Recollections of the War Between the States.
It was my privilege to belong to the 14th Illinois Cavalry. It was organized under discouraging circumstances. In the summer of 1868, Horace Capron of Peoria County, was authorized to raise the 18th Illinois Cavalry, David Jenkins, of La Salle County, the 14th and Col. Hancock of Peoria the 15th. The country had been depleted of able bodied men during the summer in filling the heavy draft made on it. In Illinois especially, after more than enough had enlisted to fill the demand, the voice of the people said that those remaining must stay at home to care for farming, manufacturing and other pursuits.
Recruiting being slow, the three regiments were consolidated and placed into one camp. This threw out one-half of those expecting commissions, creating great disappointment among the men who expected to be officered by their friends. For four months recruiting had been in progress. The disappointed recruiting officers left camp sullen and angry. Their friends in the regiment shared this feeling.
In the contest for the command of the regiment Col. Capron won. The war Governor Richard Yates, preferred him to Jenkins or Hancock. In former years he had commanded a Maryland light-horse cavalry regiment and seemed to take to military life. Before the war he was president of the State Agricultural society. On a large farm he raised fancy stock, and was an all around man of affairs. He personally inspected every horse which came to the regiment. As a result, we had splendid horses.
My company (Company L) was awarded the "blacks." In the first Bull Run battle the Virginia Black Horse cavalry had become famous.
On the march, wherever we approached people, as soon as their eyes rested on the blacks, would exclaim: "Here comes the Black Horse cavalry."
459Expecting to be a member of the 18th cavalry, I went into camp the same day that Col. Capron did, and was always in close touch with him. Before leaving Peoria one day the officer of the day came to the adjutant's office and reported to me that a squad of the Chicago recruits were drinking and quarreling in their barracks. I reported the trouble to Colonel Capron. We both went to the barracks, found the door barricaded, the recruits being on the inside having a jolly good time. We forced an opening.
Colonel Capron sprang into the midst of the wild crowd, had every man arrested and placed in the guardhouse. One man raised his revolver and cried out that if anyone approached him to arrest him, he would shoot him dead. This maniac was handcuffed. The tumult was quickly stopped. After that the men of the regiment respected the orders of Colonel Capron, and obeyed him promptly.
David P. Jenkins, who had been a member of the State Legislature from La Salle County, was commissioned lieutenant colonel. He was a pet of Governor Yates. As an officer he was never a success in the regiment.
When the horses were brought to camp, the officers were permitted to select their mounts and pay the Government for them. I chose a beautiful black Morgan, docile, and as kind as a kitten, with powers of great endurance.
One day shortly afterwards. Colonel Jenkins went to the stables and selected his horse. It happened to be my black Morgan, and before I knew anything about it. Colonel Jenkins had possession of my horse, with his servant standing guard over him. Colonel Jenkins and myself collided. I knocked him out.
Colonel Capron was called to settle the question of ownership, and decided I had the best title.
After a long march one day, Colonel Jenkins commanding the regiment, we went into camp. Jenkins directed Captain Dent to occupy a graveyard. He declined and selected another place to camp, and Jenkins placed Dent under arrest, never recovering from the blunder. Captain Dent was from Galena, and was a cousin of Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, and one of our most gallant and accomplished officers.
A cabal was formed among the officers which gave Jenkins a great deal of trouble. I was not in it.
Colonel Hancock dropped out entirely, and Francis M. Davidson of Anna, David Quigg of Bloomington and H. Tompkins of Fairfield were commissioned the three majors. All of these men had seen three months' service. Col. T. J. Pickett, State Senator, and Rock Island
460editor, was to have been one of the majors, but he found the chances against him. He afterwards raised a regiment of 100-day men and Governor Yates made him colonel.
Colonel Pickett threw his mantle on Captain David Benson, who had served in the three months' campaign, and endeavored to have him commissioned major. The outlook seemed to be favorable. About this time, in Rock Island, George Harris and others purchased Dr. Clacius' pony and presented it to Captain Benson, who was slight in weight and form.
The pony was shipped to Peoria, but after its arrival in camp Captain Benson never appeared there again. The pony was sold for its keep, and Captain Benson was not made a major.
