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Four years with five armies : Army of the frontier, Army of the Potomac, Army of the Missouri, Army of the Ohio, Army of the Shenandoah / by Isaac Gause, late of Co. E. Second Ohio Cavalry. Gause, Isaac, 1843- 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-60-27077978 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Four years with five armies : Army of the frontier, Army of the Potomac, Army of the Missouri, Army of the Ohio, Army of the Shenandoah / by Isaac Gause, late of Co. E. Second Ohio Cavalry. Gause, Isaac, 1843- Neale, New York ; Washington : 1908. 384 p.,  leaves of plates : ports. ; 21 cm. Coleman Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1992. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN02784.01 KUK) Printing Master B92-60. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. Ohio Cavalry. 2d Regt., 1861-1865. United States History Civil War, 1861-1865 Personal narratives. FOUR YEARS WITH FIVE ARMIES This page in the original text is blank. ISAAC G A USEl Sergeant, Co. F., Second Ohio Volunteer Cavalry Four Years with Five Armies Army of the Frontier, Army of the Potomac, Army of the Missouri, Army of the Ohio, Army of the Shenandoah ISAAC Late of Co. E, BY GAUSE Second Ohio Cav. NEW YORK AND WASHINGTON THE NEALE PUBLISHING COMPANY 1908 COPYRIGHT, 1908, BY THE NEALE PUBLISHING COMPANY PREFACE It is not the object of the author in this little book to give a history of his life, or of the company, or of the regiment in which he served. But it is his purpose to relate some of the causes that led him to enlist; and what he observed during four years' service. Being only seventeen years of age at the time of the war, reared in a rural district, with little knowledge of men and their ways, and no knowledge whatever of military organiza- tion; with no ambition but to do his part in coercing the seceded States to return to the Union; and with nothing to indicate the length of time required to accomplish the task; with no thought of ever being able to write any- thing that would interest people, he now finds himself poorly prepared to do justice to the task. Having seen many claims made for official recognition for deeds done in the ordinary line of duty, it now appears to be his duty to his comrades to rehearse these extraordinary experiences. It was his custom to keep a diary when start- ing on a campaign, but owing to the toilsome march, together with the task of procuring 4 Preface something for his horse and himself to sub- sist on, the diary was either abandoned or lost. So, guided almost entirely by memory, he can write only a short history of the long campaigns, privations, and engagements. CONTENTS CHAPTER PAGI I. OBSERVATIONS IN A RURAL DISTRICT 9 II. CAMP LIFE AT CLEVELAND. . . 17 III. WINTER QUARTERS AT CAMP DENNISON 3I IV. MY FIRST PICKET DUTY . . . . 48 V. MY FIRST SKIRMISH. . . . . . 56 VI. THE INDIAN EXPEDITION . . . . 75 VII. PROVOST DUTY AT FORT SCOTT . 102 VIII. IN QUARTERS AT CAMP CHASE . I13 IX. IN KENTUCKY . . . . . . . 122 x: ON MORGAN'S TRAIL . . . . . I48 XSI. THE CAPTURE OF MORGAN . . . I60 XII. EVENTS SUCCEEDING A FURLOUGH . 176 XIII. CAMPAIGNING IN EAST TENNESSEE . I83 XIV. MORE TENNESSEE SERVICE . . . . 199 XV. THE END OF THE CAMPAIGNS OF '63 . 2I3 XVI. IN THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC . 217 XVII. SERVICE INVIRGINIA . . . . . 232 XVIII. ROUGH TIMES IN THE OLD DOMINION 247 XIX. THE FORTUNES AND MISFORTUNES OF WAR . . . . . . . . . . 267 XX. THE WILSON RAID . . . . . . 275 XXI. GENERAL KAUTZ IN HIS ELEMENT . 286 XXII. REORGANIZING AND HUSTLING . . 298 6 Contents CHAPTER PAGE XXIII. CAPTURE OF THE EIGHTH SOUTH CARO- LINA INFANTRY . . . . . . 306 XXIV. BATTLE OF CEDAR CREEK . . . . 330 XXV. CUSTER'S RAID . . . . . . . 343 XXVI. WINTER QUARTERS . . . . . . 348 XXVII. JAMES RIVER CANAL RAID . . . . 352 XXVIII. THE LAST BATTLES . . . . . . 366 XXIX. MUSTERED OUT . . . . . . . 375 XXX. POLITICAL AND MILITARY EFFECT OF MORGAN'S RAID . . . . . . 38I XXXI. THE ARMY HORSE . . . . . . 383 ILLUSTRATIONS ISAAC GAUSE . . . . . . . . Frontispiece MEDAL OF HONOR . . . . . Facing page 9 FRANKLIN ACKLEY . . . . . 22 CHARLES GRANDISON FAIRCHILD. 54 G. W. BYARD . . . . . . 86 A. V. KAUTZ . . . . . . io8 MATHIAS M. SPRINGER . . . 140 WILLIAM W. WURTS . . . . I72 E. P. SMITH. . . . . . . 204 GEORGE A. WILKINS . . . . 242 F. F. REXFORD . . . . . . 272 WARNER NEWTON . . . . . 302 This page in the original text is blank. Four Years with Five Armies CHAPTER I OBSERVATIONS IN A RURAL DISTRICT I WAS born in Trumbull County, Ohio, December 9, i843, and began going to school when I was five. When in my seventh year I moved with my parents to Mahoning County, and at the age of four- teen I went to live with my uncle Elijah Shinn, on a farm in Goshen Township. About that time my attention was called to the political condition of the country, because of the radical change that had recently taken place in the old parties. The people in that locality were of many religious faiths and political opinions, among whom were many Abolitionists, who refused to vote because there was a clause in the Con- stitution which permitted chattel slavery. When an effort was made to admit the Ter- ritory of Kansas into the Union the contro- versy was so bitter that the Abolitionists showed a disposition to vote provided they could get some concession from the Whigs, then under the able leadership of the Hon. Joshua R. Giddings, who conceived the plan to form a new party that would admit them, to Four Years with Five Armies and also suit the liberal or free-State Demo- crats. In i86o Abraham Lincoln was nominated Presidential candidate by the new party. The demonstrations in towns and villages fired the children in the rural districts with a spirit of patriotism, a spirit to which I was able to con- tribute by driving to town and purchasing a flag that we were able to raise on a fifty-foot pole in front of the schoolhouse. After the election of Lincoln, secession being threatened, the probability of war in the near future was much discussed, but there were only a few who thought such a calamity would befall the country. A small per cent., however, thought that a division of States was assured from the fact that the Southern men were accustomed to the use of firearms, and that they were trained to the code and followed the chase. During the winter of i86o I was much of the time in company with two brothers, who took an interest in the pending question from the fact that their former schoolmates, the Copic brothers, were members of John Brown's company, and were with him on the noted raid on Harper's Ferry, Virginia, when they took possession of the United States Arsenal at that place. One of my com- panions had also been in Kansas during the border troubles, or '56 war. Consequently I listened to many stories of encounters that had taken place between the free-State men of Kansas and the pro-slavery party in Missouri, MEDAL OF 1TOXOR This medal contains the followilng wvords: T The Congress to Corporal Isaac 6autse. Co. E. 2d Ohio Cav. Vols., for Gallantry near Berryville, V a.. September 13, 1.Y64." It was given to Corporal GaLuse On the recom inendations of Generals Wilson and McIntosh. In " Medals of Honor, a publication issued b) the War Depart- ment. September 19, 1864, will be found the following in relation to Mr. Gause: " Corporal, Co. E, 2d Ohio Cavalry; Action, near Berry- ville. Va.. Date, September 13, 1864. Capture of the colors of the 8th S. C. Infantry while engaged in a reconnoissance along the Berry- ville and Winchester pike." PACING; 9 This page in the original text is blank. Observations in a Rural District the details of which gave me some informa- tion concerning the strategy that profitably can be practiced in the enemy's country. I will relate a story that will serve to show how one may be compelled to pay the penalty of another's crime. This I give as near as possible in my friend's language. He said: "When I made up my mind to come back to Ohio," said he, " I was in Wyandotte, Kan. In order to get to the railroad I must travel thirty miles in Missouri. It was fatal for a free-State or Kansas man to be caught in that part of the country, so I prepared myself ac- cordingly, and if suspected, I would claim to be a pro-slavery man. I had a full beard and long hair, and I put on a white shirt for the first time in a long while, then buckled on a belt with revolver and dirk. I crossed the Missouri in an unfrequented place at night, and hurried along so as to arrive at Weston to take the train at nine o'clock in the morn- ing. About three o'clock, when passing a plantation, a large dog, of which every planter kept one or more, jumped out of the gate and sprang at my throat, but by catching him by the paw and giving it a sudden wrench I pre- vented him from getting hold. To prevent making a noise I drew the knife, and after a desperate struggle I killed him. I imme- diately left the road in order to cover my trail, for if the planter should follow and overtake me I would meet the fate of my victim. When I came to a creek about daylight I washed I I I2 Four Years with Five Armies the blood off, leaving a stain on one cuff of my shirt. It was about sunrise when I ar- rived at Weston and sat down in the waiting- room. Soon after, on looking out, I saw a party ride toward the depot. It was evident they were in haste, and thinking they were in search of a runaway slave I gave the incident little attention until they dismounted, came on the platform, and began looking about the depot. Finally, one of them walked up, reached out his arm, saying at the same time, 'Ain't this our man' Thinking he wanted to shake hands, I reached out mine, and so uncovered the stained cuff. Before there was time to think, they covered me with two revolvers and dragged me out and ad- justed the rope for my neck. There was no time allowed for explanation, as they were wild with excitement. One of them, however, more cool than the others, insisted that they had the wrong man. But the others said, ' Here is the stain on his cuff, and the rascal has tried to wash it off.' 'No,' he said, ' I know the man that killed Bill.' The last re- mark explained matters sufficient for me to catch my breath, inasmuch as I thought they were going to hang me for killing the dog during the night. When an explanation about the stain was given, they apologized for the rough treatment and rode away." The many stories, combined with the in- creasing animosity constantly agitated by the press, convinced me that nothing short of war Observations in a Rural District would settle the political differences between the North and South. At that time it would have been considered presumptuous to inti- mate that I could engage in any way in the struggle, although my mind was made up from the time Brooks of South Carolina struck Sumner of Massachusetts in the United States Senate, that should war be declared I would bear my part in one capacity or an- other. It was my secret, however, until the war was in full progress and the President had made the second call for troops. As no opportunity presented itself for me to enlist in the cavalry, I formed a plan to go away with a neighbor boy and enlist in the infantry. But we were both under the care of guardians, and our plan by some chance became known and was thwarted by them. My uncle, having been raised a Quaker and being of a very mild disposition, had seldom spoken in a positive manner. I had lived with himn four years, and that was the first time he had refused to let me have my own way, although the previous requests had not been of an important nature. One evening in August my aunt read an article from the Mahoning County Register, stating that Professor Hall was recruiting a company in Canfield, to join what was to be known as Wade and Hutchins's cavalry. The names of the enlisted men were attached to the article. There were four with whom I was slightly acquainted, one a former school- 13 Four Years with Five Armies mate, of whom mention will be made in the future. My mind was made up at once. I would go, let come what would. I had al- ways had one or more horses at my command from the time I could mount one from a stump or fence corner, for I was fond of a good horse, and delighted to run races with my associates whenever meeting them, whether going or coming from fairs, camp-meetings, and so on, and I had had many adventures and some narrow escapes. The next Saturday there was another article in the paper that my aunt also read to me. It stated that Captain Hall's company had nearly its complement of men and would depart from Canfield to join their regiment at Camp Wade, Cleveland, Ohio, on the following Tuesday. That was short notice for one who had made no arrange- ments. But, being fully determined, I set about formulating my plans. There were many things to be taken into consideration, many of which had been crudely revolved in my mind, but with no definite conclusion as to the result of any of them. My uncle and aunt were my guardians, and were the same as father and mother to me. I could not have loved them better had they been such in fact. My home was equal to the best of my asso- ciates', and to break my family ties was no small concern to me. Besides, I was bound by a contract between my mother and uncle to remain with them until I was eighteen, and I would not be eighteen till the 9th of the T4 Observations in a Rural District next December. Moreover, by breaking the contract I would forfeit all the financial bene- fit that had accrued to me by the last four years' labor. At the expiration of my time my uncle was to pay me one hundred dollars, give me a horse, saddle and bridle, and a new suit of clothes. As at that time the aggregate of this was equal to two hundred and twenty- five dollars, it was considered a very fair start in life for one at my age. It did not occur to me there would be another chance to go into the cavalry, and therefore I thought to myself, now is the time to go. The worst of all was to leave without the consent of uncle and aunt. Weary with my ponderings, sleep overtook me, and next day I went to church. As soon as the service was ended I collected my associates, and we went to the woods for a council. I told them all about the cavalry company, and that we should all go together and enlist, but there was no response from them. After describing the difference between the cavalryman and the infantry, those that must plod through mud and snow, I gave up the task and started home. On the way I met some young men that consented to go with me. The next thing to do was to notify my uncle. After sitting down to dinner I told them what my mind was made up to do. To my surprise and gratification my uncle said, " If he thinks he must go I will take him to Canfield to-morrow and let him enlist." Much gratified to think Is5 i6 Four Years with Five Armies there was no opposition from this source my arrangements were made accordingly. On Monday morning, when the work had been done as usual, I made preparation to go, but it began to rain and my uncle did not want to take his carriage out. But rain was no ob- stacle in my way, and I walked over to the home of my neighbor, who was presumably to be my future companion, and found him putting the saddle on his horse. When he saw the way I was situated, he hitched the horse to a buggy and drove over to get our other man. He had made no arrangements to go, so we drove to Canfield, put the horse in the stable at the Bostwick House, and here we met those with whom we were acquainted, among them George A. Wilkins. With a cor- dial greeting, he shook hands and asked, " Well, are you going with us " " I surely am," I replied, "if there is room for one more on the rolls." " Come right in here," he said, and then addressing the sergeant, he con- tinued, " Here is another one to add to the list." "How old are you" asked the ser- geant. " Eighteen, of course," Wilkins re- plied, and down went my name. CHAPTER II CAMP LIFE AT CLEVELAND W E went to the Meeker House, where the men were selecting the horses they were to ride in the service. Those horses that had been in- spected and accepted by the government in- spector stood in stalls in the long stables, and the many horse-dealers that had horses to sell occupied the open sheds on an adjoining lot, each with a bunch that he was anxious to dis- pose of. After inspecting three or four lots without finding one to suit me, I passed on to another, and there found one. The owner said, " You know a good horse when you see it, but that one does not come up to the stand- ard height; it has been inspected and re- jected on that account. She is the best animal in the stable and can outrun anything in the county, but she is nervous and unreliable in harness. If you can get her accepted, you will be the best mounted man in the com- pany." He put the saddle on the mare and brought her out. She was anxious to go, and every motion was as quick as a cat, and when I lit in the saddle she shot out of the stable like an arrow. After galloping up and down the street and turning short on the slippery plank '7 i8 Four Years with Five Armies pavement to the delight of the bystanders and to my own satisfaction, I rode to the stable. " Now," he said, " you tell the inspector that if he does not accept this mare you will not go with the company." I carried out his in- structions, and after much quibbling and hesi- tation, and by the earnest request of the by- standers who had witnessed my horsemanship, the animal was accepted and " U. S." branded upon her. After dinner we returned home and made hasty preparation for my departure. The next morning I mounted a horse at daybreak and rode to Damascus, a distance of three miles, my cousin having gone there to stay all night with friends, and driven the horse and carriage that was wanted to take me to Can- field. As soon as we had breakfast we went home and found that my uncle had changed his mind. He wanted to sell a horse and con- cluded to go on horseback. It was fourteen miles to Canfield and the company would leave at ten o'clock, so we hurried away as soon as possible after taking leave of those I might not see soon again. When we had rid- den about three miles we were overtaken by a horse-buyer who wanted artillery horses. I galloped the one I was riding up and down the road to show him off to the best advantage. The trade was soon made by the dealer ad- vancing my uncle five dollars with instruc- tions to deliver the horse at Salem the follow- ing Monday. Camp Life at Cleveland When within a mile of Canfield my uncle said he was tired, as he was not used to riding, and would like to return if I was satisfied to walk. We dismounted, and after an affec- tionate leave-taking, I walked toward town, while he rode in the opposite direction. We were scarcely out of sight of each other when the cannon began to boom the farewell salute to the company as it departed for Youngs- town, where they were to embark by rail. I soon met one of my neighbor boys who had ridden over to see the company start. When I explained to him my dilemma, he rode into town to make some arrangement by which I could get to Youngstown. The streets were deserted and the houses closed, with but a few people to represent the place. Every avail- able horse and harness had been put into use to take the company and its friends to Youngs- town. But it so happened that one doctor had one more bvggy than horse, which his wife graciously loaned us. We found an old breast-strap, and by using ropes for traces, were enabled to hitch my friend's horse; but as there were no holdback straps, we had to get out and hold the buggy back going down hill. We arrived at our destination just in time for dinner. The scene was to me a new and novel one. A vast crowd had gathered around the hotel where the dinner had been prepared and placed on a long table for the company. It was so closely packed that it was almost impossible to gain an entrance. I9 20 Four Years with Five Armies My friend interceded for me, and told them that here was a member of the company who had been left behind and wanted dinner be- fore train-time. That was all that was nec- essary, as everyone was anxious to show gratitude to the soldier. As word passed along, " Here is one, let him in," we finally managed to reach the table. After the dinner was concluded, the people gathered around the empty cars by the already overcrowded platform. These cars were destined to take us away, and it was announced that it was time to board the train. I walked around to the opposite side, where I could gain the step to the car without coming in contact with the crowd, and there, with a hearty handshake, and many thanks for the assistance he had rendered me, I took leave of my friend, to meet him again more than a year afterward on his deathbed. When I entered the car the scene that met my eye was heartrending indeed. There were fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and wives with tears and sobs, taking, for aught they knew, their last leave of their dear ones who were going to combat in what was destined to be a long and bloody struggle. My atten- tion was called to one group in particular. owing to its peculiar variance from the others. A middle-aged couple, whose attire would indicate that they were poor people, stood at one end of the car, and as the woman handed her husband some small token, she said: Camp Life at Cleveland "Remember me, when this you see, Though many miles apart we be." Then, with a fond embrace, and tears rolling down her face, she boo-hooed, and left the car. When the train pulled out, its occupants consisted of the company, and a few of the most influential tnen from Canfield and Youngstown who wanted to see their friends safely in camp. Now that we were away from the women, the flask became a frequent visi- tor. I was in a car whose occupants were entire strangers to me, but it was not long until my friends, who had not time to think of me before, came in search of me, and with hard persuasion succeeded in getting me to take the first drink of liquor that ever passed my lips. The most of them became jolly as the train moved along,,and it was a great contrast from the hours before. I thought, how easily and soon they forgetl We arrived at Cleveland about sundown, and when we were out of the cars the captain ordered us to fall in line. I had never been in line, and had seen but one company of recruits march. We crossed the Cuyahoga River and marched up a long hill. It was awkward work for me, but I managed to step on the heels of the man in front as often as the man behind me trod on mine. We ar- rived at the top of the hill, where we found preparations going on for our reception. By details from companies the eleven tents had been stretched, and there was a colored cook 21 22 Four Years with Five Armies for each mess. Supper was almost ready. Our tables consisted of forked sticks about four feet long set in the ground for legs, with short poles from fork to fork, on which rested two boards twelve inches wide and about twelve feet long. Each cook had a tent called "the cook-tent" for him to sleep in, and to store away the rations. After supper the as- signment to the different messes began, but most of these had been done by mutual con- sent before leaving Canfield. There were four or five of us, however, that were on the stray list, we either having no acquaintance with the others or not having had time to make arrangements. The different messes went by the name of the town in which the men lived; as, the Salem mess; Canfield mess; Youngstown mess, Girard, Nilestown, Board- man, Jackson. All of my acquaintances were in the Salem mess, and as they had only ten men I was invited to join them. They soon found another young man, Frank Ackley, about my age and size, to be my " bunky," and to complete the required number for the mess. We each then drew a single blanket, and I lay down in a tent for the first time in my life. My bunky, like myself, was igno- rant of camp life, and had come without any bedding, therefore we were not so comfort- ably fixed as some of our comrades who brought quilts and blankets with them. The ground seemed very hard, and we turned over often during that first night. In the morning FRANKLIN AcKLuv C(orporal, Co. E. iSec d Ohio Vo1luteer Cavalry FACING 22 This page in the original text is blank. Camp Life at Cleveland we began to look about to learn something of our surroundings. We learned that our com- pany was the last of twelve to arrive in camp, but that some of them did not have their full quota and therefore could not muster, al- though they occupied their place in camp. Professor Hall had opened the rolls for en- listment on August ioth, and recruited the first man for the regiment. Xre considered him captain and accordingly elected him as such, with Bales Fawcet for first lieutenant, and Peter L. Rush for second lieutenant. There was a great deal of fault found with Captain Hall's conduct and management of the company, but his selection of non-com- missioned officers showed his judgment was good in that respect. It saved a great deal of trouble in the future, with Warner Newton for first sergeant, a man with executive ability to command a brigade; Dan Arnold for quartermaster sergeant, who had some experi- ence in that line, having been with Walker's expedition across the plains some years before. The other non-commissioned officers were the best men in the company, though none had any military knowledge except Corporal William H. Arnold, and he had been in the three months' service and was at the battle of Manassas Junction. Two days after we arrived in camp our horses, which had been brought on foot, were tied to a picket rope on the flats between Camp Wade and the Cuyahoga River, where 23 24 Four Years with Five Armies they were taken care of by a detail termed " horse guards " until late in the fall. At Camp Wade there was also camped a battery of artillery and a small detachment of Ohio boys enlisted for the noted Jim Lane's com- mand in Kansas. It was in that detachment that the first fatality occurred at Camp Wade. The boys had been furnished with guns and used them when on camp duty. There were two brothers who slept together. One of them, when on camp guard just behind the tent where his brother then lay, saw a cat cross the beat on which he was walking. He at- tempted to kill it, and at the noise of the gun everyone was awakened in the vicinity. His brother cried out, " I am shotl " His com- rade told him to go to sleep, and said, " You have been dreaming of battle, and when you heard that shot it awoke you." At first he thought they were right, and he tried to go to sleep. As he attempted to turn over, how- ever, he put his hand into a pool of blood. He told his companion, a light was brought, and it was found that the ball had passed through his body. He died at seven the next morning. The first week passed away without any unusual event in the Second Ohio; the time of the trooper was fully occupied, and, since I had left home: on short notice, I was anxious to return for a visit to assure my friends that I did not regret what I had done. The location of Camp Wade was on Uni- versity Heights, a high plateau situated south Camp Life at Cleveland 25 of the Cuyahoga River. The Heights con- sisted of several hundred acres of land cov- ered with grass, sloping to the southeast, and bounded on the south by the University. Our camp was located on the north side of the plateau overlooking the city, the suburbs of which extended out to the University on the west side of the plateau. The open ground for a distance of nearly a mile was used for drill and parade ground, and was a popular resort for pleasure seekers. There was a continual stream of visitors, excursions, and picnics from the counties and towns where the companies were recruited. Soon after the uniforms were issued we had a review and a dress parade, and a flag was pre- sented by the ladies of Cleveland to the Sec- ond Cavalry. The ceremony took place in front of the University, where the regiment formed in hollow square. The presentation was made by one of Cleveland's fair daugh- ters. To the presentation address a fitting response was offered. The regiment was pledged not only to defend that banner of silk and gold, but to carry it on wings of vic- tory into the heart of the enemy's country. Then three cheers were given, patriotic songs were sung, the band gave its choicest selection, and the companies were marched to quarters and disbanded. Everything went along lovely until Novem- ber, when the cold north winds swept down across Lake Erie and struck Camp Wade a 26 Four Years with Five Armies broadsider that made the tents totter and the teeth of the trooper chatter. The elevated spot that had been so pleasant during the autumn months had now to be abandoned for a better protected one. By the recent rains the flats had become soft and the horses were standing in mud up to their knees, and many sickened and died. The regiment was ordered to move to the old fair ground, known by the name of "Camp Taylor." With no horse equipments but rope halters we mounted bareback and marched through the streets of Cleveland to the new camp. The horses, glad to be liberated from their muddy prison, pranced and jumped about, and it was impossible to keep them in any- thing like a column. The change in some respects was good for man and beast, or at least it was until the rains set in again, and then it was worse than Camp Wade, for there the horses were kept away from camp, so that we were not constantly kept in mind of their suffering. But in the new camp they were tied in front of the tents, and they tramped and lashed the mud until everything for -rods around was covered with it. It was discouraging indeed to the trooper on duty to go on guard and walk back and forth by a string of horses for two hours, then go into the tent and lie down in wet clothes for four hours, alternately during the whole day. To do justice to the regiment, it is necessary Camp Life at Cleveland to give a better explanation of the mount and its treatment. Our horses were the best that could be selected from the stables of northern Ohio. Each man was permitted to choose his own horse, sell it to the Government, and retain it for his mount. This brought out the choice horses from each neighborhood. Many of them were worth more than the established Government price, the difference being at the trooper's expense, and he was willing to sac- rifice the money in order to have his favorite animal. The treatment the horses received was, for some unaccountable reason, without doubt cruel, and for which cruelty those who were responsible have need to be forgiven. A man had to depend on his faithful animal and companion to carry his burden on the long, weary march, and in the brilliant charge they were destined to carry the Second Ohio Cavalry. While we were at Camp Wade the horses were picketed on the flats in open ground with no care but feed and water twice a day. The rations of forage were scant, and were strewn on the ground for the poor ani- mals to scatter and waste, while they would kick and strike and bite at each other, crip- pling, and spreading disease from which many died. After we moved to Camp Tay- lor it was a daily occurrence to see one or more carcasses drawn out of the hospital, where they were under the care of veterinary surgeons, after having been reported unserv- iceable. Fresh horses were daily bought by 27 28 Four Years with Five Armies the quartci-fiiaster to take their place, so that when the order came, about the ist of Decem- ber, for the regiment to report at Camp Den- nison, there were enough horses to give each trooper his mount. During the month of No- vember we had been furnished with a com- plete set of horse equipments. When the weather would admit we went to the commons north of the camp and went through with the mounted drill, and this furnished recreation from the now dreary and loathsome camp. We received our first pay, all in coin, and this was a red letter day indeed. Many had been entirely without money for three months, and could not even write a letter without bor- rowing the material. About December ist an order was received for the regiment to report to Camp Dennison forthwith; but " forthwith " is about nine days with a raw cavalry regiment that has been accumulating all kinds of articles too nu- merous to mention. Now there were great and new events in store for the Second Ohio Cav- alry, that caused the monotonous and grew- some scenes of Camp Taylor to slip f rom memory. On the night of the Ist of December I was on camp guard, and my beat was between the string of miscellaneous horses and the high fence that closed the fair ground. It was a cold and rainy night, and I was drenched to the skin, my boots were full of water, and my new cavalry overcoat was covered with mud Camp Life at Cleveland splashed there by the horses as they plunged about. The boards that had been thrown down for us to walk on were all afloat. The close proximity of the horses to the fence made this a favorite place for the boys that were in the habit of running the guard to make their exit to the street. For that purpose there had been one board knocked off from the fence, and just as day was breaking a man made his appearance at the opening. Our instructions were to converse with no one while on duty, but as there was no danger of being seen by anyone, I ventured into a conversation with him. He produced a pint flask and offered it to me. I declined, saying, " I do not drink." But he urged me. "You are wet and cold and it will do you good." So I took a pretty good draught. Having informed him that we were ordered away, he appeared much grieved, for he had become much attached to some of the boys that frequented his house. Producing the flask frequently, he took a large drink each time, and it did not appear to have any effect on him. Although drinking but little, I began to feel quite jolly, and before the relief came I had forgotten the misery of the poor animals and was endeavoring to keep them quiet by slapping them with the dummy gun furnished to arm the guard with. Preparation for moving began from the moment the notice was given until the morn- ing of our departure, there being some changes to make, such as shipping surplus 29 30 Four Years with Five Armies baggage, writing letters, and so on. Notice was served that transportation would be fur- nished for but one man, who would be known as " company cook." In Company E each mess wanted to retain its man to occupy the position, but the seniority rule prevailed, and the old man, Munson, having done the hon- ors for mess No. i, was retained, and was proud of his position. He superintended the packing and caring for the private property of his old mess as long as he remained with