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About admin

I'm a lover of God and His Son Jesus Christ. In addition I love to make yesterday's words come alive through the republishing of good and profitable books of old. The Civil War project is an ongoing labor of love. - Karan

AN INCIDENT OF MILL SPRING.–

After the battle, when the Minnesota regiment returned to its quarters at Camp Hamilton, they marched past the Colonel’s marquee with banners flying, and their splendid band playing “Hail Columbia.” Standing in front of the tent were Dr. Cliff, Zollicoffer’s Brigade Surgeon, Lieut. Col. Carter, of the Twentieth Tennessee (rebel) regiment, and several Union officers. “Hail Columbia” affected both the rebel officers to tears–they wept like children–and Carter remarked that, although compelled to fight against the old flag, he loved it still.

Originally posted 2008-05-18 13:19:41.

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A BRILLIANT EXPLOIT.–

One of the coolest and most extraordinary exploits of the war is thus described in a letter by Brigadier-General E. B. Brown, dated Springfield, Mo. After a preliminary description of an engagement with the rebels, eighteen miles from Newtonia, General Brown proceeds:

“The General (Schofield) sent Lieutenant Blodgett, attended by an orderly, with orders to Colonel Hall, Fourth Missouri cavalry, to move to the left, and attack in that direction. The route of the Lieutenant was across a point of woods, in which, while passing, he suddenly found himself facing about forty rebels drawn up in irregular line. Without a moment’s hesitation, he and the orderly drew their pistols and charged. At the same time, tempering bravery with mercy, and not feeling any desire to shed blood needlessly, he drew out his handkerchief, and waved it in token of his willingness to surround and capture the whole rebel force rather than shoot them down.

“The cool impudence of the act nonplused the foe, and perhaps thinking there was a large force in the rear, eight of them threw down their arms and surrendered, and the balance ’skedaddled.’ It is difficult to say which I admired most in the Lieutenant, his bravery in making the charge against such odds, when to have hesitated a moment was certain death, or his presence of mind and coolness in offering them their lives. The Orderly, too, deserves more than a passing notice. His name is Peter Basnett, and he was at one time Sheriff of Brown County, Wis. The Lieutenant and Orderly were well matched–both quiet and determined men. I am glad of having an opportunity of bearing testimony to the bravery and soldierly conduct of Lieutenant Wells H. Blodgett. I hope the Governor will reward him as he deserves.”

Originally posted 2008-05-17 19:54:39.

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A PASS FOR A REBEL.–

The following incident illustrates the character of the secessionists, and the vigorous policy pursued by General McCook in Kentucky:

A man named Buz Rowe, living near Bacon Creek, was early afflicted with the secession fever, and when the rebels occupied that portion of Kentucky, the sickness assumed a malignant form. It was his practice to lie around a tavern at Bacon Creek Station, drink whiskey, swagger, blow about Southern rights, and insult Union men. When the Union troops advanced, to Nevin, and the rebels fell back to Green River, Buz changed his tune. He was not disposed to take up arms in behalf of the cause he represented. In fact, to secure peace and safety at home, he expressed his willingness to “take the oath.”

On being lectured by Union men, he stated that he was only going through the form to prevent being troubled at home, and that when he could do good for the rebel cause he would not regard the obligation in the least. It was some time before Buz could get a Union man to go to the camp with him; but finally, in company with such, he called on General McCook, and asked for the privilege of taking the oath and obtaining a pass. The General knew his man, and addressing the Union man who accompanied him, said:

“Administer the oath to him–a ready traitor to his country! What regard do you suppose he would have for the solemn obligations of an oath? A man, sir, who would betray his country has no respect for his oath.”

Buz turned pale. The truth cut him deep, and he began to see that his time had come.

The General absolutely refused to have the oath administered, or to grant a pass. He could not get out of camp without some sort of a document, and he besought the interference of those whom he had so greatly abused when they were without protection. At last General McCook agreed to pass him out of camp, and gave him a document which read something in this way:

“To the guards and pickets:

“The bearer is a traitor to his country. Pass him; but, in doing so, mark him well, and if you see him hereafter prowling about our lines, shoot him at once.”

This pass the brawling rebel had to show to the whole line of guards and pickets, who all marked him well before they let him pass.

Originally posted 2008-05-16 16:52:15.

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THE CAPTURE OF SMITHFIELD, VA.–

The rebels having retired from Norfolk, Virginia, in May, 1862, General Mansfield sent his Aid-de-Camp, Drake De Kay, to reconnoitre the various rivers and creeks setting in from the James River.

Captain De Kay started with a sail-boat and eight men, and examined the Nansemond River and Chuckatuck Creek, and then proceeded to Smithfield Creek. This being narrow and tortuous, with high banks, he hoisted the rebel flag, and ran up some five miles to the town of Smithfield. This town is situated on a hill, stretching back from the river, contains some one thousand two hundred inhabitants, is very prettily laid out, has several handsome churches, and fine “old family” homesteads.

The people are all rank secesh–hardly a man, woman, or child to be seen in the streets who does not scowl at the Yankees. The negroes, even, did not speak to us, as their masters had forbidden it, and beaten them severely for doing so. The whole negro population would run away, were it not that every boat has been broken up.

Upon arriving at the town the rebel flag was pulled down on board the sail-boat, and the United States ensign run up, to the horror of the citizens, who had come down to congratulate the (as they supposed) escaped rebel boat. Captain De Kay proceeded on shore with his body-guard, sent for the Mayor and authorities, who called a meeting of the citizens. At this meeting a resolution was read setting forth “that the citizens would surrender as the conquered to the conquerors, and that they were and always would remain true and loyal citizens of the Confederate States of America.”

Thereupon Captain De Kay seized and imprisoned the Mayor, Aldermen, and Committee–no resistance being made by their fellow-citizens, from the fear of a supposed gunboat outside the bar of the creek!

The authorities, left to themselves, and wisely removed from all excitement, began now to see the error of their ways. Visions of Fortress Monroe dungeons in the foreground, and handsomely constructed gallows, with patent drops, in the background, worked upon their imaginations, so that, one by one, and stoutly contesting point after point, they came down at last to Captain De Kay’s simple propositions, which were:

1. To surrender the town and all public property to the United States forces unconditionally.

2. To hoist the American flag officially over the Town Hall, and to protect it there.

3. To, each and all, take the oath of allegiance to the United States of America.

To this they came at last, and after the oath the Mayor (a bitter secesh) nailed up with his own hand the glorious Stars and Stripes.

Lying opposite the town was a fine schooner, the Beauregard, with a full cargo of soft coal for the Merrimac. A prize crew (one man) was put on board, and some contrabands to work her, and she was sent to Fortress Monroe–the first prize vessel taken on James River.

Thus Smithfield was captured by eight men. The “supposed gunboat in the offing” never appeared!

Originally posted 2008-05-14 14:48:40.

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