Captain George Dodge of Port Byron was to have been a major in the 18th. He had served in the regular army, as well as in Colonel Dickey's 4th Illinois cavalry. Believing there would be no question about getting the appointment, he had Smythe make him a splendid uniform. He went with the Rock Island recruits to Peoria, and took with him two fine horses he had used in the 4th Illinois. When Colonel Capron was absent. Captain Dodge was always in command of the camp. He was six feet in height, well proportioned and had an erect carriage. He was the beau ideal of a soldier.
After the three regiments had been centered in one camp and the fight for commissions had reached its height, one evening. Colonel Capron being absent and Dodge in command, I was sitting with Dodge in the colonel's quarters when a volley of stones struck the building and crash vent the glass in the windows. I stepped forward to open the door, when another volley struck the building. Going out, I found a howling mob, which claimed to be seeking Dodge. I went into the crowd, and asked for an explanation. They said Dodge had cussed them and swore at them and that they would not submit to this kind of treatment and that he must leave camp.
While I was making an effort to quiet the mob. Dodge discovered what was doing. He left the building from the rear, got into a nearby cornfield and escaped. He never returned to the regiment.
I always believed that Major Davidson, to save his own scalp, organized the mob for the purpose of getting Dodge out of the way. He recruited the men who composed the rioters. We had no more skillful or competent officer in the regiment than Major Davidson.
He was promoted to colonel over Lieutenant Colonel Jenkins, when Capron resigned in January, 1865. After the close of the war he lost his life in the premature explosion of a shell he was examining. Jenkins resigned and Quigg was made lieutenant colonel. After the war he
461formed a law partnership with his brother-in-law, Leonard Swett. They established offices in Chicago, where he has since lived. Mr. Swett was with Lincoln during the war as an adviser. Quigg at times would read a portion of Swett's letters to me, and they were intensely interesting. Colonel Quigg is one of Nature's noblemen.
Major Tompkins was a brilliant lawyer in his day, living in Wayne County. After the war he settled on a section of land as a farmer. In later years he lived the life of a recluse. He died at the age of 84 years, about five years ago.
When he resigned I was commissioned major to fill the vacancy. The pay of the officer did not commence until the day he was mustered into the United States service. We went into camp September 12, 1862, and I was mustered January 7, 1863. I served four months as adjutant, and assisted in organizing this element of raging factions into what finally became one of the best disciplined and finest bodies of soldiers recruited during the war.
I received no pay for this service until 1907, forty-five years afterwards, when I received a government voucher for my services as adjutant.
Before leaving for the front. Captain Washington, of the regular army, came to our camp to muster the regiment into the service. In conversation at the officers' mess one day. Captain Washington announced that under no circumstances would he go to the front. We did not know whether he was disloyal or whether he had a great repugnance to fighting.
He did go to the front afterwards, and the unfortunate man was killed at Vicksburg.
One of our rules was to visit the sentinels during the night to see if they were doing their duty. One night in making my rounds, I heard a man crying and moaning. I went up to him, and found it was Silas Valentine, one of my youngest soldiers. I asked him what was wrong, and he explained that he wished to go home, and that he greatly regretted having enlisted. I took his place and stood sentinel for him, requesting him to take a walk. That poor fellow died in a hospital at Knoxville, Tenn., from homesickness. Three brothers, if not four, from this family, went into the war never to return. I met their venerable, brave, gray-haired mother after the war. Cornelia, the noble Roman mother of the Grachii, was no more patriotic than this splendid type of the American mother.
One day before we left Peoria, the officer of the guard ordered a soldier in his own company to perform some duty. The man was sullen and evidently determined not to obey orders. He started toward the
462guard house to surrender himself. The officer called to the soldier to halt or he would shoot. The soldier then turned his steps towards headquarters. Again the officer ordered him to halt or he would shoot, at the same moment firing his Colt's army revolver.
The ball went through the right side of the soldier. He continued to move away and the officer again fired, the ball passing through the right hand. I heard the firing and stepped to the door. As the soldier came up, he fell near me from loss of blood. This soldier served three years faithfully as a nurse in the hospital and left the army with a crippled and paralyzed hand. Shortly after this incident the officer resigned his commission.
