed in between Mabry on the south and 
Buford on the north, though without substantial results, and thus 
stood matters on the morning of the 3d, when five heavily-armed gun- 
boats appearing from below engaged in a sharp skirmish with our 
batteries, in the course of which shells were thrown quite three miles, 
from thirty-two-pounders, among the Confederates and their horses, 
with great din and uproar as they crashed through the dense, lofty 
forest trees of the country, but happily without harm.* For a time 

•'■ " Before day on the morning of the 3d of November, an amusing incident 
occurred with the regiment as we were encamped on tlie l)ank of the river. 
Five gunlioats came up and seeing our camp-fire commenced a furious shelling, 
which entirely took us by surprise. A regiment, being mostly new recruits, 
all 'stampeded' in hot haste, while my men engaged themselves in picking up 
the blankets, saddles, wearing apparel, etc., wliich they Left. The next day 
the new recruits claimed their property, but were soon put to shame by jeers 
and laughter. They snou were unwilling even to own that anything we had 
belonged to them." — Manuscript Notes of Colonel C. R. Barteau. 

"A good maay of our boys laid down their long guns and picked up the 

The Johnsonyille Expedition. 505 

the Undine took part in tlie conflict, and also two of the gunboats from 
Johnsonville, but the former having been struck as many as three 
times and being in close range of the gunboats, both from above and 
below, her crevi^ hurriedly turning the bow of their vessel to the bank, 
set her on fire and made off for their horses as fast as they could 
scamper, fonder of the trooper's saddle than ever before. And thus 
terminated the short-lived operations of "Forrest's Cavalry Afloat." 

By nightfall Forrest had concentrated his forces along the west 
bank of the Tennessee, opposite johnsonville. This bank, from which 
he expected to operate, is abrupt near the river about twenty feet above 
the level of the water, and descends as it recedes toward the west. 
It was thickly covered with heavy timber except immediately in front 
of t!ie depot, where the trees had been felled for some distance rear- 
ward to give range for their guns and prevent any hostile approach 
under their cover. Forrest was satisfied, after having made a close 
reconnoissance, that if he could get his guns in certain positions which 
he had selected he might readily destroy not only the depot and vast 
accumulation of supplies there collected, but also the gunboats and 
transports then at the landing. 

General Lyon was ordered to take Thrall's Battery (twelve-pounder 
howitzers), then near at hand, and establish it as near to the river bank 
as practicable, immediately opposite to the upper or southern part of 
the landing. Losing no time moving Thrall's guns as near to the de- 
sired point with horses as he might without risk of discovery, Lyon 
then pushed his pieces some three hundred yards nearer the river by 
hand and to within easy range of the steamers and gunboats. At the 
pomt thus secured the river bank fell off rapidly westward and formed 
a natural rampart, behind which Lyon sunk chambers for his guns and 
cut embrasures through the solid natural parapet in his front. The 

short Enfield rifles that this new regiment had left. A few days after tliis an 
order came from headquarters demanding the Second Tennessee to give up tlie 
guns belonging to this regiment. However, when tlie matter was explained to 
General Buford as to how we came in possession of the guns which had be- 
longed to these men, he would not allow the order to be enforced, but allowed 
our boys to keep the guns." — B. A. High's \'erbal Report. 

"A beef had been slaughtered but not issued to the men when the shelling 
commenced. It had been left not far from the camp. When this beef was re- 
vealed to one of the stampeders by a flash of lightning, he exclaimed, "There, 
by G — d, a shell has split a horse ivide open.'' He must have thought that that 
^vas a wonderful shell — to split a horse open and skin him at the same time." — 
D. B. Willard's Verbal Report. 

5 06 E. E. Hancock's Diary. 

men worked all night and with such alacrity that the battery was ready 
by eight a. m. on the 4th, completely shielded from the gunboats, but 
to some extent open to a plunging fire from the redoubt. 

Colonel Rucker was likewise directed to establish Morton's Battery 
just opposite Johnsonville, and to place Brigg's section of Rice's Bat- 
tery in position four hundred yards to the northward and the other one 
mile and a half below to protect the crossing of a shallow bar. Mor- 
ton's guns were sunk, like Thrall's, but the other sections were not so 
that they might be able to give chase to any steamer which should 
attempt to pass below or get by. Morton's guns had to be lifted and 
carried over the fallen timber for some distance before placing them 
in their assigned positions. Seeing that daylight would be upon them> 
before their work could be completed, Lyon and Rucker had con- 
trived artificial screens of beech bushes which skillfully intermingled 
with those already growing along the river bank, effectually masked 
their working parties. Meanwhile, Buford on the left^ or northward, 
and Chalmers on the right, held their men carefully concealed in the 
timber or behind logs and in the ravines, in supporting distance of the 

By noon all was ready on the Confederate side. Forrest then hav- 
ing the watches of his several subordinate commanders compared and 
set uniformly, ordered that his batteries should open fire simultaneously 
and precisely at 2 p. m. 

In the interval the gunboats from below had withdrawn out of 
sight; the three at Johnsonville were quietly moored at the landing, but 
with steam up and their upper decks covered with their officers and 
crew, the latter either busy scrubbing or washing their clothes. Strag- 
gling troops were sauntering about over the hillside or pacing the 
parapet of the redoubt; laborers were at work landing stores from 
transports and barges; passengers lounged upon the decks of the- 
transports, smoking or chatting, and some ladies were to be seen com' 
ing down the bank, evidently in anticipation of an early departure oni 

*"The Second Tennessee was not only with Buforcl here, but moved with 
his (our) division from here — by the way of Corintli, Iul<a and Cherokee to 
Florence. So let it be understood that when I mention Buford's Division I in- 
clude the Second Tennessee. At Johnsonville and all along the expedition the 
regiment (Second Tennessee) did its usual duty and aided as far as directed in 
capturing gunboats and transports. The greatest service was of course ren- 
dered by the artillery, and in many cases the cavalry had but little to do." — Man- 
uscript Notes of Colonel C. R. Barteau. 

The Johnsonville Expedition. 507 

some of the steamers, several of which were getting up steam. It 
Avas apparent that there was not the least suspicion of the impend- 
ing tempest, and that the Federals must imagine the Confederates had 
withdrawn from thei-r neighborhood without the ability of doing them 
any harm. Meanwhile, General Forrest anxiously surveyed the scene 
with his glasses until the moment for action had come. Then aiming 
with his own eye and hand a piece in Morton's Battery, at the ap- 
pointed instant ten pieces carefully trained upon the gunboats at the 
landing were discharged with such harmony that it could not be dis- 
cerned there was more than one report — one heavy gun. At the mo- 
ment several gunboats were just beginning to swing out into the stream 
as if for a cruise. Immediately steam and smoke poured forth from 
the boats and at every aperture from one of them, while her crew were 
seen jumping into the river nearest the shore and svrimming for the 
landing, showing that her steam apparatus was mortally hurt. Another 
of the gunboats turned toward the landing, and the ladies just ap- 
proaching the transports rushed wildly up the hillside toward the fort. 
Only one of the gunboats returned the fire, but the redoubt burst 
forth with a storm of shell, thrown with much precision. At the third 
discharge, however, of the Confederates' battery, the boiler of one of 
the gunboats not in action was evidently perforated, for the agonizing 
screams of the wounded and scalded were plainly heard across the 
broad river, but the Confederates plied their artillery with unabated 
energy, and the sharp-shooters joining in, their unerring rifles kept up a 
fierce, deadly fire at the ports of the gunboats, especially the one that 
gave battle. The conflict had now been maintained for an hour, and 
the guns of the redoubt, soon getting the range, threw their shells so 
accurately that several were dropped into the sunken gun-chambers, 
but without further harm than breaking the rammers in the hands of 
the gunners in two instances, for they sunk so deep before they ex- 
ploded that they did no injury. The two disabled gunboats were now 
wrapped in flames, and the commander of the third, after a stout con- 
test, unable to endure it any longer, ran her ashore, when she was im- 
mediately deserted by her crew, as the other two had been. 

Orders were now given to turn Morton's guns upon the redoubt and 
right speedily they were exploding their shells within its precincts, 
though a mile distant and elevated at least eighty feet above their level. 
By this time the burning gunboats having drifted against some loaded 
barges, these were quickly in flames, and Thrall's guns being turned 
upon two transports and some barges lying somewhat above the land- 
ing, soon succeeded in setting them ablaze; then their cables burning, 

508 R. R. Ha^s^cock's Diary. 

they went adrift and were carried by the current down stream in con- 
tact with another transport to which the fire was communicated, and 
thence spread in a little while under the influence of a brisk down- 
stream breeze to the other transports and barges at the landing. It 
was four p. m., and every gunboat, transport and barge was on fire. 