the company, not leaving until after the In- dian expedition returned to Fort Scott. CHAPTER III WINTER QUARTERS AT CAMP DENNISON O N the morning of the 9th of December, i86i, we left our snow-covered tents, packed our blankets, saddled up, and at ten o'clock took up the line of march for the depot. It was the first time the regiment had been on the move, mounted, equipped, and in uniform. Twelve hundred and forty men with blue overcoats on chafing steeds passed down the snow-covered streets of Cleveland; the band, mounted on gray horses, led the way, playing " The Star Spangled Banner." Then came Colonel Doubleday, as fine a figure as ever sat in a saddle, with his staff officers, in their dress uniforms, and with finely equipped steeds. Following in regular order came the com- panies. When the shades of night came over Cleveland, we were speeding our way south about as fast as steam could carry us. Every- one rejoiced to know that we would escape the severe winter of the North, which had now fairly set in, and as the train glided along through towns, villages, and country, we fell asleep in our seats. About four o'clock the next day we arrived at Camp Dennison, which is situated on the Little Miami River, six- 3' 32 Four Years with Five Armies teen miles from Cincinnati, and a few miles above the mouth of the river, and is sur- rounded by hills. The camp was situated on a level valley about one and a half miles wide and two miles long. It had been raining, and when we arrived at the depot the valley looked like a lake; but we plunged through it, and were soon quar- tered in barracks with kitchen and dining- room large enough to seat one-half of the company at one time. And then we were given our first lesson in cooking, being de- tailed in turn to assist the company cook. There were fifteen thousand troops there, drilling and equipping for active service, and among them the Sixth Ohio Cavalry. The companies having been recruited in the same counties from which the Second had come, most every trooper met a relative or school- mate, and the two regiments were sometimes called the half-brothers. It was in these old barracks that I became involved in a controversy with one of my mess-mates. My bunkv and I both having learned to smoke, one cold, rainy day when he was on guard, the stem in my pipe being broken, I took his and sat smoking, when he came in wet and cold. That put him out of humor and he said some bad things about the man who had stolen his pipe. Good- naturedly, I asked him to take back what he had said. But he went further, and without a second thought we got together. I gave him Winter Quarters at Camp Dennison 33 such a thrashing that he called enough, and we got up, shook hands, and never mentioned the affair again. We were quartered in the old barracks but a few days when the carpenters finished large and commodious barracks, with room enough to house one company in each, and they com- pleted comfortable stables for the horses a few days later. The mud had dried up by this time, and we were put through the mounted drill every day. Our company had two men that took " French leave," and it was here the first man of our regiment was killed by gunshot. One day, while drilling, a com- pany was making a left wheel at a gallop, and swung around in front of a battery at the in- stant the gunner received orders to fire. The battery was at target practice, and the gun was loaded with solid shot that carried one of the troopers out of the saddle and killed him instantly. At Camp Dennison our mess lost one mem- ber, which made the third. At an election Bales R. Fawcet was chosen lieutenant. J. C. Sheets was transferred to headquarters, Kin. Miller, trumpeter, exchanged places with C. C. McCane, Miller going to the Sixth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, and McCane coming to the Second Ohio Volunteer Cavalry. Patrols and scouting parties were sent out daily to accustom the officers and men for the duty they were soon to do in the field, and they were taught to pick up the men that ran Four Years with Five Armies the guard and bring them into camp. Up to this time we had no arms of any kind. When the orders came for the Second Ohio to send a scouting party to Warsaw, Kentucky, to dis- perse a band of bushwhackers that were depre- dating in that locality, Captain Welch, who was detailed to command the detachment, had to borrow guns and revolvers from the post ordnance officer. Boxing gloves were pur- chased and sparring indulged in, and we had some sailors who were well up in the art, and we witnessed some very fine trapeze and dumbbell exercises. We were taught, also, the art of evading sentinels, and the advan- tages a mounted man can take over the dis- mounted man, and many other of the arts of war. It was at this camp I saw the first soldier buried with military honors. There was another incident that occurred here that cast a gloom over the whole regi- ment. One morning the musicians had taken their horses from the stable and tied them to a rail fence. The ground was frozen, but the morning was bright and clear, and the horses felt the effects of the warm sun, and in caper- ing about, pulled the fence down. This frightened them, and one of them ran with such force that a heavy rail to which he was tied struck his rider on the head, crushing his skull. He lived but a few hours afterward, never having regained consciousness. It was about the 20th of December the ord- nance officer issued sabers, revolvers, and 34 Winter Quarters at Camp Dennison 35 belts. We had been in service so long without arms that now that we were partially armed, we felt proud that the authorities had recog- nized the fact that we could be trusted with the most harmless instrument in modern war- fare. For my part, I was so proud of my saber that I borrowed a long knife, strung it on my belt also, stalked over to the picture gallery, and had my picture taken, and placed it in the nicest case that could be found and sent it home. The picture is in existence yet, and well preserved, but to an experienced eye it looks like anything but a soldier. On the 24th of December I went to Cin- cinnati to spend Christmas with my uncle, Tohn Woodruff, who was editing a paper and lived with his family on Vine Street. After a merry Christmas and a royal time, I re- turned to camp, and there were all kinds of rumors afloat. We were to be mustered out of service immediately. All sorts of reasons were assigned for this sudden change. Some had it from good authority that there was too much cavalry; that it was a too expensive branch of the service for the little good it did. Many other things were circulated until the 3d of January. i862, when Colonel Double- day announced that he had orders from the War Department to report with the Second Ohio Cavalry to the commanding officer at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Preparations now began for a more extended journey and adventures than we had in our wildest imagi- Four Years with Five Armies nations anticipated. Old ways had to be de- parted from. The convenience of wagons to carry surplus bedding and baggage must be abandoned, as we were ordered to carry our personal effects on the saddle. There was lit- tle going on in camp but the routine duty and preparing to move until the i5th of January, when, about seven in the morning, we were led into line. After mounting and dismount- ing about seven times, we finally moved out in the direction of Cincinnati, while our horses were loaded down with blankets, quilts, bed- ticks, and the thousand unnecessary articles that had accumulated in camp. Some of these were abandoned on nearly every mile from Camp Dennison to Fort Gibson. However, we arrived in Cincinnati in fairly good shape after a march of sixteen miles. We put in the night loading horses and equipments, and as soon as the train was loaded, it pulled out for St. Louis, Missouri, taking with it a small detail of men to take care of the horses. After the long and weary night's task, we fell into line and marched to a long train of coaches, and followed our horses westward, passing the stock trains one by one. Fatigued by the march of the day and the night's work, we took to our seats in quite a different way from that of our journey to Camp Wade and Camp Dennison, and most of us soon fell asleep. For want of experience there had been but little proper preparation for the long journey before us, although we had been mak- 36 Winter Quarters at Camp Dennison 37 ing ready for several days; yet our prepara- tion had been loss of time, as it did not apply to the required wants of the occasion. The company equipments had been packed and loaded in cars at Camp Dennison, and shipped direct to Fort Leavenworth, and the haver- sacks had been filled with light bread and boiled beef, which had been nearly consumed during the first twenty-four hours. The troopers were mostly young and hardy and soon became hungry. There was a stampede at every station by those who had money, for whatever eatables there were in sight. Ar- rangements had been made by the commissary officers to have meals prepared at two differ- ent places, but that was very tedious for hungry men. The dining-rooms did not af- ford room enough to seat more than two com- panies at a time, and all kinds of trading was resorted to to satisfy the gnawing appetites. There was a great deal of grumbling, but the officers were not blamed for the inconven- ience. Each man took blame to himself for not having provided properly for his own needs, as each man considered he knew just as much as the officer, who, in this case, was often his old schoolmate and neighbor. But with all the privations there were many amusing incidents on the journey. In our company there was a man who had served in the French army, and on such occasions he would always fill up with " Oh, be joyful," and would explain, very emphatically, how Four Years with Five Armies he could pierce his enemy with his saber. With the drawn weapon in hand he would demonstrate how they used it in the French army, and then he would sing the Marseil- laise. He had a grudge against Captain Hall, and kept showing us just how he would thrust him. The performance, in course of time, became uninteresting, and Brandyburg was relieved of his saber, and settled down to a profound sleep. It was a long and tedious journey, for the trains did not glide over the rails as they do nowadays. The track was rough and the ends of the rails were not bound together with iron straps. Every joint was down, and in many places the ties would rise and sink in mud and water as the train passed over them. There was one place where an Illinois regi- ment had been thrown from the track and nearly all killed or injured, while making special time a few days before. On the morning of the i9th we arrived at East St. Louis, then known as " Bloody Island." The Mississippi was frozen over, and teams pulling heavy loads were crossing in the same order that they pass on the road or street, but the mayor of the city notified the Colonel that the ice was in a dangerous condition, and anyone venturing upon it did it at his own risk. The river was gradually swelling from melting snow and the rain that was falling. The owners of the ferryboats were aware of the condition and had steam 38 Winter Quarters at Camp Dennison 39 ready for work as soon as the ice gave way. It was almost impossible to keep the regiment at Bloody Island, for there was no shelter, no cooking outfit, and the ground was covered with ice and slush. The rain poured down at intervals and wet our blankets and clothes, and there was little wood to build fires. Col- onel Doubleday was not the man to sit down end wait for nature to do its work when his men were in such a horrible plight. He ordered lumber to be purchased and laid on the ice to strengthen it until we could cross. The lumber began to arrive that very day, and on the morning of the 20th, after stand- ing around all night, a detail was sent to lay stringers across the river with planks on them bridge fashion. We stood and walked about the banks watching the work progress until about four o'clock, when it was complete. While the men were still on the bridge Col- onel Doubleday, with his staff, came out to inspect it. When they were about half-way across, the ice, with a terrific heave, gave way. Huge blocks, between two and three feet thick, and all lengths and widths from ten to one hundred feet, shot up, and then settled or sank down to take their places with the great mass that crashed and ground together as it floated down in the seething water to disap- pear in the Gulf at the mouth of the Missis- sippi. There was now a rush for life; the officers mounted, and the detail dismounted, rushing for shore. The bridge served a good Four Years with Five Armies purpose, for in many places it enabled the men to cross the gaps between the floats. Some of the men farthest from the shore were un- able to escape until after the bridge had en- tirely gone to pieces; some of them, floating down a distance, watched their chances and jumped from one drift to another, until at last all were safe. The shore on both sides of the river was crowded with soldiers and citizens, and the wildest excitement prevailed. Men rushed hither and thither, shouting and screaming all kinds of words of precaution to those in danger; but the roar and creaking of the ice made the din unintelligible, and the men paid no attention to it. Each looked out for himself and secured his own safety, and there was no loss of life or limb. The hos- pital record in the days following told the woeful tale of the devastation of health caused by the working and tramping about and lying around in mud and rain, with little to eat, and many times with nothing. During the day we had been treated to all kinds of stories concerning our future, pur- porting to come from officers who knew all about it. Good barracks, good stables for horses, and, above all things, carbines, awaited us in the beautiful beyond. Fortunately, the break up of ice extended only about a mile, and in an hour we were crossing the river in ferryboats that had steamed across it at the first opportunity. We marched through the streets of St. Louis to Benton Barracks, where 40 Winter Quarters at Camp Dennison 41 we arrived in the night and in a drenching rain. Instead of being quartered in com- fortable barracks, after an hour or two of parleying around we were compelled to go in the arena of the fair ground, with no wood for fires to dry our clothes, and no shelter or feed for the horses. We were compelled to lie down on the seats of the arena in wet blankets until morning, when we got some wood. We then proceeded to dry our clothes and blankets, and wait for rations and forage that came later in the day. Our privations and our intense hunger convinced every man that he should know how to cook and care for his own rations. It was very apparent that a company mess arrangement could not be ef- fectually used while on the move, and the service of the regiment must necessarily be very much impaired with cook and rations in one place and hungry men in another. All agreed that a mess of four troopers could carry the necessary cooking utensils and rations for that number, but we were not called on to put this new method into use for many months. The Second Illinois and the Second Iowa Cavalry were also camped at Benton Bar- racks. Among them we met many old school- mates and neighbors formerly from Ohio, but now living in Illinois and Iowa. After a de- lay of two days at Benton Barracks, we took up the line of march to St. Charles, a distance of twenty-five miles on the north bank of the Missouri River. The ice was still intact at Four Years with Five Armies this place, and we marched across in column of fours by deploying to widen the space be- tween the sets so as not to have too much weight on the ice at one time. A large part of the regiment took quarters in the female seminary and the remainder in unoccupied houses wherever they were to be found. Company E occupied a warehouse in the center of the city, with a large lot adjoining, with sheds for the horses. At this place ad- ditional arms were issued, one battalion being provided with revolving rifles and the others with what was called the Australian carbine, which was nothing more than a musket sawed off, making a short muzzle-loading gun with the old-fashioned paper cartridge and the regulation army cap. St. Charles was a lively little city at that time, and seemed to be the rendezvous of all kinds of people. Spies for both armies, desperadoes, gamblers, and spec- ulators collected and made headquarters there. It was useless for one to ask another where he was from, or what he was doing, or if he sympathized with the North or the South. If your question was answered at all, it would be with a shot or a look that would tell you at once it was none of your business. Now that we were armed and equipped, we began to think we had been organized for some purpose, and could venture into the enemy's country. After resting at St. Charles two or three days, observing the ways of the people, which were very different from any- 42 Winter Quarters at Camp Dennison 43 thing we had witnessed before, we reloaded our horses and boarded the train for another long journey by rail. It was the custom for the field officers, and such line officers as they saw fit to invite, to occupy the rear coach, which was done on this occasion. About day- light it was noticed that the coach had been detached and left behind. At the first stop- ping-place the train was side-tracked and the engine went back to pick up the lost officers. It found them twenty miles back, in the mid- dle of a large snow-covered prairie, sur- rounded by horsemen at a long range, who had intended an attack, but for some reason had delayed until too late. It was presumed to be some roving band of guerrillas, of which there were many at that time, and one of their spies, who had been in St. Charles, had boarded the train in uniform, and when they had come into the neighborhood of their band, he had pulled the coupling-pin and made his escape while the officers were sleep- ing. Most all of those bands had confed- erates in St. Charles and St. Louis. In fact, Quantrill, a most desperate leader of one of the bands, was at that very moment on our train, enlisted as a member of a company. We will speak of him hereafter. The weather was bitter cold, and it was im- possible to have any comfort in the moving train, as it was tickety-tick and bumpety-bump as the wheels passed from one rail to another. At Hudson, now Macon City, we fed and re- 44 Four Years with Five Armies loaded on the Hannibal St. Jo road. We found some Missouri troops stationed there, and they extended us a hearty welcome and rendered all assistance they could, and gave us much information of the kind of enemy we had to meet, their methods of warfare, and so on. After a delay of forty hours we again moved westward. After leaving Hudson our journey was marked by ruins of bridges and smoking embers of houses, for the bush- whackers and guerrillas had been busy every- where, waging war and devastating every- thing they came in reach of. Neighbor against neighbor, with knife and gun, they cut and shot each other to pieces. At every bridge or crossing there was a blockhouse occupied by a guard of soldiers to save the bridge from destruction. At the crossing of the Platte River a full regiment was stationed, and a strong stockade and blockhouses had been erected for its defense. A few days previous this bridge, while unguarded, had been partly burned, and a train loaded with soldiers had run into the river, causing great loss of life. Our train arrived at Weston, Missouri, on January 30, where we caught up with our culinary department, and then we were served with the first hot meal for seven days. Weston is at the extreme end of the Hanni- bal St. Jo R. R., and was, at that time, many miles beyond any other railroad. After tak- ing a little rest, we marched to Platte City, a distance of six or seven miles. There were Winter Quarters at Camp Dennison 45 still a few patches of snow and the road was covered with ice. Before we reached our destination we were treated to one of those freaks of weather peculiar to that section of the country-a heavy thunderstorm, that made day as dark as night. It continued about thirty minutes, and then with a sudden change of the wind it began to snow, and by the time we were all quartered there were three inches of snow on the ground. At Platte City the regiment began to make history. We were ordered by a dispatch from the commanding officer at Leavenworth to quell a factional fight which had resulted in the killing of sev- eral men and the burning of some houses. Platte City was one of the oldest towns in Missouri, and had been for many years a fit- ting-out and resting-place for freighters and emigrants crossing the plains. In the palmy days, with the aid of slave labor and slave trade, the inhabitants had accumulated much wealth. The buildings, both business and residence, were well built and handsome, and the people lived in luxury and ease. After the time of the border troubles of '56 between the free-State and pro-slavery parties, there was a division of sentiment, and after the war of '6i had been declared, factional fights were of common occurrence. They caused a great exodus, and when we took possession of the place there was scarcely a man or a horse to be seen. Large livery barns, of which there were several, were empty, and made com- Four Years with Five Armies modious and comfortable places for our horses. There were plenty of empty houses to quarter two or three regiments, but they were not very suitable for soldiers' quarters. Many rooms had no place for fire, and others had but a small fireplace, not suitable to cook for so many men. A fierce snowstorm raged for twenty-four hours. It was impossible to build a fire and cook outdoors. The men were compelled to gather around the few and small fires we were able to make in the fireplaces. It soon became known that provisions were scarce in the town, and the women remaining at home, whose husbands had gone to the army, were glad of the opportunity to cook, and take the surplus rations. The surplus would maintain them, as it was large in such things as beans, rice, hominy, and bacon, all of which had accumulated, as we had had no chance to cook for several days. This ar- rangement proved very convenient for both soldiers and citizens. We were all pleased with our stay in Platte City. Notwithstanding the severe cold weather, our experience was novel and varied. It was new and interesting to the boys from the rural districts of Ohio, and taught us to be vigilant soldiers. The first real eye-opener was the disannearance, while on the road from Weston to Platte City, of a man who had made his appearance at headquarters in St. Charles and asked to be enlisted in the regiment. He con- clusively proved to Colonel Doubleday that 46 Winter Quarters at Camp Dennison 47 he was well acquainted with the western part of Missouri and eastern Kansas, and had been compelled to leave home on account of his Union principles. The Colonel, thinking he would be of valuable service and wishing to do something to gratify a Union man, enlisted him and assigned him to a company. It has since been learned that the man was no other than the noted Quantrill. The first move on entering the town, the Colonel put guards in all parts and notified all parties that private rights would be protected. A favorable senti- ment was thereby cultivated in a very short time. Many Union flags appeared. Some of the flags were painted in water colors so that they could be washed in case it was necessary. This enlightened us on another point. It proved that people were compelled to guide their actions in accordance with the surround- ing conditions, and it was necessary to have two flags in one family. As this had to be practiced by both parties it was not often that one would publicly make known the actions of the other. If this were done the informer would surely meet a tragic fate. Company D and Company G were sent to guard im- portant and strategic points some distance away. Scouting parties and patrolling guards were constantly patrolling the town and the country to protect the Union people. Pick- ets were stationed on all the roads to prevent the command from being surprised by the marauders. CHAPTER IV MY FIRST PICKET DUTY M Y first picket duty was performed here during the first week of our sojourn. Our company was called on every day for a detail to scout or do picket duty. When it came my turn, a full detail, with Corporal Arnold in charge, sad- dled horses, and with instructions from the adjutant, moved out on a public road and re- lieved the guards there. It was a bitter cold day, and during the night the ice would rise up and pop open in the road where it had been tramped down by the horses. The instruc- tions required that one man must be constantly in the saddle and at a short distance in ad- vance of the dismounted men. We relied a great deal on our corporal. He had seen active service in Virginia during the first three months' campaign. Our surroundings were very different here in Missouri. There were no large armies in close proximity, but the country was infested with bands of guer- rillas, whose deeds of daring and miraculous adventure could not be surpassed by the knights or gladiators of old. Those parties were not confined to the army alone; some were secessionists, and others Union, while 48 My First Picket Duty others were, strictly speaking, seeking revenge for actual or supposed wrongs perpetrated on themselves or families, and still others were depredating for the spoils. They were con- stantly making raids, driving off stock, and carrying off provisions of every kind, robbing and burning houses, and it was no uncommon thing for one or two to ride along the road like innocent people, get into conversation with the sentinel, and at the first opportunity get the drop on and capture him. The whole party would then make their appearance from the woods or some place where they had been secreted, and charge into the camp, yelling and shooting, killing men and driving off the stock, and burning houses. We had been attentive listeners to these stories from the time we crossed the Missis- sippi, and, therefore, knew the necessity of constant alertness. We took turns on mounted guard during the day, and one at a time would go to town for his meals, but at night no one was allowed to dismount but the corporal. The trying ordeal was terrible during the long winter nights, but our safety depended upon our vigilance. After hearing of so many dar- ing adventures and hairbreadth escapes, to verify which there were plenty of facts in evi- dence, we had about come to the conclusion that nothing was impossible, and we deter- mined that no such accident should happen to us from neglect of duty. We can now re- fer with pride to the fact that we were not 49 Four Years with Five Armies surprised and that we lost no stock during the campaign in the West. How we kept from freezing is a wonder. We bundled up our feet and patted them on the bottom of the stirrups, and swung our arms, but the suffer- ing was almost unbearable. I was not very anxious to engage in a skir- mish, but sometimes I would try to make my- self believe that I would rather see the enemy charging up the road than to remain there for the remainder of the night. I think the light of day has never been so welcome to me as it was on those clear frosty mornings. The sun rose and shone brightly, and at nine o'clock we were relieved, and went to our quarters with the satisfaction of having been fully in- itiated to picket duty in the enemy's country. As our regiment was destined to be a part of an expedition to move farther to the south and west, and as we were now at the extreme end of the railroad, other kind of transporta- tion for supplies and baggage had to be pro- vided. Mules and wagons were brought over from Fort Leavenworth. D. H. Arnold, quartermaster-sergeant of Company E, was promoted to be regimental trainmaster. He began at once to fit out a regimental train. He was, perhaps, the only man in the com- mand who could throw a lasso on a wild mule, or, as the modern cowboy would say, put " the tug" on a broncho. He proved a valuable man in that capacity, and performed his duty long and well. The fitting out of the train so My First Picket Duty interested me very much. I would go to the corral every day to see them handle the wild mules. Arnold offered me a team to drive, but, as it did not compare very favorably with my notion of a cavalryman, I promptly de- clined. The company mess was yet in vogue, and as the cooking-vessels were large and could not be carried by the detachments that went on long trips, many men suffered for want of food. But with all the privations there were many fond ties connected with the sojourn here. Many of the boys kept up a corre- spondence with people there, and some later went back and married young ladies with whom they became acquainted at Platte City. On the i8th of February we left Platte City and marched to Fort Leavenworth, where we arrived six weeks from the time the orders were received at Camp Dennison to report forthwith to the commander at that fort. We were quartered in the regulation bar- racks, and the horses were sheltered in good stables. Here we learned something about regular army life, as there were some regular troops doing post duty. Leavenworth was the fitting-out place for all Government expedi- tions for the South and West. Large quanti- ties of clothing, rations, and forage were con- stantly being shipped up the river and stored there until they could be loaded on wagons drawn by six mules, and sent to their destina- tions. These trains were numerous, and usu- SI Four Years with Five Armies ally consisted of sixty wagons, some of which made long journeys to Salt Lake and other points. It was not uncommon for the trains to be gone a year before reporting back for another load. They were frequently at- tacked by Indians, who would drive off or kill some, and, at times, all of their mules. During our stay at Leavenworth we saw an old soldier drummed out of camp. One side of his head was shaved and a big D branded on his skin, denoting that he was a deserter. This brought a new problem before us, and some of us discussed the question whether it was or was not our duty to defend a govern- ment that treated men in that manner. I be- lieve we did not reach any definite conclusion. I know it is not fully settled in my mind yet; but the stirring events allowed no time for much thought and it was soon forgotten. The ordnance officer at the fort had six field-pieces with caissons and harness, but no horses or men to handle them. When the officer in charge saw the fine horses of the Second Ohio, he proposed to Colonel Double- day that he let him have enough to fit him out. The proposition was made to the men, and there was a call for volunteers. Enough men responded at once. To my surprise and regret one of our messmen volunteered, Theodore Campbell. He was one of the most reliable men in the company, of a quiet disposition, and one from whom we had never heard a word of discontent or complaint. He said 52 My First Picket Duty afterward that when he saw that battery stand- ing there the day we came, he thought how he would like to be one of the men to go with it. This appeared strange to me, for money could not have hired me to leave my fleet-footed animal and go with those lumbering wagons with a big log of iron on them. We were not destined to stay at Leaven- worth long. The post quartermaster was fit- ting out a train of more than a hundred wag- ons, the destination of which was Fort Scott, Kansas, and the Second Ohio was to be its escort. When everything was ready the roads were very bad. The frost had come out of the ground, but, as the supplies were needed at Fort Scott, it was necessary to put them on the road. On the i9th of February we moved out. The horses looked well, having had good stables and plenty of feed, and having been well groomed every day, both at Platte City and Fort Leavenworth. We had every rea- son to be proud of our mounts. We were in a country where the people were used to see- ing cavalry, and they all agreed that we were the best-mounted troops they had ever seen. Our route lay along the east line of Kansas. With the bands of bushwhackers and marau- ders infesting the country it was essential to have troops to protect the trains from being plundered. The train moved slowly, and there was plenty of time for scouting parties to patrol the roads. 