We marched all day to Campbellsville late at night. The New Years day we reached Columbia, Ky. at 3 P.M. and marched all night towards Burksville. Today many heard cannonading which was the guns at Murfreesboro, no doubt. (At Columbia old Champ Ferguson asked Morgan for two companies to go with him to capture some bushwhackers (Co. G and Co. F of 9th Tenn.) On towards Burksville a number of miles off to the left and east of the road the command was traveling. We rode some 40 miles that night, cold and very dark. We came to Capt. Elum Huddleston house at 11 P. M. and he was there with three men. We surrounded the house and demanded his surrender but he answered us by shooting at us with a repeating rifle, so we all fired at him. He was upstairs in a log house and in a short time one of the men upstairs said they should surrender if we would take them prisoner. Capt John W. Wiseman of Co. G. my company said to them we would not hurt them. Champ Furguson rode up and broke in the door and rushing upstairs and came dragging Capt. E. Huddleston down the stairs and out in the yard and cut his throat. We felt very mad that he did this but he explained that Capt. Elum Huddleston had burned his house and outraged his wife and daughter a few months before and he had swore vengeance against him and his men who were at the outrage. The three men with Huddleston were not in the party so Champ Ferguson did not kill them. We took them prisoners. We went out 3 or 4 miles when Champ Furguson and two of his men went into a yard and knocked the door open and cut the throat of two men before they could get up. They were two of Capt Huddlestons men who were at his house at the time his house was burned and his family abused. This was not our way of fighting and we did not enjoy his company but we could not blame him as he related the story about his family. We rode all night and next day we caught up the command at Burksville, Ky. and we crossed the Cumberland River Jan. 2, 1863, when we were safe from the Federal Army that was following us. On this ride we had captured about 1,800 prisoners, we had shot 30 men killed and wounded. We killed and wounded many more of the enemy than we lost. They ended their 10 day raid into Kentucky which was very successful, but the exposure and hardship we endured is very hard to explain at this date so one can fully comprehend the trials we had.
We reached Smithville, Tennessee the 4th of January 1863. We camped several days there. We moved to McMinnville Tenn the 14th of January where we remained several days, picketing and scouting with 5 or 6 inches of snow on the ground, very cold no tents only a blanket or oil cloth spread over three or four fence rails for covering. We would have fire in front of our bed. We enjoyed the rest we had here for a few days. It was very rough but much better than on the raid we had just made into Kentucky.
On the 23rd of January, Breckenridge's Brigade was ordered to Liberty, Tenn. 11 miles from Smithville and about 30 miles from McMinnville. Three regiments of us, the 3rd Ky. under Lieut Colonel Huffman, the 9th Ky. under Lieut Colonel Stover and the 9th Tenn under Colonel William Ward. The Federal Army at Murfreesboro would send out foraging trains from Milton and Readyville, long wagon trains guarded by 4 or 5 thousand men. Was almost constantly skirmishing, picketing and scouting. Colonel Hutchenson was killed at Milton also Capt Cossitt of Co. F of Wards Reg. 9th Tenn. and others. I was sick with jaundice at the time for two weeks unable for duty but after this I was always in line. Only time was sick during my three years service in the Confederate Army.
While we were at Liberty I was in many skirmishes and fights with the Yankees as we called them. A heavy force would often attack us and we would have quite a battle of half an hour or more and usually we would have to retreat about 4 or 5 miles to Snow Hill east of us where we could hold our position against heavy odds. We often captured wagon trains out foraging and most of their escort or guards.
We captured a train of a number of wagons guarded by 2 or 3 hundred federals. We captured about half but many got a way. Three of us shot at them blue coats running from us 200 yards distant, we three fired from our from our horses and we sat in the saddle two of them fell, the one I shot at was shot in the thigh through but missed the bone. The two boys that shot when I did said they got their man, so let them claim it, but am sure I got my yank. I and two others carried the man that I shot at to a house not far off, he got well and I suppose joined his company again. We paroled them. The other one ran shot in the shoulder, he could walk. I supposed he rejoined his command. I don't remember their name or reg. I think they were of General Crook's command from Carthage, Tennessee. The foraging party came across the Cumberland River on the south side.
We remained at Liberty and not far off for several months. I was in the saddle the larger part of the time I think even when we lay down on our blankets at night we usually had to get up sometimes in the night to be ready for a fight after it would be a false alarm, but would have to git up for a hour or so any way.
Sometime in the later part of May my reg. the 9th Tenn. Cavalry and the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 6th Ky. regiments were ordered to Monticello, Wayne Co. Ky. We found in Horse Shoe bottom on Greasy Creek a thousand or more yanks commanded by Colonel Jacob, we had a fight of an hour or more, they chased us, then we charged them about 100 yards apart. They shelled us but we came near capturing their guns.