Thus far, as successful as could be hoped, Forrest directed his bat- 
teries to the main work in hand — the destruction of the warehouses 
and supplies ashore. Discovering a large pile of hay, a few det^tly- 
exploded shells kindled it into a consuming fire that soon spread to vast 
heaps of corn and bacon adjoining. And descrying farther up the 
slope a large pile of barrels under tarpaulins, suspecting that they con- 
tained spirits, Briggs' section, armed with James rifles, was directed to 
be brought to bear upon them, using percussion primers (captured 
from the Federals at Brice's Cross Roads). A few well-aimed shells 
were thrown with the happiest effect, for a blue blaze, unmistakably 
alcoholic, was quickly seen to dart from under the tarpaulins. At 
this a loud shout burst from the Confederates, though many doubtless 
were athirst for that which they saw swallowed up by the ravening fire. 
Soon the barrels began to burst with loud explosions, and the burning 
liquid ran in torrents of livid flame down the hillside, spreading a 
flame in its course toward the river and filling the air with the blended 
yet distinct fumes of burning spirits, sugar, coffee and meat. Mean- 
wliile, all the warehouses and buildings were ignited and the work of 
destruction efl'ectually accomplished; therefore, stopping the fire of his 
artillery, Forrest directed the main part of the cavalry to move rear- 
ward several miles to where his train was established and feed their 
horses. And after dark all the artillery except Briggs' section were 
likewise withdrawn to the same point — Rucker's Brigade being left as 
a support to the artillery section and to picket the river. The night 
was made almost as luminous by the conflagration as the day. 

Riding back to the river early on the morning of the 5th, Forrest 
had the satisfaction to see that naught remained opposite of the opu- 
lent depot of yesterday but the redoubt, gloomily surmounting and 
guarding with its wide-mouthed guns broad heaps of ashes and charred, 
smoking debris. Nothing was left unconsumed; neither gunboat, 
transport nor barge had escaped, and naught now remained of the large 
piles of stores that at noon of the day before had covered several 
acres of the surrounding slope. 

Briggs' guns were now ordered to be withdrawn, but as this was 
being done a regiment of negroes emerging from their covert, dis- 
played themselves upon the opposite bank in amusing, irate antics. 

The Johnsonvjlle Expeditiox 509 

Thereupon the section was halted and turned upon the absurdly frantic 
negroes, while Rucker's veterans, bringing their far-reaching rifles 
down upon them, one volley and a salvo speedily dispersed the howl- 
ing, capering crowd, who scampered away in the wildest confusion, 
but a number were left dead or wounded upon the river bank. This 
dreAv a few shells from the redoubt, but the Confederates moving off 
unharmed rejoined their companions. 

As results of this happily-conceived and well-executed operation, 
it remains to recount the destruction at Johnsonville of three gunboats, 
eleven transports and some eighteen barges, and of buildings, quarter- 
master's and commissary's supplies, according to the Federal estimate, 
to the value of over eight millions of dollars. Two transports, one 
gunboat and three barges had been captured and destroyed previously. 
This had been accomplished with the loss of the two twenty-pounder 
Parrotts, which fell into the hands of the enemy with the transport 
Venus upon her recapture, and two men were killed and four wounded. 

General Forrest had just received orders from General Beauregard, 
directing him to repair with his entire command to Middle Tennessee 
and form a junction with General Hood, between Florence and Co- 
lumbia, and with that object he now took the field, marching under a 
hard, chilly rain* some twenty miles that afternoon in the direction of 
Perryville, where he hoped to effect the passage of the Tennessee 
River. In spite of the fact that the roads were extremely deep with 
mud, the command reached Perryville by the afternoon of the 6th. 
Two yawls were brought up on wagons from the Undine, and with 
these the crossing began that night and continued during the yth, until 
about four hundred of Rucker's Brigade had been crossed. 

Meanwhile, some pontoons came up, and an effort was made to 
construct a raft with them that would carry the wagons; a srnall, frail 
flat also had been built ; but this and the raft proved to be unable to 
stand the driftwood with which the rapid current of the stream was 
flooded; and the river was still rising at the rate of two feet in twenty- 
four hours. Therefore, directing Rucker to move forward to Mount 
Pleasant to effect a junction with General Hood, Forrest, on the morn- 
ing of the 8th, determined to abandon the effort to cross the river at 
Perryville, and push forward to Florence. Chalmers was directed to 
move directly upon luka by the river roads in that direction, which 

■'•■"Severe cold weather was now upon us, yet, thanks to our General, we had 
drawn from the Federal stores an abundant supply of warm clothing." — Manu- 
script Notes of Colonel C. R. Barteau. 

510 K. K. Hancock's Diary. 

were found as bad as possible. Buford marched with his division by- 
way of Corinth. Artillery moved with both divisions. 

The rain still poured down in torrents as the Confederates pressed 
on over the clay hills of the country, and through the deep mud and 
mire, all weary and constantly wet to the skin; and one day so nearly 
impassable were the roads that, working from sunrise until after night, 
Morton's Battery was only transported two miles and a half. Unable 
to get fresh horses, the artillery teams were increased from twelve to 
sixteen horses to a gun ; and oxen being mipressed, eight of them 
were attached to a piece, after which there was less difficulty. Chal- 
mers finally reached luka with a part of Rucker's Brigade and the 
Fifth Mississippi, on the 13th; Mabry's Brigade having been detached, 
imder order from General Forrest the day before, to garrison the de|>ot 
at Corinth. Buford's Division arrived at luka the 14th.* On the 
1 6th, both divisions were ordered to move up to Florence, where 
Chalmers arrived on the afternoon of the 17th, having crossed the 
Tennessee on a pontoon bridge, constructed for General Hood's army; 
and his command, moving out, encamped two miles north of the town. 
Buford's Division did not cross until the morning of the iSth.f 

General Flood's army was found encamped on both sides of the 
river, and now busily engaged preparing for an advance movement. 

"The Army of the Tennessee" was divided into three corps 
(Stewart's, Cheatham's, and Lee's), consisting of 

An eft'eclive total of infantry 25,000 

An effective total of artillery 2,000 

Jackson's Division of cavalry 2,000 

Total 29,000 

* Manuscript Notes of Colonel Barteau. 

t By my request, Lieutenant Geo. F. Hager (Company G) very kindly agreed 
to write up the history of the Second Tennessee from here to the close of the war ; 
but he has been so pressed with his own business that he has not had time to 
comply with said request. This I exceedingly regret. He is so much better 
prepared to do the work, from the fact that he was with the regiment up to the 
surrender. Unfortunately, neither our Colonel nor Lieutenant-Colonel made 
any official report of the Hood Campaign. 

I have learned, moreover, through General Marcus J. Wright, that if Gen- 
eral Bell made any official report of the movements of our brigade, during said 
campaign, it cannot be found in the Confederate Archives at Washington. I 
shall proceed, however, and do the best that I can with the data which I have 
before me— depending upon Forrest's Campaigns for the movements of Forrest's 
Cavalry in general, and upon my surviving comrades for the part taken by the 
Second Tennessee, from this to the close of the war. 

Tke Hood Campaign. Ml 

To this force was now added Forrest's Cavalry, about three thou- 
■sand effectives, swelling the Confederate army about to take the field 
in Middle Tennessee to thirty-two thousand men, of which five thou- 
sand were cavalry; and over these General Forrest was placed in chief 
command, on the 17th. He now had six small brigades, as follows: 

Biffle's Demi-brigade (transferred from Jackson's Division) and 
Hacker's Brigade, under Chalmers ; Bell's and Crossland's Brigades, 
under Buford ; and Armstrong's and Ross' Brigades, under Jackson. 
Huey's Battalion, about one hundred and fifty men, recently recruited 
in Kentucky, was, about this time, added to Crossland's Kentucky 

Meanwhile, Jackson's Division was in advance on the Lawrence- 
burg road, about twelve miles from Florence; and, in order to procure 
forage for their horses, Chalmers and Buford moved in the same 
direction on the 19th. On reaching Butler's Creek, Buford found that 
a brigade of Federal foragers was also in that vicinity. Throwing out 
Crossland's Brigade, he soon came in collision with the enemy, who 
made spirited contest ; but it so happened that General Armstrong, of 
Jackson's Division, was in the same field, in quest of forage likewise, 
and, hearing the firing and making for the scene, suddenly fell upon 
the Federal right flank. Thus brought between two fires, the enemy 
fled precipitately across Shoal Creek, but the gallant Colonel Cross- 
land was once more severely wounded. Tom Sadler (Second Tennes- 
see) was also wounded. Chalmers and Buford camped near Prewett's 
Mill, where they rested on the 20th. 

