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Full text of "History of the Orphan brigade"

HISTORY 



OF THE 



ORPHAN BRIGADE 



BY ED PORTER THOMPSON, 

EX-SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION; AUTHOR OF "THE ACADEMIC 

ARITHMETIC," " YOUNG PEOPLE S HISTORY OF KENTUCKY," YOUNG 

PEOPLE S HISTORY OF ARKANSAS," ETC. 



LOUISVILLE, KY.: 

LEWIS N. THOMPSON, 
1898. 



E5W- 

4 

T5 

\sq< 



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1898, by 

LEWIS N. THOMPSON, 
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 



FROM THE PRESS AND BINDERY OF HALF-TONE ENGRAVINGS BY 

CHAS. T. DEARINO, MAYER & SCHLICH, 

LOUISVILLE, KY. 



LOUISVILLE, KY. 



ELECTROTYPED BY 

ROBERT ROWELL, 

LOUISVILLE, KY. 



TO THE 

SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY 

THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED. 

Thousands of the men whose names and deeds it records have 

heard "the soldier s last tattoo," and it cannot be long before 

their few surviving comrades will have " passed over the 

river" to rest with them. 

It devolves upon their children to see that the motives which 
identified them with the South in the Great Conflict are not 
misunderstood, and that their conduct during the four 
bloody years in which they added a brilliant chapter 
to others which Kentucky had written in Amer 
ican history shall not pass from the mem 
ory of man. The principles for which 
they suffered and fought, and so 
many of them died, were 

THE INALIENABLE RIGHT OF A PEOPLE TO CHOOSE 
THEIR OWN FORM OF GOVERNMENT, 

AND 

THE SACREDNESS OF CONSTITUTIONAL 
GUARANTEES. 

Though the Confederacy failed of establishment these still live 
and must live if human liberty is to endure on this continent. 
The children of the Confederate soldier can best illus 
trate the soldier s virtues by maintaining his princi 
ples in peace, and defending them in war if 
need be, for the great country to which 
only their allegiance is now due. 

ED PORTER THOMPSON. 



M201209 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



[For personal index, alphabetically arranged, see last pages of the book.] 

PACE. 

Dedication 3 



PART I. 

GENERAL HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

CHAPTER I. 

Introductory Remarks. Character and Services of the Brigade 

as estimated by others 21 

CHAPTER II. 

Brief Review of the Confederate element of Kentucky on the 
question in issue. Objection to certain current terms 
and statements which improperly go unchallenged. Or 
ganization of a Provisional Government 30 

CHAPTER III. 

Organization of the Regiments and Artillery composing the 
First Kentucky Brigade. The fight at Hutcherson s. 
Troops under Buckner concentrate at Bowling Green. 
Breckinridge assumes command. Fight at Whippoor- 
will Bridge. Expeditions to Rochester and elsewhere . 41 

Incidents and Anecdotes : 

I. Hard-hearted Surgeons. II. A deadly disease. 
III. Too Short. IV. Conquering a peace. V. Tried 
for high treason 57 



6 TABLE OF CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER IV. 

The Second Kentucky and Graves s Battery at Donelson and 

in prison " 2 

Incidents and Anecdotes : 

I. First Men of the Brigade killed. II. Carson s wrath 
when Semple fell. III. Still full of fight. IV. Buck- 
ner s shot at impertinence. V. Escaping from Camp 
Morton. VI. Dying in prison. VII. A fratricidal 
war. VIII. "Whar s Baze ? " IX. Wouldn t take 
his own medicine 73 



CHAPTER V. 

Gen. Sidney Johnston s retreat from Kentucky. Battle of 

Shiloh 76 

Incidents and Anecdotes : 

I. The battle of Sunset. II. Alabamians A noble and 
appreciative people. III. A camp struck by a Southern 
Hurricane at night. IV. Who led the brigade s first 
skirmishers on the battlefield? V. Wasn t quite so 
angry now. VI. The first work of the Fourth Ken 
tucky on Sunday morning. VII. Putting on anew uni 
form in time of action. VIII. An unconquerable Irish 
man. IX. How the " Desperadoes" all died. X. He 
expected to be murdered. XI. Armed for close fight 
ing. XII. Bee Stung. XIII. Southern man ran the 
wrong way. XIV. Gov. Johnson taking the oath as a 
private soldier. XV. Too late to pray. XVI. The 
little book saved his life. XVII. The Kentucky Ar 
tillery: Byrne and his men cheered. XVIII. Coolly 
"picked his flint" under fire. XIX. A double duel, 
fatal to at least one man. XX. "No detail! Ask for 
volunteers." XXI. A tuneful voice heard in the up 
roar. XXII. "Devil Dick." XXIII. Some of his 
teeth had lost their edge at Shiloh. XXIV. The preach 
ing didn t suit him. XXV. Shiloh not conclusive as to 
whether one of us could whip five Yankees. XXVI. 
What a reserve corps is. XXVII. The street bully in 
battle 97 



TAI5I.K OK CONTENTS. 7 

CHAPTER VI. 

Reorganization of the army at Corinth and reassignment of 

Kentucky troops. The retreat. Siege of Vicksburg . 108 

Incidents and Anecdotes: 

I. Breckinridge and Van Dorn. II. Celebrating the 
Fourth of July during the siege; expedition of the 
Fourth Regiment down the river. III. Dodd s unequal 
but gallant fight. IV. Graphic description of a sublime 
spectacle. V. Starving him into terms 117 



CHAPTER VII. 
The Battle of Baton Rouge 122 

CHAPTER VIII. 

From Baton Rouge to Knoxville. Marching toward Ken 
tucky. Return to Murfreesboro . Battle of Harts- 
ville 145 

Incidents and Anecdotes : 

I. Splendid fighting of the Second and Ninth Regi 
ments, Infantry. II. The Blue and the Gray meet and 
greet. III. " Cunny " fooled them. IV. Scenes on 
the battlefield. V. How we took Nashville. VI. How 
Jap got and kept the mule. VII. After many years : A 
singular occurrence 163 



CHAPTER IX. 
Battle of Stone River 168 

Incidents and Anecdotes : 

I. Preston s coolness and heroism. II. Suffering with 
cold. III. A Surgeon s experience on the field at Stone 
River. IV. "That s our flag!" V. Must be killed 
with due formality. VI. Sententious as Suvaroff. 
VII. Our one military execution. VIII. Col. Trabue 
at Stone River. IX. Not a " butternut cap n." ... 199 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 
8 

CHAPTER X. 

From Murfreesboro to Manchester. -To Mississippi again.- 
Expedition to relieve Pemberton. -Fighting at Jack 
son-Return to Chattanooga.-Battle of Chickamauga. 

Incidents and Anecdotes ; 

I Danger in loose orders. -II. The best-drilled regi 
ments in the Army of Tennessee.-III. Should have 
stood pat IV. After Jackson : in danger of surfeit. 
V. How they jollied Kelly. VI. At Chickamauga: 
too big a wood-chopping for the major. VII. Suppos 
ing a case. VIII. Spoilt his beauty and enraged him. 
IX. The Sang Diggers. X. A passage at arms with 

222 

Gen. Breckinndge 

CHAPTER XI. 

At Mission Ridge and Tyner s Station. -Battle of Mission 

Ridge. Retreat to Dalton 22 7 

Incidents and Anecdotes : 

I. Where sour Battery? "II. What Jim Lee thought 

of Bragg as a strategist. III. A remarkable incident . 231 

CHAPTER XII. 
The army in winter-quarters at Dalton 2 33 

Incidents and Anecdotes : 

I. Outwitting Col. Gofer. II. Misplaced confidence. 
III. Punishments in the army. IV. Guying Gen. 
Bate. v. Punishment for desertion : one of the sad 
dest features of the war. VI. A singular death. VII. 
The Snowball Battle 2 34 

CHAPTER XIII. 

The Dalton- Atlanta Campaign, May sth to Sept. 8th, 1864 . . 240 

Incidents and Anecdotes : 

I. They all say that. II. " Two minutes to get to your 
holes. III. War could not make them inhuman. IV. 
Wouldn t be checked off till his time came. V. Frank, 
the soldier dog 2 5 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 9 

CHAPTER XIV. 

The Dalton-Atlanta Campaign, May 5th to Sept. 8th, 1864 (con 
tinued) 254 

Incidents and Anecdotes: 

I. Lieut. Geo. Hector Burton and his sharpshooters. 

II. Another comrade s account of Burton s men. III. 
How the gallant fellow lost his life. IV. A rifleman up 
a tree. V. "A Roland for an Oliver." VI. They 
would do the wind work. VII. About to kill his friend. 
VIII. Devoted brothers. IX. After Intrenchment 
Creek: If they had but known. X. A humane and 
heroic act. XI. How a bullet made a sans culotte. XII. 
Presence of mind. XIII. A hero and a martyr. 
XIV. A dreadful experience 268 



CHAPTER XV. 

The brigade, as mounted infantry, in Georgia and South Caro 
lina 280 

Incidents and Anecdotes : 

I. Its effect on a dead man. II. A conglomeration of 
odds and ends. III. Thought he knew cavalry tactics. 
IV. Kentucky against Georgia : How Capt. Turney 
got the sheepskin. V. Jim Price. VI. Dead on his 
feet. VII. My ole Missis skillet. VIII. New brains 
evolve old jokes. IX. The cheerful brigade. X. Our 
star-gazer. XI. Dying in the last ditch 286 



CHAPTER XVI. 

Medical and surgical officers of the brigade, with biographical 

sketches and portraits 294 

Biographies : 

I. Dr. Preston B. Scott 301 

II. Dr. John O. Scott 305 

III. Dr. R. R. Stevenson 308 

IV. Dr. Hugh G. Smith 309 

V. Dr. Thomas L. Newberry 309 



10 TABLE OF CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XVII. 
Confederate Women of Kentucky, with portraits 312 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

Our dead and where they lie. Confederate veteran organiza 
tions, their objects, and those now maintained in Ken 
tucky 3 2 4 

CHAPTER XIX. 
Annual Reunions of the Brigade 340 



PART II. 

SPECIAL DEPARTMENT OF BIOGRAPHY. 

I. Lieut. -Gen. S. B. Buckner 353. 

II. Maj.-Gen. John C. Breckinridge .... 358 

III. Maj.-Gen. William Preston 364 

IV. Brig. -Gen. Roger W. Hanson 375 

V. Brig. -Gen. Ben Hardin Helm 380 

VI. Brig. -Gen. Joseph H. Lewis 387 

VII. Col. James W. Moss 395 

VIII. Col. Philip Lightfoot Lee " 399 

IX. Col. Robert P. Trabue 403 

X. Col. Joseph P. Nuckols 407 

XI. Col. Thomas Williams Thompson .... 414 

XII. Col. Hiram Hawkins 416 

XIII. Col. Martin H. Gofer 423 

XIV. Col. Thomas Hart Hunt ........ 429 

XV. Col. John W. Caldwell 434 

XVI. Lieut.-Col. James W. Hewitt 438 

XVII. Lieut.-Col. Hervey McDowell 440 

XVIII. Lieut.-Col. William L. Clarke 443 

XIX. Lieut.-Col. John C. Wickliffe 447 

XX. Maj. Charles Semple 451 

XXI. Maj. Rice E. Graves 455 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



II 



XXII. 


Maj. Thomas B. Monroe 


4. CQ- 


XXIII. 


Maj. John B. Rogers 


. . 466 


XXIV. 


Maj. Thomas H. Hays 


47 I 


XXV. 


Capt. Fayette Hewitt 


474. 


XXVI. 


Capt. Sam H. Buchanan 


480 


XXVII. 


Capt. Ben. J. Monroe 


481 


XXVIII. 


Capt. John H. Weller 


48? 


XXIX. 


Capt. Jo Desha 


40 1 


XXX. 


Capt. J. T. Gaines 


407 


XXXI. 


Capt. D. E. McKendree 


408 


XXXII. 


Capt. David C. Walker 


CO3 


XXXIII. 


Capt. John B. Pirtle 


SOZ 


XXXIV. 


Adjt. Thomas E. Mos , 


so; - 


XXXV. 


Lieut. Keller Anderson 


e;o8 


XXXVI. 


Lieut. Robert A. Thomson 


CI-J 


XXXVII. 


Lieut. John W. Greene 


513 


XXXVIII. 


Thomas D. Osborne 


^ 14 


XXXIX. 


Gov. George W. Johnson 


$16 


XL. 


Hon. Eli M. Bruce 


$22 


XLI. 


Hon. Horatio W. Bruce 


$2$ 


XLII. 


Dr. Daniel P. White 


<2& 


XLIII. 


Elder Jos. Desha Pickett 


e. io 


XLIV. 


Rev. G. B. Overton 


C 2-2 


XLV. 


Rev. Hubbard H. Kavanaueh 


M6 



PART III. 



BRIEF HISTORY OF INDIVIDUALS, FIELD AND STAFF, 
RANK AND FILE. 



General Introductory Remarks 

Field and Staff Officers of the Second Regiment 
Officers and men of Co. A, 



B, 
C, 
D, 
E, 
F, 
G, 
H, 



548 
549 
554 
563 
57i 
580 
586 

503 
600 



!2 TABLE OF CONTENTS. 

Officers and men of Co. I, Second Regiment 609 

K, 615 

Field and Staff Officers of the Fourth Regiment 622 

Officers and men of Co. A, 623 

ft B, " 630 

C, " 637 

D, " 645 

E, " 652 

F, " 659 

" " G, " 666 

H, 673 

" I, 679 

K, 685 

Field and Staff Officers of the Fifth Regiment 691 

Officers and men of Co. A, 693 

" " B, 700 

C, 704 

D, 712 

E, " 715 

F, 722 

I, " 728 

K, 737 

Field and Staff Officers of the Sixth Regiment 742 

Officers and men of Co. A, " 742 

B, ...... 752 

C, " 760 

D, " 766 

E, " 773 

F, " 782 

G, " 785 

H, 79I 

I, " 797 

H t( V tt o 

1^, 004 

Field and Staff Officers of the Ninth Regiment 806 

Officers and men of Co. A, " 808 

B, 815 

C, " 825 

D, " 830 

G, " 837 

H, " 848 

Byrne s Battery 857 

" Graves s Battery 860 

Cobb s Battery 862 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 13 



PART IV. 

GENERAL HISTORY OF THE SECOND KENTUCKY CAVALRY. 

Gen. Wheeler s opinion of the Regiment 871 

Prefatory Note 873 

CHAPTER I. 

Organization of the Regiment. Subsequent changes. Erro 
neous designation by number explained 875 

CHAPTER II. 
1861-1862 879 

Incidents and Anecdotes : 

I. A Brave Kentucky Woman. II. The Bushwhacker s 
non-combatant brother. III. Preparing for rapid flight. 
IV. A gallant escort. V. The rose and expectancy 
of the fair State." VI. The American Soldier the best of 
his age. VII. " Burgoyne " had it in for his drill- 
master 892 

CHAPTER III. 
1863 896 

Incidents and Anecdotes : 

I. A base fiction. II. How the bugler was promoted. 
III. Henry Groan in Sequatchie Valley and at Mission 
Ridge. IX. Attention there, Yank Unlimber! V. 
How Capt. Beckley s negro body servant came to be a 
valiant knight. VI. Cole Basye s chill stuff. VII. A 
"poor rebel" in extremity. VIII. The improvised 
chevrons. IX. Death of Capt. Jack Jones : A soldier s 
tribute. X. John Vincent at the Charleston fight. XI. 
True to their colors : a roll of honor. XII. Even prison 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 

horrors could not subdue them.-XIII. A bit of personal 
experience 



CHAPTER IV. 

923 

1864 

Incidents and Anecdotes : 

I Cutting his comb.-II. The Kentucky way, whatever 

the uniform. III. Fidelity commands respect. - 

Faithful unto death. -V. Capt. John Witt. VI. The 

killing of John Hanlon.-VII. Capture and recapture 

of First Kentucky men in battle 947 

CHAPTER V. 

1865 

Incidents and Anecdotes : 

I. A desperate encounter. II. In the swamps of Sal- 
kiehatchie. III. They would know him in the dark. 
IV. Adjt. Payne, the genial and well-beloved. V. Phil 
Pointer. VI. Some remarkable war horses : (a) Yeager; 
(b) Fanny 957 



PART V. 

SPECIAL DEPARTMENT OF BIOGRAPHY. 
(FIRST CAVALRY.) 

I. Lieut. -Gen. Joseph Wheeler 9 6 7 

II. Col. James Q. Chenoweth 9^9 

III. Hon. William T. Ellis 973 

IV. Hon. E. Polk Johnson 977 

V. Hon. Thomas C. Jones 9 82 

VI. Lieut. James H. Rudy 9 8 2 

VII. Lieut. William Wallace Herr 9 S 7 

VIII. Hon. John Will Dyer 99 2 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 15 



PART VI. 

BRIEF HISTORY OF INDIVIDUALS, FIELD AND STAFF, 
RANK AND FILE. 
(FIRST CAVALRY.) 

Field and Staff Officers of the Regiment (First Organization) . 995 

Officers and men of Co. D, 996 

E, 999 

F, 1004 

G, 1006 

H, 1008 

I, 1009 

" K, 1009 

Field and Staff Officers of the Regiment (Second Organization) 1014 

Officers and men of Co. A, ..... . 1015 

B, 1020 

C, 1024 

D, 1028 

E, 1033 

F, 1038 

G, 1040 

H, 1044 

I, - . . 1045 

FINAL CHAPTER. 

Men of the brigade who, after the war, became noted in the 
professions, in various businuss callings, and in public 

stations 1048 

The C. S. Army s Commissary (a poem) 1057 

Song, " Oh, Lay Me Away, with the Boys in Gray " . . . . 



1 6 TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



LIST OF ENGRAVINGS. 

FACING PAGE. 

Anderson, Lieut. Keller ....... 5 8 

Breckinridge, Maj.-Gen. John C 35 8 

Buchanan, Capt. Sam H 480 

Bozarth, James H 95 8 

Bruce, Hon. Eli M 5 22 

Bruce, Hon. H. W 5 2 5 

Buckner, Lieut. -Gen. S. B 353 

Byrne, Dr. Walter J 299 

Bugle, The Brigade S3 8 

Caldwell, Col. John W 434 

Cofer, Col. Martin H 4 2 3 

Clarke, Lieut.-Col. Wm. L 443 

Chenoweth, Col. James Q 969 

Desha, Capt. Joseph 491 

Dyer, Hon. John W 992 

Ellis, Hon. Wm. T 973 

Flag, National (Frontispiece) 

Flag, Battle 323 

Graves, Maj. Rice E 455 

Gaines, Capt. J. T 497 

Greene, Lieut. John W 512 

Hanson, Brig.-Gen. Roger W. 375 

Hanson, Mrs. Virginia 318 

Helm, Brig.-Gen. Ben Hardin 380 

Helm, Mrs. Ben Hardin 312 

Hawkins, Col. Hiram 416 

Hunt, Col. Thomas H 429 

Hewitt, Lieut.-Col. James W 438 

Hewitt, Capt. Fayette 474 

Herr, Lieut. Wm. Wallace 987 

Hays, Maj. Thomas H 471 

Johnson, Gov. George W 516 

Johnson, Hon. E. Polk 977 

Jones, Hon. Thomas C 982 

Kavanaugh, Elder H. H 536 

Lewis, Brig.-Gen. Joseph H 387 

Lee, Col. Philip L 399 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 17 

McDowell, Lieut.-Col. Hervey 440 

Moss, Col. James W 395 

Monroe, Capt. Ben J. 

Monroe, Maj. Thomas B 

McKendree, Capt. D. E 

Moss, Adjt. Thomas E 

McDaniel, Walter 

McQuown, William R 1059 

Monument to Gov. Helm 870 

Monument to Gen. and Mrs. Hanson 350 

Monument to Gen. John C. Breckinridge 19 

Monument to Our Confederate Dead, Frankfort 330 

Monument to Our Confederate Dead, Louisville ...... 336 

Nuckols, Col. Joseph P 407 

Newberry, Dr. Thomas L 309 

Overton, Elder G. B 533 

Osborne, Thomas D 514 

Pirtle, Capt. John B 505 

Preston, Maj. -Gen. William 364 

Pickett, Elder Joseph Desha 530 

Pendleton, Dr. John E 298 

Rodgers, Maj. John B 466 

Rudy, Lieut. "James H 983 

Scott, Dr. Preston B 301 

Scott, Dr. John 305 

Smith, Dr. Alfred 300 

Smith, Dr. Hugh 309 

Stevenson, Dr. R. R 308 

Semple, Maj. Charles 451 

Thompson, Col. Thomas W 414 

Thomson, Lieut. Robert A 513 

Trabue, Col. R. P 403 

Taylor, Capt. W. J 957 

White, Dr. Daniel P 528 

Wickliffe, Lieut.-Col. John C 447 

Wheeler, Lieut. -Gen. Joseph 967 

Walker, Capt. David C 503 

Weller, Capt. John H 487 

Yeager, Charger of S. D. Brooks 961 




MONUMENT TO MAJ.-GEN. JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE. 
Lexington. 



PART I. 



GENERAL HISTORY OF THE BRIGADE. 



ORPHAN BRIGADE. 



CHAPTER I. 

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS. CHARACTER AND SERVICES OF THE BRIGADE 

AS ESTIMATED BY OTHERS. 

Some months prior to the close of the war I conceived the design 
of preparing, at some future time, a history of the Orphan Brigade. 
In November, 1864, the plan of the work was set out in writing, with 
a view to interesting others, and of obtaining such muster-rolls and 
other papers as could be furnished while the command was still in the 
field, and at the close. This letter or circular was lost before the end 
came, but I recall a sentence : " However this war may terminate, if 
a man can truthfully claim to have been a worthy member of the Ken 
tucky Brigade he will have a kind of title of nobility." 

I was young and ardent, and of course such an expression was some 
what extravagant, even when received only as it was intended to con 
vey, by a figure, the simple idea that such a man would be distin 
guished among the thousands of surviving soldiers and receive honor 
able recognition from his fellow-citizens. The circumstance is worthy 
of note as indicating that the fame of this body of Kentucky soldiers 
did not depend upon factitious circumstances, which assume undue 
proportions when viewed through the haze of time, nor is it at all at 
tributable to that glamour to which the poet refers when he declares 
that "distance lends enchantment to the view." On the contrary 
they were proof against that insidious depreciation which results from 
long and familiar association with men of narrow limitations and un 
favorable characteristics, to which reference is made by the trite maxim, 
" Familiarity breeds contempt." The writer had from the first borne 
a humble part with those of whom he spoke, having a place with 
them till after Shiloh, first as a private in the ranks, then as a non 
commissioned officer ; afterward holding line and staff commissions ; 
had noted their conduct in all the multifarious conditions under which 
a faithful soldiery, through years of unequal conflict and peculiar trials, 
find themselves ; and after all had not merely a pride in his corps in the 
abstract, but an admiration for those composing it, which gave birth to 
the idea that no history of the command would be adequate that did 
not take cognizance of all the individuals whose conduct helped to 



22 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

make the fame of the organization, and which is carried out in that de 
partment of the present work entitled, " Brief History of Individuals, 
Field and Staff, Rank and File." 

Coarse, ill-fitting, and ragged clothes, tattered shoes, and battered 
hats, ugly and cheerless surroundings, could not seriously depress and 
could not at all disguise the intrepid spirits who were as ready in the 
almost hopeless days of 1865 to spring to action at a word as they were 
in the first flush of their martial experience, when they had no thought 
but that battle meant victory, and victory meant the establishing of a 
government founded indeed and in truth upon the consent of the gov 
erned. 

A student of history, he had considered the conduct of famous sol 
diery, ancient and modern ; and with what light he had, he could not 
see that this body of young Kentuckians suffered at any point by com 
parison. He was not without a certain warm admiration of the Tenth 
Legion of the Roman army and of Bonaparte s Old Guard; but after 
all, in contemplating them, he saw rather Caesar, the great Imperator, 
and Bonaparte, the fiery Corsican, who moulded them and made them 
famous; in contemplating the Orphan Brigade we see the men who 
made their own fame. True, they were proud of their commanders, 
and were influenced by them; were quickly and intelligently responsive 
to their efforts to develop soldierly qualities and promote efficiency; but 
it was rather that they regarded these commanders as of them, not over 
them ; rather as gallant and capable fellow-countrymen on whom they 
could rely, and whom they could proudly follow, than as martinets and 
masters who held their places only by virtue of commissions from the 
War Office. If Buckner or Breckinridge or Preston, Hanson or Helm 
or Lewis, had proved in any sense incapable or craven, they would not 
have sunk below themselves on that account, but would have driven 
him from his place by manifest contempt. 

It is well to note here the quality of these soldiers as representatives 
of their people. It is probable that there was never any other organ 
ization of equal number that had so many bright and well-educated 
men. They were in the main of old pioneer stock, and they were 
, proud and self-respecting. They had due regard to family honor, and 
a strong trait was their State pride. To use the words of Dr. Holmes 
biographer, they had that " noble clannishness which is one of the safe 
guards of social morality," and, it may be added, of the fair fame of 
a commonwealth. Indeed, it was the name, Kentuckian, which 
touched them to the quick, and gave them a feeling of responsibility 
in guarding it from reproach. It made them patient under privation 
and steady under unusual trial. It gave them fortitude under suffering 
and fierceness in fight. If this feeling seems to have been somewhat 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 23 

overweening, and to have manifested itself at times in a way to make 
them appear to "think better of themselves than they should," it must 
be observed that it partook not in the slightest degree of mere personal 
vanity. This latter characteristic is incompatible with a just and manly 
pride of either family or State. 

It should be recorded, too, that they represented Kentucky as a whole 
and not any particular section of it, not any particular class of its cit 
izens. They came together from eighty-three counties, from homes 
dotting the State from the Big Sandy to the Mississippi; from the Ohio 
to the Tennessee line, from the mountains, the bluegrass regions and 
the western plains; from city and hamlet and country places; from 
factories and shops, mines and farms; from schools, commercial 
houses and the offices of professional men. 

But the fact that the brigade held a remarkable place in an army of 
much-enduring and splendid fighting men does not rest upon what 
might otherwise appear the too partial estimate of an admiring com 
rade; but the evidence of others, contemporaneous and subsequent, 
not only justifies his conclusions, but gives them increased significance. 
Shortly after the battle of Shiloh, Judge Walker, of New Orleans, who 
was on the field during the engagement, published an account of it, 
which was circulated in pamphlet form, and in which he mentioned 
several of the Kentucky officers by name, and spoke of the conduct 
of the brigade in terms of the highest praise. 

In drill and discipline it was acknowledged to have no peer in the 
Army of Tennessee, after the trial-drill, May, 1863, w i tn the Louisiana 
Brigade, which had set up a claim to superior training and skill in ma 
neuver. 

After a review at Dal ton, January 30, 1864, Major-General Hind- 
man, then commanding Hardee s Corps, issued a complimentary or 
der, in which he said : " It is announced with gratification that the 
commanding General was much pleased with the appearance and bear 
ing of the troops of this corps on review to-day. Without detracting 
from the praise due to all, the Major-General deems it but just to men 
tion the Kentucky Brigade as especially entitled to commendation for 
soldierly appearance, steadiness of marching, and an almost perfect 
accuracy in every detail." 

General Joseph E. Johnston once told a prominent Confederate 
officer that there was no better infantry in the world than the Ken 
tucky Brigade." In the winter of i863~ 64, when General Breck- 
inridge was ordered to Virginia, he applied to General Johnston for 
permission to carry the brigade with him, under promise from 
President Davis that a brigade of other troops should be furnished as 
an equivalent. Johnston replied : " The President has no equivalent 



24 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

for it. It is the best brigade in the Confederate Army." It is said 
that he made substantially the same remark at the Continental Hotel, 
in Philadelphia, some time in the winter of 1865- 66. While he was 
United States Railroad Commissioner, Judge William L. Jett, of 
Frankfort, called to see him in Washington one day, and incidentally 
referred to having seen the above statements. "Yes," he replied, 
"the Kentucky Brigade was the finest body of soldiers I ever saw." 
Judge Emory Speer, the eminent Georgia statesman and jurist, writes 
recently to Capt. J. T. Gaines, in whose company he served for some 
time : "I am glad to testify that our old General, Joseph E. Johnston, 
told me, when we were Congressmen together, that the Orphan Brigade 
was the finest body of men and soldiers he ever saw in any army any 
where." Coming from a trained West Pointer, an officer of the old 
United States Army, a veteran of two wars, and a citizen of another 
State, these expressions must be regarded as of extraordinary signifi 
cance. 

When the dismounted detachment moved through Columbia, South 
Carolina, April, 1865, one of the men inquired of a citizen: "Did 
the mounted Kentuckians pass through here?" "Yes," he replied; 
"and," said another, standing by, "they were the only gentlemen 
who have passed through here since the war began." 

A medical officer of White s Battery was asked, in the same city, 
whether a certain command (naming it), was fighting below Camden. 
" No no," he replied, "they never stay at one place long enough to 
get into a fight." "Where was Lewis ?" "Oh," said he, "Lewis 
was there. It is his men who are doing the fighting, and they ll stick 
to it as long as they can find a foe to shoot at ! " 

About this time, too, Major-General Young gave free expression to 
his admiration, and declared that an army of such officers and men, 
with adequate means, could bid defiance to the world. 

And one of the prominent Southern journals, referring to General 
Hood s defeat at Nashville, had this remark: " A correspondent of 
one of our exchanges writes of the unfortunate disaster at Nashville, 
and incidentally pays the highest compliment to Lewis brigade, then 
absent, which was never known to falter. 1 

The Mobile Advertiser and Register, speaking of a certain point of 
Hood s defense, on the same occasion, remarks: "Troops should 
have been placed at that point of whom not the slightest doubt ex 
isted. Had the Kentucky Brigade been there, all would have been 
safe." 

It is well authenticated, also, that the United States Army knew 
them ; and as the veteran soldiers of every civilized nation admire 
those most who oppose them most manfully, they respected them highly 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE 25 

When a large part of the brigade was captured at Jonesboro, General 
Jefferson C. Davis, by whose division they were made prisoners, ex 
pressed his admiration of them, and assured them that they should be 
treated as gentlemen ; and no insult was offered by the soldiers, nor 
was the then common custom of depriving prisoners of watches and 
other private property resorted to by any one. On the contrary, while 
expressing their joy at having captured them, they incidentally extolled 
them in no measured terms. 

The foregoing are a few of the many expressions that were heard 
from Donelson and Shiloh to Camden. It is unnecessary to swell the 
number. 

Something of the interest which gathered around the command was 
no doubt due to the singular position they occupied. Almost the sole 
representatives in the Confederate Infantry of a State renowned of old 
for the gallantry of her sons, displayed on almost every field since the 
Revolution ; completely isolated from home, and for the time in direct 
antagonism to the authority of their Commonwealth, without the com 
forts and encouragements that others enjoyed the soldierly qualities 
exhibited in battling so manfully, suffering so patiently, bearing them 
selves so loftily under all, were such as would have attracted the atten 
tion of the country under any circumstances, and would seem to deserve 
special notice at the hands of the historian. 

In physical development and powers of endurance their superiority 
was manifest. Official tables of measurement taken during the war 
show that among from three to four millions of volunteers from all parts 
of the Union, natives and foreigners, those born and reared in Ken 
tucky exceeded all others except Tenneseeans in average height, 
weight, size of head, circumference of chest, and ratio of weight to 
stature. Two peculiar instances of their hardihood are given : During 
the first siege of Vicksburg, when they were encamped about the city 
for five weeks succeeding June 28, 1862, and doing duty along the 
river under very unusual conditions (to them) poor rations, bad 
water, an enervating climate, and miasmatic influence the mortality 
among them, as shown by surgeons reports, was less than that of 
troops whose homes were in the Southern States. On the march from 
Jackson to Big Black beginning Jury i, 1863, and the return, many 
men belonging to the Southern and Southeastern States fell out, and 
some died from the effects of the intense heat and fatigue, while the 
Kentuckians withstood all and were on hand for duty when operations 
were resumed at Jackson. 

Their indomitable resolution and constancy were well exemplified by 
their action at Greene s Cut, Ga., February u, 1865. No one at all 
conversant with the history of those times needs to be reminded of the 



26 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

long and arduous service which they had performed, the trials to which 
they had been subjected, the manifold disappointments and discour 
agements which they had experienced from the beginning, now ex 
tending well into the fourth year. Apparently they had had enough 
to break the spirits of brave and true men. There was disaffection 
among the people for whom they were fighting; newspapers were 
basely advising submission crying for peace on any terms and the 
Governor of the great State of Georgia was rated among the most cap 
tious of the critics who had long called in question the policy of the 
Confederate Government, and fomented opposition. It was a sorry 
spectacle to Kentuckians ; and they denounced the spirit that prompted 
such exhibitions of disloyalty to a Government which they had helped 
to create, and which Kentuckians were sacrificing much and risking all 
in trying to establish. 

The officers and men assembled on the day alluded to and passed 
resolutions condemning in strong terms all that tended to encourage 
defection, deplete the ranks of the soldiery, withhold from the Gov 
ernment aid and comfort, and encourage the enemy. Every regiment 
was represented by officers and men on the committee that drafted the 
resolutions, while field and staff, rank and file composed the meeting 
that passed them without a dissenting voice. Our services, our sacri 
fices, they said substantially, give us the right to speak ; we accept no 
excuse for relaxing effort to conquer a peace and establish independ 
ence ; we are exiles from our homes and those who are nearest and 
dearest to us, but we are not willing to return upon terms now pro 
posed; we believe the minie-rifle is our best peace commissioner; we 
suggest that disloyal editors be placed beside true men in the ranks, 
where they can be taught, with Enfields in their hands, how a Gov 
ernment should be supported; we reassert our devotion, and we send 
this our greeting to General Robert E. Lee, to be read to the noble 
army of North Virginia, as our assurance that we will stand shoulder 
to shoulder with them, as it were, in this war of right and justice. 

These resolutions were published in the Atlanta Constitution and in 
Virginia, and whether their effect to stay the rising tide of disloyalty 
and dismay was much or little, Kentuckians were put on record as be 
ing ready to stand to their guns as long as a Confederate flag floated 
over the capitol at Richmond. It was the only time during the war 
that they stopped to substitute resolutions for rifle-shots, and these were 
not aimed at the common enemy, but at the dangerous malcontents in 
the South. 

Let us next advert to conclusions reached by a scholarly gentlman 
and popular writer, who was a Union man, and whose prejudices and 
affiliations, therefore, did not predispose him to judge too favorably. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN HRIGADK. 27 

Professor N. S. Shaler, in the course of his able ethnological studies, 
in Scribncrs (1890), entitled, "Nature and Man in America/ gives 
the following remarkable estimate of these men, based upon statements 
and statistics relating to the troops of the two opposing armies : 

"Last of all, we have the test afforded by the trials of the struggle 
between North and South. War has ever been the rudest and the 
most effective gauge of certain important qualities. The actual advance 
to which living beings have attained has been in large part determined 
by the measure of resistance which creatures have been enabled to 
make against adverse circumstances, not the passive inertia of inani 
mate things, but the active and long-continued contest in which all the 
latent powers are applied in determined action. The military struggles 
of men are but an advanced and complicated form of the immemo 
rial rivalry of lower creatures, out of which, through infinite pain, 
infinite good has been won. There is no more searching test of the 
moral and physical development of a people than that which is afforded 
by a great and long-continued civil war. That such a strife affords a 
measure of the physical power which is in the people of maintaining 
determinations is manifest. The contact of armies in the field gives, 
moreover, an excellent measure as to the moral state of the people. 
Nothing so tests the firmness with which the motives of sympathy, of 
justice, are rooted in men, as the temptations which campaigns expose 
them to. 

"It is hard, in our ordinary, well-regulated societies, to ascertain 
how far men are held to right by the machinery of the law, how far 
their relations to their fellows are fixed by their own motives. The 
ratio of compulsion to spontaneous motives becomes evident when the 
men of the State are marshalled into armies. This test was made 
thorough-going by the circumstances of our civil war. In the first 
place the combatants fought for more ideal issues than men commonly 
do. It was not for the love of chieftains, or for conquest, but for theo 
ries of institutions, of plans for States, that they contended. No war 
was ever so humanely conducted as this. There were grievous things 
about it ; all war is a succession of griefs ; but the conduct of the 
armies in the field was more humane than in any other similar cam 
paigns which the world has known. The interest of women and chil 
dren was almost invariably considered. The soldiers born upon the 
soil generally carried the civic sense, the order of peaceful society, 
with them in march and battle. Good-nature and sympathy were 
written on their banners. We have but to compare the struggles of 
the French and Spaniards in Florida, or the wars between the Ameri 
can colonies of the British and French, to see how humanized our 
armies were under circumstances, which, in other lands and times, 
have awakened the devil in men. The issue of the combat, the perfect 
accord and loving humor which now mark the men who met on battle 
fields, shows this in the clearest possible manner. I take it to be plain 
that the rebellion proves our people to have lost nothing in the moral 
gains which the race won in the Old World. If we compare the issue 
of the contest with the chronic conditions of dispute between Great 
Britain and Ireland, I think we may claim that we have gained in the 
moral qualities which appear in the conduct of public affairs. 



28 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

"The conduct of our armies in the field shows clearly that the com 
bination of physical vigor and moral earnestness which make a good 
soldier exists in unsurpassed measure in the man whose ancestors 
dwelt long upon the American soil. 

Some years ago I sought carefully to find a body of troops whose 
ancestors had been for many generations upon our soil, and whose 
ranks were essentially unmixed with foreigners, or those whose fore 
fathers had been but a short time upon this continent. It proved dif 
ficult to find in the Northern armies any command which served the 
needs of the inquiry which I desired to make. It seemed necessary to 
consider a force of at least five thousand men in order to avoid the 
risks which would come from imperfect data. In our Federal army it 
was the custom to put in the same brigade regiments from different 
districts, thus commingling commands of pure American blood with 
those that had a considerable percentage of foreigners, or men of for 
eign parents. I found in my limited inquiry but one command that 
satisfied the needs of this investigation, and this was the First Brigade 
of Kentucky troops in the rebel army. In the beginning of the war 
this brigade was recruited mostly in the slave-holding district of Ken 
tucky, its ranks being filled mainly with farmers sons. It is possible 
to trace the origin of the men in this command with sufficient exactitude 
by the inspection of the muster-rolls. Almost every name upon them 
belongs to well-known families of English stock, mainly derived from 
Virginia. It is possible, in a similar way, to prove that, with few, un 
important exceptions, these soldiers were of ancient American lineage. 
Speaking generally, we may say that their blood had been traced upon 
the soil for a century and a half; that is, they were about five genera 
tions removed from the parent country. 

When first recruited, this brigade contained about five thousand 
men. From the beginning it proved as trustworthy a body of infantry 
as ever marched or stood in line of battle. Its military record is too 
long, too varied, to be even summarized here. I will note only one 
hundred and twenty days of its history in the closing stages of its serv 
ice. On May 7, 1864, this brigade, then in the army of General Jos 
eph Johnston, marched out of Dalton 1,140 strong, at the beginning 
of the great retreat upon Atlanta before the army of Sherman. In the 
subsequent hundred and twenty days, or until September 3d, the brig 
ade was almost continuously in action or on the march. In this period 
the men of the command received 1,860 death or hospital wounds, the 
dead counted as wounds, and but one wound being counted for each 
visitation of the hospital. At the end of this time there were less than 
fifty men who had not been wounded during the hundred and twenty 
days. There were 240 men left for duty, and less than ten men de 
serted. 

"A search into the history of warlike exploits has failed to show me 
any endurance to the worst trials of war surpassing this. We must 
remember that the men of this command were at each stage of their 
retreat going farther from their firesides. It is easy for men to bear 
great trials under circumstances of victory. Soldiers of ordinary good 
ness will stand several defeats, but to endure the despair which such 
adverse conditions bring for more than a hundred days demands a 
moral and physical patience, which, so far as I have learned, has never 
been excelled in any army." 



HISTORY OF THE OKl HAN HKKIADE. 29 

From Professor Shaler s unqualified use of the term rebel and re 
bellion the men whom he otherwise characterizes with such dispassion 
ate judgment must dissent; and they can but wonder that a mind so 
philosophical and candid accepts a phraseology which the historians of 
the future (and not distant future) will discard; but his testimony is the 
manly and striking tribute of an honorable adversary to an organiza 
tion of Kentuckians whose fame is now the joint heritage of all her 
citizens. 

In his article in the May (1896) Century Magazine, "Are Nervous 
Diseases Increasing?" Dr. Philip Coombs Knapp says: "Up to the 
period of the civil war the American was denounced as physically de 
generate, inferior in bulk, strength and endurance to his English cousin. 
This war put an end to such talk. No armies ever endured more than 
ours in the field; no people endured more than those who stayed be 
hind, waiting and helping. The record of the First Kentucky Brigade 
(here he recapitulates Shaler s estimate and adds) has never been sur 
passed. These men were of the purest American stock." 

Different accounts have been given as to how the command acquired 
the designation of Orphan Brigade. Its attitude toward its native 
State expatriated by reason of identification with a cause which Ken 
tucky had not formally approved ; its complete isolation from its peo 
ple; its having been time and again deprived of its commander by 
transfer to other service, or death in battle these, all and singular, 
may have suggested the name, which soon fixed itself in the popular 
mind, and has come to be the real one by which it will be known in 
history. 

That its record should be carefully written for the information of the 
present generation, and for transmission to posterity, is not a matter of 
mere personal concern to its survivors and a just tribute to the memory 
of its dead; it concerns the State. If Gladstone s dictum, that " no 
greater calamity can happen to a people than to break utterly with its 
past," is true in general, it is especially true of any episode of that past 
in which the people acquired enlarged title to distinction, and in which 
lessons were taught which should enter into its life and mould its fut 
ure. 



30 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 



CHAPTER II. 

BRIEF REVIEW OF THE ATTITUDE OF THE CONFEDERATE ELEMENT OF 

KENTUCKY ON THE QUESTION IN ISSUE. OBJECTION TO CERTAIN 

CURRENT TERMS AND STATEMENTS WHICH IMPROPERLY GO UN 
CHALLENGED. ORGANIZATION OF A PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT. 

To enter into a discussion, in a work of this kind, of the causes 
which led to the war would be not only inappropriate but inexcusable ; 
and for a proper understanding of the attitude of the men who 
espoused the Southern cause, and particularly of those who volun 
teered for the Southern service, it is necessary to note only, and very 
briefly, the grounds of such predilection in favor of the Confederacy, 
and of -such action on the part of those who took up arms in defense 
of their principles. 

There are no records from which to compile an accurate statement 
of the number of Kentuckians who enlisted in the Confederate army. 
Reckoning by organizations, and comparing with the infantry regi 
ments whose original rolls are still in existence those whose numbers 
were never definitely stated, it has been estimated that the maximum 
-could not have exceeded forty thousand. Rosters and rolls made at 
various times during the war, and now on file in the War Office at 
Washington, indicate that twenty-five thousand is nearer the correct 
figure. 

During the four years of war the United States enlisted in Ken 
tucky more than seventy-eight thousand men. Of these there were 
nineteen regiments and battalions of colored troops ; but, deducting 
these, it will be seen that of white men there were between two and 
three times as many Kentuckians in the Federal as in the Confederate 
service. Apparently the preponderance of sentiment in the State was 
largely in favor of the war policy of the United States Government ; 
but this is to be received with some degree of allowance, and it is not 
unreasonable to conclude that after the first excitement, during which 
the young men of the State impulsively followed the bent of their in 
clinations, when the question of union or disunion received sober sec 
ond thought the people found themselves reduced to the necessity of 
making choice between the evil of separation and that of establishing 
a union by force ; and that very many who repudiated the idea that 
the Constitution warranted a resort to coercion under any circum- 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 31 

stances, chose the latter, and encouraged the enlistment of troops to 
compel the seceded States to accept the ultra doctrine of the Whigs, 
that in ratifying the Constitution of 1787 the States had yielded up 
their individual sovereignty, and that the Union thereby entered into 
must be held as " one and indivisible." 

Taking human nature as we find it, we must of course give due 
weight to the influences that were brought to bear upon the border 
States after it became manifest that war was inevitable ; and these 
were cumulative and grew more potent as events of momentous import 
succeeded each other with startling rapidity, and the horrors of in- 
,ternecine strife were no longer a mere probability, but were seen and 
felt. 

There can be no question that in the early days of 1861, the people 
of Kentucky were almost a unit in their opposition to the policy of 
coercion which had begun to be foreshadowed. 

During the called session of the Legislature, (January, 1861), that 
body was well-nigh unanimous in condemning the action of certain 
Eastern States in tendering to the President men and money to be used 
in coercing the sovereign States of the South into obedience, and in 
declaring that when those States should send armed forces into the 
South for that purpose, the people of Kentucky would unite with their 
brethren of the South, and as one man, to resist such invasion at all 
hazards and to the last extremity. 

For months there was no manifest abatement of this feeling. There 
was an inconsiderable number of men in the State who had identified 
.themselves with the Republican or Union party ; but at that time the 
Breckinridge and Douglas Democrats and the Bell and Everett or 
National Americans comprised almost the whole voting population, 
and nearly all these were united in their opposition to the use of force. 
When, (April 15, 1861,) Governor Magoffin replied to Mr. Lincoln s 
call for troops, " I say emphatically that Kentucky will furnish no 
troops for the wicked purpose of subduing her sister Southern States ;" 
his action was regarded as the expression of the people s will; and at 
a meeting held two days afterward to consider the attitude in which the 
Executive had formally placed her, a committee .composed of able 
men of both the great parties passed resolutions approving the re 
sponse. " If," said this representative meeting, through its commit 
tee, " the enterprise announced in the proclamation of the President 
shall at any time hereafter assume the aspect of a war for the overrun 
ning and subjugation of the seceding States, through the full assertion 
therein of the national jurisdiction by a standing military force, we do 
not hesitate to say that Kentucky should unsheath the sword in what 
ihen will have become a common cause." 



32 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

Of the wisdom of the step taken by the Southern States there was 
grave doubt in the minds of many of Kentucky s ablest and best men ; 
of the abstract right of secession there was little question in the minds 
of any except the ultra Whigs ; of the utter absence of authority 
vested in the President and Congress by the Constitution to compel 
the return of the seceded States, there was no doubt in the minds of 
the ablest jurists and statesmen, or of others who had seriously con 
sidered the provisions of that instrument. 

The spirit of the Resolutions of 1798-99 had entered into the life 
of the people of Kentucky, and the doctrine had become a part of 
their mental furnishing. They were strict constructionists, but they 
had seldom had occasion to apprehend danger, and scarcely ever any 
disposition to discuss this doctrine or to assert it. They had believed 
in the perpetuity of the Union, and they deprecated sectional agita 
tion, come from whatever quarter it might ; but now they were brought 
face to face with the startling fact that their own views were being put 
to a practical test; and they were left the alternative of adhering to 
them and allying themselves with the States which had taken so radi 
cal a step that, according to the Kentucky theory, a legal separation 
was already an accomplished fact, or to abandon an essential part of 
their political creed and make themselves a party to usurpation of 
power. "Resolved," said the celebrated paper referred to, "that 
whenever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its 
acts are unauthoritative, void and of no force ; that to this compact 
each State acceded as a State, and is an integral party, its co-States 
forming as to itself the other party." In the light of this, the action 
of the Washington Government was revolutionary. 

Add to this that their inclinations were naturally with the South ; in 
some respects their interests were identical ; and there was besides the 
warmer feeling of kinship with these people from whose pioneer stock 
her population had in a large part been derived ; and it will be readily 
apprehended that but for the hesitation of Virginia and Tennessee, 
discouraging action on her part until the first heat of excitement had 
passed, Kentucky would have formally identified herself with the 
Southern movement; but the delay brought change of policy, if not 
of sincere sentiment. 

The geographical position of the State was exceedingly unfavorable 
under the circumstances ; and this was seized upon by the men whose 
proclivities were to the North, and it was made the most of by Union 
men everywhere. With three hostile States on her river line, hav 
ing facilities for transporting troops and munitions of war from any 
portion of the North, and throwing them speedily into her midst her 
border cities perfectly exposed to destruction from a naval armament 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 33 

that might have been sent into the Ohio and Mississippi so promptly 
as to render any attempt at coast defense useless ; add to this that she 
was not adequately armed and equipped, and had neither the power 
to become so of herself nor the hope of receiving that character of 
aid from the Confederate Government, and it will be seen that she 
was almost entirely defenseless, and the obstacles were recognized as 
being so really insurmountable, by even the less sagacious and more 
passionate leaders of the Southern element in Kentucky, that they 
w.ere paralyzed; and every sign of hesitation, every day of delay, 
emboldened the party that sought not only to prevent alliance with the 
South, but to make the State an active participant in the war of subju 
gation. The result was that Kentucky at last assumed an attitude 
utterly unworthy of the character and traditions of her people neu 
trality, so-called, in a time of great public upheaval and of that peril 
to free institutions which could but be apprehended from an organized 
attempt to overthrow constitutional rights. 

It is unnecessary to consider the successive steps by which this result 
was reached. How the Southern leaders in good faith acqueisced in it, 
and sought to carry out their part of the compact, is part of the gen 
eral history of the times. And it is not pleasant to recall the crimina 
tions and recriminations current among the partisans of the respective 
powers then at war, and the bitterness that was engendered. It was 
but natural that a certain degree of odium should attach to Kentucky 
in the minds of both sections, though both drew largely from her to 
swell the ranks of the respective armies, and the North especially for 
supplies and munitions of war. 

The Southern sympathizers in Kentucky who had awaited the action 
of their own State, with the hope that such action would be consistent 
with their views, and lead to organizing for the purpose of repelling all 
attempts of the Federal armies to cross her northern boundary, put no 
faith in the declaration of the Legislature that Kentucky " would not 
take up arms for either belligerent party; but arm herself for the pres 
ervation of peace in her own borders." They believed the position 
wholly untenable, if not dastardly, and felt themselves free to act on 
their individual responsibility. Further than this they felt that the 
policy had not been adopted in good faith, and that it would not be re 
spected by the Washington authorities. They had not long to wait for 
confirmation of this, for before July, General William Nelson was au 
thorized to recruit in Kentucky five regiments of infantry and one of 
cavalry for service in the Federal army ; and during that month a 
Federal camp of rendezvous and instruction, " Dick Robinson," was 
established in the State. The Southern men considered this a virtual 
abandonment of the policy by the party that originated it ; but they de- 



34 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

clinedto accept the retraction, and their recruiting stations were es 
tablished on the Tennessee border, within the jurisdiction of the Con 
federate States. 

Relieved from all obligation to do military service at the call of the 
State by the State s own action and by its acquiescence in the estab 
lishment of a recruiting station in her own limits, they were free to 
take service in accordance with their own views and feelings. It 
ought to be noted that .though Kentucky was still an integral part of 
the Union she had declared herself ready to fight the United States 
troo p s a course which could be justified only on strictly secession 
principles. Occupying this anomalous position, she had virtually 
abandoned legal control of her own citizens, who proceeded to ally 
themselves with one or the other party to the conflict. A word here 
as to the sentiments and feelings of the Kentucky secessionists at this 
crisis : 

The typical Kentuckian is essentially loyal and essentially senti 
mental. Whatever has indisputable claim to his devotion, whatever 
he loves, whatever he is responsible for, is assured of his constancy 
and of the might of his arm in time of need. As long as his country s 
flag symbolizes his country s rights, dignity and lawful power, a sight 
of it, raised in appeal to the country s defenders, sets him afire. He 
does not waste time composing verses and making bombastic speeches, 
but gets his gun. Sentiment does not degenerate into mere senti 
mentality, but impels to action. Witness the war of 1812. When the 
Governor called for volunteers considerably in excess of the State s 
proportion, twice the number took the field and soon showed that the 
cavalier and revolutionary blood was abounding and unadulterated. 
In the conflict with Mexico, the Kentuckian was prompt and very 
prominent ; and if there had been the suggestion of threatened disaster 
to American arms, and of real need, the State would have turned out 
a sufficient army of her own, not only to relieve Texas, but to take 
possession of the enemy s country. 

It should be kept in mind, however, that his loyalty is not a blind 
prejudice; not a bias resulting from old habits and associations. He 
is quick to discover when a mere graven image or a clay god occupies 
the place of what he believed true and worthy of his regard; and as 
quick to kindle into that indignation which results in an effort to break 
it in pieces. Herein lies the solution of the apparent anomaly that a 
State known of all men to be rather ultra loyal to the General Govern 
ment; a State whose citizens, whether calling themselves Whigs or 
Democrats, gave a hearty amen to Mr. Clay s watch- word, "The 
Union, One and Indivisible," and were always ready to take up arms 
in its defense that such a State was once on the point of seceding 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 35 

in fact would have seceded had there not been double-dealing which 
caused delay, during which the Federal power perfected plans and 
adopted a policy that over-awed the timid and won the wavering by 
playing upon their fears and threatening their property interests. With 
those who early in 1861 were inclined to ally Kentucky with the 
Southern movement it was a condition precedent to their constant 
loyalty to the Union of the States that there should be no violation of 
the compact into which all had entered; and they now saw in the 
principles and policy of the dominant party an assumption of authority 
to maintain the Union by force of arms a doctrine which they re 
pudiated and resented. In spite of the overshadowing influence of 
Mr. Clay, the spirit of the resolutions of 1798 had lived and even in 
tensified as hostility to Southern institutions became more and more 
manifest. The general public did not note the fine distinction between 
the resolutions of 1798 and those of 1799, whether a State could legiti 
mately withdraw without the concurrence of a majority of the States; 
but accepted the extreme doctrine that each was sovereign, and for 
cause could dissolve its connection with the rest. So, when it became 
clear that the Washington government meant to wage war upon the se 
ceded States because they had presumed to exercise what they re 
garded as a constitutional right, these men looked upon it as an out 
rage, monstrous in its criminality. When it was proposed that the 
armies of the United States should march under the old flag, upon 
which Kentuckians had so long lovingly looked as the banner of free 
dom and the emblem of all that had been won by the blood and 
treasure of Kentucky and the South, as well as of those that now held 
the reins of Government when this was to float over an army of in 
vasion and subjugation, moved by a power that was not expressly (or 
even impliedly as they saw things), lodged anywhere is it any won 
der that for the time it not only lost its sanctity but took on the aspect 
of one symbolizing usurpation of authority and the sinister purposes 
of a conqueror ? 

The candid and reflecting mind judges the actions of men by their 
underlying motives, and seeks fairly to discover whether those motives 
have as their logical basis honest convictions. 

The wild fanaticism of the North on the slavery question, which had 
its manifestations in teaching that there was a higher law than the Con 
stitution ; that the Constitution was a league with death and a cove 
nant with hell;" that the stripes on the country s flag were "bloody 
scars" and its "vaunting hymn" (the Star Spangled Banner) a lie; in 
the Helper Book; in the John Brown raid; in the daily rabid and rev 
olutionary utterances of orators and newspapers all this made the im 
pression on that generation of young Kentuckians that the professed 



36 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

love for the Union and loyalty to the Government were hypocritical to 
the last degree, and that the war was rather a mad crusade to destroy 
slavery than a patriotic effort to enforce the laws. It cannot be main 
tained, however, that they took up arms in defense of this peculiar in 
stitution, though they did feel that the seizing of a pretext to invade 
the South to destroy what the law had recognized as a property right 
was outrageous ; and, of course, this contributed greatly to inflame pas 
sion . 

Referring to the above statement as to action based upon honest 
convictions, we have seen that these men believed secession to be 
a fundamental right. The teachings of a number of their own most 
honored jurists and statesmen had impressed this; and it was so 
held by many of these in that section which had now resorted to arms 
to prevent the practical exercise of such right. This attempt, then, 
could be viewed no otherwise than as an invasion of sovereign States, 
without warrant of law, but in flagrant violation of law, and for the de 
struction of a property right which represented to the Southern people 
not less than a thousand millions of dollars. 

There was manifest in the action of these men also a trait which 
challenges the admiration of civilized people everywhere; namely, 
that chivalrous spirit which espouses the cause of the weak against the 
strong. Any species of outrage or oppression had the effect of so 
rousing their wrath as to make them lose sight of their own interests 
and take upon themselves the office of defenders and avengers. To 
use a homely phrase, it is peculiarly characteristic of Kentuckians to 
take the part of "the bottom dog in the fight," without stopping to in 
quire into the merits of the case. Having then a basis of honest con 
victions as to the right of the Southern Confederacy to exist; being 
thoroughly persuaded that no written or implied warrant justified the 
action of the Washington government; and fired by the spectacle of 
mighty armies, levied and sustained by a power whose resources of 
men and money were inexhaustible, swarming across the border to 
compel a comparatively weak people to abide by their views of the 
Constitutional compact entered into by the fathers of the Republic the 
five to seven thousand young Kentuckians of whom this work treats 
enrolled themselves under the tri-colored flag and took step to the music 
of Dixie. How they fought and suffered and to the very last stood 
fast by the banner that represented to them the principle that " all just 
government is derived from the consent of the governed" all the 
world knows. How they loved their own State, though for the time 
expatriated and contemned by the powers into whose hands she had 
fallen, is attested by the fact that though their blood reddened the 
many battlefields of seven States, they were mindful of what was due 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 37 

to her and never fled ignominiously before their enemies; and though 
their privations were long and trying and their disappointments many, 
they never lost heart nor hesitated to answer to the call of duty. 

In recording the deeds of these men it seems to the writer to be due 
to the truth of history that he enter, for them and their posterity, a 
protest against the use of certain epithets and assumptions that may 
have the effect of placing them in a false light hereafter. In contro 
versy, a false assumption or a careless statement, if allowed to go un 
challenged, may take the force of a true premise and establish an 
argument; and an epithet or term that passes into general use without 
question as to the correctness of its application may give currency to 
error and insure its perpetuation. Perhaps no conflict between the civ 
ilized nations of the earth has been of such magnitude as was that of 
the war between the States. Certainly no other was so remarkable in 
respect to the question involved and to the result upon the destinies of 
a vast continent. And notwithstanding the ravings of fanatics that did 
so much to precipitate it, no other two mighty antagonists were ever 
so sincerely honest and unanimous in their respective views of the 
matter in issue as were the people of the North and the South. 

Having fought each other long and heroically on what may be styled 
a mere open clause in the Constitution, and disposed of the matter for 
all time, it is not to the interest or the glory of either to try to forestall 
the, verdict of the future upon the motives or the conduct of the other. 
The term "rebel," as applied to Southern men, and used in current 
speech, is not offensive; because they have accepted it, applied it to 
themselves, and, though conscious of its falsity, they regard it rather 
as the title of distinction which connects them with that stupendous 
struggle during which "all the world wondered" at their valor, their 
endurance, and their fealty; but it bespeaks either the uncandid and 
time-serving or careless mind when one who essays to chronicle the 
events of those times sets down for the eyes of the dispassionate reader 
of the future the terms "rebel" and "rebellion." The movement of 
the Southern States was in no sense a rebellion, unless, indeed, we 
may speak of it as a rebellion against the assumption of the North that 
every State surrendered its sovereignty when it ratified the Constitu 
tion of 1787. With just as much propriety, in view of the real prin 
ciple upon which the war was waged, might Southern writers speak of 
the Federal soldiers as the wanton invaders and despoilers of a kindred 
people. 

Again we have the confident statement that the Southern States sub 
mitted the question of secession to the arbitrament of arms, and lost; 
or, that they threw down the gage of battle ; or, that they appealed to 
the sword and the decision was against them, etc., etc. Not only have 



38 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

such expressions passed unchallenged, but they are not infrequently 
used by Southern men themselves. 

A more glaring untruth as to the respective attitudes of the com 
batants was never allowed to gain currency. The South never pro 
posed to submit the question to the arbitrament of arms; she never 
either literally or figuratively threw down the gage of battle; she 
never appealed to the sword to obtain her rights. She took a step 
which she believed the Constitution guaranteed to her, without any in 
timation that she regarded it as revolutionary, and to be made good by 
battle, and simply asked to be let alone. Those who keep in mind 
the occurrences of those times know with what pertinacity Mr. Davis 
clung to that terse expression of the wishes of his people: " Let us 
alone." Those who do not can find it in his State papers, iterated in 
the first days of the Confederacy, and again and again reiterated sub 
sequently "Let us alone." Peaceable secession that was their 
right, they said. It was no new doctrine, but had been maintained by 
the ablest American jurists, North as well as South. No such right 
exists, said the then dominant party in the North ; secession is rebel 
lion. That was the issue; and the Federal power was invoked to 
compel the Southern States to abandon their position. The war was 
forced upon them. They fought, but not of choice. They had the 
alternative of fighting or of cravenly rescinding their action and yield 
ing a right which was as clearly and positively guaranteed to them by 
the organic law as was the right to hold property. The question was 
settled by arms ; but to say that it was submitted to the arbitrament of 
arms is grossly to misrepresent the plans, purposes, and actions of the 
seceded States. 

We hear also much about the defenders of the Union, the preserv 
ers of the Union, etc. The use of these terms is utterly fallacious and 
misleading, unless we are ready to eliminate from the case the South 
ern view, and accept a half truth as good and sufficient. They 
defended the creation of their own minds ; they preserved a Union 
which existed under the Constitution only as they construed it a 
forced construction which violated the rules laid down for determining 
the meaning of laws, organic or statute. In the Southern mind, there 
was no unconditional Union, as we have heretofore indicated; and to 
talk of a union preserved is to ignore one of the belligerents. The 
truth is that Northern arms destroyed the principle upon which the 
original confederation of States was based and established an indivisi 
ble and permanent one, so that accuracy of statement requires that the 
so-called preservers of the Union be known as the founders, the 
fathers of the L T nion as it now exists; but with this superlative title 
and this apparently greater honor, they must take the responsibility of 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 39 

the much-modifying fact that they invaded and overpowered a free and 
of right independent people. 

No really sane and thoughtful man desires to renew or to perpetuate 
any of the animosities engendered by the war. On the contrary, he 
rejoices at every indication of the growth of fraternal feeling between 
the sections and among the individuals who in 1861 arrayed them 
selves on opposite sides in a mighty struggle. But the history of that 
struggle is yet to be written; and the philosophic historian will need 
to draw his materials and his conclusions not alone from the archives 
of State, but from the records left by those whose lives were contem 
poraneous with the events of 1861-65 an d those of the few decades im 
mediately succeeding. It is important, therefore, that every one of them 
who takes upon himself the task of a chronicler shall speak his honest 
thought accepting nothing as true merely because it is current and 
ostensibly admitted; and rejecting nothing as false simply because it is 
unpopular with this or the other section. The man who seeks to con 
ciliate his enemy by admissions, explanations or apologies that the 
enemy knows or feels to be insincere incurs contempt. A chivalric 
foeman honors and trusts the man who fights him bravely and fairly, 
and as bravely but without foolish bluster maintains his conviction 
that the grounds on which he made battle were true and good, no mat- 
ter^what the issue of the conflict. Witness the soldiers of the respec 
tive armies. There was a degree of fraternization among them even 
during those bitter years; and since then they have been friends. 
They are not disposed to quarrel over a dead issue, and they do not 
call in question the patriotic motives that impelled each to wage 
against the other a long and destructive war. No more should they 
hesitate, when occasion demands, to put on record, in respectful but 
unequivocal terms, "the reason for the faith that was in them." 

We make no complaint as to the result. To the power that "rode 
upon the swift cloud," and controlled the storm all must bow; but it 
is important to us, to our children and our children s children, that we 
maintain, and that the world come to recognize, that the Southern 
States exercised a clear constitutional right when they withdrew, and 
that Southern soldiers fought for the essential principle of human 
liberty the right of self-goverment. 

The State Rights party met, by delegates, at Russellville, on the 
i8th of November, and organized a provisional government for Ken 
tucky, under which the State was admitted into the Confederacy, in 
December, and accorded equal privileges of representation with the 
others. The Governor and a council of ten, representing the ten Con 
gressional districts into which the State was then divided, were invested 
with the power accorded in the State Government to the Executive 



40 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

and the Legislature, and the following officers were chosen : For 
Governor, George W. Johnson, of Scott county ; for members of Coun 
cil, Willis B. Machen, of Lyon county, President of Council; John 
W. Crockett, of Henderson; James P. Bates, of Barren; James S. 
Chrisman, of Wayne; Philip B. Thompson, of Mercer; J. P. Burn- 
side, of Garrard; H. W. Bruce, of Jefferson; E. M. Bruce, of Nich 
olas; J. W. Moore, of Montgomery; and S. S. Scott, of Boone. 
For Secretary of State, Robert McKee, of Louisville; Assistant 
Secretary of State, O. F. Payne, of Fayette. Treasurer, John 
Burnam, of Warren; Auditor, J. Pillsbury, of Warren; Clerk, 
A. Frank Brown, of Bourbon; Sergeant-at-Arms, John B. Thomp 
son, Jr., of Mercer. The following were sent as delegates to the Pro 
visional Congress, rather as delegates at large : John Thomas, of 
Christian ; Henry E. Reed, of Hardin ; George W. Ewing, of Logan ; 
Dr. Daniel P. White, of Greene; T. L. Burnett, of Spencer; S. H. 
Ford, of Louisville; Judge Monroe, of Frankfort ; Colonel Tom John 
son, of Montgomery; and John M. Elliott, of Floyd. An election 
was ordered and held on the 22d day of January, 1862, for members 
of Congress of the permanent government, for the two years next en 
suing, and the following gentlemen were chosen for the respective dis 
tricts, in the order in which the names occur : W. B. Machen, of 
Lyon ; J. W. Crockett, of Henderson ; H. E. Reed, of Hardin ; George 
W. Ewing, of Logan; James S. Chrisman, of Wayne; T. L. Burnett, 
of Spencer; H. W. Bruce, of Jefferson; George B. Hodge, of Camp 
bell; E. M. Bruce, of Nicholas; James W. Moore, of Montgomery; 
Robert J. Breckinridge, Jr., of Fayette; and John M. Elliott, of 
Floyd. Another election was held on the loth of February, 1864, 
by Kentuckians in the South, and the same delegation returned, with 
the exception that George W. Triplett, of Daviess; Humphrey Mar 
shall, of Henry; and Benjamin F. Bradley, of Scott, were chosen for 
the districts to which they severally belonged. Henry C. Burnett, of 
Trigg, and William E. Simms, of Bourbon, were elected Senators, 
and served as such during the war. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 41 



CHAPTER III. 

ORGANIZATION OF THE REGIMENTS AND ARTILLERY COMPOSING THE 

FIRST KENTUCKY BRIGADE. THE FIGHT AT HUTCHERSON S. 

TROOPS UNDER BUCKNER CONCENTRATE AT BOWLING GREEN. 

BRECKINRIDGE ASSUMES COMMAND. FIGHT AT WHIPPOORWILL 

BRIDGE. EXPEDITIONS TO ROCHESTER AND ELSEWHERE. INCI 
DENTS AND ANECDOTES. 

The eagerness with which the people of Kentucky, in common with 
other slave States, looked forward to the inauguration of Mr. Lincoln, 
and a consequent authoritative declaration of his policy, was propor 
tioned to the momentous character of the crisis. As events of a 
startling nature crowded upon each other, and a thousand rumors were 
borne to the public ear respecting the evident designs of the President 
elect, and the ill-concealed disposition on the part of the Republicans 
to resort to force, and compel the seceded States into submission to 
whatever course the Government should choose to pursue, the interest 
deepened into anxiety, at last into a feverish, painful suspense, which, 
contrary to hopes which had been entertained, was in nowise relieved, 
but rather intensified by the circumstances immediately connected 
with the journey of Mr. Lincoln to Washington, and the unusual char 
acter of the proceedings on the day of his induction into office. The 
Inaugural Address itself, so far from removing the suspense, proved 
rather a means to increase the doubt and bewilderment of the people, 
insomuch as it was like the famous shield which drew the contending 
knights to battle each party interpreted it from his own point of 
view, and contention waxed hot, and uncertainty grew almost to mad 
ness before the guns of Charleston harbor dispelled the mental haze, 
and effectually opened the eyes of men to the astounding fact that 
one of the mighty scourges of heaven had fallen upon the American 
people that war, gigantic, unrelenting, had displayed his "wrinkled 
front " once more upon the hitherto happy continent. 

" The mutual animosity of separate countries at war with each 
other," says the most pleasing of modern historians, " is languid when 
compared with the animosity of nations which, morally separated, are 
yet locally intermingled." Though the people of the United States 
were regarded as one people, they were divided among themselves 
they differed in local institutions and prejudices were "morally sepa- 



44 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

Hewitt determined to recruit a regiment for the Southern army, and 
they set about the necessary arrangements to carry this into effect. 
They were aided in the enterprise by some of the most wealthy and in 
fluential citizens of Louisville, who spent freely for transportation and 
supplies, and labored in every laudable way for the promotion of the 
scheme. Authority was obtained to establish a recruiting station at 
some point contiguous to Kentucky, and of easy access, and to organ 
ize bodies of troops for the Confederate service. Accordingly, a spot 
was chosen in Montgomery county, Tennessee, two miles to the right 
of the Louisville and Memphis railroad, and seven miles from Clarks- 
ville, in a heavily-timbered forest, well supplied with water, while fields 
furnishing sufficient open space for drilling large commands were con 
venient; and here, in July, 1861, Camp Boone was laid out, and cleared 
of undergrowth, and the nucleus of the Second Regiment Kentucky 
Volunteer Infantry pitched their tents, and entered upon the duties 
peculiar to the recruit in the earlier stages of his discipline. Colonels 
Lloyd Tilghman and R. P. Trabue also obtained authority to raise, 
each, a regiment, and the first men who enlisted under Colonel Tilgh 
man came out shortly after those under Withers. The Second Regi 
ment was organized on the iyth of July. (A list of Field and Staff 
officers will be found in that part of this work which treats of the His 
tory of Individuals). The Third Regiment was organized a few days 
afterward, with the following officers composing field and staff: Lloyd 
Tilghman, Colonel; Albert P. Thompson, Lieutenant Colonel; Ben An 
derson, Major; Captain Alfred Boyd, A. Q. M. ; Captain J. S. Byers, 
A. C. S. ; Dr. J. W. Thompson, Surgeon, and Dr. J. B. Sanders, As 
sistant Surgeon. We have not been able to learn who the original Ad 
jutant was. Colonel Tilghman was promoted to Brigadier General in 
the autumn, and, upon the promotion of Thompson and Anderson to 
the positions of Colonel and Lieutenant Colonel, Captain A. Johnson 
became Major. The Third Regiment, however, did not constitute a 
part of the command afterward known as the First Kentucky Brigade, 
though it was connected with it as part of Breckinridge s Division till 
September, 1862, and fought with the Fourth, Sixth, and Ninth Regi 
ments at Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Baton Rouge, as did also the Seventh 
Regiment, recruited about the same time in Western Kentucky. 

Early in August a battery of light artillery was added to the new 
force. (See "Byrne s Battery," in another part of this book). 

About the same time, the first companies, or parts of companies, de 
signed for Colonel Trabue s regiment, came out and prepared Camp 
Burnett, three miles south of Boone. The companies were rapidly 
filled up, and the Fourth Regiment was organized in September. (For 
a list of the field, staff and line officers, see another part of this work.) 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 45 

On the 2oth of September, Colonel Joseph H. Lewis established a 
camp at Cave City, and about the same time, Colonel Thomas H. Hunt 
began to collect recruits at Green River. Colonel Cofer also had au 
thority to raise a battalion in connection with Major Thomas H. Hays 
(then Captain of a company of the State Guard). 

When Colonel Hanson fell back from Munfordsville (as hereafter 
noticed) these recruits established their camps also at Bowling Green, 
and Colonel Hunt effected temporary organization of his regiment in 
October. His own commission bore date of October 3, 1861, but no 
other field officers were appointed until after the battle of Shiloh. (See 
another part of this book for field and staff.) 

In order to avoid confusion and repeated reference to the fact here 
after, it is necessary to anticipate, in some degree, the history of Colonel 
Hunt s regiment. The temporary organization having been effected 
before that of any other one subsequently to the Fourth, it was num 
bered by the War Department as the Fifth, and bore that designation 
until October, 1862. As the " Fifth Kentucky" it passed through the 
engagements of Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Baton Rouge, and in all offi 
cial orders and reports it is so mentioned. But the regiment of Colonel 
John S. Williams perfected its organization on the i4th of November, 
having full complement not only of men, but of field and staff officers, 
duly commissioned; and the War Department, in consideration of this 
fact, and perhaps also the commission of Colonel Williams was of some 
days earlier date than that of Colonel Hunt, decided that it should be 
known as the Fifth Kentucky, and an order was issued naming Colonel 
Hunt s as the Ninth, but which was not received, as before stated, till 
the Brigade reached Knoxville, October, 1862. In the reports of bat 
tles herein published we have substituted Ninth Kentucky for Fifth 
Kentucky throughout; but in reading other accounts of the battles re 
ferred to, and the various allusions to them by other writers, it should 
be borne in mind that there were at that time two Fifth Kentucky regi 
ments of infantry, one with General Breckinridge, the other with Gen 
eral Marshall. 

Colonel Lewis and Colonel Cofer, finding that they could not suc 
ceed in recruiting either two full regiments or battalions in time for the 
active operations which were now being inaugurated, agreed, after 
consultation with the officers, and through them with the men of the 
several companies, to unite the two battalions in process of formation, 
and organize a single regiment. Early in November, then, the tents 
were pitched together, and on the ipth of that month the organization 
of the Sixth Regiment took place. (See pages elsewhere for a list of 
the field, staff, and line officers.) In addition to the ten companies of 
which the regiment was thus formed, and which are accounted for in 



46 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

the latter part of this work, Captain McKinney, of Logan County, 
had a company, then on duty at Hopkinsville, and on the 25th of 
November, this was ordered, by General Albert Sidney Johnston, to 
report to Colonel Lewis, as on detached service, but to be incorporated 
with the Sixth Regiment. It was accordingly entered upon the rec 
ords as Company L. When reinforcements were sent to Donelson, 
this company was sent forward to report at that point, and fought 
there with the Eighth Kentucky Infantry. It was surrendered with 
the other companies of that command; and though Colonel Lewis 
made an effort, after it was exchanged, to have it report to him, it was 
never with the Sixth Regiment, and soon ceased to be considered a 
part of it. 

On the yth of November, Colonel Hanson addressed a note to 
General Buckner, then commanding Second Division of the Cen 
tral Army of Kentucky, saying that " the artillery known as Spencer s 
Battery could probably be attached to this brigade, provided we fur 
nish enough men to fill up the company not exceeding fifteen men 
from each regiment the battery to-be then under command of Adju 
tant Rice E. Graves. Such an arrangement would be most acceptable to 
me, should it meet with your approval. I write this to signify our 
desire to have another battery, and our willingness to furnish the men." 
Arrangements were accordingly set on foot, looking to this end; the 
guns were procured, and on the i6th of November a call was made 
for sixty men to man them, apportioned among the five Kentucky 
regiments. The number specified volunteered for that service 
promptly, as they were called upon in that manner, instead of by 
detail, and on the 3d of December, Company B, of the Fourth Regi 
ment, was temporarily detached for the same duty, with a few addi 
tional men from the Second Regiment, and the whole was placed 
under command of Graves, who was at once recommended for pro 
motion to the rank of captain of artillery. 

Lyon s Battery (subsequently Cobb s) had been previously con 
nected with the brigade, the guns being manned partly by men enlisted 
for that purpose, and partly by the company of Captain Somes, of the 
Third Regiment. (See elsewhere a more extended notice of this 
battery.) 

The foregoing constituted the Kentucky infantry and artillery or 
ganized on the Tennessee border and at Bowling Green. The First 
Kentucky Cavalry, under Colonel (afterward General) Ben Hardin 
Helm, was in the field, and at Murfreesboro , some months subse 
quently, it was temporarily brigaded with the infantry regiments 
named, but was not subject to the orders of the same general officer 
.after having reached Burnsville. The squadron of Captain John H. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 47 

Morgan was mustered into the service by Lieutenant Frank Tryon, of 
the Second Infantry, on the 5th of November, and was nominally a 
part of the brigade until the spring of 1862. 

Though these commands were some of them yet in process of 
formation, as the reader will observe, they were regularly brigaded on 
the 28th of October, the day on which General Johnston assumed 
immediate command of the Army Corps of Central Kentucky, and, 
General Breckinridge not having arrived, they were placed under 
command of the senior colonel, Roger W. Hanson. On the 5th of 
November, Colonel Thomas H. Hunt was given command of all the 
unorganized regiments and companies, subordinate to the brigade 
commander, and reporting to division headquarters through him ; and 
Captain John McGill and a Lieutenant Dudley were assigned to the 
duty of drill-masters to the new recruits. 

Major Alexander Cassidy, who had been serving on the staff of 
General Buckner as A. A. G. , was appointed superintendent of the 
recruiting of volunteers in Kentucky, * and Lieutenant Frank Tryon 
mustering officer, with a view to active and efficient work in augment 
ing the 1 forces. The organizations already adverted to were filled up, 
and by the ist of December regular military routine was established. 
Even the recently-formed regiments began to acquire rapidly that pro 
ficiency in the drill and manual for which they were afterward distin 
guished. But after that period the work of recruiting went on slowly. 
The provisional governor (Johnson) issued, on the yth of December, 
a stirring proclamation, in hopes to raise two additional regiments, in 
fantry and cavalry, but the golden opportunity had passed. Two 
classes of men had, during the past six months, connected themselves 
with the army ; the more impulsive and ambitious, who naturally seize 
upon an occasion of the kind to "seek the bubble reputation, even at 
the cannon s mouth," and those more deeply and earnestly enthusiastic 
characters, who are actuated by a stern sense of duty, that forbids 
them to maintain any doubtful middle ground. Of those who enter 
tained Southern feelings there were yet at home two distinct classes 
one consisted of politic, cautious characters, having a somewhat 
overweening regard for personal advantage ; the other, of those who 
are naturally conservative, and who, not from any base motives of 
fear or love of ease, are yet hardly to be persuaded to see a military 
enterprise in any other light than as a struggle for mere mastery on the 
part of governments, and of renown to the individual who engages in 
it. The influences at work at and previous to the time to which we 
have referred, were wholly adverse to the success of the Confederates 



He was succeeded on the staff of General Buckner by Major G. B. Cosby. 



46 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

the latter part of this work, Captain McKinney, of Logan County, 
had a company, then on duty at Hopkinsville, and on the 2$th of 
November, this was ordered, by General Albert Sidney Johnston, to 
report to Colonel Lewis, as on detached service, but to be incorporated 
with the Sixth Regiment. It was accordingly entered upon the rec 
ords as Company L. When reinforcements were sent to Donelson, 
this company was sent forward to report at that point, and fought 
there with the Eighth Kentucky Infantry. It was surrendered with 
the other companies of that command; and though Colonel Lewis 
made an effort, after it was exchanged, to have it report to him, it was 
never with the Sixth Regiment, and soon ceased to be considered a 
part of it. 

On the yth of November, Colonel Hanson addressed a note to 
General Buckner, then commanding Second Division of the Cen 
tral Army of Kentucky, saying that " the artillery known as Spencer s 
Battery could probably be attached to this brigade, provided we fur 
nish enough men to fill up the company not exceeding fifteen men 
from each regiment- the battery to-be then under command of Adju 
tant Rice E. Graves. Such an arrangement would be most acceptable to 
me, should it meet with your approval. I write this to signify our 
desire to have another battery, and our willingness to furnish the men." 
Arrangements were accordingly set on foot, looking to this end; the 
guns were procured, and on the i6th of November a call was made 
for sixty men to man them, apportioned among the five Kentucky 
regiments. The number specified volunteered for that service 
promptly, as they were called upon in that manner, instead of by 
detail, and on the 3d of December, Company B, of the Fourth Regi 
ment, was temporarily detached for the same duty, with a few addi 
tional men from the Second Regiment, and the whole was placed 
under command of Graves, who was at once recommended for pro 
motion to the rank of captain of artillery. 

Lyon s Battery (subsequently Cobb s) had been previously con 
nected with the brigade, the guns being manned partly by men enlisted 
for that purpose, and partly by the company of Captain Somes, of the 
Third Regiment. (See elsewhere a more extended notice of this 
battery.) 

The foregoing constituted the Kentucky infantry and artillery or 
ganized on the Tennessee border and at Bowling Green. The First 
Kentucky Cavalry, under Colonel (afterward General) Ben Hardin 
Helm, was in the field, and at Murfreesboro , some months subse 
quently, it was temporarily brigaded with the infantry regiments 
named, but was not subject to the orders of the same general officer 
.after having reached Burnsville. The squadron of Captain John H. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 47 

Morgan was mustered into the service by Lieutenant Frank Tryon, of 
the Second Infantry, on the 5th of November, and was nominally a 
part of the brigade until the spring of 1862. 

Though these commands were some of them yet in process of 
formation, as the reader will observe, they were regularly brigaded on 
the 28th of October, the day on which General Johnston assumed 
immediate command of the Army Corps of Central Kentucky, and, 
General Breckinridge not having arrived, they were placed under 
command of the senior colonel, Roger \V. Hanson. On the 5th of 
November, Colonel Thomas H. Hunt was given command of all the 
unorganized regiments and companies, subordinate to the brigade 
commander, and reporting to division headquarters through him ; and 
Captain John McGill and a Lieutenant Dudley were assigned to the 
duty of drill-masters to the new recruits. 

Major Alexander Cassidy, who had been serving on the staff of 
General Buckner as A. A. G. , was appointed superintendent of the 
recruiting of volunteers in Kentucky, * and Lieutenant Frank Tryon 
mustering officer, with a view to active and efficient work in augment 
ing the forces. The organizations already adverted to were filled up, 
and by the ist of December regular military routine was established. 
Even the recently-formed regiments began to acquire rapidly that pro 
ficiency in the drill and manual for which they were afterward distin 
guished. But after that period the work of recruiting went on slowly. 
The provisional governor (Johnson) issued, on the yth of December, 
a stirring proclamation, in hopes to raise two additional regiments, in 
fantry and cavalry, but the golden opportunity had passed. Two 
classes of men had, during the past six months, connected themselves 
with the army ; the more impulsive and ambitious, who naturally seize 
upon an occasion of the kind to " seek the bubble reputation, even at 
the cannon s mouth," and those more deeply and earnestly enthusiastic 
characters, who are actuated by a stern sense of duty, that forbids 
them to maintain any doubtful middle ground. Of those who enter 
tained Southern feelings there were yet at home two distinct classes 
one consisted of politic, cautious characters, having a somewhat 
overweening regard for personal advantage ; the other, of those who 
are naturally conservative, and who, not from any base motives of 
fear or love of ease, are yet hardly to be persuaded to see a military 
enterprise in any other light than as a struggle for mere mastery on the 
part of governments, and of renown to the individual who engages in 
it. The influences at work at and previous to the time to which we 
have referred, were wholly adverse to the success of the Confederates 

*He was succeeded on the staff of General Buckner by Major G. B. Cosby. 



48 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

in swelling their ranks. The one class could be reached only by an 
appeal to their selfishness ; while the other could scarcely have been 
convinced that their country really needed them and would suffer 
without their help. Though they gloried in Southern valor, they were 
not ambitious of that distinction for themselves; and though they 
would have resisted unto death any attempt to array them against the 
Southern cause, they deemed themselves perfectly justifiable in stand 
ing aloof from both, and the conclusion was strengthened by a rather 
unconservative opinion that the Confederacy was able to sustain itself 
with what forces it had already in the field. 

On the i6th of November, Brig. -Gen. John C. Breckinridge as 
sumed command, and named the following officers as composing his 
staff: Capt. George B. Hodge, A. A. G. ; Maj. Alfred Boyd, A. Q. 
M.; Capt. Clint. McClarty, A. C. S. ; Lieut. John C. Beech, Ord 
nance Officer;* and Capt. T. T. Hawkins, aid-de-camp. No assistant- 
inspector general was appointed, that duty devolving, for the time, 
upon other officers of the staff. On the 2yth of December, Hon. 
Jilson P. Johnson was announced as volunteer aid-de-camp; and in 
March, 1862, Capt. William L. Brown and Capt. Charles J. Mastin 
were announced as additional volunteer aids. 

At every change of the scope of General Breckinridge s command, 
and every change of troops, corresponding changes and modifications 
were made in his military family, but no effort is made to record other 
than those who were appointed to these places while he was brigadier. 

The difficulty of arming the Kentucky troops was one which 
was not entirely surmounted until after the battle of Shiloh. At 
the time when General Breckinridge assumed command, there 
was not a sufficient number of small arms to supply each man one 
of any description, and the want of uniformity was a serious 
drawback upon efficiency. The Second, Third, and Fourth Regi 
ments had been partially supplied with Belgian rifles, but num 
bers, even in those regiments, were armed with rifled muskets, 
and some of them of the old flintlock pattern. And among the new 
recruits, the display of small arms and ammunition would have moved 
the mirth of any but a Confederate himself, who looked upon it as too 
serious a matter to be treated lightly. There were rifled and smooth 
bore muskets which had been brought in by State-Guard companies, 
that would have been excellent weapons if there had been uniformity, 
or any means of supplying the proper style of cartridge to suit each 
man s case ; but these made up the lesser portion of the strange col- 



* Lieutenant Beech is included, in regular order, in the above list, but the 
appointment was not made until February 22, 1862. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 49 

lection. There were guns of almost every kind known to the troops 
of the United States since Miles Standish "looked his last upon the 
sky." Some of them had been altered from the flint to the percussion 
lock, but the most of them were flintlocks still, and no few of them in 
a condition to be fired only by a match or a firebrand. There were 
squirrel rifles of every age, style, and bore; shot-guns, single-barreled, 
double-barreled, old and new, flintlock, percussion, or no lock at all; 
carbines of every character, pistols of every patent, and huge knives 
that were looked upon as too little to be useful if they weighed less 
than two pounds avoirdupois. They had, too, various supplies of am 
munition, and various means of supplying more. There were some 
few cartridges, mostly for the smooth-bore and rifled musket; and 
these were the most destructive species of missile then at command. 
Troops armed wholly with these muskets, with suitable bayonet, and 
supplied with the " buck-and-ball " cartridge consisting of a heavy 
round bullet, about an ounce in weight, to which was attached on its 
face opposite the charge of powder, three buckshot would have 
every advantage of those bearing Enfield or other improved rifles, ex 
cept in the matter of comparative range. At the distance of not ex 
ceeding three hundred yards, the former would be prepared to do an 
execution more terrible than any that the Enfield rifle is capable of. 
There were various molds for running bullets in cases of emergency. 
There were hunters powder-horns and sportsmen s flasks. Some few 
cartridge-boxes, cap-boxes and belts; and a limited supply of bayonets, 
here and there, had found their way to the new camps. Governor 
Letcher, of Viginia, gave General Breckinridge a number of percus 
sion muskets, and these were divided proportionately among all his 
regiments, about the i2th of December, and every effort was made 
to secure uniformity throughout companies, if not regiments, and to 
procure suitable ammunition ; but even so late as the 2d of January, 
1862, complaint was made that the Ninth Regiment had not arms of 
any kind for half its men, reports showing that there were but two hun 
dred and forty-six really serviceable guns, besides seventy old flint 
locks. 

Tents, clothing, and commissary stores, however, were at this period 
abundant. In fact, there was a great superfluity of the former two, 
since tents were extravagantly plentiful, and almost every man went 
into camp with a supply of trunks, valises, wearing apparel, books and 
other adjuncts of traveling gentlemen, that would have absorbed all 
the transportation space subsequently allowed to a company. 

In the latter part of November, when affairs had begun to assume 
a truly military shape, and it was hoped that the Central Army of Ken 
tucky would soon be brought to a high state of efficiency when the 

4 



50 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

discipline of regular drill, and instruction by competent officers, was 
daily going on, the genius of the great Johnston rapidly bringing 
" order out of confusion," and supplying the chief wants of the de 
partment disease, not hitherto prevailing to any extraordinary extent, 
began to make alarming inroads, and particularly among the newly- 
enlisted men, though no single organization in the corps was exempt. 
It was induced, not so much by a necessary change in the habits of 
life, or necessary exposure to inclement weather, nor yet by deficiency 
of commissaries and clothing, but by a want of knowledge and skill in 
the preparation of their diet. It was observed that the hardest marches 
made during the autumn, even in the most inclement weather, were 
not productive of what might reasonably have been considered a cor 
responding amount of sickness. Nor could it be attributed to con 
finement in quarters and a want of healthful exercise, since the neces 
sary fatigue duty and drill compelled an amount of daily activity as 
well calculated to preserve health as to form soldierly habits. The 
vessels furnished for cooking were simply of sheet -iron a mess-pan, 
as it was called, and a camp-kettle wholly unsuited to the proper 
preparation of food. The bread was consequently fried, or rather 
boiled, in grease, the thinness of the mess-pan preventing its being 
baked, and vessels of cast-iron being but few. This bread, a horrid 
compound of flour and hog s lard, was eaten by a great majority of 
them with bacon, and though this was generally varied with much that 
was wholesome and palatable, it was enough of itself materially to 
affect the health of the command. The most common and alarming 
sickness was a singular type of measles, that, in many instances, baffled 
the skill of the medical department, and carried off scores of men. 
The hospitals in Bowling Green were crowded, and the houses of pri 
vate families in the neighborhood seemed almost turned into hospitals 
themselves, as there were many of them, in various localities, where 
from one to a dozen could be found under treatment. 

About the ist of February, 1862, this crisis had been passed, and 
those who had survived had generally returned to duty. True, the 
proportionate number of men always making up the sick list of an 
army were in the different hospitals at Bowling Green and Nashville, 
but the general health was restored, and the ranks showed no such 
signs of marked depletion as were exhibited in December and the 
first three weeks of January. 

By this time, too, the men began not only to become habituated to 
the new manner of life, but to know by experience that their own com 
fort and safety depended largely upon themselves, and that they must 
adopt certain provisions and exercise certain care wholly ignored in 
the earlier stages of their connection with the army. They began to 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 51 

manifest that disposition and ability to adapt themselves to circum 
stances and make the best of everything that afterward characterized 
them, and rendered them cheerful and often comfortable in situations 
that would have puzzled a philosopher to extract from them any grain 
of either. They devoted their means to the purchase of whatever was 
indispensable in preparing their diet, and in all other cases where the 
resources of the departments failed they fell back upon their own. 

As remarked, there was, then, not only a better state of physical 
health, but a more thorough preparation for the work in the state of 
feeling existing. They had learned conformity, in a great degree, to 
military regulations; and the first feelings of embarrassment and trouble 
having been measurably overcome, the spirits resumed their elasticity, 
and the men were ready for their earnest and momentous work. The 
consciousness of being soldiers rapidly developed the soldiers pride, 
and lent a zest to their privations, duties, and dangers. Not only did 
cheerfulness reign among them, and hope, coupled with resolution, im 
part an air of calm determination, but mirth-provoking practices came 
in vogue, wit and humor found a field for unrestricted display; and the 
regiments afterward to compose in the main the Orphan Brigade were 
ready to encounter fate, and do their part in sustaining the old re 
nown of their commonwealth, whatever fortune might have in store for 
them. 

General Johnston assumed command of the Western Department 
early in September, 1861, when, as has been seen, the Second and 
Third Regiments, and Byrne s Battery, had already been organized, 
and the Fourth had nearly completed its complement of men it being 
organized on the i3th, only a few days from the time of General John 
ston s arrival at Nashville. General Buckner had been named to the 
command of a brigade, of which these Kentucky troops were to form 
a part, and repaired to Camp Boone to enter upon his duties. About 
the middle of September he received orders from General Johnston to 
take charge of them and of all the Tennessee troops then available for 
that purpose, and to move into Kentucky, with a view to occupying 
Bowling Green, the center of a line of operations and defense fixed 
upon by that officer. The necessary arrangements having been made, 
the command moved by rail to Bowling Green, with the exception 
of two hundred men of the Fourth Kentucky, and a number of the 
Third, also, who were without arms. These were sent to Nashville, 
for the purpose of being armed and equipped. The Second Regi 
ment, a company of Tennessee cavalry, and Byrne s Battery, aug 
mented by a field-piece captured at Bowling Green, were sent forward 
to Green River, and encamped near the bridge, with a view to its 
protection and a probable advance the Federal forces occupying 



52 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

Elizabethtown. The remainder of the brigade, though some of them 
passed up the road as far as Horse Cave, where the cars were thrown 
from the track by the act of an enemy, were finally all encamped at 
Bowling Green, and the work of fortifying began. They were joined 
here early in October, by the detachment sent to Nashville for arms, 
and, a little later, by the recruits of Hunt, Lewis, and Gofer. 

The Second Regiment and other troops remained at Green River 
Bridge until the first week in October, when they moved back to 
Bowling Green, followed in a short time by the squadron of Morgan, 
which had entered upon adventurous outpost duty almost immediately 
after having joined Colonel Hanson, at the place above alluded to. 

Upon the advent of the respective armies of Johnston and Ander 
son on Bowling Green and Elizabethtown, restraints which had 
hitherto operated to prevent outrage, were measurably removed, and 
the conflicting passions of the populace broke out into occasional acts 
of violence among them. The most quiet and honorable citizens were 
not safe from molestation, provided they were known to entertain de 
cided sentiments in favor of the South, and possessed, withal, an in 
fluential power which was likely to be exerted for the Confederate 
Government. In many instances, too, the more unprincipled and 
baser sort took advantage of the unsettled state of affairs to wreak 
personal vengeance upon those, either Southern or Northern sympa 
thizers, toward whom, justly or unjustly, they bore either secret or 
avowed enmity, since, under the pretext of serving the Union or the 
new Confederacy, as the case might be, they could commit acts of re 
vengeful cruelty with perfect impunity from the laws. 

The vile practice of exciting the military authorities against private 
citizens, by spiteful and malicious reports, was productive of much 
evil and danger to those who were outspoken in favor of the Southern 
movement. 

An affair in which members of the Sixth Regiment were engaged 
took place in Barren County, and is an instance of the manner in 
which it was sought to drag private citizens from their homes, on 
charges trumped up, perhaps, by secret and designing foes. On the 
morning of the loth of October, 1861, Colonel Lewis, then encamped 
at Cave City, learned that an apprehended movement was on foot to 
arrest Mr. C. B. Hutcherson, living near the intersection of the Mun- 
fordsville and Burksville road with that running from Greensburg to 
Glasgow. His character had never been other than that of the honor 
able, high-toned gentleman and enterprising citizen. His crime was 
that he favored the Southern government. By request, Colonel Lewis 
agreed to send ten men, as volunteers, to guard him against what was 
looked upon as simply lawless violence. The party consisted of John 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 53 

G. Hudson, Thomas G. Page, Samuel Anderson, A. G. King, Robert 
J. Hindman, John B. Spurrier, Gideon B. Rhodes, Joseph L. Tucker, 
John C. Peden, and a man named Mansfield. The citizens present 
who engaged in the fight were C. B. Hutcherson, M. H. Dickinson, 
George Wright, and Samuel Marshall. The soldiers repaired to Mr. 
Hutcherson s during the day, but it is supposed that they were either 
unobserved by citizens friendly to the Federal cause, or that, if any 
such noticed them, they did not know that a movement was on foot to 
seize him that night. Having taken the precaution to throw out some 
pickets, the remainder of the party awaited developments. They had 
nine or ten muskets, while some of them were armed with nothing but 
repeaters. The alarm that a body of horsemen was approaching was 
given by a picket some time in the night, and the Con federates arranged 
themselves in the front yard, in which direction the enemy was re 
ported advancing. An open grave-yard was but a short distance from 
the house, on a slight eminence, and a little to the left of the front 
gate. It was but a short time before men were observed coming 
steadily and as stealthily as possible, and, when well advanced, and 
occupying the burying-place, with ground, perhaps, on the left and 
contiguous, some one in the yard called to them to halt. Instead of 
answering the challenge in form, however, they fired, and at once the 
party of Confederates replied, firing as rapidly and as accurately as 
possible in the darkness, which produced instant confusion, not only 
in the attacking party, but among the horse-holders, whom they had 
posted in a hollow in the field some distance back. There was a noise 
of men in hurried retreat, mingled with groans from the graveyard 
and the running of horses evidently stampeded and dashing about the 
inclosed pasture. The darkness of night and the weakness of the Con 
federates (there being but fourteen, all told) necessarily prevented their 
assuming the offensive, but the aggressive force was already completely 
routed. Their number has been variously estimated at from fifty to a 
hundred men supposed to have been a full company of a Federal 
regiment. The fire of the Confederates was not so destructive as it 
would have been had there been proper management in taking position 
and proper concert in action ; but, all things considered, the punish 
ment inflicted compares favorably with any of the war, considering the 
forces engaged. The Federals were, doubtless, four to one, at least, 
and well armed, while, as before remarked, the Confederates had sev 
eral men armed with nothing but revolvers. One Federal was killed 
outright; two were brought in next morning very severely wounded; 
five others are known to have been wounded, some of them badly; 
others are rumored to have been wounded; and thirty horses, with 
equipments, were captured. No Confederate was even touched ; and 



54 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

the only damage done was the putting of some balls through the 
house one of these having evidently been fired at a lady who looked 
out of an upper window to see how the storm was raging below, as it 
struck the right half-shutter while she had the left one open and her 
head out. 

Early next morning a small force of cavalry went out from Horse 
Cave under command of Col. Jack Allen; and Col. Lewis sent 
additional volunteers from the Sixth Kentucky Infantry, to reinforce 
the little party there, as it was apprehended that the enemy might be 
on the move from Greensburgh; but no further trouble occurred. 
Among the horsemen were Wallace Herr and James H. Rudy, who 
afterward became distinguished members of the First Kentucky 
Cavalry. 

Another minor affair took place while Johnston s troops were at 
Bowling Green, in which some men of the Ninth Kentucky were en 
gaged. This was at Whippoorwill Bridge, on the Louisville and Mem 
phis Railroad, some five or six miles below Russellville. On the i3th 
of November, Colonel Hunt, who had three companies reporting to 
him from Russellville, without having ever been to Bowling Green, 
went down with those collected at the latter place, was joined there 
by the three companies, and the whole established themselves near 
town, at what they called Camp Magruder, in pursuance of a custom 
then much in vogue among the Confederates, of calling encampments 
after noted officers of their army. They remained here till about the 
ist of December, and returned to Bowling Green, with the exception 
of thirteen men, under command of Sergeant (afterward First Lieu 
tenant) Peter H. O Connor, of Co. H. The names of three of this 
detachment cannot be ascertained; but the others were: George 
Campbell, Co. A; Joseph Hall, Co. C; H. D. Dougherty, Thomas 
Lilley, Joseph Wilson, and Hatch Jupin, Co. B; Paul Burgess and 
John E. Cook, Co. G; Isaac Duckwall and James Johnson, Co. H. 

This force had been detailed to guard the bridge aforesaid from de 
struction by the Federal Home-Guards. It was left on duty when the 
regiment went back to Bowling Green, except Sergeant O Connor, 
who had to go to Bowling Green for a supply of ammunition. On the 
morning of the 4th of December, the detail was attacked by ninety 
men, under command of a Captain Netter, who had come out cau 
tiously from Rochester for the purpose of destroying the bridge. The 
guard stood gallantly to their arms against this overwhelming odds, 
and fought until they were surrounded (a number of Federals having 
found the way to their rear as well as front), when the survivors sur 
rendered. Two of them (George Campbell and Hatch Jupin) were 
killed ; and Joe Wilson, of Co. B, was severely wounded in the hip, 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 56 

but fought on till he had a finger shot off, and the proximity of the 
enemy rendered further resistance vain. He was left on the ground. 
The Federals barely took time to fire the bridge, which they did in 
such a manner that it failed to burn, before they took up their march 
for Rochester, carrying their own wounded and the prisoners with 
them. It was never ascertained what loss they suffered, though cit 
izens, stated that a number of them were wounded but none killed. 
Some of the prisoners escaped before they reached Rochester; the 
others were sent to prison, and were not exchanged till the autumn of 
1862. Surgeon Pendleton, who had been left with sick at Russell- 
ville, made up a party for pursuit as soon as possible after the truth 
was ascertained, but Netter had made good his escape from the neigh 
borhood. 

Apprehensions were entertained about the middle of November that 
a Federal force would be sent across by way of Rochester, on Mud 
River, to interfere with the Confederate communications, by striking 
the Memphis road, either at Russellville or below, and on the iyth of 
that month an expedition, consisting of the Second Kentucky, the 
Third Kentucky, and a part of the Fourth, with cavalry and a battery 
of artillery, was sent out to Mud River, but nothing of particular note 
occurred, and they returned to Bowling Green about the first of 
December. A little subsequently, a similar force was sent out in that 
direction, but with no more important results. 

The enemy was now known to be rapidly repairing the bridge over 
Green river, a pier of which had been destroyed by the troops sta 
tioned there in October, and, being in great force on the north bank, 
disposed between Munfordville and Elizabethtown, an advance upon 
Nashville, either directly through Bowling Green or by an attempt to 
turn the right of General Johnston s immediate strategic position, 
would probably take place as soon as their arrangements for crossing 
the river and keeping open their communications could be perfected. 
Scouts reported that a movement was apparently on foot looking to an 
advance upon what is known as the "upper pike," or the turnpike 
road running from Louisville to Nashville by way of Glasgow and 
Scottville. On the i8th of December a portion of the brigade was 
sent forward to Oakland Station, ostensibly to support, or act in con 
cert with the brigade of General Hindman, who had been out contin 
ually as far advanced toward Green River as prudence would allow. 
Part of the brigade was then at Bowling Green and part of it at Oak 
land. On the 2oth some of the troops were thrown six miles still fur 
ther forward to Dripping Springs. 

On the 2ist, it having been reported that a column of the enemy 
was actually advancing, so as to threaten Bowling Green on the right, 



56 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

the brigade, including Morgan s cavalry, had orders to march next 
day, by different roads, to the point where the pike between Glasgow 
and Scottville crosses Skeggs s Creek, over which stream there is a 
bridge. Accordingly, early on the morning of the 22d, the various or 
ganizations struck tents, and took up the lines of march designated. 
The rain, which had begun falling at an early hour, increased, and it 
was not long till all were thoroughly drenched, and the roads were al 
most impassable, on account of the mud. But the command struggled 
bravely on, the officers in many instances setting a noble example of 
cheerfulness and fortitude, and in the afternoon reached the vicinity 
of Merry Oaks, by which time the rain had almost entirely ceased, 
and the wind had set in steadily from the north. In addition to being 
wet, the men were now likely to suffer with cold; but they hastily 
erected the few tents that had been brought forward, kindled fires, and 
were soon comparatively comfortable. The next morning was bitter 
cold, the ground was frozen and rough, and thin snow had fallen, and 
continued to fall in fitful gusts, during the day. Information having 
now been received that the enemy was quietly encamped north of 
Green River, they were marched back and encamped, first at Oak 
land Station, then on the lower pike, thirteen miles above Bowling 
Green. 

Though these marches to Rochester and Merry Oaks were product 
ive of no immediate advantage in either an offensive or defensive point 
of view, they served as an admirable introduction to the career of 
hardship and exposure to which the men were so soon to be subjected. 
On the first march to Mud River, the weather was for some time very 
inclement heavy rains pouring down, and the roads in such horrible 
condition that the artillery and baggage wagons could scarcely be con 
veyed over, or rather through them ; and the supply of cooking utensils 
was so meager that the men were obliged to fall back upon their own 
resources, and devise expedients which afterward served them on many 
occasions and in more momentous times. Many of them resorted to 
the baking of bread on their ramrods, and taking their ration of bacon 
without any cooking at all. On the march to Merry Oaks, even the 
raws" began to feel themselves duly inducted into the mysteries of 
a soldier s hardships and privations, and the means he adopts to modify 
the more disagreeable features of his condition, and adapt himself with 
a stern grace to whatever circumstances may surround him. 

General Johnston had, meanwhile, pushed on the fortification of 
Bowling Green to such an extent that, to eyes unused to formidable 
preparations, it seemed to render the place almost impregnable to any 
direct attack. General Hindman was out in the region of Bell s Tav 
ern and Cave City; and Helm, and Morgan, and Biffle were engaged 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 57 

in constant outpost duty scouting, picketing, and an occasional brush 
with the enemy. 

Meanwhile affairs had assumed different aspects, too, as regarded 
the fortunes of those fellow-Kentuckians whom they had left above 
Bowling Green. Early in February, General Johnston had learned 
the sad tidings of the defeat and death of General Zollicoffer at Fishing 
Creek ; a Federal force was pressing General Crittenden back rapidly 
from the scene of that disaster, so that the left of the Confederate de 
fensive line was irretrievably broken, and General Johnston s flank 
uncovered; a large force was concentrated in the vicinity of Mun- 
fordville, ready to be precipitated upon Bowling Green at the aus 
picious moment; Fort Henry had been evacuated; a powerful army 
under General Grant was menacing Donelson, and the odds were so 
vastly against it that its successful defense was a matter that scarcely 
admitted of hope. Pen-and-ink warriors were clamoring for they knew 
not what, and the people were impatient of delay. Every adverse in 
fluence, every depressing circumstance seemed to be concentrated 
upon the devoted head of the commander, who wisely kept his own 
counsel, and acted in accordance with the superior dictates of patriot 
ism ajid duty, as one who could trust to results to vindicate his course, 
and who could therefore bide his time. Finding it necessary to aban 
don Bowling Green, he at once adopted a course as judicious as any 
which could be conceived, and carried it into execution with an inde 
pendence and a success as rare as any in the annals of strategy. To 
establish a new base and line of operations at such point as would 
enable him to collect his own scattered forces, even in case of disaster 
at Donelson, as also to unite his own forces with those of General 
Beauregard, was the object which now claimed his attention, and 
the wisdom of his decision and his action has never been questioned 
since he gave up his life on the field of his choosing. After the defeat 
of General Crittenden at Fishing Creek, he quietly withdrew the ord 
nance and army supplies from Bowling Green, by rail, southward, and 
everything was put in readiness by the evening of February nth for 
the withdrawal of the Central Army from that place. 

Before treating of this movement, however, let us notice the battle 
of Fort Donelson, which occurred while it was in process of execu 
tion, and the conduct of the regiment and artillery detached from the 
brigade a few days before to reinforce the garrison there. 

INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES: WHILE THE BRIGADE WAS TAKING 

SHAPE. 

I. Hard-Hearted Surgeons. A man was found occasionally 
who repented of having committed himself to the "lugging of knap- 



58 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

sack, box, and gun," and sought by one device or other to get out of 
his bargain without actually running off. A sort of odd-fish came into 
one of the regiments, at Bowling Green, with an appetite keenly 
whetted for Yankees; but he soon lost his zest, and wished himself at 
home. He conceived a plan to get off, and quickly put it to the test. 
One morning at sick-call he put himself under the sergeant s care, 
marched off to surgeon s quarters, and poked out his tongue in due 
form; but there was nothing the matter that the tongue could disclose, 
so he took it in, and was marked for duty. He was bent on being 
discharged, though, and concluding that starvation would do the work, 
he declared himself too sick to eat, notwithstanding the surgeon s ver 
dict; and he used afterward to laugh heartily over it himself how 
nearly he came starving to death, and yet couldn t make the surgeons 
think he deserved a discharge ! He finally gave up the attempt, and, 
being too much of a man to desert, made a good soldier. 

II. A Deadly Disease. Few among the volunteers, outside of 
the medical profession, understood the meaning of that scientific term, 

nostalgia," which in the earlier days of the service was so often found 
opposite names of the sick in surgeons reports. An orderly sergeant 
who had puzzled himself over it asked his surgeon one morning, when 
he found it set time and again against the names of his men, what it 
meant. " Home sickness," he answered; "that s the plain English 
of it." The inquirer was astonished to learn that it was not only 
recognized as a disease, but that it was one which would kill ; but 
subsequent observation convinced him that during the first year, at least 
many a really noble fellow died of it. 

III. Too Short. Co. I, Fourth Kentucky, enlisted a jolly, good- 
humored son of Erin, Tom Conelly, upon whom the officers wasted a 
good deal of time, trying to fit him for service in the ranks ; but 
teaching proved ineffective and scolding was useless ; it was clear that 
" Tommie," as he came to be familiarly called, could not keep step. 
He could dress, right, left or center, with a little nudging from the 
next file; but when the drill-master cried " step" "step," or "left" 
left," or even sung out Graves s vigorous though somewhat strident 
" hup" " hup," Conelly seemed to lose himself in attending to the 
sound, and his legs went their own gait. To see him try to catch 
step by a resort to the crow-hop was almost enough to make a wooden 
man laugh. Repeated remonstrance as to his failures elicited only 
the reply: " Ah, Captain, I am not the height for a soldier; I m not 
the height." It was finally decided to put Tommie on detail duty, and 
he was assigned to the medical department, where he proved himself 
useful. After the command was mounted he was made Orderly on 
General Lewis s staff. "But," says a member of the Ninth Ken 
tucky, " whether carrying water or riding his mule, Tommie was 
ever the same Irish, original, and comic self. He was never known 
to refuse a drink, and yet he avers that he was never drunk on medical 
whisky. He had a singular proclivity for gathering up cartridge belts, 
and always wore about a half dozen, while he kept a score on hand to 
supply his comrades. A story is told on Tommie relative to his first 
impressions of a Vicksburgh lamp-post, or Yankee shrapnel. One 
night as he and Joe another indispensable member of the medical 
staff (everybody remembers Joe s light-bread and baker s yeast) with 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 59 

others, were returning from carrying rations to the men on picket in 
Vicksburgh, they had to pass through a long railroad cut. When 
about midway, one of those terrible shells came whirring along over 
their heads. Tommie jumped forward in alarm, exclaiming : Be 
jabers, boys! faith, and why don t ye get out of the way? Don t 
you hear the locomotive coming ? At the close of the war Tommie 
returned to his home in Russellville, covered with honors and with 
belts." 

IV, Conquering a Peace. The Fourth Regiment, having been 
organized sometime before the Sixth and Ninth, and very carefully 
drilled, felt themselves veterans when- the latter were still raw, and 
rallied the "awkward squad," as they called them, unmercifully. At 
Burnsville, however, the Ninth found an opportunity to pay them back 
in one species of their own coin, aud they made such use of it as to 
force the " veterans," who also called themselves " Buckner s Pets," 
to sue for a treaty of amity. The tents of the two regiments were 
pitched on the same slope and in such close proximity that it was not 
deemed necessary to keep two separate camp-guards ; so they agreed 
to dispense with that part of the detail, at least, which would be re 
quired to watch the two lines near the point of contact, and to have a 
guard proportioned to the strength of each regiment detailed for duty 
around the two commands. They now became better acquainted, and 
things went on swimmingly till one morning, when a certain valuable 
cooking utensil was missed from the Ninth. A careful reconnoisance 
developed the fact that it had found its way to the Fourth, and a plan 
of retaliation was at once instituted. The night which followed was 
dark and favorable to the enterprise. After tattoo, and when the men 
of the offending regiment were fully committed to their slumbers, a 
party of the Ninth stole quietly among their tents and bore off every 
cooking vessel upon which they could lay their hands. The astonish 
ment of the veterans next morning knew no bounds, when they found 
that instead of a single piece of camp furniture s being gone, there 
were more indications that they had been visited by Ali Baba s " forty 
thieves." But the true state of case was soon discovered, and 
there was a large meeting of plenipotentiaries from the respective 
regiments, who entered into a solemn league and covenant, providing 
that, no matter what might be practiced upon outsiders, the strictest 
forbearance was to be observed toward each other. There was then 
a restoration of the property, but the Fourth had a late breakfast that 
morning. From that time a warm friendship sprang up between these 
two regiments, and the treaty was never broken. " Buckner s Pets " 
very naturally concluded that men who, with so little training could 
avenge their wrongs so promptly, were worthy of esteem and confi 
dence. 