James McDaniels, a 3rd cousin of mine, his leg was shot off 30 steps from me by a shell and as I passed him he lay on his left side, the blood spirting from the arteries, he said I will die, I could not stop. (he belonged to Co. C. of 9th Tenn.) We were charging the enemy at the time. The detail to care for the wounded reached him in 3 or 4 minutes but he had lost so much blood he died at 8 oclock that night.
The yanks stopped in the heavy woods after they reached it. We halted and lay down and would load and we on our knees and fire at them behind trees, we in open field. Jack Carter, to my left by 4 feet, rose on his knee and said I'll get that yank behind that tree and fired, but Jack fell dead, shot through the head. He belonged to Co. E., Belle Co.
We soon charged them and drove them back. In their charge William Hall 2nd Sargent of my company was shot through the heart, he was next on my right. We charged him into the woods, they would fire and fall back, but most of them escaped, we captured 25 or 30 of them, about 25 of them were killed and many wounded. We had 12 killed and 10 or 15 wounded. We ran after them about a mile, they crossed the Cumberland River in a boat and many small boats.
This was the last days of May or first days of June. After this we camped in Clinton Co. Ky. Near Albany, the county ceit not far from the Cumberland River for several days. We could get pasture for horses and good food for ourselves, where we had skirmishes after and scouting to do. The enemy was just across the river a mile or two and we would shoot at one another across the river.
One day the yanks came to the north side of the Cumberland river. The pickets reported it and we mounted our horses and went to the river and formed in line, preparing to dismount; at that moment only one or two shots was heard and one of them struck Foster Terry, a cousin of mine and messmate, in the back and through the abdomen next to me on my right. I helped him off his horse; he died that night.
We left our horses with the horse holder. Every 5th man in section of 8 would hold horses. 8 horses with their own. We went to the river bank and had a hot skirmish for an hour or two. Several mounted on each side. I think we killed two or three. They were behind trees on the north bank and we on the south bank. But my company took cover in a log house with a rock chimney north side of house next to river. There was a hole in the back of chimney about 6 inches, we placed a chair 4 ft. from the hole and would rest our guns on the back of the chair and fire away at the Blue boys when they would show their head from behind the trees. We saw some of them fall we shot. With deliberation being well protected they would sometimes shoot through the small opening. Myself and one of out company, by name of Franklin was pushing each other, claiming it was each of our time to shoot, when a ball came through the opening. The top of the chair was creased, one or the other would have been shot in the head or killed had we not have been pushing one an other. The skirmish over, the blue boys left, we went back to camp.
About June 11th we left and marched and crossed the river not far from the village of Rome. The command camped. Our regiment, the 9th Tenn (Wards) 3 companies, my company and two other were sent to capture the mail and guard. We captured some of them and all the wagons. This was on the pike between Carthage and Hartsville, 8 miles from Carthage. Morgan expected to attack the Blue coats at Carthage next morning, but that evening a courier from General Bragg ordered Morgan not to attack Carthage but to return to Monticello, Ky. and stop the supposed advance of General Saunder into East Tennessee, but he had passes to the east of us. We marched to Burksville, Ky. July 2nd 1863 on south side of Cumberland River. We, the 1st Brigade prepared to cross on one old flat boat and skiffes (river very high and out of banks). We put our saddle and blankets in the old boat with ourselves and crossed over, one to two hundred at a time, put our horses in the river and they swam across and some already across would hold our horses until owner got across.
Some of the command were crossing above and below Burksville. As soon as we crossed we formed in line of battle and about 2 P.M. General Judah's Company attacked us. Morgan at our head, we formed out about a mile or more from Burksville. We charged them and drove them about 12 miles to their encampment at Marrowbone. They had 12 thousand men, so some of the prisoners informed us. We checked them so they did not follow very closely till next day. Our division of the 1st and 2nd Brigade camped that night 10 miles from the river on the road to Columbia Ky.
1st Brigade, Breckenridge, had 1460 men, 2nd Brigade, Johnson had 1000 men, first brigade had 3 Parrott guns and the 2nd had 2 howitzers we called them the bull pups. This was the last night sleep we had for several days.
Next morning, July 3rd we moved out on the road to Columbia where the blues were encountered, a few were captured, some wounded on both sides. Two of our boys in the advance guard were killed in driving them out of Columbia. That night we camped 6 or 8 miles from Columbia.