The general advance having commenced, on the 21st, Bififle's Bri- 
gade moving on the left flank, took the Waynesboro road; while Chal- 
mers, with Rucker's Brigade, moved in front of Hood's infantry, on 
■what is known as the Middle or Henryville road. Buford and Jack- 
son moving on the right flank, in the direction of Pulaski, bivouacked 
near Lawrenceburg ; at which place they were confronted, on the 
morning of the 2 2d, by a Federal calvary force, estimated by scouts 
at four thousand strong. Driving in the enemy's skirmishers, Buford 
and Jackson arranged for an attack, that afternoon, upon the place. 

Immediately deploying their men in battle array — with Russell's 
Regiment and the Second Tennessee held in reserve — Buford moved 
upon the west and north of Lawrenceburg, while Jackson, at the same 
time, approached the town from the south, and an animated skirmish 
began with the enemy, found in line of battle on the road to Pulaski. 
However, the Federals, soon giving way, rapidly withdrew toward 

512 K. i;. Haxcock's Diary. 

Pulaski, leaving their forage in the hands of the Confederates, wha 
bivouacked near by. 

Pursuing in the direction of Pulaski, Jackson bivouacked within 
eight miles of that place on the night of the 23d, while Buford was on 
another road to the left of Jackson. On learning that the Federals 
were falling back toward Columbia. Buford and Jackson, turning 
nearly northward, on the morning of the 24th, moved in the direction 
of Campbellville. 

After halting during the 2 2d, at West Point, to await the arrival of 
the infantry, Chalmers, moving on the 23d toward Mount Pleasant, 
struck a Federal calvary force about three p. m., which, being put to 
flight, retreated upon a Federal brigade of cavalry encamped a few 
miles to the rear on the Mount Pleasant road. Chalmers soon found 
himself confronted by a force greatly his superior in number. Gen- 
eral Forrest, coming upon the scene, ordered Chalmers to advance and 
engage the enemy, sending Kelly with the old Forrest Regiment 
around the Federal left flank to gain their rear, if possible, while he 
[Forrest], leading his escort, some eighty strong, rapidly around the 
Federal flank, struck the enemy's rear, put a portion of the brigade to- 
flight, killed and wounded about thirty, captured sixty, and then fired 
upon other detachments from ambush as Chalmers drove them by his 
position. It was now after nightfall, and Forrest moved his whole 
force (his escort and Rucker's Brigade) back to the Federal encamp- 
ment, where he found an abundant supply of forage and rations aban- 
doned by the enemy. In the engagements of this afternoon Rucker's 
losses and those of the escort were five killed and thirty wounded ; 
that of the enemy quite four times that number, exclusive of some 
sixty prisoners. 

About two o'clock a. m. on the 24th, Rucker was again in the sad- 
dle with his brigade, and moving rapidly by way of Mount Pleasant, 
about daylight he overtook the Federal rear near the house of Gen- 
eral L. Polk, in the neighborhood of Columbia. Without making a 
stout stand they were presently borne back upon their fortifications 
and a large infantry force. This pursuit closed, however, with a gal- 
lant charge upon the infantry pickets that cost the life of the gallant 
Lieutenant-Colonel W. A. Dawson. 

In the meantime, on reaching Campbellville, about noon on the 
24th, Buford found in his front about four thousand Federal cavalry 
under General Hatch. Our General immediately attacked the enemy 
with Bell's Brigade and Huey's Kentuckians, or less than one thou- 

The Hood Campaign. 513 

sand men, and maintained a vigorous combat until Jackson came up, 
when both divisions, with a common aim though separate impulsion, 
were thrown upon their enemy. The effect was the complete rout of 
their adversary. In Buford's quarter of the field Newsom, charging 
with the Nineteenth Tennessee, dispersed several regiments and cap- 
tured more than one hundred prisoners; and Jackson's troops, press- 
ing the advantage, captured as many more, with their horses and 
equipments, four stands of colors, and sixty-five head of beef cattle. 

It was now late, and Buford and Jackson bivouacked, Armstrong 
at Lynnville, on the Nashville and Decatur Railroad, about fifteen 
miles south of Columbia, and the other brigades somewhat short of 
that place. They moved out early on the 25th in the direction of Co- 
lumbia. D. B. Willard (Company C, Second Tennessee), who was 
riding along a ridge in advance of Buford's Division, saw a line of 
Federal cavalry drawn up in battle array across a hollow to his right. 
He had, in fact, gone beyond the line before he discovered it. Turn- 
ing, he moved quietly for a short distance, and then rapidly until he 
met Buford. As soon as Willard reported what he had seen our Gen- 
eral threw forward a heavy line of skirmishers, dismounted, with Wil- 
lard to guide them to the enemy's position. At the first volley from 
our boys the Federals gave way and fled in the wildest confusion. 
The two divisions, then moving on, took position in the vicinity of 
Columbia, Buford's right (Bell's Brigade) resting upon Duck River 
and his left upon the Pulaski turnpike, and Jackson upon the Chapel 
Hill turnpike. Having thus invested the place, Forrest awaited the 
arrival of the infantry. 

Columbia was now occupied with the Fourth (12,000 strong) and' 
the Twenty-third (10,000) Federal Army Corps and Wilson's Cavalry 
(7,700), with heavy bodies of skirmishers in position behind a heavy 
line of rifle pits stretching around the town, about one mile and a. 
half from it. From an elevated position, in rear of Chalmers, the 
main body of the enemy were to be plainly seen, drawn up in three 
lines of battle. Nevertheless, though Buford and Jackson pressed 
their skirmishers back at several pomts on numerous occasions during 
the 26th and 27th, and had seized and held portions of their advance 
line, from which they had been expelled, yet there was no disposition 
manifested by the enemy to come to any serious engagement. 

A line of sharp-shooters, who were posted in holes dug in the 
ground for the purpose, was stretched across an old field a few hun- 
dred yards in front of Bell's Brigade. When any of our boys would 

514 E. R. Hancock's Diary. 

go in range of this line of sharp-shooters a volley would be poured 
forth from behind small mounds {made of dirt taken from the holes), 
though not a Federal could be seen. While going around and inspect- 
ing his line, General Forrest came to the position occupied by the 
Second Tennessee (on the right of Bell's Brigade), and inquired of 
Colonel Barteau, somewhat abruptly, why he had not moved up nearer 
the enemy's position. " /'l^/^^;-6'," continued Forrest, "/> the enemy V 
Our colonel mildly replied, "Ride with me, General, and I will show 
you where they are." General Buford rode with them. They had 
not gone, far, however, before a volley from the Federal sharp- shoot- 
ers, which luckily did no other harm only that of killing General Bu- 
ford's horse, convinced Forrest that the enemy was not as i'ar oft' as 
he had supposed. 

Biffle came up with his demibrigade and reported to Chalmers on 
the evening of the 26th. 

Meanwhile, all of General Hood's infantry having come up by the 
afternoon of the 27th, they relieved Forrest's Cavalry, which was then 
redisposed — Chalmers at Webster's Mills, about ten miles south-west 
of Columbia, Jackson at Fountain Creek, and Buford in the neighbor- 
hood of Berlin, on the Lewisburg turnpike. 

On the night of the 27th Forrest was ordered to attempt to throw 
the cavalary to the north bank of Duck River, early the next morn- 
ing, to cover the construction of the pontoon bridge for the passage 
of the infantry. Accordingly, Buford was instructed to pass the 
stream on the Lewisburg-Franklin turnpike, Jackson at Hall's Mill, 
nine miles east of Columbia (and west of Buford), Chalmers at Hol- 
land's Ford, two miles west of Jackson, while Forrest, with his escort 
and Bififle's force, vvas to attempt a ford two miles west of Chalmers. 