53 Four Years with Five Armies A few miles from the fort, when we left the pike, the roads were very soft, and the wagons sank to the axles in many places. The train strung out for miles, and did not all meet at the same camp. This necessitated a division of the regiment. One battalion was in ad- vance, one in the center, and one in the rear. The battalion to which Company E belonged happened to be in advance. On the evening of the second day we camped at Wyandotte, twenty-eight miles from Fort Leavenworth, on the west side of the Kaw River, and di- rectly opposite Kansas City, Missouri. The officers and men soon made their appearance on the streets and in the hotels of Kansas City, and at that time there were many refugees there. Some were business men of Inde- pendence and other towns who had been com- pelled to leave their homes because of their Union sentiments. A delegation of them waited on Colonel Doubleday, and explained to him that Quan- trill with a band of about a hundred men was camped a few miles from Independence, twelve miles from Kansas City, and that he was in the habit of riding into town every night and running it to suit his own notions. They had, with the aid of companies of local troops, tried to dislodge him, but in the many engagements he had always come out victo- rious. They said they would go and act as guides and scouts, and fight as well as the troops, if the Colonel would give them the 54 CHARLES GRANDISON FAIRCHILD Second ohio Volunteer Cavalry FACING 54 This page in the original text is blank. My First Picket Duty 55 opportunity. But he said a move of that kind had to be made with the utmost caution and secrecy. If a hint should be dropped to any- one in sympathy with the South, notice would reach the band before a detail could start. CHAPTER V MY FIRST SKIRMISH A FTER we had answered to our names at retreat the next day, the captain said there was to be a scouting party to make a night raid, and the major wanted ten men from Company E. He wanted to know if that number would step to the front as volunteers. I was standing in the front rank, and I stepped to the front as quick as possible, but was not there any too soon, for twenty were there as soon as I, with more coming. The captain ordered all but ten to break ranks. As no one disputed my right, I was permitted to go as one of the detail. A sergeant was put in command, with instruc- tions to put us in light marching order and re- port to Lieutenant Nettleton. It was neces- sary to have in charge of that detail an officer who had seen some active service, and Lieu- tenant Nettleton was the only one in our bat- talion who had been on a scout of any importance. He had been with Captain Welch on a few days' scout in Kentucky, but as they did not engage the enemy his experi- ence was of little or no value to him on this occasion. It was nine o'clock when we marched down the street of Kansas City, 56 My First Skirmish where we were joined by a party of citizens of Independence. They were well mounted and armed, dressed in hunting-suits, and looked every inch the men they afterward proved themselves to be. They took the ad- vance and did the scouting. The road from Kansas City to Independence is a limestone pike, and the hillsides and shady places were covered with ice. Our horses were sharp- shod, but the ice was thin and gave way in many places. A drizzling rain fell all night, but we ar- rived at our destination about three o'clock in the morning. It was as dark as Egypt. Our guides were well acquainted with their position, and we at once surrounded a livery stable in which it was the custom of Quantrill and his men to stable their horses while they stayed in town; and they usually, it seemed, came there to sleep in the loft. It was the plan of our guides to catch them in that position, as it was a bad night to be out, but to our dis- appointment the stable was vacant. Some of the scouts visited their homes, and returned with the information that Quantrill had not been in that night, but he was expected for breakfast. We sat on our horses in anxious expectation until daylight, which was at a late hour owing to the heavy fog that had set- tled down after the rain. Meantime, Lieu- tenant Nettleton had stationed some of the de- tail in different parts of the town unknown to the rest of us. He then marched the remain- 57 Four Years with Five Armies der of the detail out into the country about a half-mile and turned into a meadow. Two large stack-pens were in the center of the meadow, and we were ordered to tie up to the fence, loosen the girths, and feed corn from an adjoining field. After the horses were fed we ate our hardtack and bacon. The Lieu- tenant had ridden away to a farmhouse some distance from the stack-pen to feed his horse and get his breakfast. As we had been in the saddle all night, some of us had stretched our- selves out on the hay to take a nap. I had been lying down but a few moments when the sharp report of a rifle and a revolver told us that Quantrill had come to town for breakfast. We sprang to our horses, put on the bridles, tight- ened the saddles, mounted, and were off for town, pell-mell, every man for himself, try- ing to see who could get there first. I was not the first in the saddle, but I was first to gain the road. As I turned into it I met Shorty Armstrong coming at full speed, shouting at the top of his voice, "Quantrill is in town!" As we passed some residences on the street I saw one of our guides entering his door with his revolver in his right hand and a stream of blood running down the fin- gers of his left hand. " All right, Mr. Quantrill; the Second Ohio will settle with you for thatl " The thought had scarcely passed my mind, when I saw Quantrill's men pouring out of a cross- street and down the very one we were entering. 58 My First Skirmish The fog was rising a little, and as the distance was only about three blocks, we could see them very distinctly. They were going as fast as we were, down hill into the creek where the fog still hung on the low ground, and for a minute or two they were lost to view. The street terminated at the creek, and the road turned down and followed the bed about one hundred yards, and then turned at right angles on a little flat at that time covered with water. They were quick to take advantage of this spot, and turned to make a stand. The creek was swollen and deep enough to come half-way up to the horses' sides. I saw this, and was going too fast to dash into it, for that would surely have thrown my mare from her feet. I reined her to the left on a vacant lot that terminated abruptly at the creek about twelve feet above the water and about one hundred yards from the enemy. We began to exchange shots without any further cere- mony, and the rapid firing to my left told the effectual work our scouts were doing, who had taken a short cut and were at the creek below us. I was now surrounded by our detail, and we were all emptying our guns as rapidly as possible, when I saw the men that had come down the hill last were entering the creek. When Quantrill's men turned and began to run, I dashed into the creek, and my animal, true to her instinct as a racer, was bound to do her best to be in the lead. As we came out in shallow water with fearful bounds, she leaped 59 6o Four Years with Five Armies over the body of one of the enemy that had fallen on his back and was nearly covered with water. It was the first dead Johnny I ever saw. They had made another stand at the foot of the hill, and I heard the words, " Halt, halt, surrender!" I came to a halt, and on looking back I saw our men, some already dismounted, with their guns through the fence, taking prisoners. It was the enemy's intention to win a victory by making a stand in that place. Some had dismounted and crouched behind the fence, but we had made such an effectual dash on them that when their mounted men gave way the riderless horses went with them, and left their riders to their fate. Four or five dead men lay there, to say nothing of the wounded who had made their escape. The result showed the effect of the firing from raw troops. When the prisoners had been gathered to- gether, we began to look around to see where we were, and after pinching ourselves to see if we were alive or dead, we concluded we were somewhere. Just at that moment our noble commander appeared and wanted to know what was the matter with us, but when he saw a half-dozen prisoners and as many dead lying about, he concluded not to lecture us on military discipline. After hearing all the particulars, he ordered a forward move- ment, and taking the advance at a very moder- ate gait we went in the direction the enemy had gone. The men appeared to chafe under My First Skirmish this unnecessary delay. If he had not come we would have started some minutes earlier and at a more rapid gait, and we would doubt- less have engaged and defeated Quantrill. My animal, having had one heat, was eager for another; she was champing the bit, scat- tering froth at every toss of the head, dancing and prancing until the white foam was drop- ping to the ground. All this was so annoying to the Lieutenant that he looked at me with a scowl on his face, and ordered me to keep my horse back where it belonged. After traveling about half a mile we came upon the dead body of one of our boys. He had been shot in the back and pitched forward, the cape of his coat falling over his head. I did not know how he had come there, but some- one suggested that his horse had run away and carried him into the lines of the enemy. Taking this to be true, we dismissed it from our minds. Two men took his body back to town, and the column moved on. I, for one, and I believe also the others, expected to hear the order to gallop, that we might dash into the retreating foe and avenge the death of our fallen companion. But it was apparent that there was no such order ready-made. We traveled on another half- mile, it seemed to me at a snail's pace. At that point there was heavy timber on both sides of the road, with a heavy rail fence on the right side but no fence on the left. A few hundred yards ahead and to the left a point 6i 62 Four Years with Five Armies of the mountain terminated with a steep bluff, known as Bald Knob. The thought must have entered every man's mind at the same time, for it was easy to distinguish many suppressed voices saying, " Look out! they will ambush us here." The next thought was to throw down the fence and go around and attack in the rear, but this was an idle thought. The Lieu- tenant suddenly ordered us to halt. We came to a standstill. An ashy paleness spread over the commander's face as he gazed at the death- dealing hill, and he remarked that the enemy had a good start of us and it was no use to follow them now. It is doubtful if one man agreed with him on that point, as no one be- lieved that Quantrill had taken any start of us with the intention of making an escape. We afterward learned that this was no mere con- jecture, for the enemy had left their horses a half mile beyond the hill, and had made their way back through a cornfield, and were waiting at the hill for a foe that never came. It was, however, a victory for us and the people of that locality. Quantrill disap- peared and never afterward harassed the people of Independence. After returning to town the dead and wounded were to be cared for, and as we had no ambulance, light wagons were procured, and when the preparation was being made details in small squads went back to pick up the camp equipments we had so unceremoniously left at the stack-pen. My First Skirmish 63 About three o'clock we said good-by to Independence, with the loss of one soldier killed and three or four scouts killed and wounded. As we were riding back to Kan- sas City someone told me about the detail being stationed in town to do guard duty; the man we met at the bars and the one killed on the road being a part of that one going to warn us, and the other having been captured and taken away by Quantrill's men. By forced march we arrived in camp about dark. The wagon-train not having all ar- rived, and as it was raining more or less, the command was compelled to remain until the mud had settled. It turned cold, however, and froze hard enough to bear the horses on top of the crust. It was my misfortune to be detailed on picket duty one of the cold nights, and it was not much improvement on the first night of picket duty at Platte City. We con- tinually heard reports of intended night at- tacks, and we were required to remain in the saddle and keep quiet all night. It was not considered necessary to keep pickets out dur- ing the day, as there was no large force near and a small force would not venture to attack so large a force in open day. We were now duly initiated and accepted, and we were considered competent to take part in frontier warfare. We came in daily contact with ways and customs new and odd to us, and with a conglomeration of peo- ple, such as the ex-slave, Indians of vari- Four Years with Five Armies ous tribes, Mexicans and other foreigners that hailed from every corner of the globe-people who had come to the New World seeking fortune or adventure. We soon became fa- miliar with their ways, and were treated to many exhibitions of skilled horsemanship, marksmanship with gun and revolver, throw- ing the lasso and such things. Among the most noted of these reckless, all-around per- formers was a Texan whose raven black hair covered his shoulders. While riding at full speed he would gracefully drop down, hook the rowel of his spur in the cantle of the sad- dle, and drag his hair on the ground. For hours at a time we sat and watched the per- formances of these men and listened to the stories of the daring deeds accomplished along the Kansas and Missouri line between i856 and i862. We also learned the names of many things about the equipment in daily use by the Western people. When the mud had settled we moved out, keeping the route that had been followed by Colonel Denison the year before. It lies on the Missouri side of the line. All that was left to remind one that the country had pre- viously been inhabited were a few fence rails, orchards, and the old-fashioned chimneys that stood to mark the places where the planters' houses had been. When we arrived at the State line we were greeted by the troops stationed there, amongst them the Tenth Kansas Infantry, many of its 64 My First Skirmish 65 members being from Ohio, our old neighbors and schoolmates. Some of them had settled in Kansas, and others had enlisted in Ohio with the express purpose of joining and cam- paigning with the noted Jim Lane in the year i86i. They had been in the West a long distance from home and far from railroads for many months, and were greatly rejoiced at see- ing so many from their old homes. It had been some months since we had been at home, but the news we brought was new to them. The scenes of boyhood days returned fresh to our memory as we sat by the camp fire and talked of home and friends we had not seen for so long, many of whom we were destined never to meet again. It would be impossible to give an adequate idea of the feelings the rehearsal of the tales of the schoolboy days awakened in the bosoms of those strong men who had entered upon a life of the most in- tense hardship, privation, and almost certain death. It is not likely that a similar oppor- tunity will ever be offered to the coming gen- erations. The country is now settled with many improvements, interspersed with cities, towns, and villages, with a network of rail- roads and telegraph lines. At that time west of the Missouri line was a vast plain, the most of which was prairie covered with buffalo, deer, antelope, myriads of small game, and the favorite haunt of the red man. Travel was by the use of private conveyances, and was tedious and uncertain. The distances 66 Four Years with Five Armies from place to place were frequently very long. The teams employed, often oxen, became tired, and had to be rested, or long delays were oc- casioned by swollen streams. The utmost cau- tion and watchfulness were necessary to keep the stock from straying away or being driven off by the Indians or border ruffians who in- fested the country. It is hard to realize the difference between thirty-five years ago and to-day. Where you now count your traveling by hours as you glide over the rails, you then counted it by weeks and often months. Hun- dreds started, never to reach their destination, leaving their bones to decay on the bleaching plains. The only public conveyance used on the military roads between the forts was the lum- bering stage-coach drawn by four or six ani- mals. The stages carried the mail and the Government officers from post to post. As they had to contend with some of the difficul- ties that beset the private conveyances, they were often delayed, sometimes plundered of everything of any value, and left to make their way as best they could. The troops at the State line were compelled to depend upon their own efforts in great measure for their supplies, which were se- cured and brought from Missouri, and these supplies were often confiscated from slave owners and Southern sympathizers, and had to be brought a distance of fifty or sixty miles. Small parties of ten or twelve went on foot, My First Skirmish marching by night, and secreting themselves by day, until they came to the plantation where was an abundance of such things as they wanted. They would then make their presence known to the slaves, and enlist them as confederates. The slaves were always ready and willing accomplices, for it meant freedom for them to gain the Kansas line. Two or three days of preparation were often required. The soldiers were always secreted in some secure place until the time arrived to move. When everything was ready, as soon as it was dark, the men would enter the planter's house, take possession of all the firearms, turn them over to the blacks, and everything on the plantation that was movable was set in mo- tion. The blacks would hitch up the teams, and load the wagons with flour, meat, beans, potatoes-in fact, everything that was of any value. By morning they would be many miles on their road. Sometimes the planters would collect a crowd, follow, and attack them in an effort to regain the lost property; but it usually proved a failure, and the attack- ing party suffered heavy loss. The men who went on such expeditions were brave and de- termined, and armed with the Sharp rifle, the best that was in use at that time; while the Missourians were chiefly armed with revol- vers, shotguns, and an occasional Kentucky rifle. It happened now and then that a force superior in number was able to accomplish its object. 67 68 Four Years with Five Armies I listened to the story of one man who was with a party, and, while on the road with their booty, were surrounded by superior numbers, of which a part was a band of bushwhackers. After a hard-fought battle that lasted several hours, they made their escape under the cover of night by separating to meet at a ford known to all of them on the Osage River. They crawled through the lines, leaving half their number and many of the blacks dead on the field. When they met at the appointed place, fatigued and reduced to the small number of five, they were in a deplorable plight; but as the only object of their expedition was sup- plies, to return to camp empty handed was not to be thought of. They at once set off on a return trip to the settlements, and made an- other effort which proved more successful. We remained at the State line several days to rest the teams, which were very much f a- tigued from dragging the heavily loaded wagons over the heavy roads. This country was destined to make a great record in his- tory. It was here John Brown commenced and fought the border war of i856, which had then lasted for nearly six years. When the teams had rested we moved to- ward the south until we reached our destina- tion. Our principal labor was camp guard, with a few scouting parties daily sent out for one purpose or another. We finally arrived at Fort Scott, situated on the west side of the Marmiton River. My First Skirmish Camp was pitched on Bourbon Creek, south of the fort. Our horses were in good condi- tion, and everything went pretty well until the rainy season set in during the latter part of March. The supply of grain we had brought with us gave out, and we had to de- pend on foraging in Missouri for a supply. We had to go fifty or sixty miles, and with the heavy roads and swollen streams there was no dependence to be put on the time we would return. The horses were put on short allowance, often not having more than four ears of corn a day. These were given at two feeds, with no fodder of any kind. Stand- ing in the mud, they began to fail in flesh and strength, and were soon reduced to a very bad condition. The company wagons were used to haul the supply of wood from the bottom of the Marmiton River. Each company would send six men to cut and load the wagon with logs and poles fourteen or fifteen feet long. The team would return to camp and come for another load after dinner. This work fell to the men who did not get up in time to answer to their names at roll call, and was a great benefit to the horses, for they got the opportunity to be released from the muddy camp, and could browse the now spreading buds and tender limbs. Wishing to keep my mare in the best possible condition, I would lie in bed every morning in order to be de- tailed with the wood-train. The plan worked all right until it was noticed that three or four 69 Four Years with Five Armies 70 were going every day, and then regular de- tails were made that all might have an equal opportunity. There was some joke about this change of front, as it was usually considered a penalty for being tardy. When working with the wood-train we learned a new trick that was of some benefit and much satisfaction to us, if it was not profitable to the few settlers who had cows that ranged on the river. Having practiced more or less with the lasso, we were able to catch the cows, fill our canteens with milk, and so enjoyed nourishment and luxury com- bined. When the rainy season was over the camp was moved to a flat near the river. The grass sprang up rapidly, and half of the men would go each day and picket the horses, and remain with them all day. An iron spike fourteen inches long with a link on one end to which a rope was attached and tied to the halter, was driven into the ground, and ordinarily was sufficient to hold them. But one day Com- pany E's horses stampeded and broke the ropes or pulled the pins and ran away, and it was some hours before they were rounded up. This was termed picketing the horses. Many pranks and various kinds of sport were in- dulged in. Some of the boys formed ac- quaintance with the settlers, and went to dine with them. One evening when our company came in it was short two men. Instead of picketing their horses they had obtained leave My First Skirmish of the officers in charge to visit some friends living on the Leavenworth road, some dis- tance from the river. We were not held to very strict discipline, so no one thought it strange when the men did not answer to their names at retreat; but as they were not there at tattoo, they were reported absent without leave. Next morning there was an order to send after them, as it was believed by some they had taken that plan to get away, and were now on their way to Ohio with twenty-four hours' start. Lieutenant Rush, Sergeant Harris, Private Nesbit, and myself were de- tailed to go in pursuit. Our horses had picked up a little on the fresh grass, and mine, as usual, was prancing, tossing her head, trying to get some advantage in order to run. Lieutenant Rush, who was fond of racing, owned a good horse and in- dulged in the sport with the other officers every Saturday on a track that had been pre- pared and kept by the regular officers at the post. After we had got out of camp and on the way he said that an officer in the regiment had a horse that had beat his and he wanted to get one that could outrun his contestant's. He asked me if I thought my mare was fast. I assured him that in my judgment she was; that she could beat anything in the command. He said with my consent he would place a wager on her when we returned. I gave my consent, and then the conversation turned to the mission we were on. 71 72 Four Years with Five Armies We laid plans to leave our horses at Leaven- worth and take the cars for Ohio, each going home to search the locality and to have a good time. I did not take any stock in the opinion that the two men had gone, but did not say as much. I joined in with the plan and hoped we would miss them, and, while they would be back in camp, we would make the trip. We were exultingly planning, but we were doomed to disappointment. When we had traveled four miles we met the two men walk- ing quietly and unsuspectingly, leading their horses, talking and laughing about the good time they had had with the young ladies they had been visiting. It was a sore disappoint- ment to us, but had to be endured, and we re- turned to camp with our prisoners. The next Saturday night I had the satisfaction of know- ing that my animal had outrun the fastest horse owned by the officers of the regiment. The weather was now fine, the prairies were covered with green grass and beautiful flowers, which made camp life as pleasant as it is possible to be. Papworthe would blow the horn for reveille, and then treat us to the tune of " Annie Laurie," or some other melody which he could render to the queen's taste. Our revolvers and guns still contained the old loads that had been placed in them some weeks before, and for fear the wet weather had damaged them, there was an order to shoot them out and clean and reload them. Some of the companies went out and fired at targets My First Skirmish set up for the purpose; others stood in line and fired in the air. Our captain ordered us to shoot ours at will. With this opportunity I went to the river bottom in order to see how good a marksman I was. After tacking a piece of white paper on a tree and stepping off fifty paces, I began to fire. After two or three shots, and, as I raised the hammer to take another shot, a man with a book or paper sat down by a tree on the other side of the river, directly in line with my target. I con- cluded to change my position, and as I walked away I accidentally touched the trigger and discharged my revolver. The ball just grazed the heel of my boot. Fortunately no damage was done. It taught me a lesson never again to carry a revolver with the hammer set. After emptying all the chambers I walked along the river, the banks of which are very steep and eighteen or twenty feet high. At length I came to a narrow path that by tramp- ing of stock and rains had cut deep into the loose soil. I saw a man riding down the op- posite bank, and watched him as he sat in the saddle and let his horse drink. As he came by me he said, " Young man, you are standing on a very noted spot. Every man, woman, and child in Bourbon County has seen or heard of that ground." On inquiry as to why it had become so noted he said, " Two brothers died there. Their father, who had lived at Fort Scott, had left them a large amount of property, and they had disagreed about the 73 74 Four Years with Five Armies division of it, and become mortal enemies. One day one was coming and the other was going across the river. They met in that nar- row path, and, like the brave McPherson and Grant, neither would give the road to the other. They dismounted, drew their knives, went together, and died on the spot." CHAPTER VI THE INDIAN EXPEDITION T HE troops then gathering at Fort Scott, preparatory to a movement into the Indian Territory, required the use of every available wagon to transport their supplies, and the cavalry was ordered to Missouri, where forage could be more easily procured. They were separated by battalions, ours going to Lamar. Picket duty had to be resumed at this place, there being numerous bands of bushwhackers in the locality. We were compelled to be vigilant, for reports were brought into camp that they were determined to have the horses from the Second Ohio Cavalry. At this time we did not do that duty in the usual way be- cause of their peculiar method of attack. Al- though there were no pickets in daytime, the night trick meant twelve hours in the saddle for the vidette. It was considered a great protection to re- main in one position and stay quiet all night, and it was the custom to place the vidette on high ground as a proper position for day duty. The first night it was my turn to go out on mounted duty the officer of the guard with corporal went with two of us out on the Car- 75 Four Years with Five Armies thage road. After traveling for a mile and a half through woods with underbrush on each side, we came to open prairie on the left of the road. A lone tree stood out on the prairie about two hundred yards from the woods. It was just twilight when the officer and cor- poral left us with every precaution to remain quiet that we might not attract the attention of the bushwhackers. It was believed that they would not attack the camp without first disposing of the picket. The officer and the corporal were no more than out of hearing than we remarked to each other that we did not like our position. It was about the full of the moon and the open ground was almost as light as day, the shade of the tree helping, if anything, to make our presence more con- spicuous to anyone that might happen at the edge of the timber. If we had our choice we would have taken our position in the edge of the brush with the open ground in front of us. This would give us a superior advan- tage over anyone that approached from either direction; but situated as we were we were easy prey if the bushwhackers had happened that way. We had not been there more than an hour when we heard a noise in the brush across the road directly opposite us. In our mind it was the bushwhackers, of course. The noise con- tinued at intervals, and we expected to be picked off from our saddles as soon as they could get a position to make sure of their 76 The Indian Expedition game. We talked it all over in a low voice not much above a whisper. The suspense was terrible to bear. Just imagine sitting and waiting a death sentence. Hours seemed like days. The cold chills crept over us and our hair seemed to rise up every time the brush rattled. When the moon was straight over us two animals not larger than jack rab- bits jumped out of the brush, one apparently chasing the other. Then they ran back again, making, to our relief, the same noise we had been hearing. We continued to hear the racket until morning, but we felt no more uneasiness, and at daylight went to camp. W'e talked about our peculiar position on the night before, and learned that others had found themselves in the same unpleasant predicament. All agreed that the sentinel should be on the low ground at night. A good chance presented itself in a few days to get a full expression on the subject. The officer of the guard placed a vidette on a hill looking over a ravine, but he moved some hundred yards in advance of where he had been left. The officer returned during the night, and was halted by the sentinel when he arrived at the top of the hill. He rebuked the man for leaving his post without orders, had him take his place at the top of the hill again, returned to the reserve, ordered the corporal to arrest the sentinel, and put another one in his place. The next day the case was investigated by 77 Four Years with Five Armies the major commanding the battalion. The man was released. A general order was is- sued to take more care in the selection of out- posts, and, if there was any advantage in lo- cation, it should be in our favor. After that the vidette usually chose his own position. The duty was heavy while in camp at Lamar. It was an everyday occurrence for foraging and scouting parties to be fired on from am- bush. The next time my name was called for picket duty there was also an extra detail for horse guard. Before breaking ranks the cap- tain told the men on duty that they were expected to use extraordinary precaution. There was a large body of bushwhackers as- sembling on the other side of the river and it was reported that an attack would be made on the camp that or the next night. For that reason the guard had been doubled through- out, and they would be expected to carry their arms at all times. He concluded by saying that they were not apt to attempt to cross the river at the ford, where there was a strong guard, but would try some other place, which would be done in skiffs or on foot-logs, that would necessarily put them into the swamp that lay between the river and camp and af- ford them an excellent opportunity to come into the camp unknown to us, take the horses, and get away before we could do anything to prevent it. After breaking ranks the sergeant told me to make no preparation except to have my 78 The Indian Expedition gun in good order, with plenty of ammuni- tion, as I would stand dismounted at a place he would show me when the proper time came. As soon as it was dark the sergeant took me and we wound our way through the woods for a distance of half a mile. He said, "This is the place." He then gave me instructions to remain there during the night. He continued the instructions by saying if anyone should appear in the swamp I was to fire the alarm and return to camp as quickly as possible, or if there should be firing at any other place that would indicate an attack of any importance. Under no other condition was I to move or make a noise that would assist anyone to locate my position. He said there need be no one to visit me during the night, for no one but the major and himself knew anything about my location. And there he left me in solitude dreary enough; on low ground, in a dense forest, a swamp in front with myriads of croaking frogs, swarms of musquitoes, and thousands of screeching whippoorwills and crickets to make night hideous. It was a calm moon- light night, with not a breath of air to stir the leaves. The long specter-like shadows that reached out across the brush that grew in the swamp only lent a loneliness to the dreary scene. There was a hostile and deter- mined enemy, so far as my information and imagination went, beyond the swamp. Being, as I was, at the logical point of attack, of 79 80 Four Years wit/h Five Armies course there was little possibility that I would be permitted to remain until morning. I sat by a large tree, wrapped in thought of my dreary surroundings, and reflecting upon the possibility of escape should my conjectures prove to be reality. I pictured the enemy stealthily felling trees across the river and crossing over to the swamp, which they would consider a sure protection and cover for their movement until they were in our camp. Of course I would be sure to thwart them in their adventure, for they would come blundering through the swamp, jumping from tussock to tussock. I would discover them, fire on them, and alarm the camp, which would be in arms ready to receive them. My ruminations even went so far as to plan how cautiously I would approach the camp, calling out who I was to prevent them from firing, as that would di- vulge their presence to the enemy, who would then take the best aim and get a man with every shot. I was getting along nicely, when splash went something in the water some distance from me, and my whole plan went to smither- eens. My flesh began to crawl, my hair rose up, and my mind was so completely muddled that it was impossible to form anything like two links of thought. If I had seen an enemy it is doubtful if I could have moved a muscle until a reaction set in. After a few seconds my thoughts began to return. I thought what a pity to turn a splendid victory into defeat The Indian Expedition 8I without a plausible excuse. I still believed the splash was caused by the blundering of some of the advancing bushwhackers, who had now had plenty of time to cross the swamp since the felling of the trees. It kept me in a continual strain until minutes appeared as hours, and hours as days. At last, when morning came, I felt twenty years older, wearily strolled to camp, dropped down on the blankets, and went to sleep without any breakfast, to dream of the spirit of him that had a peculiar ear that induced him to write the lines about the low, sweet voice of the whippoorwill. The regular detail already mentioned in- cluded but a small part of the duty we had to perform. There were horse guards, dis- mounted camp guards, scouting and foraging parties, upon each of which we had to take our regular turn. It was not an uncommon thing to be relieved from guard at nine o'clock, and before night to be called to the saddle to make a forced ride. I remember two dis- tinct times this happened to me while in the camp near Lamar. One of these was the very day after my long night by the swamp. At one o'clock