Early next morning, the 4th we moved on the Campbellville road, Col. Johnson's brigade the 2nd in front. My brigade, the 1st in the rear, on to Green River bridge where Col. Moore with regiment of 400 Federals were strongly fortified, had stockade. Col. Johnson demanded the surrender, Col. Moore said the 4th of July was not a good day for surrendering and he would rather not. Colonel Chenault Reg. the 6th Ky. made the attack on the stockade. The Parrott cannon opened the fight. Chenault Regiment charging up to very stockade where obstruction were placed, difficult to get through, Colonel Chenault was killed, our loss in a 20 minute carnage and fight was 36 killed and 45 wounded. Col. Moore, the Federal lost 9 killed and 26 wounded. Several officers, Major Brent of 5th Ky. And Capt. Trenble of 11th Ky. both killed, General Morgan stopped the fight and we went below the bridge a mile and crossed the river and left Moore in charge of his almost unpregnable position. It was foolish to attack, most of us thought.
I got permission from Lieut. William Barksdale commander of my company, also from Colonel Ward, my Col. to go up front just before the fight began so that I might get a horse. As I had none, mine having broke down the day before. Consequently I walk up to the front but the fight had began and was nearly through when I got there, I did not get a shot but got under fire for a short time, but I soon saw that our boys could not take it, could not get to them, so I backed up to a tree and soon Morgan ordered the attack stopped and I got the chance to walk most of the day, but I got a horse about 4 P.M. One of my messmates was carrying my saddle for me. I saddle my new horse, 6 year old, which proved a very good animal and lasted me until we reached Indiana.
We learned from some of our wounded boys that came to us some time after, that Colonel Moore was very kind to our wounded left on the battle field.
We passed through Campbellville, Taylor County, to within 10 or 12 miles of Lebanon and camped for the night or part of it. There was one Capt. Murphy of one of our regiments was accused of taking a watch from a store keeper in Campbellville and Morgan's Assistant Adjutant General has Murphy arrested and his trial was to have taken place before a court-martial. The day before we crossed the Ohio River, in the afternoon: Capt. Murphy not being under guard came up to Capt. Moginis and with cursing him for his arrest shot Capt. Moginis dead and rode out of camp and got away. I afterwards heard of Capt. Murphy: Capt. Moginis death was regretted by many.
General Morgan then appointed Capt. Hart Gibson assistant adjutant general, who held this position until captured with General Morgan about 26th of July.
On the 5th of July, at 8 or 9 A.M. we made an attack on Lebanon Ky. The Federal regiment was commanded by Charly Hanson (a brother of Roger Hanson of the Confederate Army who was killed at the Battle of Murfreesboro, Tennessee).
Morgan demanded his surrender, he refused, my regiment, under 9th Tenn. and Col. Wigsby reg. were in close quarters for a time. We had to charge the building they were in. 3 of my company were killed, Johnson of Wilson County, Tenn. and two others who's names I have forgotten. Several wounded. The command lost 12 or 14 killed and 25 or 30 wounded. Hanson surrendered about 11 A.M. We destroyed government property, wagons and guns and got plenty to eat. Crackers, sardines, bacon and meat. General Morgan's brother Thomas was killed here about the time the fight was over. We marched the prisoners 8 miles to Springfield where we paroled them.
We marched all night and reached Bardstown Ky. about 4 A.M. the 6th of July. Capt. Sheldon's company attacked some troops on a train and demanded their surrender. They fired a volly into Sheldon's company killing four, the little garrison of soldiers soon surrendered. We moved on and the night of the 6th we captured a train and government stores at Lebanon Junction not far from Louisville Ky. and threatened to attack the city. Remained several hours. We reached the town of Garnettsville on the evening of the 7th . Nine miles from Brandenburg about 9 A.M. the 8th of July.
Our scouts had captured two steam boats. I remember the of one was John T. McCabe, the one that Wards reg. 9th Tenn. crossed the river on. Soon after getting to the river we boarded this boat, leaving our horses with horse holder on the Ky. shore. When the boat moved across to the Indiana bank of the Ohio River. As we started, a gun boat up the river fired on us which made us think we were not very safe, before we landed.
River about 3/4 of mile wide and there was a regiment several hundred strong on the Indiana shore who fired on us as we crossed, we returned the fire all that were in a position to shoot. They fired at us with a cannon, made it hail against the boat, as this boat landed we jumped ashore and forward in line in about 5 minutes and charged them, they ran into the bushes back from the river and got away. We captured a former prisoner. The 2nd Ky reg. was with us. We captured their cannon. Our Parrott gun had by this time or soon after silenced the gun boat and it had steamed toward Louisville.
We formed in line of battle 1/2 mile from river on Indiana shore in about 2 hours our horses were with us. The two regiments remained on guard until near night then we all went into camp 3 or 4 miles on the road to Corydon, Indiana said town being about 15 miles from Brandenburg. This was first nights sleep we had had for sometime. We had plenty of feed for our horses and ourselves. The command all got across the river by a little while after dark.