The enemy, however, had evacuated Columbia during the night 
and taken up a strong position on the north side of Duck River. The 
weather was cold and disagreeably wet. The fords of Duck River, 
all greatly swollen and swift, their passage was not only tedious but 
hazardous, for only the tallest horses could effect it without swimming. 
Notwithstanding the enemy had disputed their passage, Forrest, Chal- 
mers, and Jackson stood upon the north bank late that afternoon. 
Buford, however, found that while a strong Federal cavalry force stood 
upon a ridge a few hundred yards from the river, about twenty men 
were posted in a small temporary fort on the immediate north bank, 
so as to command the ford at which he had been instructed to cross. 
Therefore it was necessary to dislodge the enemy from that fort before 

The Ho<»d Campaign. 515 

be could effect a crossing. Accordingly Barteau was ordered to throw 
a portion of the Second Tennessee to the north bank of the river for 
that purpose. Logs were fastened together by means of ropes and 
halter-reins, and thus a raft was soon constructed, upon which the 
men were to cross. The Second Tennessee was now called upon to 
perform a daring feat — to face a double danger — that of being drowned 
while attempting to cross that swollen, rapid stream upon such a frail 
craft, as well as being killed by the enemy. It was thought that about 
twelve would be a sufficient number of men to cross, from the fact 
that they could be supported by those on the south bank. Not wish- 
ing to make a detail in a case of this kind, our colonel called for vol- 
unteers. Seeing that the boys were rather slow to volunteer, and not 
teing willing to call upon his men to go where he was not willing to 
share equally the danger with them, our noble and daring colonel 
said, "I will go, for one." More than the requisite number, imme- 
diately stepping forward, replied, "Colonel, you can remain on this 
side; we will go." The raft was soon after shoved from the bank 
with about twelve men upon it.* One rope broke, and it appeared 
that the raft was about to part asunder in the midst of the stream. 
Captain Sam Barkley ran down the river with a long pole, hoping to 
be able to reach our boys with it and thus float the raft back to the 
south bank. But. luckily, he found a canoe, into which he immedi- 
ately got, and was soon in front of the raft, which was then fastened 
to one end of the canoe, while Captain Barkley soon after chained 
the other end to the north bank; and thus they were all safely landed, 
some distance below the fort. By passing back up the river near the 
water's edge our boys were protected from the enemy's fire by the 
river bank, which they began to ascend on reaching a point near the 
fort, when, at the same moment, those on the south bank raised a yell 
and the Federals broke. Then leaping into their saddles the Second 
Tennessee swam the river and gave chase, led by Colonel Barteau. 
One of the Federals was killed and two or three captured, and thus 
the way was opened for the division to cross without the loss of a man 
on our side; though several of the boys got a ducking, and one of 
Company C — Coon Elkins — was thrown from his horse, and, perhaps, 
would have been drowned had he not been helped out. 

As it was now dark, and Buford had not yet learnedjthat the rest 
of our cavalry had crossed, he decided that he would not cross his 

* Bransford Evving and Mike Lorance went from Company C. Wish I could 
give the names of ail that gallant band. 

516 E. Ii. Hancock's Diary. 

division that night. Therefore Barteau was ordered to recross and 
bivouac on the south bank of Duck River. Had our colonel kr.ovvn 
when he first crossed the river that aid was so near at hand, he could 
have had quite a lively time; for, while Armstrong pressed on after 
the enemy northward, Jackson, turning eastward with Ross' Brigade, 
struck the Federals, whom Barteau had driven from Buford's front, 
capturing their field train, including ordnance wagons, a stand of reg- 
irnental colors, and about eighty men with their horses. Meanwhile, 
Chalmers, having moved toward the the north-east for some hours 
after dark, was directed by General Forrest to halt and bivouac about 
four miles from the river. Buford threw his division across by day- 
light on the 29th, and followed the other divisions toward Franklin. 
Chalmers and Jackson resumed the pressure upon the Federal cavalry 
toward Hurt's Cross-Roads, before dawn, the first by a narrow country 
road through the cedar thickets of that region, and the latter by the 
Lewisburg-Franklin turnpike. 

Meanwhile, the Federal commander, Schofield, had put his 
infantry in motion toward Franklin by the way of Spring Hill. 

Having thrown a pontoon bridge across Duck River last night, 
about three miles east of Columbia,* Hood was now moving, with 
Cheatham's and Stewart's Corps and one division of Lee's Corps, to 
intercept the Federal column at Spring Hill. The remainder of Lee's 
Corps was left to threaten an attack, and follow Schofield if he should 

In the meantime, Jackson, having come up with the Federal rear 
near Rally Hill, engaged with animation and drove the enemy stead- 
ily back in a series of well-contested combats. At the same time 
Chalmers had V:)een engaged in some sharp brushes with the Federals 
in his path. Buford havmg come up with his division, the whole Con- 
federate cavalry were now assembled near Hurt's Cross-Roads, in the 
immediate presence of a superior hostile force. 

An immediate attack was then ordered and a sharp encounter re- 
sulted, in which the enemy were borne steadily but doggedly rearward 
as far as Mount Carmel, on the Lewisburg-Franklin road. The coun- 
try, rocky and rugged, was thickly clad with cedars and difficult, of 
course, for cavalry movements, so that for the most part the fighting 
was on foot, which, however, was now Forrest's habitual tactics. 
Armstrong's Brigade, all fighting admirably, had here an obstinate 

* Military Annals of Tennessee, page 105. 

The Hood Campaign. 517 

combat, and Buford's men, including the Second Tennessee, were 
thrown into action with their accustomed vigor. Pressed back by 
their eager, indomitqJ)le enemy, now mounted, the Federal cavalry 
turned and stood at bay at several favoring positions, from which they 
were driven only after most obstinate contests up to within five or six 
miles of Franklin. Here, leaving several regiments in observation, 
Forrest turned off abruptly and moved swiftly across the country 
toward Spring Hill with the rest of his force. 

Meeting a small cavalry force, it was at once brushed back upon a 
large infantry command found in occupation of a long line of breast- 
works extending around east and south of Spring Hill, while another 
infantry column was known to be en route between that place and Co- 
lumbia, on the turnpike. Every disposition was now made to attack 
and check the infantry in movement, and some sharp skirmishing had 
taken place when General Forrest received a dispatch from General 
Hood directing him to attempt to hold the enemy in check at that 
point until Cheatham's and Stewart's Corps, then near at hand, should 
come up. The skirmishing, therefore, was continued with such effect 
that the enemy withdrew all their pickets and outposts behind their 
fortification, and about four o'clock p. i\i. , Forrest, dismounting his 
whole force, disposed of it as if in menace of a general attack. 

At length Cheatham's Corps of infantry came up, and Cleburne's 
Division being advanced and formed in line on the left of Chalmers 
and Buford, it was arranged that a serious joint attack should be made 
upon the Federal position. Chalmers and Buford, however, were 
nearly out of ammunition and the plan of attack was that after the onset 
Cleburne should hold the ground gained until the rest of the troops 
should come up. The attack was handsomely and successfully made, 
for after a sliort though stubborn stand the enemy yielded the position 
and fel! back upon a second line, which, however, was not a strong 

The Second Tennessee, led by Colonel Barteau, assisted by Lieu- 
tenanant-Colonel Morton, did their full duty here as well as at all 
other places where they had met the enemy since they had been mov- 
ing in advance of Hood's army. Our colonel was slightly wounded 
at Spring Hill, though not disabled. I regret that I am not able to 
give the loss of the Second Tennessee during this day's fighting, 
though Tump Polk (Company A, I believe) was among the number 
killed. Captain B. H. Moore (Company G) was knocked down, 
though not seriouslv hurt. 

518 E. R. Hakcock's Diary. 

It was now dark; Forrest's men, engaged in action since sunrise^, 
had exhausted their ammunition and were worn down from hard work, 
without intermission for the past week ; therefore they were withdrawn 
to feed their horses and bivouac out of immediate contact with the en- 
emy's pickets, the infantry being left to hold the ground acquired. 

About nine that night General Stewart's Corps came up to the im- 
mediate vicinity of Forrest's headquarters and these two officers rode 
together to General Hood's headquarters, a mile distant. On the way 
thither, however, Forrest was surprised to find that Cleburne's Division 
had been withdrawn from the position in which he had supposed it 
was to remain through the night and had gone into bivouac somewhat 
remote from it, leaving no Confederate soldiers interposed across the 
highway south of Spring Hill, and therefore throwing that road open 
to the rear divisions of the Federal army. At the same time, also, a 
dispatch overtook him from Jackson, who had been thrown round with 
his division across the turnpike northward of Spring Hill, reporting 
that being overmatched and pressed back upon the road, he stood in 
need of immediate aid. Buford and Chalmers having already ex- 
pended sixty rounds of ammunition during, the day, were without a 
cartridge. Forrest, therefore, hurried on to report the situation to the 
General-in-Chief. General Hood seemed surprised that Cheatham's 
Corps had not been held in position across the turnpike, declaring that 
he had so ordered it expressly. Turning to General Stewart, he in- 
quired whether he could not establish his corps in that position. There 
was some immediate obstacle, and the Confederate General now asked 
Forrest if he could not throw his cavalry upon the turnpike in time to 
check the Federal retreat. The cavalry general replied: "That as 
Chalmers and Buford were without ammunition their commands would 
be inefficient, leaving him only Jackson's Division for the service. That, 
luckily, had captured enough ammunition in its operations of the day 
for present purposes. But he would do the best he could in the emer- 
gency." General Hood then remarked that he would order his corps 
commanders to furnish the requisite ammunition. But upon applica- 
tion, it was found that neither Stewart nor Cheatham was able to sup- 
ply it; their ammunition trains, as well as Forrest's, had failed to come 
up. Returning to his own headquarters, Forrest found Jackson await- 
ing him. After a short consultation, Jackson, engaging to establish 
his division upon the road at Thom[)son's Station (about four miles 
north of Spring Hill), and endeavor to hold the rearward column of 
the enemy in check at that point, left at once with that object. Byr 

The Hood Campaign. 519 

midnight Jackson's guns began to be heard in an animated engage- 
ment in the north, and a continuous uproar of musketry resounded 
from that direction throughout the night, and never did so small a 
force (less than 2,000) fight more tenaciously or stoutly than Jackson's 
Division on this occasion. The force encountered (a heavy column of 
infantry pressing on toward Franklin) was too powerful, however, for 
Jackson's slender force. He was unable to do more than harass the 
masses that forced their way by him during the night and to oblige 
them to abandon a number of wagons, which he burned, while a con- 
siderable number of the enemy were killed and captured, and one oj 
his brigades (Ross') came upon and destroyed a train of cars near 
Thompson's Station. 