Quartermaster-Sergeant Mason, with a prisoner, rode into camp on a jaded horse, from which the foam was dropping to the ground, and wanted reinforcements with an ambulance to bring in his dead and wounded comrades. A foraging party that had left the camp in 82 Four Years with Five Armies the morning had been attacked at a creek about twenty miles away. We saddled up, and by dark arrived near the scene, but as we had no one with us who knew the country we were unable to find the unfortunate party until the next morning. This trip was made by trotting, and often galloping our horses. My animal was a very rough trotter, which brought on a pain in my left side that con- tinued to bother me during the rest Af the time I served in the army. I was often compelled to hang my side-arms on the saddle instead of wearing them. At another time we were ordered to saddle up at dark. Someone had come to camp for a party to go forty miles to capture the chief of a noted band of guerrillas that was at his home on a visit to his family. The party was led by Captain, afterward Colonel, Brooks, the noted scout and guide. The forty miles was covered and the house surrounded before daybreak, and a charge made. We could hear shots about the house, the result of which we were never able to learn, as we marched away before it was fairly light. At the first plantation we came to we took a rest, and by the next morning reached our camp. The place where we rested was a typical frontier ranch with double log-house, with log stables, and corn-cribs well filled with corn and fodder, to which we helped our- selves. This was the common custom and had become a matter of course with us. The The Indian Expedition owner, if a Union man, could get his pay, and if he was " Secesh " he was not likely to make any complaint. These excursions were of so common occurrence that I seldom re- membered one from another, often not know- ing the name of the officer in command, and much less the man that handled the minor de- tails. The method then in use for this work was a cumbersome one, and it took from one hour to two hours to get ready and move out. When a corporal called for a detail to do duty and did not know his men, he often had much trouble to find them. This caused much annoyance, not only to the corporal but to everyone in the party, for he would go about pulling the blankets from the sleeping men, and often the man he wanted was the last to be found. I have known a corporal to take the names of his relief, and, by misunder- standing, misspell the names, and when he called third relief the men fell in line, and in calling the names as he had written them the men did not know their own names. This method was soon abandoned and a much more convenient one adopted. Instead of an hour and a half being wasted, the detail would be out of camp and on the march in fifteen min- utes. This was done by the companies taking turn instead of details from different com- panies. While the men saddled up, the cap- tain would get his instructions from head- quarters. Officers and men being acquainted 83 Four Years with Five Armies with each other, the officer would know where to find his men. We returned to Fort Scott to join the ex- pedition, but they were not ready to move, and one battalion of the Second Ohio under Major Seward returned to Missouri, and some time in June the expedition rendez- voused at Fort Scott, consisting of two bri- gades of white troops and iooo Indians, moved out. Their destination was Fort Gibson, situ- ated on the Arkansas River in the Cherokee nation. The cavalry, going by the route that led through Humboldt, left all settlements, touching two or three abandoned Indian mis- sions and an occasional stock ranch occupied by half-breeds. These ranches were always situated on a river or creek where there were both timber and prairie. One part of the troops on this expedition consisted of iooo Osage Indians. They were regularly enlisted, armed with the Kentucky rifle, and organized with white officers. They were accompanied by their squaws and pa- pooses, and they had their ponies and all their equipments. They danced the war dance all night at the Verdigris River, the night before the battle of Round Prairie, and also at Flat Rock Creek. The command lay over on the Fourth of July, and the battery in firing a salute threw a few shells over the Indian camp, as a test to see how they would stand the fire of big guns. The result was that they stampeded, 84 The Indian Expedition 85 and some of the runaways did not return for fifteen days. After crossing the Verdigris River we met and engaged Stanwaity at Round Prairie. After a short skirmish he retreated, and the Second Ohio captured their beef herd, with ponies and pack-mules, twelve hundred in number. Lieutenant Rush of Company E was a professional stock man. He was de- tailed to take what men he wanted from our company and deliver the cattle to the beef con- tractor at Fort Scott, Kansas, a distance of sixty miles. We moved at noon, and when the herd strung out on the road the strong cattle as usual took the lead. Lieutenant Rush, being an expert in his business, with plenty of help, divided his men into small squads, each under the command of a sergeant. He cut the herd into small bunches and pushed them along. We had in that way covered a distance of many miles at ten o'clock, when we camped for supper. The cattle were turned on the prairies to graze. Many of the boys from Ohio had no experience with cattle, and the cavalry horse was also awk- ward. The cattle, used to being handled in the Texas style, discovered this very quickly, and when we rounded them on the bed ground, they gave so much trouble that cattle and men got no rest. At this juncture an am- bulance came up, carrying Colonel Double- day on his way home. He had resigned his commission, and was now a citizen. He 86 Four Years with Five Armies brought orders to Lieutenant Rush to push on as fast as possible, for Stanwaity's cavalry were on a scout, and were expecting to over- take and recapture the herd. The cattle were put on the road at once, and at sunrise we camped at Dry Creek, twelve miles from Fort Scott. While making some coffee, the beef contractors, whom Colonel Doubleday had notified of our approach, rode up with a spring wagon. This was a big plum for them, and when they got the news that we were on the road they supplied them- selves with six demijohns of old Bourbon. When they met us it flowed freely. Every- one must drink as often as he wanted. Some men took the first drink they had ever tasted, and became very hilarious. It was decided to drive in without breakfast. The mess kit was tossed into the wagon, and the men met us at Bourbon Creek and took charge of the herd. In order that the reader may form a cor- rect conception of the enthusiasm aroused on that occasion, it is necessary to give a little better description of that drive. I have been engaged in cow hunting on the fron- tiers of Texas, made three trips across the plains, and had some lively drives many years afterward. Some of the movements were accelerated by the sudden appearance of hos- tile Indians in the neighborhood of the herd, but none compared with this one for speed, efficiency, and hilarity. Although we had (J. W. BYARD Second Ohio Voluniteer Cavalry This page in the original text is blank. The Indian Expedition made more than double the distance of an ordinary day's drive before camping, the news that Stanwaity's cavalry was no doubt then in the saddle and in pursuit prompted us to an extraordinary effort to keep out of their way. Our party was not strong enough to defend the cattle against an attack if one should be made, and the cattle would have to be abandoned in order to protect ourselves. The mess-kit was thrown hastily and recklessly into the wagon, and the cat- tle strung out. All were in good spirits, laughed, sang, and shouted. The last twelve miles was a wild ride. It was most ridicu- lous after taking the drink with the beef contractor. The rapidity of the move and the rough manner of loading the kit into the mess- wagons cannot be compared with anything I have seen or heard of before or since. The cattle appeared to catch the spirit of their drivers. The first squad pushed their bunch on to the road at full run, men shouting, and charging their horses at full speed, and a cloud of dust rose that soon put them out of sight; and so on until the last of the five bunches was on the full run. At Fort Scott the army was being paid off by the paymaster, who had arrived before us. When the troops had all been paid they moved south, and would usually camp as near the water as possible, which was gen- erally in holes of what had been a river or creek, and on the valleys of which the grass 87 88 Four Years with Five Armies had grown tall and coarse. The horses were taken out to the high ground for grazing, with one-fourth of the men to herd them. One morning they came in with my picket rope, but no mare. After searching the camp without success my horse equipments were put in the mess-wagon, and I walked, and helped the cook to get wood and water. Four days after I went to the creek, at least three-fourths of a mile away, carrying two large camp- kettles. The Second Kansas cavalry horses were passing. I saw my mare so completely jaded that she stumbled as she walked, and the points of her ears were hanging down. I was so excited I dropped the kettles, ran up, and untied her from the other horse that was being led with her. The man leading her said she did not belong to him. I told him he had better not claim her. I forgot every- thing else, and led her to camp without water. When I arrived at the wagon and explained how I had got her, I thought of the camp- kettles, and went back, to find them gone. I had to return to camp for other kettles and to make another trip for the water. This nat- urally delayed dinner, and I was completely exhausted after making so many long trips in the hot sun. I lay down on the hot ground under the wagon. When I looked at my poor animal, in which I had taken so much pride, and saw her standing with her head down, too tired to eat, with the crust of dry sweat and The Indian Expedition dust that showed the hard usage and the little care she had had for the last four days, I would cry and blame myself in turns for not following the company of horses, and finding the man that had ridden her. She must have been on a long trip, for the horses she was with did not look so bad. In the morning I saddled up, but my poor mare was destined to be more of a burden than benefit. We had no grain to feed, and had had none since we left Missouri. All the horses in our regiment began to show it more than the others, from the fact that it was their first year, and they had not become accli- mated to western prairies. From that time on the horses were giving out all the time, and were shot or abandoned. When we arrived at Flat Rock Creek the army went into camp, where it remained for several weeks. After a few days' rest a cav- alry raid in light marching order was moved out to make a feint on Price's left by driving Stanwaity out of Fort Gibson. It was light marching order sure enough, with no grain for the stock and no rations but sugar, coffee, fresh beef with no salt, and half rations of hard tack. My mare had recruited, or at least had rested a little, and I went with them. The column moved out after dark one night, with Colonel Ware, who was then in com- mand of the expedition. I do not know what he had to eat, but I know he had a ten-gallon keg strapped on a mule, and of course that 89 Four Years with Five Armies means he did not lack for drink. And there was plenty of evidence of it before morning, in the bungling moves made on the prairie in the dark, and in the morning we were hardly out of sight of the camp. Late in the afternoon the Second Ohio was thrown out as skirmishers, and, as we ad- vanced, Stanwaity's men fell back with but little resistance. We followed them, keeping the best line we could through the thick un- derbrush that skirts the Arkansas River. When I arrived at the road the left of our line had crossed, but the right had not come to it. I could see a small squad of calvary on the other side of the river. They were firing a few shots that appeared to be intended for somebody farther up the road, as they went far above my head. Just in front of me was a trooper in blue uniform. He rode out and saluted, and said he belonged to the Second Kansas Cavalry, and had been down in Ar- kansas on scout. He rode off in the rear of our skirmish line. We halted there until a regiment of Kan- sas cavalry came down in column, crossed the river, and, to judge from the sound we heard, they had a skirmish, driving Stanwaity out of the post. We then moved back a few miles and halted for a rest, and resumed the march, following the belt of timber that skirts Flat Rock Creek. My mare was now very weak and I had to walk, and later in the night she refused to go The Indian Expedition move at all. I was some distance behind the column, but one of the company had stayed with me, and he rode up and reported my condition to the captain, who sent me word to leave her, and carry the saddle, or pay for it from my next pay. It was a bitter pill just at that time, when everyone expected the enemy to overtake or intercept us at any mo- ment. Wakefield, who had come with the message, told me to pull the saddle off quick, and he would help me along. "No," was my emphatic reply. " Go to the company as quickly as you can, and I will get there with- out assistance." By the time the sound of his horse's hoofs had died out, the sound of which was a dull thud on my ear, I had learned something new in the makeup of human nature. It caused a peculiar congested sensation that I cannot describe, how I felt when I was or- dered to carry the saddle or pay for it. When those words fell on my ear, my heart was seared against all fear of danger. I replied to my companion, who cautioned me about fall- ing into the hands of the enemy, that it would not be possible to fall in with a more bitter enemy than the one who had issued that order. I said that I would bring in the saddle or die on the trail. The column had left the timber a short dis- tance from where I left the mare, and it was easy to follow the trail on the soft prairie. My load was heavy, and it had to be let down 9I Four Years with Five Armies very often for rest. My cavalry boots, now well worn out, began to give way so as to let in the dirt. I was obliged to empty them frequently, because it was galling my feet. The more I tried to stop the holes with rags, the larger they stretched. About three o'clock in the morning, com- pletely exhausted, I lay down in my blanket and fell asleep. When I awoke the sun was up, and it was evident that I was within two or three miles of camp, which was to my right. The column had gone farther out on the prairie. There was a round knoll near by. I hid the saddle near it, left the trail, and was in camp as soon as the column. One of the boys volunteered to go for the saddle, for I was worn out and foot sore. I had been without water for several hours, my lips were parched, and my tongue swollen. But although I had firmly resolved to bring the saddle in myself, I finally accepted the offer. After giving him directions how to find it, I lay down to take a rest. From this time on there was a great change going on in the camp. There was a growing discontent throughout. We had no prospect of anything better than flour, and no way to bake it except in frying-pans, without salt or soda. We had fresh beef in abundance, but without seasoning it brought on dysentery to all who ventured to eat it. It had been many months since we had a chance to draw clothing. There was none 92 The Indian Expedition at the front, and our old clothes were fast giving out. Some of the ragged shirts, blouses, and pants were discarded every day. The men on duty with the horses, a duty at which we took turns, who were out on the high open ground, had no shade except what they made by stacking the guns and spreading blankets over them. From this kind of treatment men were dying every day with fevers, dysentery, and other diseases. The best of men became sul- len and disagreeable to one another. The condition was growing worse every day, un- til at retreat we were notified to make ready to march on a forward movement. The dissatisfaction that existed on account of the maladministration of the expedition was soon expressed by the many maledictions pronounced as soon as we broke ranks. The men rushed hither and thither. Some even went to the horse herd, a mile and half away, to express their dissatisfaction to their friends on duty. It was soon learned that the dissatisfaction extended throughout the bri- gade among officers and men alike, and it was very evident that something decisive would be done to prevent a move until the arrival of a train with supplies. Colonel Solomon's regiment, the Ninth Wisconsin, felt the want of rations. They had always had not only the common fare such as we got, but had everything allowed in the line of army rations, including butter, 93 94 Four Years with Five Armies kraut, pickles, etc., furnished from Wisconsin and paid for by a mess fund. The Colonel felt the sting of seeing his men falling victims to the ravages of disease that was daily carry- ing them off to answer the last roll call. Colonel Solomon was in command of the Sec- ond Brigade, consisting of the Ninth Wiscon- sin Infantry, Rab's Indiana Battery, and Sec- ond Ohio Cavalry. Colonel Ware was in command of the First Brigade, and also the entire expedition, so Colonel Solomon went to him and made a plea for delay until the arrival of supplies; but as there was not a satisfactory response he returned to his tent to study the situation over. After reporting his brigade at tattoo he repeated his entreaties, and asked Colonel Ware what the men were to live on. "Jerked beef, damn you! If you have any more communications, send them to me in writing," was the prompt reply. " Go to your quarters and remain until sent for." He returned as ordered, but on his arrival he called the officer of the guard, gave him orders to have the guard fall in line, march to Colonel Ware's quarters, arrest him and bring him to Colonel Solomon's quarters. By the time they reached Colonel Ware's quarters he had retired for the night. " You are my prisoner! " shouted the officer of the guard, in broken English. The Ninth were all Germans, and used the German lan- guage altogether among themselves. Colonel The Indian Expedition Ware refused to obey, and ordered the guard away, but the officer, in German, ordered his men to take him dead or alive. No sooner said than done. He was dragged out of his tent, and, bayonets behind him, he double- quicked in his bare feet and nightshirt to Col- onel Solomon's quarters. " You are under arrest," was Colonel Solo- mon's order. "Go to your tent and remain there till further orders." Colonel Ware was frightened, but replied that he was the supe- rior officer, and that he refused to take orders from him. Colonel Solomon ordered the officer of the guard to keep Colonel Ware under guard, and if he made any trouble to put him in irons. This order was also put into execution at once. By this time everything in camp was in mo- tion. Some were getting their arms, and some running for the horses. The infantry fell in with fixed bayonets; the batteries loaded with grape and canister, and muzzles turned to- ward the first brigade. By three o'clock the army was on the move toward Fort Scott, and Colonel Ware was placed in an ambulance with shackles on. The Second Ohio was the last to move, and it was daylight before we strung out. There were many dismounted men, of whom ten or twelve were in our company. As the march progressed the number was augmented every day. Five of us were barefooted, two 95 96 Four Years with Five Armies of whom had one old boot each. They were Math Park and Bissell. One wore the boots one day and the other the next. On the third their feet were so swollen that neither of them could get the boots on. The wagon-train, that was six miles long when we left Fort Scott, had dwindled down to consist of the regimental headquarters and company wagons, with the exception of three or four sections of twelve wagons each. Our company outfits were bulky and encumbered the movements very much. The arms, bed- ding, and horse equipments of the sick and dismounted had to be loaded. The wagons were full up to the bows, with many things hanging on the outside. The ground was as loose as an ash pile, and there had been no rain for two months. The clouds of dust would rise up from under the feet of the thousands of animals so that the air was often stifling and blinding. In some places the grass had been burned, and in crossing these places, although the barefooted men followed the wagon track as closely as possible, the splinters would stick in their feet like so many needles. The ashes of the burned grass, mixed with alkali, caused our feet to swell and crack open until they bled profusely. As I hung to the feed box of a government wagon, I thought every step must be my last. The water had dried up so that we had to change the route, which necessitated our go- The Indian Expedition ing many miles farther. Much of the way there was no road, and a new one had to be broken. The distance between the water holes was great. In one instance it was forty miles, which required about forty-eight hours' time, including stops, to feed and rest. When we arrived at the water, Indians, Mexicans, negroes, whites, with mules and horses, plunged into it, stirring the green scum which was two or three inches thick on top of what little water there was, with the sedi- ment from the bottom. All was soon a thin mortar. Both animals and men were so dis- tracted for the want of something to slake their thirst that they crowded in so thick that many could not get their heads down, and others that had shoved their heads under were brac- ing forward for fear they would be crowded out. They quaffed the mud down as if it was good. I noticed one man slip his feet down between a horse and the bank. With his left shoulder against the horse's leg he pushed it forward, and with his right hand he dipped a cupful from where the horse's foot had been, and without changing his position, except to throw his head back, he drank as if it had been of the finest nectar. A second one fol- lowed the first, and a third cupful he brought away with him. When we arrived at Baxter Springs, Kan- sas, there was an abundance of good water, and the command halted for rest and to 97 98 Four Years with Five Armies await a train of supplies that was expected at any time. One section of an empty train was dis- patched and the drivers of another section went on a vacation. They were allowed leave to go with the empty train, leaving the mules and wagons with the trainmaster and two men to herd. The next day a courier arrived and reported there was no train on the road. Camp was at once notified to get ready to move. The train that had no drivers was as- signed to the Second Ohio, and we had to furnish them with drivers, I being detailed for one. We went to the train and the mules were soon brought in. The trainmaster told us to tie up the mules and then come down to the end of the train. We did as we were directed and collected around him. We then marched behind the train, and he assigned us to our teams. I was by the side of his mule, and was expecting to be the next man assigned, but it was not so. He would order one man to take one team, another man to take another team, and so on until there were only two men left. He hesi- tated for some reason and then said to me, " I will give you this team." His words and ac- tions were emphasized in a way that led us to think there was something special about that team and that I had been selected for some other particular reason. We did not understand it, but asked no questions. He told us to harness and hitch up, and as The Indian Expedition he rode away the next man to me said, " Gause, that team must be a darling." I remarked that I thought as much. Our supposition was that it was a bad team, that he had mistaken me for a good driver. When we had hitched the mules he sent some men to take a few boxes of cartridges that were in my wagon to make out a load in the wagon of one of the old drivers. He then said to me that I had the best team in the train when I got to know them, but they were tricky, and that I being a stranger might have some trouble with them. He said their driver was fond of them and very proud of the way they could handle a load, and he dreaded having to entrust them to others. I was sitting in the front of the wagon, and wondering how I should make out mule " skinning," as it was termed there. I had never driven more than two horses at a time, and had not used a jerk line. But I would rather have undertaken anything than to walk to Fort Scott barefooted. There was a funeral squad burying a sol- dier a few yards in front of the train, and, as they were about to fire the volley to denote the last of the ceremony, the trainmaster told us to look out for our teams, as they would be apt to start when they heard the report. I jumped on the wagon tongue and into the sad- dle, but none too soon. When the volley was fired all the mules started. I was the only driver in the saddle. I jerked viciously at the line, which served to guide them far enough 99 IOO Four Years with Five Armies to the right so as not to interfere with the others except to catch some harness on the wagon wheel. Once clear, away they went, and I began pulling, which served to turn them to the left, and by cutting a large circle brought them up in the rear of the train with no damage but the breaking of a stay chain. The other teams were all piled up together. They had all swung to the left in an attempt to turn short around. Many mules were down with others on top of them, wagons joined to- gether, and such a mix-up I never did see in times of peace. When everything was straightened out the empty wagons were distributed among the companies of the Second Ohio. My wagon was loaded to the top of the bows, and when they were tying on the loose articles the train- master came by, and said nothing, but rode away with a look of disgust on his face. Everything went on all right that day. The next morning I pulled out with the same load. We crossed a dry branch. There was a short turn in a narrow cut, and, as I had not learned how to control the wagon by the wheelers, I was trying to do all the guiding by the leaders, the front wheel struck the bank and turned the wagon over. The train came to a standstill, as the wreck completely blocked the road. A detail soon straightened things up. The trainmaster came along while they were loading, and said he wished I would turn that load over every The Indian Expedition ION mile. I did pretty well at it, for I turned it over twice more before we arrived at the four- mile house, where we camped for the third night's rest. It was my turn to herd the mules. I went out and did my duty. When we had tied them up and fed them I went to our company to get a square meal. A train load of rations had met us there. The next day I walked to Fort Scott. CHAPTER VII PROVOST DUTY AT FORT SCOTT W E arrived at Fort Scott in the month of August. The plans that fol- Al VI lowed were a verification of the old adage, "Lock the door after the horse is stolen." Already impregnated with fevers, and all kinds of diseases that follow starvation and hardship, everyone was looking for sanitary conditions to prevent sickness. To this end a high plateau, a mile from the Marmiton River, was selected for a camp ground. The water could only be procured from the river. Barrels were provided, placed in army wagons, and each company had only one barrel to store drinking and cooking water. At all times during the day men could be seen plodding the long paths with clothes to wash or with two large camp-kettles full of water. In addition to this was the old usual camp guard to walk back and forth in the hot sun. Without a shade tree near, the camp be- came a hot-bed of dust, and every day men were carried to the hospital. All looked as if life was a burden to them. New clothes were furnished to us, and sub- sequently the Second Ohio was called on to 102 Provost Duty at Fort Scott furnish provost guard in the post, to guard hospital headquarters' supply stores, to do patrol and other duties. The dismounted men were accordingly detailed, and I was thus separated from my bunky, and it so happened that we never bunked together again. We were established in camp in close prox- imity and east of the old fort on a high bluff that stands over Bourbon Creek. One-half of our detachment mounted guard the next morning and marched to the jail and relieved the infantry doing duty there, who were then under marching orders to leave the fort. The jail was an old stone structure that had been previously used for the post guard-house. The dimensions were about thirty by forty feet, with one partition running through it, and one opening or doorway. The only door to the outside wall of the building was a grat- ing made of iron bars which hung on its heavy hinges, set deep in the stone wall. There were five window openings, also obstructed with iron gratings, and no glass in them, but board shutters which were removed for comfort dur- ing the hot weather. The jail was filled to its utmost capacity with prisoners of various classes, some, no doubt, having been falsely accused; but the majority were of a desperate class and had participated in some more or less desperate deeds. They were accused of bushwhacking Union troops, or acting the spy, or conspiring 103 Four Years with Five Armies against the United States Government. Most of them came from Missouri, but that does not imply that they were natives or citizens of that State. They had been picked up by the scout- ing parties sent out for that purpose during the previous year. Many of the prisoners had friends who fre- quently visited them, bringing clothes, pro- visions, and fruit to afford them some little comfort. There were others who had been there one year, and had not seen a friendly face, received a letter, nor one word of en- couragement during their long confinement. They could not even conjecture their future fate. There were four or five of another class, called local prisoners, who belonged to some of the military organizations at the fort, and these were accused of desertion and minor offenses. Among them was one whose exploits and deeds of daring were well known from Fort Leavenworth to the Indian Territory. He was employed as a government scout, for which service he received the usual salary of 5 per day. He enjoyed many privileges not allowed his fellow-prisoners. The guard was divided into three reliefs with a large super- numerary force to attend the wants of the prisoners, and be ready for any emergency, such as patrol, and other things. It so happened that my name was on the supernumerary list, and the first time I was called for duty the sergeant told me to guard 104 Provost Duty at Fort Scott the scout on a visit to his wife, then living with her mother three doors from the jail. He instructed me to keep my eyes on him at all times, not let him get anything to make his escape with, and to watch his wife, who might hand him a revolver, as she was a very smart woman, and would do anything he wanted her to do. It occurred to me that this was a pecu- liar position to be placed in, and it might be a case like that of Willie Brinnen. When Brinnen was in the street his wife handed him a blunderbuss from underneath her cloak, and the sheriff was immediately made to de- liver back what he had taken from Brinnen by law. I took my position by the door, and when the heavy grating swung on its hinges the scout stepped out. He was rather an impos- ing personage, about five feet ten inches tall, with black eyes, and black hair that had not been cut for several years, the curls clustering around his shoulders. He had small hands and feet, and well-developed muscles. He was scrupulously dressed with broad-rimmed planter's hat, ruffled shirt, and vest with buck- skin jacket, and leggings tied with ribbons and trimmed with fringe around the border. As he moved out in front he said he wanted a private interview with his wife in order that she might dispose of some property at his ranch. To comply with his request was to disobey my orders, and, as the distance trav- eled was short, there was but a minute in I05 io6 Four Years with Five Armies which to make up my mind. I at once con- cluded to give him full liberty, and to take my chances, for if he was determined to escape it would only be an accident, anyway, if the guard would be able to prevent it. The instant he stepped in the door he could pick up a revolver, and an ordinary man would be at his mercy. As he stepped in the door I told him I would remain at the end of the house, and when he was ready to go he could let me know. After watching closely for an hour, I stepped into the house and found him talking to his wife, a handsome girl about eighteen years of age, a most devoted wife, who at- tended to all the wants of the scout and kept him supplied with clean clothes, and cooked for and brought him three meals a day to the jail. She said they would like a little more time, which was granted. When we were walking to the jail he said he liked to be out as much as possible, but as I had treated him so well he did not want to keep me waiting too long. He wanted me to take him to see an attorney, as he was anxious for a trial. He also remarked that some of the boys were afraid he would get away, and did not allow him one minute to talk to his wife. I replied that I knew if he wanted to escape the guard would have but little chance to pre- vent him. This little sally inspired his confidence, and I was enabled to get much of his history with- out soliciting it. He was born in Illinois, and Provost Duty at Fort Scott in his early 'teens, while engaged in a con- troversy at some public corner, he chanced to strike a fatal blow with a knife or something he had in his hands. To avoid arrest he crossed Missouri, and entered Kansas on foot, a distance of three hundred miles through a sparsely settled country. There he was taken into employment by some freighters. He grew up amid the wild scenes of border trou- bles, Indian raids, and massacres. His only education was to ride and shoot. Thus the first law of nature, self-preservation, became his principal guide. He was often challenged to meet and fight to the death with a desperate foe. When war was declared, he entered the service which he had since been following. One of his favorite escapades was to approach the picket of some of the bands that infested the border. He would