V. Tried for High Treason. John H. Dills, who was dis 
charged February 12, 1862, because of disability by disease, (See roll 
of Co. D, Ninth regiment), had a peculiar experience subsequently 
being the only man tried during the war on the charge of high treason. 
When the Confederate army was on the point of withdrawing from 
the State, he had not recovered from the effect of a dangerous attack 
of typhoid, and applied for a furlough, but the authorities decided 
that he should be discharged. His friends had him conveyed to the 



< i0 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

home of Frank Rogan, in Sumner County, Tenn., but before the 
army had left Murfreesboro, he had ridden horseback and joined his 
company intending to enter the service again. Finding himself too 
weak to accompany the army southward, he went to Abingdon, 
Va., where he stayed until his strength was somewhat restored. He 
then came back to his home, within three miles of Cynthiana, to se 
cure recruits for the Southern army. The Federal commander at 
Cynthiana learned of his return, and had him arrested. A formal 
complaint was filed with the United States Commissioner, charging 
him with high treason, and he was sent to Frankfort and committed to 
jail to await the action of the Federal grand jury. 

At the June term, 1862, a formal indictment was found, and the case 
set for trial, to be had before Judge Bland Ballard. James Harlan, 
the father of Judge John M. Harlan, now of the United States Supreme 
Court, prosecuted. A. H. Ward, James F. Robinson and Thomas N. 
Lindsay, were engaged for the defense. 

After a careful test of every man of a special venire summoned, a 
jury was made up of " twelve good men and true;" but the prosecu 
tion suspected the "unconditional loyalty" of some of them, and 
moved the court to take a recess of ten days, on the ground that Con 
gressional action was about to be had to prescribe an additional chal 
lenge for the purging of juries in capital cases. The motion was 
granted, and the defendant remanded to jail. When the case was 
called again Harlan produced the law for which he had been waiting. 
It bore date of the day when the court had taken recess, had been rushed 
through both houses-under a suspension of the rules, and was signed 
by the President, all on the same day. The jury therefore had again 
to be made up. The prejudices of the soldiers and the Union people 
were intense, and it took a brave man to refuse the test of loyalty pre 
scribed by the new law. As it proved, every member of the venire 
took the required oath, and the old jury was choseri with the excep 
tion of one man who was sick. When the case was called, Judge 
Ballard excluded newspaper reporters on the ground that the defend 
ant was entitled to fair and impartial trial, and the publication of the 
proceedings would prejudice his cause. Only a few prosecuting wit 
nesses were called; and as no two of them could testify to the same 
overt act or indeed to any overt act, a verdict of " not guilty " was 
returned, July 2, 1862. On his return home from Frankfort, Major 
Bracht, the Provost Marshal of Lexington, had him brought before 
him and required a pledge to keep the peace towards the United States 
during the war, under bond in the sum of $10,000. This bond and 
pledge saved him from a military prison ; but his troubles were not yet 
over. A number of swash-bucklers, parading themselves as home 
guards, held a meeting on the night of his return from Lexington, and 
passed resolutions condemning the United States Court that had failed 
to convict, and so had turned loose upon the community such a dan 
gerous man. A formal notice was prepared and served upon him, 
ordering him to leave the State within ten days, or he " would be shot 
or otherwise roughly dealt with." Before the expiration of the time, 
however, General Morgan visited Cynthiana, and the survivors of that 
indignation meeting afterward preferred to cultivate Dills favor rather 
than act as his executioners. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 61 

He removed to Texas in 1875, and is now an honored citizen of 
Sherman. He has been twice elected to represent Grayson county in 
the Legislature ; and the circle of his friends is limited only by that of 
his acquaintance. 



,62 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE SECOND KENTUCKY AND GRAVES S BATTERY AT DONELSON AND 
IN PRISON. INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES. 

In trying to follow the fortunes of the Kentucky Brigade, it is no 
part of the author s plan to discuss either grand or special strategy as 
employed in connection with the Army of the Tennessee, nor to enter 
into any elaborate description of each special field and the disposition 
and maneuvers of all the troops engaged. In general, these things 
tend rather to confuse the reader than to give him a clear view of the 
conduct of a particular organization. In the present instance, it is 
sufficient to notice that shortly after the defeat of Gen. George Crit- 
tenden, at Fishing Creek, (January 19, 1862), Gen. Sidney Johnston 
detached from the Central Army of Kentucky the divisions of Pillow 
and Floyd, and a part of Buckner s, and sent them under command 
of these officers to reinforce the garrison at Fort Donelson. The 
Second Kentucky and Graves s battery, constituting a part of Buck- 
ner s division, were at Russellville, when, just after the fall of Fort 
Henry, they were ordered to proceed by railroad to Clarksville, thence 
by steamer to Dover, where they arrived after midnight of February 
8th. They were quartered in the town until some time during the 
loth, when they were marched out about a mile to the northwest, and 
assigned to the extreme right of the Confederate line, westward, and 
across the Eddyville road. This was the right of General Buckner s 
division, resting on a kind of slough or backwater from Hickman 
Creek and extending southward in the general direction of the Eddy 
ville road towards its point of intersection with the Charlotte road 
above Dover. The water batteries, upper and lower, the approaches 
to which this division was set to cover, were almost immediately east, 
about twelve hundred yards in rear of the position assigned to the 
Second Kentucky. The men were set to work to construct rifle pits, 
with earthworks and abattis fronting, in the usual manner, along a 
line about one-eighth of a mile in length, and they worked night and 
day on these, by relays, until the morning of the i2th, when their 
tools were surrendered to others; and by the morning of the i3th 
General Buckner s entire position, a half mile or more in length, was 
considered to be in a fair state of defense. Two regiments the 
Twenty-sixth Tennessee and Twenty-sixth Mississippi, had been de- 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 63 

tached and placed under Pillow s orders. The troops in hand were 
disposed as follows : Hanson on the extreme right, with the Eighteenth 
Tennessee (Colonel Palmer) in position to reinforce him; Porter s 
battery occupied an advanced salient, near the center of three Ten 
nessee regiments forming Brown s brigade, and not far from the left 
of the Second Kentucky, where it could sweep the road which led to 
the front from the direction in which the Federals had advanced, as 
well as flank the intrenchments right and left, with the Fourteenth 
Mississippi in position to support; the Third Tennessee, Thirty-second 
Tennessee, and Forty-first Tennessee, (under command of Colonel 
Brown) extended the line from Hanson s left; and Graves s battery of 
six guns was placed on a declivity near the extreme left of the divis 
ion, where it could sweep the valley leading down between General 
Buckner s left and the right of Heiman s brigade, which occupied 
Pillow s right, and also by flank-fire protect Heiman s front. 

This much of explanation, to enable us to understand, without 
entering into the details of the battle, the part played by the Ken- 
tuckians on that field. 

Early on the morning of the i2th, the Federal army, in two divis 
ions, commanded respectively by Smith and McClernand, was march 
ing by two roads from the vicinity of Fort Henry, from twelve to 
fourteen miles distant ; by sundown they had reached the neighbor 
hood of Fort Donelson. There was some fighting between pickets 
in the right front of the Second Kentucky that day. Smith and Mc 
Clernand were ordered to find position in front of the Confederate 
line early in the morning of the i3th, Smith to face Buckner on the 
right, McClernand to face Pillow and close the Charlotte road so as to 
leave General Floyd no communication southward except the river; 
but it was found that when they reached the designated lines their 
combined forces were not sufficient fully to envelop the place, as Mc 
Clernand could not extend across the Charlotte road and still connect 
with Smith s right flank, even by dispensing with reserve force and 
keeping all his troops advanced ; but this was remedied next day, as 
we shall see. The gunboats under Commodore Foote had come up 
the Cumberland meanwhile, and the Confederate position was now 
almost completely invested. 

On the night of the i2th, four companies of the Second Kentucky 
occupied their intrenchments; early on the morning of the i3th the 
six left companies were disposed along the whole line of rifle-pits and 
the other four companies held in reserve. Shortly after daylight, 
Federal batteries began to play upon the position, and presently a 
Federal force in line of battle was seen marching through the woods. 
This was allowed to advance within a few yards of the abattis which 



64 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

fringed the front of the Kentucky position, where they were halted, 
reformed, and then ordered forward in plain hearing of the men in 
the works. Not until they had approached within a hundred yards 
was fire delivered from the pits. A volley was poured into them; but 
they did not break until they had pressed forward, under rapid and 
almost continuous fire from the Kentuckians, to within sixty yards, 
when they fled in confusion. Three times that day they attempted to 
storm these works ; but they were driven back, leaving the ground 
almost literally strewn with their dead and wounded. 

Away off to the left Graves and his men were alert, and they made 
McClernand s efforts to form along Pillow s front uncomfortable 
firing up the valley as they crossed it toward the southeast; and when 
the Federal batteries had gotten into position he engaged them by 
firing to the left, along Heiman s line of battle. The sharpshooters 
of both armies got in their deadly work from time to time. 

The casualties among the Kentuckians were not great during the 
day, though the repeated onsets of the enemy had been gallant and 
their contact close ; but they had a realization of what it meant to 
fight a foe superior in numbers of unquestioned courage, and led by 
officers who had seen service some of them with General Buckner 
in the old army. As has been explained by General Wallace, the men of 
the North and Northwest on one side, and of the South and Southwest 
on the other, had grappled. Greek had met Greek. At the close of 
this day the men of the South had the best of it; they were on the de 
fensive, and the Federals had sustained much of their loss while fight 
ing for position. 

It is worth while to study briefly the manifestations of these Ken 
tuckians in this their first great battle how keenly they were alive to 
all that was going on, how observant they were of individual conduct, 
and how the feeling of comradeship asserted itself. It was remarked 
that a Mr. Garth, of Southern Kentucky, not a member of the regi 
ment, had gotten into one of their pits with a fine Enfield rifle, and 
brought down an officer far off in the wood before the first charge was 
made upon them; they noted with admiration how steadily the attack 
ing column had behaved, stopping within fair gun-shot to reform, and 
taking from their officers before moving the order to dress on the 
colors, and that to march before they dashed at the abattis behind 
which lay the earth-works, and behind those works their grim foemen, 
with their deadly, though soon-to-be-discarded buck-and-ball muskets. 
It was observed that Neil Hendricks, the Orderly Sergeant of Co. B, 
afterwards its Captain, was shot in the breast at the first fire, and that 
Nelson was the first man of the regiment, the first of the brigade, to 
be killed in a great battle. And he, their first offering to Mars, was 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADK. 65 

buried that night, doubtless with all the honors of war that could be 
shown in the face of the enemy, though this is not recorded. The 
muffled drum, the march with reversed arms, the salute fired over the 
newly-filled grave all the ceremony which they had learned at Camp 
Boone perhaps these had no part in the performance ; but a detail 
of his comrades went back to Dover that night and got boards of 
which a rude coffin was constructed, and he was carefully laid to rest 
it may be as silently as Sir John Moore by these loyal souls who 
afterward on many a battlefield were content if they could do only so 
much for their slain fellow-soldiers as to wrap them in their own 
blankets, and bury them here and there, where -they fell, under the 
sod they had reddened with their blood. And again to one who wrote 
of the casualties of Saturday it seemed not sufficient to say only that 
Lieutenant Hill was mortally wounded during the duel, but a can 
non ball was seen to strike the ground and come bounding along like 
a rabbit. It struck Lieutenant Hill, of Co. F, on the knee; he was 
removed to the field hospital; and he died that night." 

Up to the afternoon of the i3th the weather had been almost spring 
like, and overcoats were an incumbrance ; but now there was a sud 
den change : the wind blew cold and almost continuously from the 
north all night long ; rain and snow fell, and soon there was a coating 
of sleet; and both armies, in their unsheltered and inadequately 
clothed condition, shivered on their lines of bivouacs and their picket 
posts through the dreary hours. The Second Kentucky occupied the 
rifle-pits by reliefs, and the men who retired to the rear to rest and 
sleep found little comfort and only fitful slumber, as they could not 
kindle fires without betraying their position to the Federal artillerists. 

The 1 4th was a day of comparative inaction, except on the part of 
Foote s squadron in its attack on the water batteries and the fort, which 
resulted in the disabling of some of his gunboats and the permanent 
retirement of all. 

In the early afternoon a division composed of General Lew Wal 
lace s brigade and a battery, which arrived from Fort Henry about 
noon, and of reinforcements which had been conveyed up the river 
and assigned to Wallace, was placed between McClernand and Smith, 
enabling the former to push further toward the right and envelop the 
Charlotte road, while keeping an ample reserve force in support. The 
work of complete and strong investment of Floyd s position, so well 
begun on the i3th, was now complete; and though the Confederates 
had so well maintained themselves on the landside that day, and, on 
this, Foote s flotilla had been driven off, there were sufficient indica 
tions that a desperate struggle was at hand. 

The weather continued cold, the ground was covered with ice and 



66 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

snow, and that night the men who slept at all had but a few hours of 
uneasy sleep. Between 2 and 3 o clock on the morning of the i5th 
the Second Kentucky was called up and marched to the left, leaving 
the Thirtieth Tennessee (Colonel Head), from the fort, in its intrench- 
ments. It was formed as a reserve to Baldwin s troops now attached 
to Colonel Brown s brigade, and not far from Graves s men and guns. 
In the early dawn Pillow began his attack upon the right wing of the 
Federal army, in accordance with plans agreed upon at the council of 
war held at Floyd s headquarters the night before; and Graves opened 
upon a Federal battery in rear of McClernand s left, which responded 
promptly, and the two were soon engaged in a duel which was ob 
served with deep interest by General Buckner, who walked composedly 
up and down near the battery and off to the left front of the Kentucky 
infantry, setting a noble example to the men in this new feature of the 
lessons they learned on that field. 

About 9 o clock General Buckner sent Colonel Brown with two 
regiments, the Third Tennessee and the Fourteenth Mississippi, to 
silence the battery with which Graves was engaged and strike McCler 
nand s left, his right being now hard pressed -and giving way. The 
troops indicated moved off promptly and attacked in splendid style; 
but the battery was well handled and the support strong, and Colonel 
Brown failed to move them. His regiments became partially broken 
before he reached the top of the declivity, and were presently coming 
back. General Buckner rallied them as they came and placed them 
in the intrenchments; then going back to the Kentuckians he said : 
"The Second Kentucky will have to do that work!" Just then 
Graves came over the hill in the rear of his position, and behind 
which the regiment was sheltered from direct shots, and cried out : 
"Where is the Second Kentucky? Come to the aid of my battery." 
This was mistaken by some who were nearest him to be an order 
which in an emergency he had a right to give ; and the impetuous 
young commanders of Cos. B and G, Higgins and Spears, were more 
ready to obey than to question, and these companies dashed off with 
a shout, passing the Kentucky Battery, then down the slope and across 
the little valley to the foot of the hill from which the Federal guns were 
still raining shot and shell upon Graves and his support, and flanking 
which were the riflemen who poured into them a galling fire. They 
pressed to within fifty yards of the Federal lines, and there, it was 
estimated, they gave the enemy shot for shot for fifteen minutes, with 
out signs of wavering, when Colonel Hanson brought the remaining 
eight companies up on their right, advancing quickstep, with fixed 
bayonets, but without firing a shot, steady as on parade ; and now the 
entire regiment charged with a yell, and the enemy broke and aban- 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 67 

doned the battery. It was at this juncture that Col. John A. Logan, 
with the Thirty-first Illinois, and Colonel Ransom, with the Eleventh 
Illinois, were fighting desperately to hold the ground from which the 
rest of Oglesby s men had been driven, as shown by Gen. Lew Wal 
lace; and Logan fell severely wounded about the time these last regi 
ments were compelled to retire. The Second Kentucky now carried 
some of the guns of this battery and turned them over to Graves; 
and after a rest the regiment was ordered back to its intrenchments on 
the extreme right. It set out in high glee over its successes, though 
these had not been won without a costly sacrifice in killed and 
wounded; conscious of the admiration of all who observed them, and 
hearing the warm comments of some on the "incomparable regi 
ment ; " but a disappointment was now in store for them. 

While the movement led by Colonel Brown, and afterward con 
cluded by the Second Kentucky, as explained above, was being exe 
cuted, General Buckner had taken the remainder of his division and a 
section of Graves s battery up the valley extending out from about the 
center of the Confederate line, and was engaged with Wallace s di 
vision, with every prospect of success in clearing the Wynne s Ferry 
Road, had his order to Hanson and Brown to join him not been coun 
termanded by Pillow, who also sent to him to retire and reoccupy his 
intrenched position on the right. Before he could fully execute the 
latter order Gen. Charles F. Smith, with Lauman s brigade and the 
Fifty-second Indiana, had begun his gallant, skillful, and, (as it proved 
to be), successful movement. When Colonel Hanson, on approach 
ing his position, received information that the Federal troops were 
coming up the hill, he ordered six companies to make a dash for the 
rifle-pits, while four were held in reserve. A number of these pits, 
on the right of the line, with intervals of about twenty yards, faced 
almost directly north, the direction from which Smith was approach 
ing ; while the rest extended about parallel with the Eddy ville road, 
almost at right angles to those on the right, and looked west or per 
haps slightly west by north. The companies that made a run for those 
on the right were met by the enemy, and few of the men got in. 
Captain McDowell, with thirteen men of Co. F and a few of the 
Eighteenth Tennessee, succeeded in getting into one of the pits and 
were rapidly firing at the Federals in the woods before them, and 
almost upon them, when they suddenly found themselves flanked and 
covered also in the rear, and received at close range a destructive fire, 
which killed and wounded more than half of them, McDowell receiv 
ing two shots. He was not disabled, however, and he and his men 
fought their way back obliquely to the right, and rejoined the main 
body of the regiment as it stubbornly retired, keeping up a rapid fire. 



68 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

It was told of McDowell that when he and his men found the Fed 
erals upon them in front, he insisted on standing, feeble as the force 
was, and giving them the bayonet ; but when he found his little band 
attacked also flank and rear, he saw the impossibility of effecting any 
thing, and they fought out. 

The companies that ran to the intrenchments on the left found, on 
looking westward, that no enemy was directly in their front; but they 
had hardly observed this fact before they saw the Federal soldiers 
pouring over the works on the right and swarming through the inter 
vening spaces, while a stand of the enemy s colors was planted on one 
of the slight ramparts, and these left companies of the Second Ken 
tucky were now subjected to an enfilading fire. The enemy would 
have quickly massed in their rear and captured them had they not rap 
idly retreated. The reserve companies and the support furnished by 
part of the Eighteenth Tennessee and some of Head s Tennesseeans 
were not sufficient to check the enemy and enable the broken Confed 
erates to halt and re-form there, and all were driven back in some con 
fusion ; but they rallied just over the crest of a ridge in the rear, look 
ing northward. Before reaching this ridge the men of the two regi 
ments, pressed back over a short length of line, had become inter 
mingled, and their officers were trying to form them on their respective 
colors, when General Buckner came up and ordered them to fall in 
without respect to regiments or companies. Aided by the officers, he 
established the line and stopped the enemy s advance. Graves had 
heard the heavy firing, and rightly apprehending that his friends were 
in trouble, ordered two of his Sergeants, Bell and Colston, to take their 
pieces and go with him to their assistance. Under his direction these 
guns were quickly in position and playing upon the enemy. He was 
in too great force and too firmly lodged to be moved ; but after Graves 
came up the two regiments effected separate alignment and held the 
position until nightfall, when they retired behind the ridge and out of 
range. 

Colonel Hanson, herp as elsewhere during those days, was with his 
men, directing, encouraging, sharing their dangers, showing a genuine 
soldier s appreciation of the conduct displayed by the command of 
which he had expected so much, and which had not disappointed him. 
"And Buckner," said one, "stood where men were falling around 
him as calm as on review." His speech indicated that the Ken- 
tuckians could not hide from him how they were smarting under the 
necessity of falling back before even a superior force, and because 
their position had fallen into the enemy s hands, and that he wished to 
reassure and cheer them. "It was not your fault," he said, "my 
brave boys, it was not your fault." 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 69 

The rigor of the weather was still unabated, or rather it was even 
more bitterly cold than previously ; and the men, worn out with the 
marching and fighting, hovered over the little fires which they ventured 
to kindle under the shelter of the hill, or lay around them, and mood 
ily repined over their lost advantage, and thought of what they did 
not doubt must be the bloody work of to-morrow. They reasoned 
that the -enemy must be driven from their lines, and rather unreason 
ably felt that this was necessary to maintaining untarnished Ken 
tucky s name for undaunted courage." High-spirited young fellows ! 
they had not yet learned that chiefly in defeat and disaster and long 
expatriation under divers adverse conditions, was it reserved to them to 
show how great Kentuckians could be. Those who lay down and fell 
asleep arose with aching limbs, numbed with cold, and real rest and 
recuperation had been small when at 3 o clock on Sunday morning, 
February i6th, they were formed and marched again to the left. The 
rumor had gained currency that the army would attempt to cut its way 
out and retreat towards Nashville. Halted in a ravine southwest of 
the fort, they remained an hour or two awaiting developments, when 
Colonel Hanson gave the order to right about ; and then, wrote a 
member \)f the command, "said to us in a husky voice: Go to your 
places, boys, and cook something to eat. The war is about over for 
us ! This was the first announcement that the battle was lost, and 
that they were now captives. They were put under guard till next 
day, when they were marched to the river and embarked for Northern 
prisons. 

In the Brief History of Individuals, mention is made of the killed 
and wounded of the regiment and its battery as far as it was possible 
to obtain them when that feature of the work was planned, or as is 
shown by certain muster and pay-rolls now on file among the captured 
Confederate archives in Washington. To say that the ranks of the 
regiment were decimated would be to express far less than the truth. 
As for their efficiency, that is best attested by the published reports of 
Federal officers with whose troops they came in direct contact. These 
show that they were destructive much in excess of their own losses, 
though they were without cover except on Thursday, when they re 
pelled the repeated assaults of a strong force of men of approved 
courage and remarkable steadiness. A participant in every action 
during the three days wrote from prison to an absent brother : " We 
fired low and deliberately." Experienced soldiers know the impor 
tance of heeding at least that part of battle orders generally given to 
new troops about to engage : "Aim low, "or "Fire at the enemy s 
knees." 

What may be called the echoes from a battlefield are often strikingly 



70 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

indicative of the character of commanders and men. It is frequently 
difficult to trace the origin and transmission of these ; but to a certain 
extent they are more expressive and more truthful than dispatches and 
bulletins. The other Kentucky regiments had hardly reached Mur- 
freesboro, on Johnston s retreat from Bowling Green, when a much 
discussed topic around the mess-fires was the battle of Donelson and 
the Kentuckians who participated in it. There were many among 
them who had acquaintances, friends, or relatives in the Second Ken 
tucky and Graves s battery; and of them and their deeds these echoes 
of the conflict were filling the camps. They took shape in more or 
less coherent and credible stories, nearly all of which trumpeted the 
praise of these absent comrades or signified that this or that one had 
earned a soubriquet which, in soldiers mouths, told of a marked char 
acter or expressed admiration. It was told that Hanson had perpetrated 
a kind of double entente on one occasion, grimly connecting his crip 
pled foot and heavy shoe with that strong will of his which would win 
a battle or a game if it were possible to win, saying: "Boys, clubs 
are trumps!" And the name " Old Flintlock," which had been be 
stowed upon him, acquired now a new significance and new impor 
tance. Graves, too, a youth of less than twenty-four years, came in 
for allusions that would have led the unacquainted to suppose that 
this particular hero of Donelson was as old and as wise as Priam was 
when Troy fell. And so on of others at that time less known. 

In the gloomy days that followed the defeat of Crittenden, the 
fall of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson, and the retreat southward, 
the consciousness that their fellow-soldiers of Kentucky had made 
themselves a name which shone out despite the clouds served to 
console, to quicken hope, to kindle anew the martial fire in those 
who claimed them as their own. 

Here the Second Kentucky took for the brigade the initiatory in 
that bitter experience which followed it like a Nemesis to the close. 

The blind believer in Fate would say that these gallant sons of Ken 
tucky had fallen under inexorable decree and that it was malevolent. 
Let the reader, whether prepossessed in favor of the Southern move 
ment or of the coercive measures of the Washington government, con 
sider, with what impartial spirit is now possible to him, the conduct 
and the characteristics of these men and their trials, and say whether 
they were not typical of all that followed. If he sees aright, he can 
but wonder that as the years went by despairing rage did not move 
them to cry out against circumstances not of their own making, that 
seemed to mock their courage, laugh at their constancy, and wanton 
with their blood. Here was Buckner, a trained and experienced sol 
dier, with the confidence of the army, but unhappily subordinate to 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 71 

others, and without power except to perform the part assigned by oth 
ers. How well he did it, let Federal as well as Confederate writers 
and archives attest. The sturdy and heroic Hanson, and the knightly 
Graves, who of himself was an " oriflamme of war" and needed not 
helmet or plume to lead others "amid the ranks of war," but could 
come "looking," as a soldier said, "like a common gunner," and 
rouse his fellow-countrymen to dare anything with him, these and 
such as these Kentucky had there, and during these terrible days how 
nobly they maintained the name they bore ! No supineness in prepa 
ration; no faltering in fight; no tame submission to repulse, but ever 
a readiness, even an eagerness, to regain lost ground and keep their 
standard well to the front, the rank and file, so led, fought their foes 
by day and withstood the bitter elements by night; and so well did 
they do what they were set to do that up to the very hour of capitula 
tion, notwithstanding the enemy had gained a lodgment on the part of 
the line which they had left with the troops from the fort, they- believed 
that victory was theirs. The temper they had shown justified the con 
clusion that if at 10 o clock on the morning of February i5th the Con 
federate army had marched out by the Charlotte road, as it could have 
done, w^th Buckner as rear-guard, his Kentuckians, (and nothing in 
vidious as to the others of the division is meant by this they were 
gallant fellows all), could not have been driven into precipitate flight 
or thrown into disastrous confusion, but would have fought and fallen 
step by step, all day, to stay the rush of the victors upon Floyd s re 
treating columns. 

But this privilege was denied them. They stacked arms and marched 
away captive. It was but natural that they should contemplete with 
some bitterness their costly sacrifice in blood and in suffering that 
brought no substantial advantage, but consigned them to prison; yet, 
they had nothing with which to reproach themselves. 

Note the career of the brigade henceforth. Go with it to Shiloh, 
to Stone River, and to Chickamauga; follow its fortunes on that long 
and trying campaign in which Sherman pushed it away towards the 
sea, through Georgia and South Carolina, in its efforts to narrow the 
track of the destroyer, and what do we find but a repetition of the 
fortunes of the Second Regiment and the Kentucky Battery in their 
main features, with additional and intensified evils ? These men were 
volunteers, fighting for the establishment of a Government in whose 
principles they believed, rather than for one of their own, as Ken 
tucky, according to their seeing, was now in the gall of bitterness and 
the bonds of iniquity, from which even the success of the South might 
not relieve her; yet they fought as though to drive an invader from 
their own doors or to avenge a wrong that had touched them above 



72 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

other men. Ever faithful as they were, ever prompt to attack and 
loth to yield, they nevertheless had one ever-present grief; though they 
executed their part in all operations that looked to the discomfiture 
of the enemy and helped to win victories; bore without serious com 
plaint the hardships to which all were subjected (though many in less 
degree); had their honored, able and trusted leaders taken from them 
by orders, or killed leading them in fight, one after another; red 
dened every battlefield with their blood, this grief, this always un 
answered question, was with them, as doubtless it was with the brave 
fellows who were floated away captive from Dover wharf. " What 
does it avail ? After we have done all and borne all, where is the 
strong and cunning hand to seize and keep what we bleed and die 
for ?" 

Of the prison life of the regiment and battery, but little need be 
said. It was similar to that of all others at that period of the war. 
Gen. Buckner and Col. Hanson were carried to Fort Warren, in 
Boston Harbor; the line officers at first to Camp Chase, then to John 
son s Island; and the non-commissioned officers and men of two com 
panies to Camp Douglass, the others to Camp Morton. At that time 
prison life, either North or South, had not assumed the horrible fea 
tures that afterward characterized it ; and the confinement and surveil 
lance were disagreeable chiefly because of monotony; of restlessness 
away from their comrades in the field; of the sore discomfort that the 
free-born feel when watched and guarded and in danger from the shots 
of murderous sentinels, of whom some were found in almost every 
prison cowardly creatures who were strangers to the manliness of 
those foemen that seek to kill only in honorable battle and respect each 
other when the battle is done. To give even the more interesting de 
tails of this prison experience would require a volume, and this cannot 
be attempted. These Kentuckians, though they had been overcome, 
in connection with others, were not subdued ; and to them any en 
forced confinement was so hateful that it was natural that they should 
lay plans to escape, either singly or in squads, or by general uprising. 
Many actually got away; and all would have done so, it is said, had it 
not been that from some source the authorities got information and were 
prepared to prevent the execution of their plans. On one occasion they 
made a march in force over a weak part of the enclosure, which they had 
discovered, and which they passed without difficulty; but they were met 
just outside by a body of Federal troops drawn up in line, who had 
been made acquainted with the design, and were posted there in readi 
ness, both to prevent escape and punish for the attempt. The prison 
ers had managed to procure a few arms; but, though they resisted, its 
only effect was to cause the shedding of their own blood. Such of 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 73 

them as had arms returned the fire of the soldiers, hoping to find but 
a small party, which they could succeed in driving; but they speedily 
learned their mistake, and were remanded to the prison barracks 
where they were kept under more rigid control than even before. 

INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES : AT AND AFTER DONELSON. 

I. First Men of the Brigade Killed. When the detail of thir 
teen men made the gallant little fight at Whippoorwill Bridge, Decem 
ber 4th, 1 86 1, against Netter s detachment, which outnumbered him 
nearly seven to one, George Campbell, Co. A, and Hatch Jupin, Co. B, 
(Ninth Kentucky), were killed. These were the first of the brigade to 
be killed in action ; and H. B. Nelson, Co. G, (Second Kentucky), who 
fell at Donelson, February i3th, 1862, was the first to be killed in a 
great battle. 

II. Carson s "Wrath "When Semple Fell. A participant in the 
battle says: "As the eight companies of our regiment came up on the 
flank of B and G, after their separate charge, and these were endeavor 
ing to take their proper places, I heard Lieut. Carson, of Co. K, call 
out in ringing tones, Forward, men ! Avenge Charlie Semple s death ! 
Though of another company, I had learned to like Semple, and felt a 
deep pang of regret that so gallant a soldier had fallen. I never meet 
him now without thinking of poor Carson (killed at Chickamauga), and 
the fierce wrath with which he urged on his men to avenge his friend 
and brother officer. Semple was wounded, but not killed as he sup 
posed ; and he lives to-day, one of the noblest survivors of that gallant 
band." 

III. Still Full of Fight. When Lieut. Ed Keene was mortally 
wounded in the engagement on the left Saturday morning, Lieut. Hig- 
gins asked permission after the firing ceased to take his servant and 
carry him to the boat and see that he had proper attention, little ex 
pecting that there would be another fight before he could get back. 
That afternoon as the regiment was hurried to its rifle-pits, Adj. Stake 
took charge of Co. B, now without a commissioned office; but when it 
rallied on the crest of the hill, Hanson put Lieut. Ed F. Spears in com 
mand of Co. B, so that he led both B and G. Wounded as Spears 
was, (carrying one arm in a sling), "he seemed ready, indeed anx 
ious," wrote a member of Co. B, ^ to lead us in a bayonet charge to 
drive the enemy out of the works which they had taken from us." 

IV. Buckner s Shot at Impertinence. Though Grant treated 
Gen. Buckner with characteristic manliness, there were not wanting 
smart fellows among his officers who could not profit by their chief s 
example. As Buckner, with his faithful staff, stepped on board the 
boat that was to convey them northward, one of his regiments 
raised a thrilling cheer, when a Federal band, apparently in derision, 
struck up Yankee Doodle. An officer afterward asked Buckner in 
Grant s presence, and in a very sarcastic tone, whether the national 
air did not revive in his mind some pleasant associations of the past. 
"Yes, Colonel," he replied, "but it also reminds me of an incident 
which occurred a few days ago in our camp. A soldier was being 
drummed out of one of the regiments for a serious offense. The 



74 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

musicians were playing the Rogue s March. Stop/ cried the fellow,. 
you have mistaken the tune. Play Yankee Doodle; a half million 
of rogues march to that every day. 

V. Escaping from Camp Morton. From the diary of a pris 
oner, I copy a few lines referring to escapes, previously noticed : " We 
had some rare times planning to get away. One fellow was put into a 
trash box and carried out by some negroes captured with a Mississippi 
regiment and these negroes were as true to the Southern cause as the 
best of us. Once a collection was taken up, and of our scanty funds 
we contributed enough to bribe a Lieutenant of the Guard to let four 
of our boys escape. The men had a way, too, of getting out at night; 
and the sentinels had a very disagreeable way of firing into camp when 
anything unusual occurred. Those inside would, of course, lie low 
while this was going on." 

VI. Dying in Prison. A hospital is no doubt a fearful place under 
any circumstances; but when the inmates are prisoners, suffering and 
dying away from home and friends, it beggars description. The cries 
of some in their last agony are heartrending. "Where is my mother?" 
"Oh! tell my wife to come to see me before I die!" "My poor 
little children ! Left without a friend on earth ! " These, and such as 
these, and the attendant scenes they give us vividly one of the dread 
ful aspects of war. One captive brought in had been unable to tell 
his name and his command, and nothing was known of him when he 
died except that he was No. 13. From a Camp Morton Diary. 

VII. A Fratricidal "War. A gallant and keenly observant soldier 
of Co. B, Second Kentucky, to whom the author is much indebted 
for valuable information, tells of a singular and affecting circumstance 
that occurred during the fighting at Donelson : Oliver B. Steele, of 
Henderson, was one of the members of Co. B, Fourth Kentucky, 
(afterward a lieutenant), and the company, as hitherto explained, was 
then part of Graves s Battery. Passing one day over a portion of the 
field from which the enemy had been driven, Capt. Graves discovered 
a young Federal soldier, badly wounded and suffering greatly, and 
learned from him that he was Ollie Steele s brother. Graves had him 
removed and placed under shelter of the rifle pits occupied by his 
brother s company, and everything possible was done to relieve him ; 
but his wound was mortal and he died there. A somewhat similar 
case occurred at Shiloh which is recorded as another instance of the 
singular relations which existed at that time between members of 
families, while the ties of nature were still strong, though brother s 
arms were turned against brother in the terrible strife. The writer, 
wounded at Shiloh, was helped off the field by Assistant-Surgeon 
Newberryand Ike Martin, and the way to temporary hospital was 
strewn with dead and dying Federal soldiers. He presently noticed 
that Newberry was scrutinizing with apparent anxiety the countenance 
of every one who lay near the road, and he was led to ask why he 
did so. The reply was: "I am looking for Hiram! Everywhere I 
have gone with the infirmary corps to-day I have been looking for 
Hiram ! " This was his brother, whose regiment he believed to be 
in the fight, and though he did not find him, he learned soon afterward 
that he was mortally wounded there and died after being carried north 
ward to hospital. 



HISTORY OK THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 75 

VIII. " Whar s Baze ? "Captain (afterward Colonel) McDow 
ell and Lieut. Tom Beaseman, of Co. F, Second Kentucky, went to 
Donelson with a joint interest in a negro cook, George, who was at the 
time as rank a Southerner as his masters. After the surrender George 
was talking over the battle with a German in the Federal army, and 
indignantly repelling the charge that his Confederate friends had been 
beaten. "We whipped you," said George, "every time we went 
after you." " Yes," rejoined the German, "but we caught you all at 
last." " Caught us all, did you ? " retorted the loyal George, " Whar s 
Baze ? " Now, Beaseman had declined to abide by the terms and 
gotten off with some of Forrest s men (though he was captured before 
he reached Nashville), and from the lofty tone of the negro the other 
thought "Baze" was some one in high command and that Grant 
hadn t at all made a clean sweep of the Kentucky contingent. 

IX. Wouldn t Take His Own Medicine. While the reserve 
companies of the Second Kentucky were under fire at Donelson for the 
first time, the boys, who had to stand and take it without returning as 
good as they got, very naturally dodged and ducked their heads as the 
bullets zipped by. Col. Hanson called attention and told them to be 
steady that there was no use in dodging, as when they heard the 
bullet it was already gone by. Just as he concluded his speech one 
came near getting him, and he involuntarily ducked his head. This 
raised a laugh at his expense, which he good-humoredly parried with : 
" Boys, yo^u may dodge a little if they come too close." 



76 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 



CHAPTER V. 

GEN. SIDNEY JOHNSTON S RETREAT FROM KENTUCKY. BATTLE OF 

SHILOH. INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES. 

It has been noticed in Chapter III that after the defeat of Zollicoffer 
and Crittenden, Gen. Johnston withdrew his ordnance and the bulk 
of his army supplies southward from Bowling Green, by rail, and was 
ready by the afternoon of February nth to leave the place. 

On that evening, orders were received in the various regiments of 
the Kentucky Brigade to march out on the pike at nine next morning, 
and wait for further instructions. Rumor had already been busy, and 
it was looked upon among all ranks and classes of soldiers -as certain 
that Bowling Green was to be evacuated ; but the uncertainty which 
must always rest upon the minds of the great body of an army during 
the execution of a movement was to the Kentucky troops painful in 
the extreme, for it had been whispered about that Kentucky was to be 
abandoned. Those who were in the confidence of the general officers, 
and knew the facts as regarded the situation, could not for a moment 
have contemplated an advance on either flank or front; but the wild 
hope obtained with many that it might be the initiatory to active 
operations in Kentucky; that the disaster at Fishing Creek would be 
retrieved; and Kentucky be yet secured to the Confederacy by some 
bold stroke on the part of the commander. The troops , whose 
homes lay in the direction in which the stores had been sent, had 
great cause to fear the overrunning of their own territory ; but still, 
to soldiers who have but a feeble and indefinite idea as to the value 
of any single step in a campaign, the thought of turning their faces 
homeward, and once more revisiting the land of their love, silences 
question as to its propriety in point of public good; and whether the 
General blunders or is guided by wisdom, they are sure, in the incep 
tion of the movement, to be in accord with him, as, actual knowledge 
of the real facts being meager, their reasoning is largely influenced 
by their feelings. 

From a similar cause, the Kentucky Brigade experienced nothing 
but gloom and apprehension on that morning, when drawn up on 
the turnpike awaiting anxiously for the order to determine the direc 
tion of the march; and though every thing seemed to point that way, 
it was with sinking, sickened hearts that their faces were turned toward 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 77 

Bowling Green, and they realized, in all its force, the sad fact that 
their homes must be given up to the enemy. A thousand painful 
fancies thronged their minds, and lent a poignancy to the grief that 
they would have felt to depart, under any circumstances, for an in 
definite period, from all that was dear to them in life. They were 
not only to be absent, but the foeman was to be there. Throughout 
the length and breadth of the State, soldiers in actual uniform, or the 
worse enemy born and reared among them, but opposed to them and 
their families, would swarm; and legal restraints, and moral restraints 
as well, were measurably removed. What had they not to fear? What 
was lacking to complete to their minds a picture of wrong and op 
pression of insult, danger, suffering, to those whom they had hoped 
to protect ? 

The first day s march, however, did not serve to awaken them fully 
to all the bitterness of the truth. At Bowling Green, they reasoned, 
some new developments might take place, and from that point some 
speedy march upon a body of the enemy might be made that would 
change the relative position of the armies ; and though they went for 
ward in a half-despairing, sullen mood, they were fain to comfort 
themselves with this one grain of hope, that Kentucky would not be 
given up without a struggle. 

The night of the i2th was passed in the huts built by the Second, 
Third, and Fourth Regiments at Mill Springs, three miles below Bowl 
ing Green, on the left of the Nashville pike. The next morning 
marching orders were received which dispelled the last ray of hope, as 
far as continued occupancy of the State was concerned; and the Cen 
tral Army of Kentucky took up its line of march toward Nashville, 
the Kentucky Brigade constituting rear-guard of infantry, one company 
of the Fourth Regiment special rear-guard for brigade, while Morgan 
and Biffle moved in front, and in call of the infantry. Gen. Hardee, 
who had commanded that army from early in December, was still in 
the rear with the remaining cavalry force and some light artillery. 

The enemy shelled Bowling Green that day from early morning until 
they had fired the dopot, and the last Confederates had retired Gen. 
Hindman, who was in the rear of Gen. Breckinridge on the march of 
the 1 2th to Bowling Green, having destroyed the bridge across Big 
Barren, just as the head of the Federal column, now in pursuit, had 
appeared in sight, and thus prevented their immediate passage into 
the town. 

The difficulties attending the retreat were great, but a more orderly 
and more successful one, under all the circumstances, was perhaps 
never accomplished. Popular indignation, even rage blind, but full 
of confidence and of such force as would have goaded common minds 



7g HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

into desperation-was poured out upon the head of the commander. 
The wintry season, inclement, unpropitious beyond measure for such 
an undertaking, was calculated both to tax the skill of the General, and 
destroy the martial ardor, even the ordinary morale, of the troops. 
Dangers menaced the retreating army as much as hardships marked its 
course. The surrender of Donelson took place on Sunday morning, 
the 1 6th, and Nashville was uncovered twelve or fifteen hours before 
the rear-guard of his army passed over the bridge. 

Demoralization almost unavoidably consequent upon the state of the 
public mind and the nature of a retreat threatened to destroy the effi 
ciency of bodies of troops who could not have been spared in case of 
an attack. And the state of the weather heavy rains having set in 
before the command had quitted the vicinity of Nashville foreboded 
evil, in retarding, if not arresting, the progress of the army, by swollen 
streams and impassable mud. But everything went on with a regular 
ity and a degree of order that seemed to have been the result of cir 
cumstances working in entire harmony with the plans of the great 
General, instead of having been adverse at every step; and he reached 
Corinth with so little loss of men or munitions as to mark him one of 
the first administrative minds of his age and country. 

But to return to the more immediate notice of the command under 
consideration. They bivouacked on the night of Thursday, the i3th, 
two miles north of Franklin, the capital of Simpson county. The 
weather, which had been for the last two days comparatively pleasant, 
turned cold during the night, and on the morning of the i4th the 
ground was covered with a slight snow, the wind had set in from the 
north-west, and it was intensely cold. Preparations were made for an 
early march, but upon reaching Franklin a halt was ordered for some 
purpose, and the suffering was so great that it was with difficulty that 
the men could be induced to keep together. Stragglers from the ranks 
filled the town, and many showed themselves already adepts at pro 
curing whiskey, and what the cavalry afterward taught them to call the 
"square meal." At 10 o clock the march was resumed, but another 
halt was ordered when scarcely out of sight of town, and unavoidable 
depredations upon private property began. The place was an open 
lane, where no cover from the wind was afforded, and they acknowledged 
the force of the trite maxim, that " necessity knows no law." Long 
lines of fires speedily appeared, and physical comfort was secured for 
the hour at the expense of the consciousness that some man s rail fence 
had been speedily devoted to destruction. They finally got properly 
under way, and reached Camp Trousdale that night. This consisted 
of a lot of frame buildings, at Mitchellsville, Tennessee, just over the 
Kentucky line, which had been used as quarters for the Tennessee 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN P.RIGADK. 79 

troops recruited in that section of the State during the preceding sum 
mer. The night was one of the most disagreeable that they had ever 
passed. The cold was bitter, and not only was fuel hard to procure, 
hut fires, built on the ground, inside the houses, were intolerable on 
account of the smoke, which, having no proper egress, filled them, and 
drove either the occupant or the fire from the building. After an al 
most sleepless and a restless night spent here, the march was resumed 
on the morning of the i5th (Saturday), and, after traveling twenty- 
seven miles, the brigade went into camp about night-fall. The cold 
was still severe. On the afternoon of this day, it was rumored that a 
Federal force of some description was in front of the marching column, 
and hasty preparations were made to meet it. The men, though al 
most exhausted by exertions necessary to proceed at the rapid rate 
which they had traveled during the day, were nevertheless prompt to 
fall in and march to what they deemed the threatened front. It soon 
transpired that there was no enemy in the neighborhood, and the 
march was resumed. Next afternoon, the brigade passed over the 
bridge and through Nashville, thence five miles out on the Murfrees- 
boro pike, and went into camp. Intelligence had already reached 
the city that Donelson had fallen, and the wild rumors which heralded 
the approach of the Federal transports had thrown the population into 
a frenzy of excitement, and a widespread demoralization, which threat 
ened violence among the people, and even the destruction of the city. 
The efforts of soldiers, sent in for the purpose of restoring order, 
availed little, and confusion reigned triumphant throughout that ter 
rible night and the next day. Property, both public and private, was 
ruthlessly destroyed or appropriated, and a perfect exodus of the peo 
ple seemed taking place. 

At the encampment of the Kentucky brigade, too, everything was 
dreary enough. The weather had undergone a change during Sun 
day, and now the rain poured down continuously. Having arrived 
in the night, the tents were erected in a careless manner, generally 
without the precaution of ditching, and consequently afforded little 
protection against the storm. The comfortless appearance of every 
thing next morning men whose clothes had been flooded in their 
tents during the night, hovering over the smoking pretense of fire, 
that could scarcely be coaxed into burning; heaps of blankets as 
thoroughly drenched as though they had lain out in the open air; the 
braying of uneasy mules and the swearing of teamsters ; pools of water 
all around, and, in some instances, inside the very tents from which 
men had emerged; a lowering sky and still drizzling rain all com 
bined to complete a picture of half-despondent wretchedness that can 
not be described. On the 1 7th, the command remained in camp, 



80 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

while Gen. Breckinridge was having some additions made to the trans 
portation facilities of his troops, and securing quartermaster s and sub 
sistence stores. On the afternoon of the i8th, the brigade moved five 
miles farther down the pike and encamped till the 2oth, when it was 
marched to within two miles of La Vergne, and thence, next morn 
ing, to Murfreesboro , or rather a mile below Murfreesboro , and en 
camped in the enclosed woods to the left of the Fayetteville road. 

These few details are given to convey some idea of the hardships 
and exposures in camp and on march in the inclement season of win 
ter, which the brigade encountered almost in the very outset of its 
career. 

At Murfreesboro , Gen. Johnston was joined by Gen. George B. Crit- 
tenden, and the army was reorganized on the 23d of February. It com 
prised three divisions under Generals Hardee, Crittenden and Pillow. 
Breckinridge s brigade was designated " Reserve Brigade," and was 
made to consist now of the Third, Fourth, Sixth and Ninth Regiments 
Kentucky Infantry; three battalions of other infantry troops under 
Lieut. -Cols. Clifton, Hale, and Crews; First Regiment Kentucky 
Cavalry, under Col. B. H. Helm, Morgan s squadron, and the light 
batteries of Byrne and Cobb. In addition to the officers already men 
tioned, Gen. Breckinridge attached to his staff Capts. Theodore 
O Hara and A. L. Lindsey, as Assistant Inspectors-General, and Dr. 
B. W. Avent, as medical director. 

On the 28th of February the march southward was resumed, and 
after something near a week s delay at Decatur, where the army crossed 
the Tennessee, Gen. Breckinridge encamped at Burnsville, Miss., on 
the 22dof March. 

The march from Murfreesboro to Burnsville was attended with 
little less suffering and little more of interest than that previously de 
scribed. 

Nothing of special historic interest, strictly pertaining to the Ken 
tucky troops, occurred during the time which elapsed between the 
2zd of March, when tents were pitched at Burnsville, and the battle 
of Shiloh. The usual routine of drill and camp duty went on, and no 
means were neglected to improve them in all the habits and general 
attainments of the soldier. 

On the 2pth of March, Gen. Johnston announced that still another 
reorganization of the forces had been determined upon, and that it 
would be known as the " Army of the Mississippi." A division was 
organized and placed under command of Gen. Breckinridge. This 
was named as the Reserve Corps, and consisted of the Kentucky 
brigade, Statham s brigade, Bowen s brigade, Forrest s regiment of 
cavalry, Morgan s squadron, a company of cavalry under Capt. Phil 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 81 

B. Thompson, which had reported to Gen. Breckinridge as a body 
guard or headquarter scouts, and the light artillery pertaining to each 
organization. 

On the afternoon of the 3d of April, an order was received, the 
purport of which was that the Reserve Corps would march on the 
morrow, at daylight, prepared "to meet the enemy in twenty-four 
hours.". Some Enfield rifles, with accouterments and ammunition, 
just received, were distributed about nightfall, to displace the most in 
ferior guns in the Kentucky Brigade, as well as to supply those who 
were yet without any whatever. Rations were prepared during the 
night, and at daylight on Friday morning, April 4th, tents were struck, 
baggage wagons loaded, aud most of them sent immediately to Cor 
inth, while the ordnance and supply train prepared to accompany the 
troops, and the march began which was to result in one of the most 
wonderful battles of the age. They went out by way of Farmington 
and Monterey the Reserve Corps numbering, perhaps, seven thou 
sand men, of all arms. After a hard day s march, considering the 
nature of the ground over which it passed, it went into camp, or 
rather bivouac (for no tents had been brought out for the troops), and 
during the night the rain poured down almost incessantly from 1 1 
o clock till daylight. The artillery, or a portion of it, was late at 
night reaching its position, as much of the road passed over during 
the day had been ill adapted to the advance of the heavier pieces and 
the now well-laden caissons. Next day, though fair for the most part, 
was more unpropitious for military movements than the preceding, 
since the rain had rendered the roads almost impassable; and it was 
not until near nightfall that the reserve reached the point which it 
should have occupied the night preceding, according to the original 
plan of Gen. Johnston, to attack on the morning of the 5th. This 
was near the junction of the Burnsville and Corinth roads leading to 
Pittsburg Landing, and about four miles from the river. The remain 
der of the army, consisted of three corps, under the respective com 
mand of Gens. Bragg, Polk, and Hardee, numbered in the order in 
which we have named their commanders. The Third Corps, consist 
ing of fifteen thousand five hundred and twenty-four men, was tnrown 
well forward and placed in position for the attack, which was to be 
brought on by Gen. Hardee next morning. The First Corps, under 
Gen. Bragg, consisting of nine thousand four hundred and twenty-two 
men, was formed also in line of battle a quarter of a mile in rear of 
Hardee. Gen. Polk was formed in column of brigades on the Corinth 
road, with its junction with that from Burnsville; while Gen. Breck 
inridge lay in similar column on the Burnsville road, and nearly oppo 
site or on the right flank of Polk. The troops slept on their arms. 
o 



82 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

The night was clear, calm, and beautiful as such nights always are in 
the spring-time in such a clime; and the broken slumbers of^the pre 
vious one, together with the fatigue of the day just closed, had pre 
pared them for sleep. They lay down early, and were soon lost 
in slumber that was to be the last one of earth to thousands who 
gave themselves up to its restoring and refreshing embrace, and 
were awakened next morning by their officers, without the usual re 
veille. 

Gen. Johnston s plan of attack the failure to reach the ground on the 
evening of the 4th, as he designed, that he might have ample time to crush 
Grant before Gen. Buell could arrive with the Army of the Ohio the 
position of the Federal troops between Lick and Owl Creeks, the nature 
of the ground, all things of this kind, in fact, have been so often de 
scribed, and so dwelt upon as to have become trite, and we feel our 
inability to add to a proper understanding of the situation. 

Sunday morning, April 6th, was one of the most serene and lovely 
of the season; there seemed, indeed, to be a peculiar stillness pervad 
ing everything, even to the birds and beasts, for though the sun rose 
in unclouded splendor, and the elevated ridge upon which the reserve 
troops were bivouacked glittered in its dewy robe, everything but man 
seemed to be drinking in delight, instead of indulging in noisy demon 
stration, and he moved almost silently about, with thoughts bent upon 
the coming storm. 

The troops of Breckinridge and Polk had scarcely time to take their 
morning meal before Hardee s artillery began to roar slowly at first, 
at a single point; then more rapidly, and from different parts of his 
line. Gen. Breckinridge had orders to move forward as soon as Gen. 
Polk should clear the road in front, and hold himself in readiness to 
strengthen the advance lines, or attack in force should it become nec 
essary. The enemy were at first driven precipitately back, but the 
nature of the ground, most of which was covered with forest trees, 
and in many places with a dense undergrowth, which afforded a com 
plete screen from observation, enabled them to recover, in a measure, 
the advantage lost by the carelessness of their commander in allowing 
them to be surprised. They hastily reformed, and the conflict began 
to rage in earnest. Hardee and Bragg intermingled. In a short time, 
Polk had sent forward one brigade to support Bragg s right; then one 
to support his left ; then the remaining two were led against the enemy s 
strongest point, the center. Meanwhile indications were plain that an 
attempt was being made to turn the Confederate left, resting on or 
near Owl Creek, and Beauregard ordered Breckinridge to leave the 
Kentucky brigade to meet that movement. It thus became, for the 
day, a virtually independent organization, under command of Col. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 83 

Robert P. Trabue, of the Fourth regiment. The following is the care- 
mi and exhaustive report of that intrepid and capable officer : 

HEADQUARTERS FIRST KENTUCKY BRIGADE, RESERVE CORPS, 
CORINTH, Miss., April 15, 1862. 

Capt. George B. Hodge, A. A. G. 

SIR : I have the honor to submit the following report of the con 
duct of this brigade in the actions of the 6th and yth instant, at 
Shiloh, and during the few days succeeding : 

The brigade was composed of the Third Kentucky Infantry, Lieut. - 
Col. Ben Anderson commanding; Fourth Kentucky, Lieut. -Col. 
Hynes;* Sixth Kentucky, Col. Joseph H. Lewis; Ninth Ken 
tucky, Col. Thomas H. Hunt; Fourth Alabama Battalion, Maj. J. 
M. Clifton; Hale s Thirty-first Alabama Regiment, Lieut. -Col. 
Galbraith; a battalion of Tennessee infantry, commanded by 
Lieut.-Col. Crews; battery of light artillery, Capt. Edward P. 
Uyrne; battery of light artillery, Capt. Robert Cobb, and Capt. John 
H. Morgan s squadron of horse amounting, in all, to about twenty- 
four hundred men, exclusive of the squadron, which did not receive 
orders from me. 

The Reserve Corps, commanded by Gen. Breckinridge, having 
moved on Friday morning, at daylight, from Burnsville, in the rain, 
bivouacked that night, after a day s march of twenty-three miles, 
near Monterey. On the next morning, shortly before daylight, after 
having been exposed to the rain during the night, the corps was 
moved up to near Mickey s house, where it became necessary to halt 
until the roads were cleared of the troops in front, which, occurring 
in the afternoon, enabled Gen. Breckinridge to march, on the neigh 
borhood road to the right of Mickey s house, to a point within three 
or four miles of Pittsburg Landing, where, on Saturday night, we 
again bivouacked. On Sunday morning, the 6th, having advanced 
about one mile from place of bivouac, with this brigade leading, the 
command was again halted at the intersection of the "bark" and 
interior roads until the front was cleared by the march forward of 
a portion of the command of Polk (who was to precede the Reserve 
Corps). When this occurred, I received Gen. Breckinridge s order 
to move forward in a condition for easy deployment in rear of Folk s 
line, and almost immediately afterward was commanded to form line 
of battle and advance in that manner. The line having been instantly 
formed, the Third Kentucky on the right, and the Fourth Kentucky 
on the left, with the batteries in the rear and opposite the center, the 
brigade was put in motion, following Folk s command. 

* See Biography of Maj. Monroe. 



84 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

Having proceeded thus a short distance, Breckinridge communi 
cated to me an order, just then received by him, to move with his 
two rear brigades on the Hamburg road, which led far to the right 
of the position first assigned to him. He at the same time directed 
me to continue moving forward on the line previously indicated [in 
clining to the left of the principal line of battle], in the rear of Polk, 
and he then parted from me. 

Moving forward as directed, I came under the enemy s fire at half- 
past 9 o clock A. M., having reached the verge of a long, crescent- 
shaped, open field (which was without fencing), about one and a half 
miles from Pittsburg Landing. The shot and shell from the woods on 
the opposite side of the field fell thick and fast around us, but caused 
very few casualties. Governor George W. Johnson and Col. Robert 
McKee, volunteer aids, here lost their horses, when the governor 
shouldered a musket, and joined the company of Capt. Ben Monroe, 
Fourth Kentucky. 

I here halted the command for an instant in a slight depression of 
the ground, and rode forward on the open field to ob serve what might 
lie before and around me, and to place Cobb s Battery in position, 
which I did, but it was afterward moved under orders from some one, 
and without my knowledge. 

Shortly before this, by order of Beauregard, I had detached the 
Third Kentucky, Fourth Alabama Battalion, and Crews Battalion, 
with Byrne s Battery, to the right, to support Gen. Anderson; and in 
the engagement, Lieut. -Col. Anderson, commanding Third Kentucky, 
and Maj. Johnston, of the same, were wounded. Captains Stone, 
Pierce, and Emerson, Lieut. Bagwell, commanding company, and 
acting Lieut. White, of that regiment, were killed. Capt. Bowman, 
Adjt. McGoodwin, and Lieutenants Ross and Ridgeway were 
wounded the adjutant severely. My aid, Charleton Morgan, was 
also wounded here, and my volunteer aid, John Hooe, had his horse 
killed. Not having been specially informed of the casualties that 
occurred here in the Alabama and Tennessee battalions and Byrne s 
Battery, I am unable to speak definitely of them. 

The examination which I made from the old field showed it to have 
been the scene of recent conflict, but at that time our lines there 
seemed to have been broken, and no troops of ours were in sight. It 
discovered also to my left and front two camps of the enemy still oc 
cupied by his troops, and I saw them also in the woods across the field 
in front of his camps. I immediately moved by the left flank to the 
left, and confronted him. I had scarcely taken my new position in 
fact, was changing the front of the left wing when he deployed before 
me. I opened my fire on him when he was thus employed, and soon 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 85 

received his in return. The combat here was a severe one, and lasted 
an hour and a quarter. I had only three regiments in line (the Fourth, 
Sixth, and Ninth Kentucky), the Thirty-first Alabama in reserve, and 
no battery at command (both of my own having been sent further to 
the right, at which point we seemed to be pressed). The enemy ap 
peared to outnumber us greatly. Ignorant of the topography of the 
country, and not knowing his force, I was for a while reluctant to 
charge; and as he was in the woods, too, with some advantage of 
position, I fought him, as I have said, for an hour and a quarter, kill 
ing and wounding four or five hundred of the Forty-sixth Ohio Infantry 
alone, as well as many of another Ohio regiment, a Missouri regiment, 
and some Iowa troops, from all of whom we eventually took prisoners. 
It would be impossible to praise too highly the steadiness and valor of 
my troops in this engagement. I lost here many men and several offi 
cers, among whom were Captains Ben Desha and John W. Caldwell, 
severely, and Adjt. William Bell, mortally wounded, all of the Ninth 
Kentucky ; also, in the same regiment, Capt. James R. Bright, Lieut. 
1 . L. Moore, and Lieut. R. M. Simmons were wounded. In the Fourth 
Kentucky, Capt. John A. Adair, First Lieut. John Bird Rogers, com 
manding Co. A, and Lieut. Robert Dunn, were severely wounded, 
u hile in the Sixth Kentucky, Capt. W. Lee Harned was wounded mor 
tally.* The Thirty-first Alabama, on the left, lost several officers and 
men, and elicited general praise for its gallantry. During the engage 
ment the men of no part of the brigade, at any time, faltered or fell 
back, while the enemy had to reform more than once. 

At length, after having extended my line by adding my reserve to 
the left of it, and obtaining, as a support, Gen. Stewart with a part of 
his brigade, and a part of Gen. Anderson s command, which I found 
in my rear in a wooded ravine, I gave the order to fix bayonets, and 
move forward in double-quick time at a charge, which was executed in 
the handsomest manner, and with complete success. The enemy, un 
willing and unable to stand this charge, ran through their camps into 
the woods in their rear, whither we followed them. They were, how 
ever, too badly routed to make a stand, and for several hundred yards 
I moved forward without opposition. These woods intervene between 
the field and camps I have described, and the field and camp in which 
(.en. Prentiss surrendered, and are about three quarters of a mile in 
\\idth. Soon after having entered the woods I found the ground 
broken and covered with a thick undergrowth, so that I was obliged to 
move cautiously, and with my front covered by skirmishers. I was 
likewise delayed and embarrassed by some Louisiana troops, who were 

*See history of companies throughout for names of killed and wounded in this 
and all other battles. 



8 6 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

off to my left, and dressed in blue colors like the enemy, as also by a 
battery, which was firing across my front from the right. I sent out an 
aid to learn the identity of the Louisiana troops, and a detachment to 
ascertain the character of the battery ; and having had the fire of this 
changed, I moved forward to the verge of the field in which Prentiss 
surrendered, having encountered and dispersed a regiment, said to be 
of Missouri, and taken several prisoners, who were sent to the rear. 

At this field Gen. Breckinridge and others were hotly pressing the 
enemy on the right, many of whom attempted to gain the woods 
through which I had passed, and at one time I was apprehensive they 
would turn my left, but, by altering my position and delivering sev 
eral well-directed fires, they were turned back upon their camps, into 
which also, for some time, I directed my fire with effect. The lines 
being gradually after much hard fighting drawn more and more 
closely around this camp, forced the surrender of Preatiss, who seemed 
to be the last of their Generals who made a stand. This brigade en 
tered the camp nearly simultaneously with Gen. Breckinridge and others 
from the right. I was halted here for a moment by order of Gen. Har- 
dee, and directed to send a regiment back in charge of the prisoners, 
and I assigned to this duty Lieut. -Col. Crews (who had rejoined me) 
with his battalion. 

Finding the troops who had come in from my right halting one or 
two hundred yards in my front, I allowed the Sixth and Ninth Ken 
tucky Regiments hastily to exchange their guns for Enfield rifles,* 
which the enemy had surrendered, and I then moved up and rejoined 
Gen. Breckinridge, who, with Statham s and Bowen s brigades, was 
occupying the front line, being on the crest of the hill (or high land) 
overlooking the narrow valley of the Tennessee River, on which, and 
near by, was Pittsburg Landing. 

Having been halted here for more than an hour, we endured a most 
terrific cannonade and shelling from the enemy s gunboats. My com 
mand, however, had seen too much hard fighting to be alarmed, and the 
Fourth Kentucky stood firm while some of our troops to the front fell 
back through their lines in confusion. In Co. D, of this regiment, I 
lost at this place eleven men, and Lieut. H. M. Keller, of the Ninth 
Regiment, was wounded. 

From this position, when it was nearly dark, we were ordered to the 
rear to encamp, which movement was effected in good order. I fol 
lowed, in the darkness of the night, the Purdy road, after having 
reunited to my command Byrne s Battery and the others of my troops 

*He here alludes simply to those of the Sixth and Ninth, who had not been 
supplied when Enfields were distributed at Burnsville, on the evening of the 3d 
inst. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 87 

who had been detached to the right, not including, however, Cobb s 
Battery. This battery, after having been moved from the position in 
which I had placed it (as previously stated) maintained itself with 
extraordinary gallantry, as I am informed, against a large force, which, 
however, killed, in the contest, nearly all its horses, and killed and 
wounded thirty-seven of the men. Having been thus disabled, Capt. 
Cobb moved his battery off the field, with mules, to the rear, under 
orders to do so, all danger being past. 

My command occupied the vacated camps of the Forty-sixth Ohio 
and Sixth Iowa Regiments, on the Purdy road, near the bridge over 
Owl Creek; but the tents having been mainly destroyed, my men 
were again exposed to rain, which fell during the night. The camps, 
however, were rich in subsistance, as in almost every thing else, and, 
after a bountiful supper, they slept, despite the rain. 

After having obtained returns from the whole command, I myself 
rode till eleven o clock p. M., to find a general officer to whom to re 
port for orders, and then sent an aid (with a mounted escort) for the 
same object, who rode all night without success. 

Thus closed Sunday, with a loss to this brigade of about seventy- 
five killed and three hundred and fifty wounded. 

Early Monday morning, having caused the arms to be discharged 
and cleaned, I prepared to renew the contest. Soon hearing firing to 
the right, and somewhat to the front, and seeing Gen. Ruggles di 
vision marching to my rear, to form off the right, as I understood, 
and being also informed that the enemy was to the left, I ordered 
Byrne s Battery in position at the Owl Creek bridge, and formed in 
line parallel to the road. In a short time, my volunteer aid, Capt. 
Samuel Gray, of Kentucky, whom I had dispatched to the front for 
orders, returned with directions from Beauregard to move forward to 
whatever point the firing seemed heaviest. I accordingly moved for 
ward on the road, marching by the flank at double-quick; and, 
having passed Shiloh Church, leaving it to the right, I advanced about 
three-quarters of a mile beyond it. At this point I met Bragg, who 
ordered me to form line perpendicularly to the road and to the left of 
it, which I did by fronting the brigade, and then changing front for 
ward on first battalion. While this movement was being made, I 
rode forward and placed Byrne s Battery in position, on a slight emi 
nence or ridge at the edge of a field, behind which (and at its base) 
the change of front would bring my line, thus being myself at the 
same time at a point where I could observe the execution of this move 
ment. In this position, Capt. Byrne served his guns with skill and 
gallantry, silencing one and greatly damaging another battery of the 
enemy. The enemy s right wing was in our front; and for four hours, 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

in the presence and under the orders of Bragg, we checked his ad 
vance at this quarter. The battery of Byrne drew the continuous fire 
of several guns from the enemy, by which I lost several men. It was 
pleasing to see with what alacrity my men volunteered to aid the bat 
tery as its men were wounded or became exhausted. 

Meanwhile the firing had been approaching nearer and nearer to us 
from the right and center, and I was ordered to move from my posi 
tion to the support of these points of our line. In advancing to the 
right, I perceived that our forces were passing from their right toward 
the left, while the enemy were moving on parallel lines with them, and 
in a corresponding direction. In proceeding, I became engaged with 
the enemy in woods to the right, and a little in rear of the position I 
had just left, and bordering upon an old field, in which was a house 
that seemed to have been used as a forage depot. In and around this 
the enemy seemed well posted, in strong force, though much con 
cealed behind logs and bags, apparently of corn, which appeared to 
have been arranged with that view. While I was moving to my new 
position, the Fourth Kentucky Regiment and Fourth Alabama Bat 
talion by Bragg s order, and without my knowledge, were moved out 
of the line and advanced against overwhelming numbers at the north 
side of the field, and to the north of the house just spoken of, being 
advised that they would be supported in the movement by Anderson s 
brigade. At this time I was with the Sixth and Ninth (and a rem 
nant of the Third) Kentucky Regiments, on the west side of this field, 
and to the west of the house. The enemy was posted in the form of 
a crescent, the inner side being the front. The Fourth Kentucky 
Regiment and Fourth Alabama Battalion having approached to within 
one hundred paces of the enemy s line, opened fire upon him, and re 
ceived in turn a destructive fire from both the wings and the center.* 
The contest was here continued for about twenty minutes, when the 
enemy fell back on their reserve, and the regiment and battalion pre 
pared to charge them with the bayonet ; but before this could be done 
the enemy again advanced, with redoubled forces, and they fell back 
on Anderson s brigade, four or five hundred yards in rear. United 
with this, they again drove back the enemy, and thus, forward and 
backward, was the ground crossed and recrossed four times. This 
engagement is represented as having been most terrific, and, judging 
from the results, could scarcely have been exceeded in the courage 
and heroism displayed by our troops. Here that matchless officer, 
Thomas B. Monroe, Jr., after performing prodigies of valor, was 
killed near the close of the scene. Here, too, Adjt. Forman was 

*See remarks relative to this part of the engagemeut in the biography of Col. 
Nuckols. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN liRhiAhl. 89 

killed, as was also Lieut. Dooley. Lieut. -Col. Hines, whose conduct 
was most cool and courageous, was here slightly wounded. Senior 
Capt. Joseph P. Nuckols, who had been mounted, was likewise, after 
the most decided coolness and gallantry, severely wounded. Here 
also were wounded Captains Ben J. Monroe, Tho. W. Thompson, 
and James Fitzhenry. Lieut. Thomas Steele was severely wounded and 
afterward made prisoner, while Lieutenants John B. Moore and George 
B. Burnley were seriously, and Lieut. Peyton, slightly wounded. All 
these officers were of the Fourth Kentucky, which went into action 
Sunday morning with 431 men. Many officers also of the Fourth 
Alabama Battalion, whose conduct was excellent, were among the 
wounded for more definite mention of whom reference is made to 
the report from that command. 

And here also fell that noble patriot, Gov. George W. Johnson, 
after having fought in the ranks of Capt. Ben Monroe s company (E, 
Fourth Kentucky), with unfaltering bravery from early Sunday morn 
ing to this unhappy moment. Eventually, seeing that they must be 
overpowered, these troops were withdrawn, and ordered a short 
distance to the rear, where they remained until reunited to the com 
mand. 

With the Sixth and Ninth Regiments, on the west side of the posi 
tion I have described, I was hotly engaged for an hour, at and during 
the time just- mentioned above, when I had occasion often to admire 
the courage and ability of Colonels Joseph H. Lewis and Thomas H. 
Hunt, as well as the steadiness of their men. Our forces here were 
insufficient for a charge, and seeing the enemy s masses moving to his 
right, as also our own troops being ordered by Gen. Breckinridge, 
to whom I had reported here, he stating at the same time that he 
could maintain himself to the right, where he was, but that the ene 
my s movements required more troops of ours on the left I followed 
the movement and soon reached the brow of a hill on the main road 
to Pittsburg Landing, and about one hundred and fifty yards to the 
right of Shiloh Church. At this point, upon my instance, Col. Mar- 
maduke, with his Arkansas regiment, united with my command in 
support of the two twelve-pound howitzers which I had obtained from 
Gen. Polk, some three hundred yards in the rear, and had brought up 
to that position. The fragmentary forces of both armies had concen 
trated at this time around Shiloh Church, and, worn out as were our 
troops, the field was here successfully contested for two hours, when, 
as if by mutual consent, both sides desisted from the struggle. Shortly 
before the close of the combat, having heard from one of my aids that 
some troops were in line a few hundred yards in rear, I left Col. Hunt, 
Ninth Kentucky, in command, and galloped back to urge them to 



90 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

come up (intending with such a reinforcement to charge the enemy 
with the bayonet), but I failed to secure their assistance. Returning, 
I found that in my absence, Col. Hunt, with his usual gallantry, had 
ventured upon a charge, but found the enemy too strong for him, when 
he retired to the west side of Shiloh Church, where the command re 
mained long after all other troops had been withdrawn, except a small 
force with Col. Tappan, of Arkansas. 

In the conflicts of this day, Lieut. -Col. Robert A. Johnson, after 
exemplary conduct, was wounded ; Capt. William Mitchell was killed ; 
and Capt. George A. King, and Lieutenants Gillum, Harding, and 
Schaub were wounded all of the Ninth Kentucky. In the Sixth 
Kentucky, Lieut. -Col. Cofer, a cool, brave, and efficient officer, was 
wounded; Capt. W. W. Bagby and Lieut. M. E. Aull were mortally 
wounded ; Captains D. E. McKendree and John G. Hudson were 
likewise wounded, as were also Lieutenants L. M. Tucker and Charles 
Dawson, the last named of whom was taken prisoner. The Thirty-first 
Alabama Regiment behaved with praiseworthy gallantry. And here, 
though out of place, I will mention that of the Ninth Regiment four 
color corporals were killed, and three color corporals and the color 
sergeant were wounded. 

Late in the evening, my command being reunited,* we rejoined 
Gen. Breckinridge, with Statham s brigade, and halted at the junction 
of two roads, both apparently leading from Pittsburg Landing, and 
about one and a half miles west of Shiloh Church, in the direction of 
Corinth. 

With this force and some cavalry Gen. Breckinridge undertook to 
check any pursuit of our retiring army, and cover the retreat. This 
was a hard duty, exposed as the command had been, and wasted as 
they were by the loss of more than half their numbers ; but the Gen 
eral was equal to the great undertaking, and his officers and men 
shared his devotion to duty. 

Here we bivouacked in the mud, and were exposed to the rain 
which fell during the night. Gen. Breckinridge had in some way 
provided subsistence for the command, sufficient for the night and 
morning. 

The enemy did not appear that night, and the next morning we 
slowly moved off three miles, to Mickey s house, taking with us the 
wounded, whom we found in abandoned wagons and in the houses on 

* Col. Hunt, being senior, was left, as stated, in command of the Sixth and 
Ninth, and had the honor, as chief in command of the two regiments, of firing 
the farewell shot his being the last fighting of that eventful day. " Long after 
all other troops had been withdrawn," as Col. Trabue remarks, he was reunited 
with the remainder of the brigade. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 91 

the road-side, as well as some captured property, which had been 
abandoned by other Confederate troops. Arrived at Mickey s house, 
(where was aiarge hospital, with four or five hundred wounded men, 
a part of whom were Federal prisoners), we remained there three 
days, laboriously engaged in removing the wounded, burying the 
dead, and sending forward captured property. All having been ac 
complished, upon receiving orders from Beauregard, Breckinridge 
with his command moved into Corinth, arriving there on Friday. 

While at Mickey s house, we had been advantageously posted to 
avoid surprise and repel attack. On Tuesday, Gen. Sherman s brig 
ade of the enemy came tp within a mile and a half of us, but, being 
attacked by our cavalry, which Breckinridge had stationed in the rear, 
that brigade was routed, losing forty or fifty killed, and about seventy- 
five prisoners, who were sent to Corinth. 

Here I must be permitted to bear testimony to the resolution, 
ability, and endurance of Gen. Breckinridge, which in these last days 
were severely taxed, but were not wanting to the demands of the oc 
casion. 

Thus I have given an account of the conduct of this brigade, in 
the battle of the 6th and ;th instants, and in the three or four days 
succeeding. I cannot too highly commend the gallantry and steadi 
ness of these brave men. 

The courage, coolness, and ability of Col. Hunt, of the Ninth Ken 
tucky, were conspicuous, as were also those of his lieutenant- 
colonel, Robert A. Johnston, who was wounded on Monday morn 
ing, but kept his place. No man could have possessed more gallantry 
than was shown by Col. Lewis, of the Sixth Kentucky, and his 
lieutenant-colonel, Gofer. Major Hays, too, of the same 
regiment, behaved well. I had occasion often to remark 
the self-possession and ability of Lieut. -Col. Hynes, in com 
mand of the Fourth Kentucky (who was wounded, but did 
not leave the field), as also the conduct of Capt. Joseph P. 
Nuckols, of this regiment (who had been mounted). The conduct of 
the lamented Monroe, Major of this regiment, was unsurpassed, and 
challenged the admiration of all. The conduct of Lieut. -Col. Ander 
son, commanding the Third Kentucky, is reported to me by one of my 
aids as having been extremely gallant, as was that of Maj. Johnson, 
both of whom were wounded. Lieut.-Col. Crews, commanding Ten 
nessee Battalion, behaved well. Maj. Clifton, commanding Alabama 
Battalion, detached from me early on Sunday, did not again come un 
der my notice, but is said to have done his duty. Lieut.-Col. Gal- 
braith, commanding Thirty-first Alabama Regiment, executed to my 
satisfaction, several orders I gave him, and in the early fight Sunday,. 



92 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

although not drilled, his regiment did excellent service. Capt. Byrne, 
as I have already said, managed his battery with skill, and fought with 
great gallantry. Capt. Cobb, commanding light battery, unfortu 
nately lost most of his horses and two of his pieces, but is represented 
to me as having fought with great courage and skill. Capt. John H. 
Morgan, with his squadron, was not under my immediate control, and 
has only to-day returned from the scene of conflict. On receiving 
his report I will add a supplement to this. His conduct is represented 
to have been such as all expected of so gallant a commander. 

The captains and subalterns of the command who fought with dis 
tinguished courage, are too numerous to be mentioned in this report. 
Regimental reports are referred to for justice to them. It may not be 
out of place to say. however, that the Third Kentucky came from the 
battlefield and from Mickey s house, under command of Lieut. C. H. 
Meshew. 

I am under obligations to my Adjutant, Joe Linden Robertson, and 
my volunteer aids, Samuel Gray, John Hooe, Tho. B. Darragh, 
Robert W. McKee, and Charlton Morgan, all of Kentucky (the last 
of whom was wounded on Sunday morning), and Charles J. Mastin, 
of Alabama, all of whom exhibited decided gallantry. 

But I have to mourn the loss of many who were very dear to the 
command, among whom Maj. Monroe is very deeply lamented. He 
fell nobly at his post. No officer of his rank could have been his su 
perior, and no man in the army could have possessed more merit as a 
gentleman. At the same place fell Governor George W. Johnson, 
whose death will be mourned by thousands of his countrymen. 

The command went into action with something less than 2,400 men, 
and the table of casualties shows an aggregate loss of 844. The list 
of missing is ninety-seven, all of whom were probably killed or 
wounded. 

The losses of the different regiments, etc., were as follows : 

Third Kentucky Regiment 174 

Fourth Kentucky Regiment 213 

Sixth Kentucky Regiment 108 

Ninth Kentucky Regiment 134 

Hale s Thirty-first Alabama 79 

Clifton s Alabama Battalion 30 

Crews Tennessee Battalion 55 

Cobb s Battery 37 

Byrne s Battery 14 

Total 844 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 93 

All the horses of the command belonging to the field and staff en 
gaged in the action, with one or two exceptions, were either killed or 
wounded. Respectfully, your obedient servant, 

R. P. TRABUE, 

Colonel Fourth Kentucky, Commanding Brigade. 

The preceding report, it will be observed, gives a close account of 
the action taken by all those troops that constituted the brigade proper, 
but Gen. Breckinridge and his staff, separated from it nearly all day of 
the 6th, as explained, are necessarily merely referred to as regards the 
operations of that day ; and in order to a just view of their action dur 
ing that time, we quote the following from Gen. Hodge: 

"Two o clock had arrived, and the whole army was now, or had 
been, for hours engaged, with the exception of Bowen s and Statham s 
brigades of the Reserve Corps. The enemy had been driven through 
and from half of his camps, but refused to give back further. Having 
given way on his right and left wings, he had massed his force heavily 
in the center, and poured an almost unintermitting hail of fire, mur 
derous beyond description, from his covert of trees and bushes, when 
Gen. Breckinridge was ordered up to break his line. Having been 
most of the day in observation on the Hamburg road, marching in col 
umn of regiments, the reserve was now moved by the left flank, until 
opposite the point of attack, then deployed rapidly into line of battle, 
Statham s brigade forming the right and Bowen s the left. The long- 
slope of the ridge was here abruptly broken by a succession of small 
hills or undulations of about fifty feet in height, dividing the rolling 
country from the river bottom ; and behind the crest of the last of these 
the enemy was concealed. Opposite them, at the distance of seventy- 
five yards, was another long swell or hillock, the summit of which it 
was necessary to attain in order to open fire, and to this elevation the 
reserve moved in order of battle at a double-quick. In an instant the 
opposing height was one sheet of flame. Battle s Tennessee regiment, 
on the extreme right, gallantly maintained itself, pushing forward un 
der a withering fire, and establishing itself well in advance. Little s 
Tennessee regiment, next to it, delivered its fire at random and ineffi 
ciently, became disordered, and retired in confusion down the slope. 
Three times it was rallied by its Lieutenant-Colonel, assisted by Col. T. 
T. Hawkins, aid-de-camp to Gen. Breckinridge, and by the Adjutant- 
General, and carried up the slope, only to be as often repulsed and 
driven back ; the regiment of the enemy opposed to it, in the intervals, 
directing an oblique fire upon Battle s regiment, now contending 
against overwhelming odds. 

"The crisis of the contest had come there were no more reserves, 



94 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

and Gen. Breckinridge determined to charge. Calling the staff around 
him, he communicated to them his intentions, and remarked that he, 
with them, would lead it. They were all Kentuckians, and though it 
was not their privilege to fight that day with the Kentucky Brigade, 
they were yet men who knew how to die bravely among strangers, and 
some, at least, would live to do justice to the rest. The Commander- 
in-chief, Gen. Johnston, rode up at this juncture, and learning the con 
templated movement, determined to accompany it. Placing himself 
on the left of Little s regiment, his commanding figure in full uniform, 
conspicuous to every eye, he waited the signal. Gen. Breckinridge, 
disposing his staff along the line, rode to the right of the same regi 
ment; then with a wild shout, which rose high above the din of battle, 
on swept the line through a storm of fire, over the hill, across the in 
tervening ravine, and up the slope occupied by the enemy. Nothing 
could withstand it. The enemy broke and fled for half a mile, hotly 
pursued, until he reached the shelter of his batteries. Well did the 
Kentuckians sustain that day their honor and their fame ! Of the litttle 
band of officers who started on that forlorn hope but one was un 
scathed, the gallant Breckinridge himself. Col. Hawkins was wounded 
in the face; Capt. Allen s leg was torn to pieces by a shell; the horses 
of the fearless boy, J. Cabell Breckinridge, and of the Adjutant-Gen 
eral were killed under them, and Gen. Johnston was lifted, dying, 
from his saddle. It may well be doubted whether the success, brilliant 
as it was, decisive as it was, compensated for the loss of the great cap 
tain 

"The general repulse of the enemy had now thrown the reserve on 
the extreme right of the Confederate line. Far on the left was heard 
the musketry of the Kentucky Brigade, and the roar of its artillery, 
as it pushed its columns forward. It was fighting its way to its gal 
lant general, and the hour was drawing near when they were to meet 
in the pride of glorious success. Capt. Byrne, of the Kentucky Bat 
tery, riding on the flank, observed heavy bodies of the enemy in rear 
of his line, from which he was constantly drawing fresh supplies of 
men, and thus was enabled to maintain his ground. Obtaining per 
mission of Bragg, he changed position of his pieces, and then threw 
discharge after discharge of spherical case shot and shell among them. 
The effect was magical. The right of the enemy broke and fled, the 
center followed, then the left wing; and charging along the whole line 
the Confederate army swept through the camps of the enemy, captur 
ing three thousand, and driving the Federal force cowering beneath 
the shelter of the iron-clad gunboats. Then and there, in the full 
fruition of success, the Kentucky Brigade and its general met for the 
first time during that bloody day since their separation in the morn- 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 95 

ing, both covered with glory, both proud of and gratified with each 
other." 

It will be observed that, more than is usually the case in battle, the 
fighting of the Kentucky troops, on these two momentous days, was 
by separate detachments. Regiments and batteries made a kind of 
individual record of their own ; and it would be impossible, on that 
account, to enter into detailed notices of the many incidents, of various 
nature, connected with each, as this would require a volume of itself. 
The reader will find frequent allusions to them in the biographies and 
the short personal sketches and incidents that follow this chapter. 

On Monday afternoon the great battle had been fought and lost. 
The trials, responsibilities, and sufferings of the Kentuckians were 
not over, however. The brigade had preserved its organization in 
such a remarkable degree that its services were in demand to do a 
greatly disproportionate part in the work of protecting the rear of 
the retreating army. In the language of Col. Trabue, "It was a 
great undertaking. 

Encamping that night without shelter, in the rain and mud, upon 
the very verge of the battlefield, now held by a powerful and vic 
torious enemy, officers and men lay upon their arms ; and next day 
it moved out slowly, gathering up abandoned property and wounded 
men; halted again almost within cannon shot of the enemy, and 
went to work to bury the dead found along the road and at the 
field-hospital, and to send forward the wounded, the prisoners, and 
captured property; and at last withdrew under Gen. Breckinridge s 
orders to Corinth, arriving there Friday morning, one week from the 
time it had set out for Burnsville. 

Many and many a noble heart that beat high with hope, and with 
the pride that the expectation of great achievements naturally inspires, 
was now stilled in death. These, our slain, lay in soldiers graves, 
scattered promiscuously, and with no mark even so much as to name 
them, and say to future generations that such and such a one sleeps 
here. The victory that the very first blow promised, and that seemed, 
to all who lived till nightfall on the 6th, almost within their grasp, 
had been snatched from them, and their dead comrades were now 
mourned as those who shed their blood in vain. The living had 
reached Corinth after almost unparalleled hardships, and, having wit 
nessed the most heartrending scenes after the battle was over, in the 
suffering of the wounded, who were slowly and with extreme difficulty 
carried to that place by every means of conveyance at the command 
of the Confederate officers. The almost constant rain, the horrid 
condition of the roads, the absence of every comfort that a wounded 
man so much needs, made the lot of these poor sufferers dreadful be- 



9C HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

yond expression. To complete the discomfiture of the Army of the 
Mississippi, their great captain was no more ; and they felt now that 
there had been a "giant in the land," and that there was no one left 
who could restore their broken strength as he could have done, nor 
lead them as he had led. Just as light seemed to be about to dispel 
the darkness that for some months had been settling over the Confed 
eracy, the hand of the Almighty wrote the doom of the new Republic. 
With Johnston here, and Lee in Virginia, unopposed by the decree of 
Him who rules the nations of the earth, no human power at the dis 
posal of the United States Government could have stayed the onward 
and triumphant march of the Confederate Armies ; but one touch a 
ball sped perhaps at random send one of the greatest generals of 
modern days, who seemed to hold the fate of a nation in his hand, 
dropped the reins of his charger some minutes after he had received a 
stroke that he had scarcely noticed, reeled into the arms of Gen. 
Preston, and was presently no more. 

No studied disquisition is needed to portray the conduct of Ken- 
tuckians on that field, and the traits indicated by that conduct. How 
ever tried they had proved true, and displayed the highest soldierly 
qualities. Intelligent, well-trained, intrepid in action, steady under 
blows which they could not return, actively humane when good offices 
could be extended to a wounded enemy ; bearing with unflinching 
fortitude the hardships of a week s marching and more than their share 
of labor and of watching by night and by day, all this was seen and 
acknowledged by those in position to judge, and lauded by all capable 
of being both generous and just. 

And what prouder names could the Confederacy boast than those 
who led them there ? The Commander-in-chief was a Kentuckian he 
who fell after he had won a victory the consequences of which, had he 
lived to hold it, would have been incalculable ; and their general of 
division, Breckinridge, what knightlier soldier had ridden in battle on 
this continent ? 

But why attempt to call the roll of all the honorable names that 
proudly maintained on that field Kentucky s old renown ? The list is 
too long, and the attentive reader has already seen how well they did it. 

At Corinth there was gloom among the survivors, but the darker hue 
of disgrace was no part of it. More than thirty-five per cent, of the 
brigade, including its batteries, had been killed or wounded, but very 
few were missing and unaccounted for. 

On two great fields, now, had the Kentucky volunteers tried theii 
strength, had proved their valor and their constancy, and the living 
who were not in prison or disabled by wounds were "present for 
duty." An enemy coming upon them now would have found them 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 5)7 

ready, even in their dejected state, to " stiffen the sinews and summon 
up the blood" for another conflict. 



INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES: ON THE MARCH; ALSO AT AND AFTER 

SHILOH. 

I. " The Battle of Sunset." I am indebted to that gallant and 
steady soldier and faithful comrade, Thomas Owens, of Co. I, Fourth 
Kentucky, for the following account of the false alarm referred to in 
the preceding chapter : 

The First Kentucky Brigade now famous as the Orphan Brig 
ade had been in camp at Oakland Station, on the Louisville and 
Nashville railroad, twelve miles north of Bowling Green, Ky. , since 
December i2th, 1861. The monotony and discipline of camp life had 
become irksome to the boys, and occasional rumors of an early call to 
active service were hailed with delight. After the fall of Fort Henry 
on the 6th day of February, 1862, we were in daily expectation of 
marching orders, which came at last on the i2th of February. After 
rapidly packing knapsacks and striking tents we turned our faces 
towards Nashville. 

By forced marches we arrived on the evening of the second day 
within a couple of miles of the intersection of the Russellville and 
Glasgow turnpike with the pike running south into Tennessee on 
which we had been marching for two days. The weather was ex 
tremely cold, and we had that day marched more than twenty miles. 
\Ve were all footsore and nearly exhausted when, late in the after 
noon, Capt. Jack Allen, who was then acting aide to Gen. Breckin- 
ridge, rode back along the column in a gallop, shouting, Close up, 
men, close up; the enemy is directly in front of us! This an 
nouncement instantly banished all sense of fatigue, and the column 
was quickly closed up, halted, and directed to load. 

It must not be supposed that this maneuver of loading was accom 
plished with the same cool deliberation as on drill; on the contrary, 
many of us showed considerable trepidation as we brought the car 
tridge to the muzzle of the gun. This done, however, the order, 
forward, double-quick; march, rang out along the line, and we 
moved forward at a rapid pace, listening every moment for the boom 
of cannon or the rattle of musketry at the front. Nothing of the kind 
n - as heard, however, and we soon began to suspect it was a false alarm; 
; nd so it proved to be. 

The squad of cavalry acting as a vanguard for our little army had 
reached the crossing of the two roads above mentioned, and seeing a 
body of cavalry coming down the Glasgow road, took it to be a part 
of the Federal force then at Mill Spring, and, without waiting to learn 
the truth of it, rode back and reported the fact to Gen. Breckin- 
ridge. The reported enemy turned out to be Helm s regiment of 
cavalry, a gallant body of Confederates, which had been watching 
the movements of the Federal army then lying in the vicinity of 
Mill Spring, and were on their way to join our force. The battle 
(in anticipation) came to an end about the setting of the sun ; and 



98 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

it was then christened the Battle of Sunset, a name by which it 
was ever afterwards known." 

II. Alabamians A Noble and Appreciative People. 
All who remember the incidents of that trying retreat can but recall 
with a glow of admiration the cordial, even enthusiastic greeting ex 
tended to the brigade by the people of Alabama, as it passed through 
the State. Waving of handkerchiefs, cheers, words of welcome and 
encouragement, met them from the time they entered it till they were 
encamped on the left bank of the Tennessee river, and were no more 
among them, as the infantry was conveyed by rail from Decatur to 
Burnsville in the night. At Huntsville a stand of colors was presented 
to the Sixth Regiment by the ladies of that place, and as much en 
thusiasm prevailed as though Gen. Johnston had been marching north 
ward after a victory. This is the more worthy of note, too, from the 
fact that they were the same in the latter years of the war. Reverses, 
apparently failing fortunes, and the raggedness of the bronzed Ken 
tucky soldier never deterred them from flocking to the roadside when 
this command, or any portion of it, was passing, and from contributing 
something to their wants. The last private gift to them was from the 
ladies of Lowndes county, of that State some boxes of clothing, 
which came opportunely, and were issued to them in July, 1864, dur 
ing the defense of Atlanta. 

III. A Camp Struck by a Southern Hurricane at Night. 
A storm, which occurred on the night of the i4th of March, just be 
fore the brigade reached Decatur, somewhat varied the monotony of 
the wearisome days, and afforded much matter for laughter and fun, 
though it was of itself a serious thing. The infantry had encamped in 
a pasture, to the right of the road, and along a skirt of inclosed wood 
land. The companies had each been supplied with about seven Sib- 
ley tents, and these were pitched in order, as the clouded atmosphere 
betokened rain. A short time after the evening meal had been dis 
patched, and all who had concluded to spend the night at home were 
sitting around in their tents, passing their time in the various ways of 
which soldiers alone can conceive, when a low sound, at first as of fall 
ing rain, then of approaching wind, arrested attention. It grew more 
furious every second, until it struck the encampments as with a mighty 
blow, and created such a stir as no one who was present can ever for 
get. Officers and men sprang up and seized the center poles of their 
Sibleys, in the vain hope of holding them to the ground; but the wind 
was so violent that they were bounced up and down like puppets on a 
string, and quicker than it can be told almost every tent in the brigade 
was torn up and blown away or sprawled over, and some thousands of 
men were uncovered at once to the fury of a Southern hurricane. In 
some instances, where less care had been taken to fasten the tents 
down securely, they were blown loose from cords and pins, and flew 
about to the danger and discomfiture of all who chanced to stand in 
their course. Blankets, hats and clothing darted suddenly from their 
rightful owners tin-cups, spoons, crockery, sheet-iron vessels, rattled 
their accompaniment to the din as they were blown or kicked about 
everything was jumbled up in a disorderly mass. To add to the dire 
confusion, a drove of cattle had been turned into the pasture, and at 
dark were at the far end of the field, keeping a very respectful dis- 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 99 

tance from the tented quarter ; but when the wind struck them they 
were frightened into instant action, and came sweeping round with a 
noise that was appalling, as they appeared to be charging directly upon 
the encampment, and were calculated to do more mischief than a bat 
tle. No one relished the idea of dying by the inglorious means of 
either a bullock s horns or his hoofs. But by some means they were 
turned somewhat, or turned themselves, and passed with thundering 
tread, in a body, straight along the outer line of the mass of men and 
things that formed a medley of what had been quite a cheerful and 
comfortable little city, with spires looking modestly out from a conical 
canvas. Some sought the covered wagons for shelter, as the rain 
was now pouring down as though all the drops of old ocean had been 
distilled into clouds for that special occasion. Some fled to neighbor 
ing gin-houses, guided on their way by the almost constant and vivid 
Hashes of lightning and some lost their way to the gin-houses and 
went to Decatur, where they forthwith proceeded to have "a time." 
A few, more calm and collected under difficulties, or more opposed to 
violent exertion, waited patiently for the storm to abate, when they 
stirred around and managed to raise a shelter and pass the night among 
the debris of the camp. The party that found the gin-houses came in 
next morning thickly covered with bits of cotton that had adhered to 
them in the night, as they burrowed among the bales or the loose- 
picked. A facetious friend who made one of the unfortunate number 
that found themselves at Decatur afterward explained that the shelter 
and refreshments were so grateful to their feelings that it was nearly 
day before they could tear themselves away and set out on their re 
turn to camp and that, taking the railroad after they got over the 
foot-bridge they left a man in every cow-gap between the river and the 
plantation where they had last seen their less adventurous comrades, 
since they could find these holes in the road only by having the ad 
vance man of the party incontinently pitch into one as he strode along 
in the dark. From all which those who know a soldier s proneness to 
" wet up" when it is apparent to others that he is already wet enough 
may draw what conclusions they please. 

IV. Who Led the Brigade s First Skirmishes on the 
Battle Field ? For some time after this, the first great battle for all 
but the Second Kentucky, there was a friendly contention as to who 
was the first sent out to deploy the enemy on Sunday morning both 
Lieut. Rogers, of Co. A, Fourth Kentucky, and Lieut. Weller, of Co. 
D, same regiment, claiming this honor; but it was finally decided that 
each commanded a skirmish party, and deployed in somewhat differ 
ent directions at the same time. 

V. Wasn t Quite So Angry Now. After the brigade had 
formed line of battle Sunday morning, as previously noticed, and 
inarched some distance through the forest, it was halted and ordered 
to rest at will. Some of the men stood by their arms, while others sat 
down on the leaves, logs, stumps whatever came convenient ; the 
officers walked about and conversed with each other. I chanced to 
be near John Crawford, a gallant young fellow, as he proved, a mem 
ber of Co. H, Sixth Kentucky. Hardee s cannons were booming in 
front, and we were near enough for other reverberations of the initia 
tory conflict to reach us. Crawford sat listening awhile, and then 



100 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

broke out with "What does all this mean, anyhow?" " What are 
you talking about?" " This fighting this war ; what s it all about? " 
Of course, the tension of the nerves which precedes expected conflict 
was not proof against a laugh from those in hearing, and Crawford 
wound up with " I m not half so angry as I was, I tell you ! " We 
were presently ordered forward, and before noon of the next day the 
brave boy was dead killed while the Kentuckians were fighting so des 
perately to keep back Buell s overpowering force as Beauregard s 
broken army retreated. 

VI. The First Work of the Fourth Kentucky on Sunday 
Morning. When Col. Trabue formed line of battle, to march in 
supporting distance of Gen. Polk, the line of march brought the 
Fourth Regiment, on the extreme left, into a depressed place in a 
field, where it halted awhile ; then the brigade moved by the left 
flank, which threw this regiment in the woods and at the base of a 
small hill or bank, where it again halted and was faced to the front. 
Here Lieut. John Bird Rogers, with a platoon of Co. A, and Lieut. 
John H. Weller/with a platoon of Co. D, were thrown out as skir 
mishers. Deploying, they marched over the hill; through a camp of 
the enemy which had been abandoned in confusion ; passed dead and 
wounded Federals as they pressed to the farther edge of this encamp 
ment, and found themselves in the rear of a Confederate line of 
battle, in range of spent balls and the shot and shell designed for the 
troops in front. While halted here one of the regiments engaged 
broke and ran back through the line of Kentuckians. This, with the 
flying bullets, bursting shells, and plunging cannon shot would have 
demoralized any ordinary troops ; but even the bugle that now sounded 
the recall failed to budge them, as they were afraid they had not heard 
aright, and would be put down, if they should retreat, as having fled 
with the demoralized regiment which had run over them. The order 
to retreat must be unmistakable or they would die there. Maj. Monroe 
had to send an officer with a verbal order to withdraw. This is a 
sample of the stuff the regiment was made of. Shortly after this the 
attention of acting Maj. Nuckols was called to a long line of muskets 
glistening through the trees to the left of the regiment and moving to 
its front. Tall, and sitting on horseback, he could see that a Federal 
regiment was there and forming at an angle to the Fourth Kentucky. 
He reported to Maj. Monroe, commanding, who quickly apprehended 
the necessary movement, and gave the order Change front to rear 
on first company ! " This was promptly executed, and as promptly a 
battle was raging with the Forty-sixth Ohio. This was presently re 
inforced by another regiment, seeing which the Fourth Kentucky 
charged and drove them out of the woods, when it halted, and the 
brigade s lines were readjusted. It was a brilliant and audacious piece 
of work. 

VII. Putting on a New Uniform in Time of Action. 
About the time the Louisiana regiment referred to by Col. Trabue 
appeared on the left front of the brigade, some Confederate troops 
had sent a volley of minie-balls among them, having mistaken them 
for Federals. This made them advance their crescent battle-flag into 
view in a hurry ; and they afterward appeared in a peculiar uniform,, 
made by turning their coats inside out. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 101 

VIII. An Unconquerable Irishman. Hugh McVey, mem 
ber of Company U, Fourth Kentucky, had served in the British army 
when young ; but he was a modest and quiet man, now past middle 
age, and indisposed to parade his exploits. On the morning of the 
second day at Shiloh he was struck by a ball. It did not fell him, but 
Lieutenant (afterward Captain) Weller, seeing that he bled, told him 
to go back to the surgeon and have his wound dressed. " No, Leften- 
ant," he answered, pronouncing the word in that old way, "no, I ll 
die on the faild ! " and stood to the line. Not long afterward he was 
again hit, and Weller urged him to go back, but he still plied his rifle 
and answered as before. In a little while the noble fellow died " on 
the faild " whjch he had helped to make famous for Kentuckians ; a 
third shot killed him instantly. 

IX. How the "Desperadoes" All Died. Lieut. Harris, of 
Company C, Ninth Kentucky, picked up, some time during the first 
day s fight at Shiloh, a handsome silk banner, on one side of which 
was painted the Goddess of Liberty, with the motto, We Will Die 
for Our Country," and on the other side was inscribed " The Chick- 
asaha Desperadoes," and "Victory or Death." Col. Hunt, noticing 
it afterward, said that " the entire command must have been killed, 
for they surely could not have thrown away their colors after going 
in to win or die." The Ninth appropriated the staff, as their own had 
been shot in two, but the flag itself was given to Gen. Breckinridge, 
and was hung up at his headquarters, at Corinth, perhaps elsewhere. 

X. He Expected to be Murdered. Mistaken or malicious 
speakers and writers, in their efforts to fire the northern heart, early in 
1 86 1, dealt in the grossest misrepresentations of the Southern people, 
and the effects of these attempts to arouse sectional hate were in keep 
ing with their wicked purpose. One peculiarly odious slander was to 
the .effect that Southern men were such blood-thirsty barbarians that 
they would not respect the usages of civilized warfare, and were 
capable of butchering wounded men and helpless prisoners. On Sun 
day forenoon, at Shiloh, when the Sixth Kentucky was ordered to 
relieve the Fourth, as described elsewhere, on its run to the edge of 
the open field through which the enemy had been driven, the writer, 
with others, passed near a Federal soldier who had a broken leg 
doubled back under him in a way that seemed to make his sufferings 
the more excruciating. He evidently expected to be bayoneted as he 
lay, for he said pleadingly, "Don t kill me!" The regiment was 
halted for orders a few yards beyond, and as if by one impulse, Capt. 
Crewdson and the writer stepped back to place him in a more comfort 
able position. But he still mistrusted and again begged not to be killed. 
" Poor fellow ! " we replied, as we straightened him out and did what 
we could to make him easier till he could be reached by the infirmary 
corps, " we re trying to help you. We don t kill men who are down." 
The grateful and somewhat puzzled look which he gave us with his 
thanks was a thing to be remembered. Many a time that day, judg 
ing by individual observation, did the Kentuckians, who had things 
pretty much their own way till night, divide water and food during 
the lulls of the storm, with wounded Federals strewn over the field, 
and render such little assistance as they could, and this, of course, 
was done by the other Confederate forces. 



102 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

XI. Armed for Close Fighting. Old soldiers recall with a 
smile the erroneous impressions that obtained at the beginning of the 
war and the character of certain arms with which men were provided 
or thought it well to provide themselves. Gov. Joe Brown s pikes 
are in point; but many Kentuckians carried from the State and ex 
pected to use a long heavy knife, that in a hand-to-hand conflict would 
have been as terrible as the Cuban machete. Stories told about the 
first battle of Manassas, that had their foundation chiefly in the fertile 
brains of war correspondents, gave some color to the prevailing 
impression that close-quarter engagements were not at all improbable. 
Big knives, made as a rule out of the heavy steel files or rasps used 
by blacksmiths, were borne in many a cartridge belt up to the very 
opening of the battle of Shiloh. When the men had orders to divest 
themselves of knapsacks and extra blankets and pile them preparatory 
to engaging the enemy, most of these long knives went with them, as 
they saw that with the Enfield and Belgian rifle, which most of them 
now had, and which would kill at a thousand yards, there was small 
prospect of even a stand-up fight with bayonets. A few were after 
ward found in the camps, but they were debased to the level of 
butchers cleavers or took the hatchet s place in sharpening tent-pins 
and cutting kindling wood. 

XII. Bee Stung. First experiences and impressions in battle 
were diversified and often peculiar, and manifestations were frequently 
ludicrous. John Philpot, a Cumberland county man, belonging to Co. 
F, Sixth Kentucky, was quiet and rather abstracted, attending to his 
duties in a composed and matter-of-fact way, and fighting in the same 
manner; but when, in the heat of the battle at Shiloh, on Monday, a 
bullet cut his scalp without knocking him over, he lost his wits. Throw 
ing down his gun he began striking and scratching furiously about his 
head with both hands, jerking his hat off in the manner of a man 
fighting bees and apparently pretty badly stung and very much afraid 
of bees, anyhow. But he quickly recovered his senses, and seemed to 
realize that he had been making a spectacle of himself. Looking at 
his comrades in a sort of shame-faced way, he replaced his hat, grabbed 
his rifle, and resumed firing; but subsequently the men guyed him a 
good deal about not knowing the difference between a bullet and 
a honey bee or a hornet. 

XIII. Southern Man Ran the Wrong Way. Unscrupulous 
enlisting officers doubtless played some scurvy tricks on foreigners to 
induce them to swell the ranks of the Northern army, as an instance at 
Shiloh indicated. One of the Kentucky regiments captured among 
others a German soldier, who was at first angry and sullen and required 
some sharp talk and some threatening demonstrations to induce him to 
move along as required. He was evidently new to the country, as his 
English was bad and had a touch of his native tongue. One of the 
men tried to jolly him a little, which brought out the fact that he had 
been deceived. " Hans," said his interlocuter, "what are you doing 
here, anyhow? What do you want to fight the South for?" " Py 
himmel!" he blurted out, "I vish I didn t!" Then he showed how 
he had been taken in : "Zey dell me to zay boo ! at the Southern man 
unt he runs off. I zay boo ! and shoots ; but py tam ! Southern man he 
runs the wrong vay ! " 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 103 

XIV. Gov. Johnson Taking the Oath as a Private Soldier. 

Dr. John O. Scott, on duty with Byrne s battery at Shiloh, thus tells of 
the scene and what followed: " He and his private secretary, Samuel 
Gray, had rested Sunday night under an oak tree near the bivouac of 
the Kentucky Brigade. I can never forget loaning him a pocket comb 
Monday morning; how politely he thanked me when he returned it; 
and how my heart warmed when he spoke of his love for my father. 
After a hurried breakfast we were reminded by the sound of the bugle 
that we must go to arms again. Glancing toward a distant hill we saw 
rank upon rank of Federal soldiers, with fixed bayonets glittering in the 
sunlight, filing rapidly to our right in front of Shiloh church. Gen. Breck- 
inridge was in Sight, sitting on his impatient war-horse. At this moment 
Gov. Johnson asked Capt. Ben Monroe, of the Fourth Regiment, to swear 
him as a private in his company, and the boy Captain, with uplifted 
cap and sword unsheathed, asked the Governor of Kentucky to raise 
his right hand, and with it uplifted to heaven, in witness of the sincerity 
of his devotion to the cause for which he fought, he took the oath; 
then fell into the ranks of Co. E. Fighting to protect our battery, 
when it stood to fight, and to keep it from capture when forced to fall 
back, Gov. Johnson and Maj. Monroe were killed, and Burnley, Dud 
ley, Steele, Tom Price, Capt. Monroe and others were wounded." 

XV. Too Late to Pray. Nat Grain, of Co. F, Sixth Kentucky, 
then less than eighteen years old, was the son of an eminent Methodist 
minister, but he was full of fun and could be ludicrous even in "the 
imminent deadly breach. As the brigade was being pushed back 
from point to point on the second day at Shiloh, Nat came into line, at 
one of the rallying places, near a small black-jack tree, behind which 
a comrade had already established himself, lying flat on the ground, 
his head and body so disposed that the tree afforded him some protec 
tion. He was loading and firing, as he had been drilled to do in this 
posture, and was praying so audibly as to be heard by those near him 
in spite of the noise of battle. This struck Grain as he took position, 
standing, beside him, and he pushed him with his foot and shouted: 
" Get up here, Will ! what s the use in praying when the devil s done 
come?" 

XVI. The Little Book Saved His Life. Among the many in 
stances in which small articles, as books, belt-buckles, etc., stopped or 
deflected bullets, was that of John L. Marshall, Sergeant-Major of the 
Fourth Kentucky. During the first year, especially, it was common 
for the men to have at least one pocket in the front of the colored 
shirts worn, and if but one this was on the left breast, and fell naturally 
over the heart. At Shiloh Marshall had in his shirt pocket a small 
testament which he had brought from home, (given him, presumably 
by his mother, sister, or sweet-heart, as they never forgot to arm their 
warriors with a copy of the Scriptures). During the battle an Enfield 
ball imbedded itself in the book, and he received only a shock and a 
bruise, whereas without this obstacle the bullet would have gone 
through his heart. He took a gallant part in nearly every engagement 
of his regiment, great or small, but was never again struck. 

XVII. The Kentucky Artillery: Byrne and His Men 
Cheered. An eye-witness furnished this account of the artillery 
action referred to by Gen. Hodge : 



104 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

" Capt. Byrne opened on them at a thousand yards. He had eight 
pieces, and they worked on the enemy s right. Gen. Breckinridge 
was driving him on his left, and the retreating column had to pass in 
front of the battery. Capt. Byrne sat on his horse, giving his orders; 
Gen. Ruggles, Col. Baird, and Capt. Ellis (of Bragg s staff), and 
Lieut. Robinson (of Trabue s staff) came up. Col. Baird gave a 
cheer this was taken up by the artillerists and then by the commands 
on the right. Never did men work harder and faster, and never did 
enemy fall thicker before the same number of guns. Col. Baird, in 
his enthusiasm, got down and put his hand on one of the pieces, re 
marking, as he did so, that he wanted to feclit! 

XVIil. Coolly "Picked His Flint" Under Fire. About the 
time the above-described incident occurred, James W. Nelson, of Co. 
F, Fourth Kentucky, found that the tube of his Enfield was choked, 
and seeing no other rifle in reach except in the hands of his comrades, 
he sat down by a tree, picked the tube, recapped it, then rose and re 
sumed firing all this with as much apparent coolness as though he 
were deaf to the roar of the artillery, the whistle of bullets that flew 
by, and the thud of those that struck. He missed no chance to get 
hurt from the first morning of Shiloh to the closing days of the 
brigade s service below Camden, S. C., April, 1865 ; but he received 
only a single wound, and that in the last fight in which his company 
engaged. 

XIX. A Double Duel, Fatal to at Least One Man. On one 
of the lines occupied by the Brigade, Monday forenoon, Elliott W. 
Thompson and Nathan B. Thompson, of Co. F, Sixth Kentucky, 
found themselves in the rear of an abandoned gun carriage and knelt 
behind the heavy wheels for such protection as wheels and axles would 
afford. The Federals had pressed so closely that their strong lines 
were but little concealed by the woods ; and these two young men had 
hardly opened fire from their partial shelter before they discovered that 
two Federal soldiers had "treed" within rifle range and were firing 
at them point blank. Several shots were exchanged without fatal effect 
upon either side, when Nathan Thompson became impatient, and said 
to his companion in the desperate game: " Let s stand out; then we 
can fetch em !" They instantly agreed as to which particular com 
batant each should aim at, jumped to their feet, and drew upon their 
adversaries ; but at the crack of their rifles Nathan fell dead his 
enemy s bullet had struck him square in the forehead. At the instant 
the line broke under orders to find another position from which to re 
new the fearfully unequal strife; and there was no time to determine 
whether their shots had taken effect. 

XX. "No Detail ! Ask for Volunteers." When Byrne s bat 
tery was placed on the little eminence back of the field where he 
fought it so splendidly for four hours, supported by the Kentucky 
Brigade, he at once drew the fire of several of the enemy s guns, and 
for part of the time three of their batteries were playing upon him, 
while their infantry kept up a continuous fire; but they could not move 
him or any part of his indomitable support. About one-third of the 
cannoniers had been killed or wounded, and as the ridge was very 
sandy the recoil of the guns threw the carriages back, and they had con 
stantly to be moved up by the hand. Many of the men were conse- 



HISTORY OF TIIK ORPHAN BRIGADE. 105 

quently completely exhausted. Col. Lewis was sitting near Capt. 
Byrne, who asked him for a detail to assist in working the guns, when 
John B. Spurrier, of the Sixth Regiment, stepped forward and cried 
out, "No detail! Call for volunteers, and we are there!" And 
they were there. The gallant Spurrier acted number one at a piece 
until he went down, dangerously wounded, about an hour after having 
volunteered. Gen. Bragg sent twice by his aides-de-camp, Col. 
Walton and Lieut. Parker, ordering Capt. Byrne to use spherical case 
or canister on the right of the enemy, as they were moving up through 
the undergrowth, but he had already given them plenty of spherical 
case. The Kentucky Brigade was now ordered to go to the right, as 
the enemy s guns appeared to have been silenced. Byrne s battery 
was moved about eight hundred yards further, and as they came up 
to Gen. Bragg, he took his sleek cap off and saluted them. 