In his official report General Hood says that General Stewart was 
furnished with a guide, and ordered to place his corps across the road 
north of Spring Hill. In the dark and confusion he did not succeed 
in getting the position desired. About midnight, ascertaining that 
the enemy was moving in disorder, with artillery, wagons, and troops 
intermixed, Hood sent instructions to General Cheatham to advance 
a heavy line of skirmishers, still further to impede the retreat. 
"This," continues Hood, "was not accomplished. 

"The enemy continued to move along the road in hurry and con- 
fusion nearly all the night. Thus was lost a great opportunity tor 
striking him for which we had labored so long — the greatest this cam- 
paign had offered, and one of the greatest during the war. 

"Lieutenant-General S. D. Lee, left m front of the enemy at Co- 
lumbia, was instructed to press him the moment he abandoned his po- 
sition at that point. He did hot abandon his work until dark, show- 
ing that his trains obstructed the road for fifteen miles during the day 
and a great part of the night." * 

On the morning of the 30th, after procuring ammunition from Wal- 
thall's Division, Chalmers was at once detached across west of Spring 
Hill to the Carter's Creek turnpike to cover the left flank of the Con- 
federate army, while the Kentucky Brigade of Buford's Division was 
likewise detached to move with a similar object in connection with 
Hood's right flank, on the Lewisburg-Franklin turnpike. At the same 
time Forrest, with his escort and Bell's Brigade, moved directly in 
front of the infantry toward Franklin. About six miles in advance of 
Spring Hill he came up with Jackson, still hanging closely upon and 

*See "Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," by ex-President 
Davis, page 575. 

020 E. R. Hancock's Diary, 

harassing the Federal rear guard. Bell was then thrown forward to 
take part, and a continuous skirmish resulted for some four miles, un- 
til the enemy had withdrawn behind their lines in front, or south of 
Franklin. After a careful reconnoisance, Forrest returned to meet 
General Hood, whom he found at the head of his army three miles 
south of Franklin about one p. m. The whole army halted, and no 
movement occurred for at least one hour. 

Franklin lies in a bend and on the south side of the Harpeth River, 
on a gentle plateau. Immediately in front, or south of the town, a 
strong line of breastworks extended across the throat of the horseshoe- 
shaped bend in which Franklin is built. 

General Hood was of the belief that the main Federal force was 
already in rapid retreat, and that the apparent defensive preparations 
were merely counterfeit, with the view of gaining time to secure that 
retreat. 'i- His determination, therefore, was to defeat it by immedi- 
ately storming the place rather than to turn it. Accordingly, by four 
p. M., the preparations for that ill-starred operation were completed. 
As ordered, Forrest had formed Buford's Division, dismounted imme- 
diately on the right of Stewart's Corps of infantry, filling the space be- 
tween the Lewisburg turnpike and the Harpeth River, while Jackson's 
Division was thrown across that stream to engage the Federal cavalry 
on Buford's right. At the same time Chalmers' Division, including 
Biffle's Demi-brigade, was on the extreme Confederate left. 

Moving in line with the infantry, Buford soon came in collision with 
a heavy cavalry force, but advancing steadily after an engagement of 
more than half an hour, in which his men fought with their wonted 
steadiness, their immediate adversary withdrew across the Harpeth. 
While our division was advancing, as above named, the Second Ten- 
nessee, fighting admirably and ever well led, made several successful 
charges, in the last of which Colonel Barteau was slightly wounded in 
the temple. The ball cut a piece from his hat, a thick felt hat, that 
probably saved him from being killed or severely wounded. Captain 
B. H. Moore was severely wounded in the leg. Of the part taken by 
the Second Tennessee in the above action. Colonel Barteau says: 

•■■"Schofield was withdrawing. He had sent a part of his troops and a large 
part of his train to the north side of the Harpeth, but discovering that Hood 
was going to attack him, the Federal commander threw his men back into the 
fortifications just in time to meet the onset. This the writer has recently learned 
through a gentleman who had talketi with General Schofield about this affair 
since the war closed. 

The Hood Campaign. ' 521 

"At Franklin we were on the right,* and Armstrong was on the 
right of us. We took part, on foot, in several charges, with Arm- 
strong, mounted, on our right, in the commencement of the engage 
ment in front of the works." 

Jackson having called for aid, Buford was ordered to oblique to the 
right to his support. In the meantime, however, Jackson had gained 
a footing which he was able to hold, and Buford withdrew a few hun- 
dred yards up the river, where he fed his horses and remained for the 
rest of the night. 

Meanwhile, Chahners, on the left flank, drove in the skirmishers in 
his front, and charging, forced a detachment to give up a stone wall 
in advance and retire behind the breastworks. Pressing them hotly 
to within sixty yards of their line he was not strong enough to attempt 
to storm their present cover. He therefore established his own men 
under convenient shelter, from which he maintained an incessant 
skirmish in that part of the field. 

I take the following from the pen of Lieutenant-General A. P. 
Stewart : 

"The enemy were found in line around the place, strongly in- 
trenched, with open ground in front, and at some points an abatis of 
-osage orange or locust. The two corps and the odd division that had 
made the flank movement from Columbia the day before were dis- 
posed around the place in order of battle. The remainder of the 
third corps was held in reserve. About four o'clock the order was 
given by General Hood to advance, and the most furious and des- 
perate battle of the war in the West ensued. The enemy's first line 
was swept away, and the main line broken at one or more points, but 
restored by a most determined charge. Nothing but the line of in- 
trenchments separated the combatants, and of course retreat in this 
situation was impossible. 

"The struggle continued with more or less violence until nine 
o'clock, after which the fire slackened and ceased, and about three in 
the morning the enemy quietly withdrew, leaving his dead and wounded 
on the field. 

" Never was any field fought with more desperate courage on both 
■sides than this ill-fated one of Franklin. 

"Both armies lost heavily. On the Confederate side, among the 

■•■'I suppose that our colonel here means on the right of Buford's Division. 
I find that some of our boys think that the Second Tennessee was on the left 
•of our division. 

522 E. E. HajStcock's Diary. 

killed were Major-General Cleburne and Brigadier-Generals Gist^ 
Adams, Strahl, and Granbury. Among the wounded, Major-Genera^ 
Brown, Brigadier-Generals Carter (mortally), Manigault, Quarles, 
Cockrill, and Scott; Brigadier-General Gordon, captured."* 

The loss of Forrest's Cavalry in this mortal battle was light com- 
pared with that of the infantry, which, including some seven hundred - 
prisoners, was over six thousand. The enemy, fighting from behind 
excellent cover, suffered lightly, according to their reports, having lost 
not more than two thousand three hundred and thirty-six, of which 
eleven hundred and four were prisoners. 

" We cannot give the exact losses of Forrest's Divisions at Frank- 
lin. Chalmers' Division, however, had lost (killed and wounded) 
one hundred and sixteen officers and men ; and Buford's, ninety-one, 
in the several affairs in which they had been engaged in the past 

It having been discovered (December ist) that the enemy had 
evacuated the position, the cavalry were at once ordered to move in 
vigorous pursuit. Accordingly, Chalmers, still holding the left flank, 
was directed to bear leftward to the Hillsboro-Nashville turnpike, and 
follow it to the latter place; Buford, thrown across the Harpeth right- 
ward of Franklin, in conjunction with Jackson, at the same time hung 
close upon the Federal cavalry on that flank east of the Franklin 
highway. Forrest moved with this force. Coming up with their 
adversary within four or five miles, several sharp bits of fighting re., 
suited, as the hostile cavalry was forced back toward Brentwood, and 
in that vicinity Buford and Jackson, co-operating, made several dash- 
ing charges. The Second Tennessee, led by our daring colonel, 
making a dashing charge, mounted, completely routed the enemy in 
their quarter of the field. + These threw the Federal column into a 
good deal of disorder, while as many as three stands of colors and a 
hundred prisoners, with their horses, were won on these occasions. 