Our brigade the 1st first camped 5 or 6 miles from the river on the road to Corydon, Ind. Next morning the 9th of July we marched at sun up to Corydon, several mile distant, where we met a force of several thousand Home Guards entrenched behind breastworks made mostly of fence rails. Several were killed and wounded on the 2nd Brigade and a number of the blue boys killed.
I may state here that the numerous papers of Indiana were telling the people that Morgan's men were killing women and children and burning houses and destroying everything. These reports of course were false. But it scared the people almost crazy, consequently, they all or most of them left home. We would often see men, women and children running away across the fields and we would run after them and take the men behind us on our horses to some Capt. or Colonel who would parole them, the women and children would be frightened almost to death. We would tell them to return home that we were not fighting them or private citizen and would not hurt anyone who were not soldiers. Houses were deserted, door left opened, they left in such haste. Of course we had strict orders from General Morgan not to take anything, but we often visited the pantry and such good food, bread and meats, butter, honey, fruits, preserves and such. After passing through Corydon a few miles, as we was passing a large house an old man about 80 years old come out on the porch to our left, shot at the men at the head of the column, as they passed by. I saw him when he fired his gun, but was back in the column 4 or 5 hundred yards. The boys in front of the house shot at him and wounded him slightly in the cheek. They charged the house, took his gun and broke it. He sat down in a chair on the porch and looked at us pass by. The lady of the house could not get him to go into the house. His age saved him: he wounded one man slightly. We all admired his courage and bravery but not his judgement. We had excellent food all the way through Indiana and Ohio, especially so in Ind. because so many of the people would leave home and the boys said they must have known we were coming because they had so much food cooked ready for us. But when we came into the state of Ohio or soon there after, they, I assume found out we were not killing people who were not trying to kill us . They remained at home and before we got through the ladies come out on their porches, many of them and would say to us, oh you rebels you will never get out of Ohio, our boys will capture you all soon. And some of our boys would say we have captured everything in front of us so far and of course we will continue to do so and will take Washington D.C. in a week or two:.. no you want,… yes we will.: so we had much amusement with many hardships of the raid. We got but little sleep riding night and day, would sleep some when we fed our horses, perhaps an hour. We met a few hundred blue boys at Salem, Indiana, who made a short fight, from the stores, but they soon surrendered quite a few of the companys of the command, appropriated many things out of the stores. Some of our boys would take bolt of calico and some a bolt of silk and some of us would say what did you take that for and some would say well the yanks have taken everything in my father's store or have taken everything out of our home in the south, so we are paying them back in like coin. Some would be put under arrest for taking things; we had orders to take nothing without getting permission from our Captain: of course something to eat was considered contraband of war by us do we would take something to eat, especially when we found it cooked. The ladies would give us something to eat when at home, the most of them and when gone from home the boys would help themselves, when doors were left open.
We crossed over from Ind. into Ohio at Harrison. In marching through Indiana we passed through Veina, Lexington and passed near Vernon and demanded the surrender of a heavy force and they refused, so Morgan told them to remove their women and children and gave them 2 hours to remove them and while they were attending to this we left the surburbs if Vernon and went on and in two hours we were 12 or 15 miles from there. It was at night, we passed through Paris and near Madison, Indiana after leaving Vernon. Early next morning, we reached Dupont where there was a large packing house. So many of the boys got a ham and tied it on their saddle. So meat was plenty for a while. We had many small fights and skirmishes every day and often at night. General Morgan would not fight a large garrison or body of soldiers on this raid because it would delay us to much, but threaten them and leave a few to fight them a while and while the main command would go on: had to use strategy all the time because they were following us by the thousands. We were in sight each day of 8 or 10 thousand Home Guards. We thought they were not very apt to attack us and we would only try to make them think we would. And leave a company to skirmish with them while we marched on. We passed not far from Versailles. On to Summansville, leaving here early on morning of 13th July. We reached Harrison, Ohio in the afternoon. General Morgan began to maneuver and use strategy. We were about 50 miles from Cincinnatti and Morgan wanted to Federals to think we were going to attack Cincinnatti, so that they might draw their forces to that place. We reached Cincinnatti surburbs after dark and we rode all night apparently in the surburbs. It was a very dark night and we had much difficulty in keeping the collum closed up. Some would get behind by going to sleep on their horses and we would lave to strike matches and burn papers to see the road or street they would take. We could usually tell by the silava or slobber of the horses on the way the dust settled a head of us. When day came we had passed through Glendale and was near the little Miami Rail Road and crossed it and halted to feed our horses in sight of camp Dennison. We had quite a skirmish here with the enemy. Then we resumed our march after burning some government stores and wagons. And at 5 P.M. we were at Williamsburg 28 miles east of Cincinnatti. We went into camp having marched over 90 miles in 35 hours. Next morning leaving camp early we marched through Piketon. Some of the command, Colonel Morgan's regiment was sent by way of Georgetown, Jackson, Vinton, Berlin and other towns. We captured many prisoners each day. We could only break their guns and parole them. At Wilksville we halted and went into camp just before night and remained until 3 A.M. next morning. The malitia now began to obstruct our advance by cutting trees and tearing up bridges on the road they know we would have to travel. The advance guard of 4 or 5 hundred had to carry axes with them to cut the timber out of the roads.