The thorough sifting of the regiment of its bad elements left in it the most patriotic and determined men. The dissatisfaction which had existed in the different companies because their friends and leaders failed in securing commissions had been healed, and drill and discipline made the men self-reliant and prompt in performing their official duties.
When the orders came to go to the front they were eager for the fray. On March 28, 1863, the orders came. The train loaded with men, camp and horse equipment and horses moved out at sunset, and away we went bounding over the prairies of Illinois and Indiana to Louisville, Kentucky.
While passing through Indiana, the train carrying the soldiers stopped at a country station. Expecting a profitable harvest, the owner of a small eating house had on hand a big lot of pies, cakes and other supplies. The soldiers swarmed out of the cars, each man helping himself without asking leave. In ten minutes not a crumb could be picked up. The soldiers then ran back to the cars, the train moved out, and the unfortunate Hoosier was left without securing one penny of compensation. I regret to add that Job L. Grace of Berlin, Mercer County, a member of my company, was one of the attacking parties. While in the field afterwards, he developed an instinct for finding something good to eat and as a forager that made him a character in the regiment. As a scout he was alert and vigilant and made a good soldier. He won a lieutenant's commission before he returned from the war. With thousands of others he has long since been dead.
The Story and Incidents of the Celina Campaign.
On March 31, 1863, we went into camp near the city of Louisville, Kentucky. We drew Colt's army revolvers, a Burnside carbine, and with the saber, we were fully armed.
We remained in camp until April 12, when we struck our tents and marched for southern Kentucky. Glasgow was our destination as headquarters. The state was bubbling over with war excitement. It was supposed that General Bragg was getting ready to invade Kentucky. General Joe Wheeler, with 10,000 cavalry and headquarters at McMinnville, was overrunning eastern and southern Kentucky with his legions. He was principally engaged in gathering supplies, and guarding Bragg's right wing. As we passed through the state with our magnificently equipped and newly formed cavalry regiment, the Union element cheered us on our way and received us with enthusiasm. General John H. Morgan and Humphrey Marshall, with Sparta as their base of supplies, had several times successfully raided southern Kentucky. Green River which we had to cross, was very high. We had permission to cross the river on the bridge 80 feet above the water, with two planks laid lengthwise for a floor. There were no side supports to the bridge.
As a test one of the soldiers crossed the bridge, leading his horse. After that test, we decided to take the chances of crossing by swimming our horses instead of passing over the bridge. The river was running swiftly, and some of the horses, failing to swim, floundered in the strong current. They would go down, strike bottom, and again come to the surface, plunging fearfully. The men stood the ordeal well and we crossed over without losing a man or a horse. My black Morgan took me over beautifully. That night we went into camp, the men looking more like drowned rats than soldiers,
Arriving at Glasgow, we were hardly given time to eat a soldier's dinner and feed our horses when 600 of the 14th and 300 men each from the 5th Indiana cavalry and the 107th Illinois infantry, and one section of the Elgin battery, all at Glasgow when we arrived, started for the Cumberland River.
Colonel Graham of the 5th Indiana was in command, of the brigade. It was a night march over mountains and through ravines. It was pitch dark, and this with bad roads, delayed our progress.
The vocal telegraph came into play during that night of terror. The commanding officer would inquire if the command was all up. This question was repeated by other officers in the line, until the rear of the column was reached. When the response came back, "Column all right," the command would move on again.
We fed our horses and took coffee and hard tack near Tompkinsville, our destination being near Celina, on the south bank of the Cumberland River, which we reached about 4:00 o'clock in the afternoon. This was a depot of supplies for the southern army, from which they were sent down the river to Nashville.
Colonel Graham called for 300 men to volunteer to swim the river, then running very high, and charge the enemy on the other side in the village. The artillery was planted on an elevated point, and booming shells flew thick and fast.
Soon a great column of fire and smoke told us the town was burning. The confederates raised a white flag, and proposed to surrender the town and 600 prisoners. A small party in a boat carrying a flag of truce went over to arrange terms of surrender.