XXI. A Tuneful Voice Heard in the Uproar. Perhaps no 
more thrilling circumstance took place during the noise of battle and 
the shouting" that day than the singing of a song which had been our 
favorite while recruiting went on in 1861. At one point in the line 
arose the music of a voice or voices, mingling with the rattle and crash 
of musketry, the sharp tones of command, the groans of the stricken 
and mangled, for the moment diverting the thoughts of fighting men 
from their bloody work 

"Cheer, boys, cheer, we ll march away to battle; 

Cheer, boys, cheer, for our sweethearts and our wives; 
Cheer, boys, cheer, we ll nobly do our duty ; 
And give to Kentucky our hearts, our arms, our lives! " 

XXII. " Devil Dick." As the Fourth Kentucky was making 
its way back to Corinth under command of Lieut. -Col. Hynes, a sup 
per was gotten up one evening from commissaries found on the road. 
Among others who partook of the meal with the commander s extem 
porized mess was John W. Slusser, of Co. D. He was a rollicking 
blade, nearly always cheerful and full of humor, and, though by no 
means a bad man nor deserving of any soubriquet that would convey 
such an imputation, he was known as Devil Dick. He was so desig 
nated throughout the war, and though everybody in the brigade knew 
Devil Dick, few knew his real name. Hynes and others were talking 
over their supper about the many incidents of the battle, their feelings, 
their views of this their first great conflict, when Slusser, who had 
been quietly listening, broke in with: "Well, I feel as though I shall 
live through this war. When I m an old man, I ll take my grandchil 
dren on my knee and tell them that I was in the great battle of Shiloh, 
and what I saw and what I did. They ll think of course that grand- 
pap was a hero, because the little things can never know how bad the 
old man wanted to get away from there! " 

XXIII. Some of His Teeth Had Lost Their Edge at Shi 
loh. Among other drolleries of Nat Cram s, to whom reference is 
made above, he declared when he enlisted that he was a " roaring 
tiger, with double rows of teeth one for vegetation and one for 
Yankees; " and occasionally afterward he would sing it out, especially 
when it seemed that he ought to emulate Mark Tapley and be jolly 
ander creditable circumstances : " I m a roaring tiger, etc. ! " After 



106 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

the brigade had gotten back to Corinth and the men, having smoothed 
their ruffled feathers a little, were trying to make the best of a bad 
business, it occurred to Nat one day to cry his slogan, so he put on as 
much of a savage aspect as he could assume, and began with a raised 
voice; but he seemed suddenly to recall that there had been trouble 
over about Pittsburg Landing, in which he was mixed up, and his 
speech took a peculiar turn: " I m a roaring tiger with double rows 
of teeth one for vegetation, but none for Yankees! " 

XXIV. The Preaching Didn t Suit Him. John Conner, of 
Co. C, Second Kentucky, was a son of the Green Isle, a good fellow 
and a good fighter, with a mind that is best described as both witty 
and humorous. Meeting the writer the week after the brigade got 
back, he said : " We went to church last Sunday week, didn t we ?" 
"Yes, to Shiloh Church." "Well, I m not going any more; I don t 
like the sermons they preach there." 

XXV. Shiloh Not Conclusive as to Whether One of Us 
Could Whip Five Yankees. A little gathering of the Kentuck- 
ians who had tried conclusions with Grant and Buell were talking 
over things during the time of serious reflection that followed, when 
one remarked : " You know we set out from home to whip five Yan 
kees apiece." "Yes." "Over yonder last week, now we didn t 
do it, did we?" " Oh," rejoined another, "they were not Yankees; 
they were Western men men like we are! " Then a shadow fell over 
the little squad that had come out to whip five apiece, as though their 
would-be comforter had given them a cold potato. They could but 
reflect that from Canada to the coast of Florida the woods were still 
full of " Western men like we are." 

XXVI. What a Reserve Corps Is. The brigade s experience 
on the field and on retreat furnished abundant food for thought during 
the weeks of comparative quiet that followed, and the unique, piquant, 
and humorous ones that found expression among the Kentuckians 
would fill a volume. Some reference having been made to the reserve 
corps of which the Orphans constituted an important part, one of 
them remarked that before the battle he didn t know what a reserve 
force was. Questioned as to whether he now knew, he replied : 
" Yes ; it means the best body of men that can be found to go in early, 
stay all the time, and afterward hold back the enemy for two or three 
days till the rest can get away with themselves and their impedimenta. 
It s a funny term, though reserve." The part played by the Ken 
tuckians during that eventful week seemed to justify his conclusions. 

XXVII. The Street Bully in Battle. To many, one of the 
singular revelations of the war was the fact that in nearly every in 
stance the men who were known to have been quarrelsome, overbear 
ing, and addicted to personal brawls and fistic combats, were arrant 
cowards. Of course, the oldest soldiers, whose experience with men 
and study of character had led them to form just conclusipns, mis 
trusted bluster, and understood that Jack Falstaff was a fair type, in 
the matter of real courage, of the pot-valiant of every age and nation ; 
but to the young it was a matter of astonishment that the man whose 
boast was that he "could whip his weight in wild-cats," and was. 
always looking out for insults and professedly ready to shoot or stick 
or pound any one who should " tread on his toes," suddenly lost his. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 107 

ferocity when cannon balls began to smash and crash around him and 
bullets were finding their targets in human flesh and bones. It would 
doubtless be hard for those who served faithfully throughout the war 
to recall instances in which these men made thoroughly reliable sol 
diers. They were a nuisance in camp, when they did not choose to 
run away altogether, and a disappointment on the field. Notwith 
standing the orders which officers had to prevent straggling and those 
to file-closers to shoot any who should endanger the steadiness of a 
line by breaking in time of action, these fellows could .get away; and 
if they stayed in the army afterward, to run on another day, it was 
notorious that they knew vastly more about the battle than the men 
who were in it, and in general they had the cheek to tell marvelous 
stories about the part they played. 



108 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 



CHAPTER VI. 

REORGANIZATION OF THE ARMY AT CORINTH AND REASSIGNMENT OF 
KENTUCKY TROOPS. THE RETREAT. SIEGE OF VICKSBURGH. IN 
CIDENTS AND ANECDOTES. 

In a short time the work of reorganizing the army throughout was 
begun, and the remainder of the month of April was spent in getting 
it in proper shape to render it available for attack or defense. Hal- 
leek, who had now assumed in person the command of the combined 
armies of Buell and Grant, delayed his movement on Corinth for a 
similar purpose; and even when he began his approaches, it was in a 
manner so cautious that it was not until the 2d of May that Beaure- 
gard deemed an engagement imminent. Confederate cavalry watched 
him cosely while the work of preparation was going on at Corinth. 

But, to come more particularly to the troops of Kentucky and their 
leaders : Shortly after the battle of Shiloh, Breckinridge was commis 
sioned a major-general, and assigned to the permanent command of 
the division which had led with such distinguished skill and valor on 
and from its first field. Some changes took place, however, and ad 
ditions were made. Colonels Preston and Helm received notification 
of promotion to the rank of brigadier-general, and were ordered to re 
port to Gen. Breckinridge for duty. The Kentucky troops were now 
separated and made part of two commands. One brigade was as 
signed to Brig. -Gen. J. M. Hawes, who had been promoted in the 
summer or autumn of 1861, and consisted of the Fourth and Ninth 
Kentucky Regiments, Hale s Alabama Regiment, Clifton s Alabama 
Battalion, and Byrne s Battery. Owing to resignation of the officers 
of Byrne s Battery, and the consequent breaking up of the company, 
a change was made in the artillery of this brigade, on the 2d of May, 
Hudson s Battery being substituted for Byrne s. Gen. Hawes soon 
relinquished his command for service in the Department of the 
Trans-Mississippi, and Gen. Ben Hardin Helm was placed in charge 
of his brigade, which was so modified as to consist of the following : 
Fourth and Ninth Kentucky Regiments, Thirty-first Alabama Regi 
ment, Fourth Alabama Battalion, Thirty-first Mississippi Regiment, 
and the Hudson Battery. 

One brigade was assigned to Brig. -Gen. William Preston, and con- 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 109 

sisted of the Third, Sixth, and Seventh Kentucky Regiments, Thirty- 
fifth Alabama Regiment, and Cobb s Battery. 

The Seventh Kentucky fought at Shiloh, in another command, and 
did not report to Gen. Breckinridge until after the arrival at Corinth. 
Its first colonel (Wickliffe) had been killed there, and it was now com 
manded by Col. Ed Crossland. 

These two brigades and two under Bowen and Statham respectively, 
with two cavalry companies, now constituted Breckinridge s division. 
It will be noted that this was an organization composed of Kentuckians, 
Alabamians, Missourians and Mississippians; and this ill-advised ar 
rangement prevailed till the following September, when the Second 
Kentucky returned from prison, and preparations were being made 
to join the army under Bragg, when the Kentucky regiments were all 
thrown together, and the title became once more appropriate in every 
sense. The Third and Seventh were detached, with a view of mov 
ing them into Kentucky, by way of Jackson, Tenn., and were not 
again connected with the main body, but there were four regiments 
still together, under the title of First Kentucky Brigade, until the 
autumn of 1861, when the Fifth Kentucky Infantry was added, or 
rather substituted for the Forty-first Alabama, and no further change 
took place in the organization. 

Though not strictly pertinent to the history of the Kentucky regi 
ments and artillery composing these brigades, it is not amiss to note 
the staff announced by Gen. Breckinridge after his promotion to Major- 
General, as they were nearly all Kentuckians, and saw much service 
with the Kentucky infantry during the next twenty months. This staff 
was at first about as follows, though frequent changes afterward oc 
curred some of which are referred to below : Capt. George B. 
Hodge, A. A. G.; Capt. John S. Hope, A. I. G.; Maj. Alfred Boyd, 
Chief Quartermaster; Capt. Clint McClarty, Chief Commissary; 
Lieut. -Col. D. Beltzhoover, Chief of Artillery; Lieut. James Wilson, 
Ordnance Officer; Dr. B. \V. Avent, Medical Director; Col. T. T. 
Hawkins, Aide-decamp; and Col. Jack Allen, Capt. A. Keene Rich 
ards, Capt. F. Lousdale, and Capt. Charles J. Mastin, volunteer aides- 
de-camp. 

Col. O Hara, who had hitherto been announced as aide, was still 
with him, but was recommended to the Government for promotion, 
and assignment to a command of cavalry, and was not included among 
the regularly appointed staff. He did not receive the proposed pro 
motion, however, and so continued to serve with Gen. Breckinridge 
in various capacity. It may be proper to remark, also, that other 
officers of the staff, who were with him during the battle of Shiloh, 
were highly complimented in dispatches to the War Department, and 



HO HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

recommended for promotion to higher rank. Of these, in addition to 
O Hara, Hodge, Hawkins and McClarty were thus mentioned. 

Capt. Hodge resigned on the ad of May, being a member of Con 
gress, and the duties of A. A. G. devolved on others of the staff till 
June 3d, when Maj. John T. Pickett was appointed. He served in 
this capacity till July, when he was ordered to Richmond, for service 
with Gen. Cooper, after which Col. John A. Buckner was made A. A. 
G. Capt. Hodge was afterward promoted to Brigadier-General of 
Cavalry, and, reentering the field, served till the close of the war. 

Col. O Hara had served on the staff of Gen. Albert Sidney John 
ston till the death of that officer. At Shiloh, he conducted himself 
with that noble bearing which had been exhibited on the fields of 
Mexico and Cuba. 

The staff of Brig. -Gen. Hawes was announced to be as follows: 
Capt. Joe Linden Robertson, A. A. G.; Capt. Wm. M. Cargill, A. 
Q. M.; Maj. A. P. Barbour, Aide-de-camp; and Lieut. J. CabellBreck- 
inridge, volunteer aides. The duties of inspection and the commis 
sariat were performed by other officers not included in the order of 
announcement in our possession, and whom we cannot now recall to 
mind. 

The order announcing staff of Brig. -Gen. Preston has been lost, but 
the following officers are remembered to have served with him at dif 
ferent times : Major (afterward Lieutenant-Colonel) James W. Hewitt, 
having escaped capture at Donelson, was some time Acting Adjutant- 
General, also Capt. Nat Wickliffe; and on the 29th of August, Captain 
(afterward Major) R. W. Woolley was appointed to that position. 
Capt. William Stanley was his Inspector General during the summer, 
Maj. John R. Throckmorton, Chief Quartermaster, and Maj. Alex. 
Evans, Chief Commissary. 

The staff of Brig. Gen. Helm, after he succeeded to the command 
of the brigade in which the Fourth and Ninth Kentucky were included, 
consisted of: Capt. G. W. McCauley, A. A. G. ; Maj. Thomas H. 
Hays, A. I. G.; Maj. G. W. Triplett, A. Q. M.; Maj. Silas M. 
Moorman, A. C. S. ; Lieut. G. M. Ryals, Ordnance Officer, and 
Lieut. Alexander H. Todd, Aide-de-camp. 

Changes occurred, too, in the regiments themselves, and particularly 
in the Sixth and Ninth, which had been enlisted for twelve months 
only; whereas the others were originally three-year men. The two 
twelve-months regiments reorganized early in May, making their term 
of service co-extensive with that of the others elections being held for 
officers throughout, except those of each regimental staff, who, of 
course, were to be the appointees of the respective colonels chosen. 
Officers who preferred remaining in the service with the rank then 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. HI 

held, but in a different field or different capacity, were to report to the 
commanding General for assignment; such as chose to relinquish their 
rank could be discharged from the service by simply refusing to appear 
as candidates; and such as should be defeated were to be thus di 
vested of rank the two classes last named to be held subject to the 
provisions of the conscription bill, provided they failed to select some 
arm of the service and reenlist. Such of the field and staff officers as 
appeared for the suffrages of the men were retained in their old positions, 
and, in most cases, the officers of the line also. In some few instances 
the officers in commission under the old organization declined to have 
their names used, and a few were rejected. Some of those who en 
tered other departments of the service distinguished themselves in dif 
ferent fields. 

The companies which had been reduced below the minimum were 
ordered to be consolidated in such manner as to give the organizations 
that were retained their full quota of men, in pursuance of which the 
new regiments were made to consist of but eight instead of ten com 
panies each. The Ninth chose a Lieutenant-Colonel and a Major, 
none having been previously appointed, and its organization was thus 
perfected after it had passed through the ordeal of battle. 

Among the officers elect, some few were rejected by the examining 
board, as being disqualified by want of a sufficient knowledge of tactics 
and general regulations. At this juncture, Bragg, who assumed command 
of the army on the 6th of May, stepped in to remedy defects, and be 
gan the appointment of officers to fill vacancies. The men selected in 
these cases were, for the most part, worthy of position ; and, indeed, 
some most excellent ones were assigned to duty in the line by author 
ity of the General commanding talented, courageous, and faithful 
but after six months, or more, during which time these officers had 
discharged the duties, borne the responsibilities, and met the expenses 
incidental to their position and that, too, under the evident displeas 
ure of those whom they commanded, because not the men of their own 
election Bragg s action was declared illegal, and they were returned 
to the ranks without having their pay-claims allowed; and the temper 
of the men was henceforth humored by suffering them to choose for 
themselves who should wield the authority that they considered as 
rightfully in their gift. 

The month of May was spent for the most part in moving to and fro 
along the line of defense in front of Halleck, who, with spade and 
pick, gradually drew nearer. Indications were frequent that battle 
would be joined, but further than the customary picketing in force, 
skirmishing between the outposts, occasional battle-orders, and forma 
tion to meet an attack, nothing of moment occurred during the entire 



H2 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

month of May. About the middle of that month the enemy was 
known to be near the Confederate line of defense, and everybody was 
vigilant, and on the 2oth the medical officers received orders to pre 
pare for the care of wounded. On the 226. it was thought that the 
crisis had come, and the army, having made all necessary prepara 
tions, marched out in full expectation of battle, but no general attack 
was made by either party, and that afternoon the old camps were re- 
occupied. 

On the 28th of May, the encampment was finally broken up; the 
troops took position in the intrenchments ; the various wagon trains 
were sent out on the Kossuth road four miles, to await orders. The 
Confederate general made the impression on Halleck that he could 
seriously resist his advance, and was thus enabled to withdraw on the 
night of the 29th, without loss of men or stores. 

The circumstances attending this retreat require to be noticed some 
what in detail because of the important part played by the Kentucky 
troops now regarded as thoroughly reliable in cases of emergency. 

Of the Reserve Corps, (as Breckinridge s Division had been de 
signated,) the special rear-guard of infantry was the Ninth Kentucky 
and a Mississippi regiment, with Cobb s Battery, the whole force under 
command of Col. Hunt. The Mississippians and a section of the 
battery passed over during the night, and bivouacked beyond the 
swamp that lies along the stream on each side ; but the Ninth was not 
withdrawn from its position at the front till about midnight, and the 
darkness was so profound, in the deep forest through which they had 
to move, and the road still so rough for the remaining two pieces of 
artillery, that Corinth was still in view when daylight dawned upon 
them. They passed over the Tuscumbia, however, at an early hour, 
and joined the remainder of the force with which Col. Hunt was ex 
pected to dispute the passage of the bridge. 

On the morning of the ist, Federal cavalry attacked the picket, 
stationed some distance back toward Corinth, under command of 
Lieut. Charles Semple, but they were repulsed, with slight loss to the 
Confederates. 

On the afternoon of June ist, the main body of the army having 
now had ample time to reach a position of comparative safety, Col. 
Hunt resumed his march. He continued to press forward till mid 
night, when information was received that the train of sick, which had 
been started from Corinth on the 28th, had been captured at Boone- 
ville, and that the Federal cavalry was between him and the main 
body of the army a considerable force being then in bivouac, it was 
said, half a mile to his left. Having halted, that the men might have 
an hour s rest and sleep, he again moved forward, slowly, but steadily, 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADK. 113 

almost constantly, till noon, when, within three miles of Black Land, 
he again halted; and as it had been rumored and was apprehended 
that a Federal force now occupied that place, he consulted with the 
commanders of the Mississippi regiment, the battery, and others who 
had been left on similar service for other commands, and at other 
crossings of the Tuscumbia, as to what course they should pursue. 
There was a difference of opinion about the measures best to be 
adopted, and he cut the matter short by announcing that he would 
march his own regiment straight forward, as the most expedient course. 
He accordingly assumed immediate command of the Ninth and the 
artillery, and moved on. The Mississippians and others followed, and 
they fortunately passed through Black Land just after a body of Fed 
eral cavalry had left it. At sundown that afternoon Col. Hunt reported 
to Gen. Breckinridge, and rejoined the main body of the Reserve 
Corps, near Baldwin, whither it had preceded him. He had almost 
been given up for lost; but after a long and perilous march, extending 
through thirty hours from the time of leaving Tuscumbia bridge, with 
but little rest, and no sleep that was worth the name, he restored the 
component parts of the guard, almost perfectly intact, to their places, 
in the corps. 

From this point the army marched to Tupelo the Reserve Corps 
leaving Baldwin on the 6th of June. The transportation had now been 
reduced, and tents and baggage curtailed to such an extent that but 
little transportation was needed, and the command reached Tupelo on 
the yth and 8th without loss or molestation, though it was constantly 
rumored, from the time that Corinth was out of sight, that the Fed 
erals were advancing in force, and the utmost caution and vigilance 
were exercised daily. 

Having arrived at Tupelo, the Reserve Corps was encamped from 
four to seven miles west of the village, on the wagon road to Ponto- 
toc, and near the little Coonewah Creek. They had suffered with 
hunger, heat, and dust, hard marching and want of sleep and rest on 
the retreat, but the new encampment gave little promise of refreshing 
repose. In open fields, beside a dusty road, water so scarce that the 
digging of wells had to be resorted to, and a June sun, in Mississippi, 
beaming down upon almost unprotected heads all this was not 
calculated to inspire one with the idea of comfort, and still less was 
the system of regular drilling in an unshaded, parching desert of a 
place, that was kept up while the army remained there. 

On the i pth of June, this corps, increased by a brigade of Missouri 
infantry under Gen. Parsons, was detached from the main army, and 
marched westward, by way of Pontotoc, to the neighborhood of the 
Tallahatchie bridge, on the Mississippi Central Railroad, a Federal 



H4 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

advance being apprehended from the direction of Grand Junction. 
The expedition was under command of Gen. Wm. Preston, (Gen.Breck- 
inridge having obtained a short leave of absence to visit Louisiana), 
and on the 22d he had encamped the troops within four miles of Abbe 
ville, and was prepared to meet the contemplated movement, having, 
however, but about ten thousand effective men at his disposal. He 
was likewise to remove all government stores from Oxford and Gren- 
nada, southward, which he speedily effected. 

The Federal columns did not advance as had been anticipated, and 
Gen. Preston was ordered to the relief of Van Dorn, at Vicksburg. 
The movement began on the 25th, the troops, baggage, and camp 
equipage to go by rail, and the wagon train to start empty across 
the country, for the purpose of gathering up supplies for the now be 
leaguered " Bluff City." Owing to scarcity of rolling stock, and the 
difficulty that even so early in the war attended railroad transportation 
on many of the lines, the entire command had not reached Vicksburg 
before the 3Oth. 

The division went into camp in a low, narrow valley just opposite 
and below the "four-mile bridge," on the right, and Gen. Breckin- 
ridge was soon in command again. 

Maj.-Gen. Van Dorn, charged with the defense of the city against 
the combined fleets of Admirals Farragut and Porter, had, besides the 
division of Gen. Breckinridge, from one to two thousand infantry and 
a small artillery force in charge of heavy ordnance and some field 
guns in battery the whole force not exceeding ten thousand men of 
all arms. He assigned Gen. M. L. Smith to the immediate command 
of the city and its defensive works, and Gen. Breckinridge to that of 
the entire reserve force, and the execution of measures designed to 
guard the river front, above and below, against the landing of Federal 
troops, that were held in readiness, on transports, to be thrown into 
the city by whatever means should appear most practicable. 

Almost the entire month of July was passed here, in a clime and 
under circumstances most adverse to the troops of Kentucky ; they 
suffered greatly by reason of disease, though they withstood the effects 
of heat, malarious influences, want of wholesome supplies and pure wa 
ter even better than the native soldiers. None were exempt, and toward 
the latter part of the month the sickness became alarming ; but its 
relative influence on the combatants was in favor of the Confederates, 
as the Federal troops, despite all their sanitary precautions, abundant 
medical stores, and well-supplied commissariat, were daily falling vic 
tims by hundreds to the pestilent demon. 

After the departure of Gen. Hawes, Col. Hunt was in command of 
his brigade, and when Gen. Breckinridge returned, Preston resumed 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN liRIGADE. 115 

command of his own. The first dispositions of Breckinridge s division 
looking to the repulse of any attempt by the Federals to land troops 
and occupy the city, were made on the ist of July. The orders to 
ihe brigades of Preston and Hunt specified that they should keep 
forty rounds of cartridges in boxes, and one day s cooked rations con 
stantly on hand ; that full regimental guards should be posted in ad 
vantageous positions, with instructions to watch for rocket signals from 
Vicksburg the signal for movemen t to be three rockets from the city, 
following each other rapidly, and a fourth after a short interval. The 
moment the signals were given, these brigades were to form with 
out knapsacks, and march rapidly along the Jackson road to Vicks 
burg, without further orders commanding officers to acquaint them 
selves with the toute from their encampments, and be able to move 
promptly by day or night. 

On the 2d, the mortar fleets began the bombardment of the city, 
\vhich was kept up with scarcely a day s intermission, until the evening 
of the 25th. The city presented a sad scene when the shells began to 
burst over and within its limits. The heroic people had expressed 
their preference for risking its destruction to its occupation by the 
Federal forces, and, with no adequate means of removing their per- 
^onal property, or even themselves, many families yet occupied their 
homes. When the upper fleet opened fire, some retired from the city, 
\vhile others took refuge in the cellars and other places that promised 
protection. 

In some instances, excavations were made in the sides of the hills 
\vith which the city abounds, and the inhabitants sought, in these, 
refuge from the storm. Moving out on foot, during that first week of 
the enemy s operations, might be seen the old and decrepit, and fre 
quently a mother with her family of little children, whose father was, 
perhaps, in the far-off Army of Virginia, and happily unconscious of 
the deadly peril of his beloved, and the hard fate that awaited them 
as refugees from their homes. 

A different arrangement of the forces was made on the 3d. The 
brigade of Col. Hunt was disposed in the following order: Two regi 
ments were placed in the deep railroad cut under the bridge nearest 
the river, and in the lower part of the city, with two companies at the 
mouth of the cut, near a field battery known as Starling s, and senti 
nels close down to the river. The rest of the brigade was held in re 
serve south of the railroad cut, in the valley in rear of Smede s house. 

Gen. Preston took position in supporting distance of the upper bat 
teries. Two regiments were to be constantly on duty near the bat 
teries, and the others held in reserve, close at hand. Both brigades 
were to leave sufficient force, under command of officers, in the camps 



116 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

first established, to guard them, and cook and carry rations to the out 
post. One-third of the force at the front were to return alternately to 
the old camps, for the purpose of washing clothes and persons. 

The general plan, as it regarded the Kentucky troops, though with 
various modifications, prevailed during the siege. On the 5th of July, 
the Fourth Kentucky and a battery were detached and sent down to 
the crossing of the Big Bayou below Warrenton, to prevent the ap 
proach of Federals from that direction for a land attack, where they 
remained for about a week. (See end of chapter). 

On the 8th of July Gen. Helm assumed command of Hawes 
brigade, and Col. Hunt returned to his regiment. 

The incidents of most peculiar moment which transpired during the 
time that Gen. Breckinridge remained there, was the attack upon the 
enemy s fleet by the "Arkansas;" an engagement between the Con 
federate batteries and the upper fleet; on the evening of the same day, 
the 1 5th, and the attempt to destroy the " Arkansas." The enemy at 
no time made a direct attempt to land, but the troops were kept always 
in readiness, and were always more or less exposed to the furious shell 
ing that took place regularly in the forenoon and afternoon of each 
day. A few casualties occurred among the Kentuckians, which are 
referred to in the latter part of the work. 

One attack upon the " Arkansas" occurred on the morning of the 
22d, shortly after sunrise. The Essex came down to where the 
ram lay, at the levee, and having given it a furious broadside, at 
tempted to grapple and board it, but was foiled, and withdrew. A 
detail from Helm s and Preston s brigades had been made to supply 
the place, temporarily, of those who had been killed and wounded, 
on the morning of the i5th. Some of them were on board and as 
sisted in repelling the attack of the "Essex;" and one, Caleb \V. 
Allen, distinguished himself by his exertions and intrepidity in work 
ing a heavy gun, and anticipating the movements of a Federal officer 
who attempted to enter a port-hole during a pause between discharges 
of his piece, and whom he killed with a pistol-shot. 

A plan for floating a submarine battery from the city front to be fired 
under the lower fleet was conceived by one McDaniel, of Allen county, 
Kentucky, and it appeared so plausible that he obtained the ear of the 
authorities, and was furnished with the means of carrying it into effect. 
Some twelve or fifteen men of one of Preston s Kentucky regiments 
were named by McDaniel himself, and permitted to volunteer for the 
occasion; and everything was being rapidly put in readiness one dark 
night, when some break or other mishap occurred, which so materially 
crippled his arrangements as to defeat the entire plan, and no further 
effort was made to test it during the siege. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 117 

The conduct of the Kentucky troops here, though marked by none 
or" those more brilliant passages in the life of a soldier that characterize 
great battles, was one, nevertheless, of constant danger; and the man 
ner in which they discharged their duties, whether as pickets, sharp 
shooters,, or drawn out in full force to repel anticipated efforts to 
disembark Federal forces bearing at all times cheerfully the trial of 
being exposed to the enemy s artillery fire without engaging in active 
resistance won the confidence of the general commanding depart 
ment, and confirmed among the Southern people the reputation won 
at Shiloh. 

Gen. Van Dorn, on the :8th of July, issued a congratulatory order 
to the troops defending Vicksburg, from which we make the following 
extract : 

"Your conduct thus far, under the circumstances which surround 
you, has won the admiration of your countrymen. Cool and self- 
possessed under the concentrated fire of more than forty vessels of war 
and mortar-boats, you have given assurances that the city intrusted to 
your keeping will not be given up to the blustering demands of can 
non nor the noisy threatenings of bombshells. 

# * * To have been among the defenders of Vicksburg will be 
the boast hereafter of those who shall bear your names, and a living 
joy by your hearthstones forever." 

Here the command remained till July 27th, when in pursuance of 
orders, Gen. Breckinridge set out to reduce the Federal garrison at 
Baton Rouge, an account of which expedition will be found in the fol 
lowing chapter. 

INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES. 

I. Breckinridge and Van Dorn. When Breckinridge s division 
was ordered to the defense of Vicksburg against the fleets lying both 
above and below, Van Dorn was in command of the department, with 
headquarters then at Vicksburg, and of course Breckinridge was sub- 
ject to his orders. Soon after the division went into camp about the 
city, an Orphan had occasion one day to visit department headquarters, 
where he saw Van Dorn for the first time, and with him was Gen. 
Breckinridge. The contrast between the men was very great, and it 
struck the observer. He had not been in service long enough to 
reconcile him to the incongruity of having the finest-looking man in 
the Confederacy, and that man a Kentuckian, subordinate to one so 
apparently inferior in every way. 

Our Orphan transacted his business and was busy meanwhile taking 
notes. He wondered, and still his wonder grew, till he got back to 
camp, by which time he was ready to explode. Being a man of some 
volubility and fair descriptive powers, he made an impression that 
was never erased from the minds of his hearers. Coxcomb, dandy, 



118 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

fop. ball-room beau and such a thing of paint, perfume, and feathers 
to command our Breckinridge and us ! The thing was so preposter 
ous in his sight that it seemed to call in question the wisdom of a mil 
itary establishment that allowed rank to take priority to men. We 
learned a good deal afterwards as to Van Dorn s ability and fighting 
qualities, but, for the time he seemed to be almost as odious to our 
critic as the "thing that smelt so sweet 3 was to Hotspur. 

II. Celebrating the 4th of July During the Siege ; Expedi 
tion of the Fourth Regiment Down the River. On the morn 
ing of the 4th day of July, 1862, we naturally supposed the Federals 
would celebrate the day by an extraordinary bombardment of the city, 
and thus make things somewhat lively for us. The sun arose with un 
usual splendor; expectation was on tip-toe; but to our surprise a 
silence, profound as death, rested upon the combatants until just at 
noon, when both fleets opened fire with every gun. They rent the 
heavens with the fury of exploding shells ; the shore batteries instantly 
responded, and for half an hour these tremendous engines of death 
vomited forth their horrible contents, and then ceased as suddenly as 
they began, not another gun being fired- during the day. 

On the following day the Fourth Regiment, with a battery, was or 
dered to a point on the Mississippi river just below Warrenton, four 
teen miles from Vicksburg. This place was a wide, swampy bottom 
on the east side of the river, and occupied a bend in the river, which, 
with the bluffs on the east, inclosed several hundred acres. This bot 
tom had been overflowed, and the cottonwood trees which grew on a 
considerable portion of it had caught and held large quantities of 
brush, drift wood, etc. Our mission was to conceal ourselves and our 
battery in this drift, near the river, and pounce upon any steamer 
which might undertake to pass up the river. It did not take us long 
to conceal ourselves in this wilderness and plant our guns along the 
river bank. Of course they were nicely masked. Sentinels were posted 
down the river. Five days passed in the pleasant occupations of eat 
ing, sleeping, and fighting mosquitoes without a single alarm or sign of 
the enemy. On the fifth day the pickets sent in information that 
a small craft, with several men in it, was crossing the river from the 
Louisiana shore, a mile or so below us. 

The Colonel immediately ordered a Sergeant to select a squad of 
six men to investigate the movement. This was done and we 
proceeded down the river as fast as possible, and concealed ourselves 
in the bushes, near the point which the batteaux seemed to be making 
for. The moment it struck shore we sprang from our hiding places, 
with cocked guns, and demanded a surrender. The enemy consisted 
of four lusty negro men and one woman. With these we captured 
several bundles of old clothing, bed-quilts, and other trumpery prized 
by negroes. Had we dropped from the clouds, out of a clap of thun 
der, the poor darkies could not have been more astonished and terri 
fied. With dilated eyes and trembling limbs they awaited death, 
which they evidently thought was at hand. In answer to the Sergeant s 
inquiry, "Who are you? Where are you going?" one of them an 
swered supplicatingly, " We se nothing but poor niggers, massa, trying 
to git wid our folks on dis side of de river." Ordering them to shoul 
der their baggage, we led them to the Colonel, who gathered from 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN I .RIGADE. 119 

them that they were the slaves of a Louisiana planter, who had fled 
from his home on the approach of the yankees, leaving them to take 
care of themselves; and they, being scarcely less terrified at the name 
of yankee than their master, were seeking to reach their friends and 
relatives in Mississippi. The Colonel sent them on their way. 

On the morning of the i2th day of our ambush, about an hour be 
fore dawn, the pickets reported a steamboat coming up the river. 
When she had arrived nearly opposite the battery the guns opened on 
her with shot and shell. Her lights were almost instantly extinguished, 
and her speed increased ; but before she could get out of range a num 
ber of shot struck, as we could distinctly hear them crashing through 
her timbers. They failed, however, to disable her, and she sped on her 
way up the river. It was now apparent that our longer stay would be 
useless. The Federals would almost certainly send a gunboat to in 
vestigate and avenge the insult if possible. We had no particular de 
sire to tackle one of these monsters, so we limbered up and pulled out 
about dawn, andin a few hours had gained the summit of the high 
bluffs back of Warrenton, a few miles nearer the city, where we had 
a fine view of the river. As we came into view a flat, black, villainous- 
looking gunboat was just squaring herself in the river opposite our re 
cent hiding place ; and it was with some satisfaction that we contem 
plated our safe distance as she poured a broadside from her heavy 
guns into the unoccupied timber. Thomas Owens, (fourth Kentucky}. 

III. Dodd s Unequal but Gallant Fight. In the Brief His 
tory of Individuals will be found various allusions to the officers who 
took other service when the Kentucky regiments were reorganized. 
The experience of one of them, Lieut. Thomas L. Dodd, of Glasgow, 
deserves special mention. He was soon afterward appointed lieutenant 
of artillery, and assigned to duty with the famous Morgan Battery, 
with others, whom he had assisted in recruiting a company for that 
arm. The battery was given them by Gen. Leonidas Polk, and they 
were attached with it to the Fourth Battalion Tennessee Cavalry, 
Morgan s Brigade. The battalion was then doing duty on the Ken 
tucky border as a separate command, and while there, was attacked 
by an entire brigade of Federal cavalry, and a large part of it killed, 
captured, and scattered. He remained with the battery and strove to 
rally the command in the face of the enemy ; but they were new and 
undisciplined troops, and being almost surrounded by overwhelming 
numbers, they retreated in confusion. With a few faithful men he at 
tempted to cover the retreat and prevent the entire destruction of the 
rommand, but the men were killed or disabled, with the exception of 
Private Gilleland ; and the charging column demanded their surrender. 
Gilleland escaped into the bushes, and Dodd, determined to make the 
attempt on his horse, fired his pistol at the pursuers, wheeled into the 
lorest, and after a furious ride, distanced his foes, and rejoined such of 
the command as had gotten together. For his conduct on this oc 
casion, he was promoted to captain of cavalry, and served with Gen. 
Debrell, in Forrest s campaigns in East Tennessee, and at the battle 
of Chickamauga, where he was complimented by his commander for 
gallant conduct. He was shortly afterward severely wounded, but 
measurably recovered (though the ball was permitted to remain im 
bedded in his right shoulder). Having been disabled for active field 



120 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

duty, he afterward did various service till the close of the war, in com 
mand of provost force at Covington, Ga., and of two companies for 
the protection of Atlanta from raiding parties that might operate from 
Dalton, in the winter of 1864-5. He was, meanwhile, recommended 
by Gen. Ho well Cobb for promotion to provost marshal-general of 
Georgia, but the war terminated before the application was acted upon. 

IV. Graphic Description of a Sublime Spectacle. The 
following allusion to the affair of July i5th, referred to in preceding 
chapter, is from the journal of John S. Jackman, Ninth Kentucky: 

" Late in the afternoon we marched to our old position, about the 
railroad cut. Just as we were filing off the railroad, up a street, where 
there was a high bluff that would protect us in a measure from the 
shells, all the upper batteries opened, and were replied to by the upper 
fleet, as it dropped down before the city. The first intimation we had 
of this movement was when one of these long, conical shells two feet 
in length and ten inches in diameter came shrieking over our heads, 
making something like the noise of a man screaming in agony. Soon 
the fight became general. The mortar fleets, above and below, filled 
the air with bursting shells; the fleets vomited forth both iron and 
flame ; our batteries thundered till the very earth trembled ; the enemy s 
hot shot were flying through the air, mimicking the forked-tongued 
lightning; and flashes of artillery made the night as light as day. To 
heighten the grand scene, some buildings up town took fire from the 
hot missiles, and a pillow or flame pierced the very heavens. As the 
storm-cloud passes, so did this. Soon a perfect silence brooded over 
the city the whole affair lasted, perhaos. an hour and we went to 
sleep." 

V. Starving Him Into Terms. Old soldiers can recall occas 
ional experiences with men who would do guard, picket, and special 
duty, and go to battle, but draw the line at mess-work, and could 
hardly be driven to do their share of providing water and fuel and 
taking a turn at preparing meals. I am indebted to Smith E. Winn, 
one of the non-commissioned officers of Co. D, Sixth Kentucky, a 
scholar and a gentleman, and as good a soldier as ever shouldered a 
gun, for the following : Pryor Murphy, of that company, was notori 
ously delinquent in the particular alluded to, and made a very unde 
sirable mess-mate. During the first siege of Vicksburg, Murphy be 
came one of Winn s mess, and the latter was a man who wouldn t be 
imposed on three times a day for all the days in the week, and by 
agreement with the others he read the law to Mr. Murphy : If he 
wouldn t work he shouldn t eat. At the first breakfast afterward he 
was unceremoniously shouldered out ; but he seemed to feel that his 
refusal to work was a matter of principle, and he declined to give in 
during the day, so that tattoo found him unquestionably very hungry, 
since no other mess had enough to spare to be charitably disposed and 
to encourage a do-nothing policy. The mess had a tent at that time, 
and when they chose to take shelter under it, the front curtains were 
fastened back to admit the air. During the night Winn chanced to 
wake up and find the interior of the tent flooded with light. Some 
what astonished, he rose to a sitting posture and discovered Murphy 
seated a little in front, with a bright fire on each hand. He called out: 
"Pry, what are you doing there?" Now the offending soul had a lisp 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 121 

and no use for initial j s or s s, and he replied with emphasis : " Thmith, 
I m thess a-runnin two fires! " Further investigation showed that he 
had gone to a country cornpatch and provided himself with a lot of 
roasting ears, which he now had reclining on end before his two fires, 
and he was intently engaged in preparing "to fill a long- felt want," 
independently of his comrades and of the regimental commissary. 



122 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 



CHAPTER VII. 

THE BATTLE OF BATON ROUGE. 

The enemy now held Baton Rouge, (the capital of Louisiana), with 
a land force of about thirty-five hundred men and four or five gun 
boats with accompanying transports. Communication with Vicks- 
burg by way of the Red River was thus cut off, and the garrison 
deprived of much-needed supplies, which were abundant in the re 
gions drained by that river and hard to be obtained from other quar 
ters. Van Dorn deemed it important to reduce Baton Rouge, for this 
and other military reasons, and so open the navigation of Red River 
and the Mississippi to Vicksburg. He therefore ordered Gen. Breck- 
inridge to move upon the place with five thousand picked men, among 
them the five Kentucky regiments in his division, including Cobb s 
Battery, constituting much the greater part of his force. When he 
moved, however, he had in hand but about four thousand of all arms ; 
but at Camp Moore a small force under Gen. Ruggles was added to 
these. The ram " Arkansas," which had been repaired after the con 
flict noticed in preceding chapter, was to cooperate with the land 
forces by simultaneously attacking the gunboats before Baton Rouge. 

The conduct of the expedition and the immediate result are best 
given in the reports of the commanding general and the officers who- 
led the various organizations. The ultimate result, as will also be seen, 
was that after the partial failure of the attack, Gen. Breckinridge re 
tired to the Comite River, leaving a force of observation near the 
town ; the enemy ceased to send out marauding parties, to despoil the 
country and annoy the citizens ; in a few days a detachment under 
Ruggles was sent to occupy Port Hudson, a strong point on the Mis 
sissippi below the mouth of Red River; and the Federal garrison 
abandoned Baton Rouge, so that there was now communication by 
that important route with a field as yet rich in supplies. 

HEADQUARTERS BRECKINRIDGE S DIVISION, 
September 30, 1862. 

Major M. M, Kimmel, Assistant Adjutant- General 

SIR : I have the honor to report the operations of a portion of my 
division, recently ordered from Vicksburg to Camp Moore and Baton. 
Rouge, La., by Maj.-Gen. Van Dorn : 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 123 

I left Vicksburg on the 2-jth of July, with somewhat less than four 
thousand men, and arrived at Camp Moore the evening of the 28th. 
The major-general commanding the district, having received intelli 
gence that the enemy was threatening Camp Moore in force, the 
movement was made suddenly and rapidly by railroad, and, having 
but few cars, nothing could be transported except the troops, with 
their arms and ammunition. Brig. -Gen. Charles Clarke, who had re 
ported for duty but a few days before our departure from Vicksburg, 
promptly and kindly consented to accompany the expedition. Brig.- 
Gen. Ruggles was already at Camp Moore, in command of a small 
force, with which he had kept the enemy in check. The troops were 
immediately organized in two divisions, Gen. Clarke taking command 
of the first, and Gen. Ruggles of the second. The rumor of an ad 
vance of the enemy upon Camp Moore proved to be unfounded. 

On the 3oth of July, in obedience to a dispatch of the 2Qth from the 
major-general commanding the district, the troops were put in motion 
for Baton Rouge. During the march I received information that the 
effective force of the enemy was not less than five thousand men, and 
that the ground was commanded by three gunboats lying in the river. 
My own troops having suffered severely from the effects of exposure 
at Vicksburg, from heavy rains, without shelter, and from the extreme 
heat, did not now number more than thirty-four hundred men. Under 
these circumstances, I determined not to make the attack unless we 
could be relieved from the fire of the fleet. Accordingly, I tele 
graphed to the major-general commanding the condition and number 
of the troops and the reported strength of the enemy; but said I 
would undertake to capture the garrison if the " Arkansas" could be 
sent down to clear the river, or divert the fire of the gunboats. He 
promptly answered that the " Arkansas" would be ready to cooperate 
at daylight on Tuesday morning, the 5th of August. 

On the afternoon of Monday, the command having reached the 
Comite River, ten miles from Baton Rouge ; and learning by an ex 
press messenger that the " Arkansas" had passed Bayou Sara in time 
to arrive at the proper moment, preparations were made to advance 
that night. 

The sickness had been appalling. The morning report of the 4th 
showed but three thousand effective, and deducting those taken sick 
during the day, and the number that fell out from weakness on the 
night march, I did not carry into the action more than twenty-six hun 
dred men. This estimate does not include some two hundred Partisan 
Rangers, who had performed efficient service in picketing the different 
roads, but who, from the nature of the ground, took no part in the ac 
tion ; nor about the same number of militia, hastily collected by CoL 



J24 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

Hardee, in the neighborhood of Clinton, who, though making every 
effort, could not arrive in time to participate. 

The command left the Comite at n o clock p. M., and reached the 
vicinity of Baton Rouge a little before day-break on the morning of the 
5th. Some hours before the main body moved, a small force of 
infantry, with a section of Semmes Battery, under Lieut. Fauntleroy, 
the whole commanded by Lieut. -Col. Shields, of the Thirtieth Louisiana, 
was sent, by a circuitous route, to the road leading from Clinton to 
Baton Rouge, with orders to drive in any pickets of the enemy, and 
attack his left as soon as the action should begin in front. This 
service was well performed ; but for details reference is made to the 
reoort of Brig. -Gen. Ruggles, from whose command the force was 
detached. 

While waiting for daylight to make the attack, an accident occurred, 
which deprived us of several excellent officers and enlisted men and 
two pieces of artillery. 

The Partisan Rangers were placed in rear of the artillery and in 
fantry, yet, during the darkness, a few of them leaked through, and, 
riding forward, encountered the enemy, causing exchange of shots be 
tween the pickets. Galloping back, they produced some confusion, 
which led to rapid firing for a few moments, during which Brig. -Gen. 
Helm was dangerously wounded by the fall of his horse ; * Lieut. 
Alexander Todd, his aide-de-camp, was killed; Capt. Roberts, of 
the Fourth Kentucky, was severely wounded; several enlisted men 
were killed and wounded, and two of Capt. Cobb s three guns were 
rendered, for a time, wholly useless. After Gen. Helm was disabled, 
Col. Tho. H. Hunt assumed command of his brigade. 

Order was soon restored, and the force placed in position on the 
right and left of the Greenwell Springs road. I was obliged to con 
tent myself with a single line of battle, and a small regiment of infantry 
with one piece of artillery to each division as a reserve. The enemy 
(expecting the attack) was drawn up in two lines, or, rather, in one 
line, with strong reserves distributed at intervals. At the moment 
there was light enough our troops moved rapidly forward. Gen. Rug 
gles, commanding the left, brought on the engagement with four pieces 
of Semmes Battery, the Fourth and Thirtieth Louisiana, and Boyd s 
Louisiana Battalion, under the command of Col. Allen, of the Fourth 
Louisiana; and the Third, Sixth and Seventh Kentucky, and the 
Thirty-fifth Alabama, under the command of Col. Thompson, of the 
Third Kentucky. These troops moved forward with great impetu 
osity, driving the enemy before them, while their ringing cheers in- 

* Lieut. Col. John W. Caldwell also had his horse killed, and was much hurt by 
.being thrown against a gun carriage as the horse rushed back headlong and fell. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 125 

spired all our little command. The Louisiana troops charged a battery 
and captured two pieces. 

At this point, Col. Allen, commanding the brigade, while pressing 
forward with the colors in his hand, had both legs shattered, and 
Lieut.-Col. Boyd received a severe wound. This produced confus 
ion, and the enemy at the same moment throwing forward a strong re- 
enforcement, the brigade was forced back in some disorder. It was 
rallied by the efforts of Col. Breaux, Lieut.-Col. Hunter, and other 
officers, and although it did not further participate in the assault, it 
maintained its position under a fire from the gunboats and land batteries 
of the enemy. During this time Thompson s brigade, which composed 
the right of Ruggles division, was behaving with great gallantry. 
After driving back superior forces, toward the close of the action it 
took part in the final struggle from a position immediately on the left 
of the First Division. Col. Thompson being severely wounded in a 
charge, the command devolved upon Col. Robertson, of the Thirty- 
fifth Alabama, whose conduct fully justified the confidence of his 
troops. 

The Louisiana Battery, Capt. Semmes, was admirably handled 
throughout. The First Division, under Gen. Clarke, being the Second 
Brigade, composed of the Fourth and Ninth Kentucky, Thirty-first 
Mississippi, and Fourth Alabama, commanded by Col. Hunt, of the 
Ninth Kentucky, and the Fourth Brigade, composed of the Fifteenth 
and Twenty-second Mississippi, and the Nineteenth, Twentieth, 
Twenty-eighth, and Forty-fifth Tennessee, consolidated into one bat 
talion, commanded by Col. Smith, of the Twentieth Tennessee, 
together with the Hudson Battery, Lieut. Sweeney, and one piece of 
Cobb s Battery, advanced to the right of the Greenwell Springs road. 

On the right as on the left, the enemy was constantly pressed back, 
until, after several hours of fighting, he was driven to his last encamp 
ment in a large grove just in rear of the penitentiary. Here the con 
test was hot and obstinate, and it was here that the First Division suf 
fered the greatest loss. Col. Hunt was shot down, and, upon the fall 
of that excellent officer, at the suggestion of Gen. Clarke, and with 
the consent of the officers concerned, I placed Capt. John A. Buck- 
ner, assistant adjutant-general on my staff, in command of the Second 
Brigade. In the management of his command he displayed so high a 
degree of skill and courage, that I commend him especially to the 
notice of the Government. 

Gen. Clarke pressed the attack at this point with great vigor, until 
he received a wound which was supposed to be mortal, when, through 
some misapprehension, the brigade began to fall back down the slope, 
but without confusion. Capt. Buckner, learning, upon inquiry from 



126 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

me, that I did not desire a retrograde movement, immediately, aided by 
Maj. Wickliffe, of the -Ninth Kentucky (Lieut. -Col. Caldwell, who was 
injured by the accident of the preceding night, having been obliged to 
retire), and other regimental commanders, faced the brigade about 
and renewed the attack. At the same time Col. Smith, commanding 
the Fourth Brigade, composed of the consolidated Tennessee regi 
ments and the Twenty-second Mississippi, Capt. Hughes, were ordered 
forward, and moved against the enemy in fine style. In a few moments 
Capt. Hughes received a mortal wound at the head of his regiment. 

Observing some troops on the left, partially sheltered by a shallow 
cut in the road, who proved to be the remnant of Thompson s brigade, 
and out of ammunition, I ordered them to advance to the support of 
the First Division with the bayonet. The order was promptly obeyed, 
and in executing it, I happened to observe, as distinguished for 
alacrity, Col. Crossland, of the Seventh Kentucky, Lieut. -Col. Good 
win, of the Thirty-fifth Alabama, and Lieut. Terry, of the Eighth 
Kentucky, on duty with sharpshooters. At this critical point, Maj. 
Brown, chief commissary, and Capt. Richards, one of my aides, were 
conspicuous in urging on the troops. In this assault we suffered con 
siderably from the fire of the fleet, until the opposing lines approached 
each other so closely that a regard for their own friends obliged them 
to suspend. 

The contest at and around this last encampment was bloody, but at 
the end of it the enemy were completely routed, some of our men 
pursuing and firing at them some distance down the street, running in 
front of the arsenal and barracks. They did not re-appear during the 
day. It was now 10 o clock. We had listened in vain for the guns of 
the "Arkansas." I saw around me not more than one thousand ex 
hausted men, who had been unable to procure water since we had left 
the Comite river. The enemy had several batteries commanding the 
approaches to the arsenal and barracks, and the gunboats had already 
re-opened upon us with a direct fire. Under these circumstances, al 
though the troops showed the utmost indifference to danger and death, 
and were even reluctant to retire, I did not deem it prudent to pursue 
the victory further. Having scarcely any transportation, I ordered all 
the camps and stores of the enemy to be destroyed; and, directing 
Capt. Buckner to place one section of Semmes Battery, supported by 
the Seventh Kentucky, in a certain position on the field, withdrew the 
rest of the troops about one mile, to Ward s Creek, with a hope of ob 
taining water. But finding none there fit for man or beast, I moved 
the command back to the field of battle, and procured a very imperfect 
supply from some cisterns in the suburbs of the town. This position 
we occupied for the rest of the day. The citizens of the surrounding 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 127 

and thinly-settled country exhibited the warmest patriotism ; and, with 
their assistance, conveyances enough were procured to carry off all 
our wounded who could bear removal. A few citizens, armed with 
shot-guns and other weapons, had been able to reach the field in time 
to join in the attack. Having neither picks nor shovels, we were un 
able to dig graves for the burial of the dead. 

I still hoped for the cooperation of the "Arkansas," and, in that 
event, intended to renew the attack. But late in the afternoon I 
learned by express that before daylight, and within four miles of Baton 
Rouge, the machinery had become disabled, and she lay helpless on 
the right bank of the river. Upon receiving this intelligence, I re 
turned with my command to the Comite River, leaving a force of ob 
servation near the suburbs of the town. The Hudson Battery, Lieut. 
Sweeney, and Cobb s one piece, under charge of Sergt. Frank Peak, 
played their part well. 

I am unable to give the exact force of the enemy, but by comparing 
all my information with the number and size of their camps, and the 
extent and weight of their fire, I do not think they brought into action 
less than 4, 500* men. We had eleven pieces of field artillery. They 
brought to bear on us not less than eighteen pieces, exclusive of the 
guns of the fleet. In one respect, the contrast between the opposing 
forces was very striking. The enemy were well clothed, and their en 
campments showed the presence of every comfort, and even luxury. 
Our men had little transportation, indifferent food, and no shelter. 
Half of them had no coats, and hundreds of them were without either 
shoes or socks. Yet no troops ever behaved with greater gallantry, 
and even reckless audacity. What can make this difference, unless it 
be the sublime courage inspired by a just cause ? 

The wound of Brig. -Gen. Clarke being thought mortal, and the 
least motion causing great agony, he was left on the field, in a com 
fortable cottage, at his own request his aid, Lieut. Yerger, remaining 
with him. The next morning they gave themselves up to the enemy. 
I cannot speak in terms too strong of the skill, coolness, and courage 
of Gen. Clarke. He played the part of a perfect soldier. 

Brig. -Gen. Ruggles conducted the attack on the left with uncommon 
rapidity and precision, and exhibited throughout the qualities of a 
brave and experienced officer. 

In addition to the officers of my staff already mentioned, I desire to 
express my acknowledgment of the zeal and gallantry of Maj. Wilson, 
chief of artillery; Maj. Hope, inspector-general, whose horse was shot 
under him; Capt. Nocquet, chief of engineers; Lieut. Breckinridge, 
aide-de-camp, and Dr. Pendleton, medical director, assisted by Dr. 
Weatherly, on temporary service. A number of gentlemen from 



128 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

Louisiana and elsewhere rendered efficient service as volunteers, among- 
whom were Lieut. -Col. Pinkney, Mr. Addison, and Capt. Bird, of 
Louisiana; Lieut. -Col. Brewer, of Kentucky, and Mr. William B. 
Hamilton, of Mississippi. The thanks of the army are also due to 
Hon. Thomas G. Davidson for his attention to the hospitals ; and to all 
the inhabitants of that part of Louisiana, for their devotion to our sick 
and wounded. Col. Pond and Maj. De Baum, in command of Parti 
san Rangers, were efficient both before and after the battle in observ 
ing and harassing the enemy. 

The inability of Gen. Clarke, and failure of several officers, to 
make reports, may prevent full justice to the conduct of the First 
Division. Any omission here will, when brought to my notice, be 
embodied in a supplemental report. The report of Gen. Ruggles is 
very full as to all that occurred on the left. I send herewith a list of 
the officers and men specially mentioned in the division, brigade and 
regimental reports, for gallant conduct, with the request that it be pub 
lished, and the names brought to the favorable notice of the Govern 
ment. I transmit, also, the reports of the subordinate commanders, 
and the returns of the killed and wounded. It will be seen that our 
casualties amount to 467. I have reason to believe that the loss of 
the enemy was much greater. We captured two flags and a few pris 
oners. Nothing was left by us except one caisson, which was so much 
injured as to be wholly unserviceable one of the enemy s being taken 
in its place. After the battle the enemy, who had previously been 
plundering, burning houses and other property, stealing negroes, and 
seizing citizens, through a large region of country, never ventured to 
send out another marauding force. Our pickets continued to extend 
to the immediate vicinity of Baton Rouge, and very soon the enemy 
abandoned the place and retired to New Orleans. A few days after 
the engagement, knowing the desire of the major-general commanding 
to secure a strong position on the Mississippi below the mouth of Red 
River, I occupied Port Hudson, with a portion of the troops under 
the command of Brig. -Gen. Ruggles. The next day I received orders 
to remove all the troops to that point. Brig. -Gen. Bowen, who had 
just arrived, was left with his command on the Comite River, to ob 
serve Baton Rouge from that quarter, to protect our hospitals, and to 
cover the line of communication between Clinton and Camp Moore. 

I directed Gen. Ruggles to select eligible positions at Port Hudson 
for heavy batteries, and ordered Capt. Nocquet, chief of engineers, to 
report to him temporarily for this duty. Upon my arrival there I 
found that rapid progress had been made, and some of the works, un 
der charge of Capt. Nocquet, were ready to receive the guns, which, 
the Major-General commanding wrote me, were on the way. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN 15RK1ADE. 129 



Port Hudson is one of the strongest points on the Mississippi river 
(which Baton Rouge is not), and batteries there will command the 
river more completely than at Vicksburg. 

On the i pth day of August, in obedience to orders from the head 
quarters of the department, I moved from Port Hudson for Jackson, 
Mississippi, with a portion of the force, leaving Brig.-Gen. Ruggles in 
command with the remainder. 

In concluding this report, I have to express my obligations for the 
prompt and cordial support which I received, at all times, from the 
major-general commanding the department. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE, 

Major- General. 

I omitted to mention that the Fifteenth Mississippi, Maj. Binford, 
was not brought into action. This admirable regiment, much reduced 
by long and gallant service, was held in reserve. J. C. B. 

It will be observed that a temporary organization of the entire forces 
under his command was made by Gen. Breckinridge for the occasion, 
and that the allusions to brigades, in reports of the battle, are made 
with reference to that special organization and not to the designations 
they bore at Vicksburg. We herewith publish the report of Gen. 
Ruggles, in whose division were included three of the Kentucky regi 
ments. Where he and Gen. Breckinridge speak of "Thompson s 
Brigade," it must be borne in mind that they allude to the brigade of 
Gen. Preston, that officer having been compelled by sickness to leave 
the division before its departure for Vicksburg, when the command de 
volved upon Col. Albert P. Thompson : 

HEADQUARTERS SECOND DIVISION, FIRST DISTRICT, 
ARMY EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI, 

CAMP BRECKINRIDGE, August 9, 1862. 

SIR : I have the honor to submit, for the consideration of the Major- 
General commanding the forces, the following report of the part taken 
by my division in the action of the 5th inst., at Baton Rouge. The 
Second Division was composed of two brigades : The first consisting of 
the Third Kentucky Regiment, Capt. Bowman ; Sixth Kentucky, 
Lieut. -Col. Cofer; Seventh Kentucky, Col. Crossland; and Thirty-fifth 
Alabama, Col. Robertson. The Second Brigade, of the Fourth Lou 
isiana Regiment, Lieut. -Col. Hunter; battalion of Thirtieth Louisiana 
Regiment, Col. S. H. Breaux; battalion of Stewart s Legion, Lieut.- 
Col. Boyd; and Confederate Light Battery, Capt. O. J. Semmes, with 
two companies mounted men and some two hundred and fifty Partisan 
Mangers detached on scouting and outpost service. 



130 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

On the night of the 4th August, the division proceeded from Comite 
bridge, marching left in front; Semmes Light Battery in the rear of 
left battalion Fourth Louisiana Volunteers, a detachment commanded 
by Lieut.-Col. Shields; Thirtieth Louisiana Volunteers, consisting of 
one company from his regiment, commanded by Capt. Boyle; one 
company of Partisan Rangers, commanded by Capt. Anuker; one 
company mounted rangers, and a section of Semmes Battery, under 
Lieut. Fauntleroy, had preceded the march of the division, having 
left camp at four and a half p. M., to operate on the plank road lead 
ing from Baton Rouge to Clinton, on our extreme right. The head of 
the division column, preceded by a company of mounted rangers and 
advanced guard, reached Ward s Creek bridge, on the Greenwell 
Springs and Baton Rouge road, about 3 o clock A. M., where a tempo 
rary halt was called, preparatory to the formation of the division line 
of battle. During this halt, while the advance was driving in the 
enemy s pickets, some stragglers from the column were mistaken for 
enemy s pickets and fired on. The mistake being mutual, in the dark 
ness a few shots were exchanged, unfortunately disabling Gen. Helm 
and killing Lieut. Todd. This necessarily caused some confusion. 
Order, however, was soon restored, and the column marched to the 
point whence the deployment was to begin. The line was formed 
a little before daylight. Col. Thompson s brigade (the first), with the 
right resting near the Greenwell Springs road, Col. Allen s brigade (the 
second) on the left, his left extending through a wood, and resting on 
a large field. Semmes Battery (four pieces) in the center, occupying 
the space between the two brigades; a squadron of cavalry, under 
command of Capt. Augustus Scott, was ordered to proceed to the ex 
treme left of the line, to observe and endeavor to prevent any attempt 
to outflank us in that direction. At a little after daylight, during the 
prevalence of a thick fog, the order was given to advance. The line 
proceeded but a few hundred yards before it encountered a brisk fire 
from the enemy s skirmishers, strongly posted on our extreme right, in 
some houses surrounded by trees and picket fences. Almost simul 
taneously a battery of the enemy opened on our line from the same 
direction. Semmes Battery was ordered forward to our indicated 
position, to drive off the skirmishers and silence the enemy s battery, 
and the whole line moved rapidly forward firing and cheering. The 
effect was instantaneous. The enemy s skirmishers fled, and his bat 
tery was compelled to change position and seek shelter under the guns 
of the arsenal to prevent being captured, where it remained, continuing 
to fire on our advancing line. Semmes Battery took position on the 
right of the division, to keep up the engagement with the battery of 
the enemy. Col. Thompson s brigade continued to advance, under 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 131 

an occasional fire, across an open field and through some corn-fields, 
just beyond which they encountered a heavy fire from the enemy, 
strongly posted in a wood. Here the contest was warmly maintained 
on both sides for a considerable time, during which the First Division 
succeeded in entering a regimental camp on our right. The enemy 
were finally driven back into and through another camp immediately 
in our front. The enemy at this period were strongly reenforced, and 
a heavy battery a little to the left of the center opened an oblique fire 
on both brigades. About the same time the enemy attempted to break 
our center, by pushing a column between the two brigades. This 
movement being discovered, Semmes Battery was ordered forward 
and opened on this column at short range, with grape and canister, 
with marked effect, for a few rapid discharges scattered the enemy and 
drove him back in confusion. A similar attempt was made on the 
right of the division, which was defeated with equal success by 
a timely and well-directed fire from the Thirty-fifth Alabama and Sixth 
Kentucky Regiments. The two brigades, which, from the nature of 
the ground, had become separated, were ordered, in advancing, to 
gain ground, to the right and left respectively, in order to subject the 
enemy s position in front to a converging fire. In executing this 
movement the First Brigade met a portion of the First Division falling 
back in some disorder. Col. Thompson halted, and was attempting to 
reform their when he was informed by a mounted officer that the or 
der was for the whole line to fall back. In obedience to this supposed 
order he fell back a short distance, but soon reformed his line and 
charged the enemy under a galling fire. Unfortunately, while leading 
his men in this charge, Col. Thompson fell, severely wounded, and 
was borne from the field; and about the same time Col. Allen also 
fell, dangerously wounded, while leading, with unsurpassed gallantry, 
his brigade against a battery of the enemy. These circumstances pre 
vented the further prosecution of this movement. About this time the 
major-general commanding arrived upon this part of the field, and di 
rected the final charge upon the enemy, which drove him in confusion 
through his last regimental encampment to the river, under the protec 
tion of his gunboats. His camps, containing a large quantity of per 
sonal property, commissary stores and clothing, were destroyed. 
Finding it fruitless to remain longer under the fire of the gunboats, 
and disappointed in the expected cooperation of the "Arkansas," the 
exhausted troops were withdrawn in good order to the suburbs 
of the town the Seventh Kentucky Regiment and a section of 
Semmes artillery being left on the field to protect the collection of 
the stragglers and wounded, which was thoroughly accomplished. 
Col. Allen s brigade, on the left, moved forward through a wood and 



132 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

into some corn-fields. They soon encountered the enemy in superior 
force, protected by houses and fences. They successively charged 
these positions, driving the enemy steadily back until within a few- 
hundred yards of the river, where they were subjected to a destructive 
fire from the batteries before mentioned and the enemy s gunboats. 
They charged and took a section from one of the enemy s batteries, 
Col. Allen leading the advance with the colors of one of his battalions 
in his hand. It was at this critical juncture that, as before stated, this 
gallant soldier fell from his horse severely wounded, and, during the 
confusion which followed this misfortune, the enemy succeeded in re 
capturing the pieces. 

The enemy pressed heavily upon this brigade, and poured into it 
such a galling fire from infantry and artillery that it fell back in some 
disorder. Col. Breaux, who assumed command upon the fall of Col. 
Allen, succeeded, with the aid of officers of the brigade and two 
officers connected with the staff, who were sent to his assistance, in 
rallying a sufficient number to show front to the enemy, until Semmes 
Battery was brought up, as already stated, to their support, and suc 
ceeded, by a well-directed fire, in preventing the enemy s advance. 
This position was maintained despite the heavy firing on the brigade 
from the enemy s gunboats and land batteries, until the troops were 
withdrawn, with the rest of the army, to the suburbs of the town. 
Lieut. -Col. Shields had been ordered, as already stated, to take posi 
tion on the plank road leading from Clinton to Baton Rouge, and as 
soon as he heard the fire of our main body, to attack a battery of the 
enemy, said to be stationed at the junction of the Clinton and Bayou 
Sara roads. This service was promptly and gallantly performed. He 
drove in the enemy s pickets, followed them up, and opened fire on a 
regimental encampment to the right of the Greenwell Springs road, 
driving the enemy from it. He was here met by two regiments of the 
enemy, but succeeded in holding them at bay till he was fired upon 
by our own artillery, fortunately without injury. Four of the artillery 
horses being disabled, and the infantry unable to withstand the heavy 
fire of the enemy, he withdrew to his original position, where the 
wounded horses were replaced by others, when he returned to his ad 
vanced position, which he held till Gen. Clarke s division came up on 
his left, when the two companies of infantry were, by order of the 
major-general commanding, attached to the Twenty-second Mississippi 
Regiment. The section of artillery under his command retained its 
position until the army retired, when it rejoined the battery in the 
suburbs of the town. 

In concluding this report of the battle, I have the satisfaction of 
stating that the conduct of both officers and men was gallant and dar- 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 133 

ing, every movement being performed with characteristic promptitude. 
I respectfully commend the reports of the commanders of brigades, as 
well as those of regiments, battalions, and independent companies, to 
the special consideration of the commanding general, and also recom 
mend the following officers and soldiers, specially named in these re 
ports, to favorable consideration : 

Col. A. P. Thompson and Col. H. W. Allen, brigade command 
ers, both severely wounded. Third Kentucky, commanded by Capt. 
Bowman. Seventh Kentucky, Col. Crossland, and his color-bearer, 
James Rollins. Sixth Kentucky, Lieut. -Col. Cofer; Captains Isaac 
Smith, Gran Utterback, and Thomas Page, and First Lieut. Frank 
Harned. Thirty-fifth Alabama, Col. Robertson and Lieut.-Col. Good 
win. Of the Second Brigade, the Fourth Louisiana, Lieut.-Col. 
Hunter. In this regiment, Lieut. Corkern, Co. B; Lieut. Jeter, Co. 
H, and Sergt.-Maj. Daniels. Battalion of Stewart s Legion, com 
manded by Lieut.-Col. Samuel Boyd, who was disabled by a severe 
flesh wound in the arm. Capt. Chum also was wounded. The com 
mand devolved upon Capt. Tom Bynum, who acted with gallantry. 
The battalion, Thirtieth Regiment of Louisiana Volunteers, com 
manded by Col. J. % A. Breaux, who speaks in high terms of the officers 
and men of his regiment, especially Capt. N. Trepagnier and Lieut. 
Dapremont, both wounded. Lieut.-Col. Shields, Thirtieth Louisiana, 
commanding separate detachment, who speaks in high terms of the 
intrepidity of Lieut. Fauntleroy, commanding section of guns in his 
detachment. Capt. Semmes, commanding battery, and his officers, 
Lieutenants Barnes and J. A. West, performed gallant service. Capt. 
Blount, brigade inspector of Second Brigade, rendered gallant service 
in the field, where it is believed he has fallen, as nothing has been 
heard of him since. I also have the gratification to name the mem 
bers of my staff, who served with me on this occasion, viz. : Lieut. 
L. D. Sandidge, corps artillery, Confederate States Army, A. A. A. 
and inspector-general ; Capt. George Whitfield, chief quartermaster ; 
Maj. E. S. Ruggles, acting ordnance officer; and acting chief com 
missary of subsistence, First Lieut. M. B. Ruggles, aide-de-camp. 
Lieut.-Col. Charles Jones, who was severely wounded, and Col. J. O. 
Fuqua, district judge advocate and provost marshal-general, were all 
distinguished for their efficiency, coolness, and gallantry throughout 
the conflict. The following officers, attached to the general staff, also 
rendered gallant service: Capt. Sam Bard, on special service ; Lieut. 
A. B. DeSaulles, engineers ; .Lieut. H. H. Price and Lieut. H. C. 
Holt. Other officers on special services, among whom were Capt. 
Augustus Scott, commanding squadron on temporary service; Captains 
Curry, Kinderson, and Behorn, as volunteer aides for the occasion, and 



134 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

Capt. J. M. Taylor served with zeal and gallantry. The entire divis 
ion entering the fight numbered about nineteen hundred and fifty, 
infantry and artillery, with a few irregular cavalry and Partisan Ran 
gers, numbering in all some three hundred and fifty or four hundred. 
The casualties, killed, wounded, and missing, being two hundred and 
seventy-seven. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

DANIEL RUGGLES, 

Brigadier- General Commanding Second Division. 
Capt. JOHN A. BUCKNER, A. A. General. 

The following is the report of Col. Buckner, who conducted the 
movements of Helm s brigade after Col. Hunt was wounded, as 
noticed in the report of Gen. Breckinridge : 

HEADQUARTERS IN THE FIELD, j 
COMITE RIVER, August 9, 1862. \ 

GENERAL : In compliance with your request, I have the honor to 
submit the following report of the late engagement at Baton Rouge, so 
far as the First Brigade of First Division was concerned, after its com 
manders, Brig. -Gen. Helm, and, subsequently, Col. Thomas H. 
Hunt, were wounded, and I had the honor to receive the command at 
your hands : 

The enemy had been repulsed from one of his encampments, and 
the different regiments constituting the First Brigade were drawn up 
in line of his camps, not, however, fully deployed. After moving the 
two regiments on the left of the brigade, by the flank to the left, the 
whole were formed in line of battle, and were ordered to advance. 
The movement was made with spirit up to the second encampment, 
through a somewhat sharp volley of musketry, in as good style as the 
broken and confined limits of the ground would admit, and imme 
diately the enemy was hotly and determinedly engaged. t After a 
few volleys, I ordered the brigade forward, which order- was being 
properly obeyed by the Fourth and Ninth Kentucky, the other regi 
ments being just in the act of advancing, when I received, from Gen. 
Clarke, the order to face about and retreat. This order was then 
given by myself and by Col. Clarke s aides. The troops fell back re 
luctantly, and not in very good order, the General himself and a 
number of others being wounded in the retreat. I reported immedi 
ately to you to know whether you had ordered the retreat, and was 
informed that you had not. The Second Brigade of this division was 
then ordered by yourself to advance. It went up in good style 
Capt. Hughes, commanding Twenty-second Mississippi Regiment, 
leading them gallantly. By your presence and assistance, the First 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 135 

Brigade was rallied and led by yourself, in person, to the same posi 
tion from which it had fallen .back, when it joined with the Second 
Brigade, and moved conjointly through the second encampment, driv 
ing the enemy before them through the third and last of their camps 
to the river, under cover of their gunboats. This being accomplished, 
which was all that was e-xpected of the land force, the " Arkansas" 
failing to make her appearance, nothing remained but to destroy what 
had been captured, (inasmuch as no arrangement had been made for 
bearing it off, though the battlefield was in our possession sufficiently 
long,) and retire from the range of the enemy s batteries on the river. 
Accordingly, you gave me the order to withdraw the division out of 
range of the fire of the fleet, to await the movements of the gunboat 
"Arkansas." This was done in good order, though with some de 
gree of reluctance, the cause of the movement not being fully under 
stood. Your order to fire the enemy s tents and stores was well exe 
cuted. Their loss must have been very heavy in quartermaster and 
commissary supplies, and particularly so in sutlers stores, considerable 
quantities of new goods and general equipments being burned. The 
position in which you left me near the house where Gen. Clarke lay 
wounded was held^more than two hours after the main body of the 
troops were withdrawn, with a section of Semmes Battery and the 
remnant of the Seventh Kentucky Regiment, Col. Crossland com 
manding, as support. Learning that Cobb s Battery had left its posi 
tion and been ordered to the rear, the section, with its support under 
my command, was moved to occupy the better position left by Capt. 
Cobb, at which point it remained a half hour, and would have re 
mained the whole evening, but for the erroneous information of the 
enemy s advance in force being given by a surgeon who was moving 
rapidly to the rear. Leaving the pickets at this point, just in the edge 
of town, I withdrew the artillery and its support slowly back to the 
point at which you found me. A flag of truce was hoisted early in 
the evening by the enemy, and, on being met by an officer whom I 
sent to the front, the privilege of bearing off the dead and wounded 
was requested and granted for four hours by yourself, upon condition 
that the agreement be reduced to writing. No communication being 
received in writing for some time, twenty minutes longer were given, 
shortly after the expiration of which time a note was received, 
signed by the commanding officer at Baton Rouge, disclaiming the flag 
of truce. 

I cannot conclude my report without speaking of the cool courage 
and efficient skill with which Brig.-Gen. Charles Clarke led his com 
mand into the action, and the valuable assistance rendered him by his 
aids, Lieutenants Spooner and Yerger; of the efficiency of Maj. H. 



13 6 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

E. Topp, of the Thirty-first Mississippi,* in leading his regiment ; of 
Maj. Brown, chief commissary of the division, whose fearless ex 
posure of himself, where the contest was hottest, in urging on the 
troops to a charge ; of Capt. J. H. Millett, commanding Fourth Ken 
tucky Regiment, who displayed conspicuous gallantry in leading it; 
of Col. Crossland, commanding Seventh Kentucky Regiment, whose 
regiment, after being in front and assisting in bearing the brunt of the 
battle, remained upon the field while the shells from the enemy s gun 
boats were falling thickly around them; and of the valuable service 
rendered me by Maj. J. C. Wickliffe, of the Ninth Kentucky, toward 
the close of the engagement, where his constant presence, at the head 
of his regiment, inspired confidence and courage, not only among his 
own men, but all who were near him in the closing contest, which de 
cided the engagement so favorably and so gloriously for the Con 
federate arms. For list of casualties I would refer you to papers 
"A" and "B" concerning late battle. 

I have the honor to be, general, 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

JOHN A. BUCKNER, A. A. G. 

Col. J. W. Robertson commanded Preston s brigade after the fall 
of Col. Thompson, and reported its entire action through the day, as 
follows : 

HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, SECOND DIVISION, \ 
CAMP ON COMITE RIVER, August 7, 1862. } 

To Capt. L. D. Sandidge, A. A. G., Second Division 

CAPTAIN : On receiving the order to report the part taken in the 
action of the 5th inst., by the First Brigade, I referred the order to 
Col. A. P. Thompson, who commanded the brigade during the 
action with the exception of the closing half hour that the troops were 
under fire, when he was borne from the field severely wounded ; and 
I submit, by his request, the following report : 

On reaching the angle of the main road leading into Baton Rouge, 
the brigade was formed in line of battle, in a common to the left of 
the main road, the right of the brigade resting on that road, and the left 
near a dense forest, into which Col. Allen s brigade had passed. The 
brigade was composed of the following regiments, positioned from 
right to left in the order named : Third Kentucky, Capt. J. H. Bow 
man commanding; Seventh Kentucky, Col. Ed Crossland command 
ing; Thirty-fifth Alabama, .Col. J. W. Robertson commanding; and the 
Sixth Kentucky, Lieut.-Col. M. H. Gofer commanding. As soon as 

*A Kentuckian, Capt. John B. Pirtle, was in command of right wing of the 
Thirty-first Mississippi that day. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 137 

the line was established, the command " forward" was given by Gen. 
Ruggles in person, which was promptly obeyed by the brigade, mov 
ing forward beyond the dwelling-house immediately to the front. The 
line was at this time found to be somewhat deranged, caused by the 
numerous fences and houses over and around which the troops had to 
pass. The brigade was consequently halted and the alignment 
rectified, when the command "forward" was again given. The 
brigade moved directly to the front, parallel to the main road, pre 
ceded by a company of sharpshooters deployed as skirmishers, and 
commanded by Lieut. G. C. Hubbard. At this point the firing 
began first, the line of the enemy having been unmasked by the 
skirmishers. The firing was continued but a short time when an order 
was received for the brigade to charge, and the troops rushed forward 
with a cheer, the enemy breaking before them. Having reached the 
middle of the field, the brigade was exposed to a fire from the right, 
which could not be returned without exposing the troops of Gen. 
Clarke s division to the fire of the brigade, and was consequently 
halted until the firing ceased. An advance was made, skirmishers 
covering the front. The second line of the enemy was thus un 
masked and exposed to the fire of the brigade. They gave way pre 
cipitately before the steady advance of our troops. On clearing the 
fields and reaching the enemy s encampment, the right wing was 
found to be covered by a portion of Gen. Clarke s division. An 
officer approached from the right and stated that friends were exposed 
to our fire, when the firing ceased and the charge ordered by Col. 
Thompson, he leading the brigade into the encampment of the enemy 
to the left, which was nearly cleared by this brigade, when troops 
were met on the right returning without any apparent cause, and were 
ordered by Col. Thompson to halt and advance, when a mounted 
officer informed Col. Thompson that it was the order for all the troops 
to fall back. This movement became general in the brigade. In re 
tiring, the Thirty-fifth Alabama and Sixth Kentucky, forming the left 
wing, became separated from the right, and occupied a position in line 
one hundred yards to the left and rear. The enemy reformed in heavy 
force behind their tents, rapidly advancing, firing and cheering. The 
Third and Seventh Kentucky Regiments were thrown under cover and 
met this advance with a steady fire. The Thirty-fifth Alabama and 
Sixth Kentucky were ordered forward, but advanced before the order 
reached them, opening a heavy fire upon the enemy, whose advance 
was thus checked. At this point, Col. Thompson was severely 
wounded and taken to the rear. The command devolved upon Col. 
Robertson, who being, from complete exhaustion, in no condition at 
that time to assume command, and finding the right wing separated 



138 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

from the left, placed Col. Crossland in command of the right, and 
Lieut.-Col. E. Goodwin in command of the left, with orders to main 
tain the line, which was firmly held for nearly an hour, in the face of a ter 
rible fire from musketry and artillery, when the charge, which closed the 
action, was made in person by the major-general commanding. It is the 
request of Col. Thompson, that his entire approbation of the conduct of 
all the field and acting field officers engaged, and Capt. W. P. Wallace 
and Lieut. Charles Semple, aides, and Acting Adjt. R. B. L. Soery, of 
the Third Kentucky, be specially expressed in this report. To the 
deportment of the Thirty-fifth Alabama Regiment he desires attention 
to be called. This regiment, although for the first time under fire on 
the 5th inst. , proved itself a worthy comrade for the Third, Sixth and 
Seventh Kentucky Regiments, who, in this action, sustained the envia 
ble reputation won by them on the field of Shiloh. Col. Robertson 
would call special attention to the gallant conduct of Col. Ed Cross- 
land and Lieut.-Col. E. Goodwin, who, the first with his regimental 
colors in hand, and the second with his hat on his sword, 
led the brigade in the final charge. To the reports of regi 
mental commanders you are referred for notices of gallant conduct 
in other members of the command. The medical staff deserve the 
highest praise for their prompt and unceasing attention to the wounded. 

J. W. ROBERTSON, 
Colonel Commanding First Brigade, Second Division. 



HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, 
August 8, 1862. 

To Captain L. D. Sandidge, A. A. G., Second Division 

CAPTAIN: Col. Robertson desires me to say that he wishes to amend 
his report by stating that Maj. John R. Throckmorton (of Kentucky), 
A. Q. M., rendered very efficient service in taking off the wounded 
from the field, showing great fearlessness of personal danger in the 
discharge of his duties. G. C. HUBBARD, A. A. G. 

The following are the reports of the various officers who commanded 
the six Kentucky regiments : 

HEADQUARTERS THIRD KENTUCKY REGIMENT, 

August 7, 1862. 
Lieutenant George C. Hubbard, A. A. G. 

LIEUTENANT : In obedience to an order from your office, I return 
the following statement of the action of the Third Kentucky Regi 
ment in the battle of Baton Rouge, on the 5th : 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 139 

The brigade was formed in an open field, the Third Kentucky Regi 
ment on the right flank, and ordered to march forward. The Third 
crossing a lawn into a field, received a fire from the enemy s skirmish 
ers, when we were ordered to charge. The skirmishers were routed, 
and the regiment halted in a pea patch, and ordered to lie down here. 
\Ve received a heavy fire, killing one man and wounding five. \Ve 
were again ordered forward and to charge, which order was executed 
in gallant style. Passing over the ground occupied by the enemy, we 
saw the bodies of a few of their dead. Another charge brought us 
into a road near the enemy s camp, through which we charged and 
halted, and remained for some time ; and seeing that our line to the 
left was not up on line with us, I placed Capt. Edward in command 
temporarily, until I went to the rear to see where to form the line, 
with instructions to remain in position until I could return. After ob- 
laining the necessary information, I started on my return, with the 
regiment falling back in good order. When I demanded to know the 
cause, I was informed it was by order of Brig. -Gen. Clarke. I then 
resumed command and formed on line with the brigade. Soon Col. 
Thompson ordered me to fall back to a cut in the road, which order 
was promptly executed. We remained in this position for nearly one 
hour, firing nearly thirty rounds of ammunition at the enemy, at times 
they being in short range of our rifles. The regiment was then or 
dered to charge forward by Col. Crossland, which was done, and 
again we passed through their encampment, and were ordered to fall 
back, which order was executed without any confusion or excitement. 
\Vithout a single exception, the officers of the regiment bore them 
selves gallantly, and too much can not be said in praise of the conduct 
<>f the men. Our infirmary corps kept close on our heels, and 
promptly removed and took care of our wounded. 

J. H. BOWMAN, 
Captain Commanding Third Kentucky Regiment, 



CAMP NEAR COMITE RlVER, 

August 7, 1862. 
Captain John A. Buckner 

SIR : Through an unfortunate circumstance, I was placed in com 
mand of the Fourth Kentucky, at about three o clock A. M., on the 
5th instant. After being placed in line, our brigade moved forward 
until it reached the outskirts of Baton Rouge, when we moved by the 
left flank, as far as the camp of the Fourteenth Maine Regiment. We 
then moved forward. The smoke being so dense, my command was 
here separated from the brigade. Having thrown out my right com- 



140 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

pany as skirmishers, I continued to move forward, but, discovering 
that the enemy were on my left, supported by a battery, all concealed 
by the houses and fences, and not being able to change direction 
without placing my regiment immediately under the fire of our own 
troops, I rejoined the brigade. I had just taken my position on the 
right when you took command and ordered us forward. I moved my 
regiment obliquely to the left until my right had cleared the fence in 
front, when I ordered them forward in the direction of the enemy s 
camp, which they did with a cheer. We had advanced, probably, two 
hundred yards when an aide, whom I took to be on Gen. Clarke s 
staff (not being personally acquainted with any of them), ordered me 
to fall back. Seeing the balance of the brigade retiring, I gave the 
command to my regiment, which they were very unwilling to execute, 
seeing the enemy retiring from their camps. After reforming my 
regiment, I was again ordered by you to advance. 

In this charge the enemy were driven completely from their camps. 
It is not necessary, Captain, for me to say how my command acted in 
this charge. You, being in front of my left, could judge for your 
self. I think that you will agree that they did not abuse the confi 
dence the commanding general has in " ragged Kentuckians." The 
Fourth Kentucky lost, in 

Killed 5 

Wounded 14 

Missing I 

Total 20 

Respectfully, 

J. H. MILLETT, 
Captain Co. K, Commanding Fourth Kentucky. 



HEADQUARTERS SIXTH KENTUCKY REGIMENT VOLUNTEERS, ) 
COMITE RIVER, August 7, 1862. ] 

To G. C. Hubbard, First Lieutenant and A. A. G. 

SIR : Pursuant to circular order, just received, I have the honor to 
submit the following report of the part taken by the Sixth Regiment 
Kentucky Volunteers in the battle of the 5th instant, and the orders 
received from the commanding generals. This regiment occupied the 
extreme left of the First Brigade, Second Division, Col. A. P. Thomp 
son commanding. At a little before daylight the troops were drawn 
up in line, this regiment in the open field, the left resting about two 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 141 

hundred yards to the right of a dense forest, in which Col. Allen s 
brigade was formed. At daylight the command, "forward," was 
given by Gen. Ruggles, and we moved forward a short distance and 
halted by the order of the same officer, who was present in person. 
We were very soon ordered forward again, when we moved, en 
countering rough ground, hedges, fences, ditches, and a luxuriant 
growth of weeds and grass, altogether rendering even tolerable align 
ment and steady marching impossible. Passing on over this character 
of ground for nearly one mile, the enemy s skirmishers fired on us, 
doing no injury, but falling back as we advanced, until we arrived im 
mediately in front of the enemy s camp. Here he engaged us warmly 
from a strong position in a heavy forest, but, charging forward, we 
drove him from his position, and my regiment passed nearly through 
the camp, when we observed a battery on our left, say one hundred 
yards, and a little in front. This battery was nearly silenced by an 
oblique fire from my left wing, and would have been easily taken but 
for the fact that the right of the brigade was retiring. Seeing no cause 
for the retreat, on account of any movement or fire of the enemy, the 
regiment was ordered back, presuming the brigade was ordered to re 
tire, which I have since learned to have been the case. This retreat 
enabled the enemy to regain his battery, which he did promptly, and 
opened a furious fire with grape, canister, and shrapnel on our flank. 
From the nearness of the guns, he did no serious damage. We con 
tinued to move to the rear some two hundred yards, when we reformed 
and returned to a fence in front of a graveyard, where we halted and 
opened fire on the enemy, who had reformed and reoccupied his 
original position, from which we had just driven him. This position 
both parties held with great stubbornness, and an almost incessant 
fire was kept up for one hour. At this place I sustained nearly all 
the loss of the day. My position was very much exposed during 
this time, having no shelter but a thin picket fence, and being on 
ground elevated some eighteen inches above any ground in front be 
tween my line and the enemy. This position was maintained until 
an order to charge was given, and the enemy driven under his gun 
boats, when the regiment returned with the brigade to camp, having 
sustained a loss of five killed and seventy-three wounded, several 
mortally. I can not allow this opportunity to pass without returning 
my thanks to the officers and men of the regiment for the gallant 
manner in which they bore themselves during the whole engagement. 
From a want of commissioned officers, I caused the eight companies 
of the regiment to be consolidated into four companies, placed re 
spectively under Captains Isaac Smith, Gran Utterback, and Thomas 
G. Page, and First Lieutenant Frank Harned. It is proper for me to 



142 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

say that I was not in the last charge, having been carried off the field 
too much exhausted to be able to go forward. 

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant, 

M. H. GOFER, 
Lieutenant- Colonel Commanding Sixth Kentucky Regiment. 



HEADQUARTERS SEVENTH KENTUCKY REGIMENT, 

August 7, 1862. 
Lieut. G. C. Hubbard, A. A. A. General 

LIEUTENANT : In obedience to an order from your office, I return 
the following statements of the action of my regiment, in the battle at 
Baton Rouge, on the 5th. The brigade was formed in an open field, 
and ordered to " march forward." My regiment crossed a lawn into 
a field, and received a fire from the enemy s skirmishers, when we 
were ordered to charge. The skirmishers were routed, and the regi 
ment halted in a pea patch, and ordered to lie down. Here we re 
ceived a heavy fire, wounding three men. We were again ordered 
forward and to charge, which order was executed in gallant style. 
Passing over the ground occupied by the enemy, we saw the bodies of 
two dead and three wounded. Another charge brought us into a road 
near the enemy s camp, through which we charged, and were halted 
and ordered to fall back by Capt. Buckner, of Gen. Breckinridge s 
staff, who received the order from Gen. Clarke, which would have 
been done in order, but for a regiment in advance of our right, which 
broke in wild confusion through my regiment, which caught the panic 
and retired confusedly for a short distance. Aided, however, by the 
coolness of my company officers and adjutant, I succeeded promptly 
in rallying and reforming them in front of the road. Col. Thompson 
ordered me to fall back to the road, where we opened fire on the 
enemy, then advancing from their camps, and kept it up briskly for an 
hour. The enemy advanced cautiously from their camp, under cover 
of a grove of timber, with the evident intention of turning our left 
flank. I saw two lines of infantry, with cavalry in rear. They 
charged, and the Thirty-fifth Alabama regiment opened and kept up a 
hot fire from our left, which broke the enemy s lines, and they retired 
in confusion. Our ammunition was nearly exhausted, the wagons not 
having come up. Gen. Breckinridge came up on our right, and I re 
ported the want of ammunition to him, when he ordered me to charge 
the camp with my regiment and the Third Kentucky. We went 
through the camp and were halted by Capt. Buckner, and ordered to 
retire, which was done in good style. Capt. Buckner, by order of 
Gen. Breckinridge, ordered my regiment to remain and support a sec- 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 143 

tion of Semmes Battery, which was posted, and remained to protect 
those engaged in recovery of the wounded and retreat of the stragglers. 
Capt. Wess Jetton, with five men, was sent back to fire the camps. A 
cloud of smoke soon told that his mission of destruction had been 
faithfully executed. He reports the burning of large quantities com 
missary stores and quartermaster stores, together with numerous boxes 
of guns and valuable camp equipage. Without a single exception the 
officers bore themselves gallantly, and too much can not be said in 
praise of the conduct of the men. Our Infirmary Corps kept close at 
our heels, and promptly removed and took care of the wounded. 

I beg to mention the gallant conduct of Joseph Rollins, our color 
bearer. 

EDWARD CROSSLAND, 
Colonel Commanding Seventh Kentucky Regiment. 



HEADQUARTERS NINTH KENTUCKY REGIMENT, 

CAMP NEAR COMITE RIVER, LA., 

August 7, 1862. 

SIR : I have the honor of submitting to you the following report of 
the part taken by the Ninth Kentucky Regiment, in the action of the 
5th inst., at Baton Rouge.* 

The Ninth Kentucky, with the other commands of the brigade, was 
placed in line of battle early on the morning of the 5th of August. The 
line was advanced toward Baton Rouge steadily. In obedience to an 
order of my brigade commander my regiment was held as a support to 
the battery attached to this brigade, where it remained until I received 
an order, in person, from Maj.-Gen. Breckinridge, to post one com 
pany, as pickets, to the right and at some distance from the arsenal. 
Fn obedience to this order, I placed Capt. Gillum, with his company, 
consisting of one lieutenant, four sergeants, one corporal, and twenty- 
four men, upon the ground designated by the General ; and, in obedi 
ence to another order from him, left Capt. Gillum there, when my 
command was ordered to join the brigade and engage the enemy in 
their camps. 

Capt. Gillum remained at his post until ordered away, when the 
brigade retired to the point where the line of battle was first formed. 
Thus this company was prevented from engaging in the battle, and this 
will account why none was killed or wounded in Co. A, of this regi 
ment. When ordered by Maj.-Gen. Breckinridge to join the brigade 
to which my regiment is attached, I was placed on the left of the 
3 ourth Kentucky Regiment, which was the first regiment in the brigade. 

* Maj. Wickliffe assumed command after Col. Caldwell was disabled. 



244 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

Immediately after this an order from you was given to advance. My 
command did so, and until the fire was drawn from the enemy, who 
were secreted in and about the tents of the third and last encampment. 
The fire was immediately returned by the men under my command. 
It continued warm and heavy for about twenty or twenty-five minutes, 
our line, as far as I could see, advancing very little, but steadily, and 
the enemy as slowly retreating. At this time an order was given by 
Brig. -Gen. Clarke, commanding the division, to fall back to a small 
ravine, a short distance in the rear, and reform, which was done in 
proper manner. In a few moments we were again ordered to advance, 
and did so, never halting until the enemy had been driven from the 
last of their encampments. After the brigade line had been formed, 
in obedience to an order from you we retired slowly and in good order. 
My command numbered two hundred and twenty-two, rank and file. 
From this deduct Co. A, numbering thirty-one officers and men, and 
seven detailed to carry off the wounded, thus reducing the number of 
men actually engaged in the fight, under my command, to one hun 
dred and eighty-four men. 

The following is a list of the casualties which occurred in my regi 
ment : 

In Co. A, none. In Co. B, L. P. Smith, mortally wounded and 
since dead; H. Osborne, slightly. In Co. C, Lieut. H. H. Harris, 
wounded; private R. S. Brooks, killed; privates J. S. Jackson, J. T. 
Taylor, D. Tinsley, and J. B. Young, wounded. In Co. D, Lieut. 
Oscar Kennard, wounded ; private William Hicks, killed ; privates 
John Estill and John Henry, wounded. In Co. E, Sergt. R. M. 
Hague, wounded; privates James Bowers and Isaac Rutledge, killed ; 
privates Elbert Gramor, B. Logan, and J. L. Thompson, wounded. 
In Co. F, A. P. Fowler, W. P. Ratliff, J. Leach, J. W. Wallace, and D. 
P. Howell, wounded. In Co. G, Lieut. P. V. Daniel, privates 
William Beauchamp, Thomas Stith, Michael Meardin, Allen Dere- 
berry, Frank Keith, Green Woorley, and M. S. Newman, wounded. 
In Co. H, Sergt. John H. Hughes, Corporal Moses Lassiter, privates 
Alexander Barry, Charles Freeburg, and Thomas Lively, killed; 
Sergt. L. H. Atwell, privates Edmond Elliott, Peter Fritz, James 
Hunt, G. Polfus, L. Holtsenburgh, A. J. Williams, and W. McFat- 
ridge, wounded. 

I can not close this report without stating that the officers and men 
under my command discharged their duties, in the action at Baton 
Rouge, in a manner creditable alike to themselves and the cause for 
which they are battling. Very respectfully, 

J. C. WICKLIFFE, 
Major Commanding Ninth Kentucky Regiment. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 145 



CHAPTER VIII. 

FROM BATON ROUGE TO KNOXVILLE. MARCHING TOWARD KENTUCKY. 

RETURN TO MURFREESBORO 7 . BATTLE OF HARTSVILLE. INCI 
DENTS AND ANECDOTES. 

After the operations at Baton Rouge and Port Hudson noticed in 
the preceding chapter, and particularly in the report of Gen. Breckin- 
ridge, the Reserve Corps returned to Jackson, Miss., arriving there 
on the night of the 22d of August. 

The sick who had been left at Vicksburg and other points, unable 
to accompany the expedition to Baton Rouge, had recovered some 
what, in considerable numbers, and, preceding the main body to 
Jackson, had established an encampment six miles out on the Brandon 
road, whither the various regiments marched on the 23d. 

If the condition of the command had been bad when it went to 
Baton Rouge, no words are adequate to express its real condition 
now, as far as destitution and physical condition were concerned, 
(ireat numbers were perfectly barefoot, and had been so for such a 
length of time that they could even track the burning sand like 
ostriches, and instead of blistered feet, seemed to have on an im 
proved style of moccasin from the skins of salamanders. As for 
c lothing, the " human form divine" shone through in so many places, 
that the whole combination had the appearance of very bad patch 
work, and impressed one with the idea that the clothes and men would 
look better in separate bundles. Some had shirts and some did not, 
and the latter managed to cover the upper portions of their bodies with 
ragged jackets ; while those with shirts on were considered as indulg 
ing in superfluity if they had jackets too. And the pants they wore 
are a painful subject to contemplate. The imagination of the reader 
must supply the place of description ; and, if he can conceive of any 
thing better suited to exhibit naked muscle while the wearer has an 
swered the demands of modesty by doing his best to be covered, he 
is welcome to draw his picture, and write under it, "These are the 
breeches Kentuckians wore at Jackson." Passing through the streets, 
they were amused at astonished gazers, and could not resist the temp 
tation that always beset them when anything could be made to serve a 
humorous turn. They inquired of wonder-stricken beholders how 
they liked the style of pantaloons, and declared, in mock serious- 
10 



146 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

ness, that, in their opinion, it was the best military dress "so light 
and cool." 

But preparations were now being made to join the expedition of Bragg 
into Kentucky, and there was no sign of demoralization no lack of 
that spirit which characterizes the true soldier. Once again encamped, 
too, in a pleasant locality, with better food and better water, the tone 
of health rapidly improved, and the ranks were daily swelled by the 
return of those who had been unable to withstand the effects of the 
climate, the rainy weather that had prevailed during August, and the 
hardships attendant upon the movements in Louisiana. 

On the nth of August, the senior surgeon of Preston s brigade, Dr. 
J. W. Thompson, had made a report, in which he remarked, that when 
they arrived at Vicksburg, their health was better than at any other time 
during the service, but that they had been there but a short time when 
the malarious atmosphere began its work. On the 28th of June, the 
number of men of that brigade for duty was 1,822; on the 2yth of 
July, 1,252; and on the nth of August, at Comite River, only 584, 
showing a reduction, by sickness, wounds and death of 1,238 men in 
seven weeks, or more than sixty-seven per cent, of its whole strength ; 
and this is but an average instance of the whole division. 

Remaining at this place more than two weeks, the men were clothed 
and everything was put in readiness for a movement. Some doubt was 
entertained by Gen. Van Dorn as to the nature of the order upon 
which Gen. Breckinridge proposed to move ; and as he wished to re 
tain the division in his department, there was unnecessary, but, to Gen. 
Breckinridge unavoidable, delay in setting out to join the army in 
Kentucky. 

The division moved by rail, on the loth of September, up the 
Mississippi Central to Cold Water Creek, from ten to twenty miles 
above Holly Springs, disembarking at that point on the morning of the 
nth. It remained here until the igih. Meanwhile the order had 
been made imperative by President Davis, and Gen. Breckinridge re 
linquished command of all the troops heretofore under his orders, ex 
cept the Fourth, Sixth and Ninth Kentucky Infantry, Blackburn s, 
Biggs and Roberts companies of cavalry, a brigade of Tennessee 
infantry, and the light artillery of Cobb and McClung. The Third 
and Seventh Kentucky Regiments, having been recruited mainly in 
the lower part of the State, were permitted to move by way of Jack 
son, Tenn. , thence by the Mobile and Ohio road, in the hope that 
they might receive large accessions of recruits to their ranks as they 
marched to join the army now threatening Louisville. They were 
thus finally separated from their major-general, and were no more con 
nected with any portion of the Kentucky troops which they left at 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 147 

Cold Water. They were afterward mounted, and subsequently par 
ticipated in the brilliant campaigns of Gen. Forrest, proving them 
selves second to none of that redoubtable corps in deeds of valor and 
\varm devotion to the cause which they defended. 

The remaining Kentucky troops were thrown together, forming a 
temporary organization, under command of Col. Trabue. Gen. Helm, 
it will be remembered, was absent, suffering from his hurt received at 
!>aton Rouge; and Gen. Preston had been relieved of the command 
of his brigade at his own request, and had gone into Kentucky for 
the purpose of fighting in a field that now promised much, in the re 
demption of his old State from Federal rule, and general good to the 
Confederate cause. 

The hearts of Kentuckians now beat high with hope. To them the 
promised return to Kentucky assumed the character of a triumphal 
inarch. They had been tried in fiery ordeals, and had come out with 
honor, if not with the other fruits of victory. Some time hi August 
Gen. Breckinridge had called their attention to orders from Richmond 
relative to the inscription of the names of battles in which they had 
been engaged on their banners, and wrote in connection therewith as 
follows: "The major-general refers, with peculiar pride and gratifi 
cation, to the action of his troops in the battles of Shiloh and Baton 
Rouge, and in the successful defense of the city of Vicksburg. Through 
.-very difficulty, over every obstacle, with a climate exceedingly hos 
tile, with a scanty supply of clothing, and, at times, of food, you have 
uarched by day and night, oftentimes with bare feet, upon heated 
sands and rugged roads, without a murmur, and with a heroism worthy 
of the veteran soldiers of many years. You have won for yourselves, 
in all your trials and noble daring, the grateful remembrance of your 
>\ hole country; and in after years the names of Shiloh, Vicksburg and 
Baton Rouge will awaken within your breasts a thrill of pride and de 
light that will heighten the pleasures of your future life, and be a con 
stant source of gratification to your friends, who have watched with 
such deep solicitude your progress through the many struggles you 
have encountered in defense of your country." 

The troops of his old brigade to whom, in common with others of 
his division, these words were addressed, were on the point, as they 
fondly believed, of appearing before their friends at home with so 
proud a record, and under banners whose inscriptions were the titles 
to renown. 

The troops designated as those who were to remain under command 
of Gen. Breckinridge, took the cars at Cold Water on the ipth, and 
went back to Jackson; thence to Meridian, afterward to York Station, 
the terminus, at that time, of the railroad from Meridian to Demopolis; 



148 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

then it was decided that the wagon train should go out empty across 
the country, while the men and baggage should be shipped by way of 
Mobile, Montgomery and Atlanta to Chattanooga, from which point 
it was expected the march would be made into Kentucky. After a 
tedious and disagreeable trip from York Station, by railway and river, 
the command pitched tents at Knoxville, on the 3d of October, hav 
ing been eight days and nights en route. 

Here the Second Regiment and the artillery company of the gallant 
Graves were reunited with the comrades they had left at Bowling 
Green on the 226. of January before, and Col. Hanson, being senior, 
was placed in command. 

These prisoners, with the exception of the officers, had left Camp 
Morton and elsewhere on the 26th of August, and were joined at 
Vicksburg by the latter, where exchange was duly effected. They 
went thence to Jackson, where the work of reorganizing, and, as far as 
possible, equipping, was effected in the case of the various troops cap 
tured in the Western department and exchanged under the provisions 
of the cartel which had finally been agreed upon. Thence they pro 
ceeded to Chattanooga, but reported to Gen. Breckinridge after his 
arrival at Knoxville, and the heroes of Donelson were thenceforth closely 
identified with those of Shiloh and Baton Rouge. 

By the i5th of October, Gen. Breckinridge had succeeded in procur 
ing the necessary transportation and supplies, though much difficulty 
was encountered, and it was not without great and constant effort that 
the command was placed in a condition to justify the advance, which 
was now to be made by way of Cumberland Gap. He had under his 
command the four Kentucky regiments, and something over five thou 
sand miscellaneous troops, which he found at Knoxville under Gen. 
Maxey the whole, with the artillery of Cobb and Graves, amounting, 
perhaps, to seven thousand men. The Tennessee brigade had been 
relinquished, under orders from Richmond, to Gen. Sam Jones, com 
manding Department of East Tennessee. 

Gen. Maxey marched on the iath with the greater force, and on the 
morning of the i5th Col. Hanson set out with his brigade of Ken- 
tuckians, Gen. Breckinridge accompanying them. 

For two days the march was uninterrupted, the weather was beauti 
ful, the hearts of all were buoyant, even joyous, and the remembrance 
of past hardships, and dangers, and dearth of affection faded away in 
anticipation of treading once more the soil of their own State, and of 
meeting, perhaps, those for whom they now yearned with almost the 
tenderness of children. On the evening of the i6th the brigade en 
camped in fields on each side of the Tazewell road, three miles beyond 
Maynardville. On the morning of the iyth the reveille was sounded 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 149 

t arly, and all hastened to prepare the morning meal, after which the 
command was formed, and with even more than their wonted vivacity, 
began the march, but the head of the column from the field on the left 
had scarcely turned into the road when a halt was ordered, then they 
were faced about and marched back to the camping ground of the 
night before. Now the wildest rumors got afloat, and every heart was 
sinking, however much the various hopeful ones tried to construe the 
pause to mean anything than a foreboding of evil. One hour a faint 
hope would be kindled that the march would be resumed on the mor 
row, in the direction of home; the next, it would be destroyed, by 
some fact which eager inquirers pretended to have elicited. Thus the 
day wore on, and a painful day it was, too, as may well be conceived. 
T.efore night the sad truth seemed to have been impressed upon every 
one, though as yet no authoritative announcement of the real condition 
< f affairs had been made. The dress parade of the old brigade on that 
afternoon is remembered as one of the peculiar incidents in its career. 
The Second Regiment, on the right of the road, made the call by 
tugle at the usual hour, and formed in sight of the Fourth, Sixth, and 
Ninth, on the left. The proximity of these three enabled them to form 
one almost continuous line^ little space intervening. The silence that 
prevailed in the ranks then was not the silence of restraint it was the 
silence of stern manhood bowed down by bitter disappointment. No 
one chose even to whisper. But they were erect, steady, scrupu 
lously exact in formation, and handled their arms with a promptness 
arid a precision that seemed to speak a manly determination that 
nothing could conquer that could resist a siren song as readily as 
an attack of the foe. The burden of every tune from the regimental 
bunds was " home ; " and to say that tears found their way down many 
and many a bronzed cheek, is but to say that soldiers are not always 
provided with hearts of stone. 

Immediately after having received the dispatch by courier on the 
morning of the iyth, Gen. Breckinridge sent to halt Maxey, who, as 
wo have seen, was now far ahead. A letter received from Bragg, 
dated two days later than the order by courier, instructed him to re 
turn to Knoxville, and, assuming command of all forces that could be 
made available in the defense of Middle Tennessee, proceed thence 
to Chattanooga, and take such steps as might seem to him best 
adapted to that end. He was first, however, to send all surplus sup 
plies to Cumberland Gap, to meet the army now rapidly retreating 
from Kentucky. 

The return march to Knoxville began on the morning of Oct. ipth, 
and on the evening of the 2oth the brigade was encamped on the same 
ground occupied the week before. The retrograde movement was as 



150 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

sad a one as ever marked the career of the Kentucky Brigade ; but 
the failure of Bragg to maintain himself, the consequent trouble he 
had created for their friends there, and their own bitter disappoint 
ment, but served to bring out, in bolder relief, their striking soldierly 
qualities. On turning their faces toward Knoxville they sent up a 
mighty shout half in desperation, half in defiance ; and once again 
committed to the fate of service away from home the gloom soon gave 
way to a degree of cheerfulness. 

Breckinridge removed his command to Chattanooga, or rather to 
Shell Mound, some distance out on the Nashville Railroad, and it en 
camped there on the 23d. Bragg had by that time reached Knoxville 
in person, and Breckinridge was ordered to proceed to Murfreesboro , 
and assume direction of military operations there, as it was appre 
hended that Buell, who was now on the march for Nashville, might 
endeavor to occupy a more advanced position. After much trouble in 
crossing the river at Bridgeport the bridge there having been de 
stroyed and everything having to be ferried over the two arms of the 
river, and carried upon the men s shoulders across the island which 
cuts the stream at that point, the command reached Murfreesboro on 
the 28th, just eight months from the time of having left it with Gen. 
Johnston, and encamped in the same locality some of the regiments 
on the same ground. 

Breckinridge now had command of all the advance forces, which he 
retained until the arrival of Bragg in November. Changes had been 
constantly taking place in his staff, and we note here, as part of the 
record affecting Kentuckians, that, after the arrival at Murfreesboro , 
the following officers were announced : Lieut. Col. John A. Buckner, 
A. A. G. ; Maj. Calhoun Benham and Maj. James Wilson, Assistant 
Inspectors-General; Maj. Rice E. Graves, Chief of Artillery ; Dr. L. 
T. Pirn, Medical Director; Maj. George W. Triplett, Chief Quarter 
master; Col. T. T. Hawkins and Lieut. J. Cabell Breckinridge, Aides- 
de-camp; and Captains Keene Richards and Richard C. Morgan, vol 
unteer aides. Maj. Brown was still Chief Commissary. Associated 
with him at various times during the summer and autumn, in addition 
to those named heretofore, had been Maj. Sullins, Quartermaster; 
Maj. Clarence J. Prentice, aide; Capt. James Nocquet, Chief Engineer; 
Dr. Gary N. Hawes, Medical Director, and Maj. Alexander Evans 
the latter of whom was made Post Commissary after the arrival at 
Murfreesboro . Maj. Throckmorton was made Post Quartermaster, 
and Maj. Boyd had been some time engaged in the pay department, 
but was thereafter again immediately connected with the staff of Gen. 
Breckinridge. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 151 

A new division was formed for him in December, which consisted 
of Hanson s, Preston s, Adams , and Brown s brigades. 

But we recur to events connected more particularly with the Ken 
tucky Brigade. This now consisted of the Second, Fourth, Sixth, and 
Ninth Kentucky Regiments, the Forty-first Alabama Regiment, and 
Cobb s Battery. The cavalry company of Capt. B. E. Roberts was 
also connected with it till ordered to report to Gen. Buford in January, 

1863. Col. Hanson was assigned to the permanent command of it, 
and recommended for promotion, which he received on the ijth of 
December. The officers of his staff were Capt. John S. Hope, A. A. 
G. ;* Capt. Thomas E. Stake, A. I. G. ; Maj. John R. Viley,f Chief 
Quartermaster; Maj. S. M. Moorman, Chief Commissary ; Lieut. 
Presley Trabue, Ordnance Officer, and Lieut. Joe Benedict, Aide-de 
camp. 

Gen. Hanson at once devoted himself, with his usual energy and abil 
ity, to the work of discipline and the attainment of the highest order 
and efficiency ; and early in November a division inspection report 
showed clearly that the Kentucky troops were in better condition and 
in better tone than any others then available for the defense of the ad 
vanced position. 

Breckinridge had now -but a small infantry force at his command, 
and it was late in November before Bragg had succeeded in concen 
trating all the troops subject to his orders at that point. The enemy 
had arrived at Nashville, and was prepared to advance before Bragg 
was in any condition to meet him ; but from some cause remained 
quietly on the Cumberland until near the close of the year. General 
Rosecrans had succeeded to the command of the Federal army there, 
;md though he adopted such measures at once as threatened Murfrees- 
boro at an early day, nothing occurred immediately affecting the in 
fantry at that point till the battle of Hartsville, excepting a march 
toward Nashville, designed by Breckinridge as a feint, both to hide his 
own weakness and to enable Morgan to destroy a large amount of roll 
ing stock collected in Edgefield. The cavalry of Generals Morgan, 
Forrest, and Wheeler was actively engaged between Murfreesboro 
and Nashville, and on the flanks of the Federal position; and frequent 

*Capt. (afterward Lieut. -Col.) S. F. Chipley was acting A. A. G. during the 
week s fighting on Stone River, and with Col. Hanson in the final charge of 
Friday, January 2, 1863. 

t Maj. Viley was Chief Quartermaster of Brigade till December, 1863, after 
which he was assigned to similar duty on the staff of Gen. Bate. 

JMaj. Moorman was nominally Chief Commissary of brigade till February, 

1864, when he was relieved by Capt. C. W. Helm, and assigned to post duty at 
LaGrange, Georgia, where he afterward died of disease. 



152 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

engagements of minor importance were taking place between this arm 
and the enemy s outposts. The plan alluded to was communicated 
to Morgan by Gen. Breckinridge early in November, and the time 
was fixed for the morning of the 5th of that month. Forrest, sup 
ported by the infantry troops under Breckinridge was to approach 
as nearly as possible to Nashville, and to make as strong a demon 
stration as he could not to bring on a general engagement; and it 
was hoped that, in the excitement of the moment, Morgan could 
destroy the cars at Edgefield before the enemy should become suffi 
ciently aware of the object to defeat it. 

Accordingly, on the morning of the 4th of November, Breckinridge 
set out. At nightfall there was a pause at Hart s Springs, where the 
troops rested till 9 o clock p. M. , when the march was resumed and 
continued till 3 in the morning, at which time the infantry was 
within five miles of Nashville, with the cavalry in advance. Here 
they rested till the dawn of day, when Forrest drove in the Federal 
pickets, and sharp skirmishing began, the infantry following at con 
venient distance to be rendered available in case of emergency. In a 
few minutes the Federal batteries opened on the east of Nashville, 
which announced to those who were advised of the plan that Morgan 
had arrived promptly and begun his work. Some cavalrymen were 
wounded, but the infantry did not come under fire, and the whole force 
soon retired. The Kentucky Brigade was allowed to rest and sleep 
in the grounds of the Lunatic Asylum, when they had reached that 
point on the return, till the afternoon, when they marched back to 
Hart s Springs, and encamped for the night. Next day they returned 
to their tents at Murfreesboro . It was afterward ascertained that Mor 
gan was only partially successful, as the enemy too soon be 
came aware of his object, and, after opening the batteries on him from 
Capitol Hill, had marched out in strong infantry force, so that, though 
the train was fired, he had not time to make thorough work of it. 

As remarked heretofore, there is no necessity that we should enter 
at length into the history of the armies at this point. The situation, 
relative forces, importance to either cause of the coming struggle be 
tween Bragg and Rosecrans all these may be found in works of greater 
scope. 

The next considerable action in which the Kentucky troops took 
part was the battle of Hartsville, and this was preeminently a Ken 
tucky fight. Rosecrans had stationed small forces at Gallatin, Cas- 
talian Springs and Hartsville, with the ostensible design of protecting 
that portion of Tennessee from the incursions of cavalry, and to pre 
vent the withdrawal of supplies therefrom for the Confederate army. 
Morgan, who was now operating on that flank, conceived the design 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 153 

of capturing the force at Hartsville. .After having procured as accu 
rate information as possible relative to its strength and position, he 
Communicated his plan to Bragg, whose consent he finally obtained, 
and the expedition was organized, which resulted, after a sharp conflict 
on the morning of the 7th of December, in the capture of the entire 
garrison who were not killed and wounded in the action. The follow 
ing reports of Bragg, Morgan and the officers who commanded the 
infantry forces on the occasion, with explanatory notes, disclose the 
nature of the undertaking, the gallant conduct of all concerned, and 
the result : 



HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE, j 
MURFREESBORO , TENNESSEE, December 22, 1862. } 

GeneralS. Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector-General, Richmond, Va. 

