Monthly Archives: October 2018


On Thursday, Sept. 10, 1863, while General Forrest was at Lafayette, Ga., he was ordered to Ringgold for the purpose of checking the enemy, reported to be marching in large force in that direction. Picking up about four hundred of his command, he marched off with all the promptitude of his ardent and enthusiastic nature. Here he found Vanclave’s corps, consisting of seventeen thousand infantry and cavalry. Skirmishing immediately commenced, General Forrest fighting them at every step, as he slowly fell back. For two days did the unequal conflict continue, and notwithstanding the disparity of numbers, the loss on either side was about the same. General Forrest retired to Tunnel Hill about four o’clock, and in an hour the enemy was in sight, when one of the most gallant and thrilling incidents of the war occurred. The enemy’s advancing column marched on,–right on,–and the cloud of dust and the huge paraphernalia which they displayed made them look indeed “terrible as an army with banners.” On reaching the apex of the hill, a short pause was perceptible; but skirmishers being thrown out on the right and left, on they came. In every ambush, behind every knoll, and house, and tree, could be seen a blue-coat, slyly, cautiously sneaking up like a hungry wolf in search of its prey. General Forrest levelled his trusty gun at the nearest one. The smoke from his gun seemed only to exasperate the infuriated foe, and to inspire them with anxiety either to capture or destroy the small but defiant squad of Confederates, and for this purpose a hundred guns opened upon them, while a dozen Yankees rushed across the railroad for the purpose of getting still closer. As they crossed the track, General Forrest looked still farther up, and he saw a couple of Confederate soldiers coming down the road, unaware of the approach of the enemy, and the immediate danger that surrounded them. The impudence of the Yankees that had crossed the railroad, and were seen crawling in the woods, together with the peril that surrounded the two Confederate soldiers approaching, was more than General Forrest could stand. Hastily calling to his side five of his escort, he told them that his imperilled soldiers must be rescued, and that the insolent squad that had crossed the road must be captured. With coolness and self-possession, but with a loud and cheering shout, he ordered his little squad to the charge. In the midst of the iron hail that rained upon them, they rushed on. Every man forgot his own danger. The soldier stooped over his musket, or leaned upon his horse, absorbed in the scene. Dressed in a huge duster, General Forrest, as he dashed on in his fierce purpose, looked infernal. There was a sudden pause; then their heads were curtained in by the wreathing smoke of their own guns. The Yankees were seen retreating back across the road, and the Confederate soldiers rescued from death. From the hill-side a volley of musketry was now poured upon the small squad. Having accomplished their purpose, they turned to retreat, but three of the seven were wounded. A ball struck General Forrest near the spine, within an inch of the wound he received at Shiloh, inflicting a painful but not dangerous wound; while two of his escort were wounded–one in the back of the head, the other in the arm.–Marietta Rebel.

Originally posted 2008-11-25 01:10:31.

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A correspondent accompanying the Union forces in their march from Jefferson City to Rolla, Mo., in 1861, relates the following: “After leaving camp at Union Hollow, a rugged part of the mountains beyond Springfield, an incident occurred worthy of preservation. Gen. Wyman had issued orders that no man should go in advance of his company. About five miles from camp the General met two of the boys of the Illinois Thirteenth, waiting the approach of their company. Those who know the General, know, when he does not like anything, how roughly he can reprimand a soldier. The General addressed the boys in one of his very roughest styles:

“‘Boys, why ——- are you in advance of your company this morning?’

“One of the men, taking off his hat, addressed the General in the following style:

“‘General, about two and a half miles from here are the graves of my mother and sisters, and I thought it was likely this was the last time I should be permitted to visit them, and I got permission of the Captain to go this morning to visit them, and I am here waiting for them to come up.’

“This was too much for the General. Said he, ‘My boy, that was right. I have always loved you, but that makes me love you twice as well as I ever did.’ At this point, tears choked the words of the noble soldier, and one might have seen one whole-souled man weeping under the effects of paternal affection. Some time after this, they joined our staff, and rode with us, and while riding with me, he narrated to me the incident, and again gave vent to tears. Said he, ‘I am not ashamed of tears under such circumstances.'”

Originally posted 2008-11-24 03:41:03.

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The following beautiful and touching lines were written by Lieut. John McKee, of company K. 74th Ohio regiment, who was accidentally drowned at Cincinnati, on his way home:

AMONG the pines that overlook
Stone River’s rocky bed,
Ohio knows full many a son
There numbered with the dead.

‘Tis hard to die ‘mid scenes of strife,
No friend or kindred near,
To wipe the death damp from the brow,
Or shed affection’s tear.