Before reaching the opposite side of the river, our men were fired upon and they returned. Every precaution was taken to guard our camp during the night.
The next morning, a portion of the 14th with Colonel Capron first crossed over, followed by a portion of the 5th Indiana under Lieutenant Colonel Butler. A line of battle was formed and Captain Dent was ordered to advance with his squadron. He did so and drove the enemy before him in full retreat. The whole line was advanced and the confederates were driven from the field.
Nestled in the mountains, Celina was the retreat of guerillas as well as Colonel Hamilton's command. These we had to fight.
In the evening after dark, as Colonel Graham and myself were sitting on the steps of the hotel watching our men bringing a hundred barrels of Bourbon whisky out of the cellar and knocking in the heads of the barrels, letting the contents run into a gutter leading to the river, a squad of cavalry rode into the village on a dash, rode among our men, fired a volley, and as quickly retreated. Bullets whistled all around us but not a man was hit. It was a daring act. We supposed every avenue and country path leading into the village was guarded. That night our
465The next morning Adjutant O'Neil of the 5th Indiana cavalry asked me to go across the river with him and see if we could find any trace of the enemy. A small boy accompanied O'Neil. We crossed over, O'Neil and the boy going around the left side and I going around the right side of the village.
After making quite a detour and meeting each other, we found no signs of Colonel Hamilton or his men. I think this was the most reckless act of my military career. O'Neil claimed to have received military training, and I submitted to his request without thinking of results. If we had found any of the men we were fighting, the chances are that both of us would have been killed or captured. We should have taken a squad of soldiers with us.
Lieutenant O'Neil was a skillful officer and made quite a brilliant record in the 5th Indiana cavalry. After the war he became famous as General O'Neil and led a Fenian raid into Canada,
We returned to Glasgow, and while there we received a battery of Howitzers, which we could take with us wherever we marched, and which added great strength to our regiment.
We had scarcely left Celina when Hamilton emerged from his mountain hiding. That part of Kentucky was infested with guerillas and bushwhackers. It was their home.
They always avoided a fair and open fight. Whenever pursued, even by an inferior force, they would run to their hiding places. When our small parties would sally out they would try to ambush our soldiers, and seek in every way to murder them while skulking and keeping under cover.
A few days after our return to Glasgow, news came that Hamilton had crossed the river, entered Tompkinsville and burned the court house. His command had killed several Union citizens and committed other depredations.
Detachments from our brigade again left in pursuit of Hamilton, but he ran away and again nestled and hid in his mountain home. Generals Pegram and Morgan were advancing north. In a skirmish the 14th captured sixteen prisoners. In his official dispatches General Burnside states that the work of our brigade in the Celina campaign was very satisfactory, and highly commended Colonel Graham, its commander.
Colonel Graham in his official report says that during the operations we killed forty of the enemy, captured thirty-six prisoners, two 12-pound Howitzers, forty horses and mules, forty boats and a large quantity of other supplies, consisting of whisky, corn, wheat, flour, sugar, coffee, tea and meats. Our loss was two killed.
During May and June of that year our brigade was kept busy in sending out scouting parties, to watch the movements of the enemy. In June, General Morgan was advancing and preparing for his great raid through Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio. Hamilton was busy lurking around, and darted back to cover whenever pursued. He would cross the river and make a descent on some unprotected point and quickly retreat.
At Scottsville was a small guard of our men to protect the sick in the hospital. The guard was attacked and overpowered and the sick murdered in their beds. Finally a large detachment was sent against Hamilton, striking his camp June 9.
We crossed the river at Turkey Neck Bend, followed a mountain trail cut out of the side of the mountain, and surprised and captured a picket guarding the approach to the camp. We made a quick dash to capture Hamilton if possible in his camp, but owing to a premature attack of a portion of our force, the enemy escaped through a loophole not fully closed. Hamilton barely escaped by mounting, barebacked, his iron gray horse, and riding through a volley sent after him. He left his hat, sword and a trunk containing his private papers, payroll of his command and $25,000 in confederate money.
We killed a small number, captured a few prisoners, two small pieces of artillery, several hundred stands of arms and some wagons, and a lot of horses and mules. Starting about dark to return, our descent down the mountain path was perilous.