halt when challenged, and pretend to be a planter or a friend. When called up for close inspection, he would grasp the bridle-rein in his teeth, dash the spurs into the horse, and, with revolver in each hand, would shoot the guard and dash through the camp and out at some other point. A feat of this kind is only possible from the fact that the report of the revolver is accepted as an alarm shot to warn the camp of the approach of an enemy. In the hurry to saddle up they do not recognize the approaching horseman until he is out of reach. He told me that he had shot some of his 107 io8 Four Years with Five Armies victims through misunderstandings on his part. They were strangers, he said, and he had misunderstood them, and thought they in- tended him some harm. The most of them were a desperate class of criminals who had been released from Southern prisons to engage in the border war of '56. When he heard of any of them at any of the little towns or stores making threats of what they would do, he would mount his horse and go in search of them. A desperate encounter would follow, f rom which he had always come out un- scathed. His last exploit, and the one for which he was then confined, was for going on a tear, as he termed it, and resisting arrest. Like most all frontiersmen, he would indulge in too much liquor at times, and proceed to paint the town red. On the last occasion a battalion of regular cavalry surrounded the place where he was drinking, for the purpose of arresting him. He mounted his horse, and with the rein in his teeth, revolver in each hand, made them give way, while he rode through the line at full speed. He went to his ranch and remained until duly sober. Then he came into the fort and surrendered to the provost marshal, turning over a pair of revolvers, the hilts of which were covered with notches, cut there to denote the number of victims that had fallen from the unerring aim of the owner. A few days later the Second Ohio was treated to a surprise. When the stage rolled COL. A, V. KAUTZ Second Ohio Volunteer Cavalry FACING X08 This page in the original text is blank. Provost Duty at Fort Scott up to the Bourbon House among its passen- gers was an unpretentious-looking officer, who, with others, walked in and registered as a guest. There were many officers and men of the Second about as usual, but no one noticed the newcomer as he mingled with the other guests. He wore the cavalry uniform with captain's bar. Next day he walked leis- urely up the hill to the camp of the Second. The first one that took any notice of him was the camp guard, who saluted him and was saluted in return. " What are you doing here " was the ques- tion of the officer. " On guard," was the prompt reply. " I see nothing here to guard," said the of- ficer. " You can go to your quarters." " But I am on camp guard, and can't go until released by the corporal." " Go to your quarters," said the officer, "and if anyone says anything to you, tell him Colonel Kautz relieved you." It was soon known that the Second Ohio had a new colonel. The camp was then moved to a shady place by the river, and many other noticeable changes took place for the better. Up to that time I knew nothing about the aspirations of men, and thought they accepted office in the ordinary line of duty. But many things leaked out soon after this change, and the scales began to fall from my eyes. Several resignations followed. Early in September, log IO Four Years with Five Armies while on duty pacing a beat in front of the old stone jail, I was suddenly taken with conges- tion followed by nausea and high fever. My companions took me to the hospital, where I lay at the point of death for several days. My complaint was pronounced by the doctor to be typhus fever. He had no hopes of me, but directed the nurse to give me special care. While lying there I saw many a poor fellow carried out to the morgue, sometimes at the rate of from five to eight a day. After three weeks had elapsed, being able to mope about, I made application to the doctor for permis- sion to go to camp. He replied that, as he was in need of every bed, I could go, if I would report to him at sick call every morn- ing. I promised to do this and I fulfilled the promise the next morning, but neglected it in the future, something that has caused me some regret, as I have never regained my normal weight or strength since. In the provost guard we knew but little that was going on in the regiment, only making note of the most conspicuous changes that we heard of from day to day. One sergeant was detached from each company to recruit men to fill them up to the full complement. The best horses were selected to mount the bat- talion that was armed with revolving rifles; the others being turned over to the post quar- termaster. When General Price made his second raid into Missouri, the regiment went in pursuit. Provost Duty at Fort Scott The dismounted men were transported in army wagons, making a forced march on short rations. The Salem mess lost one more of its members, Lewis Campbell accidentally crip- pling himself by discharging his revolver, the contents taking effect in his foot. Time had now begun to drag heavily on our hands. The regiment was unfit for service in its pres- ent condition, and no one appeared to guess our future fate or destination. Finally, one day in December, an order came for the de- tachment to make ready to march. The next morning a train of wagons pulled in for us, and after loading, we moved out, riding or walking at will. That day at our first camp we all reported to our companies. The march north faced the cold December winds, and continued for several days. At last we reached the east side of the Missouri River, at Weston, where nearly.a year before we had unloaded as fine a lot of horses as had ever entered Kansas. We were now divested of all government property, and so we had nothing to look after but our personal effects. A train of box-cars was backed up to the station, the railroad companies having long since quit furnishing coaches to transport soldiers. But even this was much better than we were now used to, and without a word of complaint we took our blankets and boarded the train. We moved along through Missouri, Illi- nois, Indiana, and Ohio, until we arrived at I I I 112 Four Years with Five Armies ,Columbus, and went into quarters at Camp Chase. Here we met the men called the '62 recruits. Many of them were our cousins, brothers, and neighbor boys, boys that were not old enough to enlist the year before. In fact, some were yet under the acceptable age. There were not yet enough to fill up the regiment, and one battalion was divided and enough put into each company to fill out two battalions. One battalion that had been or- ganized for the Eighth Ohio Cavalry was added to ours, making a full regiment. CHAPTER VIII IN QUARTERS AT CAMP CHASE W HILE the reorganization was going on, we took furloughs to go home Al NT for thirty days. Meantime, the battalion we left in Kansas arrived, and they brought their revolving rifles and re- tained them through the next campaign. When I arrived at home I heard that my friend William Engle, who so kindly assisted me to join the company on our departure for Camp Wade, had since enlisted in the One Hundred and Fifth Ohio, had been to the front, and was then lying at his home mortally wounded. I called to see him the day after I got home. One week later I was called on to perform the last mark of respect to our de- parted comrade. The thirty days' leave having expired, I returned to Camp Chase, and was treated to a surprise when Sergeant Harris informed me that a raid had been recently planned to clean out the Crisis office, and invited me to join the party. The Crisis was a sheet pub- lished in Columbus, the sentiments of which were antagonistic to the Union, and it pub- lished the writings and speeches of C. L. Vallandigham. When the regiment was in "13 114 Four Years with Five Armies Kansas, the Crisis published one of his speeches, in which he expressed the wish that no soldier that crossed Mason and Dixon's line would live to return. That speech, coupled with many others of like nature, raised our ire, and some threats were made at the time, and it appears that some took it to heart so much as to put it into execution at the first opportunity. Although I could see no reason why anything Vallandigham might have said would affect us in any way, there were others that should know more about such mat- ters, and they belonged to the Second Ohio, and I was willing to help them get revenge. It was snowing at the time, and I observed, " It's a bad night." " It is," was the reply, "but the leaders have been waiting for the boys to return from leave, and everything is now ready and it will be carried out to-night. The principal reason being that we are ex- cused from tattoo and can pass the sentinel and enter the city under the guise of a church party on Sunday, whereas a pass would be re- quired on any other night." After retreat the usual call for volunteers to form the church party was made, to which none would respond on such a bad night but those understanding the significance of the movement. We arrived at the appointed rendezvous, where more than one hundred had preceded us. They were armed with clubs, hatchets, and axes. There was no time lost, but we were put in line and were on the In Quarters at Camp Chase move at once, Sergeant Harris being selected to take command of the advanced guard. We moved out at a double-quick to gain the usual space between the advance and the head of the column without causing any delay. Ser- geant Harris and I had no arms, so we pulled pickets from a farmyard fence. The bridge across the river was a long covered structure, and a guard was always stationed at the end next to the city. When we were near enough, he called, " Halt, who comes there " " A party to church," was the reply. The man personating the commander stepped to the front and was granted permis- sion to pass his men. On our arrival at the street in which the office was located, we turned to the right. When we came to the corner someone said, " This is the place," and turned and went up- stairs. Sergeant Harris directed the move- ments of the advance guard. He sent two men to each of the three corners with orders to prevent any interference from any guard or police. He then took me, and we crossed the street to the other corner. We had no sooner taken our positions than a column of men poured into the building. The smashing of windows and a stream of furniture, books, paper, maps, and charts poured out of every opening into the street. The noise attracted the police, who sounded the alarm. The first one that arrived came directly to us. We were standing with the I1IS ii6 Four Years with Five Armies pickets behind us. He did not know that we were concerned. He asked us what was going on over there. We promptly replied that some soldiers were wrecking the Crisis office. He started to go over, but we told him that resistance would be useless, and that we were there to prevent any interference. By that time he was joined by another of- ficer, and many citizens were coming from every direction. The new arrival insisted on making an effort to stop the destruction of property, but we told him that to attempt such a thing would be fatal to him. The two of- ficers walked off a short distance, and while talking were joined by another officer, but they walked quietly away, as was to be ex- pected. They were no doubt in sympathy with the soldiers. The work was of but a few moments' dura- tion, and the order was given to fall in for camp. We moved off quickly, as we did not expect to escape the provost guard as easily as we had escaped the police. When about halfway to the river, Sergeant Harris was informed that they had not found the type. He said that was a very important point, and that it must be found and de- molished. He thought it was at the steam printing press, five or six blocks farther in the city, and we would go there and see. At this time I made my first suggestion in the way of directing the movement of a body of men. I told them it was necessary to send In Quarters at Camp Chase men enough to the bridge to hold it, as it was our only means of escape. They all recog- nized the wisdom of the proposition and acted accordingly. Thirty men went with Sergeant Harris, and the others went to the bridge. The sergeant called on the foreman at the steam press, but he said the Crisis type was not there and he did not know where the paper was printed. With no information, there was nothing to do but return to the camp. We went to the street that leads directly to the bridge, and while passing opposite the State House we could see patrol, guards, police, and many others, on the double-quick, crossing the street, going in the direction of the Crisis office. Some stopped to look at us, but as we were marching in perfect order they passed without any questions. When we neared the bridge, a squad with an officer in front double-quicked down the other side of the street. As we were passing the guard at the end of the bridge, they called out to him, " Have you seen anything unusual here " " No," was the reply. " Who are those men" " A church party, sir." We had now joined our party, who had secreted themselves inside of the bridge, only a few feet from the guard. As we passed along they fell in, and we marched unmo- lested to camp. When we arrived at the bar- I 17 i i8 Four Years with Five Armies racks the boys produced many things, such as books, maps, manuscripts, pens, and other relics, which they had concealed under their coats. I protested, and advised them to burn those things, as the raid was not intended for plunder. They did not heed my advice, how- ever. The next day at 9 A. M. there was a ru- mor that the authorities were making strenu- ous efforts to find the perpetrators, and that we were under suspicion. Many articles were then thrown into the fire and burned. The more valuable articles were concealed under the floor of the bar- racks, and at ii A. M., regular officers' call, the officers were ordered to search their com- panies and report the result. When we fell in line a sergeant and two men were ordered to search for property belonging to the Crisis office. Nothing was found, and the result reported accordingly. A special call was then made for the offi- cers. Colonel Kautz gave them some instruc- tions that we were unable to learn until after retreat. After the roll had been called, the Captain said that Colonel Kautz was anxious to have a fine pipe that had been taken from the Crisis office the night before. If he could get it there would be no more effort to implicate the regiment. Someone asked what Colonel Kautz's pipe was doing in a Copperhead place. The captain said that they asked him the same In Quarters at Camp Chase question, and the Colonel had answered that he had purchased the pipe as a present for an old and respected classmate who was then serving in the Navy. A person who had kept in continued communication with him, worked in the Crisis office, and the pipe had been left with this person by Colonel Kautz to forward to its destination. When the com- pany broke ranks there was a consultation among the members, and some denounced our Colonel as a Copperhead and in sympathy with the Crisis people, and no one appeared to know anything about the pipe. Gold pens, fine inkstands, and other trophies were plentiful. I took an active part in the discussion, and defended the Colonel, as did the majority. He had inaugurated many reforms, and had, in fact, been our benefactor. We decided that he was loyal, and that the connection of the pipe with the Crisis office, as he had said, was only a coincidence. We then dispersed, and a man six foot three, who belonged to our company, stepped up to me and drew from a side pocket a morocco case, with the gilt letters A. V. K. on one side. At the same time he said to me that he had the pipe. He opened the case and displayed a fine meerschaum. " I think like you do, and want to return it, but not to let them know where it comes from. Only three men know that I have it." He named them. They were called into lI I 120 Four Years with Five Armies consultation. As a result the pipe was wrapped up and addressed to Colonel A. V. Kautz, and intrusted to me. I strolled leis- urely up to the officers' quarters, and when there was no one to see me, slipped the pipe through the slot into the mail box at head- quarters. During the winter, being fitted out with a complete new outfit, with the exception of one battalion retaining their revolving rifles, the other two battalions were furnished with the Burnside carbine, a breech-loading gun with metallic cartridge, the best in use at that time. Being on duty when the horses were issued, of course I got Hobson's choice, having only one to choose from. She was rather nice-look- ing, but frail built, not calculated to carry heavy loads or endure long marches. Com- pany E was now controlled by an entire set of new officers, the captain and first lieutenant being transferred from the now defunct bat- talion, with Warner Newton promoted to sec- ond lieutenant. As soon as spring opened we were on the move. We traveled by rail to Cincinnati and ferried over to Covington, where we re- mained a few days, and then embarked on transports and landed at Maysville, Ken- tucky. From there we took up the line of march southward, through the noted blue- grass country. Many changes were now made that were noticeable to the old members of the regiment. In Quarters at Camp Chase I21 Instead of long wagon-trains to block the road there was but the one wagon to each company, which traveled with the quartermaster's train, and in place of the large Sibley tent each trooper was furnished with one-half of what was termed a dog-tent, that he strapped on the saddle. In place of the cumbersome mess- kit, the cooking utensils and rations were car- ried on the saddle. Three days' rations were usually issued. The company marched in ad- vance, divided into squads, and went on the different roads and did picket duty until the next morning, when they were relieved. CHAPTER IX IN KENTUCKY A S we marched along through towns and JLA villages, we saw troops in every place, but nothing of importance occurred until we arrived at Somerset, Ken- tucky. A large body of troops was there, among whom was the noted Colonel Wool- ford's First Kentucky Cavalry, a terror to the Johnnies, and whom the noted John Morgan held in awe. They were a set of men peculiar in their own way, never doing anything like anybody else. They were scattered every- where, and they were always on the alert. By some means known to themselves they always got together when there was a chance for an engagement with the enemy, and then they scored one for the First Kentucky. It was impossible for the enemy to surprise a camp in that part of the country, for the First Kentucky knew every Union man and every ford and bridle path in southern Ken- tucky. As soon as the enemy moved some- one knew it, and soon they all knew it. They usually rode the thoroughbred Kentucky horse, and, if occasion required, the man would light into the saddle with his foot through the stirrup to the heel of his boot, 122 In Kentucky and, with his trusty carbine across the saddle, he would glide over forty, fifty, or one hun- dred miles, as the case might be, with a rapid- ity that always brought him to the right place at the right time. When in a skirmish Colonel Woolford would say: " Huddle up and scatter out, boys; you know as well how to do it as I do." Somerset is situated on the north of the Cumberland River and three or four miles from it. There was an old-fashioned rope ferry with two boats at the river crossing on the road leading south to the town of Monti- cello, at that time the headquarters of the rebel General Pegram. The north side of the river was guarded by Union troops and the south side by the Southern troops. There were also fords above and below the ferry, a few miles apart, that required a small outpost or picket guard, and we took our turns at that duty. Trading coffee for tobacco and exchanging papers was an everyday occurrence. This was done by meeting in the middle of the river in skiffs. The general in command at Somerset ap- peared to get some satisfaction out of tantaliz- ing Pegram. Every week he would send a small cavalry force to drive in his pickets to the main force, and then fall back. I remem- ber going three different times, and it was done the same each time. The way was a very peculiar one. 123 Four Years with Five Armies The crossing was effected at what was known as the upper ford, several miles from Somerset. On the north side of the river is a line of rough foothills through which the road passes and enters the water directly op- posite a bluff, several hundred feet high, that rises perpendicular from the water. The top of the bluff is flat and covered with timber, and on this Pegram's pickets were posted. They could see us some time before we were in range of their guns, and had all the time they wanted to assemble at the brink or edge of the bluff. When we entered the water they would begin to fire. At this point the bed of the river was full of boulders from the size of your hat to the size of an army wagon. The water was very swift, tumbling against the boulders and the horses' legs, and this, with the spatting of the leaden hail, made a deafening roar. We had to pass the bluff to the landing on the opposite side, and that necessitated at least a half-mile's travel in the water, under the fire of the enemy, and in a perfectly helpless condition so far as defending ourselves was concerned. The landing was at the mouth of a canyon, and the road skirted the edge of the canyon by a steep grade, winding about until it reached the flat top of the mountain, a mile from the river. At this point the Johnnies who had fired from the bluff would give us a parting volley and disappear to form on the next open 124 In Kentucky ground; but, as their number was compara- tively small, after a few shots they would fall back until reinforced, when a heavy skirmish would continue until night put a stop to active operations. In the morning we would find ourselves confronted by Pegram's command, and a hot little engagement would follow. One time the Second Ohio made a charge and dislodged the enemy. In front of them there were many dead and wounded lying about. Those that had been killed but a short time had turned black as charcoal. The pris- oners said it was caused by drinking rye tea in camp, as a substitute for coffee and whisky, mixed with powder, before going into an en- gagement. The fourth time we crossed the Cumber- land, all the effective men moved in light marching order, consisting of cavalry, artil- lery, and infantry. Pegram having retreated, we met no opposition. There was only a small squad of cavalry in Monticello, but they with- drew at the approach of our advance guard, and left the town undisputed to our possession. The infantry halted there and the cavalry pur- sued Pegram into Tennessee. Heavy rains set in while on our return. The roads became heavy and the cavalry frequently had to drag the artillery and wagons out of the mire. Many of the horses gave out. We passed through Monticello. Every- thing was moving back to Somerset. In a 12 5 i26 Four Years with Five Armies heavy rain we went into camp in a strip of timber on the ridge where most of our skirmishes had taken place on our former raids. That evening orderly call sounded im- mediately after stable call. The orderly re- turned and said it was Colonel Kautz's orders not to groom the horses while they were wet. I made the remark that in some things it was good to have a regular officer, for he knew at least how to take care of the horses. Some officer who felt sore because he had been superseded by a regular, overheard the remark. I was on camp guard that night, and did not get out to the stable call as soon as I might have done, but had my bunky feed my mare, a common custom in our company. When assembly sounded, and I was packing up, my bunky said he had orders to lead my mare and to make me walk. I thought he was joking. Someone spoke up and said, " It is a fact. I heard the order." It was the first sentence or reproof that had been passed on me except at Fort Scott, where I was tardy, with the view of getting my horse out of the mud while I chopped wood. I felt it keenly, and threw down the articles in my hand and said, " I don't care a if I never see the mare again ! " The order was to punish me for what I had said the evening before. I packed up my car- bine and started. They said, " You had bet- In Kentucky ter saddle up and pack your things," to which I replied, "A man on foot needs no saddle, and if the captain wants it worse than I, he had better see that he gets it." I trudged away through the mud, already well mixed by passing troops, and in many places sank in ankle deep. The bottom land was covered with water and the river was up to the top of its bank. With the steep grade as it leaves the moun- tains the water tumbles and roars as it lashes into foam along the bank and among the large boulders in its bottom. The troops were crossing as rapidly as possible with the facili- ties at command. The river is very wide at that point and there were two cables stretched across, both of which were fastened to the same tree on the north side; the other end to two different trees on the south side, about fifty yards apart. There were two boats, called the little and the big boat. The artillery were using the big boat and the infantry the little one. The one used by the artillery was just large enough to carry one gun with caissons, men, and har- ness, while the horses were made to swim by the side. One company of infantry was marched to the other boat with all their ac- couterments. On my arrival at the river it was my inten- tion to cross and keep on going. I did not care much where, but intended to go to any place other than the company. They would I27 128 Four Years with Five Armies not let me on the boat, as they had the right of way, and were as anxious to cross as I. I made myself as comfortable as possible on some baggage that was piled near the ferry, and watched the troops crossing. There was one New England regiment whose time of service had expired, under orders to proceed to their State to be mustered out. When this regiment was crossing, about the middle of the afternoon, one company of ninety men were lost, all being drowned but one man. When a company marched on the boat it was pushed off shore and permitted to swing around lengthwise with the stream, and four men on the upper end of the boat would pull the cable hand-over-hand. On this unfortu- nate occasion the man let go of the cable and the boat glided down to the lower one. The men on the lower end of the boat caught hold of it, which movement checked the boat and caused it to swing rapidly around until it was crosswise with the current. With the order to let go they stooped down until past the cable, then they all reached for it, and many caught hold, throwing the weight all on the upper side, with the weight of the current against the flat side of the boat. The lower side now being light, it turned over on top of the men. But few ever came up again, and they only to sink, with one exception, an ex- pert swimmer that had presence of mind to extricate himself and swim ashore. Remaining there with wet feet and with In Kentucky nothing to eat until it was late in the evening, I was about to make a move in some other direction, when Hopkins, then on duty at brigade headquarters, arrived with a dispatch for some officer at the ferry. When he saw me there he advised me to go back to the com- pany, then in line on the opposite side of the valley, where they would remain all night to protect the ferry against attack from a small party of the enemy's cavalry then annoying the rear-guard. I had studied the matter over during the day, and as his advice did not conform to my previous decision, the only reply I could give him was that if they wanted me to have the mare they must send her to me; for I should not go back one step. He galloped away, and in about thirty minutes my bunky came with the mare, whereupon I mounted and joined the company. As there was now only one boat, it was kept busy, and by daylight the troops had all crossed but the one brigade of cavalry, and by twelve o'clock we were in our old camp at Somerset. The recent engagements had taught us that it was policy to husband our ammunition, for with the convenient carbine the ordinary trooper would shoot away one hundred rounds so quickly he would declare he had lost or someone had stolen part of it. The next day a board of survey condemned and turned in all the unserviceable property. I129 Four Years with Five Armies They said my mare looked pretty well, but being of slender build and a mare they would condemn her. That made five horses from Company E that were condemned. After turning them over to the quartermaster, D. H. Arnold, the regimental trainmaster, a good judge of stock, was directed to take them to Lexington, turn them in, and draw serviceable stock to take their places. The captain took leave from the company about that time and we never saw him again. Information being received at headquarters that the noted cavalry leader, General John H. Morgan, was preparing to make a raid north, the cavalry division, under command of General Shackleford, was ordered out in light marching order to intercept him. Light marching order at that time consisted of one blanket, one poncho, one change of underclothes, one hundred rounds of ammu- nition, one pair of horseshoes with nails to fasten them on, three days' rations, and three days' forage for the horses. We moved out about June 2,;th, taking the effective men and leaving the dismounted men to take care of the camp. On July i the detail arrived from Lexing- ton with the fresh mounts. When issued to the companies five were led over and tied to the picket line near the sergeant's tent. Being the last to arrive on the spot I heard someone say, " Here is a mare, Gause can have that." A little surprised at the joke, I inquired, I30 In Kentucky 131 "Who has a right to select my mount for me " But after inspecting them I remarked, " They are a good lot and the mare is the best one amongst them." My observation brought out the laugh and I said, " I told you so." As so much prejudice had recently developed against that kind of mount, and they had re- cently condemned one for me, I thought it would not be wise to select another right away. The others all declared they would not have her, and each selected his choice and led it away. The sergeant, seeing the difficulty ahead, ordered them to let the horses be and he would issue them by lot. At this time Arnold came galloping up, and said, " Gause, I selected a fine mare for you." " They have just condemned one for me," I said. " I know they did, but this was the best animal in the corral; and I wanted to bring her, and as you have had no other kind of mount and made no objection when the last one was issued to you, I thought you would accept her. She was turned in with the captured stock after the battle of Stone River, has been well cared for, and if you will ac- cept her you will never regret it; but if you do not they will blame me for bringing her." "You will not be disappointed," I replied. I led her to my tent, and trimmed off her tail, for it was dragging on the ground. The mare was as handsome as a picture, with every point that makes a horse perfect. She was a 132 Four Years with Five Armies dark bay with black tail and mane, and lacked one-half inch of fifteen hands high; of gentle disposition, never worried by useless moving or chaffing, and she could be trusted to stand in the same place in which you left her until wanted again. WVell pleased with my mount, I began to pack up. Someone inquired, " Where are you going " " To the company," I replied. The sergeant was soon notified of my in- tention, and he said I could not go. That set- tled the matter for the time, but I made ap- plication to higher authority, and on the morning of the 3d of July they sent for me to take the regimental mail to Jim Town. I lost no time, but reported at once to head- quarters. The adjutant gave me a pass and an order for the mail. I went to town, pre- sented my order and got the mail, which I assure you was no small load for a horse, for when it was packed it was with difficulty that I gained the saddle. The postmaster followed me to the street and cautioned me about the mail. " You have a hazardous route to go and the mail is a great inducement. I want to warn you in time," he said. But there was no time to con- sider the question then, and I went on. As I rode through camp many called out, " Good- by, look out for bushwhackers ! " The mare moved along quite briskly. I was familiar with the first ten miles of the road, having been on picket at the lower ford In Kentucky and having grazed the horses at different times in widow Campbell's pasture. The widow, who lived ten miles from Som- erset, had induced Colonel Zollicoffer to attack the Union troops at Mill Springs in i862, an attack which resulted in his death and the defeat of his forces. It was believed that spies and bushwhackers frequented her place, and this fact gave me some reason to be more cautious, as word sent out from there to the numerous bands that the mail had passed would soon bring out at least enough of them to make an effort to capture it. There was a fine spring of cool water near the house, so I dismounted, and refreshed my- self and horse. After a little breathing spell I walked up the long slope to the top of the ridge where the road enters the mountains. With deep gorges and covered timber, this range of small mountains or hills skirts the north side of the Cumberland River. There were no more settlements for several miles, and with nothing to do but make the best time I could under the circumstances, and keep watch that I did not run into am- bush, I mounted and moved on down the long slope through ravines, following the creek bed and through brush, walking now and then up and down the steep hills to give my mare all the rest I could. Of course I thought of all the reckless and daring deeds I had seen and heard of, and of what the postmaster had told me, that some of 133 Four Years with Five Armies them would see me and try to get the mail. But my mind said, "Take care of yourself and you will come out all right. They must get you at the first shot, or you will make it cost them more than it is worth." After traveling about ten miles without meeting anyone, I came to a farm. There was a lane cleared out leading to a house which set back of the cornfield. It was about noon and I turned in. It occurred to me that a halt might prove fatal; but with no danger in sight I would prove to my new animal that I was not a hard master. The place was not an uncommon one for that part of the coun- try. There was a one-story log-house with a porch in front, and only a few feet from the cornfield. One end opened on the lane. A fence was around the house with one gate at the lane and another gate to the cornfield. There were a few fruit trees, and a dense growth of lilacs and rose bushes, all in bloom, which almost hid the house from view. No one could see me as I approached until I ar- rived at the gate. There were two women, apparently mother and daughter, sitting on the porch. I asked if I could feed my horse and get some dinner. They said, "Yes, go into the field and get corn, and then come in and we will give you dinner." They laid down their work and went into the house. I unsaddled, and placed the mail on the porch, where I could see it from both outside and inside the house. 