* Military Annals of Tennessee, page 105. 

t Campaigns of General Forrest, page 629. 

t D. B. Willard, who was a skirmisher on the extreme right, captured one 
man and five horses. As he was taking his prisoner back to the guards another 
Confederate wanted to "prowl him." "No," said Willard, '■'■ you cannot proivj 
this prisoner while he is in f>iy possession." After he had been turned over to the 
guards this prisoner shewed how highly he appreciated the above remark by 
making Willard a present of seventy dollars in ''greenbacks,'' saying at the- 
same time, " I had rather ior you to have this money than any other living man,''''' 

The Hood Campaign. 523^ 

On Chalmers' flank, slight or no impediment was encountered. When 
within six miles of Nashville, however, the cavalry divisions were 
halted and thrown into position for the night, directly in advance of 
the infantry, on a line stretching from the Nolansville turnpike on the 
right across a distance of six miles to the Granny White turnpike. 

On the next morning (December 2d), Chalmers, including Bififle, 
moved up early to the immediate vicinity of Nashville, on the Hills- 
boro and Harding turnpikes, wjiile Forrest advanced with Buford and 
Jackson, by the Nolansville road, to within three miles, but in full 
view of the State-house. 

Having been relieved by the infantry about midday, Buford's 
Division (now reduced to about one thousand effectives) was directed 
to destroy the stockades on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, 
while maintaining a chain of pickets on the right of the Confederate 
army across to the Lebanon turnpike. Intrusting this service to Bell's 
Brigade, Buford moved promptly with his Kentuckians to attack the 
block-houses. In disposing his pickets, Colonel Bell ordered the 
Second Tennessee to take post on the Murfreesboro turnpike five 
miles from Nashville and one mile north of the Insane Asylum. As 
General Buford was then moving with the Kentucky Brigade to attack 
the block-house known as No. i, five miles from Nashville, the Second 
Tennessee moved with him. He crossed the railroad a little south of 
the block-house, and thence turning northward he deployed his men in 
line behmd a ridge only a few hundred yards east of the block-house. 
Buford ordered Barteau to halt and aid in the attack upon block-house 
No. I before moving to his picket post, which was then less than a 
mile distant. This block-house proved to be capable of a prolonged^ 
formidable defense. Cruciform in figure, its walls were built of un- 
seasoned oak timber at least three feet thick, upon which field artillery 
made little impression, and as the roof of the structure was well covered 
with earth, it would have been a difficult matter to set it on fire. It 
appears that General Buford had unthoughtedly neglected to tear up 
the railroad as he crossed it, for soon after he had crossed a train of 
cars came up from the direction of Murfreesboro with negro troops, 
who, leaping from the cars, ran into the block-house. General For- 
rest, who had halted on the west side of the railroad, seeing this, 
came dashing around to where Buford was, evidently in a bad humor 
because the latter had thus allowed the block-house to be reinforced. 
On reaching the scene he ordered Buford to take the block-house with 
his Kentucky Brigade, or both if necessary. "How do you expect me 

524 R. E. Hancock's Diary. 

to take it, General?" inquired Buford. '■'Stop the port-holes with rails 
and burn it" was the prompt and emphatic reply. Barteau was then 
ordered to throw forward one-fourth of his men as skirmishers, who, 
advancing steadily and taking advantage of the best cover at hand, 
opened fire at the port-holes.* The men now evidently expected to 
be called upon to at least make an attempt to carry out Forrest's order, 
though the operation was regarded by all present as very dangerous, 
if not impossible, and therefore the or.der was received with a great 
deal of dissatisfaction. But in place of ordering his men to storm the 
fortalice, Buford ordered Captain Morton to pound it with his battery, 
which was immediately thrown forward upon the ridge, supported by 
the Second Tennessee. Thus invested and battered by Morton's guns, 
on the morning of the 3d the garrison capitulated — some eighty officers 
and men. 

The Second Tennessee received the surrender, and it was then 
learned that about ten of the garrison had been killed and twenty 
wounded. So far as I know there was not a man of our regiment 
hurt, though perhaps one of Captain Morton's men was killed and 
one wounded. 

While Buford moved southward with the Kentucky Brigade the 
Second Tennessee moved over to picket the Murfreesboro turnpike, 
where thev remained until called off to go with Forrest to Murfrees- 
boro on the morning of the 5th. They were not molested by the en- 
emy during these two days and nights. Notwithstanding they were 
on picket duty, it was rest compared with what they had been doing 
for the last ten days. 

No. 3 was next essayed by Buford, as also No. 2 — the block-house 
on Mill Creek — and both succumbed, after some delay and parley, on 
the morning of the 4th. All three were destroyed. Two hundred 
and fifty officers and men had been taken from the three block-houses. 
Leaving a detachment of two hundred and fifty men, under Colonel 
Nixon, to guard and picket from the Murfreesboro road to the Cum- 
berland River, Forrest set out on the morning of the 5th, with Jack- 
son and Buford, for Murfreesboro. At Lavergne Jackson was ordered 
to move around to the south-east of town and reduce a redoubt in that 
quarter, while Forrest himself, with Buford, beset block-house No. 4, 
which guarded a trestle-bridge over a creek near that place. At the 

*"I," says J. W. Hays, Company C, "happened to be No. 4, and as I 
started off with that skirmish line I said to one of our company, 'Please see 
that my horse is sent home, for I never expect to have any more use for liini.'' " 

The Hood Campaign. 525 

usual formal demand to surrender the work was yieWed, with forty 
officers and men; and in the same way the redoubt surrendered to 
Jackson, with eighty prisoners, two pieces of artillery, several wagons 
and teams, and a considerable store of military supplies. The block- 
house and a number of barrack buildings having been burned, the ex- 
pedition was resumed, but the force was strengthened by General 
Wm. B. Bate's Division, ordered toco-operate. Another block-house, 
at Smyrna Station, was captured and destroyed by a cavalry detach- 
ment, and thirty-five more prisoners were added to those already taken 
that day. That evening the cavalry approached within four miles of 
Murfreesboro, but the infantry was unable to reach the scene until the 
next morning. 

Soon after the infantry came up in front of Murfreesboro, on the 
morning of the 6th, it was formed in line, and promptly throwing for- 
ward skirmishers, offered battle, which, after some feeble skirmishing 
for two hours, the enemy refused unless attacked in position, and ac- 
cordingly suspended firing. Meanwhile, after making a careful, close 
reconnoissance, Forrest de'cided that the works were really impregna- 
ble to the force at his disposition, occupied, as they were known to be, 
with full eight thousand men, under General Rousseau. 

In reference to the operations of the Second Tennessee during the 
6th, Colonel Barteau says: 

"We were skirmishing most of the day around Murfreesboro, our 
position being at first near the center. General Bell and myself were 
together a great deal, and moving wherever it seemed necessary, en- 
gaging the enemy at different points. Toward evening the Second 
Tennessee was placed on the extreme left. Mv orders were to watch 
and checkmate any movement of the enemy to flank around in that 
direction, or get to our rear. 

"At nightfall, while the balance of the troops were withdrawing to 
go into camp, I was ordered to reconnoiter and see what the enemy 
were doing, apd report. I took a detachment of men with me and 
stationed them along, two or three at a place, on the route we would 
follow back. One of my men, going ahead, soon returned and re- 
ported a scout of Federals or other force approaching a field of open 
timber ahead of us. After waiting some little time I concluded to go 
forward and ' sec for myself .^ I only asked this one man to volunteer 
to go with me (and wish now I could recall his name). We had pro- 
ceeded some distance when my horse, jumping a ditch, made one of 
those peculiar snorts that 'Old Selim' was noted for. Simultaneously 

520 11. E. Hancock's Diary. 

a shot from ariiong the timber struck me. I had my pistol in hand, 
but the violent jump across the ditch and the shot had disarmed me, 
and wheeling around 1 recrossed quietly at another place and rode to 
camp with considerable pain. This ended my service in the war.'' 

So it was in front of Murfreesboro, on the 6th of December, that 
our dear colonel led the Second Tennessee for the last time ; "yet we 
did not think so at the time, not anticipating that the struggle was so 
near its end, but all fondly hoping to see him again at the head of the 
reo-iment. He did not fully recover until some time after the close 
of the war. 