Hearing shots in our extreme rear, we supposed Hamilton had rallied his men, and that we were being attacked. The shots were explained, however. A load of guns had been placed in a wagon to accompany us and the wagon broke down. Our rear guard set fire to the wagon and when the heat reached the powder, pop! pop! the guns went off, creating quite a sensation in our ranks.
In descending the rugged path with great mountains on our right and great ravines on our left, danger seemed to confront us everywhere. One trooper got too near the edge of the cliff and slid down the abyss with his horse and was dashed to death.
The darkness became so intense that finally every man dismounted, and hugging the right bank of the mountain, led his horse in single file. The head of the column lost the trail and the command was forced to halt. In this position we remained until early dawn, when we became extricated and soon crossed the river.
Hamilton had declined to obey the orders of his superiors, and practically he was an outlaw. General John Morgan had ordered him to
467report to his brother. Colonel Dick Morgan. Hamilton refused to obey. We smashed his camp and burned everything we could not carry away.
This expedition through which our soldiers, not seasoned, passed, and the exposures incident to the trip, caused many cases of pneumonia and much sickness existed after our return to Glasgow. Many deaths occurred in our command.
I left Adjutant Carpenter sick at the hotel and took his place in the 14th on this occasion. Stricken with pneumonia on our return, I occupied the same room with him. Never before nor since have I been so near death's door.
Daily he pleaded with me to resign with him, he claiming that the service was too severe for either of us to ever return home if we remained. He resigned. I did not.
Boarding at the same hotel in which I had a room was a kind-hearted, amiable lady with her 17 year old son. When my condition permitted me to indulge in delicacies, this angel of mercy came to see me every day, bringing with her something palatable for me. Her husband was in the southern army. One morning the bird and her nestling were missing. The night before being very dark, she succeeded in getting through our lines to join her friends, with whom I hope she was happy and contented. God bless her if she is living. If she is not living I know she is with the angels.
Morgan's Raid and Some Incidents Connected With It.
In June, 1863, General John H. Morgan, commanding a cavalry force in the confederate army, asked General Joseph Wheeler's permission, who held a superior rank, to invade Kentucky, march upon Louisville with 2,000 men, capture the city and destroy whatever public property could be found. Morgan supposed the Federal forces then stationed in Louisville did not exceed 300 soldiers. Permission was given him to take 1,500 men from Wheeler's command and carry out his suggestion. Morgan was instructed to destroy the Louisville and Nashville railroad and all depots of supplies in Kentucky he could reach. He had no authority to cross the Ohio River. He was especially urged by General Wheeler to do his work quickly in Kentucky, and return rapidly to General Bragg's support. If Morgan discovered Union forces advancing against Bragg, he was instructed to get in their rear, and harass them in every way he could.
The troops stationed at Glasgow, both cavalry and infantry, in the spring of 1863, suffered greatly from sickness, especially pneumonia. Many died and others were discharged for disability. When the cavalry in Kentucky started after Morgan, the convalescents and others unable to go with us were organized into one body and Major Quigg of the 14th placed in command. He was to use his men in defending Glasgow and southern Kentucky. He had all he could attend to during the days we were in pursuit of Morgan.
General H. M. Judah, commanding the third division, was the ranking officer serving with troops in the field. On the 22d of June he learned that Morgan was marching north. The first brigade of Judah's division. General M. D. Manson, moved to Scottsville, expecting to attack Morgan at Carthage or Gallatin. The latter suddenly fell back and turned toward Celina and Burkesville. The first brigade moved to Tompkinsville and the second brigade. General Edward H. Hobson, moved to Marrowbone, points which seemed to cover Morgan's approaches. The first brigade, second division. General J. M. Shackleford was at Ray's Crossroads.
On the 3d of July, General Hobson repulsed Morgan at Marrowbone. General Manson was promptly ordered up, and the following day, the great 4th, General Judah, expected to attack Morgan vigorously, when it was ascertained that the bird had flown. He had given us the slip and was moving rapidly north.