134 In Kentucky After feeding my mare I took a seat on the porch in front of the door, that I could ob- serve who went and came. The front room was large, with a door and a window in the rear which opened into the kitchen. There was a door at the end of the kitchen next to the lane. By looking through the window I could see out of that door. The women had some trouble starting a fire, but finally they got dinner going. I could not see them, but could hear all they said. They had set the table, and were about ready to bring dinner in, when a sudden exclama- tion from the women attracted my attention. I saw a man in the act of stepping into the kitchen door. His right hand was raised, and he shook his head as if to say, " Be quiet." He had not seen me, but had evidently seen the mare feeding at the gate, and knew there was a Union soldier near. The women said in concert: " What brings you here at this time " "Nothing uncommon about it, I am here every day," he replied. This was only a sally to mislead me, for he saw me at once. His words were lost to them, for they grasped and embraced him at the same time. If I had not had a good look at him I would have thought that the postmas- ter's surmise had proved true, and that a sig- nal from him would have brought half a dozen desperate men from the woods. My first im- pression was that he was not that type of man. 135 Four Years with Five Armies They all passed out of sight, and I saw no more of them for some time. I heard every- thing they said, and as I thought of the differ- ent desperate gangs that have been led by gen- tlemanly appearing men, I did not let myself be thrown off my guard. They asked him many questions, which he evaded by talking of something else, and in doing this he dis- played much tact. If he had answered all the questions the women put to him I could have got a history of who he was, where he had been, and what his business was; but he chatted freely, and they were all pleased and happy. At last the dinner began to arrive, one plate at a time. The chat would continue for a while, then another plate would be set on the table. Finally dinner was announced. The young woman entered with the coffee-pot, and told me to take my seat at the table. I chose a seat facing the doors so as not to have any disadvantage in case of a skirmish. I had the mail sacks to my right, the mare in front of the window, and the kitchen door to the left front, with a solid wall to my back. I was master of the situation, as I could see anyone approach from any direction before they could see me. I sat down to the table with the butt of the carbine on the floor and the muzzle to the left of my left elbow, and hitched my revolvers so that my hand was at the hilt without a lost motion. I awaited the entrance of the family. I 36 In Kentucky 137 The women entered first, then the stranger walked up and spoke to me with some passing remark about the weather, gracefully took his seat opposite, then went on chatting pleas- antly with the ladies. I now felt perfectly at ease. Whoever he was and what his intentions were made little difference. I had my eye on him, and if any- one had approached from the outside I could take the drop on him and use him in my own defense. But I soon dispelled all his thought, having made up my mind that the gentleman -for no doubt such he was-would defend and not plunder me. Dinner was of minor importance to them, and still dragged as it had ever since the new arrival. But I finished, handed the lady a greenback dollar, excused myself, walked out and picked up two sacks and returned for the others. I endeavored to show no anxiety to get away, but at the same time made every move count for something to that end. Once more in the saddle, my mare appeared to show her appreciation for good treatment, for she tripped off gaily, and my thoughts turned to the family I had left at the dinner- table. That there were women at the house and no men was to be expected, for this was the case all over the country. The men were in the army, or had to leave home on account of their political opinions, and were either bushwhacking or were refugees in a foreign land. Four Years with Five Armies The man in question was now undoubtedly at home, but where he had been and what he had been doing could only be conjectured by his appearance. He was over six feet tall, dressed in a new black suit, with frock coat which fitted neatly. His graceful movements, easy manners, and conversation showed him to be a man of education and culture. He had black hair and mustache, the ends of which were sunburnt. His face was brown, the neck and lower jaw a shade lighter than the rest, which would indicate that a full beard and long hair had just been removed. This led me to believe that he had returned from the Southern army or from a long exile in the mountains. While indulging in these thoughts I met three men, two of whom belonged to our com- pany. They were leading their horses leis- urely along, but appeared much surprised at seeing me alone with the mail, and said, " You will never get to Jim Town with it, for the woods are full of bushwhackers"; but I replied that they seemed to be taking it very easy themselves. They said it was very dif- ferent with them. Eighteen or twenty were strung along with disabled horses and they had no mail. I then inquired more about the woods being full of bushwhackers. They said reports had been coming in all 'day yesterday and to-day of men being seen, and they had seen some themselves. I wanted to doubt this report, but there was no ground for doubt. 138 In Kentucky They expected to be fired on at any mo- ment. With all their warning, I felt much safer on the last part of my journey, for I was pretty sure if anyone desired to intercept me he would have done so before now. At eight o'clock I was halted by the vidette, who demanded the countersign. I showed him the mail pouches, and he said, " That is sufficient to pass anyone," and the officer of the guard sent a man to show me to Colonel Kautz's headquarters. It was a mile beyond the dark woods in which the troops were camped. Headquarters was at a double log- house enclosed by a rail fence. There were officers, guards, and horses, the customary scene that usually surrounds such a place. They were all glad to see the mail arrive, and the guards carried the sacks in as I took them from the saddle. An orderly appeared and said the General wanted to see me. I en- tered the room. He greeted me cordially, gave me a chair, and the first question he asked me was about the men out on the road, and he appeared a little uneasy that they would not get through all right. By that time some mail was handed him, and he told me to wait a few moments. I now began to look about me. It was the first time I had been in a brigade commander's quarters, and I did not feel so much at home as at the dinner-table watching the mail which I thought was in jeopardy. I39 Four Years with Five Armies The General soon laid down his mail, and asked many questions about the camp at Som- erset, to which questions I gave satisfactory answers. He said they were expecting Mor- gan to cross and were ready to move at any moment. He was much pleased to get the mail, as there were no troops passing and he had not expected it to be brought by one man. He told me to report to my company for duty. I took my leave, and was soon among the boys. They were camped in a thick woods as dark as Egypt, and when my arrival was announced their shouts could be heard all over camp. They were always glad to get the mail that brought news from home, and especially in- terested, as I had a new horse which I assured them was a good one. It had to be led up to the camp-fire for inspection. To the surprise of all it was a mare, and an explanation of how it all came about had to be given. The company had already been detailed to go on picket in the morning, and when the sun rose we were packing our saddles, and soon moved out through Jim Town and re- lieved a company about two miles below town on the river road. It was the fourth day of July, and a celebra- tion had been arranged to take place in town, with Colonel Woolford as speaker and Kautz's artillery to fire the salutes. There was a heavy thunderstorm late in the afternoon, and it was still raining when a 140 MATHIAS M. SPRINGUR Second Ohio Volunteer Cavalry FACING 14t -I I I - - z g II I II I I 'N R I R L- I This page in the original text is blank. In Kentucky courier arrived from Colonel Kautz's head- quarters with orders to draw in the pickets. When we arrived at camp we learned that Morgan had crossed the river, and a part of Company B had engaged him at Columbus on July 3. Among the wounded was one of my boyhood acquaintance, Henry Palmer. At two o'clock on the morning of the 5th we moved out. I began this march with no rations or forage, one talma, one change of underclothes, and no blanket. I was not able to carry anything from Somerset, and three days' rations and forage had been issued to the company on the 3d. There had, of course, been no provision made for me. and I was compelled to depend on my friends for what I ate and fed. At daylight we arrived at the main road on which Morgan had passed, and at 9 A. M. we were well started on his trail, and saw the relic of the first depredation. A Basil W. Duke, in speaking of that affair in his " History of Morgan's Cavalry," said that on the morning of the 3d the divis- ion resumed its march, pushing on to Columbus. Colonel Mor- gan's regiment, although included among those of the First Brigade, returned to the field, was detached and used as the advanceguard of the column. In the afternoon, as we neared Columbus, this regiment came upon the enemy moving out of town. In the skirmish which ensued, Colonel Morgan lost a few wounded, and among the number Capt. J. S. Cassell, who was shot in the thigh as he was charging with his accustomed gallantry. After hearing Sergeant Polhemus's version of this engagement, and from what I can remember, it is probable that both accounts are correct. Woolford's brigade was camped near Columbus, and had a detachment in the town. They were driven out by Colonel Morgan, who halted near by town. The detachment of Company B, Second Ohio, came into town by a side road, and in the rear of Colonel Morgan, and did not know of the previous engagement which Duke mentions. 141 Four Years with Five armies wagon was standing in the road, the team hav- ing been taken from the owner by Morgan's men. Complaints were coming in from all quarters of the loss of all kinds of valuables, but the chief complaint was about the horses that were stolen or captured. After taking an hour's rest to feed and make coffee, we moved out at a brisk pace. Forage was plenty, with fields of green corn and shocks of wheat in abundance, but for men to procure something to eat was altogether different. After the three days' rations had been ex- hausted we were compelled to live entirely off the country, and to take second choice, for Morgan, passing before us, was doing the same thing. More or less troops were sta- tioned at every town, and it was expected that they would be able to cripple the raiders and to force them to change their course, or to check them until we could attack them from the rear. But all efforts of these guards proved fruitless, for, after a short engagement, they would surrender or retreat and leave the road unobstructed. There were some hot little bat- tles; one at Green River bridge, another at Lebanon, and others at places now out of my memory. There were no more regular halts made, as it would be impossible for all to get some- thing to eat at one place. The men would fall out, refresh themselves as best they could, and then gallop up until they overtook the column, 142 In Kentucky 143 which was diminished to about one-half its number by these constant departures. Some of the men would go to every house in the town. Large crowds were always gath- ered about the farm-houses, and often they would carry away everything in sight. When the women were cooking for one party, some new arrivals would enter the kitchen and carry away everything, and leave the party waiting until something more could be prepared, or they had to go away hungry. I was waiting for a meal one day, when a man rushed into the kitchen, pulled the pan of half-baked biscuits from the oven, turned them into his haversack, and walked out with his prize as unconcerned as if they had been his own. This was only one of a thousand such cases. The scenes and incidents along the line of march were varied, and marked with destruc- tion, disaster, and death. Houses were burned, men were killed in every town, rail- road trains were ditched, bridges and boats were destroyed, the contents of stores and pri- vate houses were scattered and torn, postoffices were looted of everything, and the mail was scattered along the road for hundreds of miles. Many letters were opened and read by the captors and thrown down to be read by their pursuers. The day before we arrived at the Ohio River I was very hungry. About ten o'clock I began to look for something to eat, and for Four Years with Five Armies two hours I rode to many different houses, and had fallen behind everything but the rear- guard. About twelve o'clock I saw a large plantation house a half mile from the road to the right, and there was no one going or coming from it. It appeared to be the best chance I would get, and so I rode over. A servant came to the door. I told her I would like something to eat. She told me to sit down and wait, that dinner would be ready soon. I sat down in the front door. It opened into the hall, and a door stood open to the left of the hall. I could see in, and at once discovered it to be a very large dining- room. A table was spread from one end to the other, and there were several servants with white aprons and caps carrying in the smok- ing dinner. My first impression was that I had come to a party of officers who had stopped for dinner, but a second thought dis- pelled the first, as there were no horses or orderlies about the place. That caused me to wonder what all the preparation was for, although it made but little difference to me, as I was hungry, tired, sleepy, and covered with dust. That there was plenty to eat was evident. I sat there for perhaps thirty min- utes, the rear-guard had passed on the road op- posite, and no one was coming from the com- mand to eat that dinner. A door opened at the other end of the din- ing-room, and a procession of gentlemen I44 In Kentucky marched in, each with a lady on his arm, from whom he disengaged himself at the end of the table. The gentlemen marched down one side and the ladies the opposite side of the table. The servant spoke to the middle-aged lady and said there was a soldier who wanted dinner. She very pleasantly directed the ser- vant to bring me in and to place me at the table. Some of the young ladies said I could wait, and one said I should not eat with them, but the gentleman they called Colonel told me to come in, that there was plenty of room. The lady directed me to a seat and told the servant to wait on me and see that I got what I wanted. Some of the ladies feigned dis- gust at the turn things had taken. They were very glib when they entered, but some of them had but little to say while I was there, except an occasional slur about the Yankees. The gentlemen paid no attention to this irony, but kept on talking. The whole proceeding mortified me enough to occupy my thoughts until I was in the sad- dle and was riding away. I did not annoy them long. As I never expected to see them again, I filled the aching void, thanked them, and took my leave. I was some distance behind, and it was no easy task to overtake the rapidly moving column. As the mare galloped along I won- dered where so many men had come from, and that so many looked like our guest at dinner on the 3d; but as they all wore the 145 Four Years with Five Armies same style clothes, that looked as if they had been cut and made in the same shop, and were in the fashion of the times, and as they were all Kentuckians, I accounted for the coinci- dence, and concluded that I had only chanced to meet a church or wedding party, and I dis- missed the matter from my mind. After many years I learned that Morgan's dis- mounted men had traveled through Kentucky on foot, in wagons, and by rail, and in new clothes, for the purpose of getting what re- cruits they could in Kentucky. They were to mount themselves on Northern horses in Indi- ana and Ohio and there take charge of the three thousand new troops they had been promised when they crossed the Ohio line, and these were the men that had been seen and mistaken for bushwhackers as they passed singly through the woods near Jim Town. The gentlemen at the dinner were one con- tingent, and the man I met at dinner on July 3d had no doubt come from the same camp. They had discarded their uniforms, put on citizen's clothes, cut their long hair, and with a clean shave, leaving the moustache, with sun-burnt faces, gave them the semblance of citizens. Any move they would have made to antagonize the Union soldiers would have exposed and interrupted their plans, and therefore I was not molested by them. We arrived at the Ohio River some time in the night, and rested for some hours at Brandensburg. Morgan had captured two 146 In Kentucky 147 boats at this place, and after crossing on them to the Indiana side had set fire to them. All boats below had retreated to Cairo and those above to Louisville. We had to wait until they came from the latter place to ferry us across. CHAPTER X ON MORGAN'S TRAIL O N the march many horses had cast their shoes, and mine had lost one. One farrier was busy and the other unable to work. I borrowed his shoeing tools, and made my first effort at horseshoeing, and when the shoe was on I passed the tools to someone else, and this practice became common in our company for the future. On the northern side of the Ohio River the trail of Morgan was more marked. In the first town he captured and paroled eight thou- sand troops, consisting of militia, volun- teers, and other organizations equipped for the occasion. He burnt mills, factories, and private property when the owner refused to pay ransom. Our march continued night and day, and the only halt was when the bridges or ferries were destroyed by the raiders and we had to wait until a way was procured for us to cross. When there was a halt a sheaf of wheat or some corn from the nearest field was thrown to the horse, and his rider would drop on the ground and be sound asleep before he was fairly stretched out. 148 On Morgan's Trail The last day's travel in Indiana was Sun- day, and we arrived at the White Water River, the line between Ohio and Indiana, in the night, to find the bridge destroyed, and it was four or five hours before a ford could be found; but we crossed, and tied up in the small town of Harrison before daylight. Here I procured some writing materials, went to a private house, and after making arrangements for breakfast, wrote a letter home, in which I told the folks that we were on Morgan's trail, that he was now in Ohio and was going in the direction of their home, but that I thought he would not get so far north. From the time we crossed the Ohio until the last few days of the raid the citizens would fall in and march in the rear of the column, declaring they were going to see us catch Morgan. At daybreak this miscellaneous crowd would begin to gather, and in the thickly settled places would amount to as high as four hundred, mostly mounted, but on horses not used to the saddle, and many with- out shoes. The men were armed usually with squirrel rifles or shotguns, and some with pocket pistols. We became used to the cry, " You will catch them before night; they are only four hours ahead." Or it might be one hour or two hours. However, it seemed we were close to them all the time. That crowd would gather and march with a great deal of vim at first, but a few hours cooled them off, and they would begin to fall out, and by 149 Four Years with Five Armies midnight there would be but a few left. In the morning new ones would begin to recruit again. Some stayed a week, and four or five followed to the last. There was a delay of an hour at Harrison. Colonel Kautz wired General Burnside that the command was too cumbersome, and that a smaller command could make better time. He received a reply to take his brigade and move on, and let his judgment be his guide. Woolford was sent to the other side of the Ohio River to intercept Morgan should he cross. At 7 A. M. we moved out. Colonel Kautz's brigade consisted of the Seventh Ohio Cavalry, Ninth Michigan Cavalry, Second Ohio Cavalry, and Second Tennessee Mounted Infantry. As this day's march was a record breaker, I will endeavor to give a more accurate de- scription of it. It was near the middle of July, and the sun shone down intensely hot. Most of those that had tenaciously held to their blankets and cooking utensils discarded them during the day. We passed through a fertile and thickly settled part of the country, and the towns and villages were occupied by wealthy people. The most noted was Glen- dale, a residence town, seventeen miles from Cincinnati, the residence of business and pro- fessional people who received their supplies from that city. Here it was not necessary to leave the ranks for something to refresh our- selves. The streets were crowded with ladies ISO On Morgan's Trail 151 carrying buckets of water and lemonade, pies, cake, bread and butter, ham sandwiches, and in fact everything that one could wish for. Many of the ladies were extravagantly dressed, but they worked hard and paid no attention to the dripping water or flying dust that covered them from head to foot. They felt jubilant to know that they were permitted to help us on our journey, which they thought would result in the capture of the raiders be- fore night, as they had passed but three hours before us. The bridge was destroyed over the Ohio Canal, and boats had to be brought from a distance on which a temporary bridge was built. This delay gave us one and a half hours' rest. We passed by Camp Dennison, and here the road crossed the railroad track. Close to the bridge that spans the Little Miami River to our left, we saw a train of cars and an engine that Morgan's men had derailed. They lay on their sides at the foot of the bank. To our right we could see the barracks where we had quarters in Decem- ber, i86I, in which the troops were now camped who kept Morgan from burning the bridge. This he had made repeated efforts to do. During the twenty-four hours we covered a distance of seventy-five miles, and at 7 A. M. the next day went into camp for a little rest. I took a bath in a running brook, put on the clean underclothes, and threw away Four Years with Five Armies those I had worn from Somerset. It was the first time I had taken off my boots since leaving Jim Town. When we resumed the march it was evident that the pursuit was a desperate effort. Troops had been shipped by river and rail in and from all directions. They had failed to intercept Morgan to any advantage, and the trail showed the ruthless hand of a defiant enemy, taking horses, wagons, and stores of all descriptions, and capturing and paroling troops. The country was thoroughly aroused and indignant at the invasion. We pushed along with about the same routine every day, until Friday evening the advance was enabled to engage the enemy's guard at Cheshire, or Manhattan Island. On the next Saturday it happened to be the Second Ohio's turn to take the lead, with Company E in advance of the regiment. Ser- geant Harris had charge of the extreme advance that consisted of himself, James Camp, and myself. We continued during the day and until night when we entered the heavy sycamore timber. The trees stood far apart, and the dense foliage made it so dark we could not distinguish the road. It was impossible to remain awake long at a time, and we made application for a guide. We were now in the country where the members of the Seventh Ohio Cavalry lived, and they soon gave us a man who had carried the mail over the road for ten years. We now had four 152 On Morgan's Trail 153 men, and, relieved from the responsibility of keeping the road, we could sit and nod as much as we chose. During all this time our ranks had been dwindling down, and they had dwindled very rapidly for the last week. Men gave out by falling sick, by having disabled horses, and from various other causes. There was a standing order for men unable to keep up with the column to report to the nearest pro- vost marshal for supplies and transportation. Our force now consisted of only such men as were fully determined to do their best to be present at the termination of the now des- perate pursuit. At daybreak on Sunday morning the guide said we did not need him any longer, reined his horse to one side, and dismounted. The road was dry under the large trees, and we could not tell about how much time had elapsed since the last troops passed. About three hundred yards from where the guide left us there was only brush at the road- side, and the dust having been laid by the dew, it was easy to see that a small squad of cavalry had very recently passed, turning the dry dust on top of the wet. The road wound around on a low brushy ridge with a field on one side and a cabin on the other. There was a woman in the cabin, and on making inquiries of her, she said that some of Morgan's men had just left since day. A half mile beyond, as we moved along, Four Years with Five Armies a man stepped out of the brush in front of us and started to run, but we halted him and demanded to know who he was. He said he had been pressed by Morgan for a guide, and they had shot at him when making his escape. As there was nothing unusual about this, it having occurred several times during the raid, we accepted his story, and after an- swering a few questions moved on and left him. A few yards beyond the road makes a short turn down a steep grade to the valley that runs parallel with the road we were then traveling. As we were about to turn, the sergeant cried, " Look out, there they are I " A horse, with equipments and a pair of large saddle pockets on, was standing in the brush, no doubt where the man we met had just left him. We led the horse out and examined the contents of the pockets, which consisted of dress-patterns, women's shoes, boxes with pocket knives, sil- ver spoons, needles and thread, with many other things too numerous to mention. As we were making our examination the company arrived. The lieutenant said, " Gause, take the horse to Colonel Kautz. He asked me to get one for him, and this is the first opportunity I have had." It occurred to me that it was a good opportunity to get breakfast, and some of the goods would be a reward for the favor. So I threw a dress- pattern and a pair of shoes on the saddle, mounted, and road away. IS4 On Morgan's Trail The column had halted for a rest. On ar- riving at the head of it I inquired for Colonel Kautz. On hearing his name pronounced, he raised up and answered "Here." After the customary salute I said, "Lieutenant Newton sends his compliments, with a fresh horse." He apparently paid no attention to what was said, but inquired: "How far is it to the river" "About three miles." "Where did you get your information" " From a woman at the cabin and a man we met on the road." " How long since Morgan passed" "The rear-guard left that cabin since day- light." He sprang to his feet and exclaimed, "We've got them, we've got them! Saddle my horse, sound assembly!" The orderly took the halter from my hand and I galloped away to the cabin. After dis- mounting, I walked in and inquired for break- fast. The woman said there was not a mouth- ful to eat in the house. Morgan's men were there all night and ate them out. I walked out and brought in the goods and threw them on the table, whereupon she gave me a re- volver she had found in the yard where some of the men had dropped it during the night. The column was now passing, and as no breakfast was to be had, I mounted and gal- loped on to the company, where they were all soundly sleeping. Being pretty well ac- I5SS Four Years with Five Armies quainted with our hazardous situation, I shouted, " Get up or Morgan will get you I " They were up in a moment, and the trumpet sounded forward at the head of the column. Sergeant Harris moved out with his squad to gain the proper distance. Before we reached the foot of the hill Morgan's videttes fired on us. We put spurs to the horses and they fled into camp, leaving a large quantity of goods, and one dropped his gun, which I picked up on my return after assembly call. Morgan's camp was situated in a field, a part of which was green corn, and the other part wheat, cut and standing in shock. The fields are situated on a level plateau (apparently a valley), surrounded with hills, and is about one mile long and three-quarters of a mile wide. At the lower end of the plateau there is a high hill, around which the river makes a short bend. At that point the gunboats were lying and guarding the ferry. The upper end of the plateau is cut off by a deep ravine, the mouth of which is the landing for the ferry. The ravine runs back into the hills and is intercepted by a ravine that runs to the left parallel with the plateau, at the upper end of which the road crosses at the point where we entered it. By the time the sergeant's squad had returned to take our places on the right of the company the men had dismounted, and with the Second Ohio in advance were moving down the ra- vine at a double-quick pace. Being number i56 On Morgan's Trail one, I was required to hold the horses for the first set of fours, and with nothing to do but sit on the horse and observe the move- ments, I was able to witness a grand panorama. Morgan's men were saddling and hitching to the vehicles, while Kautz's men were pour- ing through, dismounting without forming in line, and running to catch the rear of the column as they went into the ravine. The Colonel sat on his horse as if there was nothing unusual going on, and when the men were all dismounted, said to the men holding the horses, " If I send a messenger for you, come quickly. Tie the horses to trees, turn them loose, or anything to get there quick." He then rode away, following the column. He was scarcely out of our sight when the firing began at the head of the dismounted column, simultaneously with the gunboats that had, unknown to us, taken warning of our ap- proach at the first alarm shots, their guns hav- ing to be set at an elevation that would carry the shells over Morgan's camp and explode about halfway between the opposing forces. At that time the excitement was intense. Everything in Morgan's camp broke; many of the teams were hitched and others partly hitched. So many of the horses having been recently taken from farms were fresh and strong, and not used to the sound of artillery, so they tore away, breaking the lines, one end of which would fly up in the air and then I S7 Four Years with Five Armies recoil. Others had the swingle-tree to one trace that would lash from one side to the other. Wagons were turned over, scattering the goods they had taken from stores on the route. The ground being loose, the air was soon full of smoke, dust, corn-stalks, sheaves of wheat, silk, cloth, muslin and calico, one bolt of which was more attractive than the others, for one end caught to a horse and un- wrapped as he ran and the other end flew in the air for a moment like a streamer from a mast. The road runs diagonally across the valley and enters the ravine by a steep narrow grade to the ferry. The artillery and teams that were hitched went to that point, and as it was soon blocked they pitched over the steep embankment and the artillery lay at the bot- tom in a heap with the mutilated hodies of the men and horses that went down with it. The cavalary that made their escape plowed deep furrows as they slid from top to bottom. The firing at the head of the column served to cut the fleeing raiders in two parts. Those having passed the junction of the ravines made good their escape, but all the others were com- pelled to surrender, about two thousand in number, with every wheel they had in pos- session. When an order came for the horses we delivered them in close proximity to Mor- gan's deserted camp, in less than one and a half hours after the first shot was fired. There were plenty of valuable spoils to be I 58 On Morgan's Trail 159 gathered there, of every description, from needles to fine guns, sabers, bolts of cloth, silk, silverware, gold and silver coins, greenbacks, etc. The treasure I stood most in need of was something to eat and a good sleep, and I at once prepared for it. Some of the men went to the neighboring valley to dinner, but Mor- gan's deserted camp furnished the most of us. We found sacks of green coffee, flour, etc., with frying-pans and coffee-pots. We soon satisfied our appetite, and went to sleep. When we awoke the valley was full of men, women, and children picking up the scattered goods. CHAPTER XI THE CAPTURE OF MORGAN A T four o'clock we took up the trail through the woods, but before night overtook us we had turned into a by-road. During the night it rained and owing to the darkness and the crossing of other roads it was impossible to tell which route Morgan had traveled, and we were com- pelled to halt until morning. We were wet and chilled. At daylight we moved on. As I had only had one meal since some time on Saturday, a period of at least forty hours, I began to skirmish for breakfast, which I obtained at a farm-house about eight o'clock. Morgan's march was accelerated from the fact that he had no train or artillery. After traveling north a short distance he turned his course and headed for Cheshire. The march for seven days was uneventful. The next Sunday we came upon Morgan's rear-guard