In passing near Pomeroy, Ohio on the 18th of July, we had to fight at every cross road and every joint where the Blue Boys could find a good position to fight us and they were regular, who had come up by boats to Pomeroy from Cincinnatti and had come out on every road from Pomeroy to fight us. After passing this the road ran through a deep reviene for 4 or 5 miles. We were fired on from the hills about all the way through. About 1 P.M. we reached Chester where we stopped for about two hours. This stop brought us to the Village of Portland on the Banks of the Ohio; a short distant above Buffington Island about 8 P.M. and the night was very dark and we remained all night holding our horses by the bridle rains. Sleeping and talking and saying to one another often we would wake up at intervals through the night. That if we stay here until morning we will be surrounded and many of us will be captured. We stayed until after sun up when each company of my regiment, Wards, the 9th Tennessee cavalry was ordered to detail 10 or 12 picket men to cover the river to protect the command when it went to cross the river. The 110 of us, 10 from my company, Co. G. Wards Reg., the 9th Tennessee. We left our horses on the Ohio side of the river and crossed in a flat boat and 4 skiffs. Capt. John Kirkpatrick of Company C., Capt. John Sisson of Co. F. Kirkpatrick in command o f us being senior Captain. We organized into two companys, Co. A. and B. Kirkpatrick Capt. of Co. A. and John Sisson of Co. B. We were marched up the river bank and up its bluff into the bushes on the West Virginia side of the Ohio River where we were expected to protect the command when it commenced to cross this about one hour after sun up, a beautiful day. Soon after we were located in the bushes on the bluff, a gun boat came up the river from around Buffington Island and opened fire on command, with small arms and 8 or 10 peices of cannon. Beside the gun boat cannon there were two or three boats with the gun boat loaded with Infantry soldiers. Soon they jumped ashore and went up the bank of the river on the Ohio side of river. Then the fight was in full progress. Lasted about 3/4 of an hour.
The 110 of us was in position on the east bank. The fighting was on the west bank. We saw it all. The only battle I witnessed during the war, because I was usually in it and not in a position to see much. Only in the immediate front. We saw my regiment, Wards 9th Tennessee and the 2nd Ky. Dukes Reg. captured and many others. Part of the command made their escape, perhaps 5 or 6 hundred with General Morgan but were picked up here and there and General Morgan was captured with but about 250 men on July 26th 1863 near the Penn. State line. About 350 of the boys crossed the river some distance above B uffington Island in the afternoon of July 19th under the command of Col. Adam R. Jackson. David Berry escaped with them. There was estimated to be 10,000 or 12,000 Federal cavalry that had caught up with us on the 19th of July, the day of our defeat, after the most daring and successful raid of the war, by either side. General Judah, of the Federal had a large command of several thousand, General Hobson, General Shackleford and General Wolford all were there with commanders. We had perhaps 17 or 18 hundred men here most of them nearly out of ammunition.
Thus ended the most exciting and notorious and difficult undertaking in the enemy country during the war between the states by either side. I rode three different horses on the raid. I might relate many experiences of the trip of a personal nature but I fear I am making it tedious for the reader already.
I will say this. That General Morgan could have got out of Ohio with his command had he have managed different. A day or two before we reached the Ohio River, he stopped the two last nights, before reaching the river and we slept the most of the night, when we should have been moving to the place where we expected to cross. We arrived at Portland on the Ohio at 8 P.M. the 18th when we should have got there or might have arrived early in the forenoon. We also had an ambulance and carriage train two miles or more long with sick and wounded who were able to travel. This ought to have been abandoned. We also had four pieces of artillery. All of this we brought up to this point. We should have plunged into the river as soon as we got to the river, abandoning our carriage and artillery. About 60 yards in middle of river was swimming. We could have built bonfires on each side of the river for light and got across and not many would have been drowned, not as many as was killed next morning in the fight. Yet, we remained until the sun must have been one hour high, before we made a move to cross and all night long every one of us that I heard express them selves said we would be captured, many of us if we remained all night. So it was as all seemed to this of course General Morgan's desire was to take everything over the river. But he should have known with the thousands after us, it was impossible.