General Manson was ordered to Glasgow, and General Judah with the cavalry started in pursuit of Morgan. Colonel Capron was assigned to a brigade, composed of the 14th Illinois, 5th Indiana and 11th Kentucky cavalry, numbering about 1,200 men.
Colonel O. H. Moore, of the 25th Michigan infantry, had a fight with Morgan July 4th at Green River bridge or Tebb's bend. In his report he says the battle commenced at 3:30 a. m. and lasted three hours and a half. The enemy retreated after a loss of 50 killed and 200 wounded. He says the most of Morgan's command was in the action, and about 200 of his own men were engaged. Forty men under Lieutenant Hogan, of the 8th Michigan, successfully repulsed a cavalry charge made by the confederates at the ford and held it. Morgan under a flag of truce, before he attacked, demanded the surrender of the Union forces and the stockade. Moore replied that the 4th of July was a bad day for a patriot to surrender, and then made a gallant defense.
Green River at this time was very high. General Judah, with whom was Colonel Capron's brigade, had to cross his whole force by ferry at Vaughan's Ferry. This delayed the command thirty-six hours. He made no effort to join the pursuing force under Hobson, but marched with a view of intercepting Morgan if he attempted to retreat after crossing the Louisville and Nashville railroad. Judah moved to Elizabethtown, and from there to Leitchfield. Here he learned Morgan was on the Ohio River below Louisville. From information received through prisoners of high rank Judah claims that the disposition of his command forced Morgan to take the line of march he did, and cross the Ohio River, his only avenue of escape. The official record states that Morgan entered Kentucky with 2,743 men. When he had reached the Ohio River, his number had increased to about 4,000 men. Many of the young men of Kentucky, inspired by his fame and reckless daring, flocked to his standard.
On the 5th of July, Morgan arrived at Lebanon, and attacked the 20th Kentucky, 380 men, commanded by Colonel Hanson. After being warmly resisted Morgan set the town on fire, and the Union forces surrendered. The depot and other buildings were burned. Captain Tom Morgan, the general's brother, was killed with others while charging down the street upon the depot. Dr. E.H. Wheeler, a member of the
47020th, in describing this fight, says that after the surrender General Morgan came into the depot, caught Colonel Hanson by the beard with one hand, and with a revolver in the other acted as if he would shoot. He cried out:
"You have killed my brother Tom."
They knew each other personally, both having lived in Lexington.
Colonel Hanson replied: "John, you can kill me, but cannot scare me."
Morgan let go his hold, and said to Colonel Hanson: "Charles, when you go home, if it is any source of gratification to you, tell mother you have killed brother Tom."
On the 6th of July, Hobson arrived at Lebanon with the 9fh and 12th Kentucky cavalry. General Shackleford with the 8th Kentucky and a battalion of the 3d Kentucky cavalry and one section of the 22d Indiana battery. Soon after Colonel Wolford, from Somerset, came in with the 1st Kentucky cavalry, 2d Ohio, 7th Ohio and a battery of four mounted Howitzers. General Hobson was instructed by General Burnside to consolidate, and assume command of these troops, overtake Morgan if possible, cut him on and break him to pieces before he got out of the state. This command numbered about 2,500 men.
General Hobson left Lebanon on the evening of the 6th, reaching Bardstown the next morning. Morgan had taken the Shepherdsville road, and Hobson followed him. At Brown's tanyard he learned Morgan had gone to Bardstown Junction, on the Louisville and Nashville railroad, which last point the Federal commander reached in the evening. Here Morgan captured a train of cars, destroyed the United States mail and rifled the safe of the express company. After being released the train returned to Elizabethtown. Hobson received rations during the night and the next morning the pursuit was continued. On the evening of the 8th he learned Morgan had captured two boats and was crossing into Indiana, and that a gunboat and transport with troops were at Bock Haven. The morning of the 9th Hobson reached the river bank, to find the steamer Alice Dean on the opposite side in flames, and Morgan in Indiana. He had crossed the night before.
Brandenburg, where Morgan crossed is on the Ohio River. While he was passing over to the Indiana side, two pieces of artillery supported by Union troops were in full view of him, it is claimed. One gunboat and transports were not far from him. It is asserted that not a shot was fired at Morgan while he was passing over the river, and that he was permitted to ferry his men over without molestation. A night attack by the troops in that vicinity, or even a demonstration against Morgan
471would have had a demoralizing effect. The conduct of the Federal forces at this time has always been sharply criticized. It has never been satisfactorily explained.