SIR: Having been informed by acting Brig.-Gen. John H. Morgan, 
whose cavalry brigade covered my front in direction of Hartsville, 
Tenn., that the enemy s force at that point was somewhat isolated, I 
yielded to his request and organized an expedition under him for their 
attack. On the 5th instant Hanson s brigade, of Breckinridge s 
division, was moved forward on the road toward Hartsville and halted 
at Baird s Mills, a point nearly due east from Nashville, and half way 
to Hartsville, when it was joined by Morgan s cavalry force. Two 
regiments, the Second and Ninth Kentucky Infantry, with Cobb s 
Kentucky Artillery, moved from this point, with the cavalry, at 10 p. 
M. , on the 6th, to attack the enemy at Hartsville. Early on the morn 
ing of the same day, Hanson, with the remainder of his brigade, 
moved as directed on the road toward Nashville, for the purpose of a 
reconnoissance and to cause a diversion. 

At the same time the troops above named left their camps near here, 
Maj.-Gen. Cheatham, with two brigades, moved out on the Nashville 
road, halted at night at Lavergne, fifteen miles, and, on the next day, 
in conjunction with Gen. Wheeler s cavalry, made a strong demon 
stration on the enemy s front. 

These movements had the desired effect, and completely distracted 
the enemy s attention from the real point of attack. Learning that a 
foraging train of the enemy was on his right flank, Cheatham detached 
Wheeler with a cavalry force to attack it, which he did in his usual 
dashing and successful manner, capturing eleven wagons and fifty- 
seven prisoners. Under cover of these feints, Morgan, by an extra 
ordinary night march, reached the point of his destination about sun 
rise, and in a short but warmly contested engagement, killed, wounded 



154 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

and captured the entire command of more than 2,000 officers and 
men. 

I inclose herewith the reports of Gen. Morgan and the subordinate 
commanders, and take great pleasure in commending the fortitude, 
endurance and gallantry of all engaged in this remarkable expedition. 
It is a source of personal and official gratification to perceive that the 
department has recognized the services of the gallant and meritorious 
soldier who led the expedition by confirming my previous nomination 
of him as a brigadier-general. 

Two sets of infantry colors and one artillery guidon, taken at Harts- 
ville, are also forwarded with this report. A third set of infantry 
colors was presented by its captors to the President on his recent visit 
to this place. 

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

BRAXTON BRAGG, 

General Commanding. 



MORGAN S HEADQUARTERS, CROSS-ROADS NEAR ) 
MURFREESBORO , December 9, 1862. } 

Colonel Brent, Chief of Staff 

SIR: I have the honor to lay before you, for the information of the 
general commanding, a report of the expedition against the Federal 
force at Hartsville. 

I left these headquarters at 10 A. M. , on the 6th instant, with one 
thousand four hundred men of my own command, under the orders of 
Col. Duke; the Second and Ninth Kentucky Infantry, commanded by 
Col. Hunt; Capt. Cobb s battery of artillery, and two small howitzers 
and two rifled Ellsworth guns, belonging to my own command. 

At Lebanon I received information that no change had been made 
in the number of the Federals at Hartsville, their number being still 
about nine hundred infantry and four hundred cavalry, with twa 
pieces of artillery. I found afterward that their force had been con 
siderably underrated. 

I proceeded with the infantry and artillery to Purcell Ferry, on 
the Cumberland River, sending the cavalry, under the orders of Col. 
Duke, to pass at a ford some seven miles below the point where we 
were to rendezvous. I passed my troops with great difficulty, there 
being but one boat; and about half-past five on the morning of the 
7th, I arrived at Hague Shops, two miles from the Federal camp. 
I found that Col. Duke, with his cavalry, had only just marched up, 
having crossed the ford with difficulty, and that one regiment of his 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 155 

command, five hundred strong (Col. Gano s), had not yet reported. 
Maj. Stoner s battalion had been left on the other side of the Cum 
berland, with two mountain howitzers, to prevent the escape of the 
enemy by the Lebanon road; and Col. Bennett s regiment had been 
ordered to proceed to Hartsville to picket the road leading to Gallatin, 
and to attack any of the Federals they might find in that town, to take 
possession of the Castalian Springs, Lafayette, and Carthage roads, so 
as to prevent the escape of the enemy. This reduced my force con 
siderably ; but I determined to attack, and that at once. There was 
no time to be lost, day was breaking, and the enemy might expect 
strong reinforcements from Castalian Springs should my arrival be 
known. Advancing, therefore, with the cavalry, closely followed by 
the artillery and infantry, I approached the enemy s position. The 
pickets were found and shot down. The Yankee bivouac first appeared 
to cover a long line of ground, and gave me to suppose that their 
number was much greater than I anticipated. On nearing the camp 
the alarm was sounded, and I could distinctly see and hear the officers 
ordering their men to fall in, preparing for resistance. Col. Duke 
then dismounted Col. Cluke s and Col. Chenault s regiments, in all 
about seven hundred and fifty men, drawing them up in line in a 
large field in the front, and a little to the right of the enemy s line, 
\rhich was then forming; and seeing that the artillery and infantry 
were in position, he ordered his men to advance at the double-quick, 
and directed Col. Chenault, who was on the left, to oblique so as tx> 
inarch on the enemy s flank. 

His men then pressed forward, driving the Federals for nearly half 
a mile, without a check, before them, until their right wing was forced 
back upon their own left wing and center. 

Duke then ordered a halt until the infantry had begun their 
attack on the Federal left wing, which caused a retreat of the whole 
line. At this juncture, Lieut.-Col. Huffman and Maj. Steele, of 
Gano s regiment, came up with about one hundred men of that regi 
ment, who had succeeded in crossing the ford, and threw their small 
force into the fight. My dismounted cavalry, under Duke, had been 
skirmishing, previously to this, for only about twenty minutes ; but 
seeing that Col. Hunt, with the infantry, was pressing hard upon the 
Federal left, he ordered an advance upon the right wing and flank 
of their new line. It gave way and ceased firing, and soon after sur 
rendered. 

Col. Duke reports that his men fought with a courage and coolness 
which could not be surpassed. 

Cluke and Chenault led on their men with the most determined 
bravery, encouraging them by voice and example. 



156 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

The timely arrival of Lieut. -Col. Huffman and Maj. Steele, and the 
gallant manner in which they threw themselves into the fight, had a 
very decided effect upon the battle at the point of which they entered. 
The artillery, under Capt. Cobb, did most excellent service, and suf 
fered severely from the enemy s battery, which fired with great pre 
cision, blowing up one of his caissons and inflicting a severe loss on 
that arm. 

The infantry conducted themselves most gallantly the Second Ken 
tucky suffering most severely. 

Col. Bennett s regiment, as I said before, was not in the fight, hav 
ing been sent on special service, which was most efficiently performed, 
four hundred and fifty prisoners having been taken by them, and 
twelve Federals killed. 

Thus, sir, in one hour and a half, the troops under my command, 
consisting of five hundred cavalry (Col. Gano s, Col. Bennett s regi 
ments, and Maj. Stoner s command not participating in the fight), 
seven hundred infantry, with a battery of artillery in all about one 
thousand three hundred strong defeated and captured three well 
disciplined and well formed regiments of infantry with a regiment of 
cavalry, and took two rifled cannon, the whole encamped on their own 
ground, and in a very strong position, taking about eighteen hundred 
prisoners, eighteen hundred stand of arms, a quantity of ammunition, 
clothing, quartermaster s stores, and sixteen wagons. The battle was 
now over. The result exceeded my own expectations, but I felt 
that my position was a most perilous one, being within four miles in a 
direct line and only eight by the main Gallatin road of an enemy s 
force of at least eight thousand men, consisting of infantry, cavalry, 
and artillery, who would naturally march to the aid of their comrades 
on hearing the report of our guns. I, therefore, with the assistance of 
my staff, got together all the empty wagons left by the enemy, loaded 
them with arms, ammunition, and stores, and directed them imme 
diately to Hart s Ferry. 

There was no time to be lost. The pickets placed by my assistant 
adjutant-general on the Castalian Springs road sent to report the ad 
vance of a strong body of Federals, estimated at five thousand men. 

I sent Cluke s regiment to make a show of resistance, ordering 
Gano s regiment, which had arrived, in support. In the meantime I 
pressed the passage of the ford to the utmost. 

This show of force caused a delay in the advance of the enemy, who 
had no idea of the number of my men, and probably greatly overrated 
my strength and gave me time to pass the ford with infantry, artillery, 
and baggage wagons. The horses of my cavalry being sent back from 
the other side of the Cumberland River, to carry over the infantry reg- 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 157 

iments, it was time to retreat. The enemy attacked our rear, but was 
kept at bay by the two regiments before specified, aided by four guns 
I had previously ordered to be placed in position on the south side of 
the Cumberland, looking forward to what was now taking place. The 
banks of the river, on both sides, are precipitous, and the stream breast 
deep, but our retreat was effected in excellent order. We lost not a 
man, except three badly wounded, that I was reluctantly forced to 
leave behind. Cavalry, infamtry, guns and baggage train safely crossed, 
with the exception of four wagons, which had been sent by another 
route, and which are still safely hidden in the woods, according to ac 
counts received to-day. 

In justice to my brave command, I would respectfully bring to the 
notice of the General commanding the names of those officers who 
contributed, by their undaunted bravery and soldier-like conduct, to 
the brilliant success which crowned the efforts of the Confederate arms. 

To Col. Hunt, of the Ninth Kentucky, commanding the infantry, I 
am deeply indebted for his valuable assistance. His conduct, and that 
of his brave regiment, was perfect, and their steadiness under fire re 
markable. 

The Second Kentucky also behaved most gallantly, and suffered 
severely. Sixty-five men killed and wounded, and three regimental 
officers left dead on the field, sufficiently testified to their share in the 
fight, and the resistance they had to encounter. 

Cluke s regiment paid also a high price for its devotion. It went 
into the field two hundred and thirty strong, had six officers with 
twenty-one non-commissioned officers and privates killed and wounded, 
besides six missing. 

Duke, commanding the cavalry, was, as he always has been, "the 
right man in the right place." Wise in council, gallant in the field, 
his services have ever been invaluable to me. 

I was informed by my Adjutant-General that Col. Bennett, in the 
execution of the special service confided to him, and in which he 
so entirely succeeded, gave proofs of great gallantly and contempt of 
danger. 

I owe much to my personal staff, Maj. Llewellyn, Captains Charlton 
Morgan and Williams, and Lieut. Bob Tyler, acting as my aides de 
camp, gave proof of great devotion, being everywhere in the hottest 
fire; and Maj. Llewellyn received the sword of Col. Stewart, and the 
surrender of his regiment. Capt. Morgan s and Capt. Williams horses 
were killed under them, and Lieut. Tyler was severely wounded. My 
orderly sergeant, Craven Peyton, received a shot in his hip and had 
his horse killed by my side.* 

* Young Peyton died of his wound. 



158 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

I must have forgiveness if I add, with a soldier s pride, that the con 
duct of my whole command deserved my highest gratitude and com 
mendation. 

Three Federal regimental standards and five cavalry guidons flut 
tered over my brave column on their return from the expedition. 
I have the honor to be, sir, with respect, 

Your most obedient servant, 

JOHN H. MORGAN, 

Brigadier-General. 



HEADQUARTERS BRECKINRIDGE S DIVISION, 
December u, 1862. 

Maj. Thos. M. Jack, A. A. General 

SIR : I have the honor to forward a report from Col. R. W. Hanson, 
commanding First Brigade of my division, covering the report of Col. 
Thomas H. Hunt, who commanded the Second and Ninth Kentucky 
Regiments and Cobb s Battery, in the recent expedition (under com 
mand of Brig. -Gen. Morgan) against Hartsville; and also the reports 
of Maj. Hewitt and Capt. Morehead, commanding, respectively, the 
Second and Ninth Kentucky. 

I beg to call attention to the officers and men specially named for 
gallantry, and to suggest, respectfully, that the troops engaged in this 
expedition deserve mention in orders for conduct, which, in fortitude 
and daring, has not been surpassed during the war. 
Very respectfully, 

JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE, 

Major- General Commanding. 



HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, ") 
CAMP NEAR MURFREESBORO , 

December n, 1862. ) 
Col. Buckner, A. A. General 

In pursuance of the order of Gen. Bragg, I proceeded with my com 
mand, on the 5th instant, to Baird s Mill, and remained two days, 
making, as directed, reconnoissance toward Nashville. Gen. Morgan 
designated the Second and Ninth Kentucky, and Cobb s Battery, as 
the troops he desired to accompany him upon the Hartsville expedi 
tion. They were detached under command of Col. Hunt.* I inclose, 
herewith, his report of the battle of Hartsville, and the reports of his 

* It was Morgan s request that Col. Hunt should command the infantry selected 
to join in the expedition. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 159 

subordinate officers. I wish to call attention to the honorable mention 
;hat is made in Maj. Hewitt s and Col. Hunt s reports of the gallant 
conduct of Sergt. Oldham, of the Second Kentucky Regiment, with 
the hope that the proper steps may be taken to procure for him the 
reward of his conduct. Sergt. Oldham was the color-bearer of the 
Second Kentucky at the battle of Donelson, and acted with great gal 
lantry upon that occasion. He is a suitable man for a lieutenancy, be 
ing well qualified, as well as truly brave. 

R. W. HANSON, 
Colonel Com ding Brigade. 



HEADQUARTERS NINTH KENTUCKY REGIMENT, ) 
CAMP NEAR MURFREESBORO , December 9, 1862. { 

To Captain John S. Hope, A. A. A. G, 

CAPTAIN : I have the honor to report that the detachment from the 
First Brigade, Breckinridge s division consisting of the Second Ken 
tucky Regiment, Maj. James W. Hewitt, commanding, three hundred 
and seventy-five strong; Ninth Kentucky Regiment, Capt. James T. 
Morehead, commanding, three hundred and twenty strong ; and Cobb s 
Battery, placed under my command, as senior officer, with orders 
to report to Morgan, left Baird s Mill, where the brigade was in 
bivouac, on Saturday, the 6th instant, about one and a half o clock, 
p. M. Marching in the rear of the cavalry force until we arrived 
ia the vicinity of Lebanon, an exchange was made, when the infantry 
mounted the horses and rode five or six miles. The command reached 
Cumberland River about ten o clock. The infantry, artillery, and a 
small portion of cavalry crossed at Purcell Ferry, the balance of the 
cavalry crossing at a ford a few miles lower down the river. The two 
boats used for crossing were of small capacity and in miserable condi 
tion, but by constant bailing they were kept afloat, and by five o clock 
in the morning the command was safe over. 

The march of five miles to Hartsville (where the battle was fought), 
yet to make, over bad roads for artillery, was not accomplished until 
after sunrise, and the purpose of Morgan to surprise the enemy was 
defeated. When we approached in sight of their camp, we found 
their infantry already formed, occupying a very strong position on 
the crest of a hill, with a deep ravine in front, and their artillery 
in battery. The troops under my command were placed in position 
west of the enemy s camp, while under a heavy fire from their battery, 
and sharpshooters thrown out from their right, but these latter were 
quickly driven in by the dismounted cavalry. 

The Second Regiment having been formed on the left of the Ninth, 



160 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

was now ordered forward to support and follow up the success gained 
by the cavalry skirmishers. That they had hot work to accomplish 
this is shown by their heavy loss in killed and wounded. 

In the meantime, Capt. Cobb, with his battery, was not idle. He 
was doing good execution, and the enemy responded with effect, one 
of their shells striking and blowing up a caisson. As the ground was 
cleared of the enemy opposite our left, he (Capt. Cobb) was ordered 
to take a new position with his battery in that direction, and at the 
same time the Ninth Kentucky Regiment was ordered forward to 
engage the enemy s left. 

My whole command was now engaged. The crest of the hill was 
reached, and here began a desperate struggle, as the contestants 
were only from thirty to fifty paces apart, where they fought for the 
space of ten minutes, when the order to charge was given, and most 
nobly was the command responded to. The enemy broke and were 
driven to the river cliff, where they were completely surrounded by 
my force in front, and the dismounted cavalry on their flanks and rear, 
and where they surrendered at discretion. 

It was a continued success from the beginning. In about one 
and a half hours from the time the first gun was fired, they surrendered, 
and more prisoners were brought off than we had men in action. 
Large quantities of commissary and quartermaster stores were also se 
cured, and a section of artillery and a large number of small arms, 
with the usual supply of ammunition. 

Morgan had made most skillful disposition, which, with the good 
fighting qualities of the troops engaged, secured success. I can not 
speak in too high terms of praise of the troops, and I scarcely know 
which most to admire, their patient endurance on the march or cour 
age in the battle. They marched fifty miles in cold, winter weather, 
the ground covered with snow, crossed and recrossed the Cumber 
land River, fought a largely superior force strongly posted within six 
miles of their supports, and brought off the prisoners, all within the 
space of thirty hours. Capt. Cobb, with his officers and men, had a 
most laborious time in getting their pieces and horses across the river, 
and it was only by the best directed exertions they succeeded at all. 
Where officers and men all behaved so well, it is impossible for me to 
single out individual cases as peculiarly worthy of commendation. I 
can not, however, refrain from mentioning Lieut. Joseph Benedict, 
who acted as my aide on the occasion. He was the right man in the 
right place. 

I inclose, herewith, copies of the reports of Maj. Hewitt and Capt. 
Morehead, and would bring to your attention the fact that the former 
commends Color-Sergt. John Oldham for his gallant bravery. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 161 

The following is a summary of the loss sustained by my command : 

COMMAND. KILLED. WOUNDED. MISSING. 

Second Kentucky Regiment ... 8 54 3 

Ninth Kentucky Regiment ... 7 10 I 

Cobb s Battery 3 7 o 

Total 18 71 4 

Included in the above, are, of the Second Kentucky Regiment, 
Charles H. Thomas, first lieutenant, and John W. Rogers, second 
lieutenant, Co. C, killed; T. M. Home, first lieutenant, Co. A, mor 
tally wounded; Second Lieutenant A. J. Pryor, Co. D, and Lieut. 
I larding, Co. K, wounded. Of Ninth Kentucky, Second Lieut. 
l>andridge Crockett, killed; First Lieut. J. W. Cleveland, wounded. 
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

THOMAS H. HUNT, 
Colonel Commanding Detachment* 



HEADQUARTERS SECOND KENTUCKY REGIMENT, 
CAMP MURFREESBORO , December 9, 1862. 

C ilonel Thomas H. Hunt 

SIR : I have the honor to report that, in pursuance of your orders, 
1 formed my regiment on the left of the Ninth Kentucky, opposite the 
enemy s camp, near Hartsville, a portion of Morgan s cavalry being 
at the same time on my left. When the order came for me to ad 
vance, I ordered my regiment forward; and, after passing the fence, 
the nature of the ground was such that I deemed it advisable to de 
ploy my regiment, and, therefore, gave the order to deploy. In 
this way we drove the enemy from their first camp, and continued to 
drive them until they surrendered. The officers, without an excep 
tion, behaved in the most gallant style. They were continually in ad 
vance of their men, urging them forward; and, where all behaved so 
well, it would be impossible to particularize. Each seemed to vie 
with the other in deeds of gallantry. The whole command, I am 
pleased to say, behaved in a most unexceptionable manner. I can 
not conclude my report without reference to Color-Sergt. John Old- 
ham, whose conduct and courage during the whole engagement 
elicited the encomiums of both officers and men. 

Your obedient servant, 

JAMES W. HEWITT, 
Major Commanding Second Kentucky Regiment. 



162 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

NINTH KENTUCKY REGIMENT, ) 
CAMP NEAR MURFREESBORO , December 10, 1862. j 

To Colonel Thomas H. Hunt, Commanding Infantry 

SIR : At twelve o clock on Saturday, the sixth instant, I, as senior 
captain, was placed, by your orders, in command of the Ninth Ken 
tucky Regiment, which had, the day before, moved to Baird s Mills, 
eighteen miles from Murfreesboro , and was, at that time, about to 
march against the enemy, reported to be at Hartsville, Tennessee. 

The weather was excessively cold, the snow having fallen the day 
before to some depth, and the road was very rough, notwithstanding 
which the men marched steadily during the day and night, and reached 
the immediate neighborhood of the enemy s camp, near Hartsville, at 
sunrise. The enemy occupied a strong position in front of his en 
campment, his line of battle stretching along the crest of a hill, which 
was separated from our forces by an intervening hollow or ravine. 
Our line of battle was formed with Cobb s Battery on the right, sup 
ported by the Ninth Kentucky Regiment directly in its rear. On our 
immediate left was the Second Kentucky Regiment, and still further 
to the left a portion of two regiments of dismounted cavalry, under 
Col. Duke. The enemy occupied, with his sharpshooters, the woods 
and ravines in front of the left wing of our line, and opened a brisk 
fire on us. Against them the dismounted cavalry deployed as skir 
mishers, and soon succeeded in dislodging and driving them back upon 
the main body of the enemy. The Second Kentucky Regiment was 
ordered forward, and the Ninth left in support of the battery. In a 
few minutes after, I was ordered to advance, and moved the regiment, 
in double quick, in the direction of the main body of the enemy, 
going over, in our route, very rough ground, and through a deep 
ravine. Ascending the hill, the regiment advanced to the right of the 
Second Kentucky, halted, and immediately became engaged, at less 
than fifty paces, with the enemy. After fighting for a short time, I 
ordered a charge, which was made with such gallantry by the regi 
ment that the left wing of the enemy s line gave way and began 
retreating in confusion. Pressed closely by the Ninth Kentucky, they 
passed through their camps and took refuge under the brow of a hill 
on the bank of the river and in rear of their artillery. The regiment 
continued to move rapidly on, and captured the two pieces of artillery 
and a stand of colors ; then charged the line of the enemy and drove 
them to the brink of the river, compelling their immediate surrender. 
Here we captured Col. Moore, commanding brigade, who, in reply to 
a question from Capt. Crouch, answered that he surrendered himself 
and all the men around him, meaning the whole force. The battle 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 163 

vy-as now fairly won, the firing had ceased, save a few scattering shots 
here and there. I immediately formed the regiment again in line of 
battle, had order restored, stragglers collected, and the men kept in 
their places. I sent details .from all the companies to look after the 
dead and wounded, and detailed Co. H, Capt. Bosche, to guard the 
One Hundred and Sixth Ohio Regiment, captured by us. The pris 
oners being collected, I was ordered to detail Cos. A and C to guard 
them, and afterward Co. G. The regiment recrossed the river, and 
began its march toward Lebanon, Tennessee. Too much praise can 
not be given to the officers and men for their spirit and patient endur 
ance under a march of almost unexampled hardship and rapidity, and 
for their gallantry and good conduct in action. 

The regiment had in battle three hundred and twenty men, and the 
loss was eighteen seven killed, ten wounded, and one missing. 
Respectfully, your obedient servant, 

JAMES T. MOREHEAD, 
Captain Commanding Ninth Kentucky Regiment. 



INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES : AT MURFREESBORO 5 J AND AT AND AFTER 

HARTSVILLE. 

I. Splendid Fighting of the Second and Ninth Regi 
ments, Infantry. Gen. Duke, who from his position in command 
of the Second Cavalry, saw Hunt come into action with his two regi 
ments and battery says : 

The infantry had marched quite thirty miles, over slippery roads, 
and through the chilling cold, and I saw some of them stumble (as 
they charged), with fatigue and numbness; but the brave boys rushed 
in as if they were going to a frolic. The Second Kentucky dashed 
over the ravine, and as they emerged in some disorder, an unfortunate 
order to halt and dress was given them. There was no necessity for 
it the regiment was within fifty yards of the enemy, who were re 
coiling and dropping before their fire. Several officers sprang to the 
front and countermanded the order it was a matter of doubt who 
gave it and Capt. Joyce, seizing the colors, shouted to the men to 
follow him. 

The regiment rushed on again, but in that brief halt sustained 
nearly all its loss. Just then, the Ninth Kentucky came to its sup 
port, the men yelling and gliding over the ground like panthers. 
The enemy gave way in confusion, and were pressed again on their 
right and rear by Cluke and Chenault, who were at this juncture re- 
entorced by seventy-five men of Gano s regiment, who came up under 
Lieut. -Col. Huffman, commanding the regiment in Gano s absence, 
and Maj. Steele, and at once went into the fight. A few minutes then 
sutticed to finish the affair. The enemy were crowded together in a 
narrow space, and were dropping like sheep. The white flag was 



!64 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

hoisted in an hour after the first shot was fired. Our loss in killed and 
wounded was one hundred and twenty-five, of which the Second Ken 
tucky lost sixty-five, the Ninth eighteen, the cavalry thirty-two and 
Cobb s Battery ten." 

II. The Blue and the Gray Meet and Greet. The fortunes 
of war often furnished touchstones of character by which the com 
batants learned to know, and, in many instances, to honor each other s 
manly traits. Dr. John O. Scott, left at Hartsville in charge of the 
wounded, has told of an occurrence in point. Shortly after Hunt and 
Morgan had withdrawn from the battleground and hurried across the 
Cumberland with their prisoners and captured munition of war, a Fed 
eral force arrived, having set off hastily from their camp, only eight 
miles distant by the Lebanon road, as soon as the continuous artillery 
firing indicated that an attack had been made on Moore. Scott and 
his nurses, busily engaged with their wounded men at Mrs. Hallibur- 
ton s, received an order to report to the commander of the newly- 
arrived troops. They responded promptly, but were uncertain as to 
what was in store for them, and feared some interference with the at 
tention now so important to the sufferers. Approaching the command 
ing officer, however, one of the detail recognized him, and ventured 
to call out familiarly, " How are you, John?" That dispelled the 
cloud. " John " was Gen. John M. Harlan, of Kentucky, and he 
responded cordially. Mutual inquiries were made about old friends 
and acquaintances back in the State and in the Confederate army ; 
"the wall of partition was broken down " for the time; and the Fed 
eral commander addressed himself at once to the business of providing 
medical and food supplies, and otherwise contributing to the relief of 
the suffering Confederates as well as of Col. Moore s men. 

III. "Cunny" Fooled Them. The Second Kentucky had a 
man named Cunningham, who so far resembled Cassius that he had at 
least a " lean and hungry look." It is to be presumed that after a year 
and a halfof army life, of which nearly seven months were spent in a 
Federal prison, he looked a good deal hungrier than the old Roman. 
The men called him " Cunny," and they declared that Cunny could 
never get a flesh wound. At Hartsville, however, a bullet found mus 
cle enough on one of his legs to go through without breaking a bone, 
and he had the laugh on them declaring that " Cunny did get a flesh 
wound and a good furlough." 

IV. Scenes on the Battlefield. The explosion of Cobb s cais 
son was frightful. It scattered men and horses with a horrible noise 
that hushed the din of battle. Near this spot we found the body of 
Watts, of Paducah. He was shockingly disfigured. He was riding 
the caisson when it blew up. A little further on towards the crest of 
the hill was Lieut. Charlie Thomas, of the Second Kentucky, wounded 
in the left breast the blood spurting from the wound; and near him, 
dead, lay his handsome mess-mate, Lieut. Rogers. This was the spot 
where some confusion occurred in the charge up the hill in the face of 
a galling fire, when Moss, McDowell, Lee, Joyce, Higgins and other 
officers rushed forward and by command and cheer renewed the charge. 
At the hospital we gathered about one hundred and fifty wounded 
men, Confederate and Federal; and when too late for glory or John 
Morgan the enemy captured our men. I remember one unsoldierly 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 165 

act : a member of Stokes s cavalry took a United States blanket from 
(raven Peyton, Col. Morgan s orderly, who had been badly wounded, 
remarking, as he did so: "I guess that s our n; " but he did not see 
the fine ivory-mounted pistol Morgan had given him. 

Gen. Harlan went with us to Mrs. Halliburton s house, after we re 
ported to him, and ordered sugar, coffee, and other rations for our 
wounded; also, ambulances and a surgeon, and they were taken to 
Hartsville, about a mile from the field. The ladies entered heartily 
into the work of caring for them. Mrs. Hart had Craven Peyton car 
ried to her house, where he afterward died. Hodges, of Bourbon 
C ounty, had his leg amputated, but he never rallied from the effects 
of the chloroform. Young Edwards, Second Kentucky, wounded 
through the lungs, believed himself dying and asked a nurse to pray 
for him. Instead of doing so he rushed off after Father Pickett. He 
came and prayed there in the dead of night over the dying soldier a 
solemn scene. When the wounded were all cared for, I and my 
nurses returned to Murfreesboro and reported to Gen. Hanson. When 
I told him how kind Gen. Harlan had been he appreciated it, of 
course, but he simply asked, " And did he tell you what he was fight 
ing hit" Dr. John O. Scott. 

V. How We Took Nashville. Jim Wilson, of Co. E, Sixth 
Kentucky, was one of our wags whose pranks and speeches enlivened 
hours that might otherwise have been monotonous and very trying. 
On the march towards Nashville, November 4th, 1862, to divert atten- 
t on from Morgan s operations north of the Cumberland, the rank and 
fie were of course ignorant of what was in view; and when we were 
marching back two days afterward, without having fired a gun, and 
t eing still in some doubt as to whether anything had been accom- 
plished, we were not in the most comfortable frame of mind. Wilson 
was grum, but not entirely speechless, and occasionally stirred up his 
p. art of the column a little. One sally is worth recording: As we 
passed a large residence near the pike, on the portico of which a num 
ber of persons stood observing us, a lady called out eagerly, " Did you 
take Nashville?" Wilson was quick to reply, "Oh yes, yes: we 
took Nashville but we couldn t bring it with us ! " Our friends at the 
house joined in the laugh that followed, and Jim trudged on with the 
air of a man who with a single sentence had explained everything con 
nected with the expedition. 

VI. How Jap Got and Kept the Mule. Sergt. Jasper An 
derson, Co. B, Ninth Kentucky, familiarly known as "Jap," had the 
distinction, among others, of being the only " web-foot" whoever beat 
a Morgan man when property rights were to be considered. He was 
accused by some of those rough riders of having stolen one of their 
mules, and they said that a man who could steal a mule from them 
" inade a record." 

After Morgan and Hunt had compelled the Federal outpost at Harts 
ville to surrender, as noticed in preceding chapter, and the Confed 
erates were hastily gathering up arms, and other property with which 
the encampment abounded, preparatory to a hasty and successful re 
treat which followed, Jap found a red mule, with a blind bridle on, 
roaming around, and took possession of him. He seemed to have had 
a quick eye for the supply and medical departments, as being most 



166 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

promising, and soon had his mule loaded with a dozen large United 
States blankets, about thirty pounds of coffee, and a dozen canteens of 
apple brandy a keg or barrel of which he had scented while nosing 
around, and from which he filled all the canteens he could lay hands 
on. Having mounted and set out for the ferry, he was halted by a 
cavalryman, who demanded the mule, under order of Gen. Morgan 
that all infantry-men should be promptly dismounted. Anderson re 
plied that the mule belonged to headquarters, and that they would have 
to go to Capt. Morehead, then in command of the Ninth Regiment, to 
see what he had to say about it. When Morehead was found he said 
that Gen. Morgan had ordered all animals to be given up, and that he 
would have to comply. " But," said Jap, " I can t do that, Captain. 
I have a valuable cargo here, and I can t carry it myself!" "What 
have you?" "Well, these blankets, as you see, and a big lot of 
coffee, and something in the canteens. Try a canteen." The Captain 
took a taste and a new light broke in on him. "Why, Jap, this is good 
apple brandy ! " Then he took another pull or two and wound up 
with: "Jap, you keep that mule, and stay along with headquarters. 
Shoot the first cavalryman that tries to take him away from you." 
And to the man who was waiting to dismount Anderson: "You tell 
John Morgan that this is my mule; he can t have him." The provi 
dent and persuasive web-foot said afterward that he rode that mule 
right along in front, like a staff-officer, slept at headquarters that night, 
and rode him to Murfreesboro next day at last turning him loose 
only when he had nothing for him to carry. 

VII. After Many Years : A Singular Occurrence. After that 
noble young fellow, Sergt. Thomas Maddox, of Co. E, Second Ken 
tucky, was killed, one of his lieutenants, the Rev. G. B. Overton, em 
braced the first opportunity which seemed to promise success in getting 
a letter through the lines to his parents, notifying them of his death 
and the manner of it, as well as the character which he had maintained 
as a man and a soldier. Two and a half years more of the exciting 
events of war, the disappointment brought by the final overthrow 
of the Confederacy, and the exacting duties of the life that followed, 
led him to forget that he had ever written it. Thirty-five years after 
ward, however, while as Presiding Elder he was holding a quarterly 
meeting at Jeffersontown, Ky. , he was invited to the home of Mrs. 
Buchanan, Maddox s sister, who brought vividly to his mind the 
mournful circumstance by giving him the letter, which she had care 
fully preserved. The following is a copy : 

" CAMP NEAR MURFREESBORO , TENN. , 

December 13, 1862. 
Mr. and Mrs. Maddox 

" DEAR SIR AND MADAM : It is my painful duty to announce to you 
the death of your son, Thos. Maddox, a sergeant of Second Kentucky 
Regiment. 

" He was killed in the battle of Hartsville, December 7, 1862. One 
ball entered his arm, another his breast, and a third his mouth, which 
being partly opened did not in the least disfigure his face. 

" I have known Tom well and intimately ever since he entered the 
army. I never knew a better boy nor one whom I loved more. The 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN URIGADE. 167 

contamination of camp life never reached his pure and lofty spirit. I 
never knew him to do a wrong. I never heard him speak an unkind 
u-ord. He lived in the fear of God and kept His commandments. 

" He was as brave as the bravest; and a smile of heavenly sweet 
ness rested on his countenance in death. 

" As sure as the Bible is true and religion a divine reality, his spirit 
rests with the sacramental host of God s elect. I bid you not sorrow 
;>s those that have no hope, for he shall live again when the light 
if the resurrection morn illumines the earth. Death shall restore him 
immortal. May this blessed hope console your hearts in your sad 
bereavement. May the God of all grace comfort your hearts as only 
He can. 

" Yours respectfully, 

"G. B. OVERTON, 
" Sometime Chaplain Second Kentucky, now a Lieut, of Co. E" 



168 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 



CHAPTER IX. 

BATTLE OF STONE RIVER. INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES. 

On the afternoon of the 8th December the brigade again took up its 
quarters at Murfreesboro , and the ordinary business attendant upon 
camp life engaged attention, with little to vary the monotony till near 
the close of the month. Daily drill was practiced; and all that con 
cerned their welfare and their training was inquired into by their ever- 
vigilant commander. An order, which had been received on the i8th 
of July, while Breckinridge s division was at Vicksburg, to discharge all 
soldiers who should be under eighteen or over thirty-five years of age, 
at the expiration of the term for which they had originally enlisted, re 
quired some attention here, both before and after the battle of Harts- 
ville ; and a few of this class of soldiers were discharged from the Sixth 
and Ninth Regiments. On the i3th of December, President Davis 
visited the army at this point and reviewed the troops. Occasionally 
an old familiar face would appear in the various camps, fresh from 
Kentucky, and news from home would contribute its mite of joy or 
sadness. 

The weather was generally fair, and seemed rather to invite to active 
operations; but, aside from the constant movements and skirmishes of 
the cavalry, all was quiet enough, and, as far as warfare may be, gen 
erally pleasant enough, too. The troops now had as many tents as 
were really needed, and to these little chimneys had been constructed, 
which rendered them almost as snug, even in the worst weather, as the 
cabins usually prepared for winter quarters. They were better fed and 
better clothed than they had been before since leaving Bowling Green; 
and thus Christmas came on, with its thousand memories and associa 
tions ; but with it came news of trouble at the front. 

On the afternoon of December 26th, it was rumored that Rosecrans 
was advancing with a heavy and well-appointed force. The forenoon 
had been dark, rainy, and disagreeable ; but about one o clock the rain 
ceased, the afternoon was brighter, and there was more animation in 
the widely extended encampments. Towards night the distant boom 
of artillery was heard, and was kept up steadily for a short period, as at 
the opening of a regular engagement. It was the Twenty-first Corps, 
under Gen. Crittenden, engaged with the Confederate outposts in the 
vicinity of La Vergne. This corps was advancing directly on Bragg s 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 169 

< enter, by way of the Nashville and Murfreesboro pike, with Thomas 
and McCook (Fourteenth and Twentieth Corps), on his right, proceed 
ing by way of the Franklin and Nolensville roads. The advance of 
these corps was also contested, and their artillery was frequently brought 
into play before night. 

Crittenden encamped about nightfall near La Vergne. Rain fell 
again during the night. It ceased before daylight of the 2yth, but there 
was a deep fog in the morning, which did not lift until about nine 
o clock, when Hascall s Brigade was able to move upon the Confed 
erate force occupying La Vergne, which it compelled to retire. The 
corps then resumed its march; but soon the cold and driving rain set 
in, and continued almost without cessation during the remainder of the 
day. After some desultory fighting, as the Confederate outposts gradu 
ally retired, it encamped that night near Stewart s creek, within ten 
miles of Murfreesboro with the Confederate pickets, however, still 
I tetween it and the stream. 

At Murfreesboro the main army of Bragg lay quiet throughout the 
day, and there was little or no preparation looking to a battle. Rumor 
was there, with her "thousand tongues;" but at nightfall nothing 
definite seemed to have been learned with regard to the real design of 
;he Federal general, or, if he had learned anything about it, Bragg 
appears to have been over confident of his strength, and rather de 
sirous of courting battle upon an open field than of securing himself 
from defeat by fortifying his position. 

Just before sunset the season of rain and dreariness seemed to be 
ended. The sun came out, and the sky began to clear; and though 
the night was dark with lingering clouds, the next morning was serene 
and bright a beautiful Sabbath morning, opening a week big with 
fate to the contending hosts and to the country. Bragg was at last 
aroused, and orders were issued at an early hour for the army to take 
position, which it did during the day, December 28th, and early on 
the morning of the next. 

For the better understanding of allusions in the reports which we 
herewith publish, we may state that the army had been divided into 
two corps, commanded respectively by Lieutenant-Generals Polk and 
Hardee. The extreme right of the position chosen terminated on the 
Lebanon pike, two miles, perhaps, from Murfreesboro , the extreme 
left beyond or west of the Franklin road. Hardee s corps was to 
form right wing, extending from the Lebanon road to Stone River, 
nearly opposite Cowan s house, or the famous "burnt house," so 
much referred to in descriptions of that engagement. Folk s corps 
was to form left wing, touching Stone River, opposite Hardee, and ex 
tending to the left across the Nashville pike, the Nashville Railroad 



170 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

and on toward the Franklin road. In addition to the two divisions 
each of Folk s and Hardee s corps, the division of Maj.-Gen. Mc- 
Cown, of Gen. Kirby Smith s corps, was present. The cavalry was 
in two divisions, under Major-Generals Wheeler and Wharton, with a 
smaller command under Pegram. The cavalry commanders were to 
watch their opportunity to make a circuitous march, dash upon Rose- 
crans wagon train, and interfere with his arrangements in the rear as 
much as possible, after which Wheeler and Wharton were to watch a 
flank each, and Pegram was to be held in reserve by the commanding 
general. 

When the formation was first made, Hardee s corps was placed 
wholly on the right of Stone River, Breckinridge s division constitut 
ing first line, Cleburne second, while Maj.-Gen. McCown s was held 
as a reserve force. 

During the forenoon, Breckinridge s division, consisting of four 
brigades and their meager compliment of artillery, was formed on the 
right bank of Stone River, almost perpendicularly with the stream at 
that point its right resting on the Lebanon pike, and its left on or 
near the river, a short distance below the crossing of the Nashville 
pike. The Kentucky Brigade, then under command of Brig.-Gen. 
Roger W. Hanson, occupied Breckinridge s extreme left. Brig.-Gen. 
J. R. Jackson s command of cavalry, temporarily reporting to Breck- 
inridge, was held in reserve on the right flank, east of the Lebanon 
road. Cleburne s division formed the second line, in easy supporting 
distance, and Maj.-Gen. McCown, of Kirby Smith s corps, being then 
with Bragg, was held with his divisions as reserve. 

Thus, it will be seen, the preponderance of forces was at first on 
the right plainly indicating that Bragg anticipated the heaviest blow 
from that quarter, to which view he was doubtless led by the fact 
that the dense wood on the left offered such an obstacle to success 
ful advance or retreat as would most likely determine Rosecrans to 
strike at a less obstructed point. 

The day was passed in almost unbroken quiet the men cooking 
their rations in the afternoon, and preparing for active work. The 
next morning was clear, but crisp and chilly ; but as the sun rose it 
became spring-like in its mildness. The army remained in position ; 
but the formation of the previous day was essentially modified during 
the forenoon, when it was ascertained that the heavier Federal force 
was approaching by the lower roads. The divisions of Cleburne and 
McCown were transferred to the left, leaving Breckinridge alone to 
hold the right, with his own division and Jackson s cavalry. The 
cannonading, though distant, announced that the enemy was advanc 
ing. Steadily he came on, while the Confederate officers were busy 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 171 

all the forenoon inspecting the ground studying the field so soon to 
become historic in the annals of America. There was an eminence, 
six or eight hundred yards in advance of Breckinridge s line, com 
manding the river on the left and in the front, sloping gradually to the 
water s edge; and this it was deemed necessary to occupy. It was 
also considered important that the right of the division should con 
tinue to rest on, or very near the Lebanon pike, while the left should 
be in easy supporting distance of the right of Folk s corps, and con 
venient to the ford near the ruins of the bridge on the Nashville rail 
road. The force assigned to this part of the line was not sufficient, 
however, to fill out the space from the river to the road, should the 
whole be advanced so as to cover the hill in question, without weaken 
ing the support; and it was determined to detach the Kentucky Bri 
gade. This was accordingly thrown forward; and before sundown the 
battery of light artillery, under command of Capt. Robert Cobb, 
(attached to this brigade from the time of its organization till just before 
the battle of Mission Ridge), was posted upon the crest of the hill, 
with the infantry in close supporting distance. Hanson was now com 
pletely isolated being considerably in advance of the right of Folk s 
corps, as well as the remaining brigades of Breckinridge s division. 

In the afternoon, a large brick house near the intersection of the 
railroad and the Nashville pike, almost directly in front of Hanson s 
position, was fired, by order of Bragg, to prevent its occupancy by 
Crittenden s sharpshooters. 

The flames had scarcely ceased to rage, when the advance of the 
Federal army appeared along the front, on each side of the turnpike, 
and bivouacked in line of battle Wood s division and Grose s bri 
gade, of Palmer s division, touching upon the left and the right of the 
road respectively, and just beyond the burnt house. As night drew 
on, the skies became again overclouded, and the air exceedingly raw 
and disagreeable. Without tents, without fires, and, on the Confed 
erate side, without adequate protection in the way of blankets and 
clothing, the troops prepared to sleep in line of battle. 

An incident now occurred which is worthy of record, as probably 
never having been fully understood in all its bearings by the Federal 
troops concerned in it. A heavy picket force had been thrown out in 
front of the Kentucky Brigade, occupying this^advanced and isolated 
position as before explained. The remainder of the command were 
endeavoring to make themselves as comfortable as possible, some 
thirty yards back from the crest of the hill, some of them having 
already lain down to sleep, when they were suddenly aroused by 
rapid firing in the vicinity of the burnt house. They sprang to arms, 
but had not completed formation when the flash of rifles was seen 



17 2 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

along the little eminence, and bullets came whistling over and among 
them. The pickets had been driven in, closely followed by the Fed 
erals, who were now upon the main body of the brigade, in what 
force it was impossible to determine, and the situation was critical in 
the extreme. Knowing their own weakness, being apprehensive of 
the strength of the attacking force, and conscious at first thought that 
their shots might be far more destructive to the retreating pickets than 
to the enemy, there was no alternative for the Confederates but to fall 
back under fire, in the now total darkness, and prepare for action, or 
else break into a rout and leave the field precipitately. It was a try 
ing moment; but the officers were equal to the emergency, and the 
command was speedily aligned and prepared for resistance. It directly 
appeared, however, that the assailing force had no disposition to press 
the attack, as only a few straggling shots were fired after the first near 
volley or two the greater portion of the enemy withdrawing at once 
to their supporting force beyond the river. It was afterward stated 
that some misapprehension had arisen in the mind of Rosecrans, 
owing to false or misinterpreted signals, leading him to suppose that 
the Confederate right had been withdrawn ; whereupon he had or 
dered a portion of the Twenty-first Corps to advance and occupy the 
town. In compliance with this order, HascalPs brigade actually 
crossed the river, and, as we have seen, encountered and drove in the 
pickets, and part of it dashed up to the very muzzles of Cobb s guns, 
and almost within bayonet reach of the infantry. One man ran up so 
close to the battery that the fire from his rifle singed and powder-burnt 
one of the gunners ; but in the darkness and confusion he made his 
escape. 

When the enemy retired, the brigade was withdrawn some three or 
four hundred yards, fearing to advance, lest they come suddenly upon 
the enemy lying in wait, and being apprehensive of an attack in force 
should they remain in position there. The loss inflicted upon the main 
body of these troops was inconsiderable ; but a number of the pickets 
had been wounded some of whom fell into Federal hands, besides 
two or three killed. The Forty-first Alabama Infantry, which had 
lately been attached to this brigade, lost one of its best officers, who 
was commanding the picket force and fell when the onset was first 
made. 

Thus, it will be seen, this important position, the loss of which would 
have thoroughly disconcerted all the plans of the Confederate General, 
and changed the entire aspect of the battle, hung for a moment in the 
wavering of a balance. The Federals being once established upon it, 
the natural strength of Bragg s position would have been rendered 
nugatory. It would have given the Federal army three of the strong- 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 173 

est positions possible to have been attained on that memorable field ; 
namely, that which Gen. Sheridan occupied on Tuesday evening, and 
from which he could scarcely be driven at all on Wednesday, though the 
other divisions of that corps had been pushed back and left him doubly 
exposed; the celebrated " Round Forest," in the center, where Neg- 
ley and Rousseau withstood successive dashes of the storm, and over 
which the contending armies continued to struggle, at times, till after 
Bragg had brought about the denouement by sacrificing Breckinridge 
on Friday afternoon; and this, the key to the Confederate position, 
and which would have rendered practicable the original plan of the 
battle which Rosecrans proposed to himself. It was one of those 
peculiar circumstances of war beyond which men cannot see of which 
the prudent cannot avail themselves, but which sometimes serve" to 
give blind and heedless leaders an extrinsic greatness. A venturesome 
dash upon the place that night would have put it under Federal con 
trol. Even a conflict in the darkness, with the weak force by which it 
was held, could scarcely have resulted in anything else, had the assail 
ants been strong enough to cover the line while the temporary con 
fusion prevailed ; but there was really no need for this, as, after the 
skirmishers retired, the main body of Hascall s troops could hardly 
have reached it so soon as not to find it abandoned. It seems, how 
ever, to have been decreed that the battle should not be lightly won 
by either of the belligerents; and the night passed, with this bone of 
contention lying alone, midway between them. 

After having withdrawn to such distance as to be comparatively safe 
from the shots that might be fired from this hill, Hanson s command 
lay in line of battle in an open field. Early next morning, however, 
it occupied the line of the day before indeed, one of the regiments 
had moved up an hour or two before dawn, the rest following as soon 
as it was light. 

The weather had now set in windy, cloudy and cold, and the situa 
tion of the men was trying beyond conception. During the whole of 
that day they lay quiet, under frequent and furious shelling, to which 
they could reply with only an occasional shot from the battery. It 
was much of the danger without any of the excitement of battle. 
Fires were forbidden ; and so, damp, cold and in much anxiety and 
suspense, they passed the time. 

Meanwhile, McCook had fought himself into position on the ex 
treme right of the Federal line. Not satisfied with merely getting up, 
he pressed heavily upon Folk s left flank, just before night, and en 
deavored to take one of his batteries. But after a short and sanguinary 
conflict, he was driven back, and the opposing hosts bivouacked in 
order of battle, so close to each other that the Federal bugle and drum 



17 4 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

calls were plainly heard by the Confederates whom the Federal bands 
also taunted by playing " Dixie " for a long time, and with uncommon 
pathos, and following this with two airs which the southerners were 
trying their best to forget Yankee Doodle" and "Hail Columbia." 

Temporary earth-works had been constructed along the crest of the 
hill of which we have been speaking, extending from the left of Cobb s 
Battery down the slope to the right, behind which lay the Kentucky 
Brigade ; while the remainder of Breckinridge s division and Jackson s 
cavalry kept their places as originally formed. 

Indications were now plain that the great struggle was close at hand. 
For five days the Federal army had been advancing, skirmishing and 
reconnoitering, and Rosecrans had perfected his plan of battle. It 
was afterward known, (and Bragg seems for once to have divined the 
purposes of his antagonist and to have frustrated his schemes by a 
timely blow), that these were in the first place, to throw Crittenden 
upon Breckinridge who, as has been seen, was covering Murfrees- 
boro with his right in constant jeopardy from any troops who might 
.advance by the Lebanon pike, holding Thomas in the center, 
ready to support him, and Negley s division in reserve to Thomas, to 
maintain connection between the right and left, in case the main body 
of the Fourteenth Corps should find it necessary to unite with Critten 
den in turning and breaking the Confederate right. In the next place, 
.and meanwhile, McCook was to hold the left in check, if possible, 
until Crittenden, or he and Thomas united, had performed the part 
allotted to that wing that of driving the Confederate right back upon 
its left. This would have turned every natural advantage against the 
Confederates, and, with Murfreesboro in possession of the Federals, 
the entire supplies of Bragg within their grasp, and his army thrown 
for the most part into a quadrangle, three sides formed by the lines of 
the Federal forces and Stone River, with its rugged bluffs, defeat 
would have been almost certain destruction. 

The dawn of the fateful day, Wednesday, December 31, 1862, 
was ushered in with a deep fog; this gave way, as the sun came up, 
to clouds less dense ; then this veil of nature was entirely lifted, the 
sun shone bright, and the air was balmy, till the contending hosts had 
rushed to the shock, and the smoke and stench of carnage began to 
rise upon the erewhile gentle breeze. A little after sunrise the battle 
opened in earnest on the left of the Confederate line, (north bank of 
Stone river), and raged throughout the day, with occasional lulls in 
the storm. So terrible was the onset of the Confederates upon Mc 
Cook coming, too, at a time when he had been lulled into a false 
security by the failure of Hardee to attack at daylight that the 
battle assumed an unfavorable aspect to the Federal army within 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 175 

h.ilf an hour; and soon the right was hopelessly broken, and the right 
center engaged in a deadly struggle so that the condition of affairs 
determined that Crittenden should not attack at all. This relieved 
Ilreckinridge from the present hazard; and, weak as was his force, in 
view of the line to be covered, portions of the division were transferred, 
from time to time during the day, to the left, to meet such exigencies 
as arose in the course of the battle. 

A portion of the Kentucky Brigade (the Sixth Regiment) was re 
moved, in the beginning of the engagement, to the left of the position 
hitherto described, and stationed immediately on the south bank of the 
river, a little in rear of a right line with the rifle-pits on the hill, and 
slightly in advance of Folk s right flank. The plain immediately be 
yond an old cotton field, skirted by a dense cedar wood was in full 
view of this regiment, while to the troops about the battery the posi 
tion in front of McCook was more or less plainly visible; and much of 
the dire conflict of that day was witnessed by this command, as it lay 
tnere, watching the issue of the struggle, and ready to contest the 
p.issage of the river, should the Federal arms prove victorious on the 
left and threaten Breckinridge from that quarter. 

But the grand events of that day have passed into history. The ex 
cellent plan of battle determined upon by the Federal General, by 
vhich natural obstacles were to be turned into advantages; the unac 
countable false security of McCook, at a moment when vigilance was 
nost to be expected, and by which the fine divisions of Davis and 
Johnson were quickly driven back, with frightful slaughter, while 
Sheridan suffered scarcely less; the attack of Polk, (supported by 
troops from Breckinridge), first upon Negley and Rousseau, then upon 
the entire Fourteenth Corps; the obstinately contested field; the terri- 
tle carnage ; and at last the uncertainty of the issue, when night fell 
upon the scene, these things have constituted the themes of many 
pens, and we need not attempt to treat more fully of them here. It is 
of one of the minor events in the great drama of the week, and its at 
tendant circumstances, that we have principally to do illustrating in 
a striking manner a peculiar phase of blindness which now, for the sec 
ond or third time during the war, lost to Bragg the opportunity to 
strike a decisive blow for the cause of which he was one of the chosen 
leaders. 

Some time before night the detached regiment of Kentuckians re 
turned to its place on the right of the battery; and, with the exception 
of a few artillery shots fired from an eminence on the right of the burnt 
house, Hanson was not, nor indeed was any part of the division, sub 
jected to annoyance during the evening. 

The next day, (Thursday, January i, 1863), was spent in almost pro- 



176 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

found quiet, the monotony being relieved only by the sound of distant 
cavalry fighting, an occasional artillery shot, and once in a while 
desultory firing of pickets. The Federals had been re-formed during 
the night ; but their movements were concealed by the nature of the 
ground and by forests at least from eyes so easily dazzled by the 
prospect of victory as to be insensible to the possibility of an American 
general s recovering from the effects of a disaster, and wresting triumph 
from defeat; and Bragg, probably deceived by the withdrawal of 
Hazen s brigade from the position which it had held in Crittenden s 
front line, and being under the impression that the Union army was 
ruinously cut up and retreating, telegraphed to Richmond that the 
enemy had yielded his strong point and was falling back ; that the Con 
federates occupied the whole field; that, in short, the victory was his. 
But the suspense among the troops was dreadful. Knowing less than 
Bragg pretended to know, but suspecting more, they felt that the issue 
of the battle was not yet determined ; and they waited anxiously for 
further developments. It became plain, early in the day, that, though 
repulsed on the left, the Federal army, or at least a large portion of it, 
was in the Confederate right front; and though a thousand rumors 
were afloat, to the effect that the show of organized strength was but 
for the purpose of enabling the main body of the army to draw off in 
safety, none of them gained credence to any considerable extent; for 
the dilatoriness and want of decisive action on the part of the com 
manding general argued doubt and perplexity rather than the con 
sciousness of victory. 

This gloomy New Year s day went by with the Confederate troops 
thus inactive ; and even before its noon the golden opportunity that 
comes so seldom to the leaders of armies had passed away from Gen. 
Bragg, and the mark of waning fortune was again upon the cause 
which he represented. The dispositions of the troops of Rosecrans 
were completed the snare was laid; and as the Federal army had 
nothing to lose but everything to gain by waiting, it waited but mean 
while it worked. The Confederate army waited, and hoped. About 
nightfall it was reported that some Federal artillery had been put in 
battery on a bluff, a little to the right of Breckinridge s center ; and 
an order came from Bragg that Hanson must move up and take it. 
This, as was known to officers of the division, would necessitate the 
crossing of the river, and the ascent of the bluff beyond, against what 
odds it was impossible to tell ; and that, too, in the gloom of night 
all upon insufficient knowledge of the exact topography of the position 
to be assaulted by this handful of men. Some explanations were 
vouchsafed to the commanding general, and the order was counter 
manded. There were perhaps at that moment fifty-eight pieces of 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 177 

ordnance in position along that bluff, with heavy supporting columns ; 
and Van Cleve s division was then south of the river and between 
Hanson and the point to be stormed. Grose s brigade, of Palmer s 
division, had been sent over in the morning to support Van Cleve, 
(or rather, Col. Beatty, who was commanding in Van Cleve s absence); 
but Grose was withdrawn before sundown, to bivouac in the forest 
beyond and this was probably magnified by the scouts and spies into 
the statement that the whole advance force had been withdrawn, thus 
inducing Bragg to order a forward movement. 

The next morning, Friday, was dull, cold, cloudy, and as peculiarly 
dreary as the day before had been. Not a shot was to be heard along 
the extended space which had marked the lines of the contending 
armies two days before, and which, in part, they still occupied. There 
were few signs of animation in the Confederate ranks, and none that 
could be discovered among the Federals. Pickets and skirmishers 
were relieved in a measured and deliberate way, as though it were but 
the form that must be kept up in the presence of an enemy, there 
bi ing nothing to indicate to the rank and file that upon the vigilance 
of the moment depended the safety of the troops and perhaps the 
fate of a cause. 

In the Orphan Brigade as perhaps in all the rest the morning 
rr eal was leisurely dispatched, and the men relapsed into that half- 
stupid and half-restless state that is observed to pervade a body of 
troops under arms but without active employment. Some lay upon 
their blankets and gazed vacantly upon the scene ; others sat in groups 
and talked in a dull and listless manner. 

The more unquiet wandered from company to company as far as 
was consistent with the orders of the day; and all seemed oppressed 
by the sense of dreariness and uncertainty, and that partial freedom 
from the perils of impending battle which does not entirely remove 
from the thoughts the anticipations of the dreadful ordeal, but is still 
sutticient to allow of ennui. 

Before noon it began to drizzle rain, and fitful showers cold and 
benumbing imparted increased gloom and discomfort. But about 
i o clock came signs of a general waking up. There were shots at 
intervals along the line of pickets, and officers were riding out for 
reannoissance. It was reported before 2 o clock that Beatty s picket 
lint had been pushed up to a certain old house, near a fence, forward 
and somewhat to the right of the battery to which we have before 
alluded. The skirmishers of the brigade were relieved by detail at 2 
o clock. The special detail of the Sixth Regiment of Kentucky Infantry 
was put under command of Capt. Gran Utterback, who had orders to 
force his way up to the house in question, and burn it. He moved off 



178 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

promptly ; the old skirmishers were relieved ; and he found the Fed 
eral advance already up to the fence, just in rear of the house, and 
also to the right of it, in his front. A detail from the Twenty-first 
Kentucky Regiment, infantry, United States Army, were throwing 
the fence down, preparatory to a forward movement, or to prevent the 
Confederates from sheltering behind it. The captain began at once 
a vigorous attack, pushed back the enemy s line, and set fire to the 
building; but in the course of the action he was mortally wounded. 
Meanwhile an order had come to Gen. Breckinridge directing, in sub 
stance, that he must promptly move upon the position occupied by 
Beatty, plant his artillery upon that hill, and hold it. Grose had come 
back now, it must be borne in mind, and, with a strong brigade, was 
posted on and about Beatty s left flank for what purpose, and to 
what effect, in this attempt of the Confederate general to recover by 
one desperate venture, the advantages lost by delay, will be adverted 
to hereafter. 

Such was the train of events which had their emphatic denouement 
in the charge of Breckinridge s division on Friday afternoon of that 
terrible week in front of Murfreesboro. 

This officer had now about forty-five hundred men, infantry and 
artillery, exclusive of Pegram s cavalry, which was ordered to cooperate 
with the movement, and of one infantry regiment and Cobb s Bat 
tery which were left to hold Hanson s old position against the possi 
bility of being taken by troops that might approach by turning or 
avoiding the left flank of the assailing force, or the right of those corps 
now held in observation north of the river. 

The main body of cavalry which had been ordered to join in the at 
tack failed to come up in time ; but the order to Gen. Breckinridge 
was of such a nature that he did not deem himself allowed that dis 
cretionary power which would justify delay; and he made his disposi 
tions at once. The infantry, two batteries of the artillery, and the 
cavalry present, were put under arms, and the order to march was 
given. 

The point to be assailed lay obliquely to the right of Hanson, and 
his regiments were turned and advanced by the right flank across an 
open field, into some woodland, probably half a mile from the original 
position. Here the main body of the division had come up, and the 
whole was halted and aligned. Hanson occupied the extreme left, 
and his left was designed to touch upon the river bluff at the point of 
attack. When the alignment was made, this brigade stood in an open 
space a bit of depressed fallow land in an angle of a field. Inter 
vening between it and the enemy was an uncleared space, covered, for 
the most part, with sassafras and other brushwood, and with briars, 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 179 

and a little ahead was another open plat of ground, descending from 
the bushes, for some distance, then ascending to the line upon which 
the enemy lay. The general character of the ground along the whole 
division was undulating and broken by thickets, forest trees and 
i tatches of briars. 

The formation was but fairly completed when Hanson rode up, 
1 saving just left Gen. Breckinridge, and, accosting the colonel of the 
Sixth Kentucky, (which was to move in front of the extreme left), 
^ave the order of advance to this regiment in person, in full hearing 
cf the soldiers, who stood grimly waiting, at an order arms, for the 
next act in the drama. "Colonel," he said, "the order is to load, 
fix bayonets and march through this brushwood. Then charge at 
double-quick to within a hundred yards of the enemy, deliver fire, and 
go at him with the bayonet." " Attention ! " rang out the voice of the 
officer addressed a man whom such an hour served always to prove 
iar greater in every respect than in his ordinary seeming " attention ! " 
r.nd pulses beat quick and the men nerved themselves for the struggle, 
knowing that the decisive moment had comer Then came the load 
ing, that act in a soldier s life fraught with so terrible a significance 
then the order to carry arms and march, and they stepped off in line 
of battle. With low, cautionary commands, as the officers exerted 
themselves to preserve formation, the brushwood was passed, the line 
was dressed, the pieces were brought to a "charge bayonet," and 
then the order was heard along the line, caught up and repeated by 
fold, staff and company officers, "Forward! Double-quick! March!" 
and they dashed down the declivity. An obstacle, in the shape of a 
pond of water of unknown depth, threatened to check the progress of 
the left; but, by a quick command to avoid it by one of those dexter 
ous movements known to military men, and which was handsomely 
executed, they cleared the pond, closed ranks on the opposite side, 
sprang forward up the hill a few paces, and delivered fire. Then, 
with a loud shout, they rushed at the Federal advance. The latter re 
plied with a volley, having held their fire for close work; and as the 
assailants became partially broken by the fence to which we have re 
ferred, and which they struck obliquely, there was a momentary de 
lay, which the Federals on that part of the line improved by reload 
ing and firing again upon the advancing columns. The first volley of 
the Confederates, however, had been deadly, and the onset was so 
fierce, that the front line now broke and retreated on the second, by 
which time the pursuers were bearing down upon them in full career, 
and could not then be checked. But at this point some Federal ar 
tillery began a cautious but well-directed and steady fire upon the ad 
vancing columns, avoiding their own troops, and yet doing execution 



180 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

among the Confederates ; and, among others, Gen. Hanson fell mor 
tally wounded. But heedless alike of those who were falling now, 
and of the sure destruction awaiting them at the front, tl\ey rushed 
on firing as fast as they could load, and cheered amid the carnage 
and the din by the thought that perhaps now, even now, they were 
dealing the finishing blow to what had been begun on Wednesday, 
and that the disastrous effects of Perryville and the retreat from Ken 
tucky were about to be retrieved. The left wing of the Kentucky 
Brigade, striking the river first, as it ran obliquely and made a turn, 
so that, some hundreds of yards ahead, it came around almost di 
rectly in front, dashed into the stream, and reached the opposite bank, 
where some of them were captured, some killed and others escaped 
by striking abruptly off to the left and returning up the river when 
they found into what kind of toils they had been led. 

In the madness of pursuit all order and discipline were forgotten. 
In one instance a reserve regiment having full view of the manner in 
which the attack was made, became almost ungovernable through ex 
citement, and begged to join in the fray, which, from some mistaken 
notion of duty or misapprehension of orders, was allowed, and they 
came tearing down the slope by the river and intermingled with the 
front line. This proved in the end to be a most unfortunate circum 
stance. The turn of the river had the natural effect of crowding the 
ranks back towards the right and mingling them; and so, with the 
reserve troops that were thus thrown untimely forward, there was, in 
a few minutes, a mass of men huddled together upon this flank wholly 
disproportioned to the strength of the entire force. 

As the bluff beyond the stream began to be plainly visible, the Con 
federates were met by a well-directed oblique fire from the Eighty- 
fourth Illinois and Sixth Ohio regiments, of Grose s brigade, which 
had been stationed by that officer farthest in the rear, or, rather, so as 
to have formed the left of his line had the attack come from the quar 
ter where it was most expected the extreme right of the Confederate 
position. As soon, too, as the retiring Federals had well cleared the 
front, the Third Wisconsin Battery, also put in position by Grose near 
the regiments last named, opened furiously. As Beatty s Division was 
disappearing over the hill beyond, and the main body of the Confed 
erates were on the point of dashing wildly into the river, the very earth 
trembled as with an exploded mine, and a mass of iron hail was hurled 
upon them. The concentrated fire of more than sixty pieces of 
ordnance including the Third Wisconsin Battery was dealing death 
and destruction among them. Negley s Division had come up solidly 
to the front, along the line of the Federal batteries, and was pouring 
steady volleys into the disorganized and struggling mass. The rushing 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 181 

host had been checked in mid career, and now staggered back. The 
artillery bellowed forth such thunders that the men were stunned and 
^ould not distinguish sounds. " There were falling timbers, crashing 
.irms, the whirring of missiles of every description, the bursting of the 
dreadful shell, the groans of the wounded, the shouts of the officers, 
mingled in one horrid din that beggars description. In fact, no gen 
eral description can convey to the reader an idea of the terrible reality. 
ft is only the minute details of personal experience, through which 
single small bodies of troops pass, or in isolated facts, as the reader 
bears in mind that these, or something similar, were experienced by 
thousands of others, can he be impressed with the nature of the con- 
ilict that raged there, and the manner in which men inured to arms 
conduct themselves in the midst of such horrors. 

At a point near where such of Hanson s left wing as had not crossed 
the river were brought to a stand, there stood two great oaks, close to 
each other, and behind these a few men naturally sought shelter; but 
:hey had scarcely done so when bullets were cutting the bark from 
them at every cardinal point of the compass. The assailants, having 
] messed to the right, in following the course of the river, instead of 
taking it squarely as they came up, had now passed so far forward as to 
be abreast of where one of Crittenden s right regiments had a number 
of sharpshooters concealed in some old houses on the opposite bank, 
and these gave them a raking fire of small arms ; so that, front and 
llank, the air was literally burdened with flying projectiles. 

It seemed impossible for a man to live a minute in such a horrid 
hail of shot and shell; but there they stood, plying their rifles eagerly, 
while so dire was the confusion, so thunderous was the cannonade, 
that the long line of Federal rifles on the bluff, as they poured forth 
their volleys, could not be heard, nor could the whistle of their bullets, 
so close were the Confederates to the on-coming enemy. They knew 
of the flying missiles only as they struck into trees and men, or tore 
up the ground around them. There was a composure there as the 
composure of despair. Men put on their ordinary seeming after the 
first stagger it was the sober state succeeding the intoxication of the 
pursuit so suddenly checked. The wounded who were not wholly 
stricken down spoke calmly of their hurts and walked composedly away. 
The survivors looked upon the dead, and spoke to one another of their 
fall. It was, for a few moments, one of those appalling storms in 
which humanity sometimes finds itself without the hope of escape; 
against which it has no visible protection ; and yet, in which men 
nevertheless move and speak and from which many are finally saved. 
It is one of the unaccountable things of war how so many live and so 



182 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

few fall under some of the most desperate circumstances in which sol 
diers can be placed. 

To endeavor to press forward now was folly, to remain was madness, 
and the order was given to retreat. Some rushed back precipitately, 
while others walked away with deliberation, and some even slowly and 
doggedly, as though they scorned the danger or had become indif 
ferent to life. But they paid toll at every step back over that ground 
which they had just passed with the shout of victors. In addition to 
the execution done by the main body of the Federals, who had now 
become pursuers, they were terribly galled by Grose, who, in the main, 
had held his ground, and was pouring a destructive enfilade fire into 
the shattered column. 

Near the line where Beatty s division received the charge, the Con 
federates rallied and re-formed; but the Federals were in too close 
pursuit, and the new formation was too weak to offer any effectual re 
sistance, so it presently broke, leaving a part of the batteries for want 
of horses to carry them from the field. Cannoniers and animals had 
been almost entirely destroyed by the Federal artillery, whose fire 
they had attracted early in the action ; and retreat was so suddenly 
necessitated as to preclude the possibility of their being replaced in 
time to move the guns. 

When the Confederate troops had reached the line of rifle pits from 
which they had first started, and which were still held, in part, by 
Cobb s battery and the Ninth Kentucky Infantry, they rallied again 
and the pursuit ceased the Federals following but little beyond the 
original line of Beatty. 

It was now near nightfall and the evening was so cloudy that dark 
ness soon came on precluding the practicability of further active 
operations. The actual combat had lasted less than an hour. Gen. 
Breckinridge gave the whole time of the action as having been eighty 
minutes. It was stated by a participant that the time from the giving 
of the command " Charge bayonets" till the Confederates had been 
driven back to that line was forty-two minutes. But, in proportion to 
the number of combatants among whom the shock first occurred, the 
slaughter had been terrible. The Confederate loss was almost unparal 
leled in the annals of war ; while that of the Federals, as shown by 
their reports, was more than ordinarily heavy, considering the time 
that they were exposed to fire. But if the advance Federal division 
suffered in the onset, it was fearfully avenged at the last; for, in the 
short space of time mentioned, and chiefly during the last fifteen min 
utes, Breckinridge s loss, as stated by himself, was seventeen hundred 
men more than thirty-seven per cent. 

The Federal loss would doubtless have been far greater had it not 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 183 

been for the excellent disposition of Grose s men, which was so posted 
as to protect Beatty s left flank in case of a heavy assault there ; to re 
inforce his whole line conveniently, could he have withstood the first 
shock ; or, in case of a repulse, to cover the retreat and check pur- 
suit. After a temporary confusion, and the sudden flight of Beatty s 
division, as the Confederate right partially covered and bore down upon 
this brigade, it poured in a destructive and well-maintained fire, which 
had the effect of pressing the Confederate right wing back towards the 
center, much the same as was produced by the turn in the river on 
the left and causing an attempt to push obliquely past him after the 
retiring division. 

When the Kentucky Brigade had formed on the original ground, 
near Cobb s Battery, a hasty roll-call followed, and it was afterward 
ascertained that nearly every unhurt man of that renowned command 
was present to answer a remarkable and noteworthy fact, that even 
veteran troops should be so little affected by such a terrible reverse. 

" Here/ says an officer, ." we were joined by Gen. Breckinridge, 
\vho had come around from the right front, where he had gone to di 
rect in person some movement near the old mill on that flank. I 
never, at any time, saw him more visibly moved. He was raging like 
:i wounded lion, as he passed the different commands from right to left; 
but tears broke from his eyes when he beheld the little remnant of his 
;>wn old brigade his personal friends and fellow-countrymen ; and a 
sorrowful exclamation escaped his lips, to find, as he said, his poor 
( )rphan Brigade torn to pieces. 

Bragg at once made his dispositions to retire with as little loss of 
men, munitions, and subsistence as possible ; and Saturday night the 
evacuation began. Breckinridge s division remained upon the old line 
until the preparations were completed and the remainder of the in 
fantry had begun the march southward. When the movement of this 
division began, the Kentucky Brigade was selected as a special rear 
guard of infantry, and did not abandon the line until daylight Sunday 
morning. Thus terminated the great battle of Stone River. 

The official reports of Gen. Breckinridge and Col. Trabue are ap 
pended. The first gives, with sufficient minuteness, the operations of 
the whole division, of which the Kentucky Brigade formed so import 
ant a part, and makes mention of gallant Kentuckians who were serv 
ing on his staff, and were otherwise directly under his orders and 
his observation. That of Col. Trabue is a concise history of the 
Brigade during the week. 



184 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

HEADQUARTERS BRECKINRIDGE S DIVISION, ) 
January, 1863. j 

Maj. T. B. Roy, Assistant Adjutant-General 

SIR : I have the honor to report the operations of this division, of 
Lieut. -Gen. Hardee s corps, in the recent battles of Stone River, in 
front of Murfreesboro . 

The character and course of Stone River, and the nature of the 
ground in front of the two, are well known; and as the report of the 
general commanding will, no doubt, be accompanied by a sketch, it 
is not necessary to describe them here. 

On the morning of Sunday, the 28th of December, the brigades 
moved from their encampments and took up lines of battle about one 
and a half miles from Murfreesboro in the following order : Adams 
brigade on the right, with its right resting on the Lebanon road, and 
its left extending toward the ford over Stone River, a short distance 
below the destroyed bridge, on the Nashville turnpike; Preston on 
the left of Adams, Palmer on the left of Preston, and Hanson form 
ing the left of the line, with his left resting on the right bank of 
the river, near the ford. The right of Maj. -Gen. Withers, of Lieut. - 
Gen. Folk s corps, rested near the left bank of the river and slightly 
in advance of Hanson s left. 

Brig. -Gen. Jackson, having reported to me with his command, was 
placed, by the direction of the lieutenant-general commanding, upon 
the east side of the Lebanon road, on commanding ground, a little in 
advance of the right of Brig. -Gen. Adams. My division formed the 
front line of the right wing of the army; Maj. -Gen. Cleburne s divis 
ion, drawn up some six hundred yards in rear, formed the second 
line of the same wing; while the division of Maj. -Gen. McCown, 
under the immediate direction of the general commanding, composed 
the reserve. 

My line extended from left to right, along the edge of a forest, save 
an open space of four hundred yards, which was occupied by Wright s 
Battery, of Preston s brigade, with the Twentieth Tennessee in reserve 
to support it. An open field, eight hundred yards in width, extended 
along nearly the whole front of the line, and was bounded on the 
opposite side by a line of forest similar to that occupied by us. In the 
opinion of the lieutenant-general commanding, who had twice ridden 
carefully over the ground with me, and the general commanding, who 
had personally inspected the lines, it was the strongest position the 
nature of the ground would allow. About six hundred yards in front 
of Hanson s center was an eminence, which it was deemed important 
to hold. It commanded the ground sloping toward the river, in its 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 185 

front and on its left, and also the plain on the west bank, occupied by 
the right of Withers line. Col. Hunt, with the Forty-first Alabama, 
the Sixth and Ninth Kentucky, and Cobb s Battery, all of Hanson s 
brigade, was ordered to take and hold this hill, which he did, re 
pulsing several brisk attacks of the enemy, and losing some excellent 
officers and men. A few hundred yards to the left and rear of this 
position, a small earth-work, thrown up under the direction of Maj. 
Graves, my chief of artillery, was held during a part of the operations 
by Semple s Battery of Napoleon guns. 

In the afternoon of Tuesday, the soth, I received intelligence from 
Lieut.-Gen. Hardee, that the divisions of Cleburne and McCown were 
to be transferred to the extreme left, and soon after an order came to 
me, from the general commanding, to hold the hill at all hazards. I 
immediately moved the remainder of Hanson s brigade to the hill, and 
strengthened Cobb s Battery with a section from Lumsden s Battery 
and a section from Slocum s Washington Artillery. At the same time, 
Adams brigade was moved from the right, and formed on the ground 
originally occupied by Hanson s brigade. Jackson was moved to the 
vest side of the Lebanon road, to connect with the general line of 
;battle. 

All the ground east of Stone River was now to be held by one divis 
ion, which, in a single line, did not extend from the ford to the Leb 
anon road. I did not change my general line, since a position in 
advance, besides being less favorable in other respects, would have 
widened considerably the interval between my right and the Lebanon 
road. The enemy did not again attack the hill with infantry, but our 
troops there continued to suffer, during all the operations, from heavy 
shelling. Our artillery at that position often did good service, in 
diverting the enemy s fire from our attacking lines of infantry ; and 
especially on Wednesday, the 3ist, succeeded in breaking several of 
their formations on the west bank of the river. 

On the morning of Wednesday, the 3ist, the battle opened on our 
left. From my front, information came to me from Pegram s cavalry 
force, in advance, that the enemy, having crossed at the fords below, 
were moving on my position in line of battle. This proved to be in 
correct : and it is to be regretted that sufficient care was not taken by 
the authors of the report to discriminate rumor from fact. 

About half-past ten o clock A. M., I received, through Col. J. Stod- 
dard Johnston, a suggestion from the general commanding, to move 
against the enemy instead of awaiting his attack. (I find that Col. 
Johnston regarded it as an order, but as I moved at once, it is not 
material.) I prepared to fight on the ground I then occupied, but sup 
posing that the object of the general was to create a diversion in favor 



186 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

of our left, my line, except Hanson s brigade, was put in motion in 
the direction from which the enemy was supposed to be advancing. 
We had marched about half a mile, when I received, through Col. 
Johnston, an order from the general commanding, to send at least one 
brigade to the support of Lieut. -Gen. Polk, who was hard pressed, 
and, as I recollect, two, if I could spare them. I immediately sent 
Adams and Jackson, and at the same suspended my movement, and 
sent forward Capt. Blackburn with several of my escort, to Capt. 
Coleman and Lieut. Darragh, of my staff, with orders to find and re 
port, with certainty, the position and movements of the enemy. Soon 
after an order came from the general commanding to continue the 
movement. The line again advanced, but had not proceeded far when 
I received an order from the general commanding, through Col. John 
ston, repeated by Col. Grenfell, to leave Hanson in position on the 
hill, and with the remainder of my command to report at once to 
Lieut-Gen. Polk. The brigades of Preston and Palmer were immedi 
ately moved by the flank, toward the ford before referred to, and the 
order of the general executed with great rapidity. In the meantime, 
riding forward to the position occupied by the general commanding 
and Lieut.-Gen. Polk, near the west bank of the river and a little 
below the ford, I arrived in time to see, at a distance, the brigades of 
Jackson and Adams recoiling from a very hot fire of the enemy. I 
was directed by Lieut.-Gen. Polk o form my line, with its right rest 
ing on the river and its left extending across the open field, crossing 
the Nashville turnpike almost at a right angle. While my troops were 
crossing the river and getting into line, I rode forward with a portion 
of my staff, assisted by gentlemen of the staffs of Generals Bragg and 
Polk, to rally and form Adams brigade, which was falling back chiefly 
between the turnpike and the river. Jackson, much cut up, had re 
tired farther toward our left. The brigade of Brig. -Gen. Adams was- 
rallied and placed in the line across the field, behind a low and very 
imperfect breastwork of earth and rails. These brigades did not again 
enter the action that day, (which indeed closed soon after with the 
charge of Preston and Palmer.) They had suffered severely in an 
attack upon superior numbers, very strongly posted, and sustained by 
numerous and powerful batteries which had repulsed all preceding 
assaults. The list of casualties shows the courage and determination 
of these troops. 

Gen. Adams, having received a wound while gallantly leading his 
brigade, the command devolved upon Col. R. L. Gibson, who dis 
charged its duties throughout with courage and skill. 

Preston and Palmer being now in line, Preston on the right, Lieut.- 
Gen. Polk directed me to advance across the plain until I encountered 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 187 

the enemy. The right of my line rested on the river (and from the 
course of the stream would, in advancing, rest on or very near it), 
while the left touched a skirt of woods from which the enemy had been 
driven during the day. At the opposite extremity of the plain a cedar 
brake entended in front of Palmer s whole line, and two-thirds of Pres 
ton s line, the remaining space to the river being 1 comparatively open, 
with commanding swells, and through this ran the railroad and turn 
pike nearly side by side. It was supposed that the enemy s line was 
parallel to ours, but the result showed that, in advancing, our right 
and his left, at the point of contact, would form an acute angle. 

These two brigades, passing over the troops lying behind the rails, 
moved across the plain in very fine order, under the fire of the enemy s 
artillery. We had advanced but a short distance when Col. O Hara 
(my acting adjutant-general) called my attention to a new battery in 
the act of taking position in front of our right, between the turnpike 
and the river. I immediately sent him back to find some artillery to 
engage the enemy s battery. He found and placed in position the 
Washington Artillery. About the same time, Capt. E. P. Byrne re 
ported his battery to me, and received an order to take the best posi 
tion he could find, and engage the enemy. He succeeded in opening 
on them after our line had passed forward. 

A number of officers and men were killed along the whole line, but 
in this charge the chief loss fell upon Preston s right and center. His 
casualties amounted to one hundred and fifty-five. The Twentieth 
Tennessee, after driving the enemy on the right of the turnpike and 
taking twenty-five prisoners, was compelled to fall back before a very 
heavy artillery and musketry fire Col. Smith commanding, being 
severely wounded but it kept the prisoners, and soon rejoined the 
command. The Fourth Florida and Sixtieth North Carolina encoun 
tered serious difficulty at a burnt house (Cowan s) on the left of the 
turnpike, from fences and other obstacles, and were for a little while 
thrown into some confusion. Here, for several minutes, they were 
exposed to a destructive and partially enfilading fire at short range of 
artillery and infantry. But they were soon rallied by their gallant 
brigade commander, and, rushing with cheers across the intervening 
space, entered the cedar glade. The enemy had retired from the 
cedars, and was in position in a field to the front and right. 

By changing the front of the command slightly forward to the right, 
my line was brought parallel to that of the enemy, and was formed 
near the edge of the cedars. About this time, meeting Lieut. -Gen. 
Hardee, we went together to the edge of the field to examine the posi 
tion of the enemy, and found him strongly posted in two lines of bat 
tle, supported by numerous batteries. One of his lines had the pro- 



188 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

tection of the railroad cut, forming an excellent breastwork. We had 
no artillery, the nature of the ground forbidding its use. 

It was deemed reckless to attack with the force present. Night was 
now approaching. Presently the remainder of Lieut. -Gen. Hardee s 
Corps came up on the left, and with McCown s command and a part 
of Cheatham s prolonged the line of battle in that direction. Adams 
Brigade also appeared and formed on the right of Preston. The troops 
t>ivouacked in position. 

The commanding general, expecting an attack upon his right the 
next morning, ordered me during the night to recross the river with 
Palmer s Brigade. Before daylight, Thursday morning, Palmer was 
in position on the right of Hanson. No general engagement occurred 
on this day, the troops generally being employed in replenishing the 
ammunition, cooking rations, and obtaining some repose. 

On Friday, the 2d of January, being desirous to ascertain if the 
enemy was establishing himself on the east bank of the river, Lieut. - 
Col. Buckner and Maj. Graves, with Capt. Byrne s Battery and a por 
tion of the Washington Artillery, under Lieut. D. C. Vaught, went for 
ward to our line of skirmishers toward the right, and engaged those of 
the enemy who had advanced, perhaps a thousand yards, from the 
east bank of the river. They soon revealed a strong line of skirmish 
ers, which was driven back a considerable distance by our sharp 
shooters and artillery, the latter firing several houses in the fields, in 
which the enemy had taken shelter. At the same time, accompanied 
by Maj. Pickett, of Lieut. -Gen. Hardee s staff, and by Maj. Wilson, 
Col. O Hara, and Lieut. Breckinridge of my own, I proceeded to 
ward the left of our line of skirmishers, which passed through a thick 
wood, about five hundred yards in front of Hanson s position, and ex 
tended to the river. Directing Capt. Bosche, of the Ninth, and Capt. 
Steele, of the Fourth Kentucky, to drive back the enemy s skirmishers, 
we were enabled to see that he was occupying, with infantry and ar 
tillery, the crest of a gentle slope on the east bank of the river. The 
course of the crest formed a little less than a right angle with Hanson s 
line, from which the center of the position I was afterward ordered to 
attack was distant about sixteen hundred yards. It extended along 
ground part open and part woodland. 

While we were endeavoring to ascertain the force of the enemy, 
and the relation of the ground on the east bank to that on the west 
bank of the river, I received an order from the commanding general 
to report to him in person. I found him on the west bank, near the 
ford below the bridge, and received from him an order to form my di 
vision in two lines, and take the crest I have just described with the in 
fantry. After doing this, I was to bring up the artillery and establish 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 189 

it on the crest, so as at once to hold it and enfilade the enemy s lines 
on the other side of the river. Pegram and Wharton, who, with some 
cavalry and a battery, were beyond the point where my right would 
rest, when the new line of battle should be formed, were directed, as 
the general informed me, to protect my right, and cooperate in the at 
tack. Capt. Robertson was ordered to report to me with his own and 
Semple s batteries of Napoleon guns. Capt. Wright, who, with his 
battery, had been detached some days before, was ordered to join his 
brigade (Preston s). The brigades of Adams and Preston, which were 
left on the west side of the river Wednesday night, had been ordered 
to rejoin me. At the moment of my advance, our artillery in the cen 
ter and on the left was to open on the enemy. One gun from our 
center was the signal for the attack. The commanding general de 
sired that the movement should be made with the least possible delay. 

It was now 2:30 p. M. Two of the brigades had to march about two 
miles, the other about one mile. 

Brig.-Gen. Pillow having reported for duty, was assigned by the 
commanding general to Palmer s brigade, and that fine officer re 
sumed command of his regiment, and was three times wounded in the 
ensuing engagement. The Ninth Kentucky and Cobb s Battery, un 
der the command of Col. Hunt, were left to hold the hill so often re 
ferred to. 

The division, after deducting the losses of Wednesday, the troops 
left on the hill, and companies on special service, consisted of some 
forty-five hundred men. It was drawn up in two lines the first in a 
narrow skirt of woods, the second two hundred yards in rear. Pillow 
and Hanson formed the first line; Pillow on the right, Preston sup 
ported Pillow; and Adams brigade (commaded by Col. Gibson), sup 
ported Hanson. The artillery was placed in rear of the second line, 
under orders to move with it and occupy the summit of the slope as 
soon as the infantry should rout the enemy. Feeling anxious about my 
right, I sent two staff officers in succession to communicate with Pegram 
and Wharton, but received no intelligence up to the moment of assault. 
The interval between my left and the troops on the hill was already too 
great, but I had a battery to watch it, with a small infantry support. 
There was nothing to prevent the enemy from observing nearly all our 
movements and preparations. To reach him it was necessary to cross 
an open space six or seven hundred yards in width, with a gentle 
ascent. The river was several hundred yards in rear of his position, 
but departed from it considerably as it flowed toward his left. I had 
informed the commanding general that we would be ready to advance 
at 4 o clock, and precisely at that hour the signal gun was heard from 
our center. Instantly the troops moved forward at a quick step, and 



190 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

in admirable order. The front line had bayonets fixed, with orders to 
deliver one volley and then use the bayonet. 

The fire of the enemy s artillery on both sides of the river began 
as soon as the troops entered the open ground. When less than 
half the distance across the field, the quick eye of Col. O Hara 
discovered a force extending considerably beyond our right. I imme 
diately directing Maj. Graves to move a battery to our right and open 
on them. He at once advanced Wright s Battery, and effectually 
checked their movements. Before our line reached the enemy s po 
sition, his artillery fire had become heavy, accurate and destructive. 
Many officers and men fell before we closed with their infantry, yet 
our brave fellows rushed forward with the utmost determination; and 
after a brief, but bloody conflict, routed both the opposing lines, took 
four hundred prisoners, several flags, and drove their artillery and the 
great body of their infantry across the river. Many were killed at the 
water s edge. Their artillery took time by the forelock in crossing the 
stream. A few of our men, in their ardor, actually crossed over be 
fore they could be prevented, most of whom, subsequently moving up 
under the west bank, recrossed at a ford three-quarters of a mile above. 

The second line had halted when the first engaged the enemy s in 
fantry, and laid down under orders ; but very soon the casualties in 
the first line, the fact that the artillery on the opposite bank was more 
fatal to the second line than the first, and the eagerness of the troops 
impelled them forward, and at the decisive moment when the oppos 
ing infantry was routed, the two lines had mingled into one, the only 
practical inconvenience of which was that at several points the ranks 
were deeper than is allowed by a proper military formation. 

A strong force of the enemy beyond our extreme right yet remained 
on the east side of the river. Presently a new line of battle appeared 
on the west bank directly opposite our troops, and opened fire, while 
at the same time large masses crossed in front of our right, and ad. 
vanced to the attack. We were compelled to fall back. As soon as 
our infantry had won the ridge, Maj. Graves advanced the artillery of 
the division and opened fire ; at the same Capt. Robertson threw for 
ward Semple s Battery toward our right, which did excellent service. 
He did not advance his own battery (which was to have taken posi 
tion on the left), supposing that that part of the field had not been 
cleared of the enemy s infantry. Although mistaken in this, since 
the enemy had been driven across the river, yet I regard it as fortunate 
that the battery was not brought forward. It would have been a vain 
contest. 

It now appeared that the ground we had won was commanded by 
the enemy s batteries, within easy range, on better ground upon the 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 191 

other side of the river. I know not how many guns he had. He 
had enough to sweep the whole position from the front, the left, and 
the right, and to render it wholly untenable by our force present of ar 
tillery and infantry. The infantry, after passing the crest and descend 
ing the slope toward the river, were in some measure protected, and 
suffered less at this period of the action than the artillery. We lost 
three guns, nearly all the horses being killed, and not having the time 
or men to draw them off by hand. One was lost because there was 
but one boy left (private Wright, of Wright s Battery) to limber the 
piece, and his strength was unequal to it. 

The command fell back in some disorder, but without the slightest 
appearance of panic, and reformed behind Robertson s Battery, in the 
narrow skirt of timber from which we emerged to the assault. The 
enemy did not advance beyond the position in which he received our 
attack. My skirmishers continued to occupy a part of the field over 
which we advanced until the army retired from Murfreesboro . The 
action lasted about one hour and twenty minutes. As our lines ad 
vanced to the attack, several rounds of artillery were heard from our 
center, apparently directed against the enemy on the west bank of the 
river. 

About twilight Brig. -Gen. Anderson reported to me with his bri 
gade, and remained in position with me until the army retired. I 
took up line of battle for the night a little in rear of the field over 
which we advanced to the assault, and Capt. Robertson, at my request, 
disposed the artillery in the positions indicated for it. Many of the 
reports do not discriminate between the losses of Wednesday and Fri 
day. The total loss in my division, exclusive of Jackson s command, 
is two thousand one hundred and forty, of which I think one thousand 
seven hundred occurred on Friday. The loss of the enemy on this day 
was, I think, greater than our own, since he suffered immense slaugh 
ter between the ridge and the river. 

I can not forbear to express my admiration for the courage and con 
stancy of the troops, exhibited even after it became apparent that the 
main object could not be accomplished. Beyond the general good 
conduct, a number of enlisted men displayed, at different periods of 
the action, the most heroic bravery. I respectfully suggest that au 
thority be given to select a certain number of the most distinguished 
in each brigade, to be recommended to the President for promotion. 

I can not enumerate all the brave officers who fell, nor the living, 
who nobly did their duty. Yet I may be permitted to lament, in com 
mon with the army, the premature death of Brig. -Gen. Hanson, who 
received a mortal wound at the moment the enemy began to give way. 
Endeared to his friends by his private virtues, and to his command by 



192 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

the vigilance with which he guarded its interest and honor, he was, by 
the universal testimony of his military associates, one of the finest 
officers that adorned the service of the Confederate States. Upon his 
fall the command devolved on Col. Trabue, who, in another organiza 
tion, had long and ably commanded most of the regiments composing 
the brigade. 

I can not close without expressing my obligations to the gentlemen 
of my staff. This is no formal acknowledgment. I can never forget 
that during all the operations they were ever prompt and cheerful, by 
night and day, in conveying orders, conducting to their positions regi 
ments and brigades, rallying troops on the field, and, indeed, in the 
discharge of every duty. It gives me pleasure to name Lieut. -Col. 
Buckner, assistant adjutant-general, who was absent on leave, but re 
turned upon the first rumor of battle; Col. O Hara, acting adjutant- 
general; Lieut. Breckinridge, aide-de-camp; Maj. Graves, chief of 
artillery, twice wounded and his horse shot under him ; Maj. Wilson, 
assistant inspector-general, horse shot; Capt. Semple, ordnance officer; 
Lieut. Darragh, severely wounded. Captains Mastin and Coleman, 
of my volunteer staff, were active and efficient. The former had his 
horse killed under him. 

Doctors Heustis and Pendleton, chief surgeon and medical inspector, 
were unremitting in attention to the wounded. Dr. Stanhope Breck 
inridge, assistant surgeon, accompanied my headquarters, and pursued 
his duties through the fire of Wednesday. Mr. Buckner and Mr. 
Zantzinger, of Kentucky, attached themselves to me for the occasion, 
and were active and zealous. Capt. Blackburn, commanding my 
escort, ever cool and vigilant, rendered essential service, and made 
several bold reconnoissances. Charles Choutard, of the escort, acting 
as my orderly on Wednesday, displayed much gallantry and intelli 
gence. 

The army retired before daybreak on the morning of the 4th of Janu 
ary. My division, moving on the Manchester road, was the rear of 
Hardee s Corps. The Ninth Kentucky, Forty-first Alabama, and 
Cobb s Battery, all under the command of Col. Hunt, formed a special 
rear-guard. The enemy did not follow us. 

My acknowledgments are due to Col. J. Stoddard Johnston, Lieut. - 
Col. Brent, and Lieut. -Col. Garner, of Gen. Bragg s staff, and to Maj. 
Pickett, of Lieut. -Gen. Hardee s staff, for services on Friday, the 2d 
of January. 

Respectfully, your obedient servant, 

JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE, 

Maj or- General, C. S. A~ 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 193 

HEADQUARTERS KENTUCKY BRIGADE, 

TULLAHOMA, Jan. 15, 1863. 

Col. T. OHara, A. A. G. 

SIR : The untimely fall of the gallant and lamented Hanson, briga 
dier-general commanding this brigade, in the engagement on Friday, 
the 2d instant, at Stone River, imposes on me the duty of reporting, to 
the extent of my knowledge, the operations of the brigade prior to and 
after his fall, in the battle before that place. 

On Sunday, the brigade having received orders to that effect, marched 
from their camp in rear of Murfreesboro , at eight o clock A. M., to the 
position in the front line of battle indicated for our occupation. This 
brigade formed the left of Gen. Breckinridge s Division, and in line 
rested with its left on or near Stone River, extending eastward until 
the right was united to Col. Palmer s Brigade. The position first 
taken up (the exact line not having been pointed out) was along the 
skirt of woods in rear of the open fields, east and south of Stone River, 
which afforded, by the existence of a small ridge running parallel with 
the front, and a consequent depression in rear, very good protection; 
against the enemy s long-range artillery. 

On Monday, Semple s Battery of six Napoleon guns, furnished by 
the chief of artillery, was placed on the crest immediately in front of the 
right wing, and Cobb s Battery was held to be placed later. Thus 
formed in line, the Fourth Kentucky was on the right ; Second Ken 
tucky, Maj. Hewitt, second; Forty-first Alabama, Col. Talbird, third; 
Sixth Kentucky, Col. Lewis, fourth; and Ninth Kentucky on the left, 
Col. Hunt. 

On Monday evening it was perceived that the enemy meant to occupy 
immediately all the advantageous positions in our front, of which he 
could possess himself, for artillery. A prominent elevation existed one 
thousand yards in front of our left, which Gen. Breckinridge desired 
we should hold, notwithstanding it was liable to assault, being isolated 
one thousand yards in front of our lines. To this end, Col. Hunt, with 
the Ninth Kentucky; Col. Lewis, Sixth Kentucky; Lieut.-Col. Stan- 
sil, Forty-first Alabama, and Cobb s Battery, were ordered to occupy 
it. Throwing out skirmishers, they were soon engaged with those of 
the enemy. The force above named was then moved up to the front, 
in support of the skirmishers, and succeeded in establishing Cobb s 
Battery on the eminence. This was not accomplished without the loss 
of two valuable officers, Lieutenants Beale and Kennard, of Co. D, 
Ninth Kentucky the former severely, the latter slightly wounded. 
By this time it was dark, when the enemy endeavored, in a spirited 
effort, to retake the position, rapidly driving in our skirmishers, and 
approaching to within a few yards of the battery. This attempt was. 

13 



194 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

frustrated by promptly advancing the Forty-first Alabama, under Lieut. 
Col. Stansil, when the enemy were driven off in confusion, leaving two 
of their dead near the battery. Our loss here amounted to not less 
than ten wounded, falling mainly on the Sixth Kentucky and Cobb s 
Battery, among whom was Lieut. Holman, Sixth Kentucky. 

On Tuesday night these regiments were withdrawn, and I, with the 
Second and Fourth Kentucky, and Cobb s Battery, occupied this posi 
tion. It was deemed of the last importance to hold this hill, and 
orders were received to do so at all hazards, it being called the key of 
the battlefield. 

On Wednesday evening the entire brigade was brought up, having 
been reenforced by a section of Lumsden s Battery, commanded by 
Lieut. Chalaron, and a section of the Washington Artillery, commanded 
by Lieut. Tarrant; and Semple s Battery, having taken up a position 
six hundred yards in rear and left of us, a section of this battery re 
placed, for one night, Cobb s Battery. 

During the week which followed, we were kept here bivouacking in 
the mud and rain, and exposed to an incessant fire from the enemy s 
batteries and sharpshooters. A temporary and slight intrenchment 
was made, which, to some extent, protected the batteries, but the 
casualties at this place were not inconsiderable, amounting to fifty 
men, as stated above, and as will appear by reference to regimental 
reports. 

During the engagement of Wednesday time and again did the gal 
lant Cobb, aided by his not less gallant lieutenants, and the three 
sections before referred to, disperse the enemy s columns as they en 
deavored to succor that part of their force engaged with the right of 
the left wing of the army. Indeed, during every day of our occupa 
tion of this hill, our battery did signal service, frequently driving the 
enemy s artillery away, and often dispersing his infantry. All this 
while the brigade covered more than a mile of front, with skirmishers 
and pickets, using for that purpose from six to ten companies daily. 
These advanced to within one hundred yards of the enemy, in many 
places, and were hourly engaged. On this hill Cobb s Battery lost 
eight men. Col. Hunt, Ninth Kentucky, lost a most excellent offi 
cer killed his adjutant, Henry M. Curd whose death all lament; 
and wounded, Capt. Joe Desha, whose subsequent conduct elicited 
universal praise, together with Lieut. Lewis, Co. A, and Buchanan, 
Co. H, wounded, and three other officers and twenty-three privates. 
Col. Lewis, Sixth Kentucky, lost slightly here. Lieut-Col. Stansil, 
Forty-first Alabama, lost here two of his best officers and several men. 
The Second and Fourth Kentucky, though equally exposed, lost less 
at this point. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 195 

On Friday, the 2<i instant, at three o clock, the order came to move 
to the right and front, and form the left of the front line of Breckin- 
ridge s Division, to attack that portion of the enemy s left which was 
posted in the woods and ravines on the south side of Stone River, op 
posite the extreme right of our army, which was done. Col. Hunt, 
with his regiment, remained at the hill, ordered to support the battery, 
and six companies were kept out as before, on picket duty, thus leav 
ing us for the fight about twelve hundred men. Stone River, in front 
of this new position, runs nearly parallel with the new line, but inclined 
to the point occupied by the right of this brigade, when by a change of 
direction to the north, it runs for some distance nearly perpendicularly 
from the front of our line. At this point, whence the river changes its 
direction northward, is a skirt of woods and an elevated ridge, behind 
which, and in the ravines and woods, the enemy lay concealed. To 
the right of our line the enemy were likewise posted in a wood, thus 
outflanking us. A thousand yards in the front from this first skirt of 
woods is a ford of the river, while the bank of the river opposite us, 
between the ford and point of attack, overlooks the south and east 
bank. One mile further down the river is another ford, as I have 
since learned. This topography, as well as the enemy s strength, were 
wholly unknown to us. The two lines of the division having been 
formed, the signal for attack was sounded at four p. M., when the 
brigade, in line, moved steadily forward to the attack, with arms loaded 
and bayonets fixed, instructed to fire once and then charge with the 
bayonet. The peculiar nature of the ground and direction of the river, 
and the eagerness of the troops, caused the lines of Pillow s (formerly 
Palmer s) brigade and this brigade to lap on the crest of the hill, but 
the fury of the charge and the effective fire of the lines, put the enemy 
at once to flight. All in front of us that were not killed or captured ran 
across the river at the ford, and out of range of our fire, as did a bat 
tery which had been posted off to our right; and many of the infantry 
mentioned before as being on the right likewise fled across this ford. 
A part, however, of this force, double-quicking toward the ford, from 
their position, finding they would be cut off, formed in line to our 
right on a ridge, and not being assailed, held this ground meanwhile ; 
and from the moment of beginning the attack the enemy s artillery 
from the opposite side of the river directed on us a most destructive 
fire. Very soon, too, the crests of the opposite side of the river 
swarmed with infantry, whose fire was terrible. Thus exposed to the 
fire seemingly of all his artillery, and a large portion of his infantry, 
from unassailable positions, as well as to the flanking fire from the 
right, it was deemed prudent to withdraw. This was done slowly, 
though not in the best order, resulting mainly from the confusion con- 



196 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

sequent upon the too early advance of the second line into ground 
already too much crowded by the first. The lines were reformed 
about six hundred yards in rear of the river, and near the line from 
which we advanced to the attack. 

While thus engaged in reforming my own regiment, I received in 
telligence of the fall of Gen. Hanson, when I took command of the 
brigade, the other regiments of which had likewise been reformed. 
This brigade in the battle having advanced to within eighty yards of 
the ford, part of Col. Lewis Sixth Kentucky, and part of the Second 
Kentucky, having crossed the river a little to the left, when near the 
ford, slightly protected by a picket fence on this side, they fought the 
enemy across the river, until the rear having fallen back, made it nec 
essary to withdraw them also. I obtained returns on the field, show 
ing still in line more than half the men with which we started, not 
withstanding a loss of thirty-three per cent, killed and wounded. I re 
mained in line until 9 o clock, having replenished the cartridge-boxes, 
when I received orders to return to my original position on the hill, 
which was obeyed. We remained in this position until Sunday morn 
ing at i o clock, when, having been assigned the duty of bringing up 
the rear, we moved off with Col. Hunt s Ninth Kentucky, Forty-first 
Alabama, Lieut. -Col. Stansil, and Cobb s Battery, being detailed as 
special rear-guard. My pickets were withdrawn at 3 o clock A. M., 
ty Capt. Bosche, of the Ninth Kentucky, under direction of Capt. 
Martin, of Gen. Breckinridge s staff. 

I have thus briefly given you a report of the part taken by this 
brigade, omitting many details and incidents creditable to individuals 
and the command. 

In the absence of a report from my own regiment, Fourth Ken 
tucky, prior to the time when I took command of the brigade, I will 
state simply that both officers and men did their duty. Willis Roberts, 
major, was killed early in the action, by a grape-shot. Than he, 
there was not a more gallant officer; he had not recovered from 
wounds received at Baton Rouge. Lieut. -Col. Nuckols was wounded 
in shoulder near the picket fence ; Capt. Bramlett, First Lieut. Burn 
ley, Second Lieut. Higginson, Second Lieut. Clayton and Second 
Lieut. Dunn were killed; and Lieutenants Dudley, Robert Moore 
(since said to have died), John B. Moore, Lashbrook, and Thomson 
were wounded, together with privates and non-commissioned officers. 
One company, Capt. Trice s, being on picket duty, was not in the en 
gagement. The color-bearer, Robert Lindsay, being wounded, re 
fused to allow any one to accompany him to the rear, although bleeding 
at the mouth and nose. He handed the colors, on return, to private 
Jones, who was killed, when they were borne to the last by Joseph 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 197 

Nichols, of Company F. Thus it will be seen that of twenty-three 
officers of this regiment who went into the fight, seven were killed and 
six wounded. The command of the regiment was, on my assuming 
command of the brigade, turned over to Capt. Tho. W. Thompson. 

The detailed statement heretofore furnished show the casualties to 
have been as follows : 

KILLED. WOUNDED. MISSING. 

Second Kentucky 14 70 24 

Fourth Kentucky 12 47 n 

Sixth Kentucky 2 60 14 

Ninth Kentucky I 28 

Forty-first Alabama 18 89 35 

Cobb s Battery 3 3 

Total 50 297 84 

Total loss, 431. 

The conduct of Col. Lewis, Sixth Kentucky, and Lieut.-Col. 
Stansil, Forty-first Alabama; Maj. James Hewitt, Second Kentucky; 
Lieut.-Col. Nuckols and Capt. Thompson, of Fourth Kentucky, as 
well as that of the other field and company officers engaged, was gal 
lant in the highest degree, and the men repeated, also, the steadiness 
and courage which characterized them at Donelson, Shiloh, Baton 
Rouge, Vicksburg, and Hartsville. Lieutenants Stake, Benedict and 
Capt. Chipley, of Gen. Hanson s staff, bore themselves with exemplary 
courage. My thanks are due, too, to the medical staff, and to Capt. 
Semple, division ordnance officer, and acting Lieut. Presley Trabue, 
brigade ordnance officer, for their promptness in bringing up supplies 
of ammunition ; and to my adjutant, Robert Williams, of Fourth Ken 
tucky. 

I can not close this report without more especial mention of one 
whose gallantry and capacity we all witnessed with pride, and whose 
loss we and the whole army sincerely deplore I mean the gallant Gen. 
Hanson, who fell in the pride of his manhood, in the thickest of the 
fight, nobly doing his duty. His wound was mortal, and death en 
sued on Sunday morning at 5 o clock. 

Col. Hunt, Ninth Kentucky, though not in the engagement of 
Friday, deserves commendation for his conduct, prior and subsequent 
to that time, as do the other officers and men of his regiment. 

Respectfully, 

R. P. TRABUE, 
Colonel Commanding Brigade. 

P. S. The missing were those who went into the engagement but 
who were not seen to come out, and must have been killed or 



198 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

wounded. I find, also, I have omitted to mention that Lieut. -CoL 
Stansil received a severe wound in the leg, but did not quit the field, 
and still commands his regiment. 

It will be observed that Col. Trabue, having led his own regiment 
up to near the close of the engagement, and witnessed its casualties, 
mentions his wounded officers, in advance of regimental report from 
the commander who led it from the field. The reader is referred to 
the " Brief History of Individuals" for mention of those of the other 
regiments who fell there. 

Speaking of the affair with the enemy s skirmishers on the evening 
of December 29th, alluded to in the preceding report, a staff officer re 
marks, that "About four o clock on Monday afternoon, the enemy s 
skirmishers appeared, and Col. Hunt was ordered to move forward 
with Cobb s Battery, supported by his own regiment and two others, 
and hold a hill which was the real key of Bragg s position. At dusk, 
our skirmishers met the enemy and were driven back upon our line. 
A brisk encounter ensued, with the loss of several officers and men. 
The Federals approached so near that a member of Cobb s Battery 
was severely burned by the powder from a gun, from the discharge of 
which he was wounded, as he stood with his hand resting upon the 
limber of his piece. At this critical moment, Col. Hunt ordered a 
charge, which he led in person, and drove what afterward proved to 
be a Federal brigade across Stone River. Night closed in, enveloping 
our line in darkness not a fire being kindled. An order came about 
ten o clock for Col. Hunt to abandon the hill occupied, and take a 
new line farther back. I had known much of him, but never before 
saw him so restless and excited when not under the observation of the 
men. Just over the hill which loomed above us could be heard the 
busy axes of the Federal troops ; and who, for a moment, imagined 
that, with the coming dawn, they would neglect to occupy a position, 
the possession of which would render our line untenable ? About four 
o clock next morning he sent repeatedly for permission to reoccupy 
the hill, and not receiving a prompt reply, he assumed the responsi 
bility, advanced, and formed upon it. When daylight came, it was 
obvious to all observing men that the movement had saved our posi 
tion." 

A Federal account of the action says, that the number of guns 
massed on the bluff was fifty-eight, and that for full fifteen minutes 
they continued to pour their storm of shot and shell into the now 
broken division. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 199 

INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES : AT MURFREESBORO ; AND AT AND AFTER 

STONE RIVER. 

I. Preston s Coolness and Heroism. When Gen. Preston s 
brigade, in connection with Palmer s, made the attack on the enemy s 
left, December 3ist, as noticed by Gen. Breckinridge, having been 
ordered forward after the repulse of Jackson and Adams, it was on 
the right of Palmer, and nearest the river. It moved forward across 
the open field, with its flank exposed to the fire of twenty pieces of 
artillery, and the strongest position of the enemy s line. Preston or 
dered the Twentieth Tennessee to make a half-wheel to the right be 
yond the railroad, and it attacked with such dashing courage that it 
drew away the fire from his line advancing across the plain. The bri 
gade rapidly passed the plain, and, dauntlessly moving under the fire 
of the artillery, carried the wood. Preston had a staff officer (Ewing) 
killed by his side, and another (Lieut. Whitefield) severely wounded, 
who fell across his horse, covering him with his blood. The general s 
cap was struck with a shell, but he escaped without a wound. One 
of the regiments had broken ; but Preston seized the colors and rode 
before the line toward the enemy when, rallied by its officers, and by 
Whitefield, the standard-bearer seized his colors again, and the regi 
ment dashed forward over the plain and into the wood. 

II. Suffering -with Cold. After Sunday, December 28th, the 
week at Stone River was almost constantly inclement, and the suffer 
ing was great, particularly among those who at different times consti 
tuted the picket force that covered the position at night. On the 
night of Tuesday, December 3oth, it was extremely cold ; and as it 
was impossible to kindle even the smallest fire without attracting the 
enemy s attention, the pickets suffered almost to absolute freezing, as 
they quietly waited and watched, nearly motionless, for indications of 
the foe. " I thought," said one, describing his experience, " that I 
had been cold before; but I never suffered on account of wintry 
weather as I did that night." 

III. A Surgeon s Experience on the Field at Stone River. 
On Wednesday afternoon Capt. Jo Desha was brought to my ambu 
lance corps like a man dead from a shell wound. I ordered the nurse 
to put a cold-water compress to his head. I was so engaged for an 
hour that I could not give him my personal attention, but at the end 
of that time I went to look after my patient. He was gone; had hur 
ried back to the front and resumed command of his company. Cor 
poral Hawes, of one of Cobb s guns, had been detailed to serve with 
me as druggist for the Second Kentucky. When the firing began, he 
left me, saying: " Doctor, I must go to my gun. If I get killed, tell 
my sweetheart that I died like a hero." In two hours after that a can 
non ball took his head off. He has buried on Whayne s Hill, where 
he fell. Shortly after Breckinridge had made the desperate charge of 
Friday afternoon, a staff-officer on a black horse dashed up to the field 
hospital with an order: " Move up your ambulances at double-quick 
to yonder woodland," pointing to where the Orphans had gone in. 
There was now a mingled roar of continuous musketry and the thunder 



200 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

of artillery. An ambulance was hurried to Gen. Hanson. A brave 
surgeon of Louisiana artillery had found him near Graves s Battery, 
wounded with the cone of a shell. A cord was used as tourniquet, 
and he was hurriedly driven towards Murfreesboro . I met his ambu 
lance and gave him a stimulant; his aide, Capt. Steve Chipley, was 
trying to control the artery; Lieut. Payne was holding his head; Gen. 
Breckinridge rode up a few hurried but pathetic words passed be 
tween him and his wounded brigadier and then he dashed away to 
look after his lines. Hanson did not utter a groan or speak a com 
plaining word. When I had done the little it was possible to do there, 
he asked me to leave him with Chipley and go to the help of his 
wounded men. About this time we found Lieut. Geo. Burnley with 
his leg all shattered; and as he could not then be moved we put him 
in a sink-hole to keep him from being torn to pieces with the enemy s 
shot and shell. Dr. John O. Scott, (Second Kentucky). 

IV. "That s Our Flag !" As the Second and Sixth Regiments 
retired from the river (and from the opposite side, where those who 
struck the stream first had gotten), Col. Lewis, directed an officer of the 
Sixth Kentucky, in answer to a question, to try to rally the men and make 
a stand just north of where Semple s five Napoleons were then in battery. 
The subaltern endeavored to execute the order, and called on the few men 
then on that part of the field to dress on a flag with which a brave 
color-bearer was faced to the front and standing fast. While the officer, 
within a feet of him, was directing attention to a body of the enemy 
coming up the slope a little to the left front, he heard a snap as of a 
blow against hard wood, and a glance at the color-bearer showed that 
a splinter had been knocked from the staff and the man was pitching 
-over as though desperately hurt. He ran and seized the colors, but 
had hardly raised them when a soldier who had stood, firing, a little to 
his right, ran up saying, " That s our flag !" "Whose flag?" "It 
belongs to the Second Kentucky, sir, and I ll carry it ! " It was 
promptly placed in the hands of the brave fellow ; but as the officer 
was knocked over in a minute afterward, and was soon after a prisoner, 
he saw nothing more of the colors or the man. The flag of the Sec 
ond Kentucky was carried off the field, after four color-bearers had 
been killed within a space of about thirty feet, but whether this was 
the fifth man who took the banner and saved it, or whether he mistook 
somebody else s for his own, has not been determined, though inquiry 
has often been made. 