"The command of the regiment during the retreat devolved on 
Lieutenant- Colonel Morton, who always commanded the highest re- 
spect and utmost confidence of General Forrest, perhaps receiving 
more complimentary notices from his superiors than any other lieu- 
tenant-colonel on the line."* 

After nightfall, General Buford, with the Kentucky Brigade and a 
part of Bell's Brigade, including the Second Tennessee, moved around 
to the Double Springs on the Woodbury turnpike, three miles east of 


That evening Forrest was slightly reinforced by two small infantry 
brigades (Sear's and Palmer's), about one thousand six hundred men, 
■making his force now about six thousand five hundred strong, of all 
arms. It was late, however, and no further operations were attempted 
that afternoon. 

Taking post early on the morning of the yth, with Palmer's Brig- 
ade (infantry) on a hill southward of the Wilkerson turnpike, two 
miles from Murfreesboro, General Forrest presently observed a heavy 
hostile column swiftly emerging from Murfreesboro by the Salem road. 
At the moment the Confederates were s])read over a crescent reaching 
from the Woodbury turnpike (Buford's position on the east) to Palmer's 
position. A new disposition was necessary to meet the menaced at- 
tack. Retiring Palmer rapidly to the north side of»the Wilkerson 
road, Forrest threw forward a line of battle extending from Overall's 
Creek in the direction of Murfreesboro. It was formed of Bate's Di- 
vision and Sear's and Palmer's Brigades, with Jackson's Division of 
cavalry, a brigade disposed on each flank of the infantry. 

Meanwhile, the enemy moving handsomely forward, drove in the 
Confederate pickets and pressed vigorously forward to grapple with 

*See sketch of Second Tennessee hy Lieutenant Geo. F. Hager in Military- 
Annals of Tennessee, page 622. 

The Hood Campaign. 527 

the main line. From some inexplicable cause the Confederate in- 
fantry, except Smith's Brigade (though veterans of every hard-fought 
field in the West), fell into disorder, and did not stand to meet the 
■oncoming charge. In this emergency Forrest dispatched Major 
Strange to General Jackson,* to acquaint him with the critical situa- 
tion, and to say that all depended upon the staunchness and gallantry 
of his division. With admirable spirit was the responsibility accepted. 
Ross' Brigade was instantly thrown forward in front, while Armstrong 
attacked vigorously on the right flank and rear, and such was the res- 
olution and vehemence of these charges that, first checking, they pres- 
ently forced the enemy to give back and yield the field. 

While this was going on Buford, about midday, moving down the 
Woodbury turnpike with some five hundred men and Morton's Bat- 
tery, halted and dismounted his men within about four hundred yards 
•of College Hill. Then deploying Bell's Brigade on the right and the 
Kentuckians on the left of the turnpike, he drove the enemy steadilv 
back, until his skirmishers penetrated to the heart of the town. 
Meanwhile, Morton's Battery had been thrown into position at the 
■college in the eastern verge of the place, supported by the Second 
Tennessee. A heavy infantry force was now thrown against Buford's 
position, and a hot engagement ensued until about two p. m., when 
the order from Forrest reached Buford to withdraw imu:ediately and 
form on the Confederate left, north of town. As nearly every horse 
of one of Morton's guns had by this time been killed, it appeared 
that that piece would have to be left on the field; but the gallant caj)- 
tain said, " I will take off my gun or die in the attempt." The Second 
Tennessee never had deserted Morton, nor did they desert him now. 
A part of the regiment held the enemy in check, while others helped 
Captain Morton to take off his gun by hand. Billie Nichol was 
among the killed of our regiment, and Coon Huddleston (both from 
'Company G) was among the wounded. J. W. Hays and R. M. Han- 
cock (Company C), being on the extreme right of the skirmish line, 
where the Liberty turnpike enters town, narrowly escaped c.ipture. 
As soon as Morton's Battery was out of danger, Buford ordered his 
men to fall back to their horses and mount. Being ordered to cover 
the retreat, the Second Tennessee made a handsome charge, mounted, 
led by Lieutenant-Colonel Morton, driving back the Federal advance. 

■•■■At the same time General Buford was ordered to withdraw from the east 
and join the Confederate left flank north of town. 

528 K. R. Hancock's Diary. 

Falling back a short distance, Morton deployed his men into line, 
gave the enemy another volley, and then withdrew again. These 
evolutions of the regiment were performed in superb order and style.* 
The enemy now withdrawing pursuit, Buford, according to Forrest's 
orders, crossed the Liberty turnpike and joined the Confederate left 
north of town. He did not reach the scene, however, until after 
Jackson's Division had so handsomely repulsed Milroy and brought 
his daring sortie to a baffled close. The infantry were withdrawn to 
Stewart's Creek, eight miles north of Murfreesboro, but the cavalry biv- 
ouacked in their former position before that place. 

For several days following the cavalry remained in position before 
Murfreesboro, but without noteworthy collision with the enemy. In 
the meantime. Bate's Division was recalled to its corps at Nashville, 
and a small brigade under Colonel Olmstead was substituted. Forrest 
now had three small brigades of infantry. On the loth, Buford was- 
detached with his Kentuckians to take post at the Hermitage and 
establish pickets along the Cumberland, above the mouth of Stone 
River, so as to obstruct the navigation of the former stream above 

As a part of Company C, Second Tennessee Cavalry, had not had 
the pleasure of visiting home and friends for nearly three years, and 
as they were now within from fourteen to twenty-two miles of that 
dear spot, home, the temptation was too great; all, except Lieutenant 
J. S. Harrison, went home, notwithstanding they were in great danger 
of being killed or captured at any time after leaving the command. 
As Lieutenant Harrison's home was more remote, and hence more 
dangerous to reach, therefore, he did not wish to make the attempt. 
He was left alone, however, only two days and one night, for true to 
their colors, as well as their promise, our boys began to return to camp 
the next evening, though two failed to return — J. E. J. Hawkins was 
killed near Auburn and J. W. Stevens was captured and sent to prison. 

Jackson having been thrown south of Murfreesboro with his divis- 
ion, Ross' Brigade, on the 15th, surprised and captured a train of 
cars en route from Stephenson, freighted with subsistence for the garri- 
son at Murfreesboro. It was gallantly defended by the Sixty-first 
Illinois Infantry for a time but overcome : one hundred and fifty of 
their number were captured, while the rest secured refuge in a strong 
block-house near by. About 200,000 rations fell into the hands of 

*Miss Joe Eaton, of Murfreesboro, and Miss Tennie Bethel, of Woodbury,, 
braved the danger of shot and shell and came off with the Second Tennessee. 

TnE Hood Campaign. 529 

the Confederates, who had, however, to destroy the greater part, as 
well as seventeen cars and the locomotive. 

On the evening of the 15th General Forrest received an order from 
General Hood to hold his force in hand ready for the emergencies of 
a general engagement which had then commenced at Nashville. 
Whereupon the immediate concentration of his command was directed 
to take place at Wilkerson's Cross-Roads, six miles distant ; and that was 
effected, with the exception of the Kentuckians absent with Buford, dur- 
ing the next day. And happily so, for that night a staff officer brought 
intelligence of the disastrous issue of the battle for the Confederates, and 
orders for Forrest to fall back by way of Shelbyville and Pulaski. 

Buford was now ordered to retire through Lavergne, and cover For- 
rest's rear until the artillery and wagon train were well in motion. 
But as his sick and baggage train were at Triune, about fifteen miles 
west of Murfreesboro, Forrest fortunately did not take up his line of 
retreat through Shelbyville, but by way of Lillard's Mills, on Duck 
River, while Armstrong's Brigade was detached to push across at once 
to Hood's rear. The three brigades of infantry (many of them were 
barefooted) and Ross' Brigade of Cavalry moved with Forrest. He 
was encumbered with four hundred prisoners, one hundred head of 
cattle and four hundred hogs. Reaching Lillard's Mills, Duck River 
was found to be rising rapidly. Pressing the passage at once and 
vehemently, after the prisoners, cattle and about half the wagons had 
been thrown over, the stream became unfordable and Forrest was 
obliged to move westward to Columbia to secure a crossing for his 
other baggage and ordnance trains and artillery. 

While these detached operations were taking place under the imme- 
diate direction of General Forrest, Chalmers had remained with his 
division distributed upon the right and left flanks of the Confederate 
army, in front of Nashville, his headquarters on the Harding turnpike, 
about four miles from the city. 

About the 3d of December, with three hundred men of Rucker's 
Brigade and Briggs' section of artillery, Lieutenant-Colonel Kelly cap- 
tured two transports about tweh'e miles below Nashville, from which 
he secured fifty-six prisoners and one hundred and ninety-seven horses 
and mules before the steamers were wrested from his hands by four 

The battle in front of Nashville was fought on the 15th and i6th of 
December. When Hood's left gave way, Rucker's Brigade narrowly 
escaped capture. While covering Hood's left flank, north of Brent- 

530 R. K. Haxcock's Diary. 

wood, Colonel Rucker was wounded, his horse fell, and he was cap- 
tured a little after nightfall on the i6th. Fortunately the Federal 
cavalry were not handled with resolution, and bivouacked after being 
driven back for a mile by the Seventh Alabama. Had they been 
pressed forward with all their redoubtable numbers (nine thousand), 
they must have inflicted irremediable damage that night upon General 
Hood's army. Doubtless the impression adroitly given by Rucker of 
Forrest's presence had a material effect in staying the movement, for 
Forrest was not a soldier whom they were willing to meet in the dark 
or with unlaced harness. 