After Morgan had crossed the Ohio River, the excitement in Indiana and Ohio was intense. He was compelled to cross the river or fight the force which was pursuing him, and that to him meant defeat. He always cautiously avoided a battle. Messages flew over the wires, from the President, Governor, army officers, and many others. Morgan failed to find the sympathy in southern Indiana he had expected, and robbing stores, mills and dwellings, burning barges and destroying railroads and other public property made him no friends.
At 2:00 o'clock on the morning of the 10th, Hobson had crossed the river, following Morgan at daylight in the direction of Corydon. Morgan's line of march was blackened and marked by the burning of farmhouses, depots, bridges and mills. After destroying the railroad depots and looting the stores the enemy left Madison by way of Lexington. Hobson reached the latter place in the evening. From here Morgan went north toward Mount Vernon, threatening the latter place with a small force, while the main column moved to Versailles.
At Versailles the citizens had assembled in the courthouse to devise ways and means of defense if attacked by Morgan. Suddenly he came upon them, remonstrated with them and insisted they should behave as peaceable citizens. He took possession of their arms and other weapons of defense and burned them up. From this last point Morgan was pursued to Harrison on the state line between Indiana and Ohio. He marched to Whitewater River, and, after crossing it, burned the bridge.
In about an hour our troops appeared on the scene, and were greatly delayed in getting over the artillery and fording the river. The pursuers arrived on the 11th at Glendale and halted at Newberry at night. The next morning they marched to Batavia, the enemy taking the road leading to Portsmouth, but suddenly changed direction and moved toward Piketon.
July 14, Colonel Sanders joined General Hobson's command with the 8th and 9th Michigan cavalry and one section of the 11th Michigan battery. Colonel Kautz, with the 7th and 2d Ohio cavalry, took the advance. He was directed to bring Morgan to a stand if possible, and attack him with vigor, but did not succeed in this. At Jasper, Morgan burned the bridge over the canal, which again delayed our troops until the bridge was rebuilt.
Hobson halted at Jackson on the evening of the 17th, and found the enemy had burned the railroad depot and had moved in the direction of
472Pomeroy. At this last point Morgan was repulsed. Hobson moved out at 3:00 o'clock on the morning of the 18th, Morgan moving toward Buffington Island, on the Ohio River.
While General Hobson's command was engaged as has been related, General Judah, whose former movements we have described above, returned to Elizabethtown, took cars and went by rail to Louisville, where his command was hurriedly placed on steamboats and started up the Ohio River. At Cincinnati fresh horses were received, and the fleet moved up, reaching Portsmouth on the 16th, disembarked, and at 9:00 p. m. started for Fair Oaks and Portland, a distance of 30 miles. Judah having learned that Morgan was advancing on Centralia, pushed rapidly to that point, and there ascertained he had changed his course and was moving in the direction of Keystone Furnace. On the morning of the 18th Judah continued his march toward Pomeroy. He marched on the right flank of the enemy between him and the river while Morgan was advancing toward Buffington Island. Judah and Hobson having formed a junction, both commands were closing in around Morgan and pressing him with vigor. Judah made a night march reaching Buffington Island about 5:00 o'clock in the morning of the 19th. The fog was heavy. With a small force he advanced to reconnoiter, and ran into Colonel Duke's command of Morgan's force. Duke's command took one piece of Henshaw's Illinois battery, and captured Judah's adjutant and aid and 20 or 30 men. Major McCook, paymaster and volunteer aid, fell mortally wounded. He was father of several distinguished officers in our army. We saw him as he sat upon his horse in the streets of Cincinnati, and he seemed to be eager for the fray. I have always thought his death was an unnecessary sacrifice, and that to prove himself to the world a worthy sire of brave and gallant sons he voluntarily joined the expedition.
By his side was a young man, also mounted, who it was said, was his youngest son. He was clothed in black velveteen, wore a tight fitting cavalry jacket, rode a fine horse elegantly equipped, and posed as a cavalier of modern times.