The 110 of us in the bushes on the east bank of the river after seeing the boys captured scattered, started east through the woods; after watching a Federal regiment pass by us under the river bluff - we kept still.
We now had to walk over 200 miles through the rugged mountains of West Virginia: with very little to eat. We went the most secret route we could to keep from being captured. We went 3 days over with nothing to eat - our feet blistered the first days march, so that the most of us had to cut our shoes to pieces and we had to sew and tie rags around our feet. My feet was blistered all over, through the entire walk from the Ohio river to Doublin Depot, Virginia, on the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad.
We were over three weeks making the trip and I doubt if 110 men ever had a harder and more difficult task to over come; up hills and down mountains, wading streams, my feet raw all over, the entire distance. We passed through and near to many villages and small towns, some who's names were Elizabethtown, on or near the little Kanasuha River, crossed Steer Creek and also Elk River at Britton and Galley River at Birch, Summerville, Mayville and Frankfort and Lewisburg, the county ceit of Greenbuyer County Virginia. This was with in Dixie, inside of the Confederate lines. We had nothing to eat for tree days to this place. We walked over 30 miles this day because we knew we would get something to eat when we reached Lewisburg: at 6 P.M.
The number of my company, 10 of us was assigned to the Superintendent and family of the county poor farm which was very appropriate. The lady at the poor house was very kind to us. She said she would have supper in an hour. I told her we had not eat anything for 3 1/2 days. Oh well she said, I can now give you some bread (salt risen) and butter milk and we did eat. Then supper came at 7 1/2 P.M. fried chicken, fried ham, biscuits and more milk and other good things: nothing was too good for Morgan's Men. We ate until the lady and gentleman said we do like to see you eat but we fear it will make you sick: sure enough, the next day over one half of us was not able to eat supper, no desire for food - sick-
We stayed here three days, then they had to get wagons drawn by oxen to carry 2/3 of the 110 of us to Doublin Depot. I walked: all had to walk that were not sick. The distance to Doublin was about 70 miles. The good people on the way, each night brought in plenty of good things for us to eat. The last day within 2 miles of Doublin Depot, Capt. John Grisson our company's commander gave Uncle Dick Brandoford and I permission to stop until morning, as our feet were so sore and we were so exhausted. We went off the road about half mile where we stopped over night with a very old gentleman and lady, who gave us a good supper and breakfast and a pair of shoes and pair of socks for each of us. Next morning we walked to Doublin by 7 1/2 A.M. and we all boarded the cars about 8 A.M. for Morristown, east Tennessee reaching there in afternoon.
We remained there two weeks with plenty to eat and good sulphur water to drink. We drank it, cooked with it and bathed in it. We all grew fat here and regretted when we had to leave for Knoxville, Tenn. as the Federals were advancing in the direction of this town. 30 of us were detailed in Knoxville and were on duty there for several days. Those we left in camp near Knoxville went out to meet the enemy's advance on the town. They came within 8 or 10 miles. Capt. Kirkpatrick with 80 men and Capt. Gission with soldiers of other commands met them and drove them back.
Capt John Sission, my Capt. was killed, shot through the heart: a brave man: several were wounded: soon after this, we was ordered to march south as infantry, towards Chattanooga, where a big battle was expected, soon.
We marched through Loudon and that same day just after noon, we came up with Colonel Battler's regiment, the 20th Tennessee, where I met Uncle Charley Simmons, who belonged to this regiment. He made me eat with him, was with him perhaps 40 minutes when we laid to march. This was the last time I saw Uncle. He was killed about one week later in the Battle of Chicamauga.
We reached Calhoon, Georgia 3 or 4 days later where we were mounted on wagon mules and furnished saddles and bridles and early on the morning of September 18th we marched for the battlefield of Chickamauga. The battle commenced in the fore noon. We came to the out skirts of the battlefield about 3 P.M. and was placed on the right wing of Bragg's Army, under Colonel Robert Martin, in Capt. John Kirkpatrick Battallion. So then we had many hard places to hold and considerable hard fighting to do for two days. Which ended the Battle of Chickamauga. Our command it was claimed fired the first shots and the last shot in this destructive battle.
