On the passage of the steamer Fitzhugh up the Mississippi River, her officers were informed that they would probably meet with trouble from a company of guerrillas stationed at Curlew, Kentucky, and were advised to be on their guard. There was not a gun on board, but the master managed to procure a piece of timber about five feet long and a foot in diameter, which, with a little paint, he managed so as to make resemble a cannon, covered it with a tarpaulin, and mounted it on a pair of trucks, and, thus armed, prepared to meet the enemy. Arriving at Curlew, they found fifty guerrillas drawn up in line, who incontinently demanded their surrender. Those on the boat said nothing, but brought up from the hold a number of small pieces of limestone sewed up in canvas bags to represent ammunition, and carefully laid them alongside the gun. The harmless bit of wood was then turned towards the rascals, and the tarpaulin was about to be removed, when the doughty warriors took to their heels, and ran as if the Old Nick was after them. At Battery Rock, on the Illinois shore, another party, numbering about forty, who had crossed over the night previous in an old flatboat, essayed the same undertaking; but these, too, were put to flight by this mighty piece of ordnance.
Originally posted 2008-04-24 13:50:02.