Judah's whole force soon became engaged. Morgan's men were driven into Hobson's command and the prisoners who had been captured and the piece of artillery were retaken, as well as a large number of confederate prisoners taken. The gunboat on the river opened fire on the enemy, thus aiding in his demoralization.
About the time Judah struck Morgan's forces in the early morning, Hobson's command under General Shackelford and Colonel Wolford having favorable positions, intercepted and captured a large number of the
473raiders. Colonel Basil Duke and Colonel Dick Morgan, brother of the general, with others, were made prisoners. Before the war I met Colonel Duke in Rock Island.
General Judah wishing to assume command of all the Union forces on the field, General Hobson protested. Judah was the ranking officer, but Hobson had been placed in command at Lebanon of the troops he led by General Burnside, and insisted he was not subject to orders from Judah. In the meantime, all the forces which had been in pursuit, pressed Morgan closer and closer, and finally succeeded in breaking up his command. The great bulk of the raiding confederates was captured at Buffington, Indiana. About 500 succeeded in crossing the river.
An amusing controversy arose as to who was entitled to the honor of capturing three or four pieces of artillery which Morgan had abandoned. He had not time to destroy these, and there being no road over which he could take them, one of the pieces was hastily thrown over the river bank, and the other three dumped into a ravine. Captain O'Neil of the 5th Indiana, afterward famous as a Fenian leader in the invasion of Canada, claimed the guns as his trophies, while Lieutenant Fitch of the gunboat, insisted that the piece on the river bank was his trophy. Colonel Sanders' friends said he was first on the ground and should have the honor of capturing these harmless dogs of war.
When the final surrender was made it was supposed and understood that the whole of Morgan's force was included in the surrender, but General Morgan, the sly fox, escaped up the river with about 600 of his men.
On the morning of the 20th General Shackelford called for 1,000 volunteers to go with him in pursuit, and stay in the saddle without eating or sleeping until Morgan was captured. Only 500 of the entire command responded. The 14th Illinois cavalry at the head of which was Colonel Capron, furnished 157 of these. Colonel Wolford, with detachments of the 1st Kentucky, 3d Tennessee, 2d and 54th Ohio and other small numbers, joined the party. After traveling day and night and skirmishing with the enemy from time to time, we finally struck him at Washington, Ohio, on the 24th. We attacked him and killed and wounded a number of his men. As we dashed through the town the entire population lined the streets, the women especially showing great excitement, swinging their hats and cheering.
One beautiful young woman stood on a knoll in advance and elevated above the others swinging her hat and cheering gleefully. After the war I had some correspondence with the doctor she married, who insisted I should come and visit with them in Ohio, and remain with them a week.
We doubt if a cavalry charge was ever made before or since in the midst of so many brave, cultivated and charming women. We were all hungry, thirsty, sleepy, tired and dusty and the citizens, as we learned afterward were anxious and ready to supply our wants, but there was no time for comfort and repose. Morgan made a stand one mile east of the town in a dense woods. In line of battle we advanced and drove him from his cover. He fell back about two miles, tore up a bridge over a rugged stream and took a strong position on a hill. General Shackelford in alluding to this in his report, says:
"The advance moved upon his left flank, while a portion of the 14th Illinois cavalry crossed the stream just above the bridge, and moved up the hill in the face of a heavy fire from the enemy; steadily they moved up and drove him before them."
Saturday morning, the 35th, we traveled parallel roads and again ran into the enemy about a mile from Athens. Here we charged Morgan, and away he went pell-mell, into the woods. Sunday morning, the 26th, we found him near Salineville advancing toward Smith's. Ford, on the Ohio River, in the hope of crossing there. Major Rue, of the 9th Kentucky cavalry, had joined us with about 375 fresh men and horses. Lieutenant Colonel Way of the 9th Michigan, also reinforced us with four companies of his regiment. He had given chase to Morgan the day before and had driven him through Richmond. This Sunday morning he again crowded him closely. Near Salineville he made a charge, captured a few prisoners, and the carriage which Morgan rode in at times. Lieutenant Fisk was wounded in this charge.