prepared for an attack. They would hold the advance in check until our column was brought up in line prepared for an engage- ment, and then they would fall back to an- other position. This was continued and re- peated until 9 P. M., when they sent in a i6o The Capture of Morgan flag of truce and surrendered. They said Morgan was camped over the hill, and would come in in the morning, as they were too tired to do so that night. It was late before we got into camp, and before day it was learned that Morgan with a few men had escaped and gone north. We were allowed to sleep until sunrise, when the trumpet sounded as- sembly. We were then notified that volun- teers were wanted to continue the pursuit. Colonel Kautz pronounced the command unserviceable, but under the circumstances the men with the best horses, that were willing to go, would start at once, as he would like to get one thousand men that would remain in the saddle until Morgan surrendered. Six men from Company E volunteered. We reported to headquarters, where we joined the squads f rom the other companies, and about one thousand men from the brigade. Without delay we moved out, and as we left the valley we met two of Morgan's men. They reported that Morgan had issued an order for all who could not stand a march of forty-eight hours without food for the horse or man had better return and surrender. Only two men had returned. Our com- mander issued the same order and two men went back with the prisoners. The road over which we had to travel was through the yellow clay hills of Jackson County and the country was very thinly settled. I was able to get only one piece of corn-bread about three inches i6i 162 Four Years with Five Armies wide and four inches long, split in two, to di- vide with a comrade during the forty-eight hours, and then I was fortunate enough to put my feet under a farmer's table and eat a hearty meal. On the next Friday the Second Ohio was in advance with Jim Camp, Polly Hopkins, and me in the extreme advance-guard. We learned that Shackleford had shipped his troops on. transports up the river, and that he was marching a few miles to our right at the present time. It was evident we were crowding the raiders pretty hard, for the people that had left their houses while the raiders passed had not re- turned yet. When we entered the town of Washington, Guernsey County, Ohio, the houses were all closed, and not a person was seen until they knew that we were Union troops. Then some came out and said that Morgan was in a field over the hill. We moved on, and when we came to the end of the street that terminated abruptly at a meadow fence, we threw off the top rail and went over. This brought us in full view of Morgan's whole command. We opened fire, which they returned. We advanced down the slope, until within two hundred yards of them. Camp and I dismounted. Camp went to the fence that ran in front of us, and I turned my mare broadside to them, and fired by taking rest across her shoulders. Their fire was so brisk The Capture of Morgan that they were soon obscured by the cloud of smoke. Only the heads and front legs of the horses in the front rank were visible. The range was so short that the bullets sounded like yellow jackets. The grass was soon all cut away from around our feet by the shower of bullets that fell like so much hail. When the Second Tennessee dismounted and came over the hill in line, Morgan's men broke and ran. A volley that passed over us was sent after them, but fell short of its mark. We held our ground during the skirmish without a tremor until the last few moments, when a few shots were fired at me from the road which ran some distance to the left of our position, and came from the enemy's picket. The balls passed directly behind me, and made me a little squeamish, as a cross-fire is sure to do. Miraculous as it may appear, three men and three horses stood in front of that command and shower of lead for fully ten minutes, and not a hide or a hair was touched, while the enemy left some men on the field that never returned to the sunny South. I mounted and loped to the road, and tried to capture some of the stragglers who were foraging, but my animal was tired, and they all outran me. That little run finished my mare. Her ears dropped down, and she moped about, a sure sign of collapse. We stopped at the first cornfield for a short rest. i63 Four Years with Five Armies When we moved out with some other detach- ment in the advance, it was about five o'clock, and I soon discovered that I would have to change my mount or abandon the pursuit. I continually lost ground from that time until morning, walking or staggering along much of the time. No horse was to be had during the night or soon in the morning, for Morgan had stripped the stables and pasture fields near the road, and no one had made an appearance from a distance. At sunrise I was some dis- tance behind, but I was not alone. There were always plenty of stragglers with worn- out horses, and some of them had worn out the second one and were looking for the third. I was on the alert, and about eight o'clock a party of farmers came in from a cross-road, and we proceeded to dismount them. We told them to pull off their saddles. They fervently protested, but we had orders to take horses wherever we found them. I had now a dreadful task to perform. I had to part with the most noble animal it was ever my fortune to mount. Her limbs were trembling, and every muscle quivered as the saddle was removed from where it had been since the last Sunday morning. When the decayed saddle-blanket, which had been wet with rain and sweat for weeks, was re- moved, the skin came with it, leaving the ribs bare. The underfolds fell to pieces, and I was able to save only enough to keep the sad- I 64 The Capture of Morgan i65 die from the back of my new mare. My con- science hurt me for the treatment I had given my faithful animal, and I dared not look at the poor thing. The tears rolled down my cheeks as I rode away, telling the farmer to take good care of her. I assured him he would not regret his labor. The new mount was a dark iron gray, more than seventeen hands high, and I had to get on a bank to reach the stirrup; but once in the saddle I decided to have some breakfast, as I had had nothing for twenty-four hours. I left the main road and ate some breakfast at a farm-house, and then proceeded to see what I was riding. I found her to be too heavy and too awkward to strike a lope, but with a long sweeping trot she was able to make fair time, and I kept her at it until I overtook the column, and I was in the ranks of the Second Ohio by twelve o'clock. Only twenty of them were left, and one half of these were either exhausted or dis- mounted. That evening we received word that Shackelford was still moving on our right a few miles away. His command consisted of Woolford's brigade and a part of Kautz's. We took a short rest that night. Our de- tachment happened to stop in front of a coun- try church, and I lay down on the stone steps with my head on the door-sill and covered with the talma, holding the bridle-rein in my hand. When we moved off I heard someone who had a watch and a lighted match in his i66 Four Years with Five Armies hand say that we had been there one hour and a half. We then proceeded without a halt until we entered the village of Salinesville on the P. . C. R. R., and then we learned that Morgan had been attacked in town by the Ninth Michigan Cavalry that had been sent out on a scout from Shackelford's com- mand, and they had just missed getting Mor- gan by his jumping from his buggy, leaving his driver to be taken prisoner. We delayed a while in town, and I got some dinner and rode over to the depot. A man challenged me for a trade. He said he had a good saddle horse, but it was breechy and balky. He gave me five dollars and we made the exchange. I was glad to ged rid of the one I had, for it would not be safe to undertake a fast gait on her. By the time I was ready to go the troops had been moving for some time, but were going back the way they came. The people pointed across the hill, and said that Morgan had gone that way. There was no road, the one going up the hill in the way they pointed being separated by a farm from the one on which Morgan had traveled. Thinking that two miles or more could be saved by crossing the farm, I went that way and turned in to the first lane. The short cut enabled me to join the advance, the troops being at once noticeable as new arrivals from the fact that their horses were f resh, uniforms and equipments bright and The Capture of Morgan clean. They told me they were West Vir- ginia scouts, having recently reported to Gen- eral Shackelford, and as scouts were assigned the position in advance. I gave them some detailed account of the raid. After traveling about one mile, when near- ing a cross-road, to our right we saw men both on foot and mounted coming at full run down that road and trying to cross the one we were on. The mounted men were suc- cessful, but the dismounted men turned back and ran into the woods. I rode toward them, halted one that was in the field at least three hundred yards from us, and ordered him to come to us. After some parley he ran into the woods near by him. These men were dressed in citizens' clothes with clean white shirts, and we could not know whether they were Morgan's men or farmers who were frightened, and fleeing from what they sup- posed to be Morgan's men. The scouts continued in the same direction we had been moving on the Lisbon road. I returned to them, and said that I would shoot the next man that refused to come to me when I called him. They were surprised that such were the orders, and this revealed to me that they had had no experience as scouts. I asked how long they had been in the service, and they -replied two months. We had now traveled a half mile beyond the cross-road, and I began to make observations for myself, and discovered that no cavalry had passsed i67 i68 Four Years with Five Armies that road, and told them that we were on the wrong road and that the men we had met must be Morgan's. At the same time we saw three men at a house that set back from the road to the right of us. We called to them to know who they were. They mounted and rode away at a gallop, and all leaped from the saddle at the same time to throw down a fence in front of them. I said they were Morgan's men and did not intend to be taken. We opened fire on them, and at my first shot one of the scouts said that I had knocked the splinters from the fence by the side of the man that was then passing over. We gave chase and crossed the fence where they did. At the next fence they left their horses and took to the woods. This was the opposite end of the same woods that the first man ran into, and the scouts wanted to know what we would do with the horses. I said they might do what they liked with them, but I wanted one, a fine filly, that had not been under the saddle more than a few hours. Just then a man from Morgan's command rode to the edge of the woods and called to us not to shoot any more, that Morgan was going to surrender, and had already sent in a flag of truce. We returned to the road, and in a few moments a courier arrived with orders for us to return to the cross-roads, where we waited to see the prisoners pass. The Capture of Morgan If I had followed the first man I halted I would have run into Morgan's camp, from which they were now filing out to lay down their arms. General Shackelford took them in charge. I dropped down in the grass by the roadside, and watched the last remnant of Morgan's men file by. The great strain was over, my nerves re- laxed, and I was as weak as a child. The only thing that stimulated me enough to keep me awake was the knowledge that I was only twenty-four miles from home, though there was a standing order against furloughs. I had been in the saddle twenty-seven days and nights almost continuously, had traveled an average of twenty hours, covering a distance of fifty-five miles each day, over hundreds of miles of hot, dusty roads, and ate and slept but little except in the saddle, and now that the most noted cavalry raid known to man had collapsed, I wanted to go home and rest. But the order to report to the provost mar- shal would be revoked, and therefore I must not report to anyone, and thus escape the responsibility of disobeying orders. I wanted to see my friend, Sergeant Harris, that we might go together. This had to be done quickly. I mounted, and instead of trying to find the Second Ohio detachment, I was trying to evade it. I soon found my friend. He was stretched on the grass, and said that the sergeant who had command of the detach- ment, of which there were now only eighteen i69 Four Years with Five Armies men, had gone to see Colonel Woolford, who had temporary command. He soon returned with orders for the Second Ohio to scout ten days to pick up stragglers. It was only a pretext to evade the general orders. We marched straight for Lisbon, four miles on our road. My friend was mounted on an old sway-backed horse, and did not want to ride it home. He turned it loose and saddled the one I had captured from what appeared to be Morgan's picket guard. Of the eighteen men, six belonged to Com- pany E, and could reach home before the next morning. The other twelve lived about Cleveland, sixty miles farther west, and that distance would require one more day's march. They went into camp near Lisbon, while we went to the hotel for supper. It was sun- down when we went to the stable for the horses. To my surprise and disgust the relic- hunters had rifled my saddle pockets and taken every cartridge I had, not leaving me one to show the people at home what they looked like. We moved at a lively gait to Franklin Square. Some of the boys were acquainted with the landlord, and we watered the horses and took a little stimulant. We moved on, and about nine o'clock a farmer came in from a side road and joined us. He had the same old story to tell that we had listened to for many days. He had ridden all day notifying the people of the approach of Morgan. He 170 The Capture of Morgan was so tired, and his animal was so foot sore, etc. We told him about the surrender of Morgan, and it was news to him. At length we loped out, but he called to us to wait, and said we had better go with him, as there would be pickets out at Salem. He thought we had better let him go ahead. We told him we had been in the service long enough to know how to approach a picket. It appeared now we had an opportunity for some fun. We concluded to take all risk, and when the picket halted us,-the pickets we knew would be the home guards, with squirrel rifles,-instead of halting, we would put spurs to our horses, fire a few shots into the air from our revolvers, and go by them. But the news had come by wire and the pickets had been withdrawn. So we lost the oppor- tunity. We entered Salem on Lisbon street. I stopped at my uncle's, who lived on that street, and after an hour's rest I went to Main street to the residence of my friend, got my filly, and moved out for North Benton, a distance of ten miles. I was well acquainted with the road, and knew everyone living between the towns. I thought I would lope over it all right in an hour, but as soon as the horse checked his speed-to breathe a little, I fell asleep. When I nodded a little too far, it waked me. The first thing that struck my mind was that I had lost my prize; but she was walking along, 171 Four Years with Five Armies dragging the halter. After this had occurred three times, I tied the halter to the saddle. Between twelve and one o'clock I arrived at my uncle's gate, and I called, but received no answer. I found it impossible to stand still without falling asleep. I led the horses around to the stable. The door was fastened inside, and I had to climb the fence. I man- aged to get the horses in and the saddles off, but it was all done in a half-conscious con- dition. As I staggered about, half asleep, I was determined to get into the house before tumbling over. I went to the house and called again. My uncle wanted to know who was there. I replied, and they soon opened the door. My uncle said he had been after Morgan. As soon as I got in I pulled the cushion from a lounge, laid my head on it and was asleep before my aunt could lay a cover over me. The next day the twelve men we had left at Lisbon passed by, and that was the last I saw of them until we met in Cincinnati two weeks later. For the first three days I slept almost con- tinuously. Many people came from the sur- rounding country to see the arms and horse equipments of a trooper, and often I would be talking to them and would cut the conver- sation short by falling asleep in the chair. On Wednesday afternoon an old schoolmate drove up to see me, and persuaded me to get 172 : Dhi V :i ' 'a Jr, FActN 07a This page in the original text is blank. The Capture of Morgan in the buggy. We drove to Salem. When we arrived at Mead's mill, three miles from Salem, we began to meet buggies, carriages, and wagons, driving as hard as they could go. Many of the people knew me, and would call out, " Have you got your gun Morgan is in Lisbon with five hundred men." We stopped at a farmhouse to water the horses, and the farmer's wife came out with tears running down her cheeks, and begged us to go back and get our guns. I was dressed in citizen's clothes, but I tried to convince her that there was nothing in the report, that I was a soldier, and had seen Morgan a pris- oner. As we drove on she said, "You are afraid, or you would go and get your gun." This was a little trying, but nothing to what we had to contend with when we walked the streets of Salem. The country people had all left town, and the home guards were mustering, and marched about. A small battery was on the commons. The ladies were moulding bullets, and cutting patches, on the sidewalk. All the excitement about nothing awaked no en- thusiasm with me, as I was scarcely able then to put one foot before the other. My partner tried to be very serene because I pronounced it all humbug. I told him Morgan's ad- vance-guard of twenty men would have cap- tured the whole town without losing a single man. The women did not like to see us moping I73 Four Years with Five Armies about without our guns, and would call us Copperheads, or Butternuts, and declare we did not care if Morgan did come. These tantrums were not only occasional, but continued from one end of the street to the other. It was pretty hard on me, but they were ladies and I could not talk back. How- ever, I kept thinking what I would like to say. We called to see my friend Sergeant Harris, and found his mother, whom I had met the Sunday night before, very uneasy. She gave me the first straight account of what it all meant. She said that the report had come in that Morgan had surrendered only a part of his men, and that the others with him were near Lisbon. The Sergeant, and a few more soldiers who were at home on leave, had gone on a scout to see if it was so. I pacified her by telling her that perhaps some few strag- glers had slept in the woods and were now making their escape. She said the Sergeant had told her the same thing, but she was afraid we were mistaken. Finally the news came that there was nothing in the report, and Salem was herself again. When we drove out we met wagon-loads of farmers with guns coming back into town. The provost marshal relieved me of the captured animal before the week was out, and Deacon Hartzell, who wanted a relic from the raid, gave me a fine saddle-horse and five dollars for the one I rode home. Of course I was responsible to the Government for one 174 The Capture of Morgan '75 horse, and I expected to ride the one I got from the deacon. When the ten days expired the Company E boys met at Alliance, and reported to the mar- shal for transportation. He had no authority to send our horses and their equipments, but he gave us a receipt for them and sent us to Cincinnati. The horse I turned in would have sold for twice the money the Government was paying for horses. But there was no help for me and it had to go that way. We did not grieve about small things anyway in those times. The following are the names of the men of Company E who were in the squad: Ser- geant J. B. Wilcox, Sergeant A. H. Harris, Privates James Camp, Charles R. Truesdale, John W. Reed, and Isaac Gause. CHAPTER XII EVENTS SUCCEEDING A FURLOUGH A FTER turning in the horses and equip- JtA ments, with transportation furnished by the provost marshal, we boarded the first train west to Crestline, where we changed cars for Cincinnati. We arrived in due course of time and reported to the pro- vost marshal of that place. We asked for transportation to our regiment, but we did not know where it was. For some reason un- known to us he regarded us rather sus- piciously; but, as we thought, without a just cause. We explained to him that we had left the camp at Somerset, Kentucky, and the regiment at Cheshire, Ohio. He would do nothing for us unless we furnished evidence from an officer that we belonged to a regiment and that the commanding officer wanted us to report to it. He finally agreed to make an effort to learn the whereabouts of the regiment. We left the office, and returned two or three times, only to learn that he could not find the whereabouts of our regiment. As we had now spent our money, we applied for rations. And he gave us an order on what was termed Camp Distri- bution. We presented the order to the officer 176 Events Succeeding a Furlough in charge. He said they were so crowded that we would have to be there one hour be- fore each meal. This camp was the second and third stories of a large block situated in the business part of the city, and, if my memory serves me, it was on Second street. The entrance to the camp was by way of stairs from the back yard. We were on hand promptly at eleven o'clock for dinner, and found a horrible con- dition of affairs. The entrance to the dining- room was by a narrow hall from the steps. The soldiers would fall in line, beginning at the dining-room door, make a solid packed line that extended down into the lot, and in the line were enough men to fill the dining- room three times. In this crowd there were but few men that were actually soldiers. The most of them had their names on the rolls of some organization, and of course eventually got pay, and no doubt a pension. They were the raggedest, filthiest, lousiest set I ever saw in the center of a civilized community. They did not know where their command was, and did not want to know. For that reason they had neither money nor clothes. They would fall into that line and crowd up tight together like a pack of hungry wolves, and wait from one half to one hour and a half three times a day, rather than go to the front to do duty. Some of them had been there four months, and to all appearances would be there till their time expired. No doubt they are now 177 Four Years with Five Armies holding office or standing in some conspicuous place with a G. A. R. badge pinned on the breast of their coats. The table was set with a tin plate, knife, fork, and spoon for each one, and a cup for coffee. At dinner there would be a few pans of boiled beef or beans, with plenty of bread. At breakfast the pans we're full of potatoes boiled with the skin on. Supper consisted of coffee and bread. At night we were shown the sleeping-apartment. It was a large room with three tiers of bunks. Each tier was three bunks high, and each bunk had a sack of straw and one single blanket in it. All had been used. The room was poorly lighted, and the floor was covered with filth. To lie on the ground was a luxury in comparison. We could do no better for the present, and looked hourly for some of the Second Ohio officers to help us out. The Burnett House was the popular 'resort for officers, and we would call frequently to hear the news and see if anyone came we were acquainted with. We also called frequently at the office of the camp to inquire if they had received any word from the 'regiment. Finally the clerk told us that we might stay there as long as we wanted to, that no one would hurry us away, and that the supply contract was worth more to them than men at the front. This was equivalent to saying that they did not care what became of the 178 Events Succeeding a Furlough army. They made money from the miserable rations that they were daily dealing out to the half-starved men, which were too good for those who were willing to stay there and eat them. However, it was revolting to intelligent men whose object was to prosecute the war to a speedy termination, and to shrink from noth- ing to help to bring it about in order that they might enjoy something better in the fu- ture. Yet we must be insulted by the offer of a miserable existence like thatl We felt as if all we had done was lost. We managed to get a letter through to Lexington, Kentucky, and received an order to the provost marshal to forward all Second Ohio boys to that place. This was the ter- minus of the railroad and the supply camp for the troops operating in southern Kentucky. We lost no time in leaving, and we landed in Lexington in a few hours. The army was then fitting out for a campaign in East Ten- nessee, and we reported to the commanding officer. He told us there was an officer fitting out a train-load of supplies, and he would be glad to have us go to assist in guarding the train. He said he had just sent out a squad with some Second Ohio boys in it, and he thought they had taken all the horse equip- ments. He did not know how soon he could fit us out, but he would do what he could. We explained to him that we had nothing, not even a blanket to sleep on. He gave us 179 i 8o Four Years with Five Armies an order to the officer mentioned, and told us to do the best we could until the next day. He would see what could be done then. We soon learned that the officer was camped with the train some place out of town, but no one knew exactly in what direction. We wandered about in search of information, and when night came on we were scattered about town. Some had been fortunate enough to find something to eat and others had done without. My friend Harris and I wandered about until late at night, and for the want of better accommodations lay down on a board in a large camp building that had neither floor nor doors. The night was cold, and we would get up and walk about now and then to warm our- selves, then we would lie down again for a short nap. In the morning we all met at the corral. Some had fared pretty well, but the most of them were no better fixed than we had been. At an early hour the officer referred to reported to the quartermaster. He was hustling about as the average officer is when in charge of that kind of business. He had heard of us at headquarters, and had inter- ested himself in our behalf. Everything we needed was at hand except horse equipments. We drew rations for the first time since the 3d of July. Fortunately, a load of con- demned horse equipments arrived and was turned in to the quartermaster that day. He Events Succeeding a Furlough gave us the privilege to take anything we could use. We set to work at once, and picked out the best we could find in the lot. We replaced the broken and missing part of one article with the good part of another article. If a bridle-bit was broken we would take the head- stall and replace the bit from one that had a broken head-stall. In this way we were able to fit ourselves out fairly well, and before night we were in the saddle again. I am unable to describe from memory my new horse. I know that I exchanged it in a few days for another one that I will describe later on. We reported to the officer at his camp where he had collected his train loaded with supplies. He had a miscellaneous squad of men belonging to different regiments, includ- ing ourselves, who numbered thirty. Some of the men belonged to infantry and artillery and were dismounted. We marched out next morning, and after a few days we arrived at Crab Orchard, Ken- tucky, where the army was camped, and re- ported to our regiment. We were greeted with cheers and shouts of welcome, and we felt as if we were home again. We arrived too late to get any clothes, and I was unable to get any trace of what I had left at Somer- set, which included an overcoat. It was not long until the army took up its march south. Owing to the cumbersome 18I 182 Four Years with Five Armies trains and artillery the march was necessarily slow and easy on our horses, but very tedious to the trooper who, being used to more active service, wanted vent for his restless spirit. Finally the order came for the cavalry to pull out and cross the Cumberland Moun- tains at Winter's Gap. CHAPTER XIII CAMPAIGNING IN EAST TENNESSEE T HE main army was traveling on the road that leads from Crab Orchard to Knoxville by way of Cumberland Gap. The division to which we be- longed moved along the base of the mountain to Big Creek Gap, and there we met the enemy. A small force of cavalry had been stationed there to prevent invasion of East Tennessee. As soon as the long column of cavalry made its appearance the outposts withdrew, and gave us an open road to Loudon, a small manu- facturing town situated on the Richmond and Nashville railroad. We were now thoroughly installed in the enemy's country, and the old routine of skir- mishing, picket, and patrol duty, with tear- ing up railroads, destroying supply cars and bridges, etc., began in earnest. But there was one feature new to us and worthy of note. The men who were compelled to remain in the mountains to escape military duty, who were commonly called bushwhackers from the fact that they never missed an opportunity to fire on their enemies, were Union men in that locality, and instead of harassing us, acted i83 i84 Four Years with Five Armies as a protection by furnishing us with informa- tion about the movements of the enemy. The Union men were compelled to live in the mountains to evade the conscript officers, who had been scouring the country for two years, pressing every man they could find into the ranks of the Southern army. Our previous campaigns had been in the Border States, where the bushwhackers belonged to the other side, and watched every opportunity to pick off the videttes, or pick up a single trooper if he chanced to get behind the com- mand. After effectually destroying everything that could be of any use to the enemy, we marched to Knoxville. Every inch of this road was bitterly contested, but the enemy's efforts proved fruitless, for we marched into Knox- ville by a series of flank movements modeled after the Morgan method, which proved very disastrous to the enemy, with little or no loss to us. General Burnside commanded this raid in person, and on his arrival at Knoxville found himself not only in possession of that place, but in possession of the only road that would afford an escape for Pemberton's forces at Cumberland Gap. We moved up to the base of the mountain from the south side. The Second and Seventh Ohio cavalry were detached, and under command of Colonel Kautz, moved to the west of the road to go to the top of the range and attack the Campaigning in East Tennessee I85 fort on the flank. This was a very hazardous march, and from a military point of view im- practicable. We climbed for fourteen hours up the steep mountains, along the sides, and around the head of apparently bottomless ravines or gorges. Some of these places terminated abruptly at perpendicular bluffs, and to cross we rolled trees across them, covered the trees with brush and dirt, and passed over in single file, leading our horses. About ten o'clock on the second day we passed the summit and came to an open glade that descended on the north side of the range with easy traveling. We mounted, and after marching a mile or more the head of the column turned to the right, crossed a ravine, and passed a point that extended a little below us on the opposite ridge. To the surprise of everyone, we found ourselves right in the midst of Pemberton's wagon-train. The teamsters were eating din- ner and were as much surprised as we were. They said that they had an early dinner be- cause their commander was then negotiating terms of surrender with General Burnside. They also said that there had never been a guard on that side of camp, as it was believed by everyone that a footman could not ap- proach from that direction. We could see the flag that floated over Pemberton's headquar- ters at the fort on top of the mountain. The column halted, and Colonel Kautz sat on his horse asking questions of the teamsters. i86 Four Years with Five Armies There was a little stir among Pemberton's troops that lay in the breastworks for a few moments, and then the flag descended, and the surrender was complete. White flags could now be seen at various points, and we marched up the main road, along the line of breast- works, full of men that had stacked their arms. We met General Burnside at the top of the mountain, and stopped to rest and get dinner. The troops from the north side of the moun- tain-the Ninth Corps-marched up and took possession of everything. We joined our bri- gade and marched toward Knoxville, and the cavalry took up the trail of Buckner as he re- treated up the Jonesboro pike toward Vir- ginia, destroying the railroad and salt works, and then withdrew to Tennessee, followed by a large force of cavalry that had been con- centrated to oppose us. Engagements with them became of daily occurrence. At one time we did not miss a single day in the week. Sometimes they gained an advantage, and at other times the advantage was in our favor. In this way the road between Massey Creek and Jonesboro was traveled over several times before winter set in. During that campaign we subsisted from the supplies gathered from the country, with the exception of sugar and coffee. Forage was plenty the first time we passed, but it soon began to be scarce near the main roads. We would press the mills and grind flour, and by using corn-cob ashes in the place of soda made slap-jacks, the only kind Campaigning in East Tennessee 187 of bread we had for four months. With ham gravy and honey, of which there was an abundance, we did well for a time, but this soon gave out, and we were often fortunate to have parched corn. Supplies being scarce on the main roads, foraging parties were sent into the unfrequented neighborhoods to bring in what they could carry. I was with one of these parties one time when we left camp at Jonesboro and went out twelve miles. I concluded to have some honey, as there were several hives on a bench by the house. The hives were hollow trees cut off about thirty inches long, with a board nailed over one end for a top, the other end resting on the bench, with small holes cut for the bees to pass through. When the hive is lifted from the bench the