I am quite sure we fired the last shots about dark, the last day of the fight. My battalion, Capt. John Kirkpatrick's (a Presbyterian minister) charged a brigade of infantry entrenched. We got very near them, but had to fall back. We had a number killed and wounded in the Battle of Chickamauga's. We were in the advance skirmish line and would find out where the enemy were enmassed and then turn it over to the Infantry to do the heaviest fighting: the boys a foot would say to us, you dam cavalry, only go in front and make them road and then fall back for us to do the fighting: some truth in their statement. But we were kept very busy all the time - Scouting and fighting. Mostly on the right wing of Bragg's Army.
The second day of the fight, we came into a federal battery, 6 cannons, well supported by infantry. A few were killed and wounded. Dick Brandsford was wounded of my company and mess. A piece of shell struck him on the head, but it did not disable him very long. This was a hot place for perhaps 25 minutes until we could get out of range by going in a canyon to our left. We were very near the battery, 3 or 4 hundred yards.
They limbered up and retreated.
General Bragg had Rosencan's Army defeated by night of the second days fight. But he did not press his advantage, so General Grant arrived with thousands; the afternoon of the 3rd days fight, from where we were stationed we could see the log federal waggon trains retreating over Waldron's ridge across the Tennessee River.
Consequently because of the reinforcements and Braggs failure to take advantage of his victory: this fight ended in a way that both sides claimed a victory.
Soon after this battle, General Joe Wheeler's command of cavalry, 8 or 10 thousand strong was ordered to march through Tennessee and Kirkpatrick's Battalion of four hundred and fifty of us were with him. The next day after we started, I was still mounted on my mule that I had got at Calhoon, Georgia; a good mule but very poor. I met an old man going to the mill with a sack of corn on a gray mare, I asked him how he would trade. I put the sack on the mule and I mounted the gray mare. He got much the best of the trade: the gray could pace: nice saddle animal: I thought I was well mounted.
The first fight of much note was with a regiment of Federals at McMinnville, Tenn. We soon caused them to surrender. We got government stores and privisions and moved on. The next fight was at Murfreesboro, Tenn. where there was two or three thousand. We soon captured and scattered them, with government stores.
Within a mile and a half of the town we charged on the Blue Coats. My old gray mare could move along very easy and slowly but was not a success, when swift movement was necessary, so she stumbled and fell down and caught my right leg under her body and I could not get from under: the other horses, many of them would jump clear over us. My old gray only grunted and layed very heavy on my leg, on this very hard macadamized road. At last four boys stopped and pulled old gray off. She soon got up and I mounted and caught up with my battalion just as they were going into the fight. But it was soon over. We had many fights or skirmishes each day some where. But our battalion had the hardest time at Sugar Creek. Here General Wheeler left us as rear guard for his command. About 10 miles from Tennessee River where he was going to cross over after this raid. We had orders to remain at this place until 12 noon We got to this place about day light ( only a creek). Just about 12 noon the enemy advanced and attacked us and the fight began in front of us, but the yanks did not stop, they charged us from the rear: we had to run through them, shoot and run about 1/3 of our battalion was captured, killed and wounded. I mounted on the old gray mare, after running the gauntlet of the yanks was soon left behind, alone. The blue boys did not follow us, very fast. A large mule saddled and bridled caught up with me soon after I had lost sight of the yanks. I caught the mule and mounted him. The old gray mare was nearly exhausted. Very soon I asked an old gentleman if he wanted to buy my gray mare and saddle. He said he would give me $25.00 and I sold. Then rode about 7 miles before I caught up with my company. They thought I was killed or captured They were about to go into the river to cross. General Wheeler's command had all crossed but Kirkpatrick's. As we got near the river, a citizen came along driving a nice chesnut sorrel horse in a top buggy. I asked him how he would swap for my mule. He said no. I said to him that the mule was worth more where he was going than the horse. Some of the boys said to him also the mule is worth more than the horse. Finally he consented, so we put the harness on the mule and hitched him to the buggy. He moved off as if he had always been a buggy mule. I mounted my horse and he was a good one. James Littleton and Charley Brown, helped hitch the mule to the buggy.
We rode into the water, my company in the rear. We assisted the man and mule in the buggy, as the current was very swift and would turn the buggy down stream, but we all got across. The enemy came up and fired at us just before we got across. The man appeared to be satisfied with his mule and I likewise with my horse.