V. Must Be Killed With Due Formality. The following 
horrid parody of the form of sentence usually passed by courts-martial 
upon offenders condemned to death was perpetrated at Murfreesboro 
in the autumn of 1862 by three officers of the Sixth Kentucky, who 
had been detailed to examine and report upon the condition of a dis 
eased mule : 

" We, the undersigned, a board appointed to examine a sick mule, 
respectfully report that in our opinion the said mule will never be fit 
for duty, and we do hereby recommend that he be shot to death in 
the presence of the wagoners." 

VI. Sententious as Suvaroff. James P. Tolle, the chief mu 
sician of the Sixth Kentucky, had for one of his drummers John C. 
Valcour, of Co. G. He was a hard-headed, refractory soul, and one 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 201 

-morning Tolle became exasperated and shut off the wind of his nimble- 
sticks for an indefinite and threatening length of time. This was re 
ported to headquarters, whereupon came an order, duly headed, num 
bered and signed, to this effect : 

" The Chief Musician is hereby placed under, arrest for choking 
Valcour. " 

VII. Our One Military Execution. About the 4th of Decem 
ber, 1862, while the brigade was encamped near Murfreesboro , after 
its arrival from Knoxville, a young man of the Sixth Kentucky was 
found to be absent without leave. In a few days he was brought in 
under arrest, having been captured between that point and Kentucky. 
He was one of the corporals of his company ; had fought gallantly at 
Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Baton Rouge; and was every way a good 
and efficient soldier. Before a general court-martial convened in 
Folk s corps, December ist, and still in session when he was arrested, 
he was arraigned for trial on a charge of desertion. In the course of 
this trial it was brought out that in September or October, 1861, he 
enlisted for but one year, and that he did not hold the action of the 
regiment in reorganizing for the remainder of the war as binding on 
those who did not individually re-enlist, which he claimed he had not 
done ; that he was the son of an estimable widow with three daugh 
ters, for whose support and protection he had toiled living with them 
and making them his chief care ; that when he deemed it his duty to enter 
the army he provided for them a year s subsistence and left them all the 
money he could command; that he had expressed much solicitude con 
cerning them, and had at last told his messmates that he meant to go 
home and make further provision for them, after which he would return 
and resume his place in the regiment; and that his conduct up to this 
time had been exemplary. In spite of all this, however, and though ably 
represented by counsel, he was found guilty and adjudged to suffer 
death at such time and in such manner as the commanding general 
might direct. On the 2oth of December, Bragg issued an order ap 
proving the action of the court, and fixing Friday, December 26th, as 
the day on which he should be executed by shooting in the presence 
of the brigade. Personal pleading on the part of his officers and 
friends was of no avail, and on the 25th a petition was filed with the 
commanding general, asking suspension of sentence pending an ap 
peal to the President. This was signed by most of the commissioned 
officers of the brigade; but Bragg refused to grant it, alleging that de 
sertions were frequent in his army and that the law must be rigidly en 
forced. Gen. Breckinridge visited the condemned man in the Mur 
freesboro jail that night, and told him that his efforts and those of 
others had proved unavailing; and to Breckinridge he gave his pocket- 
book, requesting him to give it to his brother. Col. (afterward Gen 
eral) Lewis, and his captain and first lieutenant visited him on the 
morning of the fatal day, to have some last talk with him as his feet 
stood now upon the brink of eternity. Knowing him and feeling a 
comrade s interest in him, what a dreadful interview was that! With 
a yet lingering hope, but without communicating it to him, the three 
went again to Gen. Breckinridge to learn whether it were possible to 
move the commander ; but they found that Bragg was inexorable. 
The field officer of the day, charged with the execution of the sen- 



202 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

tence, had detailed from the brigade guard one lieutenant, one non 
commissioned officer, and fifteen men (three from each of the five 
regiments). Three of the fifteen rifles were loaded with blank 
cartridges, so that there were twelve containing balls, and out of the 
fifteen men twelve were selected and given a rifle, but no one of the 
detail knew whether his contained a bullet. A circumstance should 
be related here, as at least one of the actors is yet living, and his con 
duct that day should be recorded, that now and henceforth he may 
be known and honored of those who still believe that mercy should 
have been extended to this erring man. Two or three lieutenants 
were designated successively to command the men who were to do the 
shooting, as one after another begged not to be peremptorily ordered 
to do so, and was excused. At length that noble soldier and Chris 
tian gentleman, Lieut. G. B. Overton, of Co. E, Second Kentucky, 
was called and told that he must doit. " Colonel," he answered, 
" I ll give up my sword before I ll command that detail ! " He was 
allowed to go and another was found. 

The morning was cloudy, and at ten o clock the rain began to fall 
heavily. At eleven, the hour fixed, the brigade was marched to its 
drill ground and aligned to make three sides of a hollow square. The 
clouds were lowering and the rain still fell, adding dreariness to the 
horrid scene. The condemned man was brought out in an open 
wagon, surrounded by his executioners. A hearse with coffin followed ; 
then came the brigade officer of the day and some other officers on 
horseback. As the wagon passed near me I could see the pale but 
firm countenance; the somewhat unnatural glare of his eyes when he 
looked upon those fellow-Kentuckians with whom he had fought and 
suffered as bravely as the best; and the sternly closed lips. He was 
placed standing with his back to the open space ; his hands were 
bound, but he asked to be spared that last indignity, blind-folding, 
and so he stood looking full at the file of executioners ten paces in 
front of him. Gen. Breckinridge dismounted and went and talked 
with him a little, then bade him good-bye, remounted his horse, and 
rode out of the lines. The Lieutenant of the Guard, on horseback, a 
few paces in the rear, called out, " Ready! " The guns were brought 
in position for cocking, and click ! click ! click ! went the hammers. 
Then the order, "Aim! " and a dozen rifles were leveled at the breast 
of our poor comrade. "Fire!" The sudden crash reverberated over 
the field, and he fell back dead. He was placed in the coffin, and the 
company buried him in accordance with his request, beside a cousin 
who had died at Murfreesboro in the spring of 1862, when the brigade 
stopped there on its way to Corinth. 

It was a horrifying spectacle. It was said that when the young man 
fell Gen. Breckinridge was seized with a deathly sickness, dropped 
forward on the neck of his horse, and had to be caught by some of his 
staff. If so, it was to the credit of the knightly leader whose presence 
on the field of battle was an inspiration. " The brave are ever kind," 
and only the desperately obdurate can look on with cold indifference 
when a fellow-soldier is shackled and shot down like a common male 
factor. 

VIII. Col. Trabue at Stone River. As an instance of Trabue s 
perfect self-possession under the most trying circumstances, Capt, 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 203 

John B. Moore, of Greensburg, related the following : When the 
brigade, reeling out of the fight, had reached the top of the hill from 
which the first lines of the enemy had been driven, a storm of shot 
and shell from more than fifty pieces of artillery, parked on the bluffs 
near the ford, was sweeping the ridge, and death to every man seemed 
imminent. Col. Trabue sat here on his horse, and while giving some 
directions he chanced to see a Yankee bugle lying on the ground near 
by. There, said he to one of my men, pick that up, Nichols. 
We ll need that. And near this point, too, is said to have occurred 
a rather humorous incident, as such things would, even in the most 
trying hours. A soldier who seemed to have held on near the river a 
little longer than others, was now observed coming out, with rifle 
trailed, in a long gallop. His line of march naturally brought him 
near the colonel, who exclaimed: Halt, sir! don t run. You re in 
just as much danger running as you would be in a walk. The man 
stopped a moment, and, looking up rather quizzically, bawled out in 
the uproar, Oh, yes, Colonel, I know that ; but then, you see, we get 
(/7, vn 1 so much quicker! and instantly set forward with even accelerated 
speed for a more eligible base upon which to rally." 

IX. Not a " Butternut Cap n." Occasional instances oc 
curred in which the Kentuckians rather involuntarily made it manifest 
that they did not want to be mistaken for other people. Whenever the 
Orphans became convinced that this or that body of troops was thor 
oughly reliable and could be trusted to stand fast to their flank, or 
come promptly and gallantly to their relief in a crisis, their admiration 
was quickly kindled, and their praise unstinted, no matter what State such 
troops came from. The term " butternut" was applied to the walnut- 
dyed jeans which was much worn by the Confederate soldiers in the 
Army of Tennessee, and by a natural metonymy the men them 
selves were "butternuts." (This, by the way of explaining what 
follows.) One afternoon soon after the battle of Stone River, a young 
and rather gasconading Federal surgeon came into the temporary hos 
pital, where Dr. Lytle was dressing the wound of Lieut. Frank Tryon, 
of the Second Kentucky. The wound was a dreadful one, and the sur 
geon s work, albeit as carefully done as though the patient were one of 
his own blue-coats, was so painful that the sufferer seemed to be grind 
ing his teeth, while his face was almost livid, though not a groan 
escaped him. The visiting surgeon, standing with his back to the fire, 
with his legs apart like the Colossus, stopped his general chatter long 
enough to ask : " Doctor, is that a butternut cap n ?" Tryon forget 
his misery for the moment and turned his eyes on the questioner, and 
they flashed as he jerked out angrily, "No, sir! I m none of your but 
ternuts!" Lytle, who was a thorough gentleman, was quick to ap 
prehend, and he answered soothingly, " Oh, no ! this is a Kentuckian." 
That, of course, was to the point, and the sufferer relapsed into 
quiescence under his hands. Poor Frank ! the sore place that a sight 
of his aspect and his misery made on my heart as he lay near me, and 
where he died soon after, remains with me, though the years of a gen 
eration have passed since then. 



204 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 



CHAPTER X. 

FROM MURFREESBORO TO MANCHESTER. TO MISSISSIPPI AGAIN. EX 

PEDITION TO RELIEVE PEMBERTON. FIGHTING AT JACKSON. 

RETURN TO CHATTANOOGA. BATTLE OF CHICK AM AUGA. INCI 
DENTS AND ANECDOTES. 

After the disastrous repulse of Friday evening, the weary night was 
passed, by the survivors, in the cold rain, at the old position, extend 
ing the line of Col. Hunt to the right the men hovering over a little 
fire, except the line of pickets, or wrapped in wet, some in bloody 
"blankets, while those of their wounded comrades who had fallen last 
were left to suffer the horrors of a long winter night, in their clotted 
gore, alone and unattended, perhaps to die, or to fall into the hands of 
their enemies, little less to be dreaded than death. The morning 
that dawned upon the armies was scarcely less gloomy and cheerless 
to the Confederates than the night had been. 

The day passed almost listlessly ; then the enemy s advance, for the 
purpose of feeling the position, on the night of the 3d, varied hum 
drum misery by putting the Confederate troops under arms. Then, 
on the early morning of the 4th, the retrograde movement began, 
under dispositions of the Kentucky Brigade mentioned, by Col. Tra- 
bue. 

Breckinridge s Division proceeded to Allisonia; thence, on the 8th 
of January, to Tullahoma, with the exception of the Ninth Kentucky, 
which was left at Manchester, and remained there some weeks alone, 
when the other regiments were sent back to that place. 

Pending the decision of the War Department as to the promotion of 
Col. Trabue, to succeed Gen. Hanson, Gen. Marcus J. Wright was 
assigned to the command of the brigade, on the iyth of January. He 
continued with it but a short time, however, till it was ordered to Man 
chester, February 3, where it was under command of Col. Hunt till 
the arrival of Gen. Helm, who had been some time on post duty, on 
account of accident at Baton Rouge, but had now recovered sufficiently 
to take the field, and had been relieved from duty at Pollard, Alabama, 
to report to Gen. Breckinridge for assignment. He took command of the 
brigade on the i6th of February, and announced the following staff: 
Capt. G.W. McCawley,*A. A. G. ; Maj. Thomas H. Hays, A.I.G.;Maj. 

* See part IV. of this work. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 205 

John R. Viley, Chief Quartermaster; Maj. S. M. Moorman, Chief 
Commissary; Lieut. L. E. Payne, Ordnance Officer; and Capt. S. B. 
Shepp and Lieut. William Wallace Herr, Aides-de-camp. Capt. Fay- 
ette Hewitt, was added to the staff, on the i3th of May following, as 
A. and I. G. 

There was now a long period of comparative inaction. From the 
time of arrival at Manchester and Tullahoma little occurred to vary the 
monotony of camp life, save the expedients resorted to by the men to 
kill time with a certain amount of what they denominated enjoyment. 
The routine of drill and guard service, picket and police, by day ; 
dancing frolics with the girls in the neighborhood at night, or theatri 
cals and concerts in town, with the various amusements of the camp 
itself these duties were performed and these pleasures enjoyed ac 
cording to the tastes and dispositions of the men ; and these, for the 
most part, constituted the life of more than three months there. One 
little incident happened to create a more than momentary interest 
the capture of McMinnville, and some of a hundred men of the bri 
gade, who had been sent there on the 2oth of March to guard stores 
but military actions were rare with the infantry, and military achieve 
ments none. The cavalry under Forrest and Van Dorn was active, 
and, at Thompson s Station and Brentwood, in March, killed, wounded 
and captured almost the entire command of Col. Straight; but, up to 
some time in April, the infantry was allowed to rest ; and when move 
ments began, they were simply marchings and countermarchings, 
initiatory, as it proved, to the final abandoning of that line of defense, 
and even of Tennessee. 

Bragg s position was continually threatened, and picketing in force, 
with occasional movements apparently with a view to battle, took place 
during April and May. On the 23d of April, the Kentucky Brigade 
was sent forward to Beech Grove, twelve miles in the direction of 
Murfreesboro , and remained here till the first of May, when Gen. 
Helm was ordered to take position at Jacobs store, in the vicinity of 
Hoover s Gap Hardee s whole corps having been advanced in that 
direction. 

While here, the most noteworthy incident connected with the Ken 
tucky Brigade was its trial drill with the brigade of Gen. Dan Adams. 
A challenge had been made by Gen. Adams, and accepted by Gen. 
Helm, and it was arranged that four regiments of each should be 
drilled against each other, beginning on the igth of May, in the order 
of seniority of colonels. Matters were accordingly arranged, and, on 
the i pth, the Sixth Kentucky and Sixteenth Louisiana; on the 2oth, 
the Second Kentucky and the Thirteenth and Twentieth Louisiana 
(consolidated); on the 2ist, the Fourth Kentucky and Nineteenth 



206 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

Louisiana; and on the 220!, the Ninth Kentucky and Thirty-second 
Alabama were to contend for the championship of the Army not 
simply of the division, as it was matter of remark among Louisianians 
that Adams brigade was the best drilled in the Army of Tennessee, 
while Kentuckians retorted that they themselves could beat the world 
on any thing required of soldiers. This kind of badgering naturally 
produced great, but friendly emulation, and on the day of trial each 
strove to do his best, and show all his strong points to the greatest 
advantage. The Second, Fourth, and Sixth met their respective regi 
ments, and vanquished them the judges, who were the mutual choice 
of the parties, deciding, in every instance, for "old Kentucky." 
The Ninth was deprived of trial, as a movement was inaugurated be 
fore the day on which it was to occur, but no doubt existed as to favor 
able decision in its case. 

On these drill days a large concourse of people assembled to witness 
the display, and every thing assumed, for the time, a gala-day air of 
lively enjoyment. The generals of the Army of Tennessee looked on 
with pleased admiration as the splendid movements were executed; 
while the citizens, men, women, and children, manifested a most 
enthusiastic interest. 

On the 24th of May, Gen. Breckinridge marched, under orders, to 
Wartrace, where he was to take the cars for Mississippi, with all his 
force except the Tennesseeans, for the purpose of reenforcing Gen. 
Johnston in the attempt to relieve Pemberton, now closely besieged at 
Vicksburg. 

Orders had been issued that the men should have three days cooked 
rations in haversacks, and the Kentucky Brigade became impressed 
with the idea, by some means, that they were to go to Mississippi, 
though as yet no one not intimate at headquarters of division knew 
their destination. Their displeasure at the prospect of a return to a 
region where they had known little but want and suffering, in addition 
to the dangers they were always prepared to encounter, was great, and 
found vent in many expressions rather antithetical to good wishes for 
either Mississippi or Gen. Bragg. Gen. Breckinridge, knowing their 
feelings, appealed to Bragg to know whether he could not give him a 
brigade of Mississippians, who would naturally desire to return to 
their own State, and let the Kentucky Brigade remain where it would 
at least have the assurance of reaching Kentucky in case of a suc 
cess to the Confederate arms. Bragg left the matter to be decided 
loy Gen. Breckinridge himself, and in this dilemma he appealed to 
the brigade to know their choice. Having had them to assemble 
near his quarters, he explained to them the true state of the case. 
Though he made no allusion to the unpleasant feelings known to 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 207 

have been existing between himself and Bragg ever since the battle 
of Stone River on account of Bragg s attempt to shift the loss of 
the battle to the shoulders of Gen. Breckinridge the men seemed 
naturally to take this view of the case that to stay was to decide for 
Bragg, whom they really despised, while to go would be to sustain 
their own general ; and when called upon they voted without dissent 
to accompany him, and made their vote emphatic by the most en 
thusiastic cheering for Breckinridge, and expressions of their determi 
nation to stand by him through good and evil. 

They accordingly took the train on the morning of May 25th, and 
were transported to Jackson, Mississippi, in common with the rest of 
the division, where they encamped on the 3d of June, having pre 
viously remained, however, three or four days six miles from the city, 
at the point to which the railroad had been torn up some time pre 
viously by Gen. Grant. 

The entire division of Breckinridge was encamped at Jackson, while 
the rest of the forces, then under immediate command of Johnston, 
for the relief of Vicksburg the divisions of Loring, Walker, and 
French were stationed in the neighborhood of Canton. 

Gen. Johnston was now making the most strenuous efforts to get 
sufficient force in hand to raise the siege of Vicksburg, but the condi 
tion of Bragg in Tennessee was such as precluded the practicability of 
having reinforcements from that army, while affairs in Virginia no less 
demanded the presence of all the troops now in that department, so 
that he was compelled to labor long and under many disadvantages to 
gather up a detachment here, another there, and little by little collect 
even enough with which to make a hazardous venture beyond the Big 
Black, for an attack upon the land force investing Vicksburg. 

Breckinridge s division spent the whole month of June in the vicin 
ity of Jackson, picketing, fortifying, and in little else than thecommo.n- 
place routine. The condition of Gen. Pemberton had now become so 
critical, however, that delay was disaster, and though an advance on 
the part of Gen. Johnston was but a forlorn hope, it was resolved upon, 
and on the first day of July his troops were ordered forward. The 
march of fourteen miles that day was the most trying ever made by 
the command. The day was hot, almost to suffocation, and to add to 
the extreme difficulty with which the movement was effected, the 
roads were dry, and the sand rose in clouds to envelop the heated, 
panting column. Water was so scarce that even a reasonable supply 
could not be procured, and extreme thirst contributed to the fatigue 
and discomfort otherwise endured. Many fell out exhausted by the 
way, and some died of sunstroke. No one of the Kentuckians, how 
ever, suffered to that extreme. 



2C8 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

The command encamped that afternoon two miles west of Clinton, 
but resumed the march at three o clock on the morning of the 2d, and 
went to Bolton s Station, where it was again halted, and encamped 
early in the day. Then there was no further movement till the even 
ing of the 5th, at which time the division was moved six miles down 
the railroad and bivouacked in line of battle at Champion Hill; but 
next morning, Gen. Johnston having received information of the 
fall of Vicksburg, the return to Jackson began, and, on the after 
noon of the yth, the Kentucky Brigade went into camp on Pearl 
River, two miles below Jackson. 

On the morning of the pth, the approach of the Federals having 
been announced, the troops were placed in position, Breckinridge s 
division occupying the works between the Clinton road and the river, 
below Jackson, the Kentucky Brigade on the left of division, with its 
left flank resting on the river. The enemy appeared on the loth, and 
besieged the place. The Confederates improved their half-finished 
works, and the sharpshooters and artillery of both armies were thence 
forth engaged, more or less constantly till the lyth. Skirmishes between 
the advanced lines took place almost daily, and once during the week 
in which Gen. Johnston maintained his position there a heavy column 
of Federal troops made an attempt to break Breckinridge s center, oc 
cupied by Stovall s brigade, supporting Cobb s Battery. They were 
allowed to approach within short musket range, when Cobb opened 
upon them with grape and canister. Slocomb s Washington Artillery, 
of Adams brigade, on the right, was also in position to rake the 
enemy s left. The right of the Kentucky Brigade, as well as the left 
of Adams , and the entire front of Gen. Stovall, began an irregular 
fire of musketry ; but the dreadful discharges of the artillery could not 
be withstood. The enemy was instantly staggered, and, unable to 
advance, became confused, while the sweeping hail from the batteries 
mowed them down remorselessly till the living had escaped out of its 
deadly range, or made signs of surrender, to escape destruction. The 
only casualties to the Confederates were nine men of Cobb s Battery 
and three of Stovall s brigade, wounded; while the enemy lost two 
hundred killed outright, and two hundred and fifty wounded and pris 
oners. Five stands of colors fell into the hands of Stovall s brigade, 
and of the men of Cobb s and Slocomb s batteries. 

An attempt was made immediately to bring off the wounded and 
bury the dead, but even the litter-bearers were fired on, and it was not 
till the i4th that the Federal commander would consent to a short truce 
for the burial of his dead, when the horrid task of interring two hun 
dred mangled and now bloated corpses, the stench of which, at that 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 209 

hot season, was almost insufferable, devolved upon parties detailed 
from the various commands of Breckinridge s division. 

The enemy gradually extended his lines and assumed a more and 
more threatening attitude ; heavy skirmishing and artillery fire, having 
excellent range, occurring on both the i3th and :6th. Gen. Johnston, 
knowing his own weakness, and having ascertained the strength of the 
enemy, which he was not prepared to withstand, had taken the neces 
sary precautions, and on the i6th withdrew by pontoon (the bridge 
having been destroyed) to the left bank of Pearl River, and began 
his march to Morton. The Kentucky Brigade was the rear-guard of 
the little army, but was not attacked, as the enemy did not press the 
pursuit in force, evidently inspired with caution, lest Gen. Johnston, 
whom they always seemed to suspect of some deep design, even when 
he was performing a most perilous feat of escaping from the toils of 
an overwhelming and well-appointed force, should inveigle them into 
a snare. 

On the 1 8th, the brigade was encamped on Dead River, and re 
mained there till the 2ist, then moved about nine miles, encamping 
four miles east of Morton, and, a little subsequently, to the spot, some 
four miles from that point, which was afterward known as " Camp 
Hurricane." 

This march of forty or fifty miles was, on the whole, a wretchedly 
disagreeable one, both on account of the warm and sometimes rainy 
weather, and the extreme scarcity of wholesome water, as well as the 
nature of the country through which the march was made. Gen. 
Helm, in a private letter to his wife, wrote, on the 22d: " As usual, 
we are on a grand retreat, the sufferings of which, so far as I am per 
sonally concerned, are unparalleled in the war. We have to drink 
water that, in ordinary times, you wouldn t offer your horse; and I 
have hardly slept out of a swamp since we left Jackson. This is the 
sixth day, and we have not come much over forty miles. Our retreat 
is very slow and deliberate. The enemy have not annoyed us." 

Here a month of inaction followed ; the quietest, and with least 
duty to perform, ever enjoyed by the Kentucky Brigade. Gen. 
Breckinridge was then ordered to reenforce Bragg at Chattanooga. 
The division left Camp Hurricane on the 26th of August, and pro 
ceeded by rail and steamer, by way of Mobile, to Chattanooga, or 
rather to Tyner s Station, where the brigade went into camp on the 
2d of September. 

The health of the troops was now bad, and many of the division 
were consigned to hospitals; but those who were able for duty began, 
on the 8th of September, the initiatory movements to their part of the 
great battle of Chickamauga ; and after having marched and counter- 

14 



210 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

marched even more than is usually the case preliminary to an engage 
ment, they found themselves, on the i8th, in bivouac near the Chicka- 
mauga River, which was to be made classic on the next two days by a 
sanguinary contest scarcely paralleled in the annals of civilized man. 
As in previous instances, it is wholly impracticable to enter into 
minute inquiry as to the entire conduct of that battle, and the actions 
of various troops engaged. And even did the limits of our work ad 
mit, it would not be desirable, since we aspire to nothing of so compre 
hensive a nature. The following report of Gen. Breckinridge will en 
able the reader to understand the relative position of his division to the 
other divisions of the corps during the two days fighting, as also the 
position of the Kentucky Brigade of that division ; while the report of 
Gen. Lewis, following, records the special action of the brigade in 
question. It may be observed, however, that in August, Lieut. -Gen. 
D. H. Hill had reported for duty in the Army of Tennessee, and was 
placed in command of the corps of which Breckinridge s division 
formed a part. 

HEADQUARTERS, BRECKINRIDGE S DIVISION, ) 
D. H. HILL S CORPS, October, 1863. f 

Lieut. -Col. Archer Anderson, A. A. G. of Hill s Corps 

SIR: I have the honor to report the operations of my division 
in the battle of Chickamauga on the ipth and 2oth of September last. 

It was composed of the Second, Fourth, Sixth, and Ninth Ken 
tucky, and Forty-first Alabama Regiments, with Cobb s Battery, un 
der the command of Brig. -Gen. B. H. Helm; the Thirteenth, Twen 
tieth, Sixteenth, Twenty-fifth, and Nineteenth Louisiana, Thirty- 
second Alabama, and Austin s Battalion of Sharpshooters, with 
Slocomb s Battery (Fifth Washington Artillery), under the command 
of Brig. -Gen. Daniel Adams;* the First, Third, and Fourth Florida, 
Forty-seventh Georgia, and Sixtieth North Carolina Regiments, with 
Mebane s Battery, under the command of Brig. -Gen. M. A. Stovall. 

My effective strength was, of enlisted men, three thousand three 
hundred and ninty-five. Total, three thousand seven hundred and 
sixty-nine. 

At daylight of the i8th my command moved from Catlett s Gap, 
and that neighborhood, in the Pigeon Mountain, and the same after 
noon took position on the east bank of the Chickamauga, near Glass s 
Mill, and composed the extreme left of the infantry of the army. I 
immediately threw the Second Kentucky across the ford to skirmish 
with the enemy and reveal his position, the Sixth Kentucky being 
placed in close supporting distance at the mill. Adams brigade was 

*Gen. Adams was a native of Frankfort, Ky. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 211 

sent by order of Lieut. -Gen. D. H. Hill to a ford a mile and a half 
above, where the enemy, as the cavalry reported, threatened to cross. 
It was so late when these dispositions were made that nothing satis 
factory was developed that night. 

On the morning of the ipth Slocomb, with four guns, Cobb, with 
two, and the remainder of Helm s brigade, were moved across Glass s 
Ford to ascertain the position of the enemy, while the two rifled pieces 
of Slocomb s Battery, under Lieut. Vaught, took position on a bluff 
upon the east side of the stream. An artillery engagement ensued 
much to our advantage, until the enemy, who occupied the better po 
sition, brought forward a number of heavy guns, and showed the 
greater weight of metal.* While the engagement was progressing, I 
received an order from Lieut.-Gen. Hill to withdraw my command, if 
it could be done without too great peril, and take position about three 
miles south of Lee and Gordon s Mill, on the road leading from Chat 
tanooga to Lafayette, and so as to cover the approach to that road 
from Glass s Mill and the ford above; leaving a regiment and section of 
artillery to observe those crossings. 

The movement was made in good order, Col. Dilworth, with the 
First and Third (consolidated) Florida, and a section of Cobb s Bat 
tery being left in observation. Our casualties, which fell upon Slocomb, 
Cobb and Helm, were twenty-two killed and wounded. The loss of the 
enemy in killed alone, as shown by an examination of the ground after 
the 20th, was nearly equal to the sum of our casualties. Although the 
enemy was in considerable strength at the fords above referred to, the 
result showed that it was a covering force to columns passing down the 
valley to unite with the center and left of his army. 

Soon after taking up the new position, I was ordered to relieve 
Brig. -Gen. Patton Anderson s division, which was facing the enemy 
opposite Lee and Gordon s Mill. The troops marched rapidly, yet 
it was late in the afternoon before this movement was completed. The 
division was hardly in position when I received an order from the 
general commanding the army to move to the right, cross the Chick- 
amauga at a point farther down, and occupy a position to be indi 
cated. The division crossed at Alexander s bridge, and arriving 
between ten and eleven o clock at night at a field about a mile and 
a half in the rear of the right of our line of battle, bivouacked there by 
order of Lieut.-Gen. Polk. Remaining some time at Lieut.-Gen. Folk s 
campfire, I left there two hours before daylight (the 2oth) to place my 
command in position. During the night Gen. Polk informed me that I 
was to prolong the line of battle upon the right of Maj.-Gen. Cleburne. 
Conducted by an officer of his staff and Lieut. Reid, aide-de-camp to 

*This was the celebrated artillery duel of Maj. Graves, alluded to elsewhere. 



212 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

Gen. Hill, my division reached Cleburne s right a little after daybreak. 
Upon the readjustment of his line, I formed on his right, and became 
the extreme right of the general line of battle. Helm was on the left of 
my line, Stovall in the center, and Adams on the right, the last extend 
ing across a country road leading from Reid s bridge and striking the 
Chattanooga road at a place called Glenn s farm. The country was 
wooded, with small openings, and the ground unknown to me. Our 
skirmishers, a few hundred yards in advance, confronted those of the 
enemy. Our line was supposed to be parallel with the Chattanooga 
road. 

Soon after sunrise, I received a note from Lieut. -Gen. Polk directing 
me to advance, and about the same time Maj.-Gen. Cleburne, who 
happened to be with me, received one of the same tenor. Lieut. -Gen. 
Hill having arrived, the notes were placed in his hands ; by his order 
the movement was delayed for the troops to get their rations, and on 
other accounts. 

Dilworth, who had been relieved by a cavalry force late the preced 
ing evening, and who had marched all night, now arrived and took his 
place in line. At half-past nine A. M. , by order of Lieut. -Gen. Hill, 
I moved my division forward in search of the enemy. At a distance 
of seven hundred yards we came upon him in force, and the battle 
was opened by Helm s brigade with great fury. 

The Second and Ninth Kentucky, with three companies of the 
Forty-first Alabama Regiment, encountered the left of a line of breast 
works before reaching the Chattanooga road, and though assailing 
them with great courage, were compelled to pause. From some cause, 
the line of my left had not advanced simultaneously with my division, 
and in consequence, from the form of the enemy s works, these brave 
troops were at first, in addition to the fire in front, subjected to a 
severe enfilading fire from the left. The rest of Helm s brigade, in 
whose front there were no works, after a short but sharp engage 
ment, routed a line of the enemy, pursued it across the Chattanooga 
road, and captured a section of artillery posted in the center of the 
road. This portion of the brigade was now brought under a heavy 
front and enfilading fire, and being separated from its left and with 
out support, I ordered Col. Joseph H. Lewis, of the Sixth Kentucky, 
who succeeded to the command upon the fall of Gen. Helm, to with 
draw the troops some two hundred yards to the rear, reunite the 
brigade, and change his front slightly to meet the new order of things, 
by throwing forward his right and retiring his left. The movement was 
made without panic or confusion. 

This was one of the bloodiest encounters of the day. Here Gen. 
Helm, ever ready for action, and endeared to his command by his 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 213 

many virtues, received a mortal wound while in the heroic discharge of 
his duty. Col. Hewitt, of the Second Kentucky, was killed, acting 
gallantly at the head of his regiment. Captains Madeira, Rogers, and 
Dedman, of the Second, Capt. Daniel, of the Ninth Kentucky, and 
many other officers and men met their deaths before the enemy s 
works; while Col. Nuckols,* of the Fourth Kentucky, Col. Caldwell, 
of the Ninth, and many more officers and men were wounded. 

In the meantime Adams and Stovall advanced steadily, driving back 
two lines of skirmishers. Stovall halted at the Chattanooga road. 
Adams, after dispersing a regiment and capturing a battery, crossed 
at Glenn s farm, and halted a short distance beyond in an open field. 

When Helm s Brigade was checked, and I had given Col. Lewis 
orders in reference to his new position, I rode to the commands of 
Adams and Stovall on the right. It was now evident, from the com 
paratively slight resistance they had encountered, and the fact that 
they were not threatened in front, that our line extended beyond the 
enemy s left. I at once ordered these brigades to change front per 
pendicularly to the original line of battle, and with the left of Adams 
and the right of Stovall resting on the Chattanooga road, to advance 
upon the flank of the enemy. Slocomb s Battery, which had previously 
done good service, was posted on favorable ground on the west of the 
road to support the movement. 

The brigades advanced in fine order over a field, and entered the 
woods beyond. Stovall soon encountered the extreme left of the 
enemy s works, which, retiring from the "general north and sooth direc 
tion of his intrenchments, extended westwardly nearly to the Chattanooga 
road. After a severe and well contested conflict, he was checked and 
forced to retire. Adams, on the west of the road, met two lines of the 
enemy, who had improved the short time to bring reinforcements and 
reform nearly at a right angle to the troops in his main line of works. 

The first line was routed, but it was found impossible to break the 
second, aided as it was by artillery ; and after a sanguinary contest, 
which reflected high honor on the brigade, it was forced back in some 
confusion. Here Gen. Adams, who is as remarkable for his judgment 
on the field as for his courage, was severely wounded, and fell into the 
hands of the enemy. 

Lieut. -Col. Turner, of the Nineteenth Louisiana, was wounded, and 
the gallant Maj. Butler, of the same regiment, was killed. 

Stovall had gained a point beyond the angle of the enemy s main 
line of works ; Adams had advanced still farther, being actually in rear 

*Col. Nuckols received his wound while leading the Fourth, as skirmishers, 
and in conflict with a strong force of the enemy, some time before. 



214 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

of his intrenchments. A good supporting line of my division at this 
moment would probably have produced decisive results. As it was, 
the engagement on our right had inflicted heavy losses, and compelled 
him to weaken other parts of the line to hold his vital point. Adams 
Brigade reformed behind Slocomb s Battery, which repulsed the enemy 
by a rapid and well-directed fire, rendering, on this occasion, important 
and distinguished service. 

By order of Lieut. -Gen. Hill, my division was withdrawn a short 
distance to recruit, while the troops of Maj.-Gen. Walker engaged the 
enemy. My new line was about six hundred yards in advance of the 
position on which I formed first in the morning, with a slight change 
of direction, which brought my right relatively nearer the Chatta 
nooga road. Soon after taking this position, an attack was reported on 
our right flank. It proved to be Granger s corps coming up from 
Rossville, and threatening our right with a part of his force. 

At the request of Brig. -Gen. Forrest, I sent him a section of Cobb s 
Battery, under the command of Lieut. Gracey, who assisted hand 
somely in repulsing the enemy. 

At the request of the brigade commanders, the artillery of the di 
vision had been ordered to report to the brigades with which they were 
accustomed to serve. Cobb s Battery, from the nature of the ground, 
could not participate to its accustomed extent, yet, as opportunity 
offered, it displayed its usual gallantry. The excellent battery of 
Capt. Mebane, for the same reason, was able to take little part in 
the action. 

The afternoon was waning, and the enemy still obstinately con 
fronted us in his intrenchments. 

I received permission from Lieut. -Gen. Hill to make another 
charge. A line of troops on my right, and covering a part of my 
front, advanced at the same time. A portion of these troops obliqued 
to the right, and my line passed through the rest, who seemed to be 
out of ammunition, so that after moving a few hundred yards, the 
enemy alone was in my front. The division advanced with intrepidity, 
under a severe fire, and dashed over the left of the intrenchments. In 
passing them I saw on my left the right of Maj.-Gen. Cleburne, whose 
brave division stormed the center. 

Several hundred of the enemy ran through our lines to the rear, 
the rest were pursued several hundred yards and beyond the Chatta 
nooga road; of these some were killed, and a good many taken pris 
oners, but most of them escaped through the darkness. It was now 
night; pursuit. was stopped by order of Lieut.-Gen. Hill, and, throw 
ing out pickets, I bivouacked in line near the road. 

The prisoners taken by my command, of whom there was a con- 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 215 

siderable number, were allowed to go to the rear, since details could 
not be spared for them, and it was known they would be gathered up 
there. 

The division captured nine pieces of artillery. I am aware that it is 
usually the whole army, not a part of it, that takes guns from the 
enemy, and that often the troops who obtain possession of them owe 
their good fortune quite as much to fire from the right and left as to 
their own efforts. Yet I think it due to my command to say that in 
regard to six at least of these guns such considerations do not apply, 
and that they were taken without assistance from any other troops. 

My total casualties, as shown by official reports, were twelve hun 
dred and forty, of which number one hundred and sixty-six were 
killed, nine hundred and nine wounded, and one hundred and sixty- 
five missing. 

To Brig. -Gen. Stovall, to Col. Lewis, who succeeded to the com 
mand of Helm s brigade, and to Col. Randall L. Gibson,* who suc 
ceeded to the command of Adams brigade, the country is indebted 
for the courage and skill with which they discharged their arduous 
duties. 

The officers and men of the division, with exceptions so rare as to 
place in striking contrast to them the general good conduct sustained 
their former reputation, and were alike worthy of each other. 

To the gentlemen of my staff I feel sincere gratitude for the 
prompt, fearless, and cheerful manner in which they discharged their 
duties. 

Maj. Wilson, assistant adjutant-general; Col. Von Zinken, A. I. 
General, who had two horses shot under him; Capt. Mastin, A. I. 
General, who received a contusion from a grape-shot ; Lieut. Breckin- 
ridge, aide-de-camp, whose horse was shot ; Capt. Semple, ordnance 
officer; Lieut. Berties (Twentieth Louisiana), A. A. I. G.; Dr. Heustis, 
chief surgeon ; Dr. Kratz, on duty in the field, and Messrs. McGehee, 
Coleman, Mitchell, and Clay, volunteers on my staff, performed their 
duties in a manner to command my confidence and regard. 

One member of my staff I can not thank. Maj. R. E. Graves, 
chief of artillery, received a mortal wound in the action of Sunday, 
the 20th. Although a very young man, he had won eminence in 
arms, and gave promise of the highest distinction. A truer friend, a 
purer patriot, a better soldier never lived. 

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE-, 

Major- General, P. A., C. S. 



*Col. Gibson was a native of Woodford county, Ky. 



216 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

INDORSEMENT OF REPORT. 

In speaking of the final attack on the afternoon of the aoth, Gen. 
Breckinridge employs a phrase in a different sense from its ordinary 
meaning. He says: "I received permission from Lieut. -Gen. Hill to 
make another charge." The facts in the case are simply these : About 
3:30 p. M., or it may be a little later, I ordered another major-general, 
not of my corps, but who had been sent to report to me, to make the 
attack, telling him that Breckinridge s men, after their repulse, were 
scarcely in a condition to make another charge. He replied, "My 
division was sent by Gen. Polk as a support to Gen. Breckinridge, 
and, under my orders, I can do nothing more than support him." I 
then returned to Gen. Breckinridge, told him of this conversation, and 
asked him if his troops were ready to renew the attack. He answered, 
"Yes, I think they are." I then added, "Well, then, move promptly, 
and strike hard." The division responded to the order with a cheer, 
moved off in beautiful style, and made a most glorious charge. 

D. H. HILL, Lieutenant- General. 



HEADQUARTERS HELM S BRIGADE, 1 
BEFORE CHATTANOOGA, September 30, 1863. ] 

Major James Wilson, Assistant Adjutant General 

SIR: The death of Brig.-Gen. B. H. Helm makes it my duty, as 
senior colonel commanding, to report the part taken by this brigade in 
the action of the ipth and 2oth instants : 

On the afternoon of the i8th, the brigade took position on the 
right bank of West Chickamauga, near Glass s Mill, except the Second 
Kentucky Regiment, deployed on the opposite side as skirmishers. 

On the morning of the ipth, the command, with Cobb s Battery, 
crossed the stream. About nine A. M., a shot from the battery, into a 
house about five hundred yards off, where the enemy s skirmishers 
were concealed, excited an immediate response from the enemy fur 
ther to the right, followed soon after by a spirited artillery duel, in 
which Slocomb s Battery, also, which had, in the meantime, crossed 
over, participated, resulting in silencing the enemy. Soon, however, 
another battery of the enemy opened fire still farther to the right. In 
a short time, orders having been issued from Maj.-Gen. Breckinridge 
to that effect, the whole command recrossed the stream and moved to 
the Chattanooga road. Fourteen men of this brigade were killed and 
wounded on this occasion. From thence we moved toward Chatta 
nooga, to the position held by and relieving Deas brigade. About 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 217 

two hours after nightfall we reached a point one and one-half miles 
beyond Alexander s bridge, where we bivouacked until three A. M., 
2oth instant, when we were ordered to our position in line of battle 
one mile or more beyond and on the left of the division. We got into 
position and were ready to advance by about half-past five A. M. Soon 
after getting into position, one company from each regiment was, un 
der command of Lieut. -Col. Wickliffe, of the Ninth Kentucky, de 
ployed two hundred and fifty yards in advance as skirmishers. Be 
coming hotly engaged with the enemy, the Fourth Kentucky Regi 
ment, Col. Nuckols commanding, was ordered to their support. The 
skirmishers of the enemy, having the advantage in position, showed 
determination and kept up a rapid fire, wounding several officers and 
men before the advance of the brigade. Among others severely 
wounded was Col. Nuckols, by which his command was thereafter de 
prived of the services of this gallant and meritorious officer. 

Between nine and ten A. M., the brigade advanced in the following 
order, viz.: the Sixth Kentucky, Col. Lewis, and the Second Ken 
tucky, Lieut. -Col. Hewitt commanding, on the extreme right and left 
respectively. The Fourth Kentucky, Maj. Thompson, and Ninth 
Kentucky, Col. Caldwell commanding, on the right and left center 
respectively, and the Forty-first Alabama, Col. Stansil commanding, 
in the center. 

The enemy s fortifications did not extend the entire length of the 
brigade front, but the Sixth and Fourth, and seven companies of the 
Forty-first, in advancing, passed to the right and clear of them, con 
sequently fighting the foe on something like equal terms. This por 
tion of the command, with but a momentary halt and no hesita 
tion, steadily drove the enemy back to within one hundred yards of 
the Chattanooga road, when I discovered a battery of two Napoleon 
guns fifty yards beyond the road. Here I also discovered, for the 
first time, what the thicker growth of timber had prevented me from 
observing before, that the left of the brigade was considerably in rear. 
Neither a halt nor retreat at this time was, in my judgment, proper or 
allowable. So the command was given to take the battery, and it was 
done. Soon after crossing the road, Capt. McCawley, of Gen. Helm s 
staff, informed me that the general had been mortally wounded, near 
the position occupied by the left of the brigade. 

The right not being then under fire, I left it in command of Lieut. - 
Col. Gofer, and started, on Capt. McCawley s horse, to where the 
other portion of the brigade was. I encountered considerable diffi 
culty in reuniting the brigade, on account of the distance apart and 
the want of staff aid, having no one with me but Capt. Hewitt, and 
not him immediately, on account of the loss of his horse. Although 



218 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

not personally cognizant of the behavior of the left of the brigade 
previous to assuming command, yet I am warranted, by information of 
an entirely satisfactory kind, in speaking of it. Justice to the living, 
and affectionate memory of the dead, make it a duty and a pleasure to 
allude to their conduct in terms of praise. 

After advancing about four hundred yards, they encountered a 
heavy musketry and artillery fire in front, and also an enfilading fire 
from the left, which the failure of the command to their left, to ad 
vance simultaneously with Breckinridge s division, enabled the enemy 
to pour into their ranks. Besides, I am satisfied they were subjected 
to a fire on their right from the two pieces subsequently captured by 
the right of the brigade. Yet three several times this devoted little 
band charged the enemy, securely fortified and in a favorable position. 
Though necessarily repulsed, their frightful loss shows their constancy 
and bravery. Here the kind, pure, brave Brig. -Gen. B. H. Helm 
was mortally wounded, heroically doing his duty. Lieut. -Col. James 
W. Hewitt, in advance of his regiment, and showing a devotion and 
daring entitled to the highest commendation, was killed. Col. Cald- 
well was severely wounded, as usual, in his place, doing his duty. 
Robert C. Anderson, color-sergeant Second Kentucky, was killed upon 
the enemy s works, after having planted his colors thereon. Here fell 
many another officer and soldier, life images of Kentucky s old, re 
nowned, and valiant soldiers, true men. The blood of her sons also 
attest Alabama s chivalry and manhood. 

As soon as I ascertained the exact position of the left, I caused it to 
be moved, by the right flank, to the right, and in advance of where it 
was then, till the right of the brigade, under command of Lieut. -Col. 
Gofer, was met he having recrossed the road when I formed the 
brigade in line of battle nearly perpendicular to the road and to the 
enemy s works. About this time I received orders from Lieut. -Gen. 
Hill, through one of his staff, not to advance, but to await the arrival 
of fresh troops. In a short time Gist s brigade attacked the enemy, 
passing through my lines for that purpose, but was drawn back. Ec- 
tor s brigade then advanced, but, being unable to drive the enemy 
from his works, finally fell back, leaving this brigade again to confront 
the enemy. My men, though at this time nearly exhausted by several 
hours hard fighting, and suffering greatly for want of water, remained 
firm, no one leaving his place. After the repulse of the other two 
brigades, I was ordered to retire several hundred yards to the rear to 
rest the men, which was done in good order and without confusion. 

Late in the afternoon AValker s division advanced against the enemy, 
a portion of it attacking the same point the left of this brigade did in 
the morning. Being with my command about four hundred yards in 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 219 

rear at that time, and out of sight of the combatants, I could not see 
with what result the attack was made, though a short time thereafter 
Cheatham s division moved to the attack over the same ground 
U right s brigade, of that division, passing through the lines of this 
brigade. After some time had elapsed, and it appearing from the firing 
that no appreciable advantage had been gained, this brigade was 
moved forward, being on the left of the division. In advancing, it 
was discovered that the center brigade of the division lapped on mine, 
making it necessary for me to oblique to the left about two hundred 
yards. It was also necessary to advance the left more rapidly than 
the right wing, in order to get on a line more parallel with the enemy. 
Both these difficult movements were executed while marching through 
the woods, without any material derangement of the line, the com 
mand moving steadily and unfalteringly forward. 

Upon arriving in sight of the enemy s fortifications, the brigade 
rapidly charged upon them, driving them from their stronghold, in 
confusion, toward the Chattanooga road. The pursuit was continued 
across an open field till the road was reached, when, it being dark, I 
judged it prudent to halt, which met the approval of Lieut.-Gen. Hill, 
who, close after us, immediately came up. In passing through the 
fortifications, a number of prisoners were captured and sent to the 
rear. We also captured two pieces of artillery in the road, which our 
rapid pursuit of the enemy prevented their carrying off one Napoleon 
;md one James rifle. The nature of the ground (woodland) prevented 
Cobb s Battery performing the important part in this action he and his 
gallant company have so often done, and knew so well how to do 
though, in the afternoon, one section, under the gallant and faithful 
(iracey, was placed in position under Gen. Forrest. I refer you to 
("apt. Cobb s report for an account of their behavior on that occasion. 

I am not enabled to state the exact number engaged in the actions 
of the ipth and aoth. But one thousand three hundred is the approx 
imate number of officers and men, including Cobb s Battery. The 
whole number of casualties were sixty-three killed and four hundred 
and eight wounded. 

It would afford me pleasure to designate, by name, the officers and 
men who so gallantly fought on these two occasions, for, with very few 
exceptions, all did their duty; but to do so would swell this report to 
an inordinate size. However, I feel it to be my duty, and take pleas 
ure in the performance of it, to call attention to the conduct of the 
field officers of the different regiments. Lieut.-Col. Cofer, in com 
mand of the Sixth, after I took command of the brigade; Maj. Clark, 
of the same regiment; Maj. Thompson, in command of the Fourth, 
after Col. Nuckols was wounded ; Capt. Millet, senior captain, acting 



220 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

field officer, of the same regiment ; and Maj. Nash, in command of 
the seven companies of the Forty-first Alabama, all came under my 
observation. In each I remarked constancy, gallantry, and coolness. 
In the afternoon, Col. Stansil, of the Forty-first; Lieut.-Col. Wick- 
liffe, in command of the Ninth, after Col. Caldwell was wounded: 
and Capt. Gillam, acting field officer, of the same regiment, attracted 
my notice, and but confirmed the good account I had of them in the 
morning. Capt. Lee, of the Second Kentucky, though too unwell to 
endure the fatigue throughout the day, acted as field officer with his 
accustomed bravery in the charges made by the left in the morning. 

It is the highest praise I can possibly bestow on the officers of the 
brigade, to say they proved themselves, in nearly every case, worthy 
of their commands. 

Of the staff of Brig.-Gen. Helm, I take pleasure in bearing testi 
mony in behalf of, and making special mention of Capt. Fayette 
Hewitt, assistant adjutant-general. As soon as he was enabled to dc 
so, he reported to me, and throughout the entire action, after the death 
of Gen. Helm, as well as previous thereto, as I learn, he displayed 
coolness, gallantry, and judgment. 

Capt. G. W. McCawley, assistant inspector-general, promptly re 
ported to me the wounding of Gen. Helm, as before stated, at which 
time I got from him his horse, not having my own with me, when he 
returned to where Gen. Helm was wounded and remained with him. 
I am reliably informed that, previous thereto, he was in his place or 
the left, and acted bravely and efficiently. 

Capt. Helm, acting commissary of subsistence, though not compel 
led to do so, went on the field and did his duty. 

Lieut. William Wallace Herr, aide-de-camp, and Lieut. John B. 
Pirtle, acting aide-de-camp, reported to me as soon as the necessary at 
tention to their wounded general allowed, and thereafter acted gal 
lantly and faithfully. 

I inclose the several reports of regimental and battery commanders, 
together with a list of killed and wounded. 

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

JOSEPH H. LEWIS, 
Colonel Commanding Helm s Brigade. 

The Fifth Kentucky fought at Chickamauga in Kelley s brigade of 
Preston s division, and of course is not noticed in the preceding re 
ports. It behaved with conspicuous courage and steadiness and 
received honorable mention from both its division and brigade com 
manders. A number of the officers were specially commended in re 
ports. The following report of Col. Hiram Hawkins, commanding, is 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 221 

uublished here, as the connection of the Fifth with the other regiments 
of the brigade began substantially with this battle : 

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH KENTUCKY, } 
NEAR CHATTANOOGA, October 20, 1863. ) 

Lieut. Mastin, A. A. G., Kellers Brigade: 

SIR : As directed, I submit the following report of the operations of 
my command, on the ipth and 2oth ultimo, in the battle of Chicka- 
mauga: 

My position was on the left of your brigade, in line of battle ready 
for action on the igth; frequently shelled during the day. 

On the 2oth, marched in my position in line over the battlefield 
>ome three miles (frequently under fire and in range of shells and can 
ister from the enemy s guns), when we came up to the enemy in strong 
position on a range of hills. We were immediately ordered to charge. 
My men rushed forward, reserving their fire until within a very short 
range, and, after a desperate struggle, drove the enemy before them, 
and crossed the bridge under a heavy cross-fire from the left and very 
direct, and a cross-fire from the right, at least eighty yards in advance 
: f the brigade, driving the enemy from my front, when the command 
:>n my left rallied, moved forward, and drove the enemy from my left. 
1 then moved by the right flank and rejoined my brigade. The enemy, 
mil firing on me from the right, soon with great fury assailed my 
front. I ordered my command forward, swinging a little to the right, 
and again drove the enemy and crossed the ridge some forty paces in 
advance of the brigade, and nearly silenced the fire in my front, and 
uas directing my fire to the right when part of Col. Trigg s command 
passed to my left, covering part of my front. My ammunition being 
nearly exhausted, I ordered my men to fall back and rejoin the brig 
ade, and replenish their boxes with ammunition from the dead and 
wounded, as far as practicable. 

Col. Palmer, having been moved from the right to the left, placed 
my command in center of the brigade, which was ordered forward by 
the colonel commanding. Changing direction to the right, (it then 
being near dusk), we moved but a short distance, when a line of battle 
was discovered forty to sixty yards distant, who first announced that 
they were friends and then that they surrendered. Stealing this ad 
vantage, they treacherously fired upon us, killing and wounding several 
of my men and officers. Among the killed was Lieut. Yates, a brave 
and gallant officer. The same volley shattered the leg of Capt. Cal- 
vert, who has since died. 

My men, recovering from the temporary surprise caused by the 
treachery, reformed, and, with fixed bayonets, advanced on the enemy, 



222 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

joined by Maj. French, then by Col. Palmer, in conjunction with Col. 
Trigg, and captured two regiments of the enemy, who surrendered to 
Col. Trigg during Col. Kelley s temporary absence. As the column 
began moving with the prisoners a volley was fired into our ranks, 
causing a good deal of confusion, it then being nightfall. Many 
of the prisoners scattered. Col. Trigg s command moved off, leaving 
them. They would have made their escape had I not recaptured them 
{249, including three field officers). Moved them from the battle 
ground and turned them over to Lieut. -Col. Wade, except the three 
field officers, who were sent by Col. Kelley to division headquarters. 

My loss was fourteen killed on the field, seventy-five wounded, one 
captured, and one missing. 

Maj. Mynheir fell severely wounded while urging the men forward 
in making first charge. 

Capt. Jo Desha was wounded early in the action (shot through the 
arm near the shoulder) ; remained on the field with his company until 
the enemy was ours. 

Although this was the first time, with few exceptions, that my officers 
or men were under fire, they behaved with becoming gallantry and 
courage, never faltering when ordered forward. 

Lieut.-Col. G. W. Conner and Adjt. Thos. B. Cook displayed great 
gallantry and coolness, and deserve honorable mention. 

My company officers and men, with few exceptions, seemed to vie 
with each other in deeds of gallantry. 

Very respectfully, 

H. HAWKINS, 

Colonel Commanding Regiment. 

INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES : FROM MURFREESBORO TILL AFTER CHICK- 
AM AUGA. 

I. Danger in Loose Orders. We are indebted to a member 
of the Ninth Regiment for the following little incident, which shows 
that our honored corps commander, Gen. Hardee, entertained an idea 
that when danger was to be encountered, orders to Col. Hunt, at the 
head of Kentucky soldiers, should be cautiously worded, as, in case 
of doubt, he would be sure not to take counsel of fear, but would 
make things clear on that score, be the hazard what it might : 

While the brigade was at Beech Grove, Gen. Bragg directed Gen. 
Hardee to send him out with his own and another regiment towards 
Murfreesboro , with orders "to proceed as far as he possibly could." 
Gen. Hardee transmitted the order, as in duty bound, but imme 
diately rode over to Gen. Bragg s headquarters, and told him that it 
would never do to start Hunt with those Kentuckians towards Mur 
freesboro , with such an order as that, "for they wouldn t stop this 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 223 

side of hell ! " The consequence was, that, about midnight, while the 
boys were busy cooking and preparing to take an early start for that 
uncertain point, the order was countermanded. 

II. The Best Drilled Regiments in the Army of Ten 
nessee. At Beech Grove there was a beautiful piece of grassy bot 
tom land surrounded by smoothest green bluffs, which was set apart 
and used for drilling purposes by the various military bodies in the 
vicinity. On this drill ground about the middle of May occurred a 
grand match drill between the First Kentucky Brigade, commanded 
then by Col. Trabue and the First Louisiana Brigade, commanded by 
Gen. Adams. A good deal of friendly rivalry had existed between 
the two brigades, and all things being propitious, a challenge was 
given and accepted. Each brigade had the same number of regi 
ments, (five), and these were to match each other according to 
seniority, the contest to end with a match brigade drill. Col. John 
C. Brown, afterward Governor of Tennessee, and a colonel, whose name 
[ have forgotten, were chosen judges, and Gen. W. J. Hardee, um 
pire. The day appointed for the first contest arrived, and large num 
bers of the citizens in the country round about assembled on the 
grassy slopes, overlooking the drill field, to witness what was to be to 
them a strange spectacle and so on from day to day. The boys, ar 
rayed in their best uniforms, and officers with swords flashing in the 
sunshine, vied with each other in precision of step and celerity of 
movement in the evolutions taught in the " School of the Battalion." 
The contest was long and earnest, and finally resulted in the triumph 
of each of the Kentucky regiments over its competitor. (The Ninth 
Kentucky was deprived of trial by the brigades being moved before 
its day arrived, but it would have won.) The victory was the more 
gratifying to the Kentuckians because of the excellency of their 
Louisiana competitors; for there was no other body of troops in the 
western army which rivaled the Louisiana brigade in soldierly accom 
plishments. The Fourth Kentucky Regiment, commanded by Col. 
Joseph P. Nuckols, was pitted against the Nineteenth Louisiana regi 
ment, commanded by Col. Von Zinken, a Prussian and a splendid sol 
dier. His broken English on the drill-field was the source of much 
amusement to the boys. The intended drill between the two brigades 
was deferred from time to time, and finally declared off. Thomas 
Owens, (Fourth- Kentucky). 

III. Should Have Stood Pat. Co. H, Sixth Kentucky, had 
among its non-commissioned officers James M. Lee, of Bullitt County, 
who was a wag, a good soldier, and a general favorite. This story 
will be appreciated by gentlemen who have indulged in a certain game 
sufficiently to understand the allusion : As Gen. Johnston s troops 
were returning from Big Black that hot July day, after the unsuccess- . 
ful attempt to strike Grant s rear before he could compel the capitula 
tion of Pemberton at Vicksburg, the Kentucky Brigade was marching 
-as rapidly as possible with the expectation of camping somewhere near 
Clinton. The sand was deep, the water very scarce, (as previously 
noticed) ; and as the men struggled forward, enveloped in a cloud of 
dust, and almost suffocated, they were naturally anxious to know, from 
time to time, something about how far the hoped-for resting-place was 
yet in the distance. Meeting a citizen riding alongside of the panting 



224 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

column, some one in hearing of Sergt. Lee asked him how far to 
Clinton. " Four miles," was the answer. Having gone some dis 
tance farther they met another, of whom the same man asked again 
how far to Clinton. "Six miles," answered this one. Jim couldn t 
keep silent under this, but yelled out, as he puffed with fatigue, while 
his eyes lighted up with a momentary interest under the coating of 
sand which had settled over and around them : " By me sowl, Path- 
rick," (in imitation of an Irishman, though he was an unadulterated 
native), "by me sowl, Pathrick, why didn t ye stand? He s raised 
you two ! " 

IV. After Jackson: In Danger of Surfeit. While the brigade 
was at Camp Hurricane, Miss., summer of 1863, a considerable part 
of the daily ration consisted of roasting ears, which the commissary 
procured by impressment or purchase from the surrounding plantations. 
This would have answered admirably if merely additional to a fair 
supply of other food; but when other food was deficient in quantity 
and quality, and even the roasting ears, though in excess of the rest, 
had to be doled out, the reader can easily conceive that the food was 
hardly sufficient to keep up the daily and nightly supply of blood 
which the persistent mosquito took not only without leave but in spite 
of bitter opposition. As usual, however, the men made merry over it 
instead of cursing their hard fate, and the cry, when rations had to 
be distributed, was, " Come, draw your corn ! " and neighing was re 
sorted to as a reminder that they were hungry. After a time they came 
to complain with mock earnestness that they were not furnished oats, 
hay, or fodder they were in danger of taking the equine disease of 
surfeit, they said, for want of " long forage." 

V. How They Jollied Kelley. On Johnston s retreat from Jack 
son, noticed in the preceding chapter, the Military Court of the army 
lost orderlies and baggage, and at Morton the fact was communicated 
to Gen. Hardee, who advised that inquiry be made by circular letter 
through the commanders of divisions. The following reached the head 
quarters of Gen. Breckinridge : 

MORTON, Miss, July 28th, 1863. 

GENERAL : In the retreat from Jackson the wagon and orderlies of 
the Military Court of this army became separated from the court, and 
have not been found. At the suggestion of Gen. Hardee, I respect 
fully request that you have inquiry made for them through the limits 
of your command, and that, if found, you order them to report imme 
diately to the court at Morton. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

HENRY B. KELLEY, 
Colonel and Member Military Court. 

Thereupon circular letters of inquiry were issued to each of Breckin- 
ridge s commanders, who sent them to their subordinates to be indorsed 
with such information as they might be able to give. The one that 
reached Gen. Helm, then commanding the Kentucky Brigade, started 
from his headquarters with the following indorsement : Has anybody 
found a Military Court lying around loose ? " 

"FAYETTE HEWITT, A. A. G." 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 225 

The regimental commanders also made merry over it, and it came 
back indorsed as follows : 

" If this court understands herself (and she think she do), she haint 
seen that court. 

"JAMES W. HEWITT, 

" Lieutenant- Colonel Commanding Second Kentucky Infantry." 

" Narry sich as that about the Fourth Regiment. 

"JOHN A. ADAIR, 

" Colonel Commanding." 

" I hain t neither seen nor hearn of a thing like that. 

"JOHN W. CALDWELL, 

Colonel Ninth Regiment. " 

VI. At Chickamauga : Too Big a Wood-Chopping for the 

Major. At one time during the battle, as the brigade was pressing 
forward under fire, some troops belonging to another organization were 
coming back helter-skelter and meeting the Second Regiment, having 
met with such a reception from the Federal advance that they broke. 
Among them was a major whose appearance indicated that he was act 
ing on the plan of every fellow for himself and let the enemy s bullets 
take the hindmost. He came plunging towards Col. McDowell, who 
threw out his arms and caught him (hugged him, the boys said), ex 
claiming, "Hello, major! This is the biggest wood-chopping you 
were ever at, ain t it?" Old soldiers will recall how the term wood- 
chopping pretty fairly represents the repetition of volleys following 
each other in regular and pretty close succession. 

VII. Supposing a Case. During the heat of engagement on the 
second day, Sergt. Wm. W. Franklin, of Co. E, Sixth Kentucky, dis 
covered a man smartly in rear of the line, behind a tree, where his 
firing, if he fired at all, would endanger his own men. This man had 
previously made it apparent that he "wanted to live always," and 
Franklin objected to favoring him, so in pursuance of his duty as file 
loser, he ran and hauled him out, ordering him in no gentle terms to 
get into line. "Say!" cried the fellow, " didn t you see that cannon 
ball? Suppose it had hit me it would have killed me!" "Oh, sup 
pose!" replied Franklin, as he drew him into place, "suppose you 
were a pig, rooting in a potato patch ; but you re not ! " 

VIII. Spoilt His Beauty and Enraged Him. Konshatt- 
ountzchette, or Flying Cloud, of Co. H, Ninth Kentucky, the Mo- 
l.awk Indian chief who seemed to have chosen the life of a soldier of 
fortune, was a handsome man tall and symmetrical, with fairly good 
features. Occasionally he seemed to tire of conforming wholly to 
white men s ways, and would stalk about camp with his blanket over 
his shoulders and drawn about him Indian fashion, and wearing a 
head-gear of band and feathers. Being something of a curiosity and 
a good soldier withal, he was a favorite with the Southern peo 
ple wherever he chanced to make acquaintances, and was evi 
dently a little vain of the attention bestowed upon him by ladies. At 
Chickamauga, he was so dreadfully wounded in the face a consider 
able portion of the upper jaw being carried away that his features 



226 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

became distorted and his aspect rather hideous, and this seems to have 
enraged him. It was long before he was able to rejoin the command, 
but when he did so he manifested such a savage hatred of Federal sol 
diers that it was deemed unsafe to entrust a prisoner to him, a responsi 
bility which he seemed to court. 

IX. The Sang Diggers. Before the battle of Chickamauga, 
and while the Fifth Kentucky belonged to Kelley s Brigade, the men 
of the other Kentucky regiments occasionally saw it, and had their 
flings at what they considered a newer and less experienced organiza 
tion. There were jokes about their hurting themselves with army 
rifles and bayonets; they were squirrel hunters, butternuts, etc., and 
as most of them were from the mountain sections where ginseng at one 
time constituted a sort of staple of barter, they were dubbed Sang 
Diggers. After Chickamauga, however, where the Fifth Regiment, 
officers and men, behaved like heroes of a hundred fights, the vete 
rans gladly welcomed them as members of the brigade, and took them 
into full fellowship the regiment being now transferred from Kelley 
to Lewis. Most of them had really seen much service; but Chicka 
mauga was to them as to the major whom Col. McDowell moment 
arily checked, "the biggest wood-chopping they had ever been at," 
and here they proved themselves to be as good as the best. The term 
Sang Digger, however, stuck, because it seemed to strike the brave 
fellows themselves as being a good sort of designation ; and to this day 
the survivors recognize it as their own. They made it be an honorable 
title. 

X. A Passage at Arms with Gen. Breckinridge. While 
Bragg was maneuvering for position, preceding the battle of Chicka 
mauga, Breckinridge s division was encamped one day near a well- 
inclosed field, and its owner asked that its fences be spared. An 
order was issued accordingly; but soon another order came to prepare 
three days rations within a prescribed short time. The Kentuckians 
were poorly supplied with axes, and no suitable wood was in reach ; 
so, considering the last order so imperative as to supersede the first, 
they promptly pounced on the fence and made the necessary fires. 
The citizen reported at headquarters and Gen. Breckinridge rode down 
to the bivouac in a white heat and scolded, in rather unmeasured 
terms, calling the men, as they thought, "a lot of vagabonds and 
thieves." This was too much for the Kentuckians. They thought the 
exigences of the case justified the destruction of the fence, and they 
were angry and they nursed their anger until late in the afternoon of 
the second day of the battle which soon occurred. When the brigade 
had made its last charge and taken the fine battery near the road which 
they struck when they went over the Federal position, some of them 
ran one of the guns forward, and just as Gen. Breckinridge and staff 
reached that point, elated over the victory and congratulating the men, 
Eph Smith, of the Fourth Kentucky, sprang astride one of the can 
nons, swung his cap over his head, and cried out: "Gen. Breckin 
ridge, see what your thieves and vagabonds have stolen ! " This 
brought the General to a standstill and a shade to his brow, and he 
rejoined: " My brave boys, you misunderstood me ! I didn t say 
it. I said that people would consider you thieves and vagabonds!" 
That was enough. Breckinridge resumed his place in their affections. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 227 



CHAPTER XI. 

AT MISSION RIDGE AND TYNER s STATION. BATTLE OF MISSION RIDGK. 

RETREAT TO DALTON. INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES. 

After the fighting had ceased on the 2oth, as noticed in the preced 
ing chapter, the command bivouacked in line, a little in advance of 
the scene of the last engagement. Next morning skirmishers were 
thrown out, and the fact that the enemy had retired to Chattanooga 
became certainly known. The day was spent in collecting and at 
tending to the wounded, by details sent out for that purpose, till late in 
the afternoon, when the main body moved to within five miles of Chat 
tanooga, leaving a detail to bury the dead. Next day, September 2^d, 
the division marched over Mission Ridge, and lay on arms that night. 
It was confidently believed that the Federal works would be stormed 
during the night, or next morning, but the troops were withdrawn dur 
ing the 24th, to a position a little back over the crest of Mission Ridge, 
two or three miles from Chattanooga. Here a weary, monotonous, 
r.nd disagreeable period of two months was passed. The only shelter 
was, in most instances, a blanket stretched up in the manner of a tent- 
fly, while cold autumnal rains were frequent. Indeed, rainy, damp, 
and chilly weather prevailed nearly the whole time, and the gloom was 
oppressive. And generally, too, the poorest quality of food was 
issued, and in quantities that scarcely served to prevent the absolute 
gnawings of hunger. In this condition, the Army of Tennessee, in 
the main, passed the entire period intervening between the 24th of 
September and the battle of Mission Ridge ; but the Kentuckians, hap 
pily for them, escaped more than a month of this extreme hardship at 
the front. Chickamauga Station had been made a depot of supplies 
for the troops in the field, and the brigade was sent back to Tyner s 
Station, at convenient distance from Chickamauga, to guard the public 
stores from destruction by either secret enemies or raiding parties of 
Federal cavalry. The entire brigade went into camp at Tyner s Sta 
tion, on the 2 rst of October, whence a regular guard, consisting of 
daily details from each regiment, was constantly on duty at Chicka 
mauga till the i yth of November, when Col. Cofer was appointed to 
the command of the post at that place by Bragg, his own regiment to 
act as a special guard, and the Sixth was accordingly detached, and 
toc-k up quarters near the latter depot. At both Tyner s and Chicka- 
mnuga considerable preparations were made for protection against the 



228 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

inclemencies of the weather. The few tents that had been collected 
were supplied with simple chimneys (in the building of which the 
men had now become adepts), while those who could not be furnished 
with tents erected cabins, which were destined to serve them for but 
a brief period, though sufficiently comfortable for the coming winter. 

Gen. Helm having fallen, Col. Lewis, who was not only senior, but 
had won an enviable reputation for gallantry and the most unfaltering 
devotion to the cause, had been promoted to brigadier-general, and as 
signed to the permanent command of the brigade. His staff, as an 
nounced on the 4th of October, consisted of Capt. Fayette Hewitt, 
A. A. G.; Lieut. Sam. H. Buchanan, A. I. G. ; Maj. John R. Viley, 
Chief Quartermaster; Maj. S. M. Moorman, Chief Commissary ; Lieut. 
Lewis E. Payne, Ordnance Officer, and Lieut. H. Clay McKay, Aide- 
de-camp. 

Lieut. Buchanan had been recommended for promotion, and was 
afterward made Captain and A. A. G.; but he long continued to dis 
charge the duties of inspector, while Capt. Hewitt, an assistant adju 
tant-general, P. A., C. S., performed the legitimate service of his 
department in connection with the Kentucky Brigade. Maj. Vile} 
was assigned to the staff of Gen. Bate in December, when Capt. Wil 
liam S. Phillips, of the Fourth Regiment, was made chief quartermas. 
ter, and retained that position till the close of the war. During mos: 
of the time after Gen. Lewis assumed command, Maj. Moorman was 
absent on sick leave or post duty, and in such absence Lieut. D. C. 
Hughes was the acting chief commissary till Capt. Helm was assigned 
to that duty. And afterward, in the absence of Helm, Lieut. Fletcher 
Thompson was chief in that department of brigade. 

About this period an order was issued from the War Department 
providing for organizing the troops of the various States in separate 
commands, as far as possible, instead of the promiscuous arrangement 
heretofore existing. During the autumn and winter a number of indi 
vidual Kentuckians, who had been serving elsewhere, were added, 
by transfer under this order, to the different regiments of Lewis br - 
gade. 

At Tyner s Station, November 5, 1863, the Fifth Regiment Ker- 
tucky Infantry was transferred from Kelley s Brigade, Buckner s corps, 
to Gen. Lewis, taking the place of the Forty-first Alabama, which was 
tranferred to the brigade of Gen. Gracie. 

Some account of the recruiting and organization of the Fifth Regi 
ment will be found in the biographical sketch of Col. Hawkins. An 
account of the various field and staff officers of the first organization 
may be seen elsewhere in this work, and in the same connection the 
field, staff, and line officers of the regiment after its reorganization in 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 229 

the autumn of 1862. During the first year of the war it did constant 
arduous service in the Department of East Kentucky and West Ten 
nessee, and a detachment of it fought at Ivy Mountain in the autumn 
of 1 86 1. The entire regiment took a prominent part in the battle of 
Middle Creek, Kentucky, January, 1862, and, indeed, in all the 
operations of Gen. Humphrey Marshall s trying winter campaign at 
that period. At the battle of Princeton, Virginia, in which the Fed 
erals, under Brig. -Gen. Cox, were defeated, the Fifth Kentucky 
played a conspicuous part, and, indeed, virtually achieved the victory 
by one rapid and irresistible charge. We copy the following, from an 
account of the engagement which has fortunately fallen into our 
h.inds : " In May, 1862, Gen. Marshall s command moved up to Jef- 
fersonville, Virginia, and about a month afterward defeated a Federal 
force at Princeton. Gen. John S. Williams was in command of the 
advance, consisting of the Fifth Kentucky, Twenty-ninth Virginia, 
and Fifty-fourth Virginia Infantry, and a battalion of mounted men. 
Y\ hen the battalion developed the position of the enemy, Gen. Wil 
liams ordered a halt, and directed the Fifth Kentucky to take the front 
of the infantry force, (another regiment being front in the order of 
march,) thus giving it the post of honor and of danger. Two com 
panies were formed on the left of the road Col. May moving down 
aid directing the two thus formed, while the remaining eight were 
formed on the right of the road, under Col. Hawkins, and confront 
ing the main force of the enemy. At the proper command, the Fifth 
Kentucky charged forward and drove the Federals from every 
position in such rapid succession that the other regiments did not get 
up in time to fire a gun until they had been driven into the limits of 
the town, a distance of nearly four miles." 

After the order of Marshall, mustering out such of his twelve 
months troops as desired it, the ranks were again filled, as noticed in 
the sketch of Hawkins, and a new organization took place on the i8th 
of November, 1862. From this time, it continued on duty in the De 
partment of East Kentucky and West Virginia till July, 1863, when it 
left Abingdon with the other troops of Preston, and joined Buckner at 
Knoxville, in whose corps it remained until November, 1863, partici 
pating in the battle of Chickamauga, when, as we have seen, it was 
transferred to and became a part of the Kentucky Brigade in which 
no other organic changes took place, these five regiments surrender 
ing together at the close of the war. 

For the gallant manner in which the Fifth Regiment demeaned itself 
at Chickamauga, during the desperate fighting of Buckner s corps, the 
reader is referred to reports on preceding pages, where he will also 
find some striking facts connected with the final assault upon the stub- 



230 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

born Thomas, which, if more generally known, would redound greatly 
to the honor of the Kentucky soldiers engaged on that momentous 
day, and of the Kentucky generals commanding them and other 
troops. Buckner, immediately after the sanguinary but successful 
conflict of Preston s division, rode out beyond the enemy s works, and 
to the right, just in time to get a glimpse, in the deepening twilight, 
of Breckinridge s division already over the works of the last Federal 
force between Thomas position and the Chattanooga road, and the 
battle closed with the magnificent, we might say, unsurpassed fighting 
of these commands. 

On the evening of the 23d of November, after Grant had begun un 
mistakably to show his intention to move on Bragg s position, the Ken 
tucky Brigade (with the exception of the Sixth Regiment, left to guard 
Chickamauga and remove stores in case of accident,) marched to Mis* 
sion Ridge, and bivouacked near the point which it had occupied pre 
vious to its removal to Chickamauga. Next day, it was moved some 
what farther to the left, and began the preparation of breastworks. 
Before day, on the morning of the 25th, it was again moved, and this 
time to the extreme right, as a support to Gen. Cleburne. When the 
engagement began that day, the Kentucky Brigade was marched from 
one part of Cleburne s line to another, as danger threatened, with the 
exception of the Ninth Regiment, which was formed on the right of 
Smith s brigade, of Cleburne s division, to occupy open space between 
him and Gen. Liddell. The Federals advanced on this regiment, un 
protected by works of any kind, but were repulsed, with a loss to the 
Ninth of three men wounded. The other regiments, though under 
fire, were not closely engaged, as Cleburne s division held its own, as 
usual. A desperate charge was made on Gen. Smith, just on the left 
of the Ninth Regiment, late in the afternoon, but the enemy, five lines 
deep, was repulsed with great loss. 

But during the day the Federal forces succeeded in turning the left, 
and late in the evening broke the center, and the retreat to Dalton be 
gan. Cleburne s division, to which the Kentucky Brigade was now 
attached, and with which it remained till they reached Dalton, was 
perfectly in hand, and fell back in excellent order, rendering import 
ant service in covering the retreat, and punishing the enemy whenever 
he came near enough. Several skirmishes took place during the 
26th, as Cleburne moved so leisurely that it was dark before he had 
reached the little town of Graysville. He suffered little loss, however, 
of men or munitions, while he inflicted great loss on the enemy at 
Ringgold by masking batteries at a point from which they swept down 
the railroad, on which a strong column was advancing. No casualties 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. . 231 

whatever occurred in the Kentucky Brigade, though at one time a 
battery, just in the rear of it, was ambushed and fired into. 

The brigade lost its battery on the evening of the 25th, when the 
Confederate center was compelled to give way, but it was through no 
fault of Kentuckians, as it had been detached and was at no time dur 
ing the day dependent upon them for support. 

The Confederate rear reached Dalton on the 28th of November, 
the main body of the Federals retired into the valley of Chattanooga ; 
and soon the infantry and artillery of both armies were quietly settled 
in winter quarters, while the cavalry forces watched each other on the 
outposts, and disturbed the general stillness by an occasional skirmish 
or a raid. 



INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES. 

I. "Where s Our Battery ?" At no time after he set out on 
his Kentucky campaign, leaving the Kentuckians in Mississippi, was 
Gen. Bragg in favor with them ; and matters grew worse with each suc 
ceeding failure of his to avail himself of the fruits of victory, which it 
cost them so many of the bravest and best to win. It was a lack of 
true generalship for which he himself severely condemned Gen. 
Iteauregard after the battle of Shiloh. At Mission Ridge the Ken 
tucky Battery (Cobb s), commanded by Lieut. Frank P. Gracey after 
("apt. Cobb s promotion to be chief of artillery for division, was de 
tached from the brigade and placed in position near Bragg s head 
quarters. It was supported by troops that had hitherto conducted 
themselves well on every field, but were now among the first to give way 
before the Federal advance. The battery thus fell into the hands of 
the enemy, while the men who would have defended it as long as there 
was a charge to fire or room to handle a bayonet were far on the right, 
and ignorant of its peril. Lieut. Gracey stood to his guns, fightingtill 
the whole line was abandoned, and then walked off, slow and sullen. 
The men of the brigade had regarded the cannons composing the bat 
tery, which had been with them so long, with a species of attachment 
amounting almost to affection, and had even bestowed upon two of 
them the pet names of Lady Buckner and Lady Breckinridge. The 
abuse that was heaped upon those who lost them was perhaps out of 
proportion to the offense. The Kentuckians believed themselves in- 
c ipable of being routed from breast-wcrks, even of the slightest kind, 
when their battery was to be defended, without leaving bloody evidences 
to show that there had been a fight. Bragg came in for his share of 
blame for entrusting it to other troops; and the story was current that 
they were so angered that as he passed a part of the command next 
day they hooted and otherwise manifested disrespect, and asked what 
he had done with their battery. A sight of those who had been placed 
to support, but had abandoned it, was sure to result in cries of 
" Where s our battery ? " " What did you do with our battery ? " 

II. What Jim Lee Thought of Bragg as a Strategist. 
Shortly after the battle of Mission Ridge, the conversation around the 



232 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

camp-fire of Sergt. Lee s mess at Dalton turned one night on religious 
subjects, and some one mentioned that Gen. Bragg was a member of 
one of the Protestant churches, whereupon Jim ejaculated, "What 
the devil s the use of that? If Bragg were now safe in heaven, he d 
fall back in less than three days for a better position ! " 

III. A Remarkable Incident. In the latter part of September, 
1863, while we lay at the foot of Mission Ridge, a singular train of 
circumstances brought to my knowledge the fact that I had a brother 
in the Federal army then occupying Chattanooga. It happened about 
that time that Bragg, having in mind a scheme not now necessary to 
mention required from Gen. Breckinridge a man from each of his 
Kentucky regiments for voluntary service in the furtherance of his 
said scheme. 

It was my fortune to be chosen from the Fourth Regiment. 

I have the relics of the pass given me by Bragg on that occasion, 
which I value highly as a memento of the war. I translate it, as a part 
of the writing is gone : 

" MISSION RIDGE, Oct. 7, 1863. 

"Sergt. Thomas Owens, Fourth Kentucky, has permission to pass 
our line of pickets and hold intercourse with the enemy. The officer 
to whom this is shown will keep it secret. 

"W. W. MACK ALL, 

" Chief of Staff." 

Having received passes, we went down to the picket lines and hap 
pened to strike that part of the Federal line where my brother was 
doing duty. By tacit agreement of the pickets on both sides there was 
no firing; and the boys met and mingled together in a very friendly 
manner. After giving the signal the waving of a newspaper I met 
half way between the lines a lieutenant of the Tenth Ohio, who, 
hearing from some one that I had a brother wearing the blue, went 
back to his own lines, hunted up my brother, and brought him out to 
me. Up to that time neither of us knew that the other was in service 
on either side. As may be supposed, the meeting was a happy one. 
We remained together that day and the next two days, objects of great 
curiosity to the boys on both sides. The singularity of the circum 
stance was enhanced by the coincidence that I was a sergeant in Co. 
I, Fourth Kentucky Regiment, C. S. A., while he was a sergeant in 
Co. I, Fourth Kentucky Regiment, U. S. A. I am carrying a watch 
now which he gave me on that occasion. I may add that we are both 
living, and quite recently he spent a number of days at my house. 
Thomas Owens, {Fourth Kentucky). 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 233 



CHAPTER XII. 

THE ARMY IN WINTER QUARTERS AT DALTON. INCIDENTS AND ANEC 
DOTES. 

The condition of the army in general was now deplorable ; but the 
Kentucky troops had maintained their morale admirably, notwithstand 
ing the sore disappointments and privations of the last four months ; 
and they went into winter quarters in fair condition as to health and 
spirits, though, in common with others, poorly provided with food, 
clothing and camp equipage. It has been maintained with much show 
of reason that want of even the ordinary comforts to which the Army 
of Tennessee had hitherto been accustomed had more to do with the 
loss of Mission Ridge and the giving up of Tennessee than the skill, 
courage and superior numbers of the enemy ; and it is unquestionable 
that a state of demoralization now existed to which it had hitherto 
been a stranger. 

Bragg was relieved soon after reaching Dalton, and to other hands 
was entrusted the work of restoring its broken strength and rekindling 
its spirit. It is said that the permanent command was tendered to 
Gen. Hardee, who modestly, but firmly, declined to accept it. He 
assumed temporary command on the 3d of December, and labored 
successfully in gathering up the scattered fragments and reorganizing, 
or, rather, restoring order, and rendering them available. On the ayth 
of December he was returned to the command of his old corps, and 
Gen. Johnston took immediate charge of the army. The scope of our 
subject forbids that we should enter into a minute description of the 
change that was wrought by this wonderful man, or the means employed 
to effect it. From that time until he was relieved, near Atlanta, the 
Army of Tennessee grew and strengthened. Even after seventy days 
fighting, on the i8th of July, when Gen. Hood took command, its 
strength was not impaired, and its spirit was wholly unaffected in 
deed, the men seemed to grow more and more confident that Gen. 
Johnston would yet prove the destruction of Sherman and his appar 
ently overwhelming host. 

Life at Dalton, during that winter of 1863-4, had many phases 
peculiar to soldiers long established in quarters ; but it would be im 
possible, even if consistent with the plan of the work, to describe in 
any reasonable space the employments and diversions, the scenes and 



234 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

incidents, relating to the Kentucky Brigade alone. This period is 
therefore only briefly sketched. 

In February, 1864, Gen. Breckinridge was assigned to the com 
mand of some troops in Virginia, and Maj.-Gen. William B. Bate, of 
Tennessee, was placed in command of Breckinridge s old division. 
The men of the Kentucky Brigade were loath to part with their own 
major-general, and made earnest and repeated requests that they might 
accompany him to the Army of Virginia; but, owing, as it was said, 
to Gen. Johnston s high estimate of the command, and his determina 
tion not to part with it if he could possibly retain it, the request was 
never acceded to, and the campaign of 1864 was made under Bate. 
Breckinridge himself, in a speech at the house of Mrs. Anderson, in 
Dalton, where they had collected one night to hear what he had to say 
about taking them along, told them that they themselves were the sole 
cause of being retained in the Army of Tennessee, as their good 
marching, great endurance, and gallant fighting had given them a posi 
tion there that would be hard for any other brigade to fill. 

About the 2oth of February, Gen. Hardee was detached, with most 
of his corps, to assist Gen. Polk against Sherman, in Mississippi; and 
on the 23d, Gen. Thomas, probably misinformed as to the extent to 
which Gen. Johnston had reduced his forces, advanced to Ringgold, 
and on the 24th drove in the Confederate outposts. Johnston met him 
promptly, and on the 25th some skirmishing took place at Millcreek 
Gap and Crow A r alley, east of Rocky Face Mountain, in which the 
Confederates were successful. A Federal force had succeeded, how 
ever, in getting possession of Dug Gap, but on the morning of the 
26th, Gen. Granbury drove them from that point. On the night of 
the 26th, Thomas withdrew his forces; and on the 28th, the Confed 
erates reoccupied their cabins around Dalton. The Kentucky Brigade 
had been posted in defensive attitude at Rocky Face Gap and on the 
ridge overlooking it, but was not at any time closely engaged, though 
one man of the Fourth Regiment was killed by the enemy s fire. 

The army now lay quiet, in the main, until about the last of April, 
when the enemy began to press back the Confederate cavalry, on the 
Ringgold road, and on the 5th of May the Federal army was in line 
between Ringgold and Tunnel Hill, skirmishing with Johnston s 
advance. 

INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES : AT DALTON. 

I. Outwitting Col. Gofer. At Dalton the Orphans enjoyed al 
most uninterrupted rest and relaxation, as has already been inti 
mated, from about the first of December, 1863, to May 7, 1864, more 
than five months, the longest by far in all their experience. The 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 235 

stories of their conduct during that time would fill a volume. Coming 
from Mission Ridge, where starvation and general discomfort in 
Bragg s army were no mean factors in losing the battle, they went into 
winter quarters with tightened belts, in other words, hungry, and but 
for a reasonable indulgence in " prowling," as they expressed it, there 
would have been almost unrelieved sameness in their bill of fare. 
Even "blue beef," bad as that was, was not abundant, and "grits," 
(cracked corn), though in fair quantity was of miserable quality. The 
men were not so conscienceless as to forage on the country without re 
gard to the rights of the citizens; but the public stores were their own, 
at least in part, and it was not difficult for them to conceive that quar 
termasters and commissaries did not always do the best by them. 
Another ground of complaint was the disadvantage of being so re 
moved from home and friends that even occasional shipments of food 
and clothing to eke out government issues were out of the question. 
The consequence was that close watch had to be kept on depots of 
supplies, and on loaded trains ; but with all the precautions taken by the 
authorities, the boldness and ingenuity of the men frequently made 
" trouble in the land," while the mess Jables of the poor Orphans were 
not always suggestive of starvation. 

Col. Cofer was provost-marshal, and he was a terror to evil-doers 
because of uncompromising devotion to duty, a keen circumspection, 
and an impartial temper that blinded his eyes when he had to deal 
with delinquents ; he would have strung up one of " his own boys," 
as he callec* the men of the Sixth Regiment, as quickly as he would a 
Louisiana " Tiger." But not infrequently he found that bolts and 
bars and strong guards and strict orders were not wholly efficacious. 
For instance, it became known in one of the regiments one day that 
an unusually good lot of fresh beef had come in by train, and the 
boys, feeling their need, went after it. Two of them eluded the camp 
guard, one carrying his rifle, and went to Dalton. The man with the 
gun fixed bayonet and added himself to the regular detail then on 
guard and began to walk a beat which he had prescribed for himself, 
simply saying that he had been sent to strengthen the detail. The 
other one watched his opportunity to cross the guard line, which he 
easily did by the connivance of his comrade, shouldered the best quar 
ter of beef readily accessible, and started for camp. The self-consti 
tuted sentinel was the first to detect him (of course), and promptly 
took him in charge abusing him meanwhile and vowing that he 
should suffer for his thievery. By this time others were attracted to 
the spot ; but our extra watchman had neither eyes nor ears for them, 
though they highly approved his purpose to make an example of the 
rascal in hand. With bayonet alarmingly close to the man s body, 
(as spectators regarded it), he started him briskly towards the provost s 
office, but the sequel need hardly be told; at the first convenient point 
where they could dodge out of sight, they headed for camp, relieving 
each other on the way in carrying the very considerable load of fresh 
beef and their company was for some days not wholly dependent 
upon the commissary. 

II. Misplaced Confidence. Among other tricks, of which the 
above is by no means the best sample of a job lot, Col. Cofer had a lit 
tle experience which came particularly home to him, and eventually 



236 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

dumbfounded him. During almost their entire service the Orphans 
were in the main teetotalers. (Irreverent and degenerate sinners of 
this day will probably add "on compulsion," but their opinion is of 
no consequence.) At Dalton, however, as a member of the First Cav 
alry seemed to think was sometimes the case where his regiment 
encamped, " miasmatic conditions prevailed," and as quinine was 
generally scarce, the men thought it well to canvass the country round 
and use the railroad to some extent to supply themselves with enough 
brandy and whisky to ward off chills and fever. Under order from 
headquarters these articles were contraband; and the grim provost, 
Cofer, was particularly intolerant of attempts to " run the blockade." 
He managed to compel all the regiments except his own, the Sixth 
Kentucky, to rely mostly on quinine ; but, watch and scheme as he 
would, "his boys" seemed nearly always to have more whisky than 
malaria, and the notable way he had of showing his teeth under stress 
of mind seemed to grow on him. It was finally developed that they 
were supplying themselves through his office. The trick was to throw 
him off the scent by having their shipments made in boxes consigned 
to his care. The "innocents" would simply inform him that friends 
in Atlanta, or wherever they had their agents, would, at such and such 
a time, send them a box of creature comforts would he please to take 
charge of it and have it in safe-keeping till called for, etc. ? Of course 
this appeared to be almost filial; they were relying on him as a father 
and friend; and as the poor fellows seemed to feel themselves in a 
wicked world, away from home, and in danger of being robbed, his 
heart went out to them ; and under his fostering care and the protec 
tion of sawdust and strong nailing, the jug trade prospered. Had the 
survivors among these ingenious schemers turned their attention to 
" moonshining " after they came home they would have used the 
United States Marshals to further their own thrift. 

III. Punishments in the Army. At Dalton we frequently wit 
nessed the infliction of an ignominious penalty for various infractions 
of the military code, but it must be said to the credit of the brigade that 
no one of its men was ever subject to anything like it. There 
had been one execution in the command, as noticed elsewhere, 
but it was held by many to be substantially a military murder; 
and there were numerous executions at Dalton of men deserting 
from the army there and those of other commands who were hid 
ing out and had been brought in by the cavalry, as the policy 
of Gen. Johnston and others high in authority was to enforce the 
law rigidly, as a preventive measure; but the keeping of men for 
hours in the stocks obtained during the winter and early spring, and 
the punishment seemed so disproportionate to minor crimes that it was 
regarded with much disfavor. It was a species of torture painful even 
to beholders. Three half circles were cut on an edge of each of two 
planks, so that when the edges were brought together there were round 
holes for the neck and wrists of the culprit. One of the planks was made 
fast at the ends in a vertical groove in each of two upright posts, so that 
the yoke would be between four and five feet from the ground, while 
the other was slipped into the grooves and left movable, that it might be 
raised to admit head and hands and then brought down and pinned, 
thus making the man utterly helpless in a painful posture. In some 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 237 

instances the head was shaved, and the poor creature, so pinioned and 
so exposed (as the stocks were placed in open ground), would be kept 
there sometimes to the very limit of endurance. He adopted the only 
change of position possible, (and without some change even a strong 
man must have soon lost control of his muscles and suspended himself 
by neck and wrists), and that was to keep his feet in motion raising 
and lowering them in a treadmill fashion. It was reported (though 
this cannot be vouched for) that occasionally one would faint and have 
to be removed. 

It is needless to say that to Kentuckians this was odious and shock 
ing and it is hardly probable that they would have, quietly submitted, 
to it, had even a most unworthy comrade been the victim. Men were 
condemned to this who had deserted under what were considered pal 
liating circumstances, and for other crimes for which no specific pen 
alty was provided. 

Another punishment had fallen under observation that of the shaved 
head and barrel shirt, or a wooden placard fixed on the back and 
labeled "thief," bearing which a soldier convicted of base robbery 
would be drummed out of camp and dismissed as unworthy to bear 
arms ; but no Kentuckian was ever subjected to this. It is not inti 
mated that they were saints, or that they were always meekly subordi 
nate. That would be too much to expect of high-headed and hot- 
blooded men, whose opinion of official position amounted to some 
thing like this, that an officer was about as good as a private as long as 
he behaved himself. Submissive to law and order, with the true old 
Anglo-Saxon spirit, they were nevertheless impatient of unnecessary 
restraint, and sometimes got into trouble on that account ; but orders 
from headquarters and sentence of courts-martial seldom imposed more 
than short confinement, or extra duty, with the occasional superfluous 
but hard work of taking up a stump. They were very human, 
and pangs of hunger and the discomfort of scant clothing, especially 
when they contrasted their condition with that of people who lived 
fairly well while fighting only with their mouths, sometimes operated to 
obliterate nice distinctions as to property rights ; and it was charged 
that in an emergency they could beguile a cook and steal a man s meal 
between the stove and dinner-table; but this was an invention of the 
wicked, and not to be credited. Their experience in this particular 
extended no further than that of the irreverent sinner in Forrest s 
Cavalry, who, hungering for a Thanksgiving turkey, prayed for it the 
day before, and declared that about 1 1 o clock that night his prayer 
was answered; but it was developed that he combined faith and works, 
and pulled the bird off the roost with his own hands. 

IV. Guying Gen. Bate. When Bate succeeded Gen. Breckin- 
ridge in command of the division to which the Orphan Brigade be 
longed, there was a good deal of dissatisfaction not that the men had 
anything in particular against Bate, but that they were opposed to 
serving under any division general who was not a Kentuckian. Be 
fore the Dalton-Atlanta campaign was over, however, they came to 
know that their new leader had fine qualities and to admire his gal 
lantry. Especially after he was wounded they began to feel some at 
tachment to him, and some visited him where he lay under a surgeon s 
care. At first, though, there were a good many who were not careful 



238 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

to conceal their displeasure; and a story was soon current that Gen. 
Bate complained to Gen. Lewis that his men were behaving badly 
towards him, to which Lewis replied: "General, I think I wouldn t 
pay any attention to that if I were you. My boys are always pester 
ing some d d fool!" This was thought to be so much like Gen. 
Lewis that it went the rounds, though it probably got its left-handed 
twist after it left him. 

V. Punishment for Desertion : One of the Saddest Fea 
tures of the W^ar. Thomas Owens thus describes a military exe 
cution which he witnessed: 

" During the spring of 1864, while the army of Gen. Johnston was 
encamped near Dalton, Ga. , there were several military executions. 
Desertions had become so frequent as seriously to threaten the integrity 
of the army ; and it became necessary to make examples of the few, 
that the many might be deterred from committing so grave an offense. 

A soldier belonging to the - regiment in Hardee s Corps, was 
arrested for desertion, tried, and condemned to be shot. In order 
that the awful example might have its full effect, the entire division 
was ordered out to the drill ground to be witnesses of the spectacle, 
and was formed into a hollow square of three sides facing inward, the 
fourth side being open. The culprit, surrounded by his spiritual advis 
ers and an armed guard, was made to march around the entire square on 
the inside, and was then led to the middle of the open side, where a grave 
had been dug and a low cross had been erected near its edge. He was 
bound to the cross kneeling. His eyes were bandaged, and the officer in 
charge stepped off the regulation twelve paces, where he stationed the 
firing squad. A delay of some moments ensued, during which the officer 
stepped up to the doomed man, apparently for the purpose of adjusting 
the bandage over his eyes. The poor wretch gathered hope from this 
trivial circumstance, and quickly raised his head, which had been 
before bowed upon his bosom, and strove to peer out from under the 
bandage. The buoyancy of hope stood out in every feature of his 
face. But it was brief to him, O how brief for a moment later the 
fatal order was given, Ready, aim, fire" and the leaden bullets went 
crashing through his brain. The whole top of his head was blown off. 

The division was then caused to march in double file past the body 
as it hung upon the low cross to view the ghastly spectacle, and thence 
back to camp to ponder on the horrors of war and man s inhumanity 
to man. >: 

VI. A Singular Death. In February, 1864, Rocky Face Ridge 
was occupied by Johnston as a signal station. The Fourth Kentucky 
was so deployed as to form a living telegraph line from the valley next 
to Dalton to the top and front face of the Ridge at a point where, 
next to the Federals, the ascent was perpendicular. From the top of 
this ridge the Federal army was in full view. The next day after the 
formation of this line, there was a collision of the Federal and Con 
federate forces on the right of our line, and when the Federals would 
move, word was passed from man to man of the living telegraph, as, 
" Two more brigades advancing on such and such a point." The first 
night after the formation of the telegraph, the men slept at their posts. 
The next morning George Disney, a private of Company B, arose to 
a sitting posture, after a night s sleep on the top of this height in the 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 239 

open air, and was in the act of gaping, as many men are wont to do 
on first awaking. He was seen suddenly to resume his recumbent 
position, as though resolved to take another nap ; but after he had 
been so lying for an hour or two, men who tried to wake him found 
that life had departed. A careful examination at the time disclosed 
no wound, and it was conjectured that he had died from failure of the 
heart or other disease. Later, another examination was made, and 
while washing the face of the corpse, the hair on the back of his head 
was found stiff from clotted blood ; and it was then clear that while 
gaping a minie ball from a Federal musket in the valley in front had 
entered the open mouth and crashed through the back of the head of 
the unfortunate soldier. He was a native of England. Virginius 
Hutcfien, (Fourth Kentucky). 

VII. The Snow-Ball Battle. When reveille was sounded on 
the morning of March 22d, 1864, the soldiers encamped around Dai- 
ton were astonished on turning out to find the ground covered almost 
shoe-mouth deep with snow that had fallen during the night. Even 
for north Georgia, in a somewhat mountainous section, it was quite an 
unusual thing, particularly at that time of year and to such depth. The 
Kentucky Brigade was stationed on the west of the Georgia railroad, 
about a mile north of town, with an open field extending northeast 
from the main encampment, which was used as drill ground. The 
snow was of sufficient humidity to be readily made into balls; and 
about the middle of the forenoon a few of the Kentuckians were seen 
out on a rather high point of this ground pelting each other in a sort 
of lazy way ; presently the crowd increased, and then there was call 
ing over towards the east where some Tennesseeans were quartered, 
presumably giving a challenge, which was promptly accepted, and it 
was but a few minutess till there were two pretty fair lines of battle 
and an exchange of showers of the white missiles. The fun was con 
tagious, and soon about every well man in the brigade was out and the 
Tennesseeans also came on in force. The excitement extended to 
field and staff officers, who hastily saddled up and rode out to take 
command ; and then there was shouting of orders with words of en 
couragement as well as pelting. Of course each of the combatants 
did what he could to "bringdown" the officers of the other, after 
the manner of gunners; and even the Kentucky dog, Frank, rushed 
into the melee, where he found a Tennessee dog ready for battle. The 
two were quickly at it, tooth and nail, between the opposing lines. In 
their "official reports" both these four-footed warriors doubtless 
claimed the victory ; but Frank had the best of it, in one particular at 
least when his war was over he went back to camp limping, having 
received an honorable wound while standing up to his friends. Occas 
ionally something that seemed too solid for a snowball would hit a 
man, and of course there were charges that this or that side was violat 
ing the rules of civilized warfare by loading a little snow with a good 
deal of rock; but when all began to run short of ammunition, a treaty 
of peace was entered into by each side s withdrawing and gleefully 
explaining around the campfires how handsomely he had "used up" 
the other fellow. 



240 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

THE DALTON- ATLANTA CAMPAIGN, MAY 5TH TO SEPTEMBER 8TH, 1864. 

INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES. 

When the campaign opened, Bate s division consisted of the Ken 
tucky Brigade, Tyler s (formerly Bate s) brigade of Tennesseeans, and 
Finley s brigade of Floridans. The artillery of the army had been 
organized in two battalions, attached to the respective corps of Hardee 
and Hood. Folk s corps, then about in Mississippi, had its own quota 
of artillery there. One of these battalions was under command of 
Capt. Rob. Cobb, while Capt. Frank P. Gracey commanded the Ken 
tucky Battery. 

The Kentucky Brigade did not take final leave of winter quarters 
until May yth, when it was marched out and took position the Ninth 
Regiment in advance, and stationed on an eminence beyond Rocky 
Face Gap, north of Dalton, while the other regiments were held in 
reserve between two hills, also on the left of the railroad as was the 
Ninth. Cobb s battery was placed on the Bald Knob to the left of 
Mill Creek. The brigade was now engaged in moving from point to 
point about the Gap, first on one peak of the mountain, then another 
skirmishing and sharpshooting most incessantly till the night of the 
1 2th, when it was marched to Snake Creek Gap, and thence, next 
day, to Resaca. 

A circumstance ought to be noted here that was far more remarka 
ble in its consequences during the four-month campaign under con 
sideration than was at all apparent in the outset, and they doubtless 
exceeded the expectations of those who suggested it : namely, the 
detailing and specially arming of a corps of sharpshooters. The 
services of these men day by day, on march and in battle, can not be 
given in detail; and it is best to enter here a brief but comprehensive 
account, from which it may be understood that this little detachment 
of Kentucky marksmen was of itself almost as terrible to the Federal 
host as "an army with banners." For special and personal incidents 
the reader is referred to subsequent pages. 

In the winter of 1863-64, Gen. Breckinridge received eleven guns 
known as the Kerr rifle, which he allotted to his old brigade. It was 
said that an English friend presented them as a token of regard. It 
was a long-range muzzle-loading rifle, that would kill at the distance of 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 241 

a mile or more, requiring a peculiar powder ; and there was some 
difficulty in charging it, so that it was not likely to be fully effective 
except in the hands of a cool and composed man. The use of ordi 
nary powder made it necessary to swab out the barrel after every 
fourth or fifth shot. There was a prolonged target practice in which a 
considerable number of the men engaged, and from these ten who had 
proved to be the best shots, and were known to be otherwise thor 
oughly reliable, were finally chosen. Lieut. George Hector Burton, 
Co. F, Fourth Kentucky, was not only a superior marksman but a 
dare-devil fighter, one of the few men known to any except bragga 
docios and closet-romancers who experienced what the old Romans 
really pretended to feel, "the joy of battle." He added to this the 
qualities without which even a fine soldier can not possibly be a good 
leader cool judgment, quick apprehension of whatever would give 
advantage of position, and a dogged resolution that made him proof 
against sore discomfort and unshaken by disaster. He was put in 
command and given only such orders as were so general in their na 
ture that a large discretion was allowed him. The most important of 
these was that he should not carry his men nearer the enemy s main 
line than within about a quarter of a mile cautionary, and presuma 
bly designed to prevent him and his young bloods from taking ques 
tionable risks. Occasionally it was thought necessary to direct them 
to take position under cover of darkness between the Confederate and 
Federal lines, and so dispose themselves as to avoid fire from their own 
artillery and small arms. In general they operated along Hardee s 
front; but if any other part of the army was annoyed by artillery, 
they went to its relief if they could be spared from their own corps. 

When one man was killed or disabled, another volunteered from 
that man s regiment to take his place; and as four or five were killed 
and almost every one of the original ten, except the lieutenant, was 
wounded some of them two, some of them three times there were 
many calls for volunteers to take permanently the places of the dead 
and permanently disabled, and temporarily those of men only tem 
porarily retired by wounds. It is probable that as many as twenty 
men served on the corps during the long campaign. It is known that 
seventeen different men were killed and wounded, though after Dallas 
there were but nine in the service at the same time. It is to be re 
gretted that no perfect list of the names was never made. The fol 
lowing are recalled by surviving members or have been found in a 
former history of the companies : George Hector Burton, Co. F, 
Fourth Kentucky; N. Frank Smith, Co. F, Second Kentucky ; Thomas 
Owens, Co. I, Fourth Kentucky ; Taylor McCoy, Co. A, Fourth Ken 
tucky, Jerry Spalding, Co. K, Fifth Kentucky; Wm. H. VanMeter, 



242 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

Co. H, Sixth Kentucky ; Wm. Ambrose, Co. B, Ninth Kentucky ; 
Wm. H. Anderson, Co. E, Sixth Kentucky ; John Y. Milton, Wm. 
H. Morgan and James Tennell, Co. A, Sixth Kentucky ; and Steve 
Estill, Co. H, Second Kentucky. 

This corps of sharpshooters was actively engaged every day of the 
one hundred and twenty except one. At one time it spent thirty-three 
consecutive days between the two armies, with an allowance of one 
canteen of water per day to each man. A detail of two was sent to 
fill the canteens and procure rations, the men alternating by couples. 
Without change of clothing, and with little opportunity to shelter them 
selves from rain, their condition soon became exceedingly uncomfortable 
by reason of dirt and vermin, and request was made repeatedly for a brief 
respite to wash clothing and bathe themselves, but in the great stress of 
difficulty and danger no attention was paid to this until Lieut. Burton 
went to Army headquarters and procured an order to suspend opera 
tions for this purpose one day. 

The general plan was to work themselves at night between the lines, 
reconnoiter, fix upon a rallying base, and then cover the front of the 
army, and keep a lookout for opportunities to kill off pickets, men who 
exposed themselves along the lines of Federal breast-works, and officers 
who came in view beyond while directing the operations of their troops. 
A particular object was to note the position of batteries, and take post 
so as to pick off the gunners through the embrasures. Ordinarily, if 
these sharpshooters could place themselves in sight of the enemy s 
cannon, with fair cover, and within a quarter to a half mile, it was al 
most certain death or disabling for a Federal soldier to swab or load 
after each discharge, as he could not protect himself while his gun 
was in position. It is unquestionable that the army was thus saved 
a vast deal of annoyance and much loss from Federal artillery. Sher 
man always kept his men abundantly supplied with ammunition, and 
to them the waste was nothing : so that it would often have been but a 
pleasant pastime to shell the woods all day long, even when the Con 
federate position was not definitely known, had not Burton, with his 
wide-awake and gallant fellows, taught them that the price of a useless 
shot from a battery was apt to be the loss of a cannonier. The conse 
quence was that cannonading ceased to be a pastime, and was resorted 
to only when something definite and absolutely necessary was to be 
attempted. 

The Federal sharpshooters had effective guns and many good marks 
men; but the loss that these inflicted upon Kentuckians was compara 
tively trivial. One of their tricks was not much in favor with Burton; 
namely, taking position high up in the foliage of a tree. This had the 
disadvantage of more readily discovering a man by the smoke of his 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 243 

gun while he could not easily shift place and escape a shot aimed at the 
point where the whiff was seen. This was much resorted to by the 
Federals, and our men had had experience with them from Corinth 
to this time. Near Farmington, Miss., in April, 1862, one was 
brought down from an oak on a high point, and it was reported that 
he had clothed himself in green, so that he could not be distinguished 
from the tree-leaves, but he could not disguise his whiff of smoke. 

In the pitched battles and charges of the brigade, the sharpshooters 
were not expected to be in line ; they were to do all possible execution 
from their retired stations; but at Dallas, Burton thought he saw a bet 
ter chance to be effective by joining in the mad charge, and they 
suffered grievously thereby losing a man killed and a splendid rifle, 
and having three or four wounded, within twenty steps of that impass 
able Federal rampart. 

From Federal prisoners it was learned that these men were a terror. 
It was current that summer that one was brought in who was curious 
to know what kind of a gun it was that killed a man at a distance of a 
mile or more. He declared, it is said, that his colonel had been killed 
by one of Burton s men while riding far in the rear of the Federal 
lines, and made the extravagant estimate that he was about three miles 
away. Some of these prisoners even represented that their troops 
were exasperated, and would kill a captured man if he was found with 
a Kerr rifle in hand. 

When Gen. Polk was killed at Pine Mountain, this corps of sharp 
shooters quickly located the battery that fired the fatal shot, and in less 
than half an hour drove it from its place. 

The experience of this little band is without a parallel. It is known 
that the lieutenant commanding subjected every man to a crucial test 
before he would trust him, so it is certain that those who stayed with 
him, original and substitutes, were men of stern courage and a Roman 
fortitude. 

Their corps commander, Gen. Hardee, when about to part with 
them, complimented them in terms that confirm all that the writer has 
said of them; saying, among other things, that if all the men of John 
ston s army had been proportionately as destructive as they, Sherman 
would not have had a sound man left. 

On the 8th and 9th, the Kentucky Brigade of Cavalry which took 
a prominent part in all the operations of the spring, summer, and 
autumn, as will be found in the History of the First Regiment, in a 
subsequent part of this work, had fought at Dug Gap and Snake Creek 
(rap, and its splendid conduct at these two points had much to do in 
averting disaster from Johnston s army at the very outset of the cam 
paign. Late in the afternoon of the pth these troops, after holding 



244 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

back Gen. McPherson from early morning, entered the fortifications 
at Resaca, previously constructed for the protection of Johnston s com 
munications southward, and now held by a small brigade of infantry 
under Gen. Canty, which had been stopped there on its way from 
Rome when first intimation was had that a Federal force was marching 
by roads west of the Chattanooga mountains, with a view to debouch 
ing into the valley through Snake Creek Gap, and so placing himself 
in great strength in the rear of the Confederate army. No determined 
assault was made upon these works until the i4th, though manned only 
by this little force of infantry and cavalry, while Gen. McPherson was 
within easy reach, with an infantry and artillery force of about twenty 
thousand men. 

After reaching the vicinity of Snake Creek on the night of May i2th, 
as previously explained, the Confederate army rested there till next 
day, when it took position at Resaca, the infantry and artillery being 
placed in the earth-works, and employed that afternoon, most of the 
night, and part of the next day in strengthening them. 

It was eight o clock on the evening of May isth when Bate s divi 
sion moved from Rocky Face Ridge, on the Sugar Valley road. It 
was ordered to bring up the rear of Hardee s corps, and, being retarded 
by troops in its front, did not reach Snake Creek Gap till about sun-up 
on the morning of the i3th. It was not till late in the afternoon that 
the division formed line of battle on the right of Hardee s corps. Bate 
occupied a cleared ridge between the Dalton and La Fayette roads. 

In the formation at Resaca, above alluded to, the Kentucky brigade 
constituted the right of Bate s line, with Smith in reserve to support 
it, while half of Finley s brigade constituted his left, the other half 
being in reserve as support. At half-past nine on the morning of the 
1 4th skirmishing began in front of Finley, and by ten o clock there 
was skirmishing all along the line, which became more and more ani 
mated until noon, when five lines of battle emerged from the opposite 
wood and fiercely assaulted the whole of the division s intrenched 
line. They came up with banners flying, bands playing, and officers 
mounted, with drawn swords, in the most beautiful order; but when 
within short musket range the Confederates opened fire, and the host 
was staggered and thrown back in some confusion. They rallied again 
and advanced, but were repulsed with slaughter, and retreated out of 
range of the small arms. This had not occupied more than twenty 
minutes. In this assault two regiments (the Fifth and Sixth Kentucky) 
reserved their fire until the enemy approached within seventy-five 
yards, when, with well-directed volleys, they instantly broke his lines 
and drove him back. At half-past one another assault by three lines 
was made and repulsed in like handsome manner, and with similar 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 245 

result. Another advance later in the day was easily repulsed. Dur 
ing the evening the Twentieth Tennessee and Fourth Georgia battalion 
of sharpshooters (Smith s brigade) participated in the fight. 

The brunt of the attack on Bate had been sustained by Gen. Lewis. 
The Major-General said of it : " The burden of this fight fell upon Lewis 
Kentucky brigade, which met and sustained it gallantly." When the 
enemy s infantry had retired, his artillery opened a furious fire upon 
the works. Their batteries of rifled cannon had direct fire on the left 
regiments of the brigade, while it swept up in rear of those on the right 
of the line, which, after crossing the railroad, curved back toward the 
Oostanaula river. The works were, at best, so slight as to afford lit 
tle protection, even from a front fire, and, while few suffered any in 
jury whatever during the infantry attack, more than forty were killed 
and wounded by the artillery, which played upon them throughout the 
day. 

