During the last year of the war, Kentucky was infested with roving squads of armed men, sometimes calling themselves Confederate cavalry. But in general they were little better than robbers, who took advantage of the disorders of the time to ply their nefarions business; and when called to account, would demand the treatment usually given to prisoners of war. Many old neighborhood feuds were thus revenged, and numerous deeds of blood and shame, which were attempted to be explained as only the disorders incident to civil war.
In December, 1864, a small number of Union soldiers were stationed at Caseyville, on the Ohio River, with instructions to ferret out and punish all guerrilla bands infesting the neighborhood. Major Shook commanded the force, and about the 15th of December he sent out Capt. Peck with a squad of men to hunt for Lyon, a troublesome guerrilla in that region. Three of his men–Lieut. Bogard, Serg. Richards, and Corp. Doughtey–rode some two miles in advance of the scouting party, and they saw a group of men in blue overcoats before them in the road. Riding straight up to them, one of the men inquired what command they belonged to. Lieut. B. replied, “To Major Shook’s command, at Caseyville.” Capt. Stedman, in command of the rebels, then ordered the three men to surrender.
“That’s played out,” coolly replied Serg. Richards; and drawing his pistol shot Stedman, so that he died next morning. Lieut. Bogard and Corp. Doughtey then fired on two other men, and brought them both to the ground. As Lieut. B. was wounded, the Union party now fell back a few yards, when the Lieutenant fell from his horse. His companions, instead of continuing the retreat, now turned their horses and charged upon the hostile party, routing them, and bringing off the bodies of the three who had falling. The other two besides Stedman proved to be George Henry and Capt. Woodfolk.
Woodfolk and Stedman were both notorious guerrillas and daring men–the latter having once been employed in the office of the Richmond Examiner, and having on his person a large quantity of Confederate money.
Woodfolk had once before been captured, brought to Louisville, and condemned to be shot, but by some means had made his escape. Besides killing these three, the party captured four horses, seven pistols, two guns, and seven cavalry equipments complete.