Some of Wheeler's command and out battallion camped for a week or more in northern Alabama and rested. Then in October from about the 10th , we were constantly scouting and picketing for General Bragg's Army and we were picketing up and down the Tennessee River, when the Federals attacked Lookout Mountain about the 19th or 20th of November 1863. We had a line of pickets up and down the river for a mile and a half to see that the Yanks did not cross. We had three videts about every three hundred yards up and down the river Three of us at a place. One of us to sit on our horse on the river bank while the other two could sleep. We also had a patrol guard that would ride up and down river, the entire length of our guard line to see that all was right between the pickets posts. We would halt them and say come there, patrole guard advance one and give countersign. And then they would move on to the next port. The lower post of three farthermost down the river was stationed at the mouth of Chickamauga Creek where it emptied into the Tennessee River. Those stationed here were Christian Buhler, David Lassiter, Riley Medlin and Tim Hogan, Early Cavley and myself was the post next to this up river and the Yanks came across the river from this side in skiffs and captured this post at Chickamauga Creek and did it so quietly that no alarms was given: I was very suspicious and sat on my horse all night. It was an extremely dark night, the river was very high and large drift wood running for two or three days and making considerable noise: this lower post was captured at about 2 A.M. in the morning and at 3 A.M. Leiutenant Buck Bennett (of Hartsville, Tenn.) Was in charge of the patrol guard came to my post as he had been doing about every two hours all night. I halted him then he advanced. I said to him I believe the yanks has captured the lower post because I heard voices like the laying of planks on a pontoon bridge He said you have been here in the dark until you are afraid. I said no, I am not, but I believe they are crossing the river below Chickamauga Creek and that you will be captured. He went on down there. I heard them halt the patrol. This was the last I saw of Lient. Bennett and patrolled until after the war closed. I waited a few minutes then I told Tom Hogan to go to the picket base and tell them Bennett was captured and the yanks were crossing by the thousands, because I hear them walking on the pontoon bridge. So in about 20 minutes the pickets base of about 40 men was at my post. Then you could hear them talking very soon our command, Kirkpatrick Battalian was all at my post and very soon day light came and we could see thousands of blue coats just across the creek, a narrow deep stream. A courier had been to General Bragg's Headquarters telling him the yanks had crossed at the mouth of Chickamauga Creek. We formed in live battle about 500 yards from the blue boys. They did not seem to pay much attention to us but a few shots was fired and we was ordered to fall back and take a position several miles closer to Bragg's Army and at or a little after sun up. The Federal Army charged up Lookout Mountain and captured the mountain: our army did not expect to hold Lookout Mountain or Missionary Ridge. But was ready to retreat and did fall back slowly in the direction of Tunnel Hill, Georgia and our battallion covered his retreat as a rear guard for two days. We had many hard skirmishes, the enemy would advance all the time in three lines of battle, one line behind the other, about 300 yards apart. All of them Infantry. We would fire at them and then fall back to the next elevation or ridge: where the same performance would take place, their front line would fire at us, but they never charged us. Just kept us a steady march. They would stop at night. The evening of the 2nd day they were getting so near and crowding so that General Manny's Brigade of Infantry was stopped and layed down behind a fence on the edge of the woods. It was getting dark not a shot was fired until the blue boys was in a few feet. Many of them fell down to rise no more. That stopped them for the night. The Federals was in 1/2 mile of our wagon train some of them mixed down in the mud. They were pulled out, all of them by midnight. Our cavalry was on picket all night or nearly so. About an hour to daylight, we were permitted to fall back perhaps a mile and we lay down to sleep and at sun up the federal cavalry was near us, shooting at us and saying surrender. They were in 60 yards of us, by the hundreds. We mounted our horses and began to shoot and fall back. A courier came to us from General Bragg and told us to fall back through the gap, which was Ringgold Gap, about a half mile back of us. The three solid lines of battle as the day before come marching forward in good order, as we went through the gap. But we saw General Pat Claiborne's division in line of battle and we moved through the line of Confederates. I saw some of the 2nd Tennessee, General Bates regiment. I saw George Bryson and others of company K. that was made up and organized at Castalian Springs, Tennessee (in May 1861). The fight began and continued until the afternoon. There were many Blue Boys killed and wounded, 2 or 3 thousand, not very many of the Confederates killed and wounded. We were ordered by General Bragg to guard the flanks of his army which we did. We did not do much fighting. But we heard the terrible musket shooting and cannonading. We watched the right and left wings of his army, during this battle.
The Federals were so badly defeated that they did not crowd us very much through the winter. Both armies went into winter quarter. Rosencran's army at Chattanooga, Tenn. And near Tunnel Hill, Ga. and General Bragg's army most of it at Dalton, Georgia. We picketed and scouted all winter for Bragg's Army, very hard service. It was an extremely cold winter, last of November and December. We would some times be very near each other on picket, 4 or 5 hundred yards apart.
We were ordered to go to Resacca, Georgia, about 6 miles south of Atlanta , for a rest, the 20th of December, as we had been almost constantly in the saddle since before the Battle of Chickamauga. We had two and one half months rest only had to drill every day. This was much the longest rest that I had during my service in the Army. We had plenty to eat.