Hotchkiss Battalion of Artillery was posted on the right of Bate s line, 
and did, from the beginning to the end, most efficient service. Slo- 
comb s battery, Cobb s battalion, was posted in the line of Finley s 
brigade, and fired with much accuracy and effect on the advancing 
lines of the enemy. Heavy skirmishing continued until night-fall, 
when the pick and spade were resumed to repair breeches and strengthen 
and remodel our defenses. The morning of the i5th was ushered in 
by heavy volleys of artillery, which, with constant fire from concealed 
sharpshooters, was kept up during the day. The enemy occupied 
high wooded points opposite and to our left, from which he gave us an 
enfilading fire with artillery, which was not so fatal as would be sup 
posed, because heavy traverses had been constructed in the flank along 
our trenches the previous night. Hotchkiss had two guns disabled, 
which were moved at night. Slocomb suffered much, also having two 
guns effectually disabled and one crippled; all of which, however, 
were brought off at dark. All the artillery engaged was well man 
aged, and fought with much coolness and judgment in this engage 
ment. 

In proportion to the number of men constituting the division the loss 
during these two days was considerable, notwithstanding the partial 
protection afforded by the earthworks. Twenty-four were killed, two 
hundred and thirty-three wounded, and fifty-five missing. The latter 
were practically skirmishers left on the front as per order on the night 
of evacuating Resaca. An examination of the Brief History of Indi 
viduals will disclose that a disproportionate part of the loss was sus 
tained by the Kentucky Brigade. 

The losses of the enemy could not be accurately ascertained, as the 
command did not go out of the trenches. It was estimated to have 



246 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

been not less than fifteen hundred during the two days. Three battle- 
flags fell upon the disputed ground, which the Confederates were 
unable to get and the enemy could not regain them. 

The division was ordered out and left the trenches at ten o clock on 
the night of the 1 5th, leaving skirmishers on the line. Following Cle- 
burne s division it crossed the Oostanaula and marched out about five 
miles on the Calhoun road, where it bivouacked. 

Early next morning the enemy was reported to be in front, in what 
force it could not be ascertained, and Bate was ordered to form line of 
battle and bring up the rear of Hardee s corps on the march to Cal 
houn; and near this place he took position to support Maj.-Gen. 
Walker. This position was maintained till half-past one o clock that 
night, when the march was resumed, the Fifth Kentucky being de 
tached from the Kentucky Brigade to strengthen Granbury as rear 
guard. Arriving at Adairville at 7 o clock on the morning of the lyth, 
the brigade, in common with other troops of the division, had a few 
hours rest; but at two in the afternoon, line of battle was again 
formed Bate extending the general line from Cleburne s left, where 
he remained in position until after dark, when he was ordered to guard 
a train to Kingston. It was not until eight o clock on the morning of 
the 1 8th that the distance of ten or twelve miles was passed over, the 
march having proved the most disagreeable and exhausting of the 
campaign, so far. During the forenoon, line of battle was formed 
three and a half miles south of Kingston. The remainder of Hardee s 
corps came from Adairville during the i8th. 

On the i pth of May, Gen. Johnston had decided to give battle. A 
stirring order to that effect was read to the troops at noon, and was re 
sponded to with the most enthusiastic cheers. The army of Gen. 
Johnston had now been reenforced by Folk s entire corps from Missis 
sippi the last division having reached the front on the i8th. Gen. 
Johnston s plan, as he explains in his history of the campaign, was to 
attack the enemy when he could do so without encountering his whole 
strength ; and this appeared the auspicious moment. This was a turn 
ing point in the campaign, and though the Kentucky troops were no 
more concerned in it than the rest, it is not amiss to give, in connection 
with their service, Johnston s account of his purpose, his plan, and the 
unhappy circumstance which thwarted him and deprived the Confed 
erate army of a victory which would have so crippled Sherman as to 
throw him back upon his base, if it had not proved his destruction. 
In the exultation with which the battle-order was received, as he 
narrates, there were no more hearty cheers than those which went up 
from the Kentuckians, of all arms, and Hardee, knowing the temper 
of his corps, of which these Kentuckians formed so material a part, re- 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 247 

niained unalterable in his belief that he could hold the position as 
signed him. 

"Two roads lead southward from Adairville one following the 
railroad through Kingston, and, like it, turning almost at right angles 
to the east at that place ; the other, quite direct to the Etowah railroad 
bridge, passing through Cassville, where it is met by the first. The 
probability that the Federal army would divide a column following 
each road gave me a hope of engaging and defeating one of them 
before it could receive aid from the other. In that connection the in 
telligent engineer officer who had surveyed that section, Lieut. Buch 
anan, was questioned minutely over the map as to the character of 
ground, in the presence of Lieutenant-Generals Polk and Hood, who 
had been informed of my object. He described the country on the 
direct road as open, and unusually favorable for attack. It was evi 
dent, from the map, that the distance between the two Federal columns 
would be greatest when that following the railroad should be near 
Kingston. Lieut. Buchanan thought that the communications be 
tween the columns at this part of their march would be eight or nine 
miles, by narrow and crooked country roads. 

" In the morning of the i8th, Hardee s corps marched to Kingston; 
and Folk s and Hood s, following the direct road, halted within a mile 
of Cassville the former deployed in two lines, crossing the road and 
facing Adairville ; the latter halted on its right. Jackson s division 
observed the Federal columns on the Kingston road, and Wheeler s 
troops those that were moving towards Cassville. Those two officers 
were instructed to keep me accurately informed of the enemy s pro 
gress. 

" French s division of Folk s corps joined the army from Mississippi 
in the afternoon. 

" Next morning, when Brig. -Gen. Jackson s report showed that the 
head of the Federal column following the railroad was near Kingston, 
Lieut. -Gen. Hood was directed to move with his force to a country 
road about a mile to the east of that from Adairville, and parallel to it, 
and to march northward on that road, right in front. Folk s corps, as 
then formed, was to advance to meet and engage the enemy approach 
ing from Adairville; and it was expected that Hood would be in posi. 
tion to fall upon the left flank of those troops as soon as Polk attacked 
them in front. An order was read to each regiment, announcing that 
we were about to give battle to the enemy. It was received with exul 
tation. 

"When Gen. Hood s column had moved two or three miles, that 
officer received a report from a member of his staff, to the effect that 
the enemy was approaching on the Canton road in the rear of the right 



248 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

of the position from which he had just marched. Instead of transmit 
ting this report to me, and moving on in obedience to his orders, he 
fell back to that road and formed his corps across it, facing to our 
right and rear, toward Canton, without informing me of this strange 
departure from the instructions he had received. I heard of this erratic 
movement after it had caused such loss of time as to make the attack 
intended impracticable ; for its success depended on accuracy in timing 
it. The intention was therefore abandoned. 

"The sound of the artillery of the Federal column following Hardee s 
corps, and that of the skirmishers of Wheeler s troops with the other, 
made it evident in an hour that the Federal forces would soon be united 
before us, and indicated that an attack by them was imminent. To be 
prepared for it, the Confederate army was drawn up in a position that 
I remember as the best that I saw occupied during the war the ridge 
immediately south of Cassville, with a broad, open, elevated valley 
in front of it completely commanded by the fire of troops occupying its 
crest. 

" The eastern end of this ridge is perhaps a mile to the east of Cass 
ville. Its southwest end is near the railroad, a little to the west of the 
Cassville Station. Its length was just sufficient for Hood s and Folk s 
corps; and half of Hardee s, prolonging this line, was southwest of the 
railroad, on undulating ground on which they had only such advantage 
as their own labor, directed by engineering, could give them. They 
worked with great spirit, however, and were evidently full of con 
fidence. This gave me assurance of success on the right and in the 
center, where we had a very decided advantage of ground. 

Brig. -Gen. Shoupe, chief of artillery, had pointed out to me what 
he thought a weak point near Gen. Folk s right, a space of one hun 
dred and fifty or two hundred yards, which, in his opinion, might be 
enfiladed by artillery placed on a hill more than a mile off, beyond the 
front of our right so far, it seemed to me, as to make the danger 
trifling.- Still, he was requested to instruct the officers commanding 
there to guard against such a chance by the construction of traverses, 
and to impress upon him that no attack of infantry could be combined 
with a fire of distant artillery, and that his infantry might safely oc 
cupy some ravines immediately in rear of this position during any such 
fire of artillery. 

" The Federal artillery began firing upon Hood s and Folk s troops 
soon after they were formed, and continued the cannonade until 
night. 

" On reaching my tent soon after dark, I found in it an invitation 
to meet the lieutenant-generals at Gen. Folk s headquarters. Gen. Hood 
was with him, but not Gen. Hardee. The two officers, Gen. Hood taking 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 249 

the lead, expressed the opinion very positively that neither of their 
corps would be able to hold its position next day ; because, they said, 
a part of each was enfiladed by Federal artillery. The part of Gen. 
Folk s corps referred to was that of which I had conversed with Brig.- 
Gen. Shoupe. On that account they urged me to abandon the ground 
immediately, and cross the Etowah. 

" A discussion of more than an hour followed in which they very 
earnestly and decidedly expressed the opinion, or conviction rather, 
that when the Federal artillery opened upon them next day it would 
render their position untenable in an hour or two. 

" Although the position was the best we had occupied, I yielded at 
last, in the belief that the confidence of the commanders of two of 
the three corps of the army of their inability to resist the enemy 
would inevitably be communicated to their troops, and produce that 
inability. Lieut.-Gen. Hardee, who arrived after this decision remon 
strated against it strongly, and was confident that his corps could hold 
its ground, although less favorably posted. The error was adhered 
to, however, and the position abandoned before daybreak." 

Hardee was near Kingston, as will have been seen, when the order 
was received to fall back by way of Cartersville to Cass Station, to 
join in the offensive movement. Bate had been skirmishing from noon 
till about 2 o clock of the ipth when the order was received, and he 
fell back in the face of the enemy successfully, and reached Cass Station 
about 4 o clock, where he was placed in support of Cleburne, but 
was moved within an hour to the extreme left of the Confederate po 
sition, to hold himself as a reserve, and guard against a. flank move 
ment which the cavalry might be unable to check. Here the Ken 
tucky Brigade worked in constructing defenses till n o clock in the 
night, when an order was received to withdraw across Etowah river, 
and at 1:30 the movement began. The division crossed and encamped 
about three miles out on the Altoona road, near the Etowah iron 
works. 

This was the morning of May 2ist, and the army remained in camp 
here until the 23d. At 2 o clock in the afternoon Bate took up line of 
march in the rear of Gen. Walker, and at night went into bivouac a 
mile west of Dr. Smith s, on the Dallas and Altoona road. Before 
midnight he received orders to move at 2 o oclock to New Hope 
Church and guard the approach on Johnston s right flank until the re 
mainder of the army passed ; after which he was to bring up the rear 
till near Powder Spring and halt there. When the division arrived at 
New Hope, the Kentucky Brigade, with one section of artillery, was 
formed in line of battle across the Burnt Hickory road. Smith, with 
one section of artillery, was advanced to Dallas to support our cavalry, 



250 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

the Florida Brigade and two batteries of Cobb s battalion held in re 
serve. 

Here, (May 24th), there was some fighting. Smith became engaged 
and was reenforced by two of Finley s regiments. A double line of 
skirmishers was thrown out, and the enemy was driven back a half 
mile, with a slight loss to the Tennesseeans. 

At half-past one o clock that afternoon, he was ordered to withdraw 
to the vicinity of Dallas, and by noon of the next day the division was 
encamped in line of battle a mile and a half east of that place. Before 
four o clock the enemy s infantry, cavalry, and artillery were at Dallas, 
the Confederate cavalry falling back before their advance. Defensive 
works were promptly begun, as usual, and this work was pressed until 
daylight next morning, May 26th, but the position was subjected to 
artillery fire before night of the 25th, and skirmishing occurred, along 
Bate s front. During the night of the 26th, a strong skirmish force cf 
the enemy (some have reported this to have been five infantry regi 
ments) gained a foothold on the heights commanding the right of the 
division s main line. When this was communicated to Gen. Johnston 
he ordered Cheatham to storm the position at daylight next morning; 
but Gen. Bate took the responsibility of preparing to- retake the hill in 
case Cheatham (several miles distant) should not arrive in time. Gen. 
Lewis was directed to take two of his regiments, the Second and Fifth 
Kentucky, and the Fifteenth and Thirty-seventh Tennessee, Smith s 
brigade, and take it by storm at daylight, 2yth. It was handsomely 
done, with the loss, however, of a noble and gallant captain (Rich 
ard B. Donaldson) killed, and four wounded. In this dash Lewis drove 
the enemy from the heights with such rapidity as to forbid the capture of 
more than six or eight. Seven or eight were killed or wounded. Gen. 
Cheatham arrived soon after and took position on the right of Bate s 
line, his left occupying this height. Gen. Walker s division, the same 
day, was placed in prolongation of his left. 

INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES : DURING THE DALTON- ATLANTA 
CAMPAIGN. 

I. They All Say That. Some time during the night of May 
1 5th, after the army had crossed the Oostenaula, the brigade was 
making the best of its way in the dark towards Adairville, when some 
horsemen, coming up to the rear of the column, tried to proceed by 
keeping to the road, which was too full of men on foot to allow of easy 
passage. One of them seemed to be a little too bold and persistent in 
getting straight forward, when it was thought he might feel his way along 
the flank through the woods. This aroused the ire of a web-foot who 
was being made uncomfortable, and he began saying words to the 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 251 

offender that wouldn t look well in print, and at the same time struck 
the horse along the side a furious blow with his rifle, that threatened if 
it did not hurt the rider s leg. Thereupon the man ordered him in an 
angry tone to desist and allow him to pass on, saying, " I am Gen. 
Bate!" That made matters no better. Oh!" cried the wrathful 
soldier, still using his gun, " I know. You can t play it on me that 
way. Every scoundrel that wants to ride over us says he s Gen. 
Bate ! " Whoever it was had to hunt a route to the head of the col 
umn by a flank movement, as nobody s name given in the dark could 
have secured immunity from rough usage at the hands of the men he 
was trying to press out of his path. 

II. "Two Minutes to Get to Your Holes." Many stories are 
current illustrating with what facility the men of the Confederate and 
Federal armies fraternized, even during the bitterest years of the war; 
and they do credit to American manhood, albeit some of them indicate 
a certain disregard of military discipline. The real soldiers quickly 
learned to respect and trust each other, and, when not engaged in the 
dreadful pastime of killing, were inclined to chaff across the interval 
between picket lines, even to meet for the purpose of talking over 
matters and swapping articles which one had to spare and the other 
needed. The staples of trade were chiefly coffee and tobacco the 
northern men being well supplied with coffee while short on tobacco, 
and the southerner having tobacco to smoke and chew, while coffee 
(a most valuable article in army life) could hardly be procured at all 
after the blockade was established. 

This story indicates the nature of these odd little episodes in the 
jjreat drama, as well as the sententious style of the officer who broke 
up the meeting: On the Dalton- Atlanta campaign, busy as the two 
armies usually kept each other, the respective outguards sometimes had 
their long range passage of words as well as shots, and sometimes met. 
One morning (this I have at second hand, but every old Orphan will 
recognize it as true to life if not to particulars), Col. Hervey Mc 
Dowell went out with a detail to relieve the brigade s picket. His 
approach was not perceived until he was right upon their night base, 
and there he found a squad of blues and grays gathered around a 
blanket and absorbed in a game of cards, whether for stakes or in a 
trial of skill is not stated. The Confederates knew McDowell s grim 
fashion of demanding conformity to the articles of war, and of course 
they were as much disconcerted as the Federals; but he quickly dis 
pelled the fears of the latter by giving them honorable terms. Draw 
ing his watch he said to them : " Boys, two minutes now to get to your 
noles! " It is hardly necessary to say that they made such use of those 
two minutes that they had snatched up their weapons and were at their 
posts and ready for duty before the time had expired. 

III. War Could Not Make Them Inhuman. Familiarity 
with scenes of blood during years spent in the savage occupation of 
killing enemies could not destroy the sensibilities and demonize true 
men. Gen. Hewitt gives a case in point, in connection with our corps 

( >f sharpshooters above alluded to. Taylor McCoy, Co. A, Fourth Ken 
tucky, was apparently an unsentimental devil-may-care man, full of 
light, and always on hand when his regiment went into battle. Nobody 
seemed to suspect that the shooting of a Federal soldier could disturb 



-252 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

him in the least. On the Dalton-Atlanta campaign, he came in one 
day after the corps had been engaged forward along the front, and was 
observed to be sitting around moody and abstracted. Hewitt asked 
him what was the matter with him. " Oh, nothing nothing." As 
he continued quiet and grum, however, his questioner saw that there 
was some trouble, and he went to him again : Taylor, are you sick ? " 
4 No, not sick;" then he added: "Well, I ll tell you. I did not 
want to kill the fellow. On the line this morning some one picked me 
out and began shooting at me. I watched my chance for a shot, and 
got it. I struck him, and he screamed. It was the cry of a boy! I 
don t like to think of having killed a boy ! " This, notwithstanding 
the boy had on a blue uniform and was trying to kill him. 

IV.- Wouldn t Be Checked Off Till His Time Came. All 
Presbyterians have of course a more or less positive belief in predes 
tination ; but it does not regulate the conduct of every one in time of 
difficulty and danger. Col. McDowell, however, seems to have ac 
cepted the doctrine so literally as to feel that his destiny was by no 
means in his own keeping, and that on the battlefield any special effort 
at self-preservation was unnecessary. One day on the Dalton-Atlanta 
campaign, while the brigade was in reserve and awaiting orders under 
a pretty heavy fire, he appeared to the men to be rather unnecessarily 
exposing himself, and some of them suggested that he get behind a 
tree. He declined the well-meant advice, however, replying in his 
positive way that he would not be killed till his time came, no matter 
which side of the tree he was on. 

V. Frank, the Soldier Dog. Among the singular circumstances 
attending the life of soldiers, few are more deserving of special men 
tion than the facts in connection with this representative of the canine 
species in the army of the Confederacy. The peculiar ties existing be 
tween men and dogs the strong and constant attachment of the ani 
mal for his master have long been the subject of song and story. The 
noble Newfoundlander, in the snows of the Alps, seeking the be 
nighted and storm-caught traveler, presents to our minds the image of 
a benevolent 1 intelligence; and the poet has made " Old Dog Tray " 
the embodiment of unselfish love, and fidelity, for which man seeks in 
vain among his fellows, and not always finds, even in woman, after he 
leaves the sacred precincts of his childhood home, and the domain that 
is lighted by the eye of his mother. 

Frank was a sort of counterpart to Postlethwait, Capt. Richard A. 
Collins s pet black bear, that shared the fortunes of his battery in Gen. 
Joe Shelby s splendid command of Missouri Confederates; and to the 
Militia Pig that campaigned with the Kentucky volunteers during the 
War of 1812. 

He was brought into the Second Regiment by one of the members 
of Co. B, and long experienced with the men the privations of inclem 
ent season, scanty fare and hard marching, and the perils of the field. 
He went into the engagement at Donelson, was captured with the 
troops, and spent his six months in prison at Camp Morton : and to all 
attempts of the Federal guard to coax him away, he returned a silent 
but very dignified refusal, as much as to say that he preferred to share 
with his friends the life of a captive and the scraps of the barracks. 

When the regiment was marched out from the prison inclosure, on 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 253 

the 26th of August, 1862, Frank was observed to wag his tail joyfully, 
and he departed somewhat from his ordinarily dignified demeanor, 
and was gleeful at the prospect of going forth again to " the stern joys 
of the battle." 

In more than one subsequent engagement he was wounded, but that 
did not deter him in the least from marching out promptly when the 
"long roll" was sounded next time, and taking his chances. If a 
soldier fell, Frank looked at him with the eye of a philosopher; and 
the close observer might have discovered something of pity in his 
glance, and a half-consciousness that the poor man was dead, or in 
:igony, and that he could not help him. On these, as indeed on 
almost all occasions, he seemed to partake largely of the spirit of the 
men. If the conflict was obstinate, Frank was silent and dogged. If 
the men shouted in the onset, or cheered when the ground was won, 
he barked in unison. 

He took part in the memorable "snow-ball battle" at Dalton, 
March 22, 1864, and was wounded in the foot, having come in con 
tact, during the melee, with one of his own species who was serving 
with an adverse party. 

On the march he frequently carried his own rations in a small haver 
sack hung on his neck. 

He almost invariably went out, when not " excused by the surgeon," 
to company, regimental, and brigade drills, sometimes looking on like 
a reviewing officer, but oftener taking part in the maneuvers ; but he 
had a sovereign contempt for " dress parade," and generally stayed at 
his quarters when he found that the men were to go no further than 
the color-line. 

He was rather choice, too, in his associates ; and, though widely 
known and friendly to all, he would not allow of much familiarity out 
side of his own mess. When rations were short, he would visit other 
messes, and even other companies, and accept the little that his friends 
ion Id spare ; but he did not want them to presume upon his sense of 
obligation, and indulge in any thing like caresses. 

In this way he lived the soldier s life. If Co. B had a shelter, 
Frank had his corner in it. When he was shot, his wounds were 
dressed, and he had no lack of attention. If the commissariat were 
well supplied, he fed bountifully, and put on his best looks. If life 
were eked out on " hard-tack " and a slice of bacon, or of poor beef, 
Frank had but his share of that, and grew lean and hollow-eyed, like 
his soldier-friends. 

But, in the summer campaign of 1864, he disappeared; and we 
have to write of Frank, the soldier-dog, as we have done of many a 
noble soldier boy, " fate unknown." Perhaps some admirer of his 
species laid felonious hands upon him, and carried him captive away ; 
or, perhaps, a ball from some " vile gun " laid him low while he was 
taking a lonely stroll in the woods. 



254 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

THE DALTON-ATLANTA CAMPAIGN, MAY 5TH TO SEPTEMBER 8TH, 1864, 
(CONTINUED). INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES. 

The position of Johnston s army, as noted in preceding chapter, was 
essentially modified during the night of May 2yth. Cheatham s and 
Walker s divisions, excepting a line of skirmishers, were withdrawn, 
and the line from Higley s Mill to the left of Walker s skirmish line, 
left to be defended by the (cavalry) division of Gen. Jackson and by 
Bate s infantry. Disposition being made to that effect, the latter re 
ceived, during the afternoon, the following communication from corps 
headquarters : 

"Gen. Johnston desires you to develop the enemy and ascertain his 
strength and position, as it is believed he is not in force." This was 
in keeping with the opinion of both Jackson and Bate, and the follow 
ing order was thereupon issued : 

" HEADQUARTERS BATE S DIVISION, 3 p. M., 
May 28th, 1864. 

" Gen. Jackson will move his left brigade (Ferguson s) to Van Wort 
Road, and have it take position in rear of Dallas by 4 P. M., leaving 
a force in observation on the south and west approaches to said town 
of Dallas. He will have Ross s brigade to move in flank of Dallas, 
and be ready, if necessary, to enter said town. Armstrong s brigade 
will move directly forward, and drive the enemy ; and when opposi 
tion ceases in his front, he will swing on his right as a pivot. Smith s 
infantry brigade will advance directly to the front, and execute same 
movements as Armstrong, when able to do so without exposing his 
flank. Bullock and Lewis (the latter commanding, in addition to his 
brigade, the skirmishers on his right), will move at signal agreed upon. 

" By command of Maj.-Gen. Bate." 
"C. J. MASTIN, A. A. Gen." 

After this the Major-General had an interview with brigade com 
manders,, and the order was thus qualified verbally : " Develop him 
by this movement, but, if coming in contact with stubborn resistance 
behind the fences, withdraw without assault, unless satisfied it can be 
carried." Gen. Armstrong s brigade charged, and found the enemy 
in force, and entrenched. .He made a gallant charge, entered their 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 255 

intrenchments, and captured a battery ; but a brigade s being hurled 
against him caused his retirement. Gen. Bate then ordered the move 
ment on the right to be stopped, the signal for the advance of infantry 
not yet being given. 

The charge of Armstrong s brigade was made with a yell, which, 
together with the fire of musketry and the enemy s artillery, caused 
Gen. Lewis and Col. Bullock, on the right, to believe the entire left 
was charging ; hence they moved forward, and came, amid the thick 
undergrowth, in close range of the enemy s fire before they were able 
to see their intrenchments one or two regiments of the former taking 
the first line of the breast-works of the enemy, and the latter approach 
ing near the same, both driving everything before them, killing many 
and capturing some thirty prisoners. Smith, being near the signal 
station, and therefore better informed, did not advance. The prison 
ers taken subsequently, said that the enemy conceded a loss of one 
thousand in the fight. The enemy was found to be in force and in 
trenched Logan s corps, of three divisions, and Dodge with two, 
inder command of McPherson, and Jeff C. Davis, of Palmer s corps, 
on the left. While the movement accomplished the effect of ascer 
taining the strength and position of the enemy, and had perhaps some 
important bearing on his subsequent operations, it was made at an 
enormous sacrifice to Kentuckians. Col. Bullock received the order 
to retire before Gen. Lewis got it, and withdrew, and as Smith had 
not advanced at all, both flanks of the Kentucky Brigade were with 
out support after it had rushed upon the enemy s advanced line, as- 
>ailed by a literal storm of shot and shell. Cobb s artillery demolished 
;i battery of the enemy, drove it away, and exploded a caisson. The 
brigade succeeded as previously stated, in silencing the enemy s 
batteries in the first line of works, and drove his infantry along 
its front back into the second line ; but the fire was murderous, and to 
Advance further, was certain destruction ; yet it held its ground within 
less than fifty yards of the enemy s line, that swarmed with riflemen, 
while some artillery in his rear fired upon it as point-blank as possible 
without endangering the men in the trenches. 

When ordered to retire, those who had not been killed or wounded 
returned and formed in their works. When the signal was given to 
retreat the Fifth Kentucky had gotten to within twenty yards of the 
enemy s rifles, and either misunderstood or stubbornly refused to go 
until Col. Hawkins seized the colors and again ordered it to the rear. 
It was a desperate charge, and a heroic stand, well illustrating the 
clashing yet steady and unflinching courage of Kentuckians the indom 
itable will that makes them maintain unequal conflict and brave destruc 
tion rather than falter or flee. The loss of the brigade in the short 



256 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

period of time was fifty-one per cent. , and among those killed outright 
or mortally wounded were some of our noblest officers and men. 

The movement was so futile, however, as compared with results, 
and so destructive because only partially carried out as planned, as to 
give rise to much dissatisfaction and complaint at the time; but subse 
quent inquiry and investigation developed the fact that the Major-Gen- 
eral had not been either culpably rash or careless. He made the fol 
lowing explanation of it himself, which was accepted by Kentuckians 
as exonorating him from blame, though they had suffered so terribly : 
"The movement was made upon full consultation with brigade com 
manders, on the receipt and exhibition of Gen. Johnston s order, sent 
that evening, through Lieut. -Gen. Hardee. We being located several 
miles distant from the corps as well as army headquarters, and the even 
ing too far spent to await further communications, it was believed that 
the enemy in our front was not in force ; that, as he was several miles 
from his railroad base, it was merely a force of observation to prevent 
his right being turned. This belief was partly induced from the fact 
of our having so easily driven the enemy, at daylight the day before, 
from the high and advantageous point on my right, where Capt. Don 
aldson fell, as before shown, which was the key to the left of Gen. 
Johnston s line, as could be seen by the enemy; and there having been 
no attempt to regain this point, which, if occupied, would have re 
versed the left center of our army line, to possess which was all im 
portant to him, if his object was either to turn our left, or to hold, with 
tenacity, his right in my front. Those, among other reasons, then dis 
cussed, induced the belief with my brigade commanders and the cav 
alry commander, as well as in my own mind, that the enemy was not 
in force, nor heavily intrenched in my front; and that he was demon 
strating on his right, to draw out and thin Gen. Johnston s line, prepar 
atory to assaulting it at a central point, or to strike his right. Skirmish 
ers advanced in my front, in order to ascertain his strength and state of 
his position, without being able to develop either, because of the dense 
and tangled undergrowth, and the heavy timber which intervened be 
tween the two opposing lines ; and as so many on these advancing 
skirmish lines had been- shot down from ambush, it was concluded to 
ascertain the strength and position of the enemy before me that even 
ing, as per order of the General, through my corps commander, and 
especially, as he had written it was of the utmost importance to know 
we not knowing what other dispositions of the General depended on 
its execution; hence the order, cited above, for the movement. It 
will be seen that the whole advance movement of the infantry de 
pended on the result of Gen. Jackson s cavalry movement on the 
extreme left of my line, and a signal was to be given for his (Jackson s) 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 257 

movement alone, when he ascertained whether the enemy, on my ex 
treme left, was in force and intrenched; and if so, there was to be no 
signal given for the advance of the infantry. Jackson advanced Arm 
strong s brigade promptly at the first signal, which, by a bold, vigor 
ous and direct assault, found him to be in force and intrenched, and 
reported to me at once. I immediately forbade the signal, upon the 
giving of which depended the advance of the infantry, and hurried 
staff officers and couriers to the brigade commanders, ordering them to 
remain in their works, and not advance ; that the enemy in my front 
was strongly intrenched and in force. Smith s infantry brigade did not 
advance, as there had been no signal to do so ; but two brigades, the 
Kentucky and Florida, did advance. Inquiring into the cause, I 
learned that Gen. Lewis, on my extreme right, not knowing cause of 
delay, thinking, perhaps, he had failed to hear the signal for his ad 
vance, and that the infantry lines were engaged, sent an officer to see 
iio\v this was. This officer came down the line to the point where 
Smith s (the left infantry) brigade should have been, and finding 
his works (the line) vacated, and hearing the charge of Armstrong, 
;ook it for granted that Smith was engaged, and that the signal had 
been given, and under this very natural impression, hurried back and 
informed Lewis that Smith was engaged, and that they were behind 
time. Thereupon these two brigades charged. 

In point of fact, the signal for infantry to advance had not been 
Ljiven. Smith had not advanced, but had merely vacated his line of 
\vorks, and formed line of battle under the brow of the hill immediately 
in his front, so as to move more promptly and in better order should 
the signal be given. Thus it is seen that the infantry movement de 
pended altogether upon the information from Jackson as to the strength 
and position of the enemy in his front, (which being received, no 
signal was given), and that the partial and gallant fight was made under 
a misapprehension, (and a very natural one under the circumstances). " 

On the 29th, sharpshooters and skirmishers continued their work all 
day, and, notwithstanding the defenses, Bate s division suffered some 
what. At eleven o clock that night while Stephenson s brigade was 
being moved, in accordance with order from Gen. Hardee, from left 
t > right of Gen. Bate s line, and he was extending his line to the left 
to cover interval thus made, the enemy opened a terrific fire on his 
right and drove in his skirmishers, but this night assault was promptly 
repulsed. Artillery and musketry, however, continued at intervals 
till nearly day to fire furiously upon the position. The lines were 
properly adjusted during the night, but no reply was made after the 
charge on the right had been repelled, but the expected assault, which 
the men quietly awaited, was not made. 

17 



258 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

On the 3oth Gen. Bate was reinforced, and placing his new troops 
in the trenches, he sent Col. Smith to execute a flank movement, and 
come down at nightfall on the Federal extreme right. 

This was done. Striking the right of their works beyond the point 
where Armstrong had assaulted, and finding but little resistance, he 
pushed down to the flank of his line, then occupied only by videttes 
and skirmishers the main force having, the night before, been with 
drawn from Bate s entire front some miles to his left, where defensive 
works had been put up at right angles with his main line. Smith re- 
occupied Dallas, capturing a few prisoners ; and he was greeted by the 
painful spectacle of finding our wounded, some twenty or thirty, who, 
on the 28th, had penetrated the enemy s lines, and fallen into his 
hands, lying in hospitals and uncared for, some of them with limbs 
amputated, and undressed for two days, until, from neglect the 
weather being warm insects had found a lodgment in nearly every 
wound. There were no attendants, and neither medicine nor provis 
ions left for the wounded prisoners who were found there. Every 
possible attention was given them, and a detail of surgeons from their 
respective brigades left with them. The graves in rear of the enemy s 
line indicated the serious punishment he received on the 28th, cor 
roborating the statement of prisoners. 

The campaign from the yth of May till the ist of June had been a 
trying one. There had been much and sometimes serious fighting; 
the losses, particularly in the Kentucky Brigade, had been great ; there 
had been repeated night marches, during which the division had been 
rear guard of the army ; there had been almost daily labor in the con 
struction of defensive works, but everything had been encountered 
cheerfully and executed promptly, and the spirit and zeal of officers 
and men were unabated. 

The enemy gradually extended his intrenched line toward the rail 
road, while Gen. Johnston kept in his front by extending his own; but 
his force was rendered proportionately weaker and weaker, as in many 
instances the men occupied the works not only in single file but even 
a yard apart. Skirmishing and cannonading were kept up almost 
without intermission until the army passed over the Chattahoochee 
River, about the middle of July. On the morning of the 5th of June, 
the enemy had again succeeded in gaining a position to endanger Gen. 
Johnston s flank, when he took up a new line, extending from near the 
railroad, between Acworth and Marietta, to Lost Mountain, on which 
the left rested. While the main army occupied this line, Bate s divis 
ion was stationed on Pine Mountain, in advance, and in range of 
three Federal batteries. Cobb s, Slocomb s, and Mebane s batteries, 
with also a battery of Parrott guns, were in position on Pine Mountain. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 259 

This force remained here until the main line was on the point of being 
abandoned, engaged in skirmishing, sharpshooting, and cannonading, 
and enduring almost daily shelling from the various Federal batteries 
in front. 

Gen. Bate speaks as follows of this position and of the notable and 
distressing casualty which occurred there : 

" Pine Mountain is an isolated hill rising some two or three hundred 
feet from the level of the plain, with graceful slopes on either flank 
studded with timber. The distance from its right to left base across 
the apex, as I fronted the enemy, was about a mile. Substantial re 
sistive works were rapidly constructed. The enemy appeared on my 
front the same day, but approached with much caution. This point 
was some distance in advance of, and separated from the line occupied 
by the main army, and hence was found a serious obstruction to his 
movement, a thorn in his pathway, which he could not well pass with 
out being pierced in the flank, and dared not assault. The enemy 
hugged its base as near as practicable, and kept up a desultory fire 
from his skirmish line, while he planted batteries and brought them to 
bear on my position. An artillery duel, rather furious at intervals, 
continued several days with but little effect. On the i4th day of 
June, Lieut.-Gen. Polk, in company with Generals Johnston, Hardee, 
and others, visited my Hues, and while making observations from the 
top of Pine Mountain, Lieut.-Gen. Polk was shot through and in 
stantly killed by a rifle cannon shot coming from a battery located in 
a right-oblique direction from the center of my line, which was the 
crown of the mountain. This incident not only threw a gloom over 
my command, but appalled it with grief. His gallant bearing, his de 
voted patriotism and Christian virtues, had endeared him to officer 
and private to a degree rarely equalled. This lone mountain, rising 
as a solitary peak from a broad and fertile plain, in full view of hamlet 
and city, around the base of which constantly sweeps a current of 
population over a great Southern thoroughfare, is a fit monument to 
his greatness and goodness, the more so because nature seems to have 
Luilt it there for the occasion." 

On the i pth of June, the Confederate army was formed with its left 
on or near the Marietta and Lost Mountain road, the right on the 
Marietta and Canton road, while the center, now under Gen. Loring 
(ien. Polk having been killed was stationed at Kenesaw Mountain. 
I lood was shortly afterward moved from the right to the left of the 
line, thus leaving Hardee s corps in the center and somewhat to the 
kft of Kenesaw. The same incessant skirmishing and sharpshooting, 
with occasional cannonading, were kept up here till the night of the 
sd of July, when Gen. Johnston withdrew, first to Smyrna Church, 



260 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

then to a line of redoubts covering the Chattahoochee bridge, where 
he remained till the 9th, and then crossed the river, establishing the 
infantry and artillery south of Peachtree Creek. The enemy, by rea 
son of his greatly superior force, had been able to move constantly, 
though slowly, on Atlanta, flanking with strong columns, while still 
leaving an army largely in excess of Gen. Johnston s to confront him. 

While at Kenesaw Mountain, the most important action in which 
the Kentucky Brigade, or any part of it, was engaged, occurred on 
the 2oth of June. 

During the day Gist s brigade, prolonging Gen. Bate s line to the 
right, was covered in front by a strong detachment of skirmishers from 
the Kentucky Brigade. In the afternoon, the enemy made three un 
successful assaults upon this outer line, then under command of Capt. 
Price Newman, Ninth Kentucky, but he was handsomely repulsed. 
After being reinforced, he made a fourth attempt, which was success 
ful. A new detail was sent out under command of Maj. John Bird 
Rogers, Fourth Kentucky, who succeeded in retaking part of the line 
of rifle pits, but chanced himself to mistake for his own, in the dark, an 
intrenched position from which the enemy had not been driven, and, 
here, it is believed he was killed, as he was not afterward heard of except 
through a rumor that a Confederate officer had run up to the intrench- 
ments ordering the men to take or to hold the position. As to what 
ensued no information could be obtained. Lieut. Hez. Nuckols, also 
of the Fourth, was captured near the place where Rogers is said to 
have struck the works. The men to his left succeeded in driving the 
Federal occupants of the pits back upon their base, and they held 
them until about midnight, when they were ordered to withdraw. 
Gist s brigade withstood a strong line of battle after Newman s re 
pulse, fighting for an hour, taking about fifty prisoners, and driving 
the main body back ; but as he did not man the rifle pits in his front, 
the enemy had lodged a strong line of skirmishers there before the de 
tail under Maj. Rogers made the effort to retake them. 

Except the constant cannonading, infantry skirmishes, and cavalry 
engagements, nothing of special note transpired till the i8th of July, 
when Gen. Hood assumed command, Gen. Johnston having been re 
lieved. To the army in general this was a source of surprise and mor 
tification to many, of the bitterest indignation. And nothing con 
tributed more to the distrust with which the measure was viewed than 
the fact that Gen. Bragg was known to have visited Gen. Johnston after 
his passage of the Chattahoochee. The Kentucky troops naturally felt a 
great pride in Gen. Hood, as a native of their own State, and a dash 
ing officer in battle; but they had the most implicit confidence in 
Johnston s generalship, which they had not in Hood s, and were ad- 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 261 

verse to any change. When the order was read to them, they ex 
pressed their feelings according to the various dispositions among 
them. 

Gen. Hood soon withdrew his main army into the defensive works 
around Atlanta, and every effort was made to strengthen them, while 
the enemy approached, under cover of intrenchments, and gradually 
extended his lines toward each flank. A slight engagement took 
place on Peachtree Creek, on the afternoon of July 2oth, in which 
the Kentucky Brigade participated, and suffered some loss, mainly in 
skirmishers under Col. Conner, who charged those of the enemy and 
drove them across the creek. 

After being up and in motion nearly all night of the 2oth, Bate s 
division was moved from the west of the Burkhead road to the 
Atlanta and Augusta railroad, on the 2ist, then back to the first po 
sition. 

Hardee s corps had orders to proceed to the vicinity of Decatur, a 
small town east of Atlanta, for the purpose of attacking the flank of 
the Federal army, extended to their left across the Georgia railroad ; 
and about dark Bate moved his command, though much fatigued, 
through Atlanta, down the McDonough road for some miles, and then 
to Cobb s Mill on Intrenchment Creek. The march was slow and 
toilsome, and the point was not reached till 3 o clock on the morning 
of the 22d. Two hoars afterward, he moved in the direction of 
Decatur, and formed line of battle on the extreme right of Hardee s 
corps. His first orders were to form in two lines, with his right rest 
ing at Mrs. Parker s, on the Decatur road, and then to move, at such 
time as might be designated, in the direction of Renfro s, on the 
Atlanta and Augusta railroad. 

When in motion to assume this position, a staff officer from corps 
headquarters overtook and directed Gen. Bate, by order of Gen. 
Hardee, to halt and form in manner directed half a mile before reach 
ing Mrs. Parker s, parallel to the road on which Bate was moving. 
This he did by placing Lewis brigade and part of Finley s in the front 
line, and Tyler s (Col. Smith) and the other regiments of Finley s 
brigade in rear line. Slocomb s Battery, of Cobb s battalion, being 
the only artillery with him, was placed between the two lines, and be 
ing unable to move through the dense wood and with the line, was 
directed to take a left-hand road, which turned off in the neighborhood 
>f Mrs. Parker s, and, as soon as possible, to unite with the lines in 
ihe forward movement. Caswell s battalion accompanied as a support. 
The Major-General had been informed by Gen. Hardee that a brigade 
irom Cheatham s division, would be ordered to him as a reserve force, 
lor which, after getting in line, he made fruitless application. In lieu 



262 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

thereof, a part of a cavalry regiment reported to him for duty, and de 
ployed in his front, with instructions to remain stationary until a line 
of battle was put in motion, and to keep well advanced until the 
enemy s locality was ascertained, and then to retire by the right flank 
and form on Bate s right. In this formation the division remained for 
an hour or more, waiting for the command on the left to get in po 
sition. 

This command, as Gen. Bate understood, was to be governed in its 
alignment by his position; but Gen. Walker informed him that his 
(Walker s) orders were to form on Cleburne, and all were to dress to 
the left. This was contrary to original order, and fearing that it might 
materially affect his movements, he sent a staff officer for definite in 
structions, who brought an order, after the division was in motion, 
facing toward the railroad, to dress to the left. Wheeler s cavalry, 
meanwhile, passed his right, moving in the direction of Decatur, and 
when it formed facing the enemy, a gap of a mile or more was left be 
tween Bate s extreme right and Wheeler s left, and there was no com 
munication between these commanders during the day. 

Skirmishers having been deployed, the line was put in motion, and 
governed in its movements by the command on the left. The under 
growth was dense, and the surface of the country undulating, with a 
small stream, skirted with broad and miry bottoms along the route. 
Upon ascending the hill beyond the stream, the lines were so placed 
as to necessitate an adjustment. While waiting for this, Bate was 
ordered to move forward at once. He advanced his lines through an 
old field, beyond which he again corrected the alignment, believing, 
from information received, that the enemy was but little distance in 
his front, and probably not aware of the Confederate approach; and 
receiving another peremptory order to move at once upon the enemy, 
he advanced before the lines on his left were adjusted. He had pro 
ceeded but a short distance before the enemy opened the artillery in 
front, across a wooded bottom, filled with an almost impenetrable un 
dergrowth, in which there was an old mill-pond (Widow Perry s), filled 
with the debris and brushwood peculiar to such. His order was to 
move right on, regardless of obstacles, resisting every impediment, 
and, if possible, overrun the enemy. The alignment had been adjusted, 
but it was impossible to keep it so, in consequence of the thick under 
growth forbidding any scope of vision as well as penetration in line, 
and the various obstacles preventing regularity of motion. There had 
been no opportunity for reconnoitering, and he was ignorant of what 
was in his front; but it was believed the enemy was without defenses, 
and hence the desire to move rapidly, and strike him before he had time 
to make them after discovering Bate s approach. This was a mistake. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 263 

The skirmishers soon began their work. The men moved forward 
with alacrity and spirit. On the comb of the hill which overlooked 
this boggy bottom the enemy had a strong force, with breastworks and 
heavy batteries crowning the eminence. The assailants were under 
the fire of small arms before this fact was known. The line moved on, 
though of necessity in fragments, as only stout and athletic men were 
able to pass the morass in good time, while many were killed and 
wounded in struggling through its mire. The undergrowth so ob 
structed the river that the second line closed almost upon the first. 
The enemy not yet being engaged upon the left of Bate s division, 
opened his batteries (one of eighteen guns), and his small arms upon 
that flank, and caused the line, without proper orders, to move by the 
right flank. There was also a heavy fire from the front; yet, but for 
the unfortunate right flank movement, the works would have been car 
ried and held. The men advanced upon them with such spirit as to 
cause the enemy to evacuate them in places; but finding so few Con 
federates able to gain them, the retiring Federals rallied, were re 
inforced, and drove away the gallant spirits who had pressed so far 
forward. This division now numbering not more than twelve hun 
dred men, was reformed, and skirmishers were thrown out to renew 
the attack. Its battery was also brought into play on the enemy s 
lines to divert him from reinforcing other parts of them which were 
being assaulted with more success. On the left of Bate the enemy be 
gan to advance, but was checked by the skirmishers ; but the condi 
tion of the division did not justify a renewal of the attack in force. 
Bate asked for reinforcements with which to do so by moving some 
what to the right, and Maney s brigade, under Gen. Walker, came up 
shortly afterward ; but before anything could be done both this and a 
brigade of his own (Tyler s) were ordered off by Gen. Hardee for 
operations in another part of the field, and the remainder of the com 
mand merely held the ground and did what it could to bring off the 
wounded and bury such of the dead as had not fallen in and under the 
Federal works. 

The Kentucky Brigade was peculiarly unfortunate in this affair. 
When it came within sight of the enemy it was at once absolutely with 
out cover, at short range, and met by a withering volley, rapidly re 
peated and unusually destructive ; while the artillery played fairly 
upon both front and reserve lines. In a very brief space of time one 
Hundred and thirty-five men were killed and wounded, and it was 
noted that more than the wonted number of the most excellent officers 
and men of the command fell there. An effort was made to advance, 
but the confusion and destruction rendered it futile. The brigade was 



264 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

withdrawn by order and retired without panic, though subjected to a 
galling fire while falling back. 

The attack on the left of Bate s division had been far more success 
ful, and, altogether, something was achieved, but nothing to compen 
sate for the loss sustained. On the left, the enemy had been driven 
from his works, and several pieces of artillery, with nearly a thousand 
prisoners, had been captured. 

The corps retired next day into the defenses around Atlanta, which 
was now virtually in a state of siege. The Federal artillery approached 
so near, that, by the ist of August, it was throwing shells into the 
principal streets of the city. Gen. Lewis was sent with his brigade, 
on the 2pth of July, to interrupt a raiding party coming across by way 
of Fairburn and Fayetteville for the purpose of striking the Macon 
road at Jonesboro ; but the main body crossed the railroad lower down, 
and nothing was effected beyond the capture of a few prisoners, after 
which he returned to Atlanta, and resumed his place in the division. 

On the 5th of August, the Kentucky Brigade, and that of Tyler, 
or, at least, a portion of Tyler s, were ordered to form an extended 
line, perpendicularly to the main works, and running from near the 
extreme left of the curve line occupied by the Confederate force. 
These troops were placed in single file, a yard apart, extending far out 
on the Sandtown road, and in the neighborhood of Utoy Creek. 
Skirmish pits were immediately constructed in advance, and the main 
line also fortified. At an early hour next morning (August 6th) the 
enemy appeared, and lively skirmishing began. About one in the 
afternoon, the position was charged in gallant style by two Federal 
brigades. They were allowed to approach very near, having driven 
in the skirmishers, but were thrown back in great confusion. Three 
different assaults were made, but with a like result; and they finally 
retired, with the exception of a portion who were sheltered beyond a 
kind of abrupt hill, in front of Tyler s brigade, against which, and 
the Second and Fourth Regiments, the attack had been mainly directed. 
These were charged by Col. Tom Smith, commanding Tyler s brigade, 
and dispersed. About thirty of them were captured. The success 
was very decided, and the troops were complimented by Lieut. -Gen. 
Stephen D. Lee, who had succeeded to the command of Folk s old 
corps, to which Bate s division was now temporarily attached. The 
following is an extract from Gen. Lee s congratulatory order issued on 
the next day: "The lieutenant-general commanding takes pleasure 
in announcing to the officers and men of this corps the splendid con 
duct of a portion of Bate s division, particularly Tyler s brigade, and 
the Second and Fourth Kentucky Regiments, of Lewis brigade, in 
sustaining and repulsing, on yesterday afternoon, three assaults of the 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 265 

enemy, in which his loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners, was from 
eight hundred to a thousand men, with two colors, three or four hun 
dred small arms, and all of his intrenching tools. Our loss was from 
fifteen to twenty killed and wounded. Soldiers who fight with the 
coolness and determination that these men did, will always be victo 
rious over any reasonable number." 

During the evening, however, a large body of Federal troops suc 
ceeded in turning the left of this traverse force, and it was thus com 
pelled to retire into the main defenses that night. 

About the last of August, when it was known that the enemy was 
moving to the left and threatening the Macon road, now the only one 
open into Atlanta, Bate s division was ordered to East Point. The 
Kentucky Brigade was detached and sent to Jonesboro , where it was 
joined by an Arkansas brigade, detached from another division. A dis 
patch from Gen. Armstrong announced the enemy advancing in heavy 
force, and Gen. Lewis, the ranking officer, in command of the two 
brigades, ordered them to throw up works hastily, with a view to 
the protection of the town. This was done on the 2pth of August. At 
an early hour on the 3oth, a cavalry commander reported that the 
Federals would certainly reach Jonesboro by the close of the day. 
Gen. Lewis continued to press forward his preparations to check them 
and prevent the destruction of the railroad, as the immediate fate of 
Atlanta depended upon this. Late in the afternoon the cavalry was 
driven into the town, and skirmishing began from the outworks. The 
enemy, meeting with a stubborn resistance, and unable to detect the 
real weakness of the force confronting, encamped for the night, and 
twenty thousand men were thus held at bay by a few hundred. During 
the night, Hardee hurried out with the remainder of his own, and 
with Lee s corps, and reached the place about daylight on the morning 
of the 3 1 st. 

It was now conceived to attack the enemy with these two corps be 
fore he could get into position ; but the night march had been pro 
ductive of straggling, and the Confederates were not well in hand until 
noon of that day, by which time the Federals had gotten into position 
and fortified. At three o clock in the afternoon a charge was ordered, 
but proved wholly unsuccessful, the Confederates were repulsed with 
loss, and returned to the shelter of their works. The interval over 
which the charging column had to pass, was, for the most part, an 
open plain or field terminated by rough, and, in some places, almost 
impassable ground in the immediate front of the Federal works. Bat 
teries were advantageously posted, so that, in addition to the small 
arms of the enemy, the air seemed literally swarming with screaming 
.and bursting shells, as the assailants moved across the field toward the 



266 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

Federal position. Lewis brigade pressed closely upon the works, but r 
owing to the ground, was unable to preserve formation, and could have 
reached them only by detached parties, moving on to certain destruc 
tion. 

The loss of the brigade was severe, and among the killed and those 
who fell into the hands of the enemy and died in prison, were several 
gallant and meritorious officers, and privates no less distinguished in 
their sphere. 

It was now evident that Atlanta must be abandoned, and Hood s 
forces be concentrated as speedily as possible to prevent more dire 
misfortunes than had yet befallen them. Lee was hurried back with 
his command to enable the corps yet in Atlanta to withdraw without 
being cut to pieces in the attempt, thus leaving Hardee alone to hold 
the works around Jonesboro . 

On the morning of September ist, the Kentucky Brigade was or 
dered to the depot to take the cars for some point, but after remaining 
there till the afternoon, it was moved to the extreme right of the Con 
federate line, and placed in single file, three feet apart, with orders to dig 
pits and prepare as speedily as possible to receive an attack. Govan s 
brigade reported to Gen. Lewis, who was to command the entire 
force, leaving his own brigade in immediate command of Col. Cald- 
well. The line to which they were assigned had been designated by 
some officer of engineers, and when the two brigades were formed, 
the Kentuckians occupied a space between the Macon road (west or 
northwest of Jonesboro ) and the wagon road leading to Atlanta, their 
right resting on the railroad. Govan s brigade prolonged this line to the 
left, but curving rapidly toward the south, since a prolongation in a di 
rect line with the position occupied by the Kentucky Brigade would 
have thrown Govan among the Federal troops, who were on that part 
of the line, much in advance of the force immediately in front of Col. 
Caldwell. Opposite the point of contact between the Kentucky 
Brigade and Govan s where the curve began, and almost on a line 
with the former, was a Federal battery, which, firing at Govan s right, 
threw its shot in rear of the Kentucky Brigade, having almost a perfect 
enfilade, while an accident to Govan s line would throw the Ken 
tuckians between the force in their front and another assailing their 
rear. After the troops had formed and begun fortifying, Gen. Hardee 
and staff rode out, and, meeting with Capt. Hewitt, inquired about 
the position. He had discovered its weakness, and immediately 
pointed it out, but it was too late to rectify ; and in answer to a ques 
tion as to whether the Kentucky Brigade could hold its position or 
not, he replied, that though an exceedingly bad one, he thought it 
could, but that he feared the line on the left was in danger, and that, 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 267 

on the whole, the situation was a perilous one. He advised that a 
battery be placed across the road at such a point as to enfilade the 
enemy in case he should occupy the pits of the Kentuckians, or fire 
upon his right front if Govan should be driven back. Gen. Hardee 
had two guns placed near the point indicated. The men worked as 
rapidly as possible with such intrenching tools as they had, but these 
were few and poor. One company, which was about as well supplied 
as any, had an old ax, with a rough bit of sapling for a handle, one old 
shovel, and their frying-pans (which they used to throw out dirt with 
after the soil had been broken with the ax and shovel, and the sandy 
earth was reached). They had scarcely begun this work, when the 
Federal batteries opened on them, striking front and rear some shots 
rolling into the half-made pits while the men were in them at work ; and 
before they could finish even slight defenses, the enemy s infantry 
were upon them. Under cover of the thick undergrowth, the Fed 
erals massed a large body of troops and advanced along the whole 
front of both the brigades under Gen. Lewis. The first assault was 
handsomely repulsed, their lines retreating in great confusion ; but they 
again formed, and in greater force; and in the second attempt the half- 
finished works of Govan were carried. Both the left flank and the 
rear of the Kentucky Brigade was now exposed, and Col. Caldwell 
attempted to withdraw, and would have done so, had not an order been 
transmitted from Gen. Cleburne, that the works should be held, as 
reinforcements would promptly assist in reestablishing the broken left. 
But he had scarcely time to order them back into the pits before the 
Federals were pouring in behind his line. The men fought desperately, 
and refused to surrender until they knew themselves hopelessly sur 
rounded. The Ninth Regiment, on the left flank, and first reached, 
behaved with defiant gallantry, till convinced that it was useless to con 
tend longer. 

It is not in keeping with the general tenor of our plan, to notice 
cither officers or men individually in the course of the general narra 
tives, as all are accounted for in another department of the work; but 
we may venture to record, as a mere example of the determination 
with which the enemy was resisted, that Lieut. Boyd was killed here, 
refusing to surrender, while another officer, it is said, was pulled out of 
a pit by the hair of his head, for the same reason, and a strong force 
was at their backs, as well as having gained the front, before any of 
them surrendered. About two hundred of the Kentucky Brigade 
were captured, and most of Govan s brigade. When matters became 
hopeless, all who could do so escaped, by darting rapidly into the brush 
in the rear, as the Federals pressed up the line. Gen. Lewis caused 
the two guns, placed in position as heretofore described, to open on the 



268 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

enemy now occupying the Confederate works, and the fragments of the 
regiments were formed back somewhat in the rear of the left of the line 
which had been occupied by Govan s brigade, and ordered to fire in 
cessantly in the direction of the enemy, who was thus deceived, and 
failed to advance, though there was nothing in his front to prevent it; 
and but for the prompt action of Gen. Lewis, and the circumstance of 
the battery s being in the right place, Hardee s entire corps would have 
been destroyed. 

The casualties of the Kentucky Brigade were few compared with 
those of the day preceding, but the loss of the captured was sorely 
felt in a command already so greatly reduced by three years constant 
service in the field. 

That night, Hardee retreated to Lovejoy s, and erected new works, 
preparatory to checking the foe till the remainder of the army could 
arrive from Atlanta. The other corps came out speedily, and the 
Confederate forces were once more intact. The enemy appeared in 
front on the morning of the 3d, but did not seem disposed to offer 
battle. Bate s division was ordered that evening to proceed to Bear 
Creek Station, four miles farther down the railroad, for the purpose of 
checking a cavalry raid, said to be heading in that direction. 

The only occurrence at this point, of special importance to any, was 
the reception of an order by Gen. Lewis, to proceed to Griffin, for 
the purpose of having his command mounted; and thus the infantry 
service of the Kentucky Brigade, as also its connection with the Army 
of Tennessee, terminated here. 

INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES. 

I. Lieut. Geo. Hector Burton and His Sharpshooters. 

I believe that this officer took more pleasure in a fight than any other 
man I ever knew. He was never wounded, but he exposed himself 
recklessly. When one of his sharpshooters fell, either killed or dis 
abled, and a new one volunteered to take his place, Burton would take 
that man and expose him, with himself, to the severest fire from the 
enemy generally to artillery firing. If the new man stayed with him 
without hunting cover, that would be the last time he would put 
him in danger unless it was absolutely necessary; but if he flinched he 
was sent right back to his company. 

He had an order never to take his men within less than four hun 
dred yards of the enemy ; but he was impetuous, and when the bri 
gade swept by on the charge at Dallas, he said to the sharpshooters, 
"Boys, let s go ; it is too glorious to miss!" They caught his en 
thusiasm and sprang forward, and one of them was killed within 
twenty yards of the enemy s breastworks. That night he and those 
who were not disabled crawled in a pouring rain to those works, feel 
ing around in the dark as they neared them for their fallen com- 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 269 

rade and his gun, but they found neither. One gun had previously 
been lost. Soon after the corps of ten was organized and armed, 
one man got a bullet fast about midway the barrel of his, and failing 
to dislodge it otherwise, tried to melt it, and so spoiled the gun. 
Thus the lieutenant was left, after the Dallas fight, with but eight. 

It was seldom that all these were together, except at night, being 
divided into twos and fours when on duty. Burton s indifference to 
danger was conspicuously shown in visiting the little squads. He 
seemed to know intuitively which was in the hottest place, and there 
he was sure to go and do what he could to protect, while his presence 
cheered and encouraged, the men, whose comfort was his chief and 
ever-present care. 

While, as noted above, the young commander would have none but 
the best, it may not be invidious to mention Taylor McCoy. He 
seemed to take a stern delight in fighting, and was cool, calculating, de 
liberate, and daring. He was unquestionably one of the very best. 

When the brigade was mounted and Gen. Hardee was to accompany 
Mood and so lose his Kentuckians, he had Burton and the men who 
at that time constituted the corps to come to his headquarters, where 
he addressed them substantially as follows : " Men, I am sorry to part 
uith you; I hate to give you up. Had every man in our army been 
as effective as you, had they every one done as much execution as 
each of you, Sherman would not now have a man left." JV. Frank 
Smith, (Second Ken tuck} ). 

II. Another Comrade s Account of Burton s Men. About 
the apth of April, 1864, a corps of sharpshooters was organized in the 
brigade, consisting of two from each of the five regiments. They were 
armed with English Kerr rifles, a magnificent muzzle-loading gun, and 
c artridges of English manufacture capable of throwing a ball the distance 
of a mile with deadly accuracy. Lieut. George Hector Burton was as 
signed to the command of this corps under the immediate direction of 
the brigade commander. Its theater of operations embraced the entire 
length of the brigade line of battle. 

The boys had been chosen because of their superior marksmanship ; 
and their principal duty was to pick off the gunners of such batteries 
as made themselves troublesome when not in regular battle. Batteries 
hidden behind their breastworks frequently became very annoying to 
us, throwing shot and shell among us. Securing, if possible, a posi 
tion commanding a view of the battery, the boys soon obtained the 
range, and as the smoke of the gun announced its discharge, they were 
enabled to pour a volley into the embrasure, which almost surely caught 
some of the gunners, who, at that moment, ran up to swab and reload 
the piece. So much execution was done by this kind of fighting that 
batteries exposed to view seldom took the risk of firing unless some 
emergency required it. 

There was a freedom and hazard in this sort of warfare which made 
it fascinating to the boys, though no less than seventeen of them were 
killed or disabled during the march to Atlanta. As fast as they fell 
others took their places. No part of the army did more effective ser 
vice during the fearful campaign than did those skillful, fearless sharp 
shooters. Many a battery did they silence which might otherwise 
have done us serious injury. 



270 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

Here I will relate an incident showing the cool gallantry of Lieut. 
Burton. At the battle of Jonesboro , on the first day of September, he, 
with his men, occupied the extreme right of our line ; the shadows of 
night were beginning to fall upon the combatants; the gathering 
gloom and a dense undergrowth of timber made it difficult to distin 
guish a friend from a foe. Burton, while striving to rally a mass of 
fugitives, calling upon them to follow him as he moved forward, ran 
suddenly against a soldier who ordered him to surrender. Looking 
quickly around he found himself confronted with a gun in the hands 
of a grim-looking blue-coat, who repeated his demand. A glance sat 
isfied him that there was no escape, and he promptly yielded himself 
a prisoner. His captor conducted him to the line of breastworks we 
had so recently vacated and directed him to move on back to the Fed 
eral lines. He did so, creeping through the bushes, until he reached 
a point where few were passing, and then turning to the right, and 
passing between the two lines of battle, the darkness favoring him, he 
succeeded in getting round our right flank and rejoining us in less than 
an hour after his capture. 

At Lovejoy Station, six miles south of Jonesboro , the last shot of 
the four-months campaign was fired, the Federals withdrawing to At 
lanta. The brigade was moved on down to Griffin, then to Barnes- 
ville, it having been determined to mount it as soon as horses could be 
procured. The sharpshooters were compelled to exchange their splen 
did Kerr rifles for common Enfields, but were permitted to retain their 
organization intact, and were placed under the command .of Lieut. 
Buchanan, with full permission to roam in any direction where horses 
might be captured from the enemy. After many miles tramping from 
Campbellton on the northeast to Newnan on the west and Stone 
Mountain on the east of Atlanta, the boys returned to the brigade, 
having had little success in capturing horses, and were respectively 
assigned to their former companies. Thomas Owens, (Fourth Ken 
tucky. ) 

III. How the Gallant Fellow Lost His Life. About noon 
of June aoth, when the brigade skirmishers were engaged in front of 
Kenesaw Mountain, Capt. Newman, in command, sent back to the 
Sixth Regiment for men to take the place of two of its men who had 
just been killed. Col. Gofer called on Co. H to furnish one of these, 
when Sergt. Tom Cox, who had been in almost every engagement, 
great and small, from the beginning, promptly offered to take the 
place. A comrade reminded him that he himself was next on the list 
for skirmish duty; but Cox replied that the comrade had already done 
more than he, and he wanted to do a full part. He set off with the 
guide, and soon after taking his place on the perilous line was killed 
by a sharpshooter. 

IV. A Rifleman Up a Tree. While the Confederate army was 
occupying Pine Mountain in Georgia, a smaller hill a half mile in front 
of which, if secured by the Federals, would have given them a great 
advantage, enabling them to enfilade with cannon a part of the Con 
federate line, was heavily guarded by our skirmishers. These were 
somewhat annoyed by Federal sharpshooters from the dense woods in 
front. One day two men of Co. B, Fourth Kentucky, were shot dead 
within two or three hours, James Chism and John Hennessey. Soon 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 271 

after the death of Chism, who was the last to fall, an orderly came to 
our rifle pit on the main line, and said another man was wanted from 
Co. B; whereupon our orderly sergeant, John Brummitt, called out, 
Hutchen, get ready for picket." " There, now," said I, " my time 
has nearly come. Good-bye, John " and hastily taking up and put 
ting on my outfit, I was soon at the little hill that had been so fatal a 
place for my comrades. The line of skirmishers was on the very top 
most ridge of the hill and just behind the hill, but a pace or two, and 
perhaps three feet lower than the ground on which they stood, was a 
kind of table-land extending the full length of the line. On this 
table, where there was no sort of danger of the balls from the front, 
lay the two dead whose names I have given. I looked upon them, 
sadly, and noticed that each had come to his instant death from a ball in 
the very center of the forehead. Noting this, I asked of the skirmish 
ers near me," Where did these men stand? " They pointed to a pile 
of rocks alongside a tree just above me and answered, "There." 
"Well," said I, " I will shift the position," and accordingly took a 
.seat several feet to the right of the fatal rock. After awhile, not hear 
ing any bullets singing near me, I took a stick upon which I placed 
my hat, and, crawling to the stones by the trees, elevated the hat to 
tiie top of them. In an instant I heard the ping of a ball. On taking 
down the hat, I found a bullet had made the hat its billet, and three 
several times the hat was thus stricken by the good marksman in the 
Avoods before us. At the last shot I discovered, a long distance off, 
Hiioke issuing from a large tree some twenty or thirty feet from the 
ground, and after the smoke cleared away, plainly saw one of Ber- 
dan s pets. 

Just then one of our sharpshooters, Taylor McCoy, came up. I 
tried hard to make him see the Federal sharpshooter, but in vain. 
Finally he handed me his long-range gun and said, " Shoot him your 
self." I said I would try, and taking careful aim, pulled the trigger, 
vhen several saw him fall from the tree. I then went to the pile of 
rucks and there remained until relieved. It was thought that the 
stand taken by Co. B s boys was perhaps the only one clearly exposed 
to the view of the sharpshooters in front. Virginius Hutchcn, (Fotirth 
Kentucky). 

V. "A Roland for An Oliver." In 1864, while the Confeder 
ate army occupied the Kenesaw twin mountains, near Marietta, Ga. , 
the Federals let off a shot or shell that exploded a caisson on the top 
of Little Kenesaw. In a very few minutes afterward the Confederate 
Buttery, on Big Kenesaw, from its lofty perch, sent a missile that ex 
ploded a caisson on the Federal line, and before the vast cloud of 
white smoke had rolled away, both armies gave a shout that made the 
welkin ring. It was the grandest tit-for-tat perhaps they had ever seen. 
The "Orphan Brigade" was there. Virginius Hutchen, (Fourth Ken 
tucky). 

VI. They Would Do the Wind-Work. When the detail 
under that splendid soldier, Maj. John Bird Rogers, who lost his life 
there, was forming to retake the riflepits at Kenesaw, on the evening 
of June aoth, 1864, a man of my company, James F. Jordan, who 
was one of the detachment, said when he came back, that some of 



272 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

the men who had lost the works bawled out: "Go in Kaintuck 
We ll yell! " Capt. Hugh Henry (Co. H, Fourth Kentucky], 

VII. About to Kill His Friend. When the order was sent at 
midnight of June 2oth, at Kenesaw, to withdraw the detail from the 
skirmish pits retaken by them under Maj. Rogers, the men of the 
Sixth Kentucky did not receive it and were left until their absence was 
reported at headquarters and Capt. Buchanan went specially to them. 
These were Lieut. Frank Harned, Wm. S. B. Hill, Milton B. Stotts, 
and Henry S. Harned. There was a considerable interval between 
them, Hill on the extreme left and Henry Harned on the extreme right. 
The latter got warning first and started to creep along the line and 
notify the others. As the enemy was known to be near, and even a 
slight noise or the appearance of a moving object was likely to bring a 
shot, he was keeping close to the ground and moving cautiously along 
the front of the line, when Hill, who had heard nothing, perceived 
what he took to be a Federal picket, at the distance of about twenty 
yards, creeping towards him. Scanning the object as closely as possi 
ble in the darkness, he concluded that the man was trying to surprise 
and capture or kill a Confederate skirmisher. Bringing his rifle to bear 
upon him he cocked it. Harned was fortunately by this time near 
enough to hear the ominous click, and, realizing his danger, spoke his 
name. Recognizing the tones of a messmate and comrade, to whom 
he was more than ordinarily attached, and realizing that but for the 
timely warning he would have shot him to death, Hill was seized with 
such a tremor that he dropped his gun and was for a moment dizzy and 
sick. Having thus narrowly escaped death for the one and distraction 
for the other, they now made their way back to the main line. 

VIII. Devoted Brothers. John A. Hays and his brother Daniel, 
of Co. B, Fifth Kentucky, displayed a remarkable brotherly attach 
ment, which was evidently so sincere that their officers respected it 
and humored their wish to share every duty and danger in company. 
They did guard, picket and fatigue duty together, and both fell in the 
same battle, (July 22nd, 1864), John being killed and Daniel mortally 
wounded. Their captain expressed the belief that if only one had 
been shot down, the other would have stayed with him regardless of 
consequences. 

IX. After Intrenchment Creek : If They Had But Known. 
Just after dark on the 22nd of July, 1864, when the men of the bri 
gade who were still on foot had bivouacked in an open wood southeast 
of the battlefield, the writer was standing near a fire which he and a 
few messmates had started for the purpose of preparing the scant sup 
per left to them. Capt. Hewitt came by and stopped to relieve the 
gloom of the so recent disaster with a few cheerful words. " Well," 
he said among other things, " I passed a group of the Ninth Regiment 
a moment ago talking about to-day s affair, and they brought me in. 
I wasn t hanging around to hear, but it came as I was walking by un- 
perceived. One said, I have courage enough to stay and try to do 
my duty when fighting has to be done, but I do wish I could bear my 
self like that man Hewitt. He rode down there into the jaws of that 
hell on the left, to get us out of the tangle, composed and smiling. I 
like it. " And then Hewitt remarked to us: " And I said to myself, 
My friend, if you only knew how badly Hewitt was scared you 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 273 

wouldn t like it ! " When it is known that two of the group overheard 
were Capt. Chris Bosche and Lieut. Henry Buchanan, of Co. H, 
N inth Kentucky, the compliment paid their adjutant-general will appear 
of unusual significance. If Bosche and Buchanan had had Eneas s 
privilege of visiting Avernus, there would have been short parley with 
;he ill-natured and howling Cerberus, when they got to the gate: they 
would have told him promptly where they came from and closed in on 
ii im for a fight. 

X. A Humane and Heroic Act. After the fruitless charge on 
the enemy s works at Jonesboro , August 31, 1864, across the open 
field intervening between the railroad and the Federal position, as 
hitherto described, and the brigade had retired, the firing from the 
rifle-pits continued fiercely for a few minutes, and some of the infantry 
< orps were struck while bravely trying to bring off those who had 
f.illen. Above the din could be heard the cries of our wounded men 
who lay here and there in close range of the enemy s guns, and volun 
teers were called for to attempt their rescue. To this there was a quick 
response by three men whose names deserve to be held in everlasting 
remembrance. They were John W. Green, Co. B, Ninth Kentucky 
(sergeant-major of his regiment) ; John B. Spurrier, Co. B, Sixth Ken- 
uicky, and Thomas Young, Co. C, Ninth Kentucky. As they dashed 
across the space in full view of the Federals, they drew a terrific fire; 
but when each reached a wounded comrade, lifted him, and turned to 
bear him off, the enemy suddenly ceased firing and sent up a rousing 
cheer. The splendid act was too much for honorable foes ; ringing 
applause was substituted for volleys of musketry, and testified to their 
admiration. 

XI. How a Bullet Made a Sans Culotte. Wm. M. Robb, 
of Co. K, Fifth Kentucky, was a thoroughly careless and clownish 
fellow, who never had his coat buttoned if he could help it, nor his 
shoes tied, and he scarcely ever had more than one button at a time on 
his pantaloons. His captain once said that Robb lost more guns 
u:id clothing during the war than he could pay for in a lifetime, with 
nages at $11 per month. At the battle of Jonesboro , August 3ist, 
1 364, he had, as usual, but the one button which secured his panta 
loons at the waistband and no suspenders, and this button and waist 
band were not covered by the cartridge belt. Presently, having his side 
towards the Federal lines, his waist was grazed by a bullet which car- 
ri -d away the lone support of the breeches, and down they dropped. 
He quickly drew them up, and held them with his hand, but there was 
warm work around him shot, shell, and rifle balls were fairly sweep 
ing like hail along the lines ; and as he had nothing to fasten them with, 
and was too good a soldier to turn his back upon the foe without 
orders, he let them go, stepped out of them, and went forth bare 
legged. He fought it through in that condition, and marched out with 
flying colors. 

XII. Presence of Mind. Much was written during the war, and 
has been since, about the gallant conduct of soldiers who threw shells 
out of riflepits, and from the immediate presence of uncovered lines 
of battle, before they could explode, and thus saved lives. When the 
brigade was hurriedly engaged, September i, 1864, under fire of the 
Federal batteries, trying to provide some protection against a charge 

18 



274 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

upon its weak line, William M. Steenbergen, and Mark H. Jewell, 
Co. E, Sixth Kentucky, each threw a shot out of his pit, under the 
apprehension that it was a loaded shell. Though all were in deadly 
peril, Jewell said composedly to a comrade, James O. Wilkinson, as 
he resumed his work: "Jim, I ought to be promoted to major on the 
spot for that." 

XIII. A Hero and a Martyr. Father Blemill was a fit counter 
part to Chaplain Kavanaugh in his devotion to the men cf his com 
mand and in his steadfast courage. Comrade Thomas Owens paid 
him the following just and beautiful tribute in " The Sunny South" 
some years ago: " He was of French extraction and a priest of the 
Catholic Church, and was chaplain of the Fourth Kentucky Regi 
ment. His faithfulness and devotion to the duties of his calling, and 
to the cause which he had espoused, endeared him to the soldiers of 
his charge, both Protestant and Catholic. He knew no difference of 
creed in his preaching to us, or in his ministrations to the sick and 
wounded. True to a sense of duty, and shrinking from no danger, 
he always went with his regiment into battle, remaining just in the rear 
where his services to the wounded would be most needed. And here, 
while at his post of duty, he was instantly killed by an exploding 
shell at the bloody battle of Jonesboro , Ga., August 3ist, 1864. We 
carried his body to the rear and reverently buried it in a grave a hun 
dred yards or more southeast from the old stone depot at Jones 
boro ." 

The manner of his death was peculiar and touching in the extreme. 
It was after the assaulting column had found it impossible to carry the 
Federal position, and had been ordered to retire. As Gen. Lewis 
rode back under the destructive fire of artillery and musketry that was 
still kept up, observing his broken regiments making their way to 
shelter, he noticed Father Blemill kneel beside Capt. Gracie, of a 
South Carolina regiment, and lift his hands to utter a prayer for the 
dying officer. At that instant a cannon ball from one of the enemy s 
guns carried away the head of the heroic priest. He had evidently 
perceived that Gracie was wounded unto death, and halted to supplicate 
Heaven for the repose of his soul. In the act of making petition his 
own took its flight, in advance of his for whom he had lifted holy 
hands. That evening the detail sent to remove our dead found them 
sleeping together where their life-blood, commingling, had made them 
a gory bed. 

When a branch of the Confederate Memorial Association was 
formed at Jonesboro , his remains were removed from where the Ken- 
tuckians had buried him to the Pat Cleburne Cemetery and placed be 
tween those of Capt. Gracie and a soldier named Ignatius Brook?, 
who died in hospital there in 1864. About the year 1890 one of the 
Benedictine Fathers, to whose order Father Blemill belonged, brought 
his remains to Kentucky, and they now rest in their monastery in 
Nelson County. 

XIV. A Dreadful Experience. It is to be lamented that among 
all who, during the war, held places of power and responsibility, 
Kentucky developed one Jeffreys, one brutal and blood-thirsty monster, 
to mar the pages of her history one whose memory is justly execrated 
by the honorable men of both armies, and whose monument of infamy 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 275 

is the numerous graves at Frankfort and elsewhere in the State filled 
by those who were murdered in obedience to his orders. 

A member of the Orphan Brigade, Gervais I). Grainger, Co. I, 
Sixth Regiment, had some experience with Burbridge which may be 
recited in brief to indicate the treatment to which innocent men and 
helpless prisoners in his hands were subjected. Grainger was a brave 
and efficient soldier and an honorable man. From Vicksburg to 
Jonesboro he fought with his command in its numerous battles and 
partook of its hardships as a Kentuckian " leal and true." At 
Jonesboro , August 31, 1864, he and some comrades were caught 
within the lines, with the battle-flag in their possession, and when the 
brigade was driven back they concealed themselves to escape capture 
and buried the banner, that it, at least, might not fall into the enemy s 
hands. They were not discovered, and at night dug up their colors 
and worked their way around traverses and the pits in front of them, 
and rejoined their command. The next day, however, he was cap 
tured with the rest. 

When the Kentuckians were started from Chattanooga, after a week s 
detention there, towards Nashville, he, with George R. Page, Jack 
Gavin and others tried to escape from the box car in which they were 
shut up, but only he succeeded. From La Vergne, Tenn., where he 
got through the hole which they had cut in the bottom of their 
box, he made his way, after encountering numerous dangers and diffi 
culties, being once recaptured and again escaping, and suffering with 
hunger and fatigue, to his father s house in Simpson county. Remain 
ing a few days, he attempted to return to his command, which had now 
been exchanged ; but was recaptured and carried to Scottville, thence 
to Bowling Green, thence to Louisville, where he was imprisoned with 
eighteen others. In less than a month orders came from Burbridge to 
execute four of them. In the drawing of lots Grainger was not one 
of the unfortunate ones who were manacled and sent by rail to the 
place of execution ; but next morning the names of eight men were 
called, of whom he was one; and when they were handcuffed and 
placed on the east-bound train they supposed they were on the way to 
be executed, but they were carried to Lexington and placed in prison 
with about three hundred citizens and soldiers, old men and boys, and 
their handcuffs removed. 

Kept here a month in an almost starving condition, he learned on the 
night of November ist, 1864, that he was one of fifteen from whom 
ten were to be taken and killed. In the drawing which followed he 
was again fortunate enough to be spared for the time. The full enor 
mity of the proceedings attending the drawing and the preparation of 
the victims for the slaughter, (apparently ordered in a spirit of fiendish 
cruelty to prolong the agony of suspense), has been graphically set 
down by T. O. Chisholm, as related by Grainger himself, and after 
ward published in the Franklin Favorite. The fifteen men were or 
dered to a lower floor, where they were surrounded by thirty or forty 
armed soldiers. Now follows the description of what ensued : 

" Two officers stood at a desk near by, with their backs turned upon 
us, and a third stood in our midst, holding a hat in his hand. Raising 
it above his head, he announced that he was ready. One of the offi 
cers at the desk came forward, and placing his hand in the hat, he drew 



276 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

therefrom a single slip of paper. This was carried to the officer re 
maining at the desk, and the name written thereon silently recorded in 
an open book. Another and another slip was drawn until ten names 
were registered. 

The terrible meaning of this dumb procedure was all too plain. Ten 
men were to be executed, but which of our names had been inscribed 
on the death roll was not as yet revealed. We were commanded to 
go back up stairs, which we did, followed by the soldiers who had been 
present at the drawing. 

"The soldiers on duty in the prison were then directed to close up to 
their right, and the space thus cleared was filled by those who came 
from below. The walls of the prison were literally lined with loaded 
guns and bristling bayonets. An officer stepped forward and demanded 
the attention of the troops. Every prisoner was ordered to lie flat on 
the floor, and any man who should raise his head unless his name was 
called was to be shot without further orders. 

"Another file of soldiers came up from the fateful room below, the 
first two bearing an anvil and the others bringing balls, chains and 
handcuffs. During these preparations a stillness as of death reigned in 
the room, broken only by the clanking of chains and the solemn tread 
of those who bore them. Motionless and almost breathless, we lay on 
the floor and watched the development of the awful program. How 
our minds flew back to home and loved ones, as we contemplated an 
approaching fate, in which each of the fifteen expected to share ! 

"The details of preparation perfected, an officer said in tones that 
were touched with a solemnity befitting the moment, Thomas Hunt, 
come forward. 

"He was a young man of twenty years from Maysville, Ky. , a mag 
nificent specimen of physical manhood and as brave as a lion. He 
arose promptly and walked to the officer, holding up both hands as he 
said calmly and distinctly : If it is for my country I die, it is all right. 
To this the officer replied : You will possibly not be so patriotic be 
fore you get through with this. 

"Handcuffs were placed upon him, and the click of each cuff as it was 
pressed together was plainly audible all over the prison. He was then 
told to sit upon the floor, and shackles, one of which was attached to 
a long chain and a ball of forty pounds, were put about his ankles. 
Each foot was placed upon the anvil, and a man, wielding blow after 
blow with a hammer, riveted the shackles firmly together. This was 
all. Thomas Hunt s doom was sealed, and he was ready for execu 
tion. 

"Ten minutes had passed since Hunt s name was called until the echo 
of the hammer s last blow had died away. Who was to come next? 
The agony of soul which each of the remaining fourteen men suffered 
baffles the puny insufficiency of language to describe. We were ready 
if need be to die for the cause we had espoused ; but to be executed 
to avenge a crime we had not committed, and of which we had no 
knowledge, made the situation tenfold harder to contemplate. 

"In another moment the suspense of one of us was forever relieved. 
His name was called, he arose and went forward, and the same process 
through which the first victim had been carried was repeated. One 
by one the names were called, and one by one the dooms were sealed, 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 277 

as shackles, chains and cuffs of steel were fastened upon those on whom 
the lot had fallen. 

As the number remaining grew less the suspense waxed more awful. 
I lay prostrate, with fists clenched, teeth set together and every mus 
cle drawn to its utmost tension. So powerfully was I wrought upon 
that my finger nails almost pierced the flesh of each palm. Dim oil 
lamps, few in number, shed a strange, uncertain light upon the solemn 
scene. Not a word had been spoken, save by him who called the 
deathroll, until the last name was reached, when the same fateful 
sentence that had been uttered an hour before greeted my ears : That s 
ten. 

"This done, the balls and chains were removed from the doomed men. 
A small space was allotted to them near the stove, and in this they sat 
grouped together, gazing vacantly into each other s faces. With them 
the die was cast; and in that despair which sees no gleam of hope they 
waited for their fate. Some of them procured Bibles and read for 
hours. The lips of others could be seen moving in prayer. The offi 
cers had all gone below, and the lynx-eyed guards that stood along the 
shadowy walls seems as rows of spectres. The stillness that reigned 
in the room was oppressive, broken only by an occasional sigh breathed 
by some of the three hundred prostrate prisoners. The soldiers them 
selves were deeply impressed with the solemnity of the situation. 

I lay in one position on the hard floor the whole of that terrible night, 
not daring even to move, for fear that my life, grown more precious 
to me than ever, might pay the penalty. Sleep was of course out of 
the question, but as I lay and gazed upon the scene about me, the 
feeling would now and then steal in upon my consciousness that the 
whole thing was a horrible nightmare. Oh! how I longed for the 
morning, though it was a longing not unmixed with dread, for I had 
no assurance that I would not be called upon to meet the doom which 
had already been assigned to my companions, 

Finally the shadows of night gave way to the indistinct light of dawn. 
A sigh of relief went up from the floor of the prison, saving that space 
where the ten men sat, quietly awaiting the approach of the end. 
What storms of agony raged in their bosoms, what keen knife thrusts 
of despair pierced their hearts, as they thought of the homes where 
mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, wives or children were eagerly an 
ticipating their coming back who should never return ; what shrink 
ing from the awful fate that was near at hand and what thoughts of the 
great future upon which they were soon to enter, passed in hurried 
march through their minds, will never be known until the last great 
day, though a pitiable index of their feelings was seen upon every face, 
which wore a cast of inexpressible sadness. 

"By and by it was fully day. The heavens seemed to be in sympa 
thy with the occasion, as a dismal mist of rain was falling, and the 
clouds were dark and lowering. Breakfast was announced at six 
o clock, and although our appetites had been sharpened by thirty days 
on quarter rations, I dare say not a morsel was touched by any man in 
the prison. Soon the scream of a locomotive was heard in the dis 
tance, and a moment later it drew up with two or three cars in front 
of the prison door and stopped. An officer, with some soldiers, as 
cended the stairs and commanded the condemned men to get ready. 



278 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

Each man rose unfalteringly as his name was called, and with man 
acled hands clutched the chain fastened to his leg and threw the iron 
burden over his shoulder. For some reason the names of only eight 
were called, and it was afterward reported that an indemnity had been 
offered to secure the release of the other two. 

"The death procession filed down the stairway, young Hunt leading 
the way. It was followed by the soldiers who had stood on guard 
during the night, a fresh detail taking their places. Hunt and his seven 
comrades were carried to Frankfort, where in the outskirts of the city 
eight new-made graves were waiting to receive their occupants. The 
doomed men were assembled in close proximity to the graves, and a 
minister who chanced to be present asked the privilege to hold a brief 
religious service, which was granted. 

"One of the prisoners was an old man of seventy years. His hair was 
silvery white, and he had tottered along with the rest, scarcely able to 
bear the heavy iron ball. From long confinement he was much ema 
ciated and very weak. The iron band about his ankle had worn its 
way into the flesh, and he had torn off a piece of his clothing and 
slipped it between the shackle and bleeding surface. While prayer 
was being offered, he managed with the aid of the cloth to slip the 
shackle from his leg. When the Amen was pronounced he rose 
with the others, and, quickly whirling about, made a desperate effort 
to escape. Gun after gun was discharged, but he ran on until he 
reached a fence. Just as he was mounting it, the sure aim of a sol 
dier pierced him in a vital part and he fell over the fence dead. 

"This was witnessed by the other seveli, but they seemed unmoved, 
and were evidently determined to die like brave men. They were 
ranged in a row and a detachment of fifty soldiers stood in front of 
them fifteen paces away. One of the prisoners asked for a drink of 
water before being executed and it is said to have been dipped from 
one of the graves and handed him. The words ready, aim/ 
fire/ were then spoken in quick succession, a volley of bullets was 
discharged, and seven souls were sent into eternity. 

"To day there stands in the cemetery at Frankfort a monument 
erected in memory of these eight men [and of others], and every year 
flowers are brought and strewn over their graves. 

"The next day Dick Vance, commander of the post, came into prison. 
I recognized him, and still fearing that I might be the unlucky victim 
in another draft, I approached him, told him who I was, and that I 
desired, if possible, to be released. He had already received a letter 
from Dr. G. W. Duncan, of Franklin, written in my behalf and had 
doubtless come in search of me. I was promised a hearing on the 
morrow, which was had, and which resulted in my being admitted to 
parole north of the Ohio river. 

"On the following day myself and four others who had secured hear 
ings when I did, one of them a nephew of John J. Crittenden, were 
placed in charge of an escort of soldiers. They were part of those 
who had participated in the slaughter of our comrades at Frankfort, 
and from them we learned the details of the execution. We were car 
ried across the river to Cincinnati, and were free men once more. 

"I remained there a month or so, after which, through the instru 
mentality of Mrs. Francis Ford, of Covington, then Miss Augusta 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 279 

Webb, the Legislature passed an act in my favor, making the corporate 
line the limit of my parole." 

Grainger s experience while in the power of the inhuman wretch 
was such as to create a vengeful determination to kill him, cost what it 
might; and in the autumn of 1865, he thought he had found his op 
portunity. Meeting him in the Metropolitan Hotel, in Cincinnati, in 
conversation with Garrett Davis, he reminded him of the butchery of 
his comrades at Frankfort, and drew his pistol to shoot him ; but Davis 
threw himself in the way, and other bystanders interfered, which en 
abled Burbridge to escape. 

The indomitable character of the old Orphan is shown by his con 
duct since that time, as well as by his record while in the field. For 
many years he has been almost totally blind, but to all outward seem 
ing has " bated nothing of heart or hope." Engaging in such business 
as a man in his condition is capable of, he has admirably maintained 
himself and his family, and is known as an honorable citizen as well 
as a loyal comrade. 



280 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 



CHAPTER XV. 

THE BRIGADE, AS MOUNTED INFANTRY, IN GEORGIA AND SOUTH CARO 
LINA. INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES. 

It had been, for a great while, the earnest wish of the men, and, in 
most instances, of the officers, that they should be mounted, and thus 
render it possible for them to accompany some expedition into Ken 
tucky, where they could hope to fill their depleted ranks, as well as en 
joy something more of communication with home and friends. They 
had served long and with exceeding faithfulness, wholly cut off from 
their native State, and the prospect of returning grew more and more 
hopeless while they were retained in the infantry service. Various 
efforts had been made during the past year, but one difficulty after an 
other arose to prevent the Government from taking the action desired. 
But the change had at last been decided upon, and steps were taken to 
effect it as speedily as possible. 

On the yth of September, just four months from the time of having 
marched out from Dalton, the brigade quitted the remainder of the di 
vision, and marched to Griffin, thence to Barnesville, where the first 
installment of horses was distributed, and life in the " Old Brigade 
assumed a new phase. 

The four months preceding, however, had told so disastrously upon 
them that there were few left now for any service. On leaving Dalton, 
the five thousand, of which the regiments and the battery had orig 
inally been composed, had dwindled down to eleven hundred and 
twenty enlisted men, with the proportionate number of officers. At 
Barnesville, in September, 1864, there were but two hundred and 
seventy-eight guns. 

The loss during the campaign from Dalton to Jonesboro had been 
about nine hundred men, rank and file, and of these only two hun 
dred had been captured. Counting all wounds, as noticed in the quo 
tation from Shaler in Chapter I, the number was more than fifty per 
cent, greater than that of the men composing the command when the 
fighting began on Rocky Face Ridge. Many had been struck re 
peatedly, while very few escaped altogether. Gen. Hardee reports 
the actual loss of the brigade to have been greater than that of any 
other in the corps. For four months there had scarcely been a day in 
which some had not been killed or wounded, sometimes from forty to 
one hundred and fifty in a single one. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 281 

But those who remained entered with great zest into the new project; 
and for a time there were even accessions to the ranks, as those who 
had been disabled for infantry service reported as soon as an oppor 
tunity to be useful presented itself. Some who were sent on honorable 
detail service, sought to be relieved, that they might rejoin the ranks 
and try with their comrades, this (to them) new feature of the service. 

At Barnesville, as has been said, more than two hundred horses were 
distributed among the men ; but they were in miserable plight, being, 
in the main, such as had been abandoned by the raiders who had 
passed through the State. They were not utterly worthless, however, 
and the " old web-foots," as the cavalry laughingly called them, got 
upon them and began their movements, even before saddles were 
furnished. A detail had been sent to Xewnan for the purpose of manu 
facturing saddles, and these were distributed as fast as they could be 
turned out; but it was long before those of the command who, first 
and last, obtained horses at all, were supplied. 

Those who had been captured at Jonesboro were exchanged on the 
ipth of September, by a special arrangement; and with these and the 
wounded who had recovered, the aggregate was about nine hundred ; 
but of this number more than two hundred were never mounted, 
being continually, from that time till the close of the war, moved from 
place to place, under command, first of Col. Wickliffe, then of Col. 
Connor, either to guard some threatened point, or assist in collecting 
abandoned horses designed for their use sometimes moving in con 
nection with the cavalry troops. Gen. Lewis left no means untried to 
have the entire command properly mounted and equipped; but the 
_, r reat scarcity of suitable Government horses left him solely dependent 
upon such as could be gathered up in the track of the raiders ; and, 
though his chief quartermaster, intrusted with the direction of this 
\vork, labored long and earnestly, the object was never wholly accom 
plished. 

The nature of the subsequent service was of so desultory a charac 
ter that it would be impossible to notice it in detail, even were it neces 
sary or desirable. We may remark, however, as preliminary to the 
following hasty sketch of this part of their career, that though no im 
portant engagements afterward occurred in their department, and but 
few casualties are recorded, they were nevertheless active until the very 
last, and lost none of whatever efficiency might be displayed by so 
small a body of men, in such circumstances as they were afterward 
placed. 

Gen. Lewis, intrusted now with larger discretionary powers, as he 
was often wholly detached from every other force, exerted himself un 
tiringly, and with excellent judgment, to harass and thwart the enemy, 



282 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

and, when possible, to deal him a blow. In making or receiving an 
attack, the men always dismounted, as they retained their old weapon, 
the Enfield rifle, and as their horses were, to say the least, not alto 
gether suitable for a charge, being of that unique kind best adapted to 
a certain species of ground and lofty tumbling. 

From Barnesville, Gen. Lewis went to Forsythe, thence, after a 
short time, across the Chattahoochee, by way of Newnan, to a point 
near to Campbellton, for picket duty. After remaining here a few 
days, he was ordered to Stockbridge, a little post-village on the Mc- 
Donough road, eighteen miles south of Atlanta. The brigade was 
now part of the division commanded by Brig. -Gen. Iverson, who 
established a strong picket-line near Atlanta, on all the roads leading 
southward, and here the Kentucky Brigade did constant picket and 
scout duty until the i5th of November, when Sherman began his 
" march to the sea," and toward the close of the day the pickets were 
driven in, and Gen. Lewis moved out to skirmish with his advance 
column. He fell back slowly before the enemy, with the main body, 
while Col. Hawkins, who had been sent out with a scouting party 
toward Yellow River, went down parallel with his flank. When the 
command reached Griffin, Gen. Wheeler had arrived from the Army 
of Tennessee, and was collecting such force as he could to oppose the 
columns of Sherman, or, at least, to prevent the widespread devasta 
tion which would result from marauding parties if allowed to operate 
undisturbed on each flank. He left there with from four to five thou 
sand cavalry and mounted infantry, which, with about eight hundred 
militia under Gen. Gus Smith, was all the force that was at hand to 
confront the immense army of Sherman. Successful resistance was, of 
course, out of the question, and nothing could be accomplished but to 
prevent small parties from preying upon the people far out of the line 
of march. Wherever such advance or flanking parties could be found, 
they were driven back upon the main body, and the Kentucky Bri 
gade, though small, was conspicuous in this service, and in daring 
scouts, flank and rear. 

When Sherman s army reached Savannah, Gen. Hardee, in com 
mand there, had one regiment of veteran volunteer infantry, and 
seven thousand militia, old men and boys, with which to defend the 
place. The city was well fortified, however, and a few siege guns 
were in position. 

Gen. Wheeler was driven through the works, and crossed the river 
into South Carolina, with all his force except the command of Gen. 
Lewis, which was dismounted by order of Hardee, and placed in the 
works. Their horses were sent over the river, the spurs laid aside, 
and the long Enfields again made to do execution similar to that which 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 283 

had been wrought upon the enemy s columns between Dalton and 
Jonesboro . Heavy skirmishing was kept up from day to day, the 
t-nemy showing little disposition to assault, till the i3th of December, 
when Fort McAllister, on the Ogeechee River, was carried by storm. 
The enemy s land forces had now established communication with his 
fleet, and the city was soon so closely invested, that Hardee, being 
1 owerless either to attack or prolong resistance, was forced to abandon 
the place on the night of the 22d. 

At Hardeeville, South Carolina, the Kentuckians again received 
their horses, and were ordered to the Savannah River for picket duty 
with Iverson, some distance above Savannah. When Sherman began 
his march through South Carolina, they were stationed still higher up 
the river, with a view to checking an anticipated raid on Augusta. At 
one time it moved over into Georgia, and marched for some days from 
one point to another, and then returned into South Carolina, by way 
of Augusta. 

Gen. Wheeler, with all the cavalry corps except this division under 
command of Iverson, moved in front of Sherman, that he might keep 
the country as clear as possible of marauding bands, as he had done in 
( leorgia. 

In February, 1865, Maj.-Gen. P. M. B. Young was placed in com 
mand of Iverson s division, and ordered to follow in Sherman s rear. 
This movement was conducted for some days, but with little progress, 
on account of the extreme difficulty which attended foraging the 
horses, since every means of subsistence had been destroyed along the 
enemy s track. Gen. D. H. Hill, then commanding at Augusta, or 
dered the division back a few days afterward, and had it stationed at a 
point on the Savannah river, above Augusta, but within striking dis 
tance of that place, as a raid was again expected in that direction. It 
remained here for several weeks. 

About the first of April, Gen. Lewis was ordered to send a regiment 
to Sumter, South Carolina, for the purpose of protecting rolling stock 
collected there, and the Ninth Regiment was accordingly dispatched 
on that duty (see sketch of Col. Caldwell for an account of the opera 
tions which took place while his command remained there alone). 

When it was definitely known that a strong Federal force was mov 
ing up from the coast, in the direction of Sumter, Gen. Lewis was 
ordered to proceed with the remainder of his mounted men to that 
point. He marched at once to Columbia, where he learned that the 
enemy were already near Sumter, and fighting Col. Caldwell, when he 
marched rapidly to his relief. 

Some fortifications had been thrown up eight miles south of Camden, 
and were now occupied by about three hundred militia. Gen. Lewis. 



284 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

proceeded to these works, and found that the enemy was two miles in 
front, but nothing was known of his strength. He at once dispatched 
trusty scouts to the Federal rear for information, and, dismounting his 
men, placed them in the fortifications and proceeded to strengthen 
them. The scouts returned in a few hours and reported the enemy 
falling back slowly. He immediately moved forward with the mounted 
men and two brass field pieces, instructing the militia to follow. Late 
in the afternoon the Federal rear guard was encountered and driven 
back on his main force, and a slight skirmish was kept up till dark. 
Col. Caldwell was now reunited, with his regiment, to the main force. 
Gen. Young had promised that another brigade should follow directly 
from Aikin, but it did not arrive for some days. 

Next morning, April i5th, pickets reported the enemy s whole com 
mand advancing, and skirmishing soon began. Lewis fought them 
resolutely all day, sometimes with all his little force at a single point, 
then by detachments, as the nature of the case required, and inflicted 
considerable loss, though suffering but slightly, and that almost entirely 
in wounded. He was, however, gradually forced back by the over 
whelming infantry force of the enemy, whose superior numbers enabled 
him to flank successfully any position not readily assailable by front at 
tack 

On the night of the iyth of April, Col. Lee was sent with his regi 
ment to check a column of Federal cavalry moving by way of McCler- 
nand s ford. Reaching the neighborhood about midnight, the detach 
ment dismounted and slept till morning, reins in hand. A reconnois- 
sance of the ground at daylight showed that the stream ran through a 
miry swamp, covered with thick brush, through which it was impossible 
for the eye to penetrate. The ford seemed to be the only passage near, 
and that did not cross in a straight line, so that parties on opposite 
sides could not see each other. Militia had some time before thrown 
up a slight fortification to cover the ford, and behind this Col. Lee 
stationed his men, having previously concealed it with branches of 
trees. The enemy, on reaching the opposite bank, sent out two or 
three men to see that the way was clear. They came about half-way 
across, and, finding everything still as death, returned, and the head 
of the column was allowed to approach within a few feet, their bridle- 
reins hanging loosely about the necks of their horses as they leisurely 
drank from the stream. At a given signal the men in ambush fired, 
and a scene of the wildest confusion ensued, during which the fire was 
kept up, until the Federals retreated beyond range. It was afterward 
ascertained that more than thirty men were killed and wounded, while 
a number of horses also lay dead in the water. 

From the direction in which the enemy was heading, and from in- 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 28& 

formation received from scouts, Gen. Lewis became satisfied that his 
objective point was Camden, as it contained a considerable quantity cf 
government stores, with a number of locomotives and other rolling 
stock that could not be moved. He accordingly ordered the militia 
to hasten back to the vicinity of Camden, and begin the erection of 
fortifications, sending a suitable officer to superintend the work. The 
Federals continued to press him back in that direction, but so slowly 
and cautiously that it was three days before he had reached the posi 
tion occupied by the militia. A heavy skirmish was kept up some 
time, in front. It was soon evident, however, that the enemy did not 
intend a direct attack on the fortified line, but, by a flank movement 
on the left, reach the town without serious fighting. Unable to prevent 
t:ds, Gen. Lewis determined to destroy the rolling stock collected 
there, and whatever other public property that could not be carried 
away. He accordingly sent a detachment into town for this purpose, 
which was accomplished before the enemy s advance reached the place ; 
but it was soon occupied by his whole force. They remained only one 
right, and then set out evidently to retrace their steps to the coast. 

Gen. Lewis had hitherto been intrusted with the entire conduct of 
affairs here, but he was now joined by Gen. Young, the division com 
mander, who was accompanied by the brigade of cavalry which had 
been expected some days before. They continued to harass the enemy 
for two days, skirmishing with his rear-guard constantly, but at the end 
of that time, Young received a dispatch from Gen. Johnston, announc 
ing a truce the Confederate troops were withdrawn the Federals 
pursued their route seaward, and soon Gen. Johnston s surrender was 
announced. The war had virtually ceased. 

Though the last six or seven months had not been prolific of great 
battles and the usual amount of sacrifice among the Kentucky troops, 
they had acted well the part assigned them, and many an interesting 
episode transpired which lent a zest to their experience in the new line 
of soldiering. Several daring scouts were made during the time by 
small parties under Capt. Turney, Lieut. Henry Buchanan, Lieut. 
Kavanaugh, and other officers, the particulars of which would be full 
of interest were it consistent with our plan, or even possible, to 
enumerate them. 

After it was definitely ascertained that the armies under Lee and 
Johnston had surrendered, Gen. Lewis proceeded to Washington, 
Georgia, where he was met by Gen. Wilson s provost marshal, prepared 
to receive surrender of such troops as should report at that point. The 
arms were laid by on the afternoon of Saturday, May 6, 1865, paroles 
were received, the survivors of many trials and many conflicts separ 
ated, with a future before them more dark and doubtful than the past 



286 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE, 

had been, and the First Kentucky Brigade as an organization was no 
more. 

INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES. 

I. Its Effect on a Dead Man. The relaxation from restraint 
and repression imposed by four months of daily danger, anxiety, 
labor, all the hardships incident to a long and unintermitting cam 
paign, which came with the order to join the cavalry, speedily 
brought into play the characteristic cheerfulness and the exuberant fun 
of the jolly boys. The latter found expression at one point in rallying 
the new-comers ; and a man had to show proof that he had been absent 
because he was really a "poor sick soldier," or had been sent to hos 
pital with bullet holes in his hide, if he wished to escape unmerciful guy 
ing. On one occasion a lively member of the chosen band that answered 
to roll-call when the first horses were distributed led a new arrival around 
and showed him to the different detachments of the brigade as the 
identical man he had buried at Shiloh nearly two years and a half be 
fore. He had laid him neatly to rest, he said, and patted the dirt down 
gently but firmly over his head; and yet, here he was, ready to mount 
a horse and range the woods in search of buttermilk and pine-top 
whisky. 

II. A Conglomeration of Odds and Ends. Dyer, in his 
Reminiscences of the First Cavalry, presents a pretty hard picture of 
what the brigade had to encounter in getting itself on a cavalry footing. 
His intimation that the men made bridles and saddles in their sleep may 
be set down to a lingering memory of the abuse his regiment got every 
time it made itself too busy waking up the enemy and getting the Ken 
tucky infantry in trouble. " It was to be expected," he says, "that 
after the long and gallant service of the Orphans, now to be mounted, 
they would be furnished with the very best of everything. The love 
of Kentuckians for horses, and their pride in good ones, would 
naturally, it was supposed, induce at least any effort to give them 
something good and serviceable. 

"Not so, however. All the worn out and disabled horses of the 
cavalry and artillery were gathered and turned over to the Kentuckians. 
There were few in the lot able to do duty. Some were worn out with 
long and hard service, and all were defective in some way. Sore backs, 
sore shoulders, gun-shot wounds, skinned legs, graveled hoofs, they 
had, in fact almost every ill that horse-flesh is heir to; and all were 
very poor. It was the greatest aggregation of crow-bait I ever saw, 
and not good, decent crow-bait at that. A sensible crow would have 
thought twice before depending on the entire lay-out to furnish him a 
square meal. And the equipments ! If possible they were worse 
than the horses. Old dilapidated saddle-trees, innocent of stirrup cr 
leathers, and bridles without bit or head-stall, were the rule; and many 
had not so much as either bridle or saddle or the semblance thereof. 
But the boys accepted the situation as they found it, and went to work 
with a will to fix themselves up for business. They concocted all sorts 
of liniments and lotions, and put in their time bathing, rubbing, and 
feeding, with such good effect that in three weeks nearly all the horses 
were ready for duty. The next items were saddles and bridles, which 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 287- 

they manufactured in their dreams, at least I suppose they did, as they 
;ilways procured them at night. Why they dreamed so many styles 
<>f saddles I could never tell. They were of all sorts, shapes and pat 
terns; old men s saddles, young men s saddles, and boys saddles, but 
very few of the army pattern." 

III. Thought He Knew Cavalry Tactics. Among the Orphans 
was a young fellow, hardly grown at the time, who was known as Bill 
Khodes. He was rather gawky and somewhat of a butt for his com 
rades; but he wasn t always asleep, even when his eyes were closed. 
One Col. Hannen had a small regiment of cavalry that sometimes ap 
peared, for which the brigade had conceived a dislike presumably be 
cause they got most of the buttermilk that was to be had, while the re 
ports never showed that enough of them were killed to compensate for 
the advantage their good horses gave them. One morning Hannen s 
cavalry came through the bivouac of the brigade, on a creek between 
Jonesboro and Fayetteville, after Stoneman s discarded horses had 
:>een turned over to Gen. Lewis, as previously explained. The Ken- 
:uckians were about ready to mount and take the road. Rhodes had 
no saddle, but he had ingeniously extemporized a pair of stirrups by 
girding on his blanket with rope in such a way that each end had a 
,oop for the foot and hung down like the stirrup leather of a saddle. As 
die unpopular cavalrymen were filing by Rhodes was preparing to 
nount, but he was on the wrong side of his war-horse, with his right 
foot in the stirrup. This raised a laugh as soon as Hannen s men saw 
r, and one of them cried out: " Just see that cavalryman ! He s mount- 
>ng on the wrong side ! " Rhodes threw himself a-straddle of his bare- 
bones, and as he straightened up he yelled: "You re a d d fool ! 
We re marching left in front to-day! " This stopped the laugh, and the 
;nerry-makers seemed to wonder whether Kentucky wasn t really bet- 
:<_T up in cavalry tactics than they were. 

IV. Kentucky Against Georgia: How Capt. Turney Got 
the Sheepskin. After the brigade was partially mounted, Capt. 
Turney was ordered to take a detail of men and go down below For- 
sythe, Ga. , to gather up mules and horses, as many of the men were 
.still afoot. 

One morning as they were saddling up to move, a citizen rode up. 
He was a stout-looking man, apparently about forty-five years old, 
and would have done "excellent well" to stop a bullet in the 
effort which Kentuckians were making to keep Sherman from spread 
ing all over Georgia; but he was evidently one of the stay-at-homes. 

There was no inducement for the boys to swap horses with him, as 
they happened to have as good as he, but he had a splendid black 
sheepskin for a saddle-seat, and as Turney was new to the use of the rough 
army saddle, it is at least presumable that there were sore places on 
him; and besides, he was short of blankets. It was but reasonable 
that he should covet that sheepskin ; it was a good, soft thing, and held 
out the promise of comfort by day and by night. Badly as he wanted 
it, however, it wasn t the Kentucky way not to give even a stay-at-home 
a chance for his life and his sheepskin; so he offered to buy it. The 
conversation was short, but not at first satisfactory. " Will you sell 
me that sheepskin?" " No, I won t sell it." " But," says Turney, 
* I ll pay a big price for it." " Nobody d be fool enough," said the 



288 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

owner, " to give me what I paid for it." " How much did you pay?" 
"Forty dollars." I ll pay eighty dollars." " But I won t sell at any 
price." Turney was about to despair, but he tried a forlorn hope: 
" Well," said he, " 111 play you a game of seven-up for who shall have 
it." Fortunately, that struck the old sinner, and he inquired with ani 
mation who had the cards. 

Turney, of course by mere chance, had a deck himself. The 
sheepskin was spread in a fence corner; the citizen seated himself ; 
the captain in his eagerness got on his knees, and business began the 
latter playing as though his life depended on the game. The Georgian 
soon showed why he was so quick to accept the challenge he knew a 
thing or two himself; and either his skill or the captain s bad luck was 
making matters blue; the game presently stood five for Turney and 
six for his antagonist, and Turney s deal. Turney stilled his con 
science by persuading himself that his struggle for that saddle-seat and 
night protector from damp ground, was war and, " everything is fair 
in war." Success depended now almost wholly upon strategy, so he 
resorted to that. He shuffled and talked, and talked and shuffled in 
such a way that he confused his opponent and made him lose his 
count. " The game now stands five to six, you know you re five, 
I m six." 

The citizen studied this assertion a minute and then assented. The 
next step was to throw the deal on him ; so he went through another 
process of shuffling, and his talk was wilder than ever; his mind 
seemed to turn on bushwhackers, and he showed a bloody delight in 
his ability to kill them. 

By this time Georgia was fairly rattled, perceiving which Turney 
passed him the cards to deal. He studied the situation again, dealt, 
and turned a club. The crisis had come. Each looked at his hand, 
anxiously, and Georgia, in great triumph, said, " Here s the ace." 

Kentucky asked, with apparent contempt, what good an ace could 
do a man who only had five while his opponent had six, and held the 
low ; he then showed the deuce. 

Having thus lost his sheepskin, Georgia got up and rode away with 
out even saying good-bye. The last audible sound he uttered was: 
" Here s the ace." It seemed that when Kentucky s deuce beat his 
ace his tongue was paralyzed ; and it is not known to any of that band 
of Philistines whether he ever recovered. One peculiarity about the 
game was that in his eagerness to show Turney that other people could 
play cards as well as Kentuckians, the citizen failed to notice that 
nothing was staked by the captain, the proposition being simply to 
play for who should have the hide. 

The sorely coveted and cleverly won saddle-seat was used during 
the remainder of the war; then ridden home; and at last was de 
stroyed by a mule in the barn of Capt. Turney s father. 

V. Jim Price. Mr. Lincoln had the misfortune not to know Jim 
Price, of Co. F, Second Kentucky. A four-year experience with 
Price would have led him to modify that famous statement of his as to 
the impossibility of "fooling all the people," etc. Price could elude 
a camp sentry in broad daylight, cheat a provost guard made up of 
men from his own brigade, hoodwink his officers, visit his friends in 
side the enemy s lines, beat his way on railroads, and make himself a 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. :M) 

welcome guest in Southern homes whenever it struck his fancy to do 
so. He needed no passes, no tickets, no disguises except such as his 
face and figure could assume in a twinkling. A story or two may be 
recorded now as a sort of monumental tribute to the memory of our 
jolly comrade, who made a good soldier, fought in many battles, and 
made a thousand friends, but couldn t take life seriously after he came 
home. He died a few years ago with little to his credit, except his 
honorable scars and his fame as the only and unapproachable one of 
his kind. In moving from place to place by railroad, as it was some 
times possible for troops to do, a man would drop off occasionally, to 
make friends among the citizens, and better his physical condition by 
getting something more nourishing than he had in his haversack to eat. 
Ordinarily, a soldier had to have a little money with which to pay fare 
when he wanted to take a train for his regiment, but Price did not 
need money ; he could fall off and get on and go on whenever it suited 
him. How he played conductors will be understood from a single in 
stance. Taking his place among passengers one day after he had 
absented himself without leave, and thought it time to be getting back 
to his command, he awaited the appearance of the conductor. When 
that individual stopped to collect his fare Price had metamorphosed 
himself. Instead of a sensible and soldierly looking body, he was 
now a staring idiot, with his jaw down, his hair pulled over his fore 
head, and twiddling his fingers, after the manner of a vacant mind. 
"Ticket!" said the conductor, holding out his hand. Jim looked at 
him with lack-luster eye and said, as though unable to comprehend his 
meaning, "Sir?" "Ticket! ticket! " jerked out the conductor. Then 
Jim: 41 Oh, I m a co co cornscript." (A conscript.) "You re a 
damned fool! " rejoined the officer. " Yes," said Price, " there s lots 
o them." The ticket-gatherer left him in disgust. 

Being one day in a store at Albany, Ga. , two young ladies, seeing 
that he was a soldier, asked him where he belonged. " To the Ken 
tucky Brigade." "Oh, you re a Kentuckian, and way down here 
fighting for us ?" "Yes, Miss, that s what we are doing." "Don t 
you get awfully home-sick, being away so long? " " A little so, some 
times," he replied; "but nothing like one of your Georgia men I saw 
up yonder the other day." " How was that ? " (Price could mimic 
anything from a crying baby to a hee-hawing donkey, and now he 
gave the ladies a specimen of his powers.) " Well, I happened to find 
him out on picket-post, and instead of looking out for the enemy, he 
had his hands over his face, crying. (Then showing how it was done 
he put up his hands and boo-hooed and snuffled, while his listeners 
laughed.) They ve put me out here by myself, a hundred yards from 
camp boo-hoo ! I told him that was nothing he was in no danger. 
But that ain t all, he answered (and then Price introduced more 
mimicry of voice and manner), that ain t the worst of it! I ve been 
serving three weeks and haint never drawed a dollar. I told him that 
wasn t anything, either ; that I d been out three years and had neither 
drawn a dollar nor had a furlough. Oh, continued my Georgia 
friend, that ain t the worst yet! every time Ishetmy eyes I see Betsy and 
the children (more snuffling) I can t stand it! I see Betsy and the 
children every time I shet my eyes ! : Though the girls could but 
see that Jim was unmercifully satarizing their Georgia soldiers, he won 

19 



290 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

their admiration, and they invited him to stay at their home while in 
that vicinity. 