Of the battle in front of Nashville, General A. T. Stewart, who 
commanded one corps of Hood's army, says : 

"The Federal commander at Nashville had in his department an 
effective strength of eighty thousand, while the army of Tennessee 
was now reduced to twenty-three thousand and fifty-three 

"On the 15th the enemy, in greatly superior numbers, moved out 
from their 'elaborate fortifications' and attacked Hood's line on both 
flanks, the main assault being directed against his left. Toward even- 
ing the infantry outposts and unfinished works on the left were carried. 

"During the night a new position was selected and occupied. The 
following morning a general attack was made along the Confederate 
front, which was repulsed. In the afternoon the enemy concentrated 
a number of guns on an exposed point, and massed a body of infantry 
against it. Under cover of the artillery fire this body charged and 
broke through the Confederate line, which soon afterward gave way 
at all points.-'^ ^ 

"At first, of course, there was more or less confusion, but order 
was soon restored. f 

"Confidence in the ability to hold the line had caused the artillery 
horses to be sent to the rear for safety, and the abandonment of the 
position was so unexpected and sudden that it was not possible to 
bring forward the horses to remove the guns which had been placed 
in position, and fifty-four of them were lost. Our loss in killed and 
wounded was small. 

"At Brentwood, about four miles from the field of battle, the 
troops were partially rallied, and Lieutenant-General S. D. Lee took 
command of the rear guard and encamped." J 

I have not been able to find the loss on either side during the two 

*About 3.30 F. M. t Military Annals of Tennessee, page 106. 
I " Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," by ex-President Davis, 
page 578. 

Thk Hood Campaigx. 531 

days fighting around Nashville, as given by any Southern writer, but 
a Northern writer puts our loss as follows : 

"Thomas, on the 15th of December, moved from his works, fell upon 
the Confederate army and routed it with a loss, in killed, wounded, 
and prisoners, of more than twenty-five thousand men."* 

At Murfreesboro, on the morning of the i6th. Colonel Wilson's 
regiment was detached from Bell's Brigade with instructions to go into 
the south-eastern portion of Wilson County in search of a Federal 
Tennessee regiment, commanded by Colonel Blackburn. J. W. Ken- 
nedy (Company C, Second Tennessee), who lived in that portion of 
Wilson, went with Colonel Wilson as guide. They bivouacked that 
night at the Widow Jarman's, twelve miles northeast of Murfreesboro 
and within two miles of Cainsville. Soon after starting the next morn- 
ing, Wilson learned that Blackburn was in Cainsville, but before the 
former reached that place the latter had withdrawn in the direction of 
Statesville. About one mile and a half beyond Cainsville, Wilson was 
overtaken by a dispatch from Forrest announcing the defeat of Hood 
at Nashville, and ordering him to return to the command immediately. 
Sending a man to recall his advance guard, Wilson there turned back. 
Before being recalled, however, the advance guard had seen Black- 
burn's men (estimated at one hundred and fifty) busily engaged feeding 
their horses in Rev. A. Ivey's lot, about one mile beyond where Wjlson 
had turned back. Without raising any alarm or being observed by the 
enemy, they were hurrying back to report the situation to Colonel 
Wilson when they met the sad news that the regiment had turned 
back. When they overtook Wilson and informed him of the above 
facts, that gallant officer said: "Had I known that, I would have at- 
tacked them, even at the risk of having to disband my regiment to get 
out of here." But it was then too late, for he had ridden several miles 
before those who had been in advance overtook him. Crossing the 
Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad north of Murfreesboro and then 
pressing on nearly all that night in the direction of Columbia, Wilson 
struck Hood's army the next day (iSth) between Rutherford's Creek 
and Duck River, where he halted and fell in with the rear guard, f 

*See History of the United States, by John C. Ridpath, page 527. Capitals 
mine. We have to use algebra to find how many men Hood had left, thus; 
23,053 — 25,000=1,947. In other words, he lost 1,947 more than he had. 

tThe writer is under obligations to J. R. Mathes for the above account of 
Wilson's movements. He was with Wilson's Regiment during the movement, 
and it was he who saw Blackburn's men in Ivey's lot. Soon after this he joined 
Company C, Setond Tennessee. 

532 R. R. Hancock's Diary. 

For the last several days before leaving Murfreesboro, the Second 
Tennessee had been encamped in Baird's lot, between the Liberty and 
Lebanon turnpikes, northeast of town. 

According to orders from Forrest, Colonel Bell set out on the after- 
noon of the 1 6th from his camp north of Murfreesboro, with Bar- 
teau's, Russell's and Newsom's regiments, to report to Hood in front 
of Nashville, t Bell struck the Nashville turnpike about six and a half 
miles from Murfreesboro, and thence moving in the direction of tlie 
former place, he halted at Lavergne about two hours awaiting the ar- 
rival of General Buford with the Kentucky Brigade. That officer not 
making his appearance, however. Bell resumed his march. Turning 
westward about two miles beyond Lavergne, Bell struck the Nashville- 
Franklin turnpike a little north of the latter place, and thence turning 
toward Nashville, he found Hood's rear at Hollow Tree Gap, five 
miles north of Franklin, a little before day the next morning. Here 
he also found Nixon's Regiment, which, as previously mentioned, had 
been doing picket duty on Hood's right, from Dogtown to the Cum- 
berland River. Russell and Nixon were posted at the gap, and the 
Second Tennessee halted five or six hundred yards beyond, while 
Newsom was thrown still further north on picket. 

Hood's infantry were put in motion, early on the morning of the 
17th, along the Lewisburg and Franklin turnpikes; and by three 
o'clock A. M. Chalmers' cavalry were in their saddles, following and 
covering the rear on both roads. 

It being a favorable position. General S. D. Lee, who was in com- 
mand of the rear guard, decided to make a stand at Holly Tree Gap, 
on the Franklin road, in order to gain time for Hood to throw his 
train and main force south of the Harpeth River. A section of artil- 
lery was favorably posted, and Lee deployed a portion of his infantry 
along the ridge on each side of the gap. 

As it had rained a good portion of the preceding night, our boys 
had asked permission of Lieutenant-Colonel Morton to fire off and 
clean up their guns; and while thus engaged, Newsom's Regiment 
(Bell's Brigade) came dashing by, without saying anything about the 
near proximity of the enemy. Li a moment more the Federal cavalry 
.(Nineteenth Pennsylvania in advance) were upon the Second Tennes- 

tFrom the best information I can get Bell left Murfreesboro about the same 
liour (3.30 p. M.) that Hood was defeated at Nashville. Therefore, I suppose 
that the former had reached Lavergne, or passed that place, before he heard o' 
ihe defeat of the latter. 

Lieutenant F. M. McREE, Co. K. 

The Hood Campaign. 533 

see with drawn sabers, yelling, "-Halt, and surrender !'' And it ap- 
peared at the moment that that summons would have to be obeyed; 
for, while the Federals pressed our boys in front, a broad, deep ditch 
was across their pathway to the rear. Determined, however, to make 
their escape from among the Federals, if possible, they (our boys) put 
spurs to their horses — some passed around, a number made their 
horses leap over, and a few fell into the ditch. Wm. Davenport's 
horse (Company C) fell into the ditch, but the rider made his escape 
afoot. Colonel Morton's horse was shot from under him, but he made 
good his escape. After making a gallant defense — emptying both his 
revolvers — Lieutenant F. M. McRee, who was in command of Com- 
pany K, surrendered, and was afterward shot through the right 
shoulder by a drunken coward. T. F. McRee (brother to the lieu- 
tenant) was knocked from his horse with a carbine and captured. 
Frank Farris (Company K) surrendered, but made his escape soon 
after. Tom Knott (Company B) was captured. C. C. (Dick) Fran- 
cis' horse was shot from under him, and he was the only member of 
Company C who was captured. D. B. Willard (Company C) and 
Jesse Thurman (Company E) turned upon their pursuer, and leaving 
him mortally wounded, they secured his horse and pistols. A Fed- 
eral officer and Sam. Barkley — each demanded the surrender of the 
other, but neither agreed to comply with the demand of the other; so 
after exchanging about five shots the Federal was a corpse, and Bark- 
ley was unhurt. Be it remembered that the Second Tennessee did 
not have time to form, so as to make an o