To soothe the sufferer, in his pain,
With words of holy cheer,
Or bend the knee, in earnest prayer,
For the dying volunteer.

That day, when all along our lines
Rained showers of shot and shell,
Thus many a brave young soldier died–
Thus many a hero fell.

When night closed o’er this bloody scene,
Returning o’er the ground,
I heard the piteous moans of one
Laid low by mortal wound.

‘Twas by the ford we crossed that day–
The ground so dearly bought–
Where Miller led his stalwart men,
And gallant Moody fought.

The wounded soldier’s cheek was wan,
And beamless was his eye;
I knew before another morn
The wounded man must die.

I built a fire of cedar rails,–
The air was cold and damp,
And filled his canteen from the spring,
Below the river’s bank.

And then I sat me down to ask
If he would wish to sent
A last request or parting word
To mother, sister, friend.

“I have some word,” the boy replied,
“My friends would love to hear;
T’would fill my sister’s soul with joy,
My mother’s heart would cheer.

Tell them I died a soldier’s death,
Upon the battle-field,
But lived to know the day was ours,
And see the rebels yield;–

“That ere I died their colors fell,
Their columns broke, and then
I heard the wild, victorious shouts
Of Negley’s valiant men.

‘But most of all I’d have them know
That with my latest breath
I spoke of Him I loved in life;
‘Twas joy and peace in death.

‘Tell sister I have read with care–
For holy ties endeared–
The Bible mother gave to me
Before I volunteered.

“I’m very tired with talking now;
Please raise my head some higher,
And fold my blanket closely down,
And build a larger fire.

“The air is very cold to-night.”
I raised his head with care;
He closed his eyes as if to sleep,
But clasped his hands in prayer.

In silent converse with his God
The wounded hero lay;
It seemed to him communion sweet,
No agony to pray.

He smiled as does the gentle child
When angels whisper near;
No anguish worked upon his brow,
Nor blanched his cheek with fear.

I saw that death was coming fast;
His mind was all in prayer;
I asked him for his regiment,
And where his comrades were.

“My Captain’s dead,” the boy replied,
In accents low and mild;
“I’ve heard my mother speak of him
When I was but a child.”

I know his mind was wandering,
That he was thinking then
Of him who gave his life to save
His faithful, valiant men.

And thus he died that stormy night,
No friend or kindred near
To wipe the death damp from his brow,
Or shed affection’s tear.

Thus I have known the love of God
Joy, peace, and comfort yield
To one who fell with mortal wound
On the bloody battle-field.

And should you wander o’er the ground
Where fell so many brave,
Among the cedars on the hill
There lied his lonely grave.

The flowers will soon light up with smiles
Stone River’s rocky shore;
His spirit knows a brighter clime,
Where flowers bloom evermore.

And mild-eyed Peace may visit soon
Stone River’s rocky shore,
But Murfrees’ chiming Sabbath bells
Will never wake him more.

Originally posted 2008-11-23 14:20:10.

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the 23d of August, 1863, Captain Ned Gillingham, of the Thirteenth New
York cavalry, with an escort of eight Sergeants, whilst going from
camp, near Centreville, as bearer of despatches to Washington, was met
on the road near Allandale, abot two o’clock P. M., by a detachment of
the Second Massachusetts cavalry, the Sergeant of the latter asking
Capt. Gillingham if they need apprehend any danger; to which Capt.
Gillingham replied: “So rar, we have not met with any obstruction.”
Capt. Gillingham had scarcely gone over four hundred yards, when he was
met by a party of Mosby’s cavalry, consisting of about one hundred men,
by whom he was ordered, under fire, to halt. Capt. Gillingham, taking
them for our own troops, (as they were dressed similarly to his own
men) replied: “Hold up firing00you are fools00you are firing on
Government troops;” to which the Captain of the troops replied:
“Surrender there, you Yankee—–.” Capt. Gillingham replied he could
not see the joke. Then, turning to Sergeant Long, Orderly of company B,
and to Sergeant Burnham, ordered them to draw their sabres and follow
him. A general conflict ensued, in which sabres and pistols were freely
used, resulting inthe wounding of Orderly Sergeant Long and Sergeant
Zeagle, both of company B, who, with four other Sergeants, were all
taken prisoners. Capt. Ned Gillingham and Serg. Burnham effected their
escape, the former having been wounded in the arm, and the latter in
the hip, as well as hiving their horses shot. Obtaining horses on the
road, they reached Washington about six o’clock P. M.

Originally posted 2008-11-23 04:07:01.

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