How quick-witted he was in an emergency is shown by the follow 
ing : Some time during the war he concluded to visit a family of 
whose members he had some time before made friends, though it re 
quired a trip beyond the enemy s lines. Armed with his usual pass 
port, his cheek, he reached the residence without mishap, and walked 
in, unexpectedly and unceremoniously, where he found himself in a bad 
box. Some Federal officers were with the family at dinner. When 
he realized his danger, he saved himself and relieved his friends by 
throwing his head up in a silly way, and bawling out: " I come to 
borry your harrerr ! " (sounding the word " harrow " in as clownish a 
way as he could). His friend caught on instantly, and spoke up: 
" Right out there, right out there, go and take it ! " Of course he lost 
no time in backing out and taking to his heels. 

His surviving comrades could add a score of entertaining stories to 
these some of them better, perhaps; but these are enough to indicate 
that Co. F wore the belt in the matter of odd characters. 

VI. Dead on His Feet. On the morning the enemy occupied 
Camden, South Carolina, April, 1865, a scout of ten men was sent 
out in advance of the brigade to ascertain position and movements of 
Potter s troops. Among them were A. T. Pullen, Co. D, Pius Pulliam, 
Co. B, and John Miller, Co. I, Second Kentucky. At a turn in the 
road they unexpectedly ran upon a large detachment of Federals. The 
scout wheeled, under a furious fire, and narrowly escaped with the loss 
of one man, John Miller, killed. Pius Pulliam was severely wounded, 
but. escaped capture. Pullen was among the foremost ones, and when 
he turned to retreat he had scarcely gotten under way before he dis 
covered Miller standing on the ground beside his horse, and asked him 
whether he were hurt. He replied no, but seemed dazed, and Pullen 
hastily dismounted, lifted him on his horse, gave him the reins, and 
told him to ride ; but glancing back he saw that he had drawn the left 
rein tightest and was heading toward the enemy. The situation ad 
mitted of no attempt to rescue him, and he was seen no more. The 
story gained currency that he was captured and murdered; but Pullen 
believed that he received his death-shot at first volley, and was almost 
unconscious when he replaced him in his saddle. Pullen had thirteen 
bullet marks in his clothing without a scratch on his body. 

VII. My Ole Missis Skillet. On the March to the Sea, the bri 
gade went into bivouac one evening in some woodland skirting the 
road, and one flank was within about a hundred and fifty yards of a 
farmhouse by which the road ran. The men of one mess, at least, found 
themselves short of frying-pans; and a borrower was dispatched to the 
house to inquire whether " you-uns would lend we-uns" that article. 
He was furnished a small skillet, which he promised to return ; but 
next morning when the command was preparing to march, it appeared 
that somebody had a short memory the property had not gotten home. 
Seeing the stir, the lady of the house sent a negro woman in haste to 
demand it. 

She came trotting down the road with the inquiry : " Who s got my 
ole missis skillet? Some o you men got dat skillet! " She was abreast 
of the Second Kentucky (the truly good), when her tongue got loose; 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 291 

but nobody seemed to hear till she grew vociferous. Then a kindly 
soul desisted from his preparations long enough to walk to the road 
and inquire earnestly what was wanted. " Whar s my ole missis 
skillet? You s de very man, I guess, what s got it!" "No, 1 haven t; 
but I can tell you where it is. Captain Lewis has your skillet. You 
hunt him up and make him give it to you." To her eager inquiries as 
to where "Cap n Lewis" might be found, he pointed toward where 
Gen. Lewis and his staff were stationed, down on the other flank, and 
advised her to call on the " Cap n" immediately and not to be put off. 
Away she went, demanding to know as she rushed along, " Which one 
o dem men is Cap n Lewis?" and of course the innocents pointed 
out the brigadier and encouraged her not to allow him to escape. It 
is not known to the writer what peculiar phraseology the general used 
when attacked, or even whether she reached him at all; but it is safe 
to say that those people died under the impression (if they are dead) 
that the Cap n kept that skillet and was a mighty bad man. 

VIII. New Brains Evolve Old Jokes. A writer on " Fact 
and Fable" has said that most of the striking anecdotes of modern sol 
diers and eminent public men may be traced to the ancients. This is 
doubtless true to a great extent; nevertheless, a large proportion of 
those that relate to soldiers are as truly their own expressions of wit, 
humor, and sentiment as though the ancients had never lived. Men 
of all times fall into similar trains of thought in similar circumstances 
certain apposite reflections or ludicrous whims suggest themselves 
with the occasion, and are as much the offspring of the last brain from 
which they are coined as though no other head had ever done so. Grim- 
shaw, in his History of the United States, spices a page with a story 
of an American captain who went with a new hat on into battle with 
the British and got a bullet through it, which raked his skull with 
sufficient force to knock him senseless. When he was removed and 
had recovered consciousness, some began to condole with him about 
the severity of his wound, to which he replied : Ah ! Time and the 
doctors will mend that; but the rascals have spoiled my new hat!" 
Speeches with the same turn of thought were heard after almost every 
battle in which the brigade was engaged, from men who had probably 
never read Grimshaw s story. A soldier detailed for picket duty one 
day was observed to pull off a new shirt and put on an old and tat 
tered one. "What s that for?" asked an astonished comrade. 
"Oh!" he answered, " I m not going to let the Yankees shoot my 
new shirt ! " And another, whose clothes had been badly torn by a 
piece of shell, settled the question of comparative merits of shell and 
solid shot by declaring that if a man was hit without being killed the 
shell was the worse missile because it tore his clothes up so. 

IX. The Cheerful Brigade. Comrade Hutchen wrote in an 
appreciative vein some years ago of what he was pleased to call the 
"Cheerful Brigade." His evident admiration of the "jolly boys" 
could but touch a responsive chord in the hearts of all who live to re 
member under what trying circumstances and what a long succession 
of them they kept their good humor and drove away dull care, even 
when hope was waning and there was little to appeal to them except a 
sense of honor and true manliness. He cites the conduct of certain 
other troops, with whom the Orphans were sometimes associated as 



292 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

neighbors in camp how they would mope and moan and repine at 
their hard fortunes as the star of the Confederacy seemed to pale, and 
their army was defeated by the overpowering numbers and inexhausti 
ble military resources of their enemies; while their thoughts of peaceful 
pursuits and their recollections of home life made them fret and fume, 
and express almost childishly their longing to throw aside the soldier s 
trappings and return to field and shop and marts of trade. 

The condition of the Kentuckians had little of promise in it; as the 
years went by it had less of hope ; and as they gave up their brave and 
true in every conflict, and reflected that the sacrifice was for a prin 
ciple which blood and suffering could sanctify but seemed insufficient 
to save from defeat, it had in it an element of despair. And yet they 
faltered not, and uttered no curses, complaints or distressful cries. Ap 
parently too much of this has been attributed to the fact that in the 
main these Kentuckians were young men unmarried men, upon whom 
the cares of the world had not yet fallen heavily, and who were not 
yet bowed down by responsibilities and subdued by suffering. The 
exuberent spirits of the young amount to much in giving that elasticit} 
which recovers from repeated blows and rises when borne down by mis 
fortune; but the explanation of the fact that there was a "Cheerfu. 
Brigade/ even in days of darkness and dire calamity, is found in the 
simple statement that they were Kentuckians. It is characteristic of the 
Kentuckian that he disdains to whine, and he scorns a sniveller. If he 
assumes a burden or a responsibility, he bears it like a man, and re 
frains from upbraiding others when he has to meet the consequences of 
of own acts. If he finds himself fairly beaten in a contest, he respects 
his adversary, and cheerfully pursues his way, instead of sitting down 
to repine over ill-fortune and invent excuses for being miserable and 
distressing others with a scowling brow and bitter speech. 

They sang their songs rollicking sometimes, as though they defied 
fate; had their games and played their pranks; told their stories and 
read and discussed such favorite authors as they could lay hand> 
upon; knew of uncles and aunts and cousins in strange places and 
played their officers for leave to slip off and see the dear ones once 
more and get something to eat and drink; made life a burden to Jc3 
Brown s militia; scared plantation negroes; made gawkish youth and 
credulous old men believe that nothing else in earth or atmosphere or 
sea was like things up in Kentucky; put on the airs of gentlemen and 
gallants so well, when opportunity for a social evening offered, that 
mean clothing could not discount the man in short, were as full cf 
life on the march and in camp as they were full of fight on the bloody 
field. 

X. Our Star-Gazer. Pat Fitzgerald, of Co. K, 2d Kentucky, 
an Irishman, who had cultivated a taste for reading and study, carried 
a small library in his knapsack and used it with some diligence. His 
favorite subject was astronomy; and he combined with his reading 
quite an intelligent observation of the heavens. On one occasion he 
was corporal of the picket guard, but he had no watch, and declined 
to provide himself with one by borrowing. So for a time-keeper he 
put up at his picket base two sticks, one of which was to cast a shadow 
from moonlight and the other to indicate the end of the first two hours, 
when his relief was to be posted. Frank Mullen, who afterward served 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 293 

awhile in the Confederate navy, was on post when the sticks were 
set up; but when at least two hours had passed, as he reckoned it, he 
began to look for the corporal with a man to relieve him. The weary 
hours went by, however, and he did not appear till it wasalmost dawn. 
It was reported that he found Mullen indulging in an audible soliloquy, 
the burden of which was profane abuse of a man who in a case of the 
kind would rely on an extemporized clock. Fitzgerald had miscal 
culated. While he was watching for the shadow to approach the 
mark, the moon went down, and he fell into such confusion of mind 
that he couldn t perceive the difference between two hours and a half- 
dozen or more. 

XI. Dying in the Last Ditch. There was some vaunting on the 
part of men of both sections during the few months of agitation and 
excitement preceding the beginning of hostilities, and even after the 
war was being waged in earnest. A good deal was heard about the 
determination of Southern men to die in the last ditch rather than sub 
mit to Northern domination ; but the serious work of four years stopped 
a little (though comparatively little) short of this dire consummation. 
It is not extravagant to claim, however, that the main body of men 
who lived and fought till the struggle was seen to be hopeless would 
have gone to this extremity at the call of leaders whom they really 
trusted. The temper of the Kentucky soldiers during the last days, 
taken in connection with the fact that, several times before, they had 
refused to give ground without orders when imminent destruction 
stared them in the face, warrants the assertion that if, like Leonidas 
and his little band, they had been posted with orders to " guard the 
pass " against overwhelming odds, live or die, there would have been 
a virtual repetition of the old story that " none were left to tell the 
tale." 



294 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

MEDICAL AND SURGICAL OFFICERS OF THE BRIGADE, WITH BIOGRAPHI 
CAL SKETCHES AND PORTRAITS. 

The History of the Kentucky Brigade would be incomplete without 
a special notice of those officers who constituted its medical staff. To 
their hands were committed, not only the care of the sick and 
wounded, but, in a large measure, the efficiency of the command. 
Their office was not only to cure and to heal, but to befriend, to nurse, 
to comfort; not only to restore the disabled to their commands, but 
carefully to discriminate for duty, and to adopt general measures for 
the prevention of disease. They were not merely to dress the wounded 
and comfort the dying in battle, but to nerve the soldiers with the as 
surance that the calamities of the impending conflict would be miti 
gated by a skillful as well as a willing hand, and by kind and gentle 
care. 

These benefits were realized in an unusual degree by the Kentucky 
troops. Their surgeons were generally men of talent, skill, and 
friendly feeling. In field and in hospital they commanded the resources 
of the army and the cooperation of citizens alike, through their per 
sonal character and their singular relation to the hospitalities of the 
country. 

Fortunately, they were aided by the influence and abilities of fellow- 
Kentuckians who shared their interest, and were capable, through their 
positions as medical directors and purveyors, of affording facilities 
otherwise difficult to command 

Dr. David W. Yandell, medical director for Gen. Albert Sidney 
Johnston and Gen. Joseph E. Johnston; Dr. S. M. Bemiss, assistant 
medical director of hospitals for the Army of Tennessee; Dr. Preston 
B. Scott, medical director of the Department of Mississippi and 
Alabama, and Dr. John F. Young and Dr. Schaub, all Kentuckians, 
while discharging their general duties to their own and to the honor 
of their native State, were always alive to the peculiar interests of the 
brigade with which they were so much identified. 

Dr. D. W. Yandell left Louisville in the autumn of 1861, and was 
at once made the medical director of the lamented Albert Sidney 
Johnston. Upon the death of that officer, he was made president of 
the medical examining board for the Army of Tennessee. Seeking 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 295 

more active service in the field, he made the campaign of Kentucky 
as the medical director of Gen. Hardee. Recognizing his skill as a 
surgeon, and his high order of administrative ability, Gen. Joseph E. 
Johnston called him to his personal staff, and gave him charge of the 
medical department of field and hospital during the eventful campaign 
of Mississippi in 1863. His preeminent abilities found ample scope 
for their exercise in the general disorder attending the fall of Vicks- 
burg. With a bold hand he grasped and met the difficulties of the 
occasion, which would have dismayed any ordinary mind. He rapidly 
replenished our exhausted hospital supply, and reorganized and placed 
in immediate efficiency a department demoralized by the reverses which 
preceded him. Upon the transfer of Gen. Johnston, to the command 
of the Army of Tennessee, he was assigned to duty with Gen. E. 
Kirby Smith, in the Trans-Mississippi Department, and remained his 
medical director to the close of the war. He then sought the field of 
his former usefulness and honor, and reengaged in active practice and 
in teaching in the University of Louisville. 

Dr. Bemiss was a native of Nelson County, and left a large and lucra 
tive practice in Louisville to go where he could assert his opinions 
without restraint, and devote his eminent administrative ability and 
professional skill to the care of those whose confidence he had already 
acquired. He was immediately assigned to hospital duty, for which 
he was peculiarly fitted, and was soon transferred to a larger field of 
usefulness, as assistant medical director of hospitals, for the Army of 
Tennessee. In this capacity he served with distinction throughout the 
war, and returned, at its close, to Louisville, where he resumed active 
practice until, in 1866, he was invited to take the chair of theory and 
practice of medicine in the University of Louisiana, which position he 
filled with distinguished usefulness and honor. 

In this connection we may mention another Kentuckian, whose hos 
pital was sought by almost every member of the brigade who needed 
treatment Dr. Joshua Gore, of Bloomfield not only for his medical 
skill, but to receive his humane care and tender nursing. 

Dr. Schaub and Dr. John F. Young, medical purveyors, both genial 
and high-toned gentlemen and accommodating officers, deserve great 
credit for the efficiency with which they supplied the medical and hos 
pital wants of the brigade. 

In our notice of the medical officers of regiments, we are compelled 
to be brief, not only on account of the limited space allotted to this part 
of the work, but from the difficulty of obtaining special information. 

Dr. B. M. Wible, a native of Nelson county, wasthe first surgeon of the 
Second Regiment. He entered the command at the beginning of the 
war, at a time when excess of sickness demanded a skillful and humane 



296 HISTORY OV THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

physician. His excellent heart and faithful attention endeared him to 
every member of his regiment. After having served with it some time, 
he was ordered to assume charge of the Hess Hospital, in Bowling 
Green, and, in a short time, was made medical director for the Central 
Army of Kentucky, in which capacity he acted some time. He then 
took charge of the sick of the Second Regiment, at Bowling Green, 
when that command went to Donelson, and, after having sent them to 
Nashville, he reported to Gen. Johnston at Murfreesboro , and-was as 
signed to duty as post surgeon at Huntsville, Alabama. When the 
battle of Shiloh occurred, he hurried to the field with the hospital 
supplies which he had collected, and was on duty in the various 
field hospitals assisting in attention to the wounded, particularly on the 
second day. After this he was variously engaged, some time at Cor 
inth, in care of the wounded, whose surgeons had not come in from the 
battlefield ; then as medical inspector of the army (in which capacity he 
performed much arduous duty) ; then as surgeon in charge of post hos 
pital at Brookville, Mississippi; then at Tunnel Hiil, Georgia; after 
ward at Forsythe, from which place he was ordered to Newnan, to suc 
ceed Dr. Gamble, as senior surgeon in charge of hospitals there. He 
was here during the excitement caused in 1864 by the apprehen 
sion of raiders, when the wounded were frequently sent into the woods 
and secreted, to prevent capture ; and when the fight occurred be 
tween McCook and Brownlow, commanding Federal cavalry, and 
Wheeler and Roddy, he received the enemy s wounded and cared for 
them. From Newnan he went to Fort Valley and Americus, and estab 
lished hospitals at those places, himself taking charge of those at Amer 
icus. In the early winter of 1864 he relieved Surgeon Nichol, in 
charge of hospitals at Cuthbert, Georgia, and was ordered to organize 
there, and take charge of the same, a special hospital for the treatment 
of unhealed wounds and deformities. He remained here till the close 
of the war, when he repaired to the home of his wife. He had mar 
ried, November, 1864, Miss M. C. Brown, daughter of Dempsey 
Brown, Esq., of Houston county, Georgia. He remained at Houston, 
engaged in both planting and practice, till March, 1866, when he took 
up his residence at his old home in Louisville. 

Associated with Dr. Wible, in the Second Regiment, was Dr. The- 
ophilus Steele, of Woodford county, afterward a resident of New York, 
who, after a brief period spent in the medical department, sought more 
active service, and distinguished himself as a gallant colonel of cavalry 
in the command of Gen. Morgan. 

On the return of the Second Regiment from prison, Dr. Hugh G. 
Smith, of Owen county, was appointed surgeon and assigned to the 
place vacated by Dr. Steele s transfer. (See sketch). 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 297 

Ur. John O. Scott, of Franklin county, was assigned to this regi 
ment in October, 1862. (See sketch). 

Dr. B. W. Dudley, of Lexington, was appointed assistant surgeon 
in October, 1861, and served with the Second Regiment until the trip 
to Rochester, when he was taken ill; and, after having recovered, was 
assigned to duty elsewhere. 

Dr. Arthur T. Forman, of Danville, was appointed assistant surgeon 
at a period in the war not definitely known to the writer, and which 
he has found it impossible to ascertain. He was a gentleman of fine 
literary tastes, agreeable manners, and professional skill; ambitious of 
distinction in life, and entertaining just views of the means by which 
alone young practitioners may hope to rise. He served with honor, 
and those who knew him best esteemed him most. It is regretted 
that our limited intercourse with him was inadequate to give us more 
explicit knowledge of his career, both as a surgeon and a civil prac 
titioner. 

Dr. B. T. Marshall, of Greensburg, became surgeon of the Fourth 
Regiment at its organization. He resigned after the battle of Shiloh, 
on account of ill-health, but afterward entered the service as one of 
the surgeons of Wheeler s command of cavalry. 

On the ist of May, 1862, Dr. Preston B. Scott was appointed to 
fill this vacancy. (See sketch). 

In May, 1862, Dr. Stanhope P. Breckinridge, a young physician of 
Danville, reported to his distinguished kinsman, Gen. Breckinridge, 
then in command of the Reserve Corps, and was assigned to duty as 
assistant surgeon of the Fourth Regiment. He was afterward placed 
on duty with a cavalry command, and his health failing very soon, he 
was assigned to hospital duty, in which he continued throughout the 
remainder of the war. He died in Chattanooga about thirty years 
after the war. 

This vacancy was for a time filled by Dr. Ben Scott, of Greensburg, 
(see Co. F, Fourth Regiment), who afterward became a gallant officer 
of cavalry ; and subsequently by Hospital Steward Robert R. Parsons, 
of Frankfort, whose fidelity in this capacity secured the esteem of the 
regiment. 

On the 25th of November, 1862, Dr. Thaddeus L. Dodge, of Clin 
ton, Ky. , was regularly appointed to fill the vacant position. . He was 
held in high regard by officers and men, for his kindness, his uniform 
courtesy, and for his unchanging fidelity to his duties. 

Associated with Dr. Dodge, after the transfer of Dr. Scott, in the 
professional care of the regiment, was Assistant Surgeon J. W. Eck- 
ford, of Aberdeen, Mississippi. He had been on hospital duty, and 
was left with our wounded at Murfreesboro . By his faithful and effi- 



298 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

cient service there, he won the confidence of Dr. Scott, then brigade 
surgeon, who, immediately upon his return, secured his services to his 
own regiment. 

Dr. Charles Mann, surgeon of the Fifth Regiment at the time it was 
connected with the Kentucky Brigade, is a native of Kenton County, 
and graduated with distinction at the Ohio Medical College, Cincin 
nati. Upon Gen. E. Kirby Smith s marching into Kentucky, he re 
ported to this officer, and was placed on duty with the sick and 
wounded in and around Nicholasville. Having remained until this 
duty was discharged, he passed through the lines, and again reported 
to Gen. Smith, at Knoxville, December n, 1862. He was then as 
signed to hospital duty under Medical Director Frank Ramsey, with 
whom he remained, filling a number of responsible stations, till No 
vember, 1863, when he was ordered by Gen. Buckner to report to 
Col. Hawkins, commanding the Fifth Regiment, and he afterward 
continued its surgeon to the close. Surgeon Mann was a faithful and 
attentive officer earnest and careful as a medical attendant, and 
skilled as an operator. 

Dr. N. J. Thompson, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., was long on duty with 
the Fifth Regiment as assistant surgeon, but both our personal knowl 
edge of him, and our material, are inadequate to supply further no 
tice. 

The medical staff of the Sixth Regiment underwent but little change. 
The care of it was intrusted for the first year to Assistant Surgeons R. 
R. Stevenson and John L. Vertrees, and, in a great measure, to Dr. 
Thomas L. Newberry. (See more detailed sketch elsewhere in this 
work.) In the fall of 1862, Dr. Stevenson was promoted to surgeon, 
and one year subsequently was transferred to hospital duty. (See 
sketch.) Dr. Vertrees succeeded him in regular promotion, and re 
mained the surgeon of the command until the surrender of the armies. 
He had been a practicing physician in Glasgow, and by a previous 
acquaintance with a great many of the officers and men, secured their 
esteem and good will. This he retained to the last by his faithful ad 
herence to their fortunes, as well as by his unvarying kindness and 
good humor. 

The care of the medical department of the Ninth Regiment was 
first intrusted to Surgeon John Ed Pendleton and Assistant Surgeon 
Alfred Smith, with James Bemiss as their hospital steward. Dr. Pen 
dleton, a native of Washington county, graduated at the University of 
Louisville in the spring of 1854, and was engaged in the practice of 
medicine at Hartford, Ky., till the war broke out. He then recruited 
a company of infantry, and joined the Confederate forces at Russell- 
ville, where he was attached to Col. Hunt s regiment, and the com- 




DR. JOIIX E. PENDLETON. 




DR. WALTER J. BYRNE. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 299 

pany was afterward commanded by Captains Mitchell and Newman. 
He was chosen in a short time by Col. Hunt to be surgeon of his regi 
ment, whereupon he gave up his position as captain, appeared before 
the medical examining board, and was commissioned surgeon. He was 
assigned to duty with the Ninth Regiment, and served as regimental 
(and brigade) surgeon till just prior to the battle of Baton Rouge, 
when, owing to the illness of Dr. Avent, he was appointed on Gen. 
Breckinridge s staff, and remained with him until after the battle of 
Murfreesboro , serving also, meanwhile, on the board for the exam 
ination of applicants for position as surgeons and assistant surgeons, in 
connection with Dr. D. W. Yandell, of Louisville, and Dr. J. F. 
Heustis, of Mobile. He was left in charge of the wounded of Breck 
inridge s division, after the battle of Stone River, where he remained 
for nearly t,w,o months engaged in the most laborious official duties. 
Returning through the lines, he was appointed inspector of the med 
ical department of the cavalry of the Army of Tennessee, in which 
capacity he served some time, when he solicited to be assigned perma 
nently to the cavalry, and was accordingly made chief surgeon of Maj.- 
Gen. Martin s division, of Wheeler s corps, and was with that com 
mand through every raid and engagement from the diastrous affair at 
Shelbyville, Tenn., to the final surrender. In all the duties of his 
office, Surgeon Pendleton displayed throughout an eminent fitness. A 
discreet and experienced physician, a bold, yet prudent and skillful 
surgeon, a brave and courteous gentleman, he filled the several sta 
tions to which he was called with honor to himself, satisfaction to his 
superior officers, and benefit to those under his care. In his official 
intercourse with his fellow-surgeons he won their esteem and friend 
ship ; and, as a staff officer, the respect of all by his gallant bearing. 
He returned from an eventful military career with the consciousness of 
a service well directed and well performed, and of a reputation justly 
won, to his wife and children, home and friends, and to a larger pro 
fessional patronage, to devote to them the remainder of his life. 

Dr. Walter J. Byrne succeeded Dr. Pendleton as surgeon of the 
Ninth Regiment, in the autumn of 1862, at Murfreesboro . He was 
associated with the command during the occupation of the State by 
the troops of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, but was detained, on its 
evacuation, by domestic afflictions. He had a kind of inherited fitness 
for his profession, his ancestors having been physicians for genera 
tions; and was fully qualified for it by a thorough classical education, 
and by professional study in the office of his grandfather, Dr. Walter 
Jones (an eminent practitioner of his day), and in the universities and 
hospitals of Louisville and St. Louis. He was favorably introduced to 
his command by their previous knowledge of his large experience and 



300 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

established reputation. No medical officer could have been more 
faithful to his charge. During his long connection with the regiment 
he was absent but four days. He was on duty at every engagement 
from Hartsville to Jonesboro , which latter closed the career of the 
Kentucky Brigade as infantry. He served repeatedly as senior sur 
geon of brigade, and directed its interests with judgment and fidel 
ity. During the winter spent at Dalton he was one of the division 
medical board for the examination of disabled soldiers, and his discharge 
of this duty was such of itself as to mark him thoroughly skilled in his 
profession. His disposition was social and genial, and he made many 
and lasting friends. As a surgeon, he was skillful, but conservative; 
and he saved, through his judgment and kindness, many a limb which, 
under other circumstances, would have been sacrificed. After the 
close of the war he resumed his practice at Russellville, and took his 
place among his fellow-soldiers and fellow-citizens as a man of honor 
and usefulness. 

Dr. Alfred Smith, of Bardstown, was chosen by Col. Hunt as the as 
sistant surgeon of his regiment. He left Bardstown with Capt. (after 
ward Colonel) John C. Wickliffe, in the autumn of 1861, to engage in 
what he deemed a righteous resistance of unwarranted interference 
with the rights of the States. He had taken, at St. Joseph s College, 
of his native city, the degrees of Bachelor and Master of Arts, and a 
complete course of professional study in the University of St. Louis. 
He discharged the duties of assistant surgeon with constant fidelity, 
giving rare satisfaction for one so young, until March, 1864, when, 
from seniority, and in consideration of meritorious service, he was pro 
moted to fill the vacant position of surgeon of the Fourth Regiment. 
He was welcomed by his command, and retained their esteem and 
confidence throughout his connection with them. A modest and 
refined gentleman, a kind, careful and skillful physician and surgeon, 
he merited the honorable standing and generous patronage that he en 
joyed, in an enlightened community, upon his return home, after the 
close of the war. 

Dr. Benjamin L. Hester, of North Carolina, was so long identified 
with the Kentucky troops thas he has been regarded as belonging to 
them. His first duty in the brigade was with Cobb s artillery, as 
assistant surgeon, in the autumn of 1862. He afterward served some 
time with the Sixth Regiment; and, on the promotion of Assistant 
Surgeon Smith, he was assigned to the vacancy in the Ninth Reg 
iment, and continued on duty with that command to the close. He 
was a brave as well as a faithful officer, and secured, in an eminent 
degree, the confidence and friendship of those with whom he was con 
nected. 




DR. ALFRED SMITH. 




DR. PRESTON B. SCOTT. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 301 

In other departments of this work it will be seen that mention is 
made of Dr. H. Rutherford, Dr. Basil Duke, Dr. J. W. Thompson, and 
others of Kentucky, as also Dr. Brookin, of Texas all of whom were, 
at some time, connected with the various regiments. 

How the medical officers of the Kentucky Brigade met the difficul 
ties of their position cannot be better estimated than by the high 
position they occupied in the general department, and the esteem and 
confidence that most of them inspired throughout their respective com 
mands. 

In addition to those who did service with Kentucky troops of vari 
ous arms, Kentucky furnished a number of educated and skillful phy 
sicians and surgeons to the soldiers of other States, who so acquitted 
themselves as to win reputation and reflect honor upon their native 
commonwealth. Among these are remembered Dr. Todd, of Lexing 
ton (Mrs. Abraham Lincoln s brother), who served with South Caro 
linians; Dr. Charles H. Todd, of Shelby County (now of Owensboro), 
in the Army of Northern Virginia; and Dr. Samuel F. Smith, of 
Jefferson County, who was on duty with the Thirty-third Alabama In 
fantry while that regiment was identified with other organizations under 
command of Gen. Buckner. When Buckner became governor (1887) 
Dr. Smith was a successful practitioner in Frankfort, and his old com 
mander evinced his regard for one who, as a young surgeon, had 
attracted his attention and won the love and confidence of his men, 
more than twenty years before, by offering him official position. Dr. 
Smith died a few years afterward (March i4th, 1892), while on a pro 
fessional visit. 

DR. PRESTON B. SCOTT. 

BY MAJ. HENRY T. STANTON. 

Preston Brown Scott, now a highly distinguished physician of Louis 
ville, is the oldest son of Col. Robert Wilmot Scott and Elizabeth 
Watts (Brown) Scott. He was born at Frankfort, Ky. , September i2th, 
1832. His father was of pure Scotch descent, a man of scholarly at 
tainments and extensively known as an advanced thinker and writer 
upon agricultural and other scientific subjects. His mother was a 
granddaughter of Rev. Dr. John Brown and a great granddaughter of 
John Preston, of Virginia, each family being of prominence in that 
State. Dr. Preston Brown, his mother s father, for whom he was 
named, was a noted physician of Frankfort, and a younger brother of 
Dr. Samuel Brown, who became celebrated in his profession at home 
and abroad, both as a practitioner and a scientific thinker and writer. 
Hon. John Brown and Hon. James Brown, (one the first Senator from 



302 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

Kentucky and the other a Senator from Louisiana from 1812 to 1824, 
when he resigned to accept the appointment of Minister to France), 
were elder brothers. 

His father, Robert Wilmot Scott, was born at Mill Farm, on Elk- 
horn, Scott County, Ky. , November 2d, 1808, and was married Octo 
ber 2oth, 1831, at Frankfort, Ky. 

His grandfather was Joel Scott, born near Abi.ngd.on, Va. , Novem 
ber 15, 1771, and came to Kentucky with his parents in 1785. He 
married Rebecca R. Wilmot, a member of one of the most distin 
guished families of Maryland and Virginia, December 24, 1805. Joel 
Scott was a very prominent man in Kentucky in the early part of this 
century. 

His great-grandfather was John Scott, born in Madison County, 
Va., June 26th, 1748. He married Hannah, daughter of Joshua 
Earle (or Earley), of Culpeper County, Va. , October 25th, 1770. 
He was a lieutenant of militia at King s Mountain, was at the capture 
of Cornwallis atYorktown, and a participant in numerous other engage 
ments of that war. He came to Kentucky in 1785, and located on 
North Elkhorn, near the Great Crossing, in which vicinity his de 
scendants have held large tracts of fertile land since. 

His great-great-grandfather was Thomas Scott, who came with his 
family from England to the colony of Virginia, and settled in Cul 
peper County, a part of which was afterward Madison County 
,in the early part of the eighteenth century, about 1715. His wife was 
a Miss Coleman. 

His great-great-great-grandfather was John Scott, born in England, 
and the immigrant ancestor of the Scott family in this country. He 
settled with his son, Thomas, in the same part of Virginia, and, it is 
supposed, died soon after, but there is no record of the date. 

In this connection it may be mentioned that in his will he left a 
cane, or staff, which he had used, to be handed down to the succeed 
ing John Scotts, and that it is now in the possession of a great-great- 
great-great-great-grandson now living on Elkhorn, in Franklin County. 

The great-grandfather, four times removed, or the fifth great-grand 
father, was Thomas Scott, born in Scotland and an immigrant to Eng 
land about 1620. His father, the most remote European ancestor of 
which there is any record, was born and died in Scotland, but his 
Christian name has not been preserved. 

The genealogy of the family has been fairly well kept and shows a 
long line of distinguished and honorable ancestry. 

On both the paternal and maternal lines, Preston Brown Scott has 
exceptionally marked antecedents. The Scotts, Browns, Prestons, 
Wilmots, Earleys and Colemans are all families conspicuous in Amerr 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 303 

can history. Their relationship is very numerous, extending into 
many families throughout the South notably, the Dorseys, of Mary 
land, and Marshalls, of Virginia. 

Preston Brown Scott, though born at the residence of his grand 
father, Joel Scott, in the city of Frankfort, was raised at Locust 
Hill farm, his father s place, about five miles from that city. His 
early childhood was passed there and the primary steps in his educa 
tion taken under private tuition. His father, Col. Robert Scott, was 
the first school commissioner appointed under the common school sys 
tem, and erected upon his own land, within a short distance of his 
residence, the first public school building in the State. This occurred 
in 1841, when Preston Brown Scott was nine years of age, and he was 
the first pupil registered in that institution. Here he continued until 
about the age of fifteen, when, under the private tuition of Rev. 
James Eales, he was prepared for college. At seventeen he entered 
the junior class at Georgetown College, whence he graduated with 
the first honors of his class. Following this, he took the course at the 
University of Tennessee, where he also graduated with distinction. 
In 1853 he returned to Georgetown and received his Master s Degree. 

His inclination to the science of medicine and surgery was mani 
fested strongly at the close of his general scholastic studies, and in 
October, 1854, with a view to devoting his life to the profession of 
medicine, he entered as a student in the office of the renowned Dr. 
Lewis Rogers, and under his guidance, was graduated in the medical 
department of the University of Louisville in the spring of 1856; and 
the following year he served as one of the resident physicians at the 
Louisville City Hospital. After this experience in theory and prac 
tice, he went to Hickman County, Kentucky, and began the private 
w-ork of his profession, but finding a better field in Bolivar County, 
Mississippi, he went there and was soon engaged in a large and lucra 
tive practice for one of his years and limited experience. The way to 
success was fairly opened to him, for he had gained the respect and con 
fidence of the people of that locality, and might have remained to build 
his fortune there but for the inauguration of the civil war and the sud 
denly imposed duty to take part in it for the defense of his section. 
He responded promptly to the first call, entering the Confederate ser 
vice April 2oth, 1 86 1. He was afterward appointed surgeon of the 
famous Fourth Kentucky Regiment of Infantry, then commanded by 
Col. Robert P. Trabue. In this position he served but a short time 
when he was promoted to brigade surgeon on the staff of Gen. Ben 
Hardin Helm. From this he advanced rapidly. At the battle of 
Jackson, Mississippi, he was made Medical Director on the staff of 
Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, serving there until assigned to duty as Medi- 



304 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

cal Director on the staff of Lieut. -Gen. Leonidas Polk. Following the 
death of this distinguished commander, he was placed in charge pf all 
the military hospitals of Mississippi and Alabama, in which position 
he continued to act until the close of the war, serving as Chief Medi 
cal Officer under Generals Stephen D. Lee, Dabney H. Maury and 
Richard Taylor. 

In this service his experience in both medicine and surgery was 
largely augmented. He had dealt with the ills and misfortunes of 
thousands, and had put in practice almost every theory upon which 
his education had been founded. He had served as surgeon upon 
many sanguine battlefields and as surgeon and medical director 
through all the contagious and other diseases that pervaded the numer 
ous hospitals in the wide territory over which he had supervision. 

Returning to Kentucky at trie close of the war, in the summer of 
1865, he entered the general practice and in a very little time, was 
fairly on the way to the head of his profession. 

His success has been somewhat phenomenal. Quiet and unostenta 
tious in his contact with men, he has gone steadily forward by moral 
and intellectual force and the natural impetus of genius. In love with 
his profession from the start profoundly impressed with its importance 
to humanity and the great responsibility which it involved he has 
never ceased to be a student, and has kept fairly abreast with modern 
scientific discovery in all branches of his business. Outside of his 
private practice, which grew from the start and which has known no 
abatement in the years intervening since the war, he has devoted 
much time and attention to public enterprises and charitable work. 
Among the numerous positions held by him may be noted the follow 
ing : 

In 1870, physician in charge of the Episcopal Orphan Asylum; in 
1871, physician to the Masonic Widows and Orphans Home, a posi 
tion he still holds; in 1872, physician to the Young Women s Home; 
in 1 88 1, president of the Academy of Medicine and Surgery in the 
Polytechnic Society of Kentucky; in 1882, reflected to the same 
office; in 1886, elected president of the Louisville Medical Society. 

In all of these, and in other societies, he has been an important 
factor, taking great interest in social progress and the amelioration of 
the condition of the poor. He has shown unwavering courtesy to all 
the membership of his profession and has done his utmost to advance 
the means of education. His manifest desire is to promote professional 
skill and encourage the ambition of younger men. 

Dr. Scott has never manifested any of the lower instincts of the 
mere money-maker. His situation in life, though easy and comfort 
able enough, has come naturally of his labor, but where he has saved 




DR. JOHN ORLANDO SCOTT 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 305 

hundreds, he has given away thousands. He inherits the liberal and 
hospitable spirit of a splendid ancestry that has always given to the 
world more than it has received. He has never taken part in the 
jealousies and rivalries that too often appear in all professions, but he 
has accorded to all practitioners, of whatever schools, the merit that 
their characters and their energies deserved. He has tried to promote 
amity and unity among his colleagues, and in consequence holds the 
respect and confidence of all. 

In 1854 he was confirmed as a member of the Episcopal Church, 
and has remained with it in full sympathy and contributing to its sup 
port ever since. Although only a layman he has done much to pro 
mote the progress and the general cause of Christianity the example 
of his own acts, his amiable and thoroughly moral life having no little 
influence to that end. 

In November, 1862, soon after the close of the war, he married 
Jane E. Campbell, daughter of Jno. D. Campbell, a prominent citizen 
and a retired banker of Jackson, Tennessee. From this alliance has 
resulted three children Campbell, Jeanie Porter and Rumsey Wing 
Scott all of whom are living. 

Such is an epitome of the life of a brave, honorable and efficient 
Confederate soldier a man who did his duty in both the humble and 
higher spheres, who had behind him antecedents of the American Rev 
olution, and who gave the same patriotic spirit to the modern effort at 
a revolution that failed. 

From the after acts and builded characters of such men alone can be 
derived a clear idea of the material upon which the South based her 
hopes of success. The basis of history can be reached only through 
the incidents of biography. The Confederate soldier, having no pen 
sion, no moral or material support from the victorious government 
against whose sectional discrimination he deemed it right to oppose his 
strength, has had to make his own way and carve out his own fortune, 
and nobly has it been done in the case of Preston Brown Scott. 

DR. JOHN O. SCOTT. 

John Orlando Scott, a son of Col. Robert Wilmot Scott and Eliza 
beth Watts (Brown) Scott, was born in Frankfort, Ky. , in 1837. (He 
is a brother to Dr. Preston B. Scott, in the sketch of whom, on pre 
ceding pages, will be found a sufficiently detailed and very interesting 
account of the families of both parents.) 

He was educated in the schools of his native city and county, and 
at Center College, Danville, Ky. Choosing the profession of medi 
cine, he entered the University of Louisville, in 1858, in which famous 
20 



306 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

school he graduated in February, 1862. He passed through the lines 
southward very soon after Gen. Sidney Johnston s withdrawal from 
the State, and was at once placed on duty with Byrne s Battery. The 
battle of Shiloh occurred in a short time, and here he began an active 
professional career in the hard school of military experience, deporting 
himself under all circumstances as a skillful, painstaking surgeon, and 
a man whose kind and courageous heart inclined him to be prompt in 
rendering assistance to the wounded, whether at extemporized hos 
pitals on the field or under the guns of the enemy where they fell. 
AVhile engaged at a point somewhat in rear of the line of battle, he 
learned that there was need of surgical care on the ground where his 
battery was in action, and thither he went under heavy fire and com 
posedly took up the work. In a letter to Gen. Breckinridge, Capt. 
Byrne complimented him for his gallantry and for the essential service 
he rendered his wounded. 

Shortly after this battle he was transferred to the Third Kentucky 
Infantry; subsequently to Cobb s Battery; next, (October, 1862), he 
was assigned to the Second Kentucky Infantry, and, (November 27, 
1862,) was commissioned its assistant surgeon. 

At the battle of Hartsville, December 7, 1862, he rode with Maj. 
Moss to the attack; but when Cobb s caisson blew up, there was imme 
diate necessity for surgical work, and he at once devoted himself to 
that. When the conflict ceased, and the forces of Hanson and Mor 
gan re-crossed the river, he was the only Confederate surgeon left to 
care for the wounded. Mrs. Halliburton, a noble woman, whose com 
modious and well-furnished residence stood within a hundred yards of 
the eminence on which the Federals were attacked, unhesitatingly and 
in the excitement of battle, when she saw the need of the fallen, friend 
and foe, for shelter and care, tendered to the surgeons the use of her 
mansion, all her bed linen and whatever else she had at her disposal. 
Impressing a wagon and team, he soon had nearly all the wounded 
conveyed to Mrs. Halliburton s, where he gave himself sedulously to 
their relief, to which the excellent lady contributed in every practica 
ble way, and in which Gen. Harlan, coining upon the field soon after, 
with a view to reenforcing Col. Moore, joined them and exerted him 
self like a soldier and a gentleman. (See Incidents and Anecdotes 
elsewhere). 

At Stone River, he was with his men during the whole of that try 
ing week, and more than once displayed conspicuous gallantry. When 
Gen. Hanson fell, he went to him, under fire, and accompanied him 
in the ambulance some distance, laboring to stay the flow of blood 
which threatened speedy death, and he desisted only when the general 
bethought himself of his suffering men on the field, and, trusting him- 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN P.RIGADE. 307 

self to his adjutant-general, asked the young surgeon to go back and 
help them. , 

After Bragg had retired to Tullahoma, Dr. Scott s health so failed 
that he was unfitted for active field work, and he was assigned to hos 
pital duty at Marion, Ala., where he remained until he was promoted 
to full surgeon, January ist, 1864, and assigned to the Seventh Ken 
tucky Mounted Infantry, whose fortunes he followed for the remainder 
of the war, and where he was the same efficient and popular officer as 
when connected with the Orphan Brigade. After the war closed he 
spent nearly a year visiting prominent hospitals in Europe, with a 
view to still further enlargement of his knowledge of both medicine 
and surgery; then, in 1886, he located in Ovvensboro, where he prac 
ticed eight years. In 1874, he settled in Sherman, Tex., where he 
has been inactive and successful practice ever since. 

In 1865 he was married to Miss Ellen Mellvin, a cultured and re 
fined lady, whose acquaintance he had made at her home in Marion, 
Ala., while he was on duty there; and they have reared and liberally 
educated three sons and a daughter, to perpetuate in Texas a name 
which has been honored in Kentucky from pioneer to present days. 

With a frank and manly bearing, being uniformly courteous and 
kind, and courageous withal, as became his blood and lineage, he won 
a place (which he still holds) in the minds of the many gallant men 
with whom he was associated and to whom he rendered assistance in 
times of danger and suffering. 

Believing in his fellow-Kentuckians then, and true to them now, he 
uses such leisure as his profession allows him to study not only their 
deeds, but those of their fellow-soldiers from other States, and to speak 
for them on occasion, that their names may live in the memories of 
men as vividly and as profoundly honored as though at the end of the 
war their banner had waved in triumph over a government whose ex 
istence and whose powers were derived from the consent of the 
governed." 

His public addresses, while breathing naught unbecoming to a citi 
zen of the government to which he owes allegiance, bear testimony to 
his unabated loyalty to his comrades, dead and living, and to an ad 
miration which arises spontaneously when he contemplates with what 
constancy and heroism they struggled against odds, and bore, with 
more than Roman fortitude, hunger, cold, imprisonment, wounds, 
suffering unto death, and the ultimate calamity of defeat. His tribute 
to " Albert Sidney Johnston and his men at Shiloh," delivered July 
2ist, 1894, at the reunion of Camp Mildred Lee, United Confederate 
Veterans, and the Eulogy on Hood s Brigade of Texans, August 29th, 
proclaim the soldier and the man. 



308 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

DR. R. R. STEVENSON. 

At the outbreak of the war, Dr. Stevenson was practicing his profes 
sion in Anderson County, Kentucky. In hearty sympathy with the 
Southern cause from the first, he left a lucrative practice when the 
Kentucky troops were organizing in 1861 and offered his services as 
surgeon. Pending action on a recommendation to the Richmond au 
thorities that he be put in commission, he belonged nominally to the 
Sixth Kentucky Infantry, and when (December i8th, 1861), he was 
commissioned assistant surgeon he was assigned to that regiment. 
Serving it faithfully with this rank for a year, he was promoted to sur 
geon, (December, 1862). He continued to do field duty till January, 
1864, when he was assigned to duty in the Anderson ville prison. 

The following sketch of his career there and subsequently is from 
the pen of Dr. James B. Read, a prominent physician of Sherman, 
Texas: "Dr. Richard Randolph Stevenson was my warm personal 
friend and for five years my preceptor in medicine. I first knew him early 
in 1864, when he was surgeon of the Sixth Kentucky Infantry. He was 
sent shortly afterward to Andersonville, Ga., for duty in the prison hos 
pitals, where he did a great deal toward ameliorating the sufferings of 
the Federals confined there. He also kept a record of all deaths, and 
had the graves of prisoners marked with a number corresponding to 
the number of each one s name on the hospital register in which it was 
enrolled, his company, regiment, etc., so that the United States Gov 
ernment was enabled to identify the grave of every prisoner (about 
13,000), that died at Andersonville. 

" For this service the only recognition he ever received from the 
Federal Government was an indictment for murdering prisoners, in 
connection with Jefferson Davis, John C.Breckinridge, Henry Wirz, and 
others. He left Newburn, N. C. , as soon as the fact that he had been in 
dicted was announced, and in disguise passed through Washington, 
Philadelphia, New York, Boston, and Portland, and thence by steamer 
to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he was hospitably received by the 
medical men. A grand dinner was given in his honor at the Halifax 
hotel. He left his family at High Point, N. C., till he secured a home 
for them in Upper Stewiacke, Colchester County, Nova Scotia. He 
remained in Nova Scotia about ten years and continued the practice of 
his profession, establishing a reputation as a skillful physician and sur 
geon throughout the province. In 1875 ne rnoved to Worsham, Vir 
ginia, and thence to Farmville and probably to some other location in 
the same section. It was while in Virginia that his second wife died, 
and soon afterward he returned to Nova Scotia, where he married his 
third wife, and where a few years later he died. 




DR. R. R. STEVENSON. 




DR. HUGH G. SMITH. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 309 

" It was my good fortune to know intimately Dr. Stevenson. He 
married my cousin, Miss Frances Ilsley, in 1864, to whom was born 
five children all of whom except the oldest (Frank) are still living. 
He was a gentleman of the old school brave, generous, hospitable, 
true to his friends and magnanimous to his foes. 

" But what should be remembered by every ex-Confederate and 
every Southern man, woman and child, is the fact that he used his pen 
in vindication of the South in reference to the treatment and exchange 
of prisoners. He was the author of a book entitled The Southern 
Side, or Andersonville Prison, published in 1876. In this book he 
gives a full account of the Wirz trial and a great deal of valuable in 
formation in regard to the mortality in Northern and Southern prisons, 
exchange of prisoners, etc. I have been told that the Federal authori 
ties bought up or destroyed all that could be procured." 

DR. HUGH G. SMITH. 

On the return of the Second Kentucky from prison, (September, 
1862), Dr. Hugh G. Smith, of Owen County, was appointed to the sur 
geoncy left vacant by the transfer of Dr. Steele. 

He was a graduate of Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, hav 
ing obtained both his general and professional education by his own 
exertions and under the most adverse circumstances. 

He served during the war with Mexico, 1847-48, as a private in the 
Third Regiment Kentucky Volunteers. 

In the Confederate service he was a brave and faithful officer, unre 
mitting in attention to his duties and having the confidence and esteem 
of the men under his charge. A skillful surgeon and a ripe prac 
titioner of medicine, his services were of great value to his command. 
He shared in all its trials and vicissitudes after his assignment, and 
surrendered with it at the last. He was an outspoken", unaffected, un 
pretentious and candid gentleman, but warm hearted and of generous 
impulses. After an honorable career in the army he returned to 
Owenton and practiced there ten years. In November, 1875, ^ e re ~ 
moved with his family to Texas, where he remained till December, 
1888, when he came back to Owenton, where he is still actively en 
gaged in professional work (1897). 

DR. THOMAS L. NEWBERRY. 

Dr. Newberry, the successor of Dr. Vertrees as assistant surgeon of 
the Sixth Regiment, was born near Slick Rock, Metcalfe County, Ky., 
July nth, 1833. His boyhood was spent on his father s farm, with 
meagre educational advantages; but by application to books and by 



310 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

his own efforts to meet the expenses of schools he educated himself in 
the ordinary branches, and took also the college course necessary to 
fit him for entering upon the practice of medicine and surgery. 

He had located at Hiseville, and made an excellent beginning in 
his chosen profession before the war began. Then he earnestly and 
zealously espoused the cause of the Confederacy. He enlisted as a 
private of Co. F, Sixth Regiment, but was, almost immediately after 
the organization of the company, given charge of a number of the sick 
of his regiment, who had been placed for attention at the houses of 
John Gorin and others, on Jennings Creek, below Bowling Green. 
He here won the entire confidence of officers and men who had hith 
erto been strangers to him, and was thereafter almost constantly en 
gaged in the medical department. His fidelity and patient attention, 
his- uniform courtesy and kindness in this capacity, won, in a singular 
degree, the warm approval of all with whom he was associated. Though 
advanced only one course of lectures, yet, by hard study and careful 
observation, he was enabled to fill with honor and success his respon 
sible station. 

During the battle of Shiloh he was exposed both days to the fire of 
the enemy, assisting the wounded, either on or near the line where 
they fell, and directing their removal, and discharged his trust with 
conspicuous courage as well as skill. At Stone River, he remained 
on the field four days, at the end of which time he was relieved, and 
ordered to report for duty in Dr. Scott s hospital, in town. This was 
the only time during the war in which he was in field hospital during 
an engagement being generally at the front, as was the case at Shiloh. 
He was present on every battlefield of his command sometimes in 
the trenches with it prepared to render surgical assistance. Three 
different times, even before he had been promoted, he served in hos 
pital, after engagements were over, as assistant surgeon, in charge of 
brigade sick and wounded. 

At the close of the war he bore with him to his home the esteem of 
his fellow-soldiers, and a studious-experience qualification to introduce 
him to an honorable practice of his profession. He completed his 
course of lectures, and graduated at the Jefferson Medical College, 
Philadelphia, in the winter of 1865-6, and, returning to Hiseville, re- 
entered upon a professional career, under auspices rendered as favor 
able as any young physician ever enjoyed, by his own previous manly 
struggle to overcome difficulties and achieve distinction in the paths 
of usefulness, and by a moral and Christian character wholly above re 
proach. 

He soon built up a large and lucrative practice, and became recog 
nized as one of the most skillful surgeons in the State. He has prob- 




DR. THOMAS L. XEWBERRV. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 311 

ably done more successful work of that kind than any other practitioner 
in that region of country. Uniformly a close student, he keeps abreast 
of the times in all that relates to his calling; has acquired a valuable 
estate; has rejected opportunities for political preferment that he might 
the better devote himself to his profession and the immediate care of 
his family; and reared and educated four children, the oversight and 
education of whom have for about twelve years devolved wholly upon 
him, his wife having died in 1886. 

He became a member of the Baptist Church when a very young 
man, and has led a thoroughly consistent Christian life. He was ad 
mitted to membership in the Graniteville (S. C.) Lodge, A. F. and A. 
M., in 1865, while a detachment of the Kentucky Brigade was 
stationed there, and has for twenty-one years been a working Mason 
in his home lodge. 



312 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

CONFEDERATE WOMEN OF KENTUCKY, WITH PORTRAITS. 

In the quieter walks of life, while nothing comes within the sphere 
of woman to call forth an exhibition of her heroism, and an assertion 
of the influence which she is capable of wielding, we are apt to lose 
sight of her as the arbiter of the destinies of men. We forget that she 
is concerned in the more momentous events of life, and that she has 
modified the history of every civilized people ; that, in times of great 
public calamity, she has displayed a courage, a fortitude, a steadiness 
of devotion which, in their appropriate field of manifestation, put to 
shame the boasted prowess and achievements of man. It is an old 
story that " woman was last at the cross and first at the tomb" of the 
Crucified; that, when friends failed and enemies deemed that they had 
triumphed when even the apostles, who, in the character of com 
panions and pupils, had witnessed His wonderful career, were scattered 
and brooding in despair she remained steadfast, and could not be 
frightened away; and, even after death, the sepulcher was sought that 
she might pay a last tribute to the departed. 

Profane history glows with examples that need not be cited. The 
mothers of Sparta and of Rome became synonymous with feminine 
patriotism, that would sacrifice whatever should be necessary to the 
public good without a murmur. The wives, and mothers, and daugh 
ters of America, during the dark period of the Revolution, won im 
mortal honors. So, when the South assumed a defensive position in 
1 86 1, and the clouds of war began to gather, woman stepped forth, 
not in Amazonian armor, nor for immodest display of herself in coun 
cil, but to grace the cause with her smiles, to warm the hearts of her 
defenders by a manifestation of her interest, to fire them with the 
thought that she would sustain and strengthen them in the contest 
that she would honor them, love them, labor for them, sacrifice ease 
and wealth, and take upon herself toil and hardship, danger and desti 
tution that they might go forth to battle as under her eye, and feel 
that she would glory in their gallant deeds. She appeared upon the 
scene not only as an anxious sympathizer with her warrior country 
men, but as a ministering angel. She came forward not only with en 
couraging smiles and words of cheer, but held forth her hand with the 
assurance that she would contribute her quota of strength to the work 




MRS. BEN HARDIN HELM. 

The (present) " Mother of the Brigade. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 313 

that she would supply the wants of the needy and minister to the 
relief of the suffering that she would clothe, and feed, and soothe 
the sorrow and pain of those whom the fortunes of war might consign 
to her tenderness and care. How she fulfilled her mission has been a 
matter of wonder and praise since South Carolina threw her sword 
in the scale. 

The history of nations can produce no parallel to the wonderful ex 
ertions and endurance, the steadfast courage, the undying faith of the 
women of the South. Their fathers, husbands, sons and brothers were 
soon falling upon many a field ; but they quenched their tears, stifled 
the manifestation of grief, and sent others to fill their places. Servants 
fled, and property was destroyed then they labored for their daily 
bread, and still hallowed the cause in their hearts and prayed for its 
success. In all her afflictions, her courage never quailed; the treas 
ures of her heart she gave up as Cornelia gave up her jewels; and her 
resignation to the will of heaven was like that of the holy Uzzite. Even 
the vilest wretch of history, who fled from his people when they had 
arms in their hands, and came back to insult and oppress them after the 
Northern armies had overpowered them, was struck with their conduct, 
and said of them, on one occasion, in a speech in New York: 

"I bear testimony of my own knowledge to the influence of, and 
the indomitable courage of, the ladies of the Southern Confederacy. 
The most wealthy, the best educated, the most refined among them 
have planted themselves in their doors and piazzas, and have run their 
husbands, sons, nephews, uncles and brothers out into the army. 
Go, volunteer and fight, or I will disown you forever! When the 
Yankees meet them and they fall, the Southern women complacently 
fold their arms and thank God that they die in a good and glorious 
cause, fighting for the independence of the South." 

Through all the vicissitudes of war they never despaired ; but, with 
a firm faith in the righteousness of their cause, encouraged resistance, 
and labored with indefatigable though sorrowful hearts. In the spring 
of 1864, when it could almost have been said of the Confederacy as 
of Egypt when the angel slew the first born, "there was not a house 
where there was not one dead," the following circular letter was pub 
lished for distribution in the army, and signed by a hundred noble 
names : 

"SOLDIERS: The President, Congress, the public press, and your 
Generals have told you their high estimate of your noble devotion in 
RE-ENLISTING for the war. We also, as your mothers, wives, daugh 
ters, sisters, and friends, claim the right to thank you. It is the 
GRANDEST ACT OF THE REVOLUTION, and secures immortality to all 
concerned in it. It awakens anew the enthusiasm with which we be- 



3J4 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

gan this struggle for Liberty, and removes all doubt of its eventual 
success. Such men, in such a cause, can not be overcome. In the 
dreariness of camp life, you may sometimes have imagined yourselves 
forgotten or little cared for. Counting up your privations and dan 
gers, you may have doubted their full appreciation, and fancied that 
those who stay at home and risk nothing, while you suffer and bleed, 
are more esteemed than yourselves. We beseech you, harbor no such 
thought. You are constantly present to our minds. The women of 
the South bestow all their respect and affection on the heroes who 
defend them against a barbarous and cruel foe. In the resolution to 
aid you, they are as firm and determined as you in yours not to lay 
down your arms till independence be won. When that sacred vow 
shall have been accomplished, your reception by us will more than 
attest our sincerity. It shall be shown, while the contest goes on, by 
our efforts to increase your comforts in the field, and to lighten the 
burdens of the dear ones left at home. For your stricken country s 
sake and ours, be true to yourselves and our glorious cause. Never 
turn your backs on the flag, nor desert the ranks of honor or the post 
of danger. Men guilty of such infamy sell your blood and our honor,, 
and give up the Confederacy to its wicked invaders. In after years, 
from generation to generation, the black title of Tory and deserter will 
cling to them, disgracing their children s children. But no stigma like 
this will stain you and yours. Brave, patriotic, and self-sacrificing in 
time of war, you will be honored in peace as the saviors of your coun 
try, and the pride and glory of your country-women. We beg you to 
keep near your hearts these memorials of affection and respect, and to 
remember them, especially in battle, and we invoke for you always 
the protection of a kind and merciful Providence." 

Nowhere was this spirit more strongly manifested than in Kentucky; 
nowhere more fully maintained. From the first, and under all circum 
stances, they proved themselves worthy of those whom they claimed 
as their own champions in the army of the South. In very many in 
stances they maintained different sentiments, or at least, a different 
attitude, from the men of their families. Fathers, husbands, and 
brothers might adopt a conciliating, even a cringing, policy, but this is 
foreign to woman s nature when any question of moment is. at issue; 
and for the most part the women of Kentucky were notoriously for the 
South, first, last, and forever. Their greatest pride was that they 
were identified with the South, during the war, by the sons of Ken 
tucky who chose t to follow that banner; and their greatest pleasure was 
to minister to the necessities of any soldier who wore the gray. When 
the State was overrun by the Federals they made no efforts to conceal 
their sentiments; on the contrary, they gloried in them, and defended,. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN I -RIGADE. 315 

as best they could, the names of their soldiers from insulting imputa- 
ti >::s. When Gen. Morgan occasionally went to work on the disturb 
ers of State sovereignty, the women were his warmest coadjutors. 
They gave him information, concealed his spies, strewed flowers, and 
(\vhat was more to a hungry cavalryman s purpose,) food along his line 
of march. When battles occurred, they hied out to seek the wounded 
and nurse them with all the devotion that the ladies, in the days of 
c livalry, bestowed upon their gallant knights who fell in a contest par 
ticularly for them. 

In the hospitals of the cities, where the Federals kept their wounded 
prisoners, these worthy daughters of the State tried to gain admittance, 
and labored in every possible way to furnish shoes, and clothing, ?nd 
money, to add what they could to the shamefully inadequate rations 
furnished by the Federal prison authorities; to convey grateful stimu 
lants and palatable delicacies to the sick ; and to serve as a means of 
correspondence between these prisoners and their friends. 

Perhaps there is not a State of the South some of whose soldiers 
have not been sick, wounded, and in want, at the prison barracks on 
Broadway, Louisville ; and none who ever spent a day there can for 
get the Confederate ladies of that city. Without their care, the lot of 
the sufferer there would have been hard indeed, even in the midst of 
an abundance of all that could be necessary to the well being of ihe 
sick or wounded, for it was always inconsistent with prison discipline 
there to do more than keep body and soul together, as everything 
taken from the allowance made by the Government to feed, clothe, 
and furnish medical supplies, was taking that much from the possible 
^tealage of the non-combatants whose cupidity led them to seek to 
have charge of such establishments. But the ladies of the city vied 
with each other in efforts to relieve the suffering and needy, and many 
a heart throughout the Confederacy, as well as among the soldiers of 
Kentucky, beats warm when their thoughts recur to them and to their 
daily ministrations, under the harsh restrictions and evil eyes of those 
-weet loyalists who became familiar with villainous gunpowder" only 
by smelling it on the clothes of wounded soldiers fresh from the field 
-f battle. 

Among those of special note in Louisville were Mrs. Lytcr Huff 
man, whose beneficence and personal exertions were great and unre 
mitting, and whose devotion was such that jt defied danger and con- 
emned a selfish regard of property interests; and Mrs. Ann Maria 
Welby, whose fervid patriotism and keen sympathy with suffering Con 
federate soldiers were characteristic of her lofty poetic soul. These 
ire but instances ; their associates in this noble work were many, and 
hey were true to the last. Not only this, but such of them as still 



310 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

live have been these thirty years active in promoting the welfare of 
their surviving soldiers and fostering every enterprise designed to pre 
serve their memory and perpetuate their fame. It is much to be re 
gretted that the name of every one cannot be recorded among those 
of the Orphan Brigade, to whose members they were an inspiration, 
and by whom they are revered for their motherly, wifely, sisterly, and 
womanly devotion. 

In Frankfort, Mrs. Mary B. Morris and Mrs. Jane Stout were so 
devoted and helpful during and afcer the war that, since their death, 
Confederate soldiers perpetuate their memory by annually decorating 
their graves, when they perform this rite over comrades buried there. 

In Lexington, Miss Kitty Todd, who afterward became the wife of 
William Wallace Herr, devoted much of her time to relieving the 
wants of the Confederate soldiers captives near her home and in 
Northern prisons, and even those who, were doing battle far southward, 
at the front. She used her influence and exercised her tact in getting 
permits to send supplies here and there, and many a destitute and 
suffering soul had cause to bless her. When Capt.McGhee snd Walter 
Ferguson were condemned under Burbridge s orders to be hung at 
Lexington, she and Mrs. Todd, her mother, strove to save them, and 
it is believed that they would have succeeded had not their appeal to 
the kind heart and manly instincts of President Lincoln been inter 
cepted. And the sorrows and bereavements of these noble women 
were in proportion to their generous aspirations and their faithful en 
deavors. Of Miss Kitlie s three brothers and a half-brother (a full 
brother to Mrs. Lincoln), who took service with the South, only the 
half-brother, a surgeon in a South Carolina regiment, lived through 
the war. Samuel, serving a Louisiana regiment, was killed at Shiloli ; 
Alexander, who belonged to the Orphan Brigade, was killed at Baton 
Rouge; and David, commanding a battery at Vicksburg, sickened 
and died there. 

And not only were the women of Kentucky to be found in the 
hospitals of their own State, but in no few instances, driven from 
home, they labored in the front and in the track of armies. Among 
the many instances of this character that might be adduced, we may 
mention one, without any disposition whatever to do injustice to any 
who did similar service to the cause in this way, but rather as an ex 
ample. During the campaign of Gen. Johnston, in 1864, Marietta, 
Atlanta, and many other towns in Georgia, in the rear of his army, 
were put in requisition for hospital accommodations ; and in the Acad 
emy Hospital at Marietta, two ladies of Kentucky Miss Kate A. Mon 
roe and Miss Lizzie Hardin, assisted also by Miss Mary Monroe and 
Mrs. Leovey devoted themselves week after week, until Johnston s 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 317 

movement of the ad of July uncovered the place, to the care of the sick 
and wounded, with an untiring energy and an efficiency that won the 
gratitude of the sufferers and the admiration of all witnesses who were 
concerned for the welfare of the men sent down daily from the front. 
And even before they took charge of the hospital, the house which 
they, with other members of Judge Monroe s family, occupied, was 
made a hospital of itself, since every available place was crowded, and 
every possible attention was bestowed. 

It was not in Southern hospitals alone that the women of Kentucky 
found their soldiers. At Johnson s Island, Rock Island, Camp Chase, 
Fort Delaware in fact, wherever they were confined as prisoners, 
they at times realized that this beneficent care was over them. Sup 
plies of food, clothing and money were sent to them sometimes even 
carried to them by a lady delegated for that purpose whenever prison 
regulations allowed it. Many a poor fellow, who now goes back, by 
retrospection, over those days, recalls incidents of this kind, and blesses 
hands that, though unseen to him, were still the ministers of comforts 
that only the sick and wounded, the starving and freezing captive, 
could properly appreciate. 

What a list it would make if we could gather up the names of all 
Kentucky s daughters who encountered danger, braved insult, risked 
life and sacrificed property in their determination to aid and comfort 
the soldiers of the South, and what a chapter in history a recital of 
their deeds would make ! It would be full of stirring and romantic in 
cidents, and show also that there was much foundation for that appre 
hension of her influence in the struggle which stirred Brownlow s 
spleen and found acknowledgment in Ben Butler s conduct at New 
Orleans. 

The ladies of Kentucky whom the members of the brigade had most 
frequently the pleasure of seeing were Mrs. John C. Breckinridge, 
Mrs. Roger W. Hanson, Mrs. Ben. Hardin Helm, Mrs. Martin H. 
Cofer, Mrs. William L. Clarke and Mrs. William S. Phillips. In the 
presence of these, (and of others, if there were others), the men always 
tried to appear at their best. The profound respect with which the 
great majority of them evidently viewed their country-women, was an 
excellent indication of their high social character. They could no more 
have been guilty of ruffianly conduct before these ladies in camp, when 
they chanced to pass, or on the march in their sight, than they would 
in the drawing-rooms of polite society. Nor, upon a drill or review, 
could they have failed to make their best display. Men long debarred 
refined and virtuous society are more or less affected in manners and 
morals ; and those who are essentially vulgar sometimes grow deeply 
licentious, and are lost to all the happy influences that are so preemi- 



318 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

nently the province of woman. But among these men that chivalric 
deference remained unimpaired to the last ; among the more earnest 
and thoughtful minds it was enhanced, for they realized, in all its ex 
tent, during those four years of privation, how much they were indebted 
to her for all that makes life desirable, and came out of the crucible 
with a higher and a more beautiful appreciation. And no thoughtful 
and feeling man could witness the sufferings the uncomplaining de 
votion the wonderful constancy to their cause, of the women of the 
South in general, without having his estimate of womanly character 
raised as high as is at all consistent with what we know of frail human 
ity. The simple recital of the sacrifices and trials, the bereavements 
and sickness of heart, and the thoughts and feelings that all these 
things developed in them, would be enough to wring tears of blood 
from any but the hardest hearts. And yet, as heretofore remarked, 
they bore it all with air and demeanor that were grand. 

An instance of the interest created among the men by the presence 
of a Kentucky lady occurred during the winter of 1863-4, while the 
army lay at Dalton. Mrs. Col. Will Clarke, who boarded some months 
at the house of Maj. Bard, in town, was accustomed to come our 
.sometimes and spend the day in camp, at the regimental headquarters 
of her husband. She thus frequently graced the mess-table at dinner, 
around which were accustomed to gather the sun-browned veterans 
that composed the colonel s mess himself, Lieut. Bowling, Sergt. 
Garvin, Tommie Helm, and William H. Nuchols. This was a novtl 
sight a rose not. so much among thorns, as among the transplanted 
oaks of a Kentucky wood; and during the period of these visits it was 
a standing joke among the more facetious, that the Sixth Regiment 
used all the blacking about Dalton, under the evident apprehension 
that Mrs. Clarke wouldn t like for them to come into the colonel s 
cabin with dirty shoes on ! Her presence among them was suggestive; 
of other scenes and better days in the past, and kindled a more intense 
desire that the coming campaign might prove the speedy attainment of 
Southern independence, and the restoration of the survivors to the 
walks of peaceful life, and to the companionship of those whom they 
most loved in the world. 

Mrs. Hanson, closely identified with the brigade, both by associa 
tion and as the wife of one of its heroic commanders, known after his 
fall as The Mother of the Brigade proud of its fame, loyal to the 
memory of the fallen, true to the living, and revered by them died 
suddenly in Frankfort, October 16, 1888, and was buried beside the 
general in the Lexington Cemetery. She was then serving her third 
term as State Librarian. 

Her pastor, in his remarks at the time of her interment, said, among 




MRS. VIRGINIA HANSON. 
"The Mother of the Brigade." 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 319 

other things : " How womanly and self-reliant she was ! With what a 
brave spirit she battled her way in the world! . . . True to the mem- 
or> and name of him who was laid to rest in an honored soldier s 
L, r rave twenty-six years ago, she bore the burden and heat of the day 
alone, and by her resoluteness and decision of character marked out 
for herself an independent career in the world . . . She has been 
faithful to the interests committed to her as the needle to the pole." 
{See Biographical Sketch of Gen. Hanson.) 

Mrs. Emily Todd Helm, the devoted wife of our fourth brigadier 
(the second one to be killed while gallantly leading his command in 
battle), was in the South till after the fall of the general, and was 
known to many of the men. A member of one of the old and proud 
families of the State, a handsome and accomplished lady, who did not 
need to assert her dignity or maintain her importance by being hedged 
about with conventionalities and approached with formal ceremony, 
she was a favorite in her own right ; but of course the death of the 
young general made a common bond of sorrow between her and the 
men and gave them mutual possession of a tender memory. She 
shared with Mrs. Hanson their knightly, and a sort of filial, regard 
which gave the former (the senior in years and in bereavement), the 
title of Mother of the Brigade, to which the latter succeeded upon the 
death of Mrs. Hanson. 

Mrs. Helm was the daughter of Robt. Todd, whose father was Gen. 
Levi Todd, of Revolutionary fame, and both were noted in the annals 
of Kentucky. Her mother was Elizabeth Humphreys, a daughter of 
Dr. Alexander Humphreys, of Staunton, Va. When Mrs. Helm was 
widowed, the care of three little children devolved upon her. Their 
education being her chief concern, she took this mainly upon herself 
and accomplished it with the spirit of a Roman mother and the skill 
of the trained scholar. Their home is the beautiful Helm Place, near 
Elizabethtown, the ancestral residence of the Kentucky Helms, having 
been in possession of the family for nearly a hundred years. Here the 
general s remains lie under the shadow of the handsome monument 
reared to the memory of his father, the governor, and surrounded by 
his kindred. In 1893 Mrs. Helm contributed to the Illustrated Ken- 
tuckian an interesting article on the old home, its history and its sur- 
"oundings. Like Mrs. Hanson, she has been honored with important 
public position, having been postmistress at Elizabethtown for twelve 
\ ears, three successive presidential terms, preceding 1895. 

Mrs. Bettie Phillips was as nearly identified with the brigade as any 
lady ever was with a military command, perhaps, except indeed such 
heroines of history as the Maid of Saragossa and Joan D Arc, and h( r 
just pride in the fame of the organization, as well as her soliciiudc for 



320 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

its welfare during the war, and efforts to promote it, mark her as de 
serving the special mention awarded to members. 

She was the wife of Capt. William S. Phillips, of Uniontown ; and 
on the i4th of September, 1861, joined her husband, then a lieutenant 
in the Fourth Regiment, at Camp Boone, after which she was not at 
home again till after the war. When the army was stationary for any 
length of time, she was either with it, at the quarters of Capt. Phil 
lips, who was made regimental quartermaster in February, 1862, or 
boarding in the neighborhood. She sometimes accompanied it on the 
march and again, during its unsettled periods, would stay with some 
family in country or city. After an engagement, she usually remained 
some time at the place to which the wounded of the brigade were 
sent, and devoted herself to their care and comfort, either directly, by 
her own exertions, or by enlisting the favor and attention of others in 
their behalf. 

In the winter of 1862-3, after the battle of Stone River, her health 
failed sadly, and, deeming it best that she should return home, she set 
out from Manchester alone, by way of Tompkinsville. Arriving at the 
latter place, she was advised to go to Glasgow and procure a passport 
for Uniontown. She accordingly reported to the Federal commandant 
there ; and instead of getting the passport, was arrested as a spy, and sub 
jected to indignities that the veriest savages would scarcely have perpe 
trated. A sergeant was ordered to search her person, and when she defi 
antly refused to submit to this, some women were called in, whom she 
described afterwards as being " two officers wives and a Mrs. Taylor, 
a native Kentucky Yankee." These creatures examined every article 
of clothing twice, with a scrutiny that peered under the threads of the 
stitches, lest the rebels had stored some infinitesimal infernal machine 
in a needle-hole, and had sent her into Kentucky with it to blow the 
heart out of "the best government." They failed to find it, however, 
but gave out that she was a spy notwithstanding, and the lowest and 
most brutal soldiers of the garrison were allowed to gather about, and 
indulge in ribald remarks in plain hearing. Two or three times she 
was marched from her prison to the office of the provost-marshal and 
back under a valiant guard, sometimes of cavalry, sometimes of in 
fantry. After having been kept there several days, she was sent to 
Louisville, to report to Gen. Boyle, and chanced to find in his adju 
tant a soldier, who gave her permission to put up anywhere she chose 
and report next morning. She was ordered the next day to leave the 
State, and informed that if she were caught in it during the war, she 
should be treated as a spy. She was sent by way of Glasgow and 
Bowling Green to Nashville, meeting with a small specimen of mean 
ness at Bowling Green, and being arrested by a ruffianly soldier when 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 321 

the cars stopped at Nashville, who slapped her familiarly on the shoul 
der, and informed her that she was his prisoner, though a Federal 
officer aboard professed to have charge of her. Here she was kept for 
days, a female detective set to work at her, a male of the same species 
of animal lending his assistance, an effort made to get her into the 
house of an adept of this class, who could make what evidence she 
could not extract, and at last sent out in a wagon, the driver of which 
was impressed for the occasion, and told to drive her out a mile and a 
half, and drop her. He had been told, too, that she was the wife of 
a major-general, and a lot of other meaningless lies, which she contra 
dicted to the gentleman who was to carry her, before they started, and 
in the presence of the pimp who had told them. The gentleman who 
was ordered to carry her out was a Southerner ; and instead of putting 
her down in the woods, carried her eleven miles, to a comfortable 
family residence, from which place, through the kindness of Lieut. 
Fall, she was enabled to proceed to Beech Grove, where the Ken 
tucky Brigade then was. This is but a single series of incidents in her 
career, but a striking example of the petty meanness and pusillanimity 
of those who ruled in Kentucky and Tennessee during that time, in 
stead of carrying their precious carcasses to the front, where true men 
battled with each other honorably. 

She thereafter followed the fortunes of her countrymen. In need, she 
looked after their interests in that quiet and as unostentatious way that 
might not be noticed at the time, but was effective for good. If her 
influence could procure food and clothing, delicacies and nursing for 
the sick and wounded, anything that the soldier needed and prized, it 
was exerted. If one had a garment to be made up, she did it for him 
with her own fingers, from the most obscure private in the ranks to the 
general commanding. 

After the army was established in huts at Dalton, she took up her 
residence at the headquarters of her husband, then quartermaster of 
brigade, and spent the winter with him. This establishment, situated 
at the big spring, in the bottom between the Chattanooga railroad and 
the wagon road leading in the same direction, was to the brigade what 
Col. Clarke s cabin was to the Sixth Regiment during his lady s visits 
a kind of headquarters of polite society, where all general, field, 
staff, and line officers, non-commissioned officers and privates 
dropped in when off duty for a cosy chat. About that time the plan 
of correspondence under flag of truce, by way of Fortress Monroe, 
became generally understood and was adopted; and it would be amus 
ing to recount the scenes that occurred around Mrs. Phillips fire, but 
tor the sadness that is conjured up by thoughts of the after-days. 
Many and many an evening, until far toward the midnight hour, was 

21 



322 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

spent by a circle of soldiers there, recounting the incidents of home- 
life and the deeds of the army ; and the recitals were varied by every 
thing that can make simple narrative and informal colloquy entertain 
ing to the listener. One had a story of love to tell, another of deadly 
feuds ; one of country pleasures and pursuits ; some indulged in the 
drollest humor, others in earnest discussion of our chances of success ; 
while some described battles, battle incidents humorous, serious, 
full of fun, or touched with grief; and some had letters from home, by 
the means previously intimated, which were read and commented 
upon, thus furnishing a fruitful incentive to talk about the old State, 
from which no true Kentuckian is ever weaned, go where he will. 
Many a poor fellow, whose pleasure was so great at receiving a letter 
from those whom he loved and longed again to behold that he could 
not keep it to himself, but wanted others to be happy with him, and 
read it with beaming face to Mrs. Phillips and a selected few, or even 
to a miscellaneous company, now sleeps uncoffined beneath the 
mournful-waving and bullet-scarred pines of Georgia and South Caro 
lina, having fallen in deadly conflict with a heart full of unsatisfied 
love and hope. 

The active operations that began on the yth of May, 1864, had no 
cessation for the Kentucky Brigade until the army was surrendered, 
and Mrs. Phillips spent but little time actually with the command after 
that, though occasionally visiting it when in bivouac, and being almost 
constantly engaged for both the wounded and those in the field. At 
Washington, Georgia, she saw the last of them as a body, and looked 
upon what no woman, perhaps, ever saw before a military body of 
men whom no reverse could dispirit, no sufferings nor dangers weaken, 
and who deemed themselves unconquerable save by the single means 
of destroying the last man, bidding her, and their general, and each 
other farewell, preparatory to final separation, without arms in their 
hands, but choked with emotion, that found vent, in many instances, 
in tears, to which they had been strangers from the days of their child 
hood. 

She had in her possession the flags of some of the regiments which 
they had brought out from Kentucky with them, and under which 
they had first fought, and these she cut into small strips and divided 
among the men as mementoes till the last was gone, and thus she parted 
with those of whose careers she had been a constant witness, and in 
whose defeat she felt a grief as poignant as their own. 

It is fitting to close this chapter with the eloquent apostrophe and 
appeal of Col. John N. Edwards, found in his history of Gen. Joe 
Shelby s famous command: " O, women of the South! your love 
and purity and faith and hope and courage were without limit, and 




Furl it! for the hands that grasped it, 
And the hearts that fondly clasped it, 

Cold and dead are lying low: 
And the banner, it is trailing, 
While around it sounds the wailing 

Of its people in their woe. 
For, though conquered, they adore it, 
Love the cold dead hands that bore it, 
Weep for those who fell before it, 
Pardon those who trailed and tore it, 
And oh! wildly they deplore it- 
No w to furl and fold it so." 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 323 

worthy of eternal blessings. Man proposes and God disposes. Guard 
the sacred memories of the dear, dead past, and keep forever as a 
priceless heritage the recollections of those immortal deeds, dared and 
done for love of you ! " 



324 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

OUR DEAD AND WHERE THEY LIE. CONFEDERATE VETERAN ORGAN 
IZATIONS, THEIR OBJECTS, AND THOSE NOW MAINTAINED IN 
KENTUCKY. 



" How sleep the brave, who sink to rest, 
" By all their country s wishes bless d ! 
" When Spring, with dewy fingers cold, 
" Returns to deck their hallow d mould, 
" She there shall dress a sweeter sod 
"Than Fancy s feet have ever trod. 

By fairy hands their knell is rung; 
<l By forms unseen their dirge is sung ; 
" There Honor comes, a pilgrim gray, 
"To bless the turf that wraps their clay; 
"And Freedom shall awhile repair, 
" To dwell a weeping hermit there ! " 



It has long been a matter of observation and remark that the Con 
federate soldiers of Kentucky have a livelier, more enduring, and 
more loyal feeling of comradeship than is at all apparent in those 
whose arms were finally triumphant. This is due in part, no doubt, 
to the enthusiastic temper of Kentuckians, and to that hearty social 
turn which readily makes friends but by no means so readily loses in 
terest in them and casts them off; but certainly in greater part to the 
peculiar circumstances of their association in the military service, and 
to those disasters which "followed fast and followed faster" until the 
final and irretrievable overthrow of the Confederacy. 

In the family that has known misfortune, and across whose threshold 
has fallen again and again the black shadow of death, bringing bereave 
ments and leaving the memory of delightful life terminated by the 
agonies of dissolution, there come to the survivors a deeper tender 
ness and more loving solicitude for each other than is possible to those 
who live in the sunshine and know little of the defeats and disappoint 
ments that sadden if they do not break the spirit. So the thought of 
the days when these thousands of ardent young Kentuckians mar 
shalled themselves in a cause which to them was as sacred as any that 
ever led men to array themselves against the perpetration of a great 
wrong; the ever-insistent and inappeasable ghost of " what might have 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 325 

been;" and the knowledge of what part they played in the great trag 
edy whose curtain was at last rung down only after the world had 
witnessed their undoing, all this had the effect of profoundly stirring 
the minds of these men, intensifying their feelings, and of binding 
them together as only achievements, sufferings, calamities borne in 
common, can strengthen the ties that unite either families or organized 
bodies of men. 

In the beautiful ceremony of decorating the graves of their dead, one 
who studies the meaning of manifestations finds indications of thoughts 
and feelings that are not paraded before men. Running through the 
simple ceremonies of these occasions the prayer, the unstudied ad 
dress, the quiet conversations of the men and women who move rev 
erently above the sleeping dust of their comrades and friends is the 
echo of a tender refrain, an undertone of sadness, which speaks of a 
past whose lines are deeply and ineffaceably graven upon heart and 
character, to the chastening of them and the bettering of them in direc 
tions most honorable to human nature. 

If loyal comradeship among the living, continuing through the life 
of man, is noble, the reverential tribute of annually " decking the hal 
lowed mould " where dead comrades sleep is both beautiful and useful. 
When Rome ceased to apotheosize her good and great men, (a step 
toward losing reverence for the memory of those whose lives had been 
devoted to her service), the first traces of "Ichabod" were written 
upon the walls of the mighty empire her glory had begun to depart. 
And when the Confederate soldier ceases to take a deep and serious 
interest in the dead past in which he was a notable actor, and to man 
ifest to the world that he still holds in his heart and honors in his 
thought the comrades who trod with him the paths of suffering, of 
danger, and of manful deeds, he will cease to cherish in him and his 
posterity the noble traits that make the highest order of citizen and 
the truest patriot. 

At the close of the war thousands of our fellow-soldiers still lay in 
the rude graves on the many battlefields and in their vicinity ; about 
the hospitals where they died of wounds or disease ; and near prisons 
where they died or were killed. Some few had been brought home by 
their relatives and friends. To Charlie Herbst, an intelligent, brave 
and faithful soldier of Co. H, Second Kentucky, more than to any 
other, perhaps to all others, is due the honor of making it possible to 
identify the graves of hundreds of them and remove the bodies to 
cemeteries in the South, or home to Kentucky to rest with kindred 
dust. Soon after the war he began to devote himself sedulously to 
locating the spots where his fellow-Kentuckians lay, and indicating 
them by neat head-boards. From time to time for twenty years these 



326 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

bodies were removed, one by one, by individuals and families; but at 
the fourth annual reunion of the brigade, at Glasgow, August ipth, 
1885, a movement was organized to remove as many as possible of the 
remains of comrades killed and buried on the battlefields" of Georgia 
and still remaining there, and a fund was raised for that purpose. 

Col. John C. Wickliffe, Gen. Fayette Hewitt and Lieut. Willis L. 
Ringo were appointed a committee to superintend the undertaking. 

In pursuance of the design, Lieut. Ringo went to Chickamauga in 
the early autumn of 1888, and succeeded in finding thirty bodies of 
Kentuckians, which were interred in the Confederate lot in the Frank 
fort Cemetery, September 25. He subsequently ascertained the loca 
tion of five more. The work was one of much responsibility, and was 
rendered difficult because most of the wooden head-boards put up by 
Charlie Herbst soon after the war, (as noticed above), had decayed or 
been destroyed; in some cases he could not identify individually, and 
the remains of fourteen rest there as unknown, though among these the 
following are certainly included : Elias Gay, Co. A, Second Kentucky ; * 
Joseph Daily, Co. E, Second Kentucky; C. Fritz, Co. F, Second 
Kentucky; Robert Moore, Co. H, Second Kentucky; Oscar Hack- 
ley, Co. I, Second Kentucky; Sergt. J. W. Munford, Co. K, Second 
Kentucky; A. H. Thompson, Co. F, Fourth Kentucky; Sergt. Lean- 
der Ellis, Co. A, Fifth Kentucky, and G. Hurley, Cobb s Battery. 

The following were identified and their headstones are marked : 
Col. James W. Moss, Second Kentucky (reinterred at reunion, Sep 
tember 26, 1888); Robert Clinton Anderson, ensign Second Ken 
tucky ; Capt. Harry B. Rogers, Co. D, Second Kentucky ; Sergt. N. 
M. Pullen, Co. D, Second Kentucky; Wm. T. Richardson, Co. H, 
Second Kentucky; J. G. Bryant, Co. F, Fourth Kentucky; Lieut. 
John Bell, Co. K, Fourth Kentucky ; Isaac Fugate, Co. B, Fifth Ken 
tucky ; Lieut. George R. Yates, Co. E, Fifth Kentucky; J. Wooley, 
Co. I, Fifth Kentucky; J. C. McCormack, Co. B, Ninth Kentucky; 
John McMahan, Co. D, Ninth Kentucky. 

The following other members are buried there, some removed from 
the South by their friends prior to the movement previously referred 
to, some having died since the war : Maj. Thomas B. Monroe, Fourth 
Kentucky ; Capt. Ben Monroe, Co. E, Fourth Kentucky ; John W. 
Payne, Co. E, Second Kentucky; Lieut. Isham T. Dudley, Co. E, 
Fourth Kentucky; Q. M. Sergt. Samuel South, Co. B, Fifth Ken 
tucky; R. R. Parsons, Co. E, Fourth Kentucky; Lieut. Robert A. 
Thomson, Co. E, Fourth Kentucky; Hubbard H. Kavanaugh, Chap 
lain Sixth Kentucky ; Sergt. James G. Crockett, Co. E, Fourth Ken- 

*The reader will note that where a regiment is given by number, without speci 
fying whether infantry or cavalry, the Kentucky Infantry is indicated. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 327 

tucky; Lieut. Geo. B. Burnley, Co. E, Fourth Kentucky; Ensign R. 
Kidder Woodson, Co. E, Fourth Kentucky; Jack Pattie, Co. K, Fifth 
Kentucky; A. G. Brawner, Co. H, Second Kentucky; Sergt. Thomas 
T. Price, Co. E, Fourth Kentucky ; Corporal J. K. Exum, Co. E, 
Fourth Kentucky ; W. C. Church, Co. E, Second Kentucky ; Sergt. 
Samuel W. Shannon, Co. E, Fourth Kentucky ; and Sergt. B. A. 
Vaughn, Co. A, First Kentucky Cavalry. 

It was once proposed to move to Frankfort the following comrades: 
Isaac Cole, Co. B, Fifth Kentucky (buried at Versailles) ; Sergt. 
Eliphas P. Williams, Co. B, Fifth Kentucky (buried at Flat Gap, 
Johnson County), and John Kazee, Fifth Kentucky (buried on George s 
Creek, in Lawrence County) ; but the plan was not carried out. 

The following names of those still in the South are taken from a 
valuable list printed by comrade Herbst after he had concluded his re 
searches. Those known to have been removed to Frankfort and else 
where are of course omitted. 

On the battlefield of Chickamauga and in the neighborhood are : 
At Breckinridge s Division Hospital, six and a half miles from Ring- 
gold, Joseph Kerburg, E. Townsend, Nathan Board, and N. Stovall, 
all of Co. H, Ninth Kentucky; John L. Dunn, Co. G, Ninth Ken 
tucky; Capt. Gus Dedman, Co. I, Second Kentucky; R. King, Co. 
H, Fourth Kentucky; S. Walsh, Co. I, Sixth Kentucky; D. M. Bry 
ant, Co. E, Sixth Kentucky ; John L. Henton, Co. B, Sixth Ken 
tucky (the last at Ed Fowler s). 

About two miles from the above, and near Mr. Kelly s, W. Jones, 
Co. G, Second Kentucky; J. Steele, Co. , Second Kentucky; W. 
H. Skinner, Co. G, Second Kentucky. A little nearer the breast 
works over which the Kentuckians charged is J. C. Carmack, Co. B, 
Fifth Kentucky ; and within one hundred and forty yards is a pit said 
to contain three or four Kentuckians. About a mile from where a 
steam saw-mill then stood in the woods is Sergt. W. Allen, Co. D, 
Ninth Kentucky. At Mr. Snodgrass s place, about one and a half 
miles from the spot from which Ensign Anderson was removed, are 
George Montgomery, Co. D, Fifth Kentucky ; John Stamper, Co. G, 
Fifth Kentucky ; and two of the Fifth Kentucky whose initials only 
are given : H. T. E. and J. R. ; also, W. M. S., Co. K, Fifth Ken 
tucky. 

In the Citizens Cemetery, at Ringgold : Maj. Rice E. Graves, Chief 
of Artillery; B. S. Hamilton, Co. D, Ninth Kentucky; - - Wood- 
son, Co. K, Ninth Kentucky. In the Confederate graveyard, one mile 
from Ringgold, is T. Foley, Co. K, Ninth Kentucky. 

At Cherokee Springs, Ga., is W. Haynes, Co. E, Kentucky; 

and at Ebenezer Church is Isaac H. Beam, First Kentucky Cavalry. 



328 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

At Catoosa Springs, Ga. , are Joseph M. Barnett, Cobb s Battery, 
and Joseph Wells, Co. E, Second Kentucky. 

At Dalton and in the vicinity are : R. P. Sanford, Co. G, Fourth 
Kentucky; Thomas J. Lee, Co. , Ninth Kentucky; George Harper, 
Co. A, Ninth Kentucky; Joseph H. Erwin, Co. H, Ninth Kentucky; 
Robert S. Dobyns, Co. G, Ninth Kentucky; Thomas Withers, Co. H, 
Sixth Kentucky; J. R. Gordon, Co. I, Sixth Kentucky; A. J. Mar 
tin, Graves s Battery; W. J. Parker, Co. C, First Kentucky Cavalry; 
Lewellyn Fuller, Co. D, First Kentucky Cavalry; B. F. Kendall, Co. 
F, First Kentucky Cavalry; Joseph H. Page, Co. A, Ninth Kentucky; 
W. T. McCormack, Co. A, Ninth Kentucky; Martin Rafter, Cobb s 
Battery; W. F. Hopkins, Co. , Ninth Kentucky, (the last at Ed 
Frackland s) ; George Disney, Co. B, Fourth Kentucky, (on top of 
Rocky Face Ridge); Mitchell, Lewis s Kentucky Brigade. 

At Marietta, Ga., in Citizens Cemetery: Henry Crow, First Ken 
tucky Cavalry; G. B. Partridge, Co. K, Fourth Kentucky; T. E. 
Covington, Co. D, Fourth Kentucky; Capt. John Calvert, Co. E, 
Fifth Kentucky ; W. Ackerman, Co. A, Fifth Kentucky; Wm. H. 
Herrington, Co. I, Sixth Kentucky; L. Gross, Co. B, Fifth Kentucky; 
Deriah Prather, Co. G, Sixth Kentucky; Lieut. H. Clay McKay, 
Gen. Lewis s staff. 

Three miles from Dallas, Ga., at place known as Lewis s graveyard: 
F. S. Lane, Co. K, Second Kentucky ; James N. Mason, Co. H, 
Second Kentucky; Wallace Western, Co. D, Second Kentucky ; Jas. 
Cochran, Co. B, Sixth Kentucky; Sergt. G. Smith, Co. H, Fifth 
Kentucky; W. W. Chambers, Co. K, Ninth Kentucky; and one un 
known marked "Kentucky Infantry." 

At the Methodist Church, Dallas: S. A. Sothern, Co. E, Sixth 
Kentucky; J. Geiger, Co. , Fifth Kentucky; J. L. Street, Co. I, 
Second Kentucky; George Stone, Co. A, Sixth Kentucky; Wm. Mox- 
ley, Co. A, Sixth Kentucky; Lieut. E. J. Freeman, Co. B, Sixth 
Kentucky; G. W. Larkin, Co. D, Second Kentucky; Capt. D. E. 
McKendree, Co. D, Sixth Kentucky; J. Lyon, First Kentucky Bat 
tery, (the last at P. M. Carter s). 

On the battlefield of Dallas: V. M. Wells, Co. A, Sixth Ken 
tucky; Samuel Borders, Co. I, Fifth Kentucky; James Masden, Co. 
H, Sixth Kentucky; Joseph J. Morton, Co. I, Sixth Kentucky; C. H. 
Dawson, Co. A, Sixth Kentucky; Lieut. C. A. Schroeder, Co. I, 
Fourth Kentucky; Samuel Gilchrist, Co. C, Fourth Kentucky; L. 
A. L. Wallace, Co. C, Fourth Kentucky ; R. H. Young, Co. B, Sixth 
Kentucky; Lieut. H. M. Watts, Co. B, Fourth Kentucky; James 
Perry, Co. C, Fifth Kentucky; V. F. Fisher, Co. C, Second Ken 
tucky; A. L. Kaufman, Co. C, Second Kentucky; W. Dave Ray- 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 329 

mond, Co. C, Second Kentucky; Green B. Boothe, Co. H, Fourth 
Kentucky; W. Zion, Co. B, Fifth Kentucky; W. C. Fletcher, Co. K, 
Fourth Kentucky ; and two unknown at picket line, Lewis Kentucky 
Brigade. 

Supposed to be on the battlefield of Dallas, or in the vicinity, are 
the following known to have been killed there: L. D. Berry and E. 
R. Edwards, Co. A; Sergt. G. M. Penny, Co. B; Capt. W. A. Brad- 
dock, C. H. Levering and Richard Sothern, Co. C; Corporal C. W. 
Flowers, Co. D; James Schroeder, Co. E; J. H. Gregory, Co. F; 
Sergt. J. T. Smith, Corporal J. M. Chiles, J. Barry, and O. Watts, 
Co. G; Sergt. J. H. Summers and C. Bentol, Co. H, all of the 
Second Kentucky. 

At Jonesboro, Ga.: Robert H. Lindsay, Ensign, Fourth Kentucky ; 
Richard W. Bowling, Co. F, Fourth Kentucky; George Bosh, Co. H, 
Fourth Kentucky; one unknown of Co. A, Fourth Kentucky; S. 
Thomas, Co. E, Fifth Kentucky; C. W. Cohorn, Co. , Fifth Ken 
tucky; J. P. Keith, Co. B, Ninth Kentucky; Lieut. Wm. M. Neal, Co. 
A, Fourth Kentucky; Ephraim R. Smith, Co. A, Fourth Kentucky. 

At Newnan, Ga. , in Citizens Cemetery: J. W. McClasky, Co. 
A, Sixth Kentucky; Joseph McClasky, Co. A, Sixth Kentucky; 
Frank Rowell, Co. H, Ninth Kentucky; Edward Watt, Co. A, Fourth 
Kentucky; V. H. Erron, Co. C, Fourth Kentucky ; Harry C. Colston, 
Ensign, Sixth Kentucky; Lieut. J. W. Carroll, Co. D, Ninth Ken 
tucky; P. W. Williams, Co. G, Ninth Kentucky; W. Watts, Co. I, 
Sixth Kentucky; Charles E. Hall, Co. B, Second Kentucky. 

At LaGrange, Ga. , in the Confederate Cemetery : Robert Clinton 
Bryan, Sixth Kentucky ; D. P. Conny, Fourth Kentucky; W. B. Cole- 
man, Ninth Kentucky. 

At West Point, Ga., in the Confederate Cemetery, is Steve Estill, 
Co. H, Second Kentucky. 

At Charleston, East Tenn., is Sergt. W. Frank Standiford, Co. D, 
First Kentucky Cavalry. 

In the cemetery at Griffin, Ga.: James F. Talbott, Co. C, Second 
Kentucky; G. C. Harris, Co. B; W. B. Edson, Co. G, Fourth Ken 
tucky; Newton Cook, Co. C, Ninth Kentucky; W. Meredith, Co. G, 
Ninth Kentucky; Charles Segler, Co. H, Ninth Kentucky; Jesse 
Cornelius, Co. A, Ninth Kentucky ; W. D. Burney, Co. C, Ninth 
Kentucky; A. J. Miller, Co. D, Fifth Kentucky; D. R. Willett, Co. 
F, First Kentucky Cavalry; H. J. Haddock, Co. B, Sixth Kentucky. 

In the cemetery at Rome, Ga.: J. L. Turner, Co. D, First Ken 
tucky Cavalry ; S. Crevison, Cobb s Battery ; Chris Jones, Co. E, 
Ninth Kentucky; B. E. Settle, Co. , Sixth Kentucky. 

At Atlanta, Ga., in the Citizen s Graveyard: Capt. G. W. McCau- 



330 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

ley, First Kentucky Cavalry ; Col. James W. Hewitt, Second Kentucky ; 
A. Dawson, Co. A, Second Kentucky; George R. Moore, Second 
Kentucky; W. F. Willingham, Co. A, Sixth Kentucky; Oscar E. Reed, 
Co. I, Sixth Kentucky; W. A. Hatcher, Co. C, Second Kentucky; J. 

E. Dawson, Co. I, Sixth Kentucky; D. Passin, Co. H, Fifth Kentucky ; 
R. Wolfe, Co. G, Fifth Kentucky; I. Sampson, Co. K, Fifth Ken 
tucky; John B. Scott, Co. F, Fourth Kentucky; David Evans, Co. 

A, Fifth Kentucky; J. A. Smith, First Kentucky Cavalry; James 
N. Wilkinson, Co. A, Fourth Kentucky; C. Hutchinson, Co. G, 
Ninth Kentucky; E. R. Pemberton, Co. G, Ninth Kentucky; Levi 
Jones, Cobb s Battery; Capt. Tom Walker, Byrne s Battery; J. W. 
Davidson, Co. E, Sixth Kentucky; L. H. Spalding, Co. C, Fourth 
Kentucky ; David Ellison, Co. B, First Kentucky Cavalry ; Adam 
Razor, Co. C, First Kentucky Cavalry; Silas H. Bingham, Co, 

F. First Kentucky Cavalry; W. B. Hanley, Co. H, Fourth 
Kentucky; J. W. Ellington, Co. C, Fifth Kentucky; M. Rogers, 
Co. F, Fourth Kentucky; C. H. Jones, Co. F, Fifth Kentucky; 
D. D. Shyrer, Co. F, Fifth Kentucky ; James M. Plaster, Co. 
C, Second Kentucky; P. Formhals, Co. I, Fourth Kentucky; 

G. J. Stewart, Co. K, Second Kentucky; J. H. Calvert, Co. E, Fifth 
Kentucky; E. V. Henry, Co. C, Fifth, Kentucky; Mark Hancock, 
Co. C, Fourth Kentucky; J. W. Williams, Co. C, Fifth Kentucky; 

Lieut. J. W. Cleveland, Co. I, Fifth Kentucky; L. Maxon, , 

Ninth Kentucky; W. A. Bush, Co. H, Sixth Kentucky; George Peach,, 
Co. G, Sixth Kentucky; H. G. Hogge, Co. A, Fourth Kentucky ; G. 
M. Calhoun, Co. G, Fourth Kentucky; E. W. Anderson, - , Sixth 
Kentucky; Lieut. John W. Webb, Co. D, Ninth Kentucky, (the last 
near Col. Grant s house); G. B. Barnes, Co. G, Fifth Kentucky; W. 
H. Walker, Co. B, Fifth Kentucky; G. E. Rice, Co. C, Fourth 
Kentucky; B. G. Collier, Co. G, Sixth Kentucky; John Bradshaw, 
Co. C, Fifth Kentucky; S. D. Hancock, Co. C, Fourth, Kentucky;. 
J. C. Grissom, Co. C, Sixth, Kentucky; J. L. Ambrose, Co. C, Fifth 
Kentucky; Thomas Whallen, Co. B, Fifth Kentucky; Jedediah 
Branch, Co. H, Sixth Kentucky; J. T. Boyd, Co. G, Fourth Ken 
tucky; Lieut. Phil Murphy, Co. F, Second, Kentucky; A. Wells, Co. 

B, Sixth Kentucky ; James M. Ashford, Co. H, Sixth Kentucky ; 
Silas King, Co. I, Ninth Kentucky; James Metcalfe and John With 
ers, Co. H, Sixth Kentucky; L. N. Stout, Co. A, Sixth Kentucky; 
James Osborne, Co. E, Sixth Kentucky; J. E. McDonald, First Ken 
tucky Battery ; Lieut. Robt. D. Spalding, Co. F, First Kentucky Cav 
alry. There are many around Atlanta of whom no record has been 
preserved. 

In the Confederate Cemetery at Forsythe, Ga. : H. E. Mott, Co. 




MONUMENT TO OUR CONFEDERATE DEAD. 

In the Frankfort Cemetery. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 331 

, Fourth Kentucky; R. H. Williams, Adjutant, Fourth Kentucky; 
F. S. Barnes, Co. A, Fifth Kentucky; Lieut. S. M. Orr, Co. G, 
Sixth Kentucky. 

At Resaca, Ga. : Sergt. Robert E. Hewitt, Co. G, Second Ken 
tucky; Charles W. Gayley, Co. A, Second Kentucky, and eight others 
marked " Kentuckians, Lewis s Brigade, Infantry, names not known." 
The above were reinterred in a beautiful little Confederate cemetery 
near Resaca, completed through the exertions of Mr. John Green s 
family. 

At Kenesaw Mountain are W. H. Ross, Co. K, Fifth Kentucky; 
Maj. John Bird Rogers, Fourth Kentucky. 

The following names, with places of interment, have been copied 
from the private papers of the writer and furnished by friends here 
and there in response to inquiries; but at almost every place men 
tioned there are doubtless a number of others, about whom he could 
not obtain reliable information. 

At Dover, Tenn. , in the vicinity of the battlefield of Donelson : 
J. F. Wyatt, Co. B, Second Kentucky; A. Lyle and J. Sothern, Co. 
C, Second Kentucky; Felix G. Stier, Co. D, Second Kentucky; 
Lieut. Wm. H. Hill, D. H. McDaniel, G. H. Eveleth and S. Mat 
thews, Co. F, Second Kentucky; H. B. Nelson, Co. G, Second Ken 
tucky ; G. W. Emerson and Perry Turpin, Co. I, Second Kentucky. 

On the battlefield of Shiloh and in the vicinity : Wm. L. Rogers, 
Co. A, Fourth Kentucky; Hugh McVey, Co. D, Fourth Kentucky; 
Nathan Booker Thompson, Co. F, Sixth Kentucky ; John Crawford 
and John Purcell, Co. H, Sixth Kentucky; Matt Champion, Co. F, 
Fourth Kentucky; Tom Porter, Co. B, Ninth Kentucky. 

At Coritfth, Miss. : G. S. Williams, Co. G, Sixth Kentucky ; John 
Harned, Co. H, Sixth Kentucky. 

At Goodwin, Miss. : William Martin and Nathaniel Martin, Co. 
E, Sixth Kentucky. 

At Jackson, Miss. : George W. Oliver, Co. E, Sixth Kentucky. 

In the old Waddy Thompson burying ground on Little Barren 
River, Metcalfe County : Capt. James B. Thompson, first a member 
of Co. D, Sixth Kentucky; commissioned a captain of cavalry while 
Bragg was in Kentucky, 1862. 

On the battlefield of Intrenchment Creek : Richard M. Johnson, Co. 
E, Sixth Kentucky ; Lieut. Frank Harned and Allen Snellen, Co. H, 
Sixth Kentucky ; and Capt. }. Matt Bowling, Co. D, Sixth Kentucky. 

At Hartsville, Tenn., and in the vicinity : Corporal D. W. Weaver, 
Co. A, Corporal R. N. Yancey, Co. B, Lieut. Charles H. Thomas 
and Lieut. John W. Rogers, Co. C, J. A. Pryor, and John R. Usrey, 
Co. D, Sergt. Thomas Maddox, Co. E, G. A. Elgin and John N. 



332 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

Mason, Co. H, all of the Second Kentucky ; Peter Kay and Albert 
Rhea, Co. H, Ninth Kentucky. 

At Murfreesboro, Tenn., and elsewhere in the vicinity of Stone 
River battlefield : Sergt. Reed and Corporal Robinson, Co. A, Cor 
poral A. G. Montgomery, Co. B, Elijah Barnes, Thomas Clark and J. 
W. Glasscock, Co. C ; Lieut. Frank Tryon and Robert Garter, Co. 
E, Corporal Edward Sayse Wright, Co. H, Sergt. A. O. Hornbaker, 
Bugler Charles H. Bowen, and W. O. Hardesty, Co. I, all of Sec 
ond Kentucky; Eugene L. Johnston, Co. B, Fourth Kentucky; Sergt. 
Whayne, Cobb s Battery ; Thomas Higdon, Co. A, First Kentucky 
Cavalry; Wilson G. Parker, Asa Lewis, and Thomas W. Payne, Co. 
E, Sixth Kentucky; Hense G. Tracey, Co. C, Sixth Kentucky; Wm. 
Harned, Henry Hayman, James A. Hill, and John Tabb, all of Co. 
H, Sixth Kentucky. 

At Fayetteville, Tenn. : Charles Vise, Co. H, Sixth Kentucky. 

At Manchester, Tenn : John G. Tisdale, Co. E, Sixth Kentucky ; 
Wm. Younger, Co. H, Sixth Kentucky. 

In the Chattanooga Cemetery : John Baiter, Co. B, First Kentucky 
Cavalry; W. Berry, Co. B, Second Kentucky; J, G. Burgess, Co. D, 
Ninth Kentucky; A. Bohet, Co. B, First Kentucky Cavalry; Wm. 
McCullen, Co. H, Sixth Kentucky; James Switzer, Co. F, Ninth 
Kentucky; D. M. Simpson, Co. D, First Kentucky Cavalry; Joseph 
M. Winston, Co. D, Fourth Kentucky. 

At Tullahoma, Tenn. : John Holtzclaw, Co. H, Sixth Kentucky. 

At Nashville, Tenn. : Theodore Pearl, Co. H, Sixth Kentucky. 

In Louisiana, (place not definitely stated): Capt. Frank D. Moffitt, 
Co. H, Sixth Kentucky. 

At Estelle Springs, La. : James Ross, Co. H, Sixth Kentucky. 

At Baton Rouge, La. : John Clark and John Smith, Co. H, Sixth 
Kentucky. 

At Columbus, Ga. : W. Dudley Chipley, Adjutant Ninth Ken 
tucky. 

At Columbus, Ky. : John Chinn, Co. H, Sixth Kentucky. 

In Bullitt County, Ky. : Capt. Jno. B. Cundiff, Co. C, Second Ken 
tucky (at Belmont) ; Abram Brooks, First Kentucky Cavalry, near 
Zoneton; John Henry Lee, Co. C, Second Kentucky: Wm. Dawson, 
Stephen Quick, Thomas T. Lee, Ben Chambers, and Hardin Masden, 
Co. H, Sixth Kentucky (the six last named are near Pitt s Point). 

Two and a half miles from Chattanooga, across the river : R. G. 
Shacklett, First Kentucky Cavalry; James Mitchell, Co. H, First 
Kentucky Cavalry ; Lieut. Thos. Harrison, First Kentucky Cavalry ; 
C. W. Love, Co. I, First Kentucky Cavalry ; J. H. Anderson, Co. A, 
First Kentucky Cavalry; Thos. Hardaway, First Kentucky Cavalry. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 333 

In Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Ky.: John Leals, Co. B, Second 
Kentucky; J. R. Ashbrook, Co. B, Second Kentucky ; N. Brown, 
Co. A, Fifth Kentucky; Vincent Eastham, Co. B, Fifth Kentucky; 
James Tabscott, Second Kentucky ; Joseph W. Steele, Co. D, Fourth 
Kentucky; John Howe, Fourth Kentucky; John H. Haddington, 
Co. E, Fourth Kentucky; Albert S. Smith, Fourth Kentucky; Alex 
ander H. Lloyd, Co. B, Sixth Kentucky; Phil Uhrig, Co. E, Sec 
ond Kentucky; Matthew Lewis, Co. H, Ninth Kentucky; Joseph 
Cole, Co. E, Fourth Kentucky; Cicero Harris, Co. B, First Ken 
tucky Cavalry; Surgeon W. H. Gait, First Kentucky Cavalry. 

In private lots, same Cemetery : Col. Phil Lee, Second Kentucky ; 
Charles L. Ward, Co. D, Fourth Kentucky ; Col. Thomas W. Thomp 
son, Fourth Kentucky; Thomas Clay, Ninth Kentucky; Capt. Alex 
ander Casseday, Buckner s Staff; Henry Elston, Ninth Kentucky; 
Phil Vacaro, Ninth Kentucky ; Adam Wayland, Co. K, Second Ken 
tucky; David F. C. Weller, Co. C, Second Kentucky; Maj. Clinton 
McClarty, Breckinridge s Staff; Andrew W. Randolph, Co. B, Sixth 
Kentucky; Col. J. Russell Butler, First Kentucky Cavalry; Geo. W. 
Ball, Co. E, First Kentucky Cavalry; Wm. R. Abbott, Co. E, First 
Kentucky Cavalry ; Julius Dorn, Co. E, First Kentucky Cavalry. 

In the Lexington Cemetery: Maj. -Gen. John C. Breckinridge ; 
Bng.-Gen. and Mrs. Roger W. Hanson; Col. Thomas H. Hunt, 
Ninth Kentucky; Maj. Joel Higgins, Second Kentucky; Capt. Cor 
nelius M. Hendricks, Co. B, Second Kentucky; Lieut. Ed Keene, Co. 
B, Second Kentucky ; Dr. B. W. Dudley, Assistant Surgeon, Second 
Kentucky; Thomas S. Stamps, Co. B, Second Kentucky; John W. 
Davis, Co. B, Second Kentucky; Lieut. Henry M. Curd, Co. H, 
Ninth Kentucky ; William P. Frazer, Co. B, Second Kentucky ; Wal 
ter G. Ferguson, Co. B, Second Kentucky; Samuel W. Garrett, Co. 
B, Second Kentucky; Chilton A. Sandusky, Co. F, Fifth Kentucky ; 
T. E. Thomason, Co. B, Second Kentucky; Lieut. J. C. Griffith, 
Co. B, Second Kentucky ; Mornix W. Virden, Co. B, Second Ken 
tucky ; J. Ed Cromwell, Co. B, Second Kentucky. 

In Daviess County, Ky. : Lieut. Al M. Hathaway, Co. K, Fourth 
Kentucky; T. A. Moreland, Fourth Kentucky; Maj. George W. Trip- 
lett, First Kentucky Cavalry; W. H. Johnson, Co. H, Ninth Ken 
tucky; Phil A. Pointer, S. M. Dean, A. J. Hawes and James Hath 
away, these three of Co. A, First Kentucky Cavalry; (all the preced 
ing eight in the Elmwood Cemetery, Owensboro) ; Capt. Wm. J. Tay 
lor, A. N. Conyers, Richard Ray, Co. A, First Kentucky Cavalry, 
(near Masonville) ; James O. Wilkinson, Co. E, Sixth Kentucky, (near 
Habit) ; S. D. Lashbrook, Co. A, First Kentucky Cavalry, (at Mace 
donia Church); P. J. Bowles, Wm. McBride and Elisha Able, Co. A, 



334 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

First Kentucky Cavalry, (at St. Lawrence Church) ; David McCune, 
Co. G, First Kentucky Cavalry, (near Gatewood); Maj. W. F. Hawes, 
first Captain of Co. D, First Kentucky Cavalry, afterward Major in 
the Department of Subsistence, (in the Catholic Cemetery, Owens- 
boro) ; Nick Parks, Frosty Grooms, Pat Monahon, all of Co. A, 
First Kentucky Cavalry, W. Harvey Lober, Co. A, Sixth Kentucky, 
and John Mulligan, Co. H, Sixth Kentucky, (particular place of 
these latter five not given); Lieut. J. G. Taylor. (Gip), Co. F, First 
Kentucky Cavalry, (near Yelvington). 

In the W. B. Rogers burying ground, Barren County, Ky. : George 
Walter Rogers, Co. A, Fourth Kentucky, and Lieut. E. Moses Smith, 
Co. F, Sixth Kentucky. 

In Franklin County, Alabama: Capt. Charles T. Noel, Co. C, (after 
ward Co. A), First Kentucky Cavalry. 

In Nelson County, Ky. : John Ewell, Co. A, First Kentucky Cav 
alry, and Philip Troutman, Co. H, Sixth Kentucky, (particular place 
of these two not given); Tyler Wilson and Richard Hart, Co. B, 
Ninth Kentucky, (in Bardstown Cemetery); Dr. Al. Smith, surgeon 
Fourth Kentucky, and Thomas Lilly and James Hunter, Co. B, Ninth 
Kentucky, (in the Catholic Cemetery at Bardstown); James Burba, 
Co. B, Ninth Kentucky, (in the St. Thomas Cemetery); D. W. Holtz- 
houser, Co. B, Ninth Kentucky, (in the Coleman Cemetery); George 
Ambrose, Co. B, Ninth Kentucky, (at Mill Creek Church); John 
Gates, Co. B, Ninth Kentucky, (at St. Gregory s Church); Capt. Charles 
B. McClasky, Lieut. Charles Dawson, and E. Darwin Merrifield, all of 
Co. A, Sixth Kentucky, (at Bloomfield); David Middleton, Co. A, 
Sixth Kentucky, (at Big Spring Church); H. Lynch Terrill, Co. C, 
Second Kentucky, (at Fairfield), and Father Blemill, Chaplain Fourth 
Kentucky, (at Nazareth). 

At Eminence, Ky.; G. C. Sutton, Cobb s Battery. 

Near Jamestown, Ky.: J. C. Stowers, ("Chap"), First Kentucky 
Cavalry. 

At Glasgow, Ky,: T. M. Lackland, Co. A, First Kentucky 
Cavalry. 

Near Glasgow, Ky.: Col. Joseph P. Nuckols, Fourth Kentucky; 
Wm. H. Anderson and Theodore Allcock, Co. E, Sixth Kentucky. 

At Bowling Green, Ky.: Wm. Jones and J. McDaniel, Co. A, 
First Kentucky Cavalry ; and Jesse McWilliams and J. H. Durbin, 
Co. H, Sixth Kentucky. 

At Willow Branch, Bracken County, Ky.: Robert Dunn, Co. I, 
Fifth Kentucky. 

In Harrison County, Ky. : Capt. A. K. Lair, Co. H, Second Ken 
tucky ; Capt. W. T. Beaseman, Co. F, Second Kentucky ; Andrew 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 335 

Thompson, Co. I, Fifth Kentucky; Maj. Ben Desha, Ninth Ken 
tucky ; W. R. Hoffman, Co. I), Ninth Kentucky, (all these in Battle 
Grove Cemetery, Cynthiana); Joseph F. Cummins, Co. I, Fifth Ken 
tucky, (at Antioch Mills); Joseph Taylor, Co. F, Second Kentucky, 
(at Salem Church); John F. Courtney, Co. D, Ninth Kentucky, (at 
White Oak); John C. Stiers, Co. D, Ninth Kentucky, (particular place 
not given); James Sauls, Co. D, Ninth Kentucky, (at Curry s Run 
Church.) 

In Simpson County, Ky.: Capt. David C. Walker, Philip Miller, 
John Meguiar, Capt. Samuel B. Crewdson, these four of Co. I, Sixth 
Kentucky ; Finis Hampton, John DeBerry, W. T. Bibb, George 
Clark, Erasmus Hatfield, these five of the First Kentucky Cavalry, 
(all these in the Franklin Cemetery); Samuel Wilson, Sixth Kentucky, 
(particular place not given). 

In Logan County, Ky.: John Smith, Co. , Sixth Kentucky, (par 
ticular place not given). 

In Hardin County, Ky. : Gen. Ben Hardin Helm, commander of 
the brigade, Samuel Renner, Co. H, Sixth Kentucky, Freeland Cul- 
ley, Co. C, Second Kentucky, (these three at Elizabethtown) ; 
Wm. Carlisle, L. Warren and Hercules Hays, all of Co. H, Sixth 
Kentucky, (particular places not given). 

At Burnsville, Miss. : Capt. Lee Harned, Co. H, Sixth Kentucky. 

At Vicksburg, Miss. : James Bohannon, Co. H, Sixth Kentucky. 

Near Kenesaw Mountain, Ga. : Sergt. Thos. W. Cox, Co. H, Sixth 
Kentucky. 

In Kenton County, Ky. : Rod Reynolds, Co. H, Second Kentucky, 
(removed from Donelson soon after the battle there ; particular place 
not given). 

At Carrollton, Ky. : John G. Anderson, Co. H, Second Kentucky, 
(removed from Donelson soon after the battle there). 

Near Sadieville, Ky.: James F. Hedger, Co. D, Ninth Kentucky. 

In Scott County, Ky.: George W. Drake, Co. D, Ninth Kentucky 
(on Lytle s Fork); Andrew J. Montgomery, Cobb s Battery; John F. 
M. Lemon, Co. H, Second Kentucky; John T. Smarr, Co. D, Ninth 
Kentucky ; James Hedger, Co. D, Ninth Kentucky ; Gov. George 
W.Johnson, Co. E, Fourth Kentucky; Lieut. John T. Varnon, Co. 
H, Second Kentucky (removed from Catoosa Springs, Ga.) ; John 
Cantrill, Co. H, Second Kentucky (removed from Camp Morton, 1862) ; 
Joseph May, Co. D, Ninth Kentucky (these eight in Georgetown 
Cemetery) ; James Wells, Co. F, Second Kentucky (in the neighbor 
hood of Turkeyfoot) ; Levin McFarland, Co. E, Fourth Kentucky ; 
Lieut. L. E. Payne, Co. H, Second Kentucky (the latter two at places 
not given) ; Erastus Fish, Co. H, Second Kentucky (on Little Eagle) ; 



336 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

Lewis Gatewood, Co. D, Fourth Kentucky (at Stamping Ground) ; 
Thomas Lynn, Co. F, Fifth Kentucky (in the neighborhood of Tur 
key foot). 

In Hart County, Ky.: Lieut. A. Monroe Adair, Co. D, Sixth Ken 
tucky (near Hardyville) ; Hal B. Garvin, Co. D, Sixth Kentucky 
(particular place not given). 

Near Frankfort, Ky.: E. P. Mershon, Co. E, Second Kentucky. 

New Salem Church, Barren County, Ky.: Sergt, Thomas Wilson, 
Co. E, Sixth Kentucky. 

Near Bear Wallow, Ky.: James T. Wilson, Co. E, Sixth Kentucky. 

In Bourbon County. Ky. : Capt. John S. Hope, Lieut. James A. 
Allen, Wm. O. Hite, Thomas York, LaFayette Bills, James Patton, 
George M. Hibler, and H. C. Richardson, all of Co. G, Second 
Kentucky, in the Paris Cemetery); R. Bruce Champ, Co. F, Second 
Kentucky, (at Millersburg); Ben F. Batterton, Co. G, Second Ken 
tucky, (at Ruddle s Mills); James Price, Co. F, Second Kentucky, (at 
Centerville); Adjt. O. F. Payne, First Kentucky Cavalry, (at Paris). 

In Owen County, Ky.: Green P. Smith, Co. E, Fifth Kentucky, 
(near Jonesville); and Capt. John N. Witt, Co. C, First Kentucky 
Cavalry, (at Gratz, removed from Louisville, Ga., after the war); 
Thomas Steger and Paschal Jones, Co. D, Fourth Kentucky, (in the 
neighborhood of Poplar Grove). 

At Richmond, Va. : Col. Robert P. Trabue, Fourth Kentucky. 

Near Zion Church, in Barren County, Ky. : Sergt. Wm. J. Calla- 
han, Co. A, Fourth Kentucky, and Wm. L. Witt, Co. F, Sixth Ken 
tucky. 

At Covington, Ky. : Lieut. Michael J. Campion, Co. H, Second 
Kentucky, and Capt. Wm. T. Estep, A. Q. M., Second Kentucky. 

At Clinton, Ky.: Lieut. Luther C. Moss, Co. A, Second Ken 
tucky. 

In Oldham County, Ky.: Col. Jacob W. Griffith, First Kentucky 
Cavalry, (near Floydsburgh); F. M. Crow, First Kentucky Cavalry, 
(near Floydsburgh); Wm. Oliver, First Kentucky Cavalry, (near 
Floydsburgh); Paschal Wilhoite, First Kentucky Cavalry, (near Pleas 
ant Hill Church); Joseph Griffith, First Kentucky Cavalry, (place not 
definitely named). 

At Anchorage, Ky. : Presley Gaar, Co. E, First Kentucky Cavalry. 

In the mountains of Kentucky : William Russell, Co. B, First Ken 
tucky Cavalry. 

At Pleasant Valley, Ky. : T. R. Griffith, (old) Co. E, First Ken 
tucky Cavalry. 

At Mt. Sterling, Ky. : Lieut. Guy Flusser, (old) Co. E, First Ken 
tucky Cavalry. 




MONUMENT TO OUR CONFEDERATE DEAD. 
Louisville. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 337 

In Webster County, Ky. : James Carrico, Co. A, First Kentucky 
Cavalry. 

In Henderson County, Ky.: Homer Hall, Co. A, First Kentucky 
Cavalry. 

In Ohio County, Ky. : William Nelson, Co. A, First Kentucky 
Cavalry, and at Hartford, that county, Surgeon John Ed Pendleton, 
Ninth Kentucky. 

In Marion County, Ky. : Dr. M. Lewis, Assistant Surgeon, First 
Kentucky Cavalry. 

At Fort Delaware, (on Pea-Patch Island, Delaware Bay) ; J. M. 
Conyers, J. C. Hardesty and Robert Wood, Co. A. First Kentucky 
Cavalry. 

At Camp Douglass, 111. : Ben Hardesty and Pat Mahon, Co. A, 
First Kentucky Cavalry ; James Sweeney, Co. H, Sixth Kentucky. 

In Hillsboro, Texas) : Geo. D. Robey, Co. I, Sixth Kentucky. 

At Austin, Texas : Lieut. Leslie Waggoner, Co. A, Ninth Ken 
tucky. 

At Barnesville, Ga. : Wm. H. Van Meter, Co. H, Sixth Kentucky. 

At Talladega, Ala.: Jas. E. Miles, Co. B, First Kentucky Cavalry. 

At Mooresville, Ala.: Henry Simcoe, (old) Co. E, First Kentucky 
Cavalry. 

At Hopkinsville, Ky. : Thomas G. Woodward, Lieutenant-Colonel 
First Kentucky Cavalry. 

Near Louisville, Ky. : Adjt. Sam E. Shipp, First Kentucky Cavalry; 
Sergt. Guy Elder, Co. E, First Kentucky Cavalry. 

In Jefferson County, Ky. : Lieut. Alonzo W. Graham, Co. B, First 
Kentucky Cavalry ; Joshua Speed Camp, Co. B, First Kentucky Cav 
alry, (on the old Camp farm); Minor G. Miller, Co. B, First Kentucky 
Cavalry; Richard H. Isaacs, (old) Co. E, First Kentucky Cavalry. 

Near Noonday Church, Ga. : John Hanlon, Co. B, First Kentucky 
Cavalry. 

Near Ringgold, Ga. : Lieut. Joseph M. Yewell, Co. A, First Ken 
tucky Cavalry. 

In Georgia, (place not definitely stated): D. B. Butler, E. Herron r 
D. W. McKeg, P. W. Sutton, John Taylor, and Frank M. Thompson, 
all of Co. A, First Kentucky Cavalry. 

In Tennessee, (place not definitely named) : Richard Stonestreet, 
(old) Co. E, First Kentucky Cavalry. 

In Florida, (place not definitely stated) : J. Anderson, Co. A, First 
Kentucky Cavalry. 

In Arkansas, (place not definitely stated) : Harman Hall, Co. A, 
First Kentucky Cavalry; at Little Rock, Wm. P. Campbell, First 
Kentucky Cavalry. 



338 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

In Sequatchie Valley, Tenn. : Capt. Jack Jones, Co. B, First Ken 
tucky Cavalry. 

At Snake Creek Gap, Ga. : Samuel Walker, Co. A, First Ken 
tucky Cavalry. 

At Marietta, Ga. : R. H. Groan, Co. B, First Kentucky Cavalry. 

At Fairfield, Tenn. : John H. Beckley, (old) Co. E, First Ken 
tucky Cavalry. After the war was removed to family burying ground, 
near Eastwood, Ky. 

Near Smithville, N. C. : John Harris, Co. B, First Kentucky Cav 
alry. 

In a Southern State, (place not definitely stated) : Richard Long, 
(old) Co. E, First Kentucky Cavalry. 

The following members of Co. F, First Kentucky Cavalry, at places 
indicated : John T. Clement, near Morrison s Depot, Tenn. ; Stephen 
Cromwell, at Schopp s Springs, Ga. ; Hiram Eddings, near Noonday 
Church, Ga. ; Wm. Gough and James Riggs, at Tuscumbia, Ala. ; 
Wm. Hedges, at Rogersville, Ala. ; Matt Jones and Wm. Retter, at 
Chattanooga, Tenn. ; Peter Loyal, on Rock Island, 111. ; George Mob- 
ley, at Spring Hill, Tenn.; and John Smoot, at McMinnville, Tenn. 

At Lawrenceburg and elsewhere in Anderson County, Ky. : Robt. 
Wooldridge, G. G. Hanks, Thomas Tindall, William Jett, Lieut. S. J. 
Hanks, C. C. Lillard, Stephen S. Collins, Ben F. Taylor, W. H. Mor 
ton, John Farrell, F. M. Robinson, Capt. Gus Dedman, Oscar Hack- 
ley, all the above of Co. I, Second Kentucky; Mark P. Rucker 
and L. F. Frazier, Co. C, Second Kentucky; James Prather, Co. G, 
Sixth Kentucky; Scott Green, Fifth Kentucky. 

The organizing of fraternal associations, known as Confederate 
Veteran Camps, began some years ago, and at the present writing 
there are thirty-seven of these in Kentucky, most of which are mem 
bers of the general organization of the South, The United Confederate 
Veterans. To these Kentucky camps belong most of the surviving 
soldiers of the five infantry regiments, their batteries, and the First 
Cavalry, of which this volume treats. They are as given below. The 
numbers are those which they bear on the register of the general or 
ganization. 

The Jno. B. Hood Camp, 233, Augusta; theThos. H. Hunt, 253, 
Bardstown ; the Adam Johnson, 376, Benton; the P. R. Cleburne, 
252, Bethel (Bath Co.); the P. R. Cleburne, 143, Bowling Green; 
the Geo. W. Cox, 433, Campton ; the W. P. Bramlett, 344, Carlisle; 
the Ben Desha, 99, Cynthiana; the Grigsby, 214, Danville; the 
Cofer, 543, Elizabethtown ; the E. Kirby Smith, 251, Eminence; the 
W. H. Ratcliff, 682, Falmouth; the Johnston, 232, Flemingsburgh : 
theThos. B. Monroe, 188, Frankfort; the David C. Walker, 640. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 339 

Franklin; the Geo. W. Johnson, 98, Georgetown; the Wm. Preston, 
96, Harrodsburgh ; the Merriwether, 241, Hopkinsville ; the J. E. 
Rankin, 558, Henderson; the F. Smith, 769, LaGrange; the Helm, 
101, Lawrenceburgh ; the Confederate Veteran Association, 803, 
Louisville; the John C. Breckinridge Camp, 100, Lexington; the 
Hopkins County ex-Confederate Veteran Association, 528, Madison- 
ville ; the Joseph E. Johnston Camp, 442, Maysville; the R. S. Cluke, 
201, Mount Sterling; the Corbin, 683, Newport; the Marshall, 187, 
Nicholasville ; the Albert P. Thompson, 174, Paducah; the Lloyd 
Tilghman, 463, Paducah; the Jno. H. Morgan, 95, Paris; the Jim 
Pearce, 527, Princeton; the T. B. Collins, 215, Richmond; the Cald- 
well, 139, Russellville ; the Jno. H. Weller, 237, Shelby ville ; the 
Abe Buford, 97, Versailles; and the Hanson, 186, Winchester. 

The objects of all these associations are, briefly: To cultivate social 
relations among those who were honorably engaged in the service of 
the Confederate States ; to preserve the ties of comradeship ; to aid 
those of their members who, from disease, misfortune, or the infirmi 
ties of age, may become incapable of supporting their families; to pay 
a decent respect to the names and to the memory of those who die; 
and to see that no worthy Confederate shall ever become an object of 
public charity. 



340 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

ANNUAL REUNIONS OF THE BRIGADE. 

The survivors of the Orphan Brigade came home in 1865 poor 
many of them penniless and wholly dependent upon their own ex 
ertions to make their way in the world. Very many were broken in 
body by wounds; and the hard life of four years on the field or in 
prison, had told upon those whom the engines of war had spared. 

Their first duty was to find employment, to engage in avocations 
that promised remuneration to do work, and to do it as became 
men who had the reputation of being men of whom Kentucky would 
never need to be ashamed to call citizens, and never be disappointed 
if she relied on them to do their part in restoring right relations and 
repairing the ravages of the great conflict. 

How well they have done tKese the world knows; but what strug 
gles it cost, the world does not pause to consider. Though proud to 
call one another comrade, they lived and toiled in comparative ob 
scurity and personal isolation for seventeen years before the engross 
ing cares of business were sufficiently relaxed to allow them to plan a 
meeting that each might again shake the hands of the others who with 
him had borne the deadly firelock or wielded the flashing blade on 
many a bloody field that all might feel again the touch of elbow 
which gave quiet assurance in battle that on the right hand and on the 
left he who went forward that day would not be forsaken, however 
dire the extremity, until death or disabling had stricken them to the 
earth. 

In 1882, the first preconcerted and general meeting of these men 
took place. For fifteen years thereafter they were held annually, with 
ever-increasing interest. Thomas D. Osborne, one of the brigade s 
"boy" soldiers, and faithful as though he had been old enough to 
command instead of earring a rifle and accoutrements, has long been 
the Brigade Secretary, and he suggests that a running account (a sort 
of resume of the minutes) of these meetings would be a valuable ad 
dition to a book which is to serve as a reference manual for the old 
soldiers and their offspring as long as there are any to take interest in 
the part played by a few thousand of young Kentuckians in one of 
the most wonderful struggles of any age and any clime. His account 
follows : 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 341 

" Roman soldiers in triumphal procession through the streets of the 
Imperial City were not more royally received than was the Orphan 
Brigade at its various reunions held, since the war, throughout Ken 
tucky, beginning with the first reunion at Blue Lick Springs in 1882. 

" These great occasions followed every year, each city and town 
trying to surpass its predecessor with its widespread welcome. Other 
soldiers and visitors attended by the thousands, until the few hundred 
members of the Orphan Brigade were almost overwhelmed. 

"On the 2oth of July, 1882, the first reunion was held. The vet 
erans met on the grounds of the Arlington Hotel. 

"At ten o clock the bugle call resounded. The bugle used has a 
history. It was captured at Harts ville, Tenn., by Jno. W. Payne, 
Chief Bugler of the Second Kentucky Regiment. Engraved on its bat 
tered sides are the noted battles it went through : Stone River, Chick- 
amauga, Mission Ridge and Rocky Face Ridge, etc. Sixty of the Ken 
tucky Brigade and fifteen from other commands responded to their 
names. The meeting was opened with prayer by the Rev. Jos. Desha 
Pickett, chaplain of the brigade. Maj. Hervey McDowell was elected 
chairman, and Capt. John H. Weller, of Louisville, secretary. A mo 
tion was made that the brigade attend in a body the historic battlefield 
of the Blue Licks, about a mile from the Springs. 

"Among those present were Capt. W. E. Bell, of Lawrenceburg; 
Charles Herbst, Librarian of Macon, Ga., who had with him a scrap- 
book, containing remnants from the Confederate flags of the Second, 
Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Georgia 
Regiments and many others; Virgil Hewitt, of Frankfort; Capt. Hugh 
Henry, Paris; Capt. Wm. T. Beaseman, Cynthiana; Lieut. L. D. 
Young, Plum Creek; Jos. Desha Pickett, Frankfort; Capt. Dan Tur- 
ney, Blue Licks; Squire H. Bush, Sixth Kentucky; Dr. A. J. Beall, 
Ninth Kentucky, and Wm. L. Jett, Fourth Kentucky. 

"The Secretary furnished to the author of the old History of the 
First Kentucky (or Orphan) Brigade, (published in 1868), a copy of 
part of the minutes of that meeting which recorded the sense of the 
assembled veterans. He was then a resident of Arkansas, and of course 
this greeting from those whose names and deeds he had tried to pre 
serve, and whom he could not forget, though seas might separate, 
touched him peculiarly. The following is the copy alluded to : 

BLUE LICK SPRINGS, KY., 
July 20, 1862. 

At a meeting of the surviving members of the First Kentucky 
Brigade held here to day, on motion a committee consisting of Judge 
W. L. Jett, Fourth Kentucky; Capt. W. Ed Bell, Second Kentucky ; 



342 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

S. H. Bush, Sixth Kentucky; Judge J. W. Green, Fifth Kentucky j 
and Dr. A. J. Beall, Ninth Kentucky, were appointed to draft reso 
lutions expressing the sense of the meeting relative to Capt. Ed 
Porter Thompson, concerning the history of the First Kentucky Bri 
gade as written by him. 

Said committee made the following report, which was unanimously 
adopted : 

WHEREAS, Our esteemed friend and comrade, Capt. Ed Porter 
Thompson, of the Sixth Kentucky, has evinced his devotion to the 
First Kentucky Brigade by writing a history of the same, and has pre 
served the name and deeds of each member in a manner most remark 
able, and, 

WHEREAS, By this labor on his part, he underwent sacrifices and 
clung to his work with a patriotic zeal, known only as his own ; there 
fore, be it 

Resolved, by the members of the First Kentucky Brigade here as 
sembled, that our thanks are due to him for the valuable services 
rendered; and we hereby tender to Capt. Edwin Porter Thompson 
our gratitude for the patient care he used in the record of the move 
ments and the muster-roll of the soldiers of our beloved "Orphan 
Brigade." 

Resolved, That the secretary of this meeting transmit a copy of 
these resolutions to Capt. Thompson. 

W. L. JETT, Chairman. 

From the minutes. 
(Attest.) JNO. H. WELLER, Sec y. 

" The second reunion was held at Lexington, September 5th, 1883. 
Nearly two hundred survivors were present. After dinner they 
marched in a body to Masonic Hall, where they met ex-Gov. Luke P. 
Blackburn and his party, who had come from the inaugural scene at 
Frankfort, and were escorted by the Lexington Guards. Gen. 
William Preston delivered the welcome address, followed by Gen. 
Joseph H. Lewis, Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner, and the Rev. Joseph 
Desha Pickett. 

" At a business meeting Col. Hervey McDowell was elected presi 
dent, and Capt. W. Edward Bell, of Lawrenceburg, secretary. It 
was determined to solicit subscriptions to erect a monument to Generals 
Helm and Hanson. 

" The command then visited the graves of Hanson, Breckinridge, 
Morgan, and other distinguished Confederates whose remains are in 
terred in the cemetery there. 

"Gen. Preston made an eloquent address on the life of Hanson, 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 343 

and after prayer by Rev. Joseph Desha Pickett, the command dis 
banded to meet at Elizabethtown, September 19, 1884. 

" The meeting at Elizabethtown (September 2oth, 1884), (the third 
one), was the largest since the war several Federal soldiers being pres 
ent also. 

" In the afternoon the brigade was formed by Gen. Lewis to escort 
the remains of Gen. Helm to Helm Place for interment, after which 
the veterans proceeded to a neighboring grove, where addresses were 
delivered by Col. J. P. Nuckols, Generals Buckner and Lewis and 
Gov. Knott. 

" On their return to town they marched to the cemetery to visit the 
grave of Judge Martin Hardin Gofer, lieutenant-colonel of the Sixth 
Kentucky, (Chief Justice of Kentucky at his death). 

"At the night session, Col. John W. Caldwell, of Russellville, 
was elected president, and John A. Murray, of Glasgow, secretary. 
The First Kentucky Cavalry was elected to brigade membership. 
Glasgow, (August, 1885), were made the time and place of next meet 
ing. Col. Bennett H. Young, President of the Louisville Exposition, 
invited the brigade to visit it. 

" The fourth reunion was held accordingly, August 1 9th, 1885. The 
people of Glasgow and for miles around, gave the veterans a royal 
welcome. The special train bringing those from Louisville and points 
along the road was met by an escort composed of the Nuckols Guards 
and a mounted squadron of Morgan s men. All marched to the 
courthouse, where they were welcomed by Maj. W. H. Botts. Gen 
erals Buckner and Preston responded. A most interesting business 
meeting was called to order by Col. John W. Caldwell. 

Cynthiana was selected as the next place of meeting, Capt. Joe 
Desha, president, and John T. Hogg, secretary, for the ensuing year. 

" A banquet and ball a concluded the exercises of the occasion. 

"The fifth annual reunion was held at Cynthiana, August i8th, 
1886. Five thousand people filled this town to-day to see the Orphan 
Brigade, which after a march met in the Opera House. Called to or 
der by the President, Capt. Jo Desha, and prayer by Rev. Jos. Desha 
Pickett, the command and visitors were welcomed by Capt. W. H. 
Ratcliffe, of Cynthiana. Gen. Jos. H. Lewis responded in behalf of 
the brigade. Short speeches appropriate to the occasion were made by 
Gen. Wm. Preston, Gov. C. W. West, of Utah, Col. W. C. P. Breck- 
inridge, and Col. Polk Johnson. 

"After roll-call, it was resolved, on motion of J. A. Murray, that 
Willis L. Ringo be designated Permanent Secretary of the Association, 
and a sum be raised to provide a permanent Record-book containing 
the names, post-office address, and occupations of all the survivors of 



344 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

the brigade the minutes of each meeting to be printed for distribu 
tion. Thirty and 80-100 dollars was thereupon contributed for these 
purposes. A committee, composed of Chas. Herbst, Capt. Hugh 
Henry, Capt. J. T. Gaines, Capt. Thos. G. Page, Col. J. C. Wickliffe, 
and Col. E. Polk Johnson, selected Bardstown, August i8th, 1887, as 
the time and place of next meeting. 

" It was resolved that a thirty-day notice of the reunion be sent each 
survivor. 

"The exercises of the occasion were concluded by a splendid ban 
quet at night, and many stirring reminiscent speeches in response to 
toasts. 

"At Bardstown, sixth reunion, August ipth, 1887, Col. Cripps 
Wickliffe, with an admirable reception committee, welcomed the vast 
multitude of visitors. Gen. S. B. Buckner, Gen. Jos. H. Lewis, Col. 
J. C. Wickliffe and Chaplain Jos. Desha Pickett, mounted, headed a 
procession composed of veterans with their wives, daughters and 
friends, and marched to the ancient Bardstown Cemetery, where, with 
flowers given them by children at the gate, they broke ranks and dec 
orated the graves of the Confederate dead. Proceeding to the campus 
of St. Joseph College, Col. Wickliffe introduced Judge Fulton, who 
delivered the address of welcome, to which Gen. Lewis responded. 
He was followed by Gen. Buckner. 

" At 3 P. M. a business meeting was held, Col. J. C. Wickliffe pre 
siding, with Wm. Ambrose, Secretary. 

" At the banquet at night an address was delivered by Col. E. Polk 
Johnson on Gen. Ben Hardin Helm ; and a toast was responded to by 
Capt. Thomas Speed, a Federal soldier. 

" At 7 A. M. a special train carried the warriors home from the most 
successful meeting they had ever held. 

"On the occasion of the seventh reunion (September 26, 1888,) 
Frankfort was filled with the veterans and their friends. A meeting 
held in the Opera-house was called to order by Gen. Lewis, prayer 
was offered by Rev. H. H. Kavanaugh, Chaplain of the Sixth Ken 
tucky, and the Hon. Ira Julian welcomed the soldiers in an eloquent 
address. The response was made by Gen. Lewis. After the roll-call 
the President introduced Col. W. C. P. Breckinridge, who .delivered 
a splendid eulogy on the life and character of Gen. Wm. Preston. 

" Lieut. Willis L. Ringo made a report for the committee appointed 
to look after removing the scattered and isolated remains of comrades, 
which showed that the committee had well performed, the duty as 
signed. 

" At 3 P. M. the brigade and visiting comrades marched in procession 
to the cemetery and reinterred the remains of Col. Jas. W. Moss; 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 345 

and then visited the newly-made graves of comrades brought from 
Chickamauga, where, after brief services conducted by Elder Jos. 
Desha Pickett and Rev. G. B. Overton, the graves of all our dead 
were decorated. They then returned to the Opera-house, and Col. 
John W. Caldwell delivered an address on the lives and characters of 
Col. Jas. W. Moss and Maj. Rice E. Graves. 

" Jno. A. Murray introduced a resolution constituting Gen. Jos. H. 
Lewis and Willis L. Ringo a committee to raise money and superin 
tend the removal of the remains of other deceased comrades, from 
the Southern battlefields and reinter them at Frankfort. 

" After the usual resolution of thanks for the manner in which all 
visitors had been entertained, the meeting adjourned, to meet at Louis 
ville, September 18, 1889. 

" A reception given by Gov. and Mrs. Buckner and a ball con 
cluded the occasion. 

"At the eighth reunion, (Louisville, September i8th, 1889,) all 
parts of the State were well represented. 

" The morning was given up to informal meeting, greeting, and 
conversation. At noon the address of welcome was made by Mayor 
Chas. D. Jacob, which elicited a ringing response from Maj. Clinton 
McClarty. After repeated calls, Gen. Wm. B. Bate, of Tennessee, 
spoke eloquently and at length. 

" In the afternoon, after appointing a committee on time and place 
for next meeting, resolutions of regret were passed on the death of 
Mrs. Virginia Hanson. 

Lieut. Willis L. Ringo, reported on behalf of the committee ap 
pointed for the removal of comrades remains, showing a need of $100 
more. A collection was taken and $145.18 given, that all expenses 
might be fully met. 

"The present officers were reelected; and on motion of Capt. W. 
K. Bell, of Lawrenceburg, a unanimous vote of thanks was extended 
Louisville for her handsome hospitality. Senator J. C. S. Blackburn, 
who had served on Gen. Wm. Preston s staff, was uproariously called 
tor and spoke amid cheers. At the close of his remarks the body ad 
journed to meet at eight P. M. at the armory for the banquet, with 
which the reunion ended. 

" Every home in and near Lawrenceburg was open to receive the 
soldiers as they met in the ninth reunion of the Orphan Brigade, Sep 
tember 3d, 1890. At ii A. M., on the fair grounds, Chaplain Kava- 
naugh, Sixth Kentucky Infantry, opened with prayer. Judge W. H. 
Bickers welcomed the soldiers. The response was delivered by Col. 
K. Polk Johnson, of Helm s regiment, First Kentucky Cavalry. Judge 



346 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

William Lindsay, of Frankfort, was then introduced, and entertained 
the audience with an able and interesting address. 

"After dinner a business meeting was held, Gen. Jos. H. Lewis 
presiding, Hon. Willis L. Ringo, secretary. An invitation of Owens- 
boro was accepted; officers were elected, and speeches were made by 
Col. Bennett H. Young and Gen. Buckner. 

"At the close of the speaking Gen. Lewis had all the veterans to 
form in a semi-circle while he walked around to take a good look at 
them. There were only 147 in the group. It was an affecting scene. 
Following this there was a splendid drill by the Buckner Rifles and 
the cadets from the Kentucky Military Institute. The day closed 
with a grand hop at the hotel. 

"The tenth reunion, (Owensboro, September 9, 1891,) was a mem 
orable one in the history of that city and of the brigade. Several hun 
dred members and visiting soldiers from a distance were in attendance. 
By 8 A. M. the streets were lined with people waiting to view the pro 
cession as it filed out to the fair grounds, where Capt. W. T. Ellis in an 
eloquent address gave the old soldiers a Kentucky welcome. He was 
followed by Col. Jno. H. Caldwell. 

"At the brigade business meeting, Gen. Joseph H. Lewis was re- 
elected president, and Thos. D. Osborne, Co. A, Sixth Kentucky In 
fantry, was elected secretary. 

"The reception given the veterans and their friends was enthusiastic, 
and surpassed what was expected of even that hospitable city and the 
warm-hearted people of its county. 

" It was said of Paris on the occasion of the Orphan Brigade s meet 
ing there, (September 28th, 1892,) that never before was there such a 
crowd in the city. Everybody came, from everywhere, to welcome 
these men now assembled at the capital of Bourbon County, which 
had contributed so many to their ranks in the stirring days of 1861 and 
lost so many before the end came. 

" Marching to the fair grounds, while cannon boomed, reminding 
them of the many fields on which they had heard the roar and crash of 
artillery, great and small, Mayor Chambers and Judge Vaughn wel 
comed them to Paris in able and eloquent speeches, and to this double 
welcome Col. W. L. Clarke, Sixth Kentucky, responded handsomely. 

"A letter from Rev. Dr. Jos. Desha Pickett was read, in which he 
expressed his regret at not being present, and paid a touching tribute 
to the memory of Chaplain H. H. Kavanaugh, lately deceased. 

"At the business session Gen. Lewis was reelected president and 
Thos. D. Osborne was reelected secretary. 

" The brigade and visiting soldiers of other commands were mag- 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 34T 

nificently entertained, in every way that kindness and good-fellowship 
could suggest, by that warm-hearted and hospitable people. 

"On the occasion of the twelfth reunion (at Versailles, September 
28th, 1893), more than three thousand strangers visited that city. On 
the march to the fair grounds, the veterans, preceded by their field 
officers on horseback, were joined in line by the Lexington, George 
town, and Versailles companies of the State Guard, and by the local 
Knights of Pythias. After prayer by the Rev. Wm. Stanley, captain 
of Co. G, Sixth Kentucky Infantry, Senator J. C. S. Blackburn, in 
iiis now celebrated suit of Confederate jeans, delivered the address 
of welcome. Col. Jno. B. Caldwell, introduced to the audience 
largely composed of strangers, by Gen. B. W. Duke, responded in 
behalf of the brigade. Col. Caldwell is the only man now living ex 
cept Gen. Lewis, who commanded the Orphan Brigade on a march or 
in battle. 

: After the splendid dinner was partaken of, Gen. Duke made an 
address in his usual able and entertaining manner. 

" At the business meeting, Gen. Lewis was reelected president, and 
Thos. D. Osborne was reelected secretary. The proposition to raise by 
subscription, among the living members of the brigade, for the purpose 
:>f erecting a monument to the memory of Gen. and Mrs. Roger W. 
I lanson, was discussed, and the matter was intrusted to a committee, 
nstructed to proceed at once with the work and report at the next 
meeting. The committee was as follows: Capt. Ed F. Spears, Sec 
ond Kentucky, (chairman); Capt. John H. Weller, Fourth Kentucky; 
Capt. Jo Desha, Fifth Kentucky; Capt. Ed Porter Thompson, Sixth 
Kentucky; Sergt.-Maj. John W. Green, Ninth Kentucky; and Col. 
E. Polk Johnson, First Kentucky Cavalry.* 

A camp-fire on the fair grounds at night and a ball at the opera 
house concluded the occasion. 

"At the thirteenth reunion, (Russellville, September 4, 1894,) 
nearly every county in Kentucky was represented by soldiers or citi 
zens, and many came from Tennessee and. other States. 

11 The brigade and visiting soldiers were marched, under lead of 
Gen. Lewis, to the campus of Bethel College, where eight thousand 
people listened to the exercises, which were begun with prayer by 
President W. S. Ryland, of Bethel. A choir of beautiful young 
women sang The Bonnie Blue Flag, after which Col. Caldwell 
made the speech of welcome, to which the Rev. G. B. Overton, on 
behalf of the brigade, responded, following which Miss Juliette Odam, 
of Austin, Texas, sang The Conquered Banner. 

*The monument was built, as a result of this action. See sketch of Gen. 
Hun son. 



348 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

" After dinner, (a great barbecue, served in CaldwelFs grove,) Gen. 
John B. Gordon, the famous Georgia soldier and statesman, introduced 
by Gen. Buckner, made a thrilling speech, which elicited great ap 
plause. Col. Bennett H. Young followed with a glowing tribute 
to the women of the South. 

" At the business meeting, Gen. Lewis and Thomas D. Osborne 
were reflected president and secretary respectively ; and the following 
committees were appointed : 

"On organization: J. P. Bernard, Hervey McDowell, Joe Vin 
cent, David E. Walker, Lot D. Young, and J. T. Gaines. 

" On time and place of next meeting : John L. Stout, Norborne G. 
Gray, John H. Grain, John H. Walker, and Wm. Wallace Hen. 
Gen. Fayette Hewitt reported that the graves of our men in Frankfort 
had been marked by suitable headstones in accordance with instruc 
tions to the removal committee, (Hewitt, Ringo, and Wickliffe). 

"Bowling Green was named by committee as above as place of 
next meeting the time to be specified subsequently. 

" Ed Porter Thompson was elected historian of the command, and 
a resolution was passed requesting him to revise the former History of 
the Brigade, and republish, including that of the adopted member, 
First Kentucky Cavalry. 

" Capt. Spears, chairman of the Hanson Monument Committee, re 
ported progress, and as sufficient funds had not been paid in, some 
contributions were made by members present 

" A list of comrades who had died was read, after which the meet 
ing adjourned. 

" To-day (September 26, 1895), where thirty-four years ago the 
Orphan Brigade slept in the Bowling Green courthouse yard, the rem 
nant gathered in their fourteenth reunion, and six thousand people 
participated in the warm county welcome, the speech being by Gen. 
W. F. Perry and responded to by Jno. S. Jackman and Gen. Buckner. 
These exercises were followed by a grand barbecue banquet, attended 
by 20,000 people. 

" At the business meeting the former officers were reflected. The 
Women s Confederate Monument Association was warmly thankrd 
and $100 was donated to assist in carrying out their purpose. 

"The death-roll was 40 per cent, more than that of last year, which 
was 50 per cent, more than the preceding year. 

By a unanimous vote Walter N. Haldeman was elected an hon 
orary member of the Brigade Association. 

"Tennessee, through S. A. Cunningham, editor of the Confederate 
Veteran, invited the Brigade to hold its next meeting at Nashville. 

In view of the great death rate a standing committee on Necrol- 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 34 

ogy was appointed, to consist of Gen. Fayette Hewitt, Col. Jno. C. 
Wickliffe, Capt. John H. Weller, Thos. D. Osborne, and Lieut. Robt. 
Tyler. 

"Morgan s command and all other Confederate soldiers in Ken 
tucky were admitted to membership. 

"John A. Murray, Jas. Vaughn, E. B. Ross, Jack Lewis, J. M. 
Arnold, and S. H. Buchanan were appointed to arrange for next 
meeting. 

" The usual vote of thanks was given the people of Bowling Green 
and Warren County. 

"There were several songs and recitations admirably rendered. 
It is said that there was never before such a crowd in Warren 
County. 

"The fifteenth reunion took place in Nashville, Tenn., October 
i4th and i5th, 1896. It was held in connection with that of the Ten 
nessee Confederate Veterans, and is remembered as a great and happy 
occasion. 

" Miss Mary L. Morris, introduced by Col. Thomas Claibourne, 
\velcomed the soldiers. Gen. Lewis responded to her tender and 
touching address. 

" On Thursday there was a parade through the principal streets of 
t le city and out to the Cumberland Park, under lead of Capt. Joe B. 
O Brien, officer of the day. The Rev. R. Linn Cave prayed, and 
then spoke with great feeling. He was followed by Capt. John H. 
Weller and Col. Hiram Hawkins, both of the Orphan Brigade. Then 
followed Prof. Wharton, of Nashville (on the Confederate Navy), as 
al>o did Col. J. J. Turner, of Gallatin, Tenn., and Dr. Monees, Su 
pervisor of Confederate Hospitals. 

At the business meeting Gen. Lewis, last commander of the bri 
gade, presided, and Secretary Thomas D. Osborne was at his desk. 

"Gen. Fayette Hewitt announced the death of Lieut.-Col. Joseph 
P. Nuckols, Fourth Kentucky, and of Surgeon Jno. Ed Pendleton, 
Ninth Kentucky. Capt. John H. Weller offered a resolution recom 
mending Capt. Ed Porter Thompson s new edition of the History of 
the First Kentucky Brigade. 

"Resolutions of thanks were offered by Sergt. S. H. Bush and Thos. 
D. Osborne to the Frank Cheatham Bivouac, the citizens of Nashville, 
(e-pecially the ladies,) and to S. A. Cunningham for the beautiful sou 
venir badges, and recommending his magazine, The Confederate Vet 
eran. 

" Gen. Lewis and Thos. D. Osborne were reflected president and 
secretary, respectively. 

"Gen. Lewis announced the adjournment, and the Orphans took 



350 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

leave of their generous entertainers with cordial hand-shakings and the 
warmest expressions of good will. 

"Invitations for 1897 were not accepted at the time, no arrange 
ments were subsequently made, and since the Nashville occasion there 
has been no meeting to this date, (April, 1898)." 




MONUMENT TO BRIG.-GKN. AND MRS. ROGER W. HANSON. 

Lexington. 



PART II. 
SPECIAL DEPARTMENT OF BIOGRAPHY. 




LIEUT.-GEN. S. B. BUCKNER. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 353 



LIEUT.-GEN. S. B. BUCKNER. 

Simon Bolivar Buckner, son of Aylett and Elizabeth A. (Morehead) 
Buckner, was born in Hart County, Kentucky, April i, 1823. His 
father was descended from the Buckners of England, some members 
of which were among the early colonists who settled Gloucester, 
Caroline, Essex, and York counties, Virginia. The immediate pro 
genitors of the subject of this sketch came nearly a century ago to 
Kentucky, and settled in the Green River country. His mother was 
of the Morehead family of Virginia, other descendants of which are 
found in various parts of this State. She was the daughter of Turner 
II. Morehead, of the Revolutionary army, and cousin to James P. 
Morehead, Governor of Kentucky, 1834-6, and a relative to Charles 
S. Morehead, who was Governor, 1856-9. Gov. Buckner, it will 
be seen, was the third of the family to occupy the gubernatorial 
c lair. 

He was reared on the farm, attending Kentucky schools at intervals 
daring the eight or ten years preceding 1840, when he entered the 
Vest Point Military Academy. Here, during the four years, he was 
associated with many who afterward distinguished themselves in the 
frontier wars, the Mexican and Civil wars, rose to high rank and at 
tained to national renown. Prominent among these were Newton, 
Rosecrans, Gustavus W. Smith, Doubleday, Longstreet, Franklin, 
Augur, Pleasanton, Hancock, Porter, McClellan, Fry, and Burnside. 
Graduating in 1844, he was assigned to the Second Infantry, with the 
rank of brevet second lieutenant; served one year on garrison duty 
at Scott s Harbor; was called from this to West Point as Assistant 
Professor of Ethics; was relieved at his own request, to enter into 
active service in Mexico; engaged in the operations of the Army of 
Occupation at Matamoras, Monclava, and Paras, and was promoted 
to second lieutenant in the Sixth Infantry. In 1846, the Sixth Regi 
ment joined Gen. Taylor at Saltillo; in January, 1847, he was sent to 
Vera Cruz, where he landed with Worth s division and partook of the 
dangers and duties of the siege. 

( )n the march to the Mexican capital, he fought at Cerro Gordo, 
Coutreras, and Churubusco; was brevetted first lieutenant for gallant 
and meritorious conduct in the last two battles, but declined the honor 
because his regiment was not really on the ground at Contreras. He 
accepted it, however, for heroic behavior at Churubusco, where he 

- 3 



354 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

was slightly wounded. Fought at Molino del Rey, Chepultepec, and 
at the Belen Gate ; was brevetted captain for gallant and meritorious 
conduct at Molino del Rey. 

He was among the first to enter the city, and among the last to 
leave coming out after peace was proclaimed, with the rear division. 
While stationed here he visited Popocatapetl, climbing to the crater 
upon its very summit. He published in Putnam s, April, 1853, an 
account of this expedition. 

He was now assigned to duty as Assistant Instructor in infantry tac 
tics ; reported at West Point in July, 1848, where he remained on duty 
till January, 1850; was then ordered to New York Harbor, where he 
served a few months ; was then sent to his company at Fort Snelling, 
Minnesota, where he did duty with his regiment till September, 1851. 
Meanwhile, he had married (May, 1850,) Mary, the only daughter of 
Maj. J. B. Kingsbury, United States Army. 

In September, 1851, he was transferred to the command of a com 
pany at Fort Atkinson, on the Upper Arkansas, where he lived among 
the wild Indians till the autumn of 1852; was promoted to a captaincy 
in the Subsistence Department of the staff; was subsequently sent to 
New York, where he was on duty till January, 1855. At this time he 
resigned his position ; Jived awhile in Chicago ; then in Nashville; and 
in 1858 he took up his residence in Louisville. 

His next public act was the organization of the. Kentucky State 
Guard, 1859-60, of which he was made commander-in-chief and in 
spector, with the rank of major-general. He was sent as commissioner 
to Washington under instructions from Gov. Magoffin to confer with 
the Government as to the policy likely to be pursued toward the 
border States. The mission proved fruitless; and in July, 1861, he- 
resigned his position in the State Guard, and visited Richmond. He 
was offered an honorable command by both the Washington and Rich 
mond governments, but declined awaiting the action of his own 
State. At Nashville, on his return, he learned that troops of the con 
tending armies had already occupied points in Kentucky. He sug 
gested the proposition which was made by Gen. Polk to the Governor 
of Kentucky, that both sides should withdraw their troops and respect 
the State s neutrality. This was declined; and he then entered the 
Confederate service. He was made a brigadier-general on the i5th of 
September, 1861; on the iyth, under orders from Gen. Sidney John 
ston, he occupied Bowling Green with a division of troops. 

Taking part in such operations as were conducted about Bowling 
Green, Munfordville, Russellville, and elsewhere in the State, he re 
mained in Kentucky till February, 1862. He was then ordered by 
Gen. Johnston to reenforce Pillow at Donelson with eight regiments; 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 355 

arrived on Wednesday night, February i2th; on Thursday morning 
the right wing of the little army, (13,000, all told,) began, under 
Buckner s command, the three days conflict. During all this time he 
bore himself in such a manner as to win the confidence of his own 
troops and the respect of the enemy ; and had his counsel been heeded, 
the Confederates would at least have escaped capture. When his rank 
ing officers, Floyd and Pillow, at last found the garrison in the toils, 
and proposed to abandon the troops and save themselves by flight, 
Buckner endeared himself to Kentuckians by that high resolve ex 
pressed in words that have become historic : "For my part, I will 
stay with the men, and share their fate." This, notwithstanding, he 
had been denounced as a traitor deserving of the gallows, and threat 
ened with summary vengeance in case of capture, and that he knew 
well the perils of his position. 

Gen. Lew Wallace, in his account of the battle, published in the 
Century Magazine of December, 1864, speaks of him as follows : 

" All in all he was the fittest of the three commanders, [though the 
junior,] for the enterprises entrusted to them. He was their equal in 
courage; while in devotion to the cause and to his profession of arms, 
in tactical knowledge, in military bearing, in the faculty of getting the 
most service out of his inferiors, and inspiring them with confidence 
in his ability, as a soldier in all the higher meanings of the word, 
lie was greatly their superior." Speaking of the last council held by 
general and field officers, at which Floyd and Pillow declared their in 
tention to abandon the troops and escape, Gen. Wallace gives the 
views expressed by Gen. Buckner as to continuing the conflict or endeav 
oring to effect retreat, and says : " Buckner added that as for himself 
he regarded it as his duty to stay with his men and share their fate, 
whatever it might be. Throughout the affair he had borne himself 
with dignity. He ordered the troops back to their positions and 
opened communications with Gen. Grant." 

Wallace met him at the old Dover tavern after the capitulation, of 
which meeting he says: "The tavern was the headquarters of Gen. 
Buckner, to whom I sent my name ; and being an acquaintance I was 
at once admitted. I found him with his staff at breakfast. He met me 
with politeness and dignity. Turning to the officers at the table, he 
said: Gen. W r allace, it is not necessary to introduce you to these gen 
tlemen; you are acquainted with them all. They arose, came for 
ward, one by one, and gave me their hand in salutation. I was then 
invited to breakfast, which consisted of corn-bread and coffee, the best 
the gallant host had in his kitchen." 

1 Ie was imprisoned in Fort Warren till August, 1862 ; was exchanged 
and was at once promoted to Major-General, with orders to report 



356 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

to Gen. Bragg at Chattanooga. Here he was placed in command of 
one of Hardee s divisions. 

At Woodsonville, Ky., his advice was heeded by the command 
ing general after a bloody and fruitless assault in front, and the garrison 
was forced to surrender by a simple and to him obviously necessary 
disposition of Folk s corps. At Bardstown he was detached from his 
division and assigned to the duty of organizing new troops. 

Recalled to his command on the advance of the Federal army, he 
rejoined it at Perryville, the night before the battle. He had time, 
however, to get information as to the position of Gen. BuelPs force, 
and he quickly comprehended the exigencies of the case. When oc 
casion was offered, he advised a line of action, which, if it had been 
adopted, would have enabled Bragg to beat his antagonist without 
serious loss, and so to have changed the whole aspect of the Kentucky 
campaign. As it was, he rendered important service in preventing an 
overwhelming disaster. 

About the middle of December, 1862, he was ordered to take charge 
of the defenses at Mobile. In four months he changed that place from 
an open town to an almost impregnable fortress ; and was highly com 
plimented by the Confederate Government for the manner in which his 
duties had been performed. 

In the spring of 1863, he was placed in charge of the Department 
of East Tennessee. In September, 1863, he was ordered from Knox- 
ville to join Bragg in North Georgia, and at the battle of Chicka- 
mauga his command, (Stewart s and Preston s divisions), did distin 
guished service. " No officer," says one eye-witness of that battle, 
"on the eventful aoth of September, 1863, distinguished himself more 
by heroic bearing than Gen. Buckner. He rode through the fiery tem 
pest as calmly as if he knew himself invulnerable." Twice during the 
operations preceding and during the battle he saw, and as opportunity 
offered, suggested, dispositions which would have resulted in cutting 
Rosecrans off from his base after the repulse of the 2oth, and have 
made the victory complete. 

He was prevented by illness from accompanying Longstreet on his 
expedition into East Tennessee ; but upon recovery, he was assigned 
by that officer to the command of Hood s old division. When Long- 
street was ordered back into Virginia, Gen. Buckner was sent, on ap 
plication of Gen. Kirby Smith and the trans-Mississippi Congressmen, 
to take command of the District of Louisiana, succeeding Gen. Dick 
Taylor, transferred to the Department of Alabama and Mississippi. 
Buckner was now made a lieutenant-general. His abilities as an or 
ganizer, long before recognized, were again brought into play, and he 
soon had a small army ready for effective service ; but there were few 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 357 

active operations in that department during 1864. In 1865, after the 
surrender of Lee and Johnston, he and Gen. Sterling Price negotiated 
with Gen. Canby a surrender of the trans-Mississippi ; and as by its 
terms he was not permitted to return at once to Kentucky he took up 
his residence in New Orleans. His fortune had been wrecked ; but 
he was at no loss in adapting himself to changed conditions and en 
gaging in business pursuits to secure a competency for himself and 
family. A valuable property in Chicago, confiscated during the war, 
was finally restored to him, and with this and various accumulations in 
Kentucky, he is now one of the few millionaires in the State a fact to 
which he never refers, and of which others seem to take little or no cog 
nizance, from the fact that he has other and better titles to distinction. 

In 1887 he was nominated by the Democratic State Convention, 
almost by acclamation^ to the office of Governor a distinction more 
regarded by Kentucky s ambitious citizens than that of United States 
Senator, and almost as much as that of the Presidency itself; was 
elected in August of that year; closed, September ist, 1891, a popu 
lar administration, serving meanwhile, 1890-91, as the delegate from 
his home county to the Constitutional Convention. He evinced states 
manship of a high order ; a clear apprehension of the rights and in 
terests of the people; and a defense and an advocacy of them which 
had an influence, not yet fully appreciated, upon the moulding of 
Kentucky s new organic law. If he made mistakes, he never at 
tempted to justify them; if he made enemies, it was not because he 
wished to do any man an injustice, and he seemed not to feel any bit 
terness towards his accusers; if anybody else was blameworthy for any 
alleged error of his administration, it was not known abroad, for he 
never attempted to shift a responsibility to another man s shoulders. 
Praise and admiration for others he could not disguise; to detraction 
he was a stranger. 

In his dealings with law-breakers and convicts, his principles were 
few and simple, always present with him, though but seldom expressed. 
An instance or two will suffice to show the character of them all. When 
an attempt to enlist his sympathies in favor of a certain criminal was 
made, he indorsed upon the petition: "The sympathies and the duty 
of the Governor are with the people whose laws he is compelled to ex 
ecute." Replying briefly to importunate beseechings in behalf of 
Another: "Clemency to him would be a wrong to the whole com 
munity/ To another: " Mercy to the law-breaker is cruelty to those 
^ho keep the law." 

Some years after the war, Mrs. Mary (Kingsbury) Buckner died, 
leaving an only child, Miss Lillie, afterward the wife of Morris Bel- 
knap, a prominent Louisville gentleman. 



358 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

A few years subsequently he married Miss Delia Claiborne, of Vir 
ginia, a daughter of the late Col. Claiborne, of the old colonial family 
of that name, a grand-daughter of Burrell Bassett and Mary (Dan- 
dridge) Bassett, the latter a sister of Mrs. Gen. Washington. Mrs. 
Buckner is descended on one side from Fielding and Bettie (Washing 
ton) Lewis. They have one child, Simon Bolivar, Jr., known during 
the General s term of office as "the young Governor" an anusually 
bright and promising boy. 

After the expiration of his term, and the conclusion of his labors in 
the reassembled Constitutional Convention, Gov. Buckner returned to 
Hart County, where he and his family now occupy the old home, 
" Glen Lily," in which he was born. 

MAJ.-GEN. JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE. 

The history of the Kentucky Brigade is necessarily in a great meas 
ure the military history of Gen. Breckinridge, and obviates the neces 
sity for an elaborate and finished sketch of that portion of his life. As 
for his political career, it would exceed the limits of our design to 
notice it in full. His youthful aspirations and manhood s success; his 
early perception of the true theory of the constitution of his country, 
and where its life-principle lay ; his steady adherence to his convic 
tions of duty to his country, as events more and more foreshadowed 
that evil days drew nigh; and his manly defense of the South on the 
floor of the Senate these would constitute a chapter of surpassing 
interest ; but, for the political student, they form a part of the coun 
try s history, that may be found in the archives of State; and, for the 
general reader, another hand may one day gather up the details, and 
another pen do ample justice to the life and times of a statesman and 
a soldier, who could achieve distinction in either .field apparently 
without effort, while thousands, struggling up the ascent to the gilded 
Temple of Fame, have fainted by the way, or sunk in despair at its 
base. 

John Cabell Breckinridge was born in Lexington, Ky., January 16, 
1821. His family is readily traceable, through its different branches, 
remotely to that of Breckinridge, of England, Hopkins, of Ireland, 
and Capellari, of Italy; more immediately, to Dr. John Witherspoon, 
a revolutionary statesman, to the Smiths, of Princeton, New Jersey, 
and to the Breckinridges, Cabells, and Prestons, of Virginia. 

From the time of the Presbyterian troubles in England and Scotland, 
the family appears to have been noted for the remarkable character of 
its male members. His great-grandfather, Col. Robert Breckinridge, 
marked his impress upon the history of colonial times in Augusta 




MAJ.-GEN. JOHN C. HRECKINRIDGE. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 359 

County, Virginia. His grandfather, the Hon. John Breckinridge, 
was a lawyer, excelled by none, perhaps, of his day ; a gifted speaker; 
a commanding statesman ; the leader of the old Democratic party of 
Kentucky; the author of that masterly exposition of principles, the 
Kentucky Resolutions of 1798; and above all, his private as well as 
his professional character was without reproach. His father, the Hon. 
Joseph Cabell Breckinridge, who died while Secretary of State for 
Gov. Adair, was one of the most handsome and accomplished men of 
his times; a lawyer of high attainments, an eloquent speaker, a writer 
of rare force and purity, a soldier, a statesman, and a Christian gen 
tleman. 

The subject of the present notice, it will be observed, was left an 
orphan at the age of less than three years, his father having died on 
the ist of September, 1823, but his education was not neglected, and 
such influences were thrown around him from the first as tended to 
develop his manly character. After a preparatory course in the schools 
of Lexington, he was entered at Center College, Danville, Ky., and 
graduated at that institution in the autumn of 1838. He went, shortly 
afterward, to Princeton, New Jersey, and spent some time as resident 
graduate at the college there ; after which he returned to Kentucky 
and read law with Gov. William Owsley. He attended the law lec 
tures at Transylvania University in 1840-41; and in the spring of 
1841, being now but twenty years of age, received license, and en 
tered upon the practice at Frankfort. He spent but few months here, 
however, before he experienced some of that migratory feeling which 
leads the young men of America to look for new fields of enterprise, 
where success is supposed to be more readily attainable, and life may 
be characterized with something more of spirit and adventure; and, 
in the autumn of that year, he traveled through the States of Indiana 
and Illinois, and finally took up his residence in Burlington, Iowa. 
He practiced at this place two years, occasionally joining a hunting 
and fishing excursion with the Indians of the frontiers. On the site 
of Des Moines, the present capital of that State, now a large and 
nourishing city, he then hunted the elk and buffalo; and in that region 
of country the Des Moines River flowed by in almost uninterrupted 
solitude, whereas, at the present day, towns and villages dot its shores, 
from the capital city to the borders of the commonwealth. 

In the autumn of 1843, he returned to Kentucky on what he at the 
time intended merely as a visit, but circumstances changed his plans, 
and gave him, henceforth, to his native State, and opened to him a 
field of usefulness and fame among his own people. He formed an 
attachment for Miss Mary C. Burch, of Scott County, and in December, 
1843, they were married. She is described, by those who have en- 



360 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

joyed the pleasure of her acquaintance, as being a lady of cultivated 
mind, manners the most unaffected and winning, and, indeed, possess 
ing a wealth of feminine accomplishments. 

After his marriage, Gen. Breckinridge opened a law-office in George 
town, and remained there till the summer of 1845, when he removed 
to Lexington, and formed a partnership with the late Judge S. R. Bul 
lock, which existed for several years. 

In 1847, the war with Mexico having broken out, he applied to 
Gov. Owsley for a position as major of the Third Regiment Kentucky 
Volunteers, and received the appointment. He accordingly repaired, 
with his command, to the scene of action, and served during the re 
mainder of the war. Among other incidents connected with his 
career there was his masterly defense of Gen. Pillow before the court- 
martial which was instigated against that officer by Gen. Scott, in 
which he is said to have distinguished himself, and elicited the warm 
est encomiums from the friends of Pillow. 

At the close of the war he returned to Lexington and resumed the 
practice of law. When the bodies of Kentuckians, who had fallen in 
Mexico, were brought to Frankfort for interment in the State Ceme 
tery, he was selected as the speaker of the occasion, and the oration 
was indeed a beautiful and eloquent tribute to those "who had helped 
to uphold the honor of their country in the land of the Montezumas." 

In 1849 he was elected to the Legislature from Fayette, and was 
the candidate of the Democrats for Speaker of the House. His con 
duct during the term in which he sat here his admirable judgment, 
as well as his eloquence, and, withal, the great power that he exercised 
over all with whom he came in contact, amounting almost to fascina 
tion, not only fixed him prominently and firmly in the esteem and con 
fidence of his constituents, but placed him fairly before the country. 
In the autumn of 1850, by the common voice of both parties, he was 
selected to deliver the address of congratulation and welcome with 
which it had been determined to meet Mr. Clay, on his return from 
the Congress characterized by the compromise measures originated by 
that statesman, and carried after a stormy and bitter struggle. 

In 1851 he was put forward as the Democratic candidate for Con 
gress, against a popular Whig nominee, Gen. Leslie Combs, and, con 
trary to public expectation, was elected, after a long and active can 
vass. 

In 1853, though his course in Congress had been consistent and 
creditable, an honor to both himself and his constituents, the Whigs 
determined to prevent his return, if possible, and, to that end, put in 
nomination an old veteran of the Whig party, ex-Gov. Robert P. 
Letcher, who had heretofore been the most popular and powerful man, 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 361 

in a contest of this kind, in the State of Kentucky ; who had never 
known defeat, and who was unassailable in every point except that of 
his political creed and the particular public measures that he then advo 
cated. The struggle was close, vigorous, exciting almost violent 
but the young champion of the Democracy triumphed, and took a 
recognized position as one of the ablest leaders in the country. 

Of his public services in a civil capacity we can not, as heretofore 
remarked, speak at length, but will merely point out the main inci 
dents of that period of his life. Mr. Pierce, then President, offered 
him the mission to Spain, but he declined it ; and, after his second 
term in Congress had expired, he returned to the practice of his pro 
fession at Lexington. He was destined, however, to come again, 
more prominently than ever, before the country, and to win new 
triumphs. He was a delegate to the Cincinnati Convention, which 
was to select candidates for the presidential contest of 1856, and was, 
unexpectedly, and, on the last ballot, unanimously nominated for vice- 
president. His election to that exhalted post, at the age of thirty-five 
years; the dignified, able, and popular manner in which he presided 
over the Senate; his candidacy, in 1860, for President all these are 
familiar to the people, and are recorded in the various annals of the 
country. 

At the sitting of the Kentucky Legislature, in the winter of 1860-61, 
he was elected to the United States Senate for the full term, beginning 
on the ist of March, 1861. He took his seat, and endeavored for 
some time to mediate between the sections and stay the invasion of the 
South. He often manfully opposed his almost single voice to the Sen 
ate, now fairly inflamed to the madness of fanaticism. He finally ex 
posed their purposes, boldly denounced their violent schemes, and 
defended the South against the wretched aspersions of those who were 
bent on destroying her. But, finding that all this world avail nothing 
for immediate purposes, he resigned, and wrote a letter to the people, 
in which he briefly disclosed the revolutionary designs of the Repub 
licans, recounted the evils of their policy, and showed them the utter 
folly of basing hopes of the restoration of "the Union as it was" upon 
the announcements of the administration as to the objects of the war. 

His subsequent history is that of the soldier, who won a name on 
many a field that can perish only with the annals of his race. 

He went to Richmond, in September, 1861, was appointed brigadier- 
general, and, on the i6th of November, assumed command of the 
Kentucky Brigade. His public services from this time up to 1864, 
and personal incidents relating to him, are recorded in the first depart 
ment of this work, and so fully, too, that even a recapitulation is 
unnecessary. 



362 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

Early in 1864 he was transferred to Southwestern Virginia, and per- 
formed important services in that department during that year. AVith 
a small force of from three to four thousand, all of arms, he gained a 
decisive victory over Sigel at New Market, May 15 ; took part in the 
defense at Lynchburg; accompanied Gen. Early on the campaign into 
Maryland, fighting at many points; and Gen. Eckols having been re 
lieved in the Department of East Tennessee and West Virginia, he was 
sent there to take command. While here he planned and executed the 
movement against Saltville, which resulted in the defeat and rout of 
Burbridge. 

About the ist of March, 1865, he was called to Richmond, and ap 
pointed to the duties of Secretary of War. He at once entered upon 
a wise and vigorous performance of those duties; but it was too late to 
correct whatever errors had been committed in that office, and to 
institute such measures as his large experience and excellent judg 
ment might have suggested to retrieve the fast failing fortunes of 
the Confederacy; but he was thus included among those who were 
under special ban, and denied the benefit of the terms of surrender. 

He accompanied President Davis from Richmond into North Caro 
lina; visited Gen. Johnston, and conferred with him regarding the 
necessity of surrender, and the terms upon which it should be effected; 
and was present at the conference between Johnston and Sherman at 
Durham Station. After terms had been agreed upon, he rejoined 
the President at Charlotte, and the party was escorted thence, by a 
body of troops which had collected at that point, to Washington, Geor 
gia. 

At Abbeville, S. C., on this march, President Davis held his last 
council of war, with Generals Breckinridge, Duke, Debrell, Vaughan, 
Ferguson, and Bragg, and Col. William C. P. Breckinridge, an inter 
esting account of which has been given by Gen. Duke, in his "History 
of Morgan s Cavalry." From Washington, Gen. Breckinridge made 
his way, in company with a few devoted friends, to the cape of Florida, 
whence, after many hardships and great peril, he reached the coast of 
Cuba in an open boat. 

As soon as the general had entered the army, November, 1861, the 
old political issues, if not forgotten, were at least ignored, and he 
entered upon his duties uninfluenced by partisan prejudices. It is said 
that he himself never alluded to them, and on but a single occasion 
was the subject mentioned in his military family. One night, around 
a camp-fire, an officer laughingly remarked that two-thirds of those who 
then composed his staff had heretofore been his political opponents, 
which was, no doubt, true at various times during the war, but they 
suffered no diminution in his esteem on that account, nor he in theirs. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 363 

It was also a noticeable fact that he was never heard to utter a word of 
reproach against former fellow-citizens, acquaintances or friends whose 
convictions had led them to a different field. Not only were men of 
all the parties previously known in Kentucky intimately and harmo 
niously connected with him in service, but he commanded, at different 
rimes, troops from every Southern and border Slave State, and won 
:he admiration of all. 

So many attempts have been made of late years to portray the char 
acter of Gen. Breckinridge, as displayed in both his civil and military 
acts, as to render it a superfluous work for us to enter into any critical 
inquiry in that direction, or to record more than a general view. It is 
admitted by all that his abilities were transcendent, and his eloquence 
wonderful and the more wonderful, we may remark, from the fact 
that it would be with the most extreme difficulty that any one could 
define exactly in what its charm consisted. He had a rare power of 

< ontrolling men, individually or in masses. He was one of those men 
vvhom we sometimes find that are equal to any emergency. His 

< apabilities were developed with the occasion, and he was as perfect a 
master of resources and expedients as was Lord Chancellor Montague, 
and as successful in everything to which he turned his attention, if left 
to his control. As an orator, a statesman, and a military leader, he 
took rank with the very foremost men of America, and possessed the 
admiration of the South to an extent seldom surpassed. 

In personal appearance, engaging manners, and courtly grace, it has 
been .alleged that he had not a superior among men. The homely, 
but characteristic, remark of an admiring soldier, when President 
Davis reviewed the army at Murfreesboro , in December, 1862, is no 
coubt expressive of the sentiments of thousands of others who have 
observed him in the various relations of life. 

Present at the review was a large number of general officers, and 
conspicuous among them was Breckinridge. A soldier, who stood near 
their point of observation, noticed them attentively as they rode up, 
and after they had taken position, and finally broke out earnestly with 
the expression of his opinion : " Well, there s the President of these 
Confederate States, so called, and there are some of his great gen 
erals ; but, when it comes to looks, that Breckinridge of ours ranks 
them all! " 

From Cuba, to which he made his way as above noticed, he went 
to England ; came afterward to Canada ; and when the amnesty act 
in which he was included was passed, he returned to his home in Lex 
ington having been an exile and a wanderer for about two years sub 
sequent to the close of the war. He resumed the practice of law; 
soon had a lucrative and growing business, and seemed on the high 



364 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

road to wealth, if not to renewed political influence; but he died at an 
age when he had scarcely reached the full maturity of his powers 
(May 17, 1875). 

MAJ.-GEN. WILLIAM PRESTON. 

William Preston was born on the i6th of October, 1816, at his 
father s plantation, near Louisville, Kentucky. His great-grandfather, 
John Preston, emigrated, about the year 1739, from the County of 
Derry, in Ireland, to the County of Augusta, in Virginia. He erected 
the first church west of the Blue Ridge, at Tinkling Spring, where he 
is buried ; and from him are descended the Breckinridges, the How 
ards, the Browns, the Blairs, the Marshalls, and others of the earliest 
and most enterprising pioneers of Kentucky and the Southern States. 
The only son of John Preston was William Preston, of Montgomery, 
a colonel during the Revolutionary .War, who was wounded at Guil- 
ford. 

Col. Preston died during the Revolutionary War. He had received 
a military grant of a thousand acres, near the Falls of the Ohio, ad 
joining the original site of the city of Louisville, which he bequeathed 
to his third son, William, then a minor. He entered the regular army, 
and served with credit under Wayne, and in defense of the W T est. 
After the establishment of peace he resigned, and married Caroline, 
the daughter of Col. George Hancock, of Botetourt County; and, 
subsequently removing to Kentucky in the year 1815, established a 
plantation on the property given to him by his father, which is now 
partially covered by the city of Louisville. Maj. William Preston 
died in 1821, leaving his son William and his young family to the care 
of their mother. 

After the death of his father, the family removed to Louisville, and 
William was placed at the best schools, until he reached his fourteenth 
year, when he was sent to Augusta College, and afterward to St. Jo 
seph s, a Catholic institution at Bardstown, under the control of Bishop 
Flaget. He resided with a friend, the Hon. Ben Hardin, and re 
ceived a good classical education. He afterward went to New Haven, 
Conn., to complete his studies; and subsequently, in his twentieth 
year, to Harvard University, to the law school, then under the control 
of Judge Story and Professor Greenleaf. He graduated at Harvard 
in the class of 1838; and returning to Kentucky, was afterward ad 
mitted to the bar at Louisville. 

In the year 1840, William Preston married Margaret, the youngest 
daughter of the Hon. Robert Wickliffe, of Lexington. He had en 
gaged in the practice of law with the Hon. William J. Graves, be- 






V 








MAJ.-GEX. WILLIAM PRESTON. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 365 

tween whom and himself a strong friendship existed, until it was sev 
ered by death. The estate bequeathed to him and his father s family 
was large; and as he was the only son, much of his time was devoted 
to attending to the business, which had been under the control of his 
mother. 

At the beginning of the Mexican War, William Preston was in com 
mand of a company, called the Washington Blues, forming part of the 
Louisville Legion. The legion, of which his brother-in-law, Jason 
Rogers, was lieutenant-colonel, went to Mexico, joining the column of 
den. Taylor. Preston volunteered with the Washington Blues, and, 
being incorporated in the Fourth Regiment of Kentucky Volunteers, 
v.as appointed by Gov. Owsley its lieutenant-colonel. These regi 
ments went, under Gen. William O. Butler, to Vera Cruz and the City 
cf Mexico, to join the immediate command of Gen. Scott, and re 
mained until the close of the war, when they were ordered home and 
disbanded. Gen. John S. Williams and Gen. William T. Ward were 
the other two field officers, and Gen. T. L. Crittenden and Gen. John 
( . Breckinridge were the lieutenant-colonel and major of the Third 
Regiment, with which the Fourth was brigaded. Many officers of 
these regiments rose to distinction, both in the service of the United 
States and in the Confederate States, during the war. 

After the conclusion of peace he returned home and continued to 
reside at Louisville, until, in the year 1849, the convention was called 
for the purpose of revising the constitution of Kentucky. The ques 
tions of emancipation and abolition, which have since so fearfully dis 
tracted the country, were issues involved in the campaign. A ticket, 
composed of the Hon. James Guthrie, James Rudd, and Col. Pres 
ton, was nominated in opposition to one consisting of the Hon. 
James Speed, afterward Attorney-General of the United States, 
Chapman Coleman, Esq., and David Beatty. After an excited can 
vass, the latter were defeated by the former, of whom Preston was the 
foremost candidate at the polls. In the discussions of the convention 
hr took a prominent part, and particularly in opposition to the native 
American and anti-Catholic views urged with great zeal by the Hon. 
Garrett Davis, subsequently a Senator from Kentucky. 

He was afterward successively elected to represent the city of Louis 
ville in the House of Representatives and in the Senate of Kentucky. 
He was the chairman, in the former body, of the committee which 
secured the adoption of the code of civil practice, superseding the for 
mer rules of pleading in our courts. 

In the year 1852, having always been an uncompromising member 
of the Whig party, he was nominated as an elector for the State at 
large. Gen. Scott was the Whig candidate for the Presidency ; but, 



366 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

before the election, Preston was nominated for Congress, and elected 
by a majority of nearly two thousand in a district which had, but less 
than a month before, voted for the Democratic party. After having 
served out the term, he was again nominated and reflected by an in 
creased majority. 

In the meantime, the Know-Nothing or native American organiza 
tion, embracing most of the old Whig party, succeeded in carrying 
many States. At the next election, he took open and decided ground 
against the new party, and with many other Whigs opposed its princi 
ples. The Hon. Humphrey Marshall was nominated by it, and Pres 
ton by the Democracy and old Whigs. The canvass was extremely 
exciting, and resulted in the defeat of Preston his friends, the 
naturalized citizens, having been driven from the polls. The most 
sanguinary scenes followed, in which it is supposed more than fifty 
citizens were killed. The day is yet known in Louisville as " Bloody 
Monday." 

Having thus identified himself with the Democratic party, he was 
chosen as a delegate for the State at large to the Cincinnati Conven 
tion which nominated Buchanan and Breckinridge for the presidency 
and vice-presidency. He took an active part in the nominations and 
election, and Kentucky cast a heavy majority for the Democracy. 
Afterward, in 1858, his name was urged as a candidate for governor, 
with the best chances of assured success, but Mr. Buchanan offered 
him the mission to Spain, and his friends pressed him to accept it. He 
was appointed, and unanimously confirmed by the Senate, without the 
usual reference to a committee. At the time, the relations with Spain 
were precarious. The Cuba question greatly engaged the public mind, 
and our citizens had many claims for injuries sustained during the civil 
war for the succession in Spain which remained unadjusted. It was 
understood that their demands were to be pressed, and the acquisition 
of Cuba was to be secured, if possible. To aid in this object, the sum 
of thirty millions was to be appropriated by Congress. Under these 
circumstances, he went to Madrid, at a time when the Queen and the 
Cortes had assumed a very unfriendly aspect toward the United States. 
The discords of the Democratic party caused the failure of the Thirty- 
Million Bill, and rendered the chief object of the mission impossible, 
but the American claims were pressed with great energy and complete 
success. The Spanish government, after forty years of delay and 
procrastination, entered into a treaty the first since that of Florida 
for the adjustment and payment of these claims. This treaty was re 
jected by a minority being the Republican party in the Senate 
because a clause provided for the reference to arbitration of the 
" Amistad claim," which had been constantly admitted by successive 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 367 

administrations of the government of the United States, irrespective 
of party, to be just and valid. Subsequently Spain, at the outbreak 
of the war, seized the Bay of Samana, against which a strong protest 
was made by Col. Preston, as being in violation of the Monroe doc 
trine, but the embarrassed condition of the country prevented the 
government from its assertion. 

As soon as Carolina seceded, Preston forwarded his resignation ; 
but was delayed by these events, so that he did not reach America 
until after the beginning of hostilities and the battle of Bull Run. 

Upon returning, he proceeded to Washington and gave a full and 
satisfactory account of his mission, to the Secretary of State, Mr. 
Seward. He was permitted to leave unmolested, though his opinions 
were well known and undisguised. He returned home after the Ken 
tucky election, and found the Legislature pretending to believe, or be- 
iieving, in the false promises of the government, and at once de 
clared, in public addresses, that the true intent of Mr. Lincoln s ad 
ministration was to usurp all power, trample under foot the rights of 
the people, abolish slavery, and disregard utterly the neutrality of 
Kentucky. The Kentucky Legislature, seemed to him to be terrified 
or corrupted. It suffered the arrest of its best citizens without warrant 
or remonstrance, and abandoned the protection of their rights. The 
mask was thrown off Breckinridge, Preston, and others left their homes 
upon the same night, in September, 1861, to share the fate of the South. 
Passing through Virginia and Tennessee, they joined Gen. Sidney John 
ston at Bowling Green ; and Breckinridge, having resigned his seat in the 
Senate of the United States, was appointed a brigadier-general in the 
Confederate service. Only one brigade having been at that time 
formed, Preston was announced as a colonel, on the volunteer staff of 
the commander-in-chief, Gen. Johnston, who was his friend and 
brother-in-law, until a command in the line, which was promised, 
could be organized. In this capacity, and with the most confidential 
and intimate association with Gen. Johnston, he served at Bowling 
Green through the winter of 1861-62, at Nashville, after the fall of 
Fort Donelson, and at Corinth until the battle of Shiloh. In that 
great battle Johnston fell, in the very instant of achieving a splendid 
victory. The enemy were broken, routed, and huddled for flight upon 
the river bank, and while the general in person was leading the fore 
most troops against their shattered lines, he received a mortal wound. 
H e expired on the field in the arms of Preston., who bore his body to the 
camp; and afterward, with the staff of Gen. Johnston, reported to 
Bcauregard, who added it to his own. The next day Beauregard in 
trusted the remains of Johnston to Preston s care, for temporary inter- 



368 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

ment at New Orleans, until they could be removed to Texas, where 
they now rest. 

He was honorably mentioned in the dispatches and reports, and, on 
his return from the sad duty confided to him, received a commission, a 
week after the battle of Shiloh, as brigadier-general in the Confederate 
army. Gen. Breckinridge had been created a major-general, and his 
old brigade was reorganized. A portion of the Kentucky troops, con 
sisting of the regiment of Col. Thompson, who afterward fell in action 
at Paducah, and of Colonel (afterward General) Joseph H. Lewis, with 
the regiment of Wickliffe, who was killed at Shiloh, and who had been 
succeeded by Col. Crossland, with other troops, formed the brigade. 
Preston was the next officer in rank to Breckinridge in the division, 
and served with his command during the siege of Corinth by Halleck. 
Beauregard having foiled Halleck by his defense and evacuation of 
Corinth, the army fell back to Tupelo. While there, Breckinridge 
left, on a short leave of absence, and visited Louisiana, and the com 
mand of the division devolved on Preston. The passage of the Tal- 
lahatchie was menaced by Sherman and Hurlbut from the direction of 
Grand Junction and Holly Springs, and the division, with Parson s 
brigade of Missouri troops, amounting in all to about 10,000 effective 
men, were detached, under Preston, by Bragg, to guard the line of 
the Tallahatchie, and to remove all stores and munitions from Oxford 
and Grenada. This was done successfully, when, about the last of 
June, 1862, Admirals Farragut and Porter appeared with the fleet and 
troops before Vicksburg. Van Dorn had for its defense but about 
1,500 infantry, and some feeble and badly supplied batteries. Preston 
hastened to his relief; and, in three days march from the Tallahatchie, 
joined him with his command, and, soon after, with large supplies of 
forage collected by his wagon trains, which he took the precaution to 
send through the country for that purpose. After a short time, Breck 
inridge returned and resumed command. The place was subjected, 
for more than a month, to a furious bombardment and menaces of as 
sault, but without effect. On the 2yth of July, 1862, the fleet and 
forces abandoned the first siege of Vicksburg. 

A few days after the withdrawal of the fleet, Preston was prostrated 
with a fever, and was left ill in camp. The division moved to Baton 
Rouge, and, after the action at that place, returned to Jackson, for the 
purpose, it was understood, of joining Bragg in his Kentucky cam 
paign. He rejoined his command, and every preparation was urged 
for the prompt departure of the division, when there seemed to be 
some misapprehension as to orders, Van Dorn not considering them 
as peremptory, and desiring to retain the division, for the purpose of 
remaining at Jackson, or moving directly southward, for the recapture 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 3<>9 

of Corinth. Breckinridge was anxious to march toward Kentucky, 
but could not do so under the circumstances. The march to Ken 
tucky was strongly urged by Preston, in the hope that the presence 
of the troops might arouse the State to action, and drive the Federal 
forces beyond the Ohio. Delay followed, and at length he applied to 
Breckinridge to be relieved of his command, and ordered to report to 
Bragg, so as to reach Kentucky in time for the decisive battle which 
\vas impending. The order being obtained, through the friendly 
interposition of Breckinridge, he left, and succeeded in reaching Bragg 
a few days before the battle of Perryville, but too late to effect his ob 
ject. He had telegraphed to President Davis the situation of affairs, 
atid Breckinridge s division was peremptorily ordered to Kentucky, 
!>ut did not succeed in getting further than the vicinity of Cumberland 
Gap when the battle of Perryville was fought, and the retreat to Knox- 
ville ensued. 

Having been thus separated from his command, he received from 
I .uckner the fine brigade of Gen. Wood, of Alabama, who had been 
severely wounded at Perryville. He commanded these troops upon 
the retreat from Kentucky to Knoxville, and afterward in Bragg s ad 
vance upon Murfreesboro , until a new brigade was organized in 
Ireckinridge s division, composed chiefly of the Twentieth Tennessee, 
or Battle s regiment, one of the finest in the service; and the troops of 
Florida, under Colonels Miller and Bowen ; and the Sixtieth North 
Carolina Regiment, under Col. McDowell. The Kentucky troops had 
been brigaded, during the absence of Preston, and placed under the 
command of Brig. -Gen. Hanson. Preston received this command 
only three or four days before the battle of Stone River. The 
v.-eather was wintry and inclement, and the troops were almost bare 
foot, in the snow, and destitute of all but their courage. 

His conduct and the part played by his brigade in the battle of Stone 
River have been noticed in our account of Breckinridge s division on 
that field. He received honorable mention for his services. Remain 
ing with his command at Tullahoma till the spring of 1863 he was or 
dered by the President to Abingdon, in Southwestern Virginia, to re 
lieve Brig. -Gen. Humphrey Marshall, and assume command of the 
troops guarding the mountain passes in that region from the invasions 
of the enemy. He organized these troops at once, with a view to 
operations in a campaign contemplated against Kentucky, under Buck- 
ner. Capt. Pete Everett, a brave young officer, was sent forward, 
anil, after several -brilliant skirmishes, penetrated as far as Mays- 
ville, on the Ohio, attracting the attention and drawing the Federal 
troops to North Kentucky, so as to leave the passes in Southeastern 
Kentucky uncovered for an advance. 



370 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

Such was the condition of affairs in August, 1863, when Preston was 
ordered, unexpectedly, to join Buckner, with the greater part of his 
command, at Knoxville. This was caused by the advance of Rose- 
crans on Chattanooga, and its evacuation by Bragg before the battle 
of Chickamauga. Gen. Buckner, collecting all his available force, 
moved, by Lenoir, Loudon, and Cleveland, to Bragg s support. At 
Knoxville, Buckner organized Preston s division, and, with this and 
the divisions of Stewart and Forrest, he joined Bragg in good time for 
the impending battle. This force was known as Buckner s corps. 

Preston s division consisted of three brigades of new troops, not used 
to trying service, under Brig. -Gen. Gracie, Col. Trigg, and Col. Kelley. 
Gracie s brigade was composed of the Sixty-third Tennessee, Lieut. - 
Col. A. Falkerson; the Forty-third Alabama, Col. Y. M. Moody; the 
First Battalion of the Alabama Legion, "Lieut. -Col. J. H. Holt; the 
Second Battalion, Lieut. -Col. B. H. Hall; and the Third Battalion, 
Lieut. -Col. J. W. A. Sanford. Trigg s brigade was composed of the 
Sixth Florida Volunteers, Col. Finley; the First Florida Cavalry 
(dismounted), Col. Maxwell ; the Fifty-fourth Virginia, Lieut. -Col. 
Wade ; and the Seventh Florida Regiment. Kelley s brigade consisted 
of the Fifth Kentucky, Col. Hawkins; the Sixty-third Virginia, Maj. 
French; the Fifty-eighth North Carolina, Col. J. B. Palmer; and the 
Sixty-fifth Georgia Volunteers. 

The armies of Rosecrans and Bragg maneuvered for some days near 
the Chickamauga River, when that of the latter crossed the stream, 
and formed in line of battle to attack. Preston, at midnight, threw 
Gracie s brigade across the river, at Hunt s or Dalton s Ford, near 
Lee and Gordon s Mills. He had skirmished with Kelley s brigade 
against the enemy the preceding evening, and thus secured the ground 
on which he established his division in line of battle at dawn on Satur 
day, the ipth of September. The enemy were deployed in great force 
near the mills and intrenched, with batteries about fifteen hundred 
yards distant. The batteries opened with a heavy cannonade, but 
Preston held his division, without reply, in a slight undulation in the 
cornfields, desiring to accustom his troops to fire. He had an officer 
and some men of the Sixth Florida killed and wounded, and an officer 
and some men of the Sixty-third Tennessee wounded while silently 
occupying this position. The passage of other divisions established 
Bragg s line of battle Preston s division holding the left and resting 
on the curve of the Chickamauga, between Hunt s house and Lee and 
Gordon s Mills. The troops having engaged heavily on the right, 
about noon Preston was withdrawn, closing in that direction, and 
shortening the line a half or three-quarters of a mile. About three 
o clock in the afternoon, Hood became hotly engaged a few hundred 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 371 

yards to the right, and in advance of Preston s division. The enemy 
had attacked, through some cornfields, Robinson s brigade, of Hood s 
division, and had broken it, though the men were bravely contesting 
the ground against superior forces, when Preston advanced Trigg s 
brigade, and the enemy were handsomely repulsed, barely saving their 
batteries from the Sixth Florida, which, under Col. Finley, suffered 
severely in the fight. The brigade sustained a loss of about one hun 
dred and fifty men, killed and wounded, and behaved most gallantly. 
This closed the battle on the left on Saturday, near nightfall. 

On Sunday morning the battle was not renewed promptly, but, 
some hour or two after sunrise, opened again on the right; and at 
length the firing became incessant, showing a furious conflict. Lieut - 
Gen. Longstreet came to Preston s division, which had been held in 
reserve, and gave the order for Buckner to advance the left wing. 
Preston left the Sixty-fifth Georgia, under Col. Moore, to guard Jef- 
frees Battery in some intrenchments he had thrown up during the 
night, covering the road to Hunt s Ford, as a precaution against re 
verse, and as the wooded ground prevented the use of cannon. The 
division advanced where Hood had fallen, and where the dead body 
of Gen. Lytle and his men strewed the ground behind the fieldworks 
near Brotherton s house, which had been carried by Hood. Nearly a 
mile beyond, with the cornfield of Dyer s farm intervening, were some 
heights near Snodgrass s house, and between the roads from Lafayette 
to Chattanooga, and from Crawfish Springs to Rossville. This was the 
key of the enemy s position. Here Gen. Thomas had massed all his 
troops for desperate and final resistance. The advance of Longstreet 
routed the enemy in front, after heavy fighting, and Brannan and Van 
Cleve s troops were driven from the ground in front of the heights by 
the divisions of Hood and McLaws. It was near this junction when 
the Reserve Corps, under Gen. Granger, and the division of Stead- 
nian came unexpectedly to the relief of Thomas and lined the heights. 
They bravely received the attack of McLaws. These admirable troops, 
tried in the fiercest campaigns of the Potomac and Virginia ; recoiled 
before the strength of the position and the terrible fire of Steadman s 
fresh division. The ground was exceedingly strong, being a wooded 
ridge, with points for batteries, and open cornfields in front, with a 
broken ravine intervening. Another impetuous attack was made by 
Ilindman s division and repulsed. It was at this time that Preston was 
ordered to advance and support Hindman. The Confederate troops 
h id sought cover in the ravine at the foot of the hill. Preston, about 
five o clock, advanced Gracie s brigade, and assaulted the crest. The 
enemy met the attack with loud huzzas and a withering fire. A fear 
ful struggle ensued ; Hall s battalion leaped the breastworks, and the 



372 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

bodies of Federal and Confederate troops were promiscuously strewed 
over the ground occupied by the batteries. In less than an hour 
Gracie lost more than seven hundred men out of his brigade. The 
colors of Hall s battalion were pierced in eighty-three places, and one 
hundred and seventy-nine out of two hundred and thirty-nine men 
were killed and wounded. The flag was carried, after the battle, to 
Richmond, by President Davis, as an interesting memorial for the 
War Department, and the color-bearer (Hiatt) was promoted. Imme 
diately in the rear of Gracie, but near to the left, Preston, with Kelley s 
brigade, attacked the enemy crowning the crest. This attack stag 
gered the line, and the regiments of Colonels Carlton and Lefevre were 
broken, and they were taken prisoners by Kelley. Trigg had been de 
tached by Buckner to guard against cavalry, and was nearly a mile 
away, but when Gracie attacked, Preston ordered him to come up at 
all hazards, without regard to other orders, and as rapidly as possible. 
He arrived, most fortunately, just as Kelley gained the hill. Preston 
had found out that Dyer, the owner of the farm, was in his command, 
and secured him as a guide. He was a man of intelligence and strong 
character, and Preston learned that beyond Kelley was a ravine running 
at a sharp angle and traversing the enemy s line. Up this ravine 
he hurried Trigg s brigade, and this fresh force, making a sudden 
wheel to the right from the ravine, fell upon the enemy s flank and 
broke it, routing and capturing the Twenty-second Michigan, the 
Eighty-ninth Ohio, and a portion of the Twenty-first Ohio regiments, 
and took more than fifteen hundred stand of small arms. This decided 
the contest for the position, which was carried, however, at great cost, 
Preston losing, out of four thousand and seventy-eight men, fourteen 
officers and one hundred and eighty-four men killed, and sixty-three 
officers and one thousand and fourteen men wounded, with sixty-one 
missing in the battle. 

The London Times of November 24, 1863, contained from its cor 
respondent on the field the following account of Preston s part in de 
ciding the conflict in favor of the Confederate arms : " His bearing on 
the slope of Missionary Ridge, under the setting sun of the 2oth of 
September, will, if ever the American war becomes really historical, 
rank with that of Dessaix recovering the lost battle of Marengo, or 
with any other famous deeds of arms ever witnessed upon earth. 
Slowly and under a withering fire one of Preston s brigades, com 
manded by Gracie, and fighting its first pitched battle, deployed into 
line. As they ascended the hill they reeled and staggered under the 
iron tempest which rent them, and Gracie, turning to Preston, ex 
claimed in agony, We are cut to pieces ! Calm as though he had 
seen a hundred fights, Preston replied, You have not suffered half 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 373 

such a loss as my brigade sustained at Stone River ; tell your men to 
fix bayonets, and take them at it again. The order was given, and 
nobly was it obeyed. Right up and over the slope they went ; their 
comrades swept upon the Federal flank. Hindman and Kershaw gal 
lantly did their part ; simultaneously the Confederate right, long inac 
tive, again advanced and drove the Federals, weakened by the re- 
enforcements sent to their right, from their works. The whole of 
Missionary Ridge was gained, and the Federals in one long, confused, 
and huddled mass burst down the ridge, through the little village 
called Rossville, and along every other road and by-path they could 
find, and never stopped until they reached Chattanooga. One trophy 
of the desperate strife is shown by Gen. Gracie s men the flag of an 
Alabama regiment, pierced by eighty-three bullet holes, the flag-staff 
severed in three places, but carried to the last by the same color- 
sergeant, who still survives to wear the honors and enjoy the commis 
sion which he has so nobly won." 

Soon afterward, he was urged for promotion by Buckner and Long- 
street, in official communications, for his services on that field. 

After the battle, Longstreet visited the heights carried by Preston s 
division, and said: " If the troops who carried these heights had de 
fended them, they never could have been taken." 

Buckner s force was now reorganized, and Preston was ordered back 
to his old command at Abingdon, about a month after the battle. 

At this time the relations of the Confederate States with the recently 
proclaimed Empire of Mexico became important. The Archduke 
Maximilian, of Austria, had been called to the throne, erected by 
the intervention and influence of the Emperor Napoleon. A pro 
visional government had been inaugurated, and the votes of the people 
of Mexico secured for the new empire. The propriety of establishing 
friendly relations with the Confederate States was suggested by the 
provisional government. The archduke had not left Miramar, nor ac 
cepted the proffered throne. Under these circumstances, President 
Davis appointed Preston Minister Plenipotentiary from the Confed 
erate States to Mexico, and he was confirmed by the Senate, and or 
dered to meet the emperor at his coronation in the City of Mexico. He 
succeeded in running the blockade from Wilmington, and in reaching 
N assau and Havana. At the latter city he waited in expectation of the 
emperor s departure from Europe for Mexico, but, in the meantime, 
events happened which caused a change of policy upon the parts of the 
emperors of France and Mexico toward the Confederacy, and led them 
to a friendly understanding with the government of the United States. 
He at once visited France and England to confer with Mr. Mason and 
Mr. Slidell. His information was verified, and he requested to be re- 



374 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

called, unless assurances were given of the immediate recognition of 
the Confederacy by the Emperor Maximilian. This was approved, 
and, after some delay, no satisfactory answer being given, he returned 
to Bermuda, after an absence of a year, and attempted to reenter the 
Confederacy by running through the blockading fleet of the enemy at 
Wilmington. Fort Fisher had just fallen. Of eleven vessels that at 
tempted to run the blockade, nine were destroyed or captured. His 
aide-de-camp, Capt. Ford, was taken prisoner, but Preston escaped. 
He returned to Havana, and immediately made another attempt to 
run the blockade at Charleston, but was again disappointed. He then 
went to Matamoras, in Mexico, and, after a long and toilsome jour 
ney, joined Gen. Kirby Smith at Shreveport, La., hoping to cross the 
Mississippi and reach Richmond. 

While in Texas, he heard of Gen. Lee s surrender at Appomattox. 
He found the Mississippi overflowed for miles beyond its banks, and 
guarded by gunboats and vessels vigilantly watching to intercept Pres 
ident Davis. Everything was in such disorder as to render his passing 
over the river impracticable. Under these circumstances, he reported 
to Gen. E. Kirby Smith, then in command of the Trans-Mississippi 
Department, for military duty. Smith refused to surrender the de 
partment, and, under the authority conferred upon him, promoted 
Preston to the rank of major-general in the Confederate army, with 
the promise of the division of Gen. Prince Polignac, but, for certain 
reasons, placed him upon special duty of importance. 

The subsequent capitulation of the army of Gen. Joseph E. John 
ston and other forces east of the Mississippi, left to Smith no alterna 
tive but the surrender of the Trans-Mississippi Department. After 
this was made, Preston, with Generals Smith, Magruder, Walker, 
Wilcox, and others, and with Governors Allen and Moore, of Louis 
iana, crossed the Rio Grande and went to the City of Mexico, through 
a disturbed and dangerous country. Subsequently he went to the 
West Indies and England, and afterward to Canada, to which country 
his family had been exiled, during his absence, by the Government at 
Washington. 

The Government of the United States having adopted a more len 
ient policy, he returned to Kentucky with his family, in 1866, and re 
sided at Lexington, employing himself in agriculture and the manage 
ment of his estate. In 1867, when Gov. Helm was nominated, his 
name was urged as a candidate for the office of governor, but was 
withdrawn by himself. He labored earnestly for the establishment 
of universal amnesty and the reorganization of the Democratic party; 
and, as a delegate from the State at large, witnessed its auspicious 




BRIG.-GEN. ROGER W. HANSON. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 375 

restoration in the National Convention, which nominated Seymour and 
Blair for the presidency and vice-presidency of the United States. 

After the war he lived a private citizen, engaged with his own 
affairs, but taking a lively interest in public matters especially such as 
affected the people of Kentucky and those of the South, whom as a 
tidier and a statesman he had so faithfully served. He died in Lex 
ington September 21, 1887, of rheumatism of the heart, aged about 
seventy-two years. 

BRIG.-GEN. R. W. HANSON. 

Roger Weightman Hanson was born in Winchester, Clarke County, 
Kentucky, August 27, 1827. He was the second son of Samuel Han 
son, a lawyer of eminent abilities, who practiced at the Winchester 
bar. He went, when about twenty years of age, to Mexico, as first 
lieutenant in the company of Capt. John S. Williams, afterward a dis 
tinguished general officer in the Confederate States army. His con 
duct is represented as having been characterized by the wildness of 
youth at all times, a reckless daring upon the field, great aptitude in 
comprehending military principles, and a lively humor, which turned 
discomfort, difficulty, danger, absence from home and friends every 
thing into sources of laughter and amusement. 

When the volunteers were disbanded, he returned to Winchester. 
Shortly afterward, January, 1848, he had some difficulty with a gen 
tleman who had also served with the army in Mexico, which resulted 
in a duel, and in this affair he received a shot in the right hip, render 
ing him a cripple for life. During the confinement which followed, he 
devoted himself to reading works on law, and when so far recovered 
as to be able to attend again to business, he was licensed to practice ; 
but about this time the first gold-seekers from Kentucky were leaving 
for California, and he attached himself to a company of these, and 
crossed the plains, actuated far more, no doubt, by a love of adven 
ture than by a love of gain. Early in 1850, he again returned home, 
without having increased his fortune, and began the practice of law in 
his native town. 

In 1851, he became a candidate for the legislature, in opposition to 
his old captain known after the Mexican war as " Cerro Gordo Wil 
liams." This gentleman was personally popular, had a military repu 
tation, justly won on Mexican fields, a fine character, and was an elo 
quent speaker, but Hanson proved himself a powerful opponent, and 
gave eminent promise of that oratory for which he was afterward 
famous. He was defeated by only six votes. At the next election, 
he was chosen for the Lower House, and before the close of his term 



376 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

had made a widespread reputation. Shortly after this he removed to 
Lexington, and entered upon the practice of his profession in that city. 
In 1855, he was chosen a member of the legislature for Fayette. In 
1856, he was elector for the State at large on the Fillmore ticket, and 
so powerful were his forensic displays that his already great reputation 
was enhanced, and the next year he was the choice of the Know- 
Nothing Convention as a candidate for Congress, from the Ashland 
District. Opposed by Hon. James B. Clay, an able, eloquent man, 
who early saw, not only the evil influences that were at work in the 
country, but that his father s old party was fast becoming committed to 
the ultraism of the Northern wing, and had boldly taken position with 
the Democracy. The canvass that ensued was a great one, not de 
void of the partisan bitterness which such men as they could awaken ; 
but Hanson was defeated, and the Know-Nothing power, already wan 
ing, now rapidly declined, and was soon lost. He resumed the prac 
tice of his profession. Upon his prospects in this field, his defeat had 
had no appreciable influence. He rose rapidly at the bar, and at the 
beginning of the war his power and popularity as a criminal lawyer 
were considered to be as great as those of any other in Lexington, and 
some of the ablest in the State practiced there. In 1859-60, he again 
engaged in public political discussion ; first, for J. F. Bell, in the guber 
natorial contest against Magoffin, and then for Bell and Everett, in the 
presidential campaign of 1860. 

At the beginning of hostilities he was a Union man spoke against 
the right of secession, and the practicability of it and was inclined to 
the opinion that rather than the Union should be dissolved, coercive 
means should be employed to preserve it. But the Southern people 
were his people; their institutions were his; he had represented them 
in a foreign war. Though a Whig, he was no fanatic; he was a Whig 
in the general meaning, but was not prepared for the ultimate conse 
quences of that doctrine. He stood firmly by the Constitution of his 
country, and could not quietly submit to seeing its powers transcended 
for the purpose of achieving designs inimical to any section ; and as 
events began to develop themselves, they unfolded to his clear insight 
the purposes of the administration. He now paused in his opposition 
to the Southern movement, and found himself compelled, as he seemed 
to consider it, to choose between two evils. 

To preserve constitutional liberty he declared to be his desire, irre 
spective of parties or of sectional prejudice, and, believing that though 
the Union might be preserved, should the North succeed, it would be 
a Union at the expense of freedom, his prejudice against the Confed 
erate cause gave way. To stay the prevailing madness, however, and 
to raise up a mediatorial power, he was willing to make one more ef- 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 377 

fort, and the anomalous state of his mind (not yet fully committed to 
either party) must account for his action here the strangest of his 
life; he took the field for neutrality, and gave the influence of his great 
powers to the advocacy of that measure. This was a virtual abandon 
ment of his Whiggery. It was not only an acknowledgment of State 
sovereignty fully, unequivocally but an effort (and a masterly one, 
too, if we may judge from the reports of his speeches and the profound 
sensation among the people) to carry that doctrine to its practical end. 
This failing, his next step was but a natural one he entered the Con 
federate service, and was shortly afterward commissioned colonel of 
the Second Regiment Kentucky Infantry. 

The main points of his history as an officer of the army have been 
written in the course of this work. We have seen how he fought at 
Donelson how the confidence of the soldiers and the government was 
speedily won, and his appointment as brigadier how he fell at Stone 
River, January 2d, 1863, at the head of his charging columns. In 
person, Gen. Hanson was robust, and his constitution was sound, vig 
orous and capable of great endurance. He had one of those acute, 
yet comprehensive intellects which see a field of business, the circle of 
the sciences, the world of philosophy, as the elder Cyrus saw his army, 
every man for himself, every feature familiar. Hanson saw every 
point of any thing to which he turned his attention, while looking at 
the whole result. He had, almost to perfection, that rare power of in 
dividualizing, which fitted him for the details of a business, as well as 
for grasping it in its general import the power of analyzing, as well as 
of comprehending aggregations. "Horse sense," he is said to have 
called it, humorously, but by this term men mean a rough talent, and 
his was not "horse sense." Great powers of observation, of percep 
tion, which furnish food to the mind in the shape of isolated facts, 
combined with that large reason which enables a man to digest, to com 
prehend these facts and their relative value, constitute genius the 
highest order of mind the power to see and understand, to adapt, to 
apply, to read men, to divine the tendency of events, which few 
men possess. Earnest, energetic, with an indomitable will, a large 
ambition, and invincible courage, the motive force, the "power be 
hind the throne" of this great intellect, was not wanting, and the 
capability of achievement was bounded only by the limits of possi 
bility. 

That these characteristics of mind gave him capacity for a great 
commander, no man who knew him, who saw his conduct in the ad 
ministration and execution of military affairs, will doubt for a moment. 
Whether as a colonel or brigadier, he was ever active, ever watchful 
bending circumstances to his will marking the impress of his own 



378 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

character on everything he touched. For two months before he 
assumed command of the Kentucky infantry, things had been going 
rather slipshod. Colonels, lieutenant-colonels, majors and captains, 
first one, then another, had commanded, from the time of leaving 
Comite River to the arrival at Bridgeport. Camp guard, drill, police 
and picket had grown unfashionable. But at Knoxville, October, 
1862, he took charge, and the command was moved to Murfreesboro . 
Part of the brigade reached the spot designated for encampment on 
the morning of the 28th. During the ensuing night he came in with 
the remainder. Next morning there was an ominous growl somewhere 
in the neighborhood, and it was soon known that Hanson had passed 
where somebody s guard lines should have been without being either 
halted, saluted, or shot at. At dress parade, on the evening of the 
2pth, there was a long order from headquarters, and instantly affairs 
began to wear a stringent military aspect. All line officers, among 
other things, must attend drills and roll-calls, in armor and with coats 
buttoned "all who are reported for duty must do duty." Next 
morning, when the bands had scarcely sounded the reveille, he was 
observed on the officers street, going the rounds of the brigade, to see 
that the order was not evaded. Among them all he went, not neg 
lecting the battery, down among the trees, nor some loosely-constructed 
cavalry, hard by. This went on, morning after morning, and soon 
there was a promptness among officers in leaping out of blankets at 
the tap of the morning drum that was refreshing to see. He went 
everywhere, saw everything, knew everybody upon whom any re 
sponsibility rested. 

He rose constantly in the esteem of men who not only loved a strik 
ing character, but who were ready to appreciate labors devoted to the 
enhancement of their efficiency, and to the consequent good of the 
cause. But soon the fatal day came when he was removed from them. 
It was during the furious storm of shot and shell that met the division, 
after the advanced line of the Federals had been driven down the 
slope, as noticed heretofore, and could be distinctly seen by their gun 
ners on the opposite bank of -the river, that he fell. He was struck 
by a Bormann fuse, or some similar leaden contrivance for firing a 
shell. Dr. John O. Scott, of Kentucky, and Dr. Legaree, of 
Louisiana, who stanched the wound on the field, described the lead as 
having struck him near the left knee, and torn through muscles, veins 
and arteries down into the bone. He was removed to the house of 
Mr. I. J. C. Haynes, in Murfreesboro , where his wife, with Mrs. 
Gen. Breckinridge and other friends, was with him during the few re 
maining hours of his life. The practiced eye of Dr. Yandell, who 
had been sent for, saw at once that the hemorrhage had been so great 






HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 379 

as to render him incapable of bearing a surgical operation, and, in 
stead of rallying, he soon gave signs of sinking rapidly, and he seemed 
to have had but littje hope himself, from the first, that he would re 
cover. It is said that on the way from the field he met Gen. Polk, 
and, replying to some remark of his, said: "Ah! general, it is a 
glorious cause to die for." To Dr. Yandell, when told that he was 
not without faint hope, he remarked: "Well, do your best for me, 
doctor. I would like to live to see the war through. I feel that we 
are right, and ought to succeed." And after the first outburst of feel 
ing, when Gen. Breckinridge came in, during the night, he said : 
General, Dr. Yandell does not think I will live, nor do I; but I have 
this satisfaction, I shall die in a just cause, having done my duty." 

The scene around that deathbed, as described to the writer by the 
family of Mr. Haynes afterward, was such as one who loved him could 
not hear without grief and tears. The almost frantic agony of Mrs. 
Hanson; the stricken hearts of Gen. Breckinridge and family, whom 
he seemed, in those last hours of earth, when reserve was forgotten, to 
love as though they were brother, sister, sons the hours of hopeless 
v, atching over pain that could find cessation only in the dissolution of 
the sufferer all these things go to make up another among the many 
I ictures of disaster, agony, and death, which no true soldier of the 
South can contemplate without a feeling of bitter sorrow. 

He died on Sunday morning, January 4, 1863. His heart-stricken 
wife, her husband a corpse, her friends gone (the army having evacu 
ated the town the evening before), surrounded by the enemy, made 
preparations for carrying the remains into Kentucky, for sepulture, 
and set out with them, but on arriving at Nashville, the Federal com 
mandant forbade her carrying them further, and they were buried, for 
a time, in that city. In November, 1866, however, it became known 
that Mrs. Hanson desired to have him brought to Kentucky for re- 
imerment, and the soldiers who had followed him on the sanguinary 
field, claimed the privilege of transporting the body, and performing 
the rites. Accordingly, he was brought to Louisville, where honors 
were paid him by Kentucky soldiers of all arms, and religious services 
performed. The remains were then escorted to Lexington, where an 
eloquent funeral oration was delivered, on Sunday, November nth, 
by Elder Jos. Desha Pickett, first chaplain of the Second regiment, 
afterward chaplain of brigade, to an immense congregation of his 
old comrades in arms, and of citizens of the city and surrounding 
country. He was that afternoon committed to the grave in the Lex 
ington Cemetery ; and thus, at last, he sleeps near friends and home, in 
the soil that he died to defend. 

At the annual reunion of the brigade, held in Versailles in 1893, a 



380 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

committee was appointed to solicit subscriptions for the purpose of 
erecting a monument to Gen. and Mrs. Hanson the latter having died 
in 1888. This committee consisted of one member of each of the five 
infantry regiments and of the First Cavalry. Capt. Ed F. Spears, Co. 
G, Second Kentucky, was made chairman, and it was mainly through 
his generous and well-directed efforts that a sufficient sum was realized 
and the work executed. The handsome monument which now marks 
their resting place was unveiled July pth, 1895, ^ n the presence of a 
great concourse of soldiers of both armies and the citizens who came 
from far and near to witness the ceremonies. On the side of the column 
facing the graves is inscribed : The surviving members of the Orphan 
Brigade erect this stone in memory of their commander and his de 
voted wife. Let this monument witness now, and to coming genera 
tions, our knowledge of his worth, our sense of his valor, our pride in 
his patriotism, and our profound conviction that he fell in defense of a 
righteous cause. 

BRIG.-GEN. B. H. HELM. 

Ben Hardin Helm, a native of Hardin County, Kentucky, was born 
June 2d, 1831. Of illustrious parentage and excellent connection, he 
inherited, in a great measure, those powers of mind and nobility of 
character which made him afterward the admiration and pride of his 
countrymen, and placed him high on the list of Kentucky s imperish 
able names. His father was the Hon. John L. Helm, a man of not 
only wide-spread political reputation, but a pure and incorruptible 
patriot, and a Christian gentleman. He was twice Governor of Ken 
tucky, and filled minor offices of trust and profit. His mother was 
Lucinda Barbour Hardin, a daughter of that prodigy of legal learning, 
political sagacity, and peculiar eloquence the famous "kitchen 
knife," as the eccentric Randolph expressed it, among the little blades 
in Congress and at the bar Ben Hardin, of Bardstown. She was 
related to the family of the gallant Maj. Philip N. Barbour, who fell at 
Monterey. 

Gen. Helm received his literary education in the seminary at Eliza- 
bethtown, where he early displayed great vigor of mind, enabling him 
to complete the ordinary course at the age of fifteen. In the winter ol" 
1846, he went to the Kentucky Military Institute, then in charge of 
Col. R. T. P. Allen, who afterward commanded a regiment of Texans 
in the army of the Trans-Mississippi. He remained here three months, 
after which, June 2d, 1847, having just completed his sixteenth year, he 
entered the West Point Military Academy. He graduated at this in 
stitution, high in his class, in 1851, and was brevetted second lieutenam 




BRIG. -GEN. BEX IIARDIN HELM. 



HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 381 

in the Second Cavalry, with which he was ordered to the frontiers of 
J exas. He served here about six months, when, having been at- 
ticked with inflammatory rheumatism, rendering him wholly unfit for 
duty, and his chances for recovery becoming more and more dubious, 
he obtained leave of absence, and returned home. He was thoroughly 
imbued with the spirit of his profession, and cherished the hope that 
he might yet be able to rejoin the " Old Second Dragoons," as he 
loved to call his regiment; but it was now a time of profound peace, 
and, even had his health admitted, there was little opportunity for at 
taining to distinction in the army. He yielded, therefore, but against 
his inclinations, to the wishes of his father, and, shortly after his 
return to Hardin, resigned his position. Ambitious of renown, to 
b-j won in some field of useful enterprise, he resolved to enter the 
profession of law, and accordingly devoted himself to study under the 
direction of his father. He soon entered the Department of Law in 
the University of Louisville, and graduated in the spring of 1853. 
During this year he went to Cambridge, Massachusetts, and spent six 
months there, after which he returned home, and began practice with 
h > father; afterward formed a partnership with Col. Martin H. Cofer r 
with whom he was some time connected at Elizabethtown. 

In 1855, he was chosen to represent Hardin County in the legisla 
ture, and during the two years in which he sat in that body, he acquit 
ted himself with such credit displaying a legal acumen and large ac 
quirements, seldom found in one so young, with a devotion to business 
arid the interests of his constituents that, in 1856, he was elected 
commonwealth s attorney for his judicial district. While a member of 
the legislature, he met with Miss Emily Todd, an estimable lady, 
daughter of Robert S. Todd, Esq., of Lexington, and was married to 
her in 1856. In 1858, actuated, perhaps, by a desire for a more ex 
tensive field of business, he went to Louisville, and entered upon the 
practice there. He now engaged, with all the ardor of his nature, in 
the duties of his profession. Great talents, in a high state of cultiva 
tion ; a lofty sense of honor, that could not stoop to the little tricks of 
a mere pettifogger; undeviating consistency and integrity of purpose 
habits which enabled him to pay close attention to the interests of his 
clients ; more than ten years varied experience in intercourse with 
men in almost every capacity, with the kindest heart and the most en 
gaging manners these qualities and accomplishments he possessed at 
the age of twenty-seven. Naturally he rose rapidly, taking rank in a 
short time with the ablest of the Louisville bar. 

Hon. H. W. Bruce, his brother-in-law, who formed a partnership 
with him shortly after he located in Louisville, and with whom he 
practiced until both gentlemen went South and united their fortunes. 



384 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. 

to attempt anything was to display ability, and win the warm enco 
miums of those who observed him. 

On the iyth of April, Beauregard announced the promotion of 
Helm to brigadier, to rank from the i4th of March, and he was or 
dered to report to Gen. Breckinridge, which he did