bottom end is open. A hive of honey full of bees is not a very nice thing to handle, unless one understands the insect per- fectly, but the ordinary trooper had learned to subject the bee to discipline on some oc- casions. To carry a hive twelve miles on horseback was not to be undertaken for the mere pleasure of it. However, my partner and I thought that we were equal to the task, and proved that we were. Each trooper collected from a half-dozen to a dozen chickens, a sack of corn, and two bundles of fodder, which he placed on either side of his horse. This had come to be a com- mon thing with us. Often we had to ford the Halsten River with our loads, when the water i88 Four Years with Five Armies would carry the fodder or hay, as the case might be, above the horses' backs, and only the straps prevented it from floating away. The reader will want to know how we gathered the honey. It takes three good men to capture a well-protected hive. It is best accomplished in this way: Two men take a talma, and a third man picks up the hive very carefully. The talma is slipped under it and gathered up very quickly around the hive. A saddle strap is buckled around it, and then it can be managed with safety. Sometimes this was not done properly, and then there was trouble in camp. We succeeded admirably this time. The hive was about as much as one wanted to lift. My partner and I each had a full sack of corn on the pommel of the sad- dle, and this made a very steady resting-place for the hive. We would shift it from one sad- dle to the other about every mile. It was late in the night when we passed through the streets of Jonesboro. The inhabitants had all retired, and the boys thought they would have a little fun. They shook the chickens, made them squall, and raised such a din that the peo- ple got out of bed and looked out the windows to see what was going on. This was very un- usual, for many times we marched through towns and seldom saw anyone after bedtime. We arrived in camp, and it is needless to say we had honey on our slap-jacks before going to sleep. While I am in the honey business I may as Campaigning in East Tennessee i89 well mention another honey expedition in which we did not fare so well. It also was near Jonesboro. When foraging, someone saw some honey about a mile from camp and as soon as it was dark we went on a raid. The house was situated in the edge of the woods and was the usual type of farmhouse made of hewed logs, with chimney on the outside. The bee shed extended f rom the corner of the house to the chimney, with a bench under it. On the bench the hives were arranged. The chinking was knocked out, which left a hole by the side of the chimney about large enough to throw a cat through. We could see the family standing in front of a blazing fire, and talking to some soldiers. We approached cautiously, and took the hives without the knowledge of anyone inside the house. Grant Reed picked it up, after the talma had been strapped around, and walked away with it on his shoulder. It was about all one wanted to carry. When we had crossed the first field he said, "Take it, it is heavy." I was next to him, and I quickly shifted it to my shoulder. It was heavy, it is true; but it was evident that there was another reason for sudden transfer. The bees covered my neck and head at once. I ran along a few steps, and called to Truesdale, who was just ahead of me, " Charlie, take it quick; it is too heavy for me." He ran up and took it on his shoulders, but 190 Four Years with Five Armies he did not go any distance, and down went the hive. He did not like the joke very well when he saw us fighting the bees away. I had stripped off my shirt to get them from the in- side. As we were all stung but one, Trues- dale said he had made a mistake by not shift- ing the hive to the fourth man, and joined in with the fun. In folding the talma in a hurry we had not been careful and had left a wrinkle in the talma that made a hole for the escape of the bees, and the more time the more bees, and Charlie had the full benefit. The hive now lay on the ground split in two pieces. A new plan had to be adopted. We took two rails from the fence, and put the pieces on the rails just as they lay on the ground. Each man took the end of a rail. This could not have been done in daylight, but the bee is not much of a night campaigner, and we got to camp a little worsted, but con- sidered the spoils repaid us for our wounds, which were all healed inside of two or three days. We were finally compelled to fall back on the main army by a superior force of the enemy under the command of General Long- street, whose object was to drive General Burnside out of Tennessee. When we arrived at Strawberry Plains there was no forage at Knoxville, and the cavalry was ordered to withdraw to the base of the Cumberland Mountains. There had been many troopers in Campaigning in East Tennessee i9i that section, and they had consumed every- thing but the corn in the fields. As there was no mill in the neighborhood, we lived on parched corn for a few days. The siege of Knoxville was now at its worst stage. The troops in the besieged town were in a starving condition, while trains loaded with supplies could not approach nearer than Cumberland Gap. Our position protected them from being taken by the enemy's cav- alry. When Longstreet concluded to evac- uate, a part of his forces moved under his per- sonal command toward the base of the moun- tain, and it was thought to be his intention to take possession of the Gap, which would com- pel Burnside to evacuate Knoxville through Middle Tennessee. As soon as it was learned, we moved out to intercept him, taking a posi- tion at the fords of the river. The force was divided to guard two fords five miles apart. Our regiment was stationed at what was called the upper ford. The crossing was only a country road, but the ford was an excellent one. When the advance of Longstreet's army arrived at the main ford they found it well guarded by three regiments of our brigade, who gave them a lively reception which lasted until night. There was no more effort made to cross, but troops continued to arrive all the next day, and they made a formidable ap- pearance. The next day it was evident that the enemy was making a move of some kind, and an order Four Years with Five Armies came to the Second Ohio to reconnoiter. Company E was detailed to cross the river and to march to the first road that turned down the river. Sergeant Wilkins took com- mand of the advance-guard, of which I was one. We traveled about two miles, and came to the cross-road and turned to the right, which we followed about two miles, then stopped at a house. At first sight it was evident that there had been much tramping about the yard and road very recently, but no one appeared to be there then. By close inspection, however, we found a man who had had a hard tussle with old man corn juice, and after rubbing his eyes open and attempting to straighten up his but- ternut suit, he said the Johnnies had been there drinking and carousing all night, and he had had a hard time to get rid of them. The column came up and halted, but the conversation was uninteresting to me. I rode on to see what was over the hill beyond, went down the first hill, crossed a bridge, and up another steep hill. As I started up at the bot- tom two men started down, coming from the opposite direction. Of course, they belonged to Longstreet's command. There was nothing left for me, according to my way of thinking, but to make the best of the situation. We met on the side of the hill. I had shown no surprise at seeing them, and that threw them off their guard. I hailed them: " Hello, boys! How far to the command" 192 Campaigning in East Tennessee i93 "Just over the hill. Don't you hear the wagons moving " they said. At the same time I laid my left hand on the neck of the horse next to me, and with my right hand placed my revolver in the face of the rider, and said, " You are my prisoner." " I told you he was a damned Yank," one of them said. I told them to unbuckle their belts and to let their arms fall to the ground. They said they had no arms. I told them to ride on down the hill, and T turned to follow them, when Sergeant Wilkins made his appearance on the other hill and met us at the bridge. I turned the men over to him and rode back to the top of the hill, and I could see the enemy's train passing so near I could hear the whips crack as the drivers hurried their teams along. Our mission was now performed, and we returned to camp as fast as possible to give the news. The next day we moved out. Burnside's army was in hot pursuit. Col- onel Woolford, who had been stationed some place on the opposite side of Knoxville, had flanked them, and the Ninth Corps fell on their rear-guard and almost annihilated it. We came into the Jonesboro pike and kept up the pursuit until near the Virginia line. The enemy's cavalry had now been reinforced, and they instituted a new method of assault, of which we were informed before they at- tempted it. By this time the nights were getting cold, Four Years with Five Armies and we were almost naked, not having drawn clothing since we left Crab Orchard. I, for one, had but one shirt, that had not been washed except in a cold stream for a long time. This compelled us to build large fires, which revealed our position to the enemy. They intended to surround us in the night, but our information enabled us to prevent any disaster. The proposition to employ a little strategy came from the Second Ohio, and General Carter detailed us to carry it out. While the enemy was sleeping in order to be ready for the night work, our command built big fires, and all moved out but our regiment, which kept pickets out until about ten o'clock, when we moved also, and by daylight the enemy charged in to find nothing but the fires. This was repeated three or four times, until we fell back to Greenville, and we were preparing for the same thing the following night. After breakfast a part of Company E was detailed for picket duty. The company was short in commissioned officers, and a lieu- tenant was detailed from Company M to take command of the guard. We went out through the town of Greenville to the female seminary that stood on a hill near the Jonesboro pike. A small reserve was left there, with instruc- tions to keep a vidette out beyond the semi- nary. We then returned, and another reserve was sent out on the road that intercepted the pike between the town and the seminary. We 194 Campaigning in East Tennessee i95 then went to the town and out on the road run- ning north, where the officer established the main reserve. A corporal was instructed to post two videttes in advance of this reserve. He called Hopkins and me out to take the first relief. As we went out, Hopkins said he was well acquainted with the road, having been out to a doctor's house several times while we were up the country. The first time, he said, he had remained at Greenville with the wagon-train for several days. About three-fourths of a mile out we passed over a hill at the foot of which the road forked. One road wound around to the left and followed the creek which flowed through a narrow ravine, and the corporal left us on the side of this hill, where we could watch both roads. There had been a cold rain fall- ing all the morning. It was now about eleven o'clock, and Hopkins said if I would hold the posts he would go to the doctor's to get his dinner, and have some prepared for me. I was not much of a hand for that kind of expedition, but told him to go, and if every- thing turned out all right I might go when we were relieved. The doctor lived out on the main road, and Hopkins was scarcely out of sight when a woman with a small boy and a sack of apples on a horse made their ap- pearance on the same road. I supposed that he had met them. I halted her and she said she was going to town to dispose of the apples. I told her I was sorry to put her to so much i96 Four Years with Five Armies trouble, but she would have to obtain a pass from Lieutenant-Colonel Purrington, who was in command at camp three miles from town, if she wanted to return. She made no reply but rode on. Having had occasion to remove my belt that held my revolver, I had hung it on the fence and forgotten to replace it. I had some fresh pork in my saddle pockets, and as we had killed the hog since breakfast, we had not eaten any of it. I built a fire by the side of a log, with some difficulty, however, as the rain was still falling, and began cooking the meat. While I was at work at the fire I thought there was some kind of dead sound mingling with the falling rain, but I could make noth- ing out of it. The mare that I have promised to describe had a coat as soft and blue as a mole. She was about fifteen hands high, strongly built, quick and active, always ready to go, but not very fast. She was standing on the bank about four feet above the road, with the bridle-rein thrown over the end of the rails. My back was to the road, and just as the meat began to broil, I was startled by a voice behind me. I turned quickly, and, to my surprise, there was the woman. I ran down the bank, and she said: " I did not get a pass." " Why didn't you " I asked. " The rebels are in town." " In Greenville " Campaigning in East Tennessee 197 "Yes," she said; " did you not hear the shooting " " No; but where are our men" " They are all killed and captured." I ran up the bank, threw the rein over my mare's head, put my foot in the stirrup, and before I could straighten up in the saddle, she was in the middle of the road. I heard horses coming as hard as they could run just over the hill. I took up the rein and brought up my gun, which had the stock broken off, and thought I would give them one shot and then take leg bail. I intended to take the left-hand road, when two men dashed to the top of the hill, almost obscured by rain, fog, and the flying mud the horses were throwing. I called, " Halt! " but they did not halt, but shouted out, " Don't shoot! " I recognized the officer and sergeant of the guard. The woman had already disappeared, and they said, " Which way can we get to the camp" "Take the left-hand road. But we must get Polley, he has gone foraging." " To hell with Polley! " was the reply, and they were already dashing down the byroad. My mare was nagging the bit, and I let her go, and the way we splashed the water when we struck Stony Creek crossing was a cau- tion. A sheet of water would fly up in front of me that I could not see through. In some places the road followed the creek a hun- dred yards or more. I now realized the dis- 198 Four Years with Five Armies advantage I had from the mare I rode. Her hoofs were soft and would not hold the nails. I had not gone five miles until she was bare- footed all around. I heard every shoe whiz through the air, and one went straight up by my head. The last shoe was gone, and the hoof was liable to break next, and then I would be on foot. I could not bring them to a halt, although the horses had all begun to show signs of fatigue, and had to be urged to keep from slacking their gait. After travel- ing the main road about six miles we arrived at Maloney's store. There was a cross-road from the pike, and we met the farmers that lived near it driving their stock to the mountains. They said a courier had notified them that the Second would fall back to Bull's Gap. We discussed the situation, and argued as to what was best to do. I contended that we should travel the cross-road to the pike and meet the regiment, but they said we would fall into the hands of the enemy. I said that the Second would not stampede. Unless they did, we would have plenty of time to reach the pike before they passed. I argued that it was policy to get to the regiment at the earliest possible moment to save ourselves from censure. As they were in the majority by rank and numbers, we continued our jour- ney, and arrived at Bull's Gap a little after dark. We reported to General Carter, in command there at that time. CHAPTER XIV MORE TENNESSEE SERVICE M AN and beast were covered with mud. Blankets and clothes were wet, and our boots were full of water. I held the horses while the others went in and told the lamentable tale, that was bad enough at best. They pictured it in its worst colors, and told of the capture of the guard which they had been in command of, which I feared was too true. They were sure the regiment had been captured. I con- sidered this erroneous, and not calculated to help us in any way. General Carter heard their story, and from the tone of his voice I knew he gave it but little credence. He told them to go to his boarding-house and put up for the night and report to him for orders in the morning. The General and his headquarters people slept in their tents, but took their meals and stabled their stock at the hotel. The buildings were of hewed logs and had been erected to accom- modate many people. Each stable had five or six cribs and was surrounded by a shed. Our first care was our horses. We went to the stable, where the horses were already in great numbers, and with no light it was some I99 200 Four Years with Five Armies time before room could be made for us. We succeeded at last in getting them comfortably cared for, and went to the house, a large double one, two stories high, with huge fire- places. They had blazing fires and the rooms were well lighted. It looked nice and com- fortable. One of the large rooms was used for a dining-room and the other for a sitting- room. The kitchen was built by itself, as was the usual custom in the South. The house was crowded with officers, wait- ing supper. We took seats near the fire, and the steam soon began to rise from our wet clothing. The table had been cleared after one supper, and we had to wait until it was prepared again. Supper was announced and we sat down. The fate of my comrades being uncertain, my thoughts were very sad. Every once in a while my thoughts were interrupted by the declaration from my companions, who were talking to each other, that the regiment were prisoners. The more they talked it, the more. firmly they became convinced of it, and the more ridiculous it appeared to me. After we had finished supper we took seats by the fire) until another table full of officers took their seats. Then we went to the stable, with our clothes still wet and smoking from the effect of the fire. We became suddenly cold, for the air felt like ice as soon as we got outside. Our teeth began to chatter as if we More Tennessee Service had chills, and we made all haste to get under cover. We went into the hay loft, and each of us dug a hole in the hay, spread the muddy blankets, pulled off our boots, and crawled in with our coats on. Then we reached out with one hand and pulled the loose hay over us, and were soon warm and went to sleep. In the morning we crawled out, fed the horses, and prepared for breakfast. We were a motley looking set, to be sure, to sit down with officers in their polished uniforms. It made but little difference to me, as there would be no attention paid to a private's uni- form, clean or dirty. With the others it was different. They brushed and scraped to re- move the mud and wrinkles that had dried in their clothes. It was of no use. The cloth showed the hard usage it had received. General Carter took breakfast at the first table, and most of the meal was eaten in si- lence. At last one of the staff officers ventured to ask the General about the man who had come in the night before and reported the Second Ohio had been captured by the enemy. The General gave the staff officer to under- stand that he discredited the report and he finished the conversation by saying, " Lieu- tenant, you can report to your regiment this morning." Then the staff knew that they were sitting at the table with the man in question. Breakfast finished, we saddled up, and they led out on the back track. I followed close 201 202 Four Years with Five Armies behind, and had I been a stranger and listened to what they said I would have believed that the boys on picket were all lost except us. This doleful tale made me feel bad, and I was comforted by saying to myself: "You know those boys too well to believe any such thing. You, too, escaped from the place, why might not some of them have done likewise. They are as full of resources as you ever dared to be. As for moral courage, they can dis- count either of you. Your trip to Bull's Gap is proof of this." While I was thinking about it, we came to a camp of those men from the regiment who had had disabled horses and had been ordered out in advance. Among them was Jim New- ton, who had been in our detail. He was mounted on a mule, and had made his escape after a desperate run. From them we learned the true state of the case and of the capture of some of our boys, and of the hard run for liberty made by the others. There was a pond of water by the side of the pike between Greenville and our camp, where we used to water in passing that way. While those who had escaped were passing it, Newton's mule dashed into the pond to drink: It was then the rider used the ex- pression that afterward became famous: "Damn a mule! He hain't got no more sense than to try to drink in a scare like this." At More Tennessee Service the same time he dashed the spurs into its al- ready bleeding side. We learned from them that as soon as the news reached camp, which was as soon as the fleetest horse could get there, a battalion was ordered out to reestablish the picket posts. They followed about the same tactics we had followed, the enemy having disappeared be- fore they arrived in town. When they came to the post I had aban- doned, they found Hopkins, often called Pol- ley, sitting calmly by the fire I had built, with a stomach full of the doctor's best, and think- ing about the doctor's girls. He knew nothing about what had happened, and was loath to tell them anything about me. He was finally compelled to tell them that he had been away, and when he came back I was gone, and he expected me at any moment. When he was informed of the facts he took my re- volver and went to camp. That night they drew in their pickets, and made the customary night march, which brought them several miles nearer to Bull's Gap. When we arrived we went to headquarters. I held the horses and they went in to report. It was Lieutenant-Colonel Purrington that did the talking. It was evident there was trouble ahead for my unfortunate companions. The lieutenant resigned and the sergeant had to take his place in the ranks. We rode to the company, and were greeted with shouts and jeers, such as, " Can't stand a scare better 203 Four Years with Five Armies than that," and everything else that would make a fellow feel unpleasant. As I felt in no way responsible, I did not take it to heart very much. Our company lost Corporal Arnold and six men in the skirmish. I looked for Hopkins, and he said he had my revolver, and he told me all about the doctor and his girls. The girls had no doubt waited all the afternoon for me to come to dinner. The curious part about it was, he had not seen a woman and a boy on a horse. The only conclusion we could reach was that she had come into and left the road just around the first bend, which was but a few hundred yards away, although he said there was no road or lane. We heard the stories of the boys who had made their escape by strategy and downright hard riding. Charlie Truesdale, for one in particular, who was hard pushed, and riding at full speed through the streets of Greenville, was saved by a woman who opened a gate and beckoned him to turn in. He entered, for his horse was near given out. She told him to go into an outbuilding that stood near by and she pulled off the saddle and went-into the house with it. His pursuers saw the horse, but did not know it was a cavalry horse, and kept right on. After the enemy had left town he saddled up and went to camp. He is now a prominent attorney in Youngstown, Ohio. We moved again that night. The Johnnies 204 ItI)\'ARI) 1'. Sxui'i Sc'Coitl ()Ili,, VI (tlmitlcr Cavalry Fro,-ING 2(9 i This page in the original text is blank. More Tennessee Service still kept up the night attacks on the fine fires we had built for them. The next day all the force withdrew from Bull's Gap, and our brigade tried to make a permanent stand. The enemy pushed us to the utmost with a superior number and flank movements, and drove us back to Massey Creek. What is known as the battle of Massey Creek was on a cold December day, and the rain and battle continued until late in the night. There was nothing to indicate the posi- tion of the troops but the flash of the rifles as they spit forth their blaze of fire like a line of lightning bugs. The enemy advanced, dismounted, and we held our fire after the skirmish line had been driven in, until they were close to us. A charge was ordered, and as we poured out a blaze that was plainly visible for a mile in length, we rushed forward, and the troops be- came badly mixed from one end of the line to the other. The two lines were now one. The troops engaged were all men of ex- perience, and they at once recognized the fact that a shot was as liable to take effect on friend as foe. In the effort to extricate ourselves a pecu- liar incident occurred. Each man in calling out the name of his regiment gave the enemy the tip,-and they too would take up the call, which decoyed the unsuspecting into their lines. They would then be told to lay down 205 206 Four Years with Five Armies their arms. Both sides lost many men by this clever trick. The night was employed in getting into some kind of shape, and there were only a few that got any rest at all. The Second Louisiana Tigers had fought in front of us, and we had made several of them prisoners. When day broke and before the fog rose we discovered a cavalry force at our left and rear. The situation was now consid- ered a grave one. It was well known that General Carter had crossed the Holsten River, leaving his trains behind to be pro- tected by the cavalry, and that the last of it had left Massey Creek only the day before. They were notified that it was uncertain whether or not we could hold our position, and to move back farther was not only to lose the train, but to expose the front of General Burnside's half-naked soldiers who were daily dying from starvation. It would also cut us off from any further supplies, the country be- hind us having been stripped long since. Many a poor infantryman had lain down on the roads to die of weakness. There was de- termination written on every man's counte- nance. It was evident that there would be a desperate struggle before we would yield. The eyes of all this suffering mass were on us, and to give way was to flee to some place where supplies could be obtained, and to let the enemy prey upon the starving infantry. The fog soon gathered around, and all was More Tennessee Service obscure except in our immediate vicinity. After a few minutes we were in line. Coffee was cooked. We were ready for action. The trumpets sounded officers' call, and the pallor that spread over the countenances of the men showed their anxiety, fearing the worst, but hoping that the order would be to advance and intercept the flanking party. This could be done with safety under cover of the fog. Our lieutenant returned with a large envelope in his hand. He spoke a few words to the first sergeant, who rode out in front and said, "Gause, ride to the front." I promptly obeyed. He told me to report to the lieutenant at once, who handed me the envelope, and told me to deliver it to the officer in command of the dismounted men of our brigade at Strawberry Plains. As I passed through the line the boys all looked after me, as much as to say, " We will not see you again soon." The sergeant rode some distance with me, and cautioned me to be on my guard, as I was in danger of meeting the enemy at any time. I felt the weight of my responsibility, and, half in jest and half in earnest, I said, " I be- lieve you are determined to get me killed or captured, any way." His look and reply showed my remark to be a cruel stab, and I was sorry I had said it. - " That is not it," he said. " They wanted a man that would go and get back, and we 207 208 Four Years with Five Armies thought if there was one in the regiment that could do it, you could." " If that is it, I would attempt it if I knew I would not get two hundred yards," I re- plied. With no other ceremony I rode away. The roads were badly cut up, and I kept in the woods and fields until I arrived at Newmar- ket, where I overtook the rear end of the wagon-train. They had pulled through the mud all night, and had gone into camp. They said they had but little hopes of ever getting any farther. Within a mile of the river, the road was narrow, and was hemmed in by a ravine on one side and an embankment on the other. It was blocked up by the artillery and wagons waiting their turn to cross. Had it not been for the large envelope tucked under my belt I would have had to await my turn, but that gave me the right of way, and, after an hour's delay, crowding and jamming, I reached the pontoon, crossed, and delivered the dispatch. Then I went to find our company boys, with whom I stayed all night. We soon learned that the dispatch was an order for all men that were able, to return to the command with me. Only one man reported he was not well, but said he would rather be at the front than starve to death there. To go to the pontoon to cross might detain us all day, so we con- cluded to go to the ford, which was high and considered dangerous. More Tennessee Service We got information from a farmer who lived near by. He regarded it as dangerous to anyone that did not know the ford, and ad- vised us not to attempt it. The river was wide and the landing narrow on the opposite side. Nothing daunted, we bolted in, and about half way across the water took the horses off their feet, and there was nothing to do but hold our breath and stick to them. The landing was in the mouth of a deep canyon. The moun- tain terminated abruptly at the river on each side of it. The road was along the side of the ravine by a steep, narrow grade that brought us out on level spot with a farmhouse on it. It was raining, and before we reached the road we were enveloped in a dense fog. Our horses took advantage of that and circled around to the house again. When we took a fresh start they repeated and brought us to the house. It was now noon, and the fog hav- ing lifted a little we were able to pursue our journey. At Newmarket we stopped at a hotel. After supper we went to the stable to take a sleep. People were coming and going all night. As fast as the women could cook there were plenty of men waiting to eat. In the morn- ing we fed the horses, made some coffee, and pursued our journey. To our surprise, we found the command farther up the valley. The enemy had been badly used up in the night engagement, and, instead of resuming the attack, had gathered 209 210 Four Years with Five Armies up their dead and wounded and withdrawn. We continued to follow them, but not aggres- sively, for the command was pretty well used up from the long and hotly-contested cam- paign. One instance is worthy of note. When we came to where the enemy appeared to have made a permanent stand the troops were dis- mounted and advanced in line. When the order sounded to charge, John Z. Johnson of our company fell, and to all appearances was dead and was left for such. The line gained the position they wanted and held it. In about one hour John Z. got up and walked away. He was yet dazed, and did not appear to know that he had been hurt. The surgeon with his knife extracted a ball that had struck fairly on the point of the skull at the back of his head, and had flattened out between the skin and skull. After Johnson was shot in the head he was always known as " Hard-head," and he appeared to enjoy the distinction. Of the numerous engagements that we took part in my memory fails to serve me as to the details. I remember the names of some of the places, which were Jonesboro, Blue Springs, Bluntville, Rheatown, Bristol, Wau- tago Station, Blaine Cross-Roads, and Dand- ridge. By the 2_th of December winter had set in severely. The snow fell continually for two or three days, and attained a depth of at least twenty inches. We camped in the woods near More Tennessee Service Massey Creek, and only kept from freezing by felling large trees, cutting them into logs, and making fires around which we stood night and day. By clearing the snow away and piling brush on the bare ground and spreading the blankets on it we were able to get a short nap. But the frost drawing from the ground by the heat from the fire would soon drive us out. Daily reports came in of the number of men that had frozen to death in the infantry camps, where they were poorly clad, not having drawn clothing since August. The cavalry were in the same condition, and the squad re- turning last from the Morgan raid had drawn none since June. My shirt, the only one I had had for the last three months, was hanging in strips. The year's campaign having ended with no prospect of a termination of hostilities, many of the strongest Union supporters were dis- couraged and disheartened. To strengthen their position the authorities concluded to prove that the men in the field were deter- mined to have victory or die in the struggle. To that end they gave the three years' men an opportunity to enlist for a continued term. The rolls were opened, and we made short work of the severe privations by availing our- selves of the opportunity. There were some little inducements how- ever, offered for those who reenlisted. We were to be known as veterans, a kind of bre- 211 212 Four Years with Five Armies vet rank, and the unexpired time of the first enlistment was to be canceled and the full bounty paid. The new term was to commence immediately, with four hundred dollars' bounty and immediate transportation to the original place of enlistment, with a thirty-day leave of absence. To my surprise and astonishment, my friend Harris did not respond to this call. I went in search of him and asked him his reason. He said he thought when his time expired he would have had enough of it. I was sorry, but did not blame him. He was a man of honor and integrity. The pay was small and we had no thanks, and our visit to Cincinnati had indicated that there was no reward for the perils and privations we had to endure. With me it was different. I had left home to see the Union preserved, and anything short of that was no reward for me. CHAPTER XV THE END OF THE CAMPAIGNS OF '63 A T the expiration of one week we had turned in all the government property and were on our way home. Thus ended the noted campaigns of i863. The movements of the Second Ohio had been full of toil, hardships, and perils. We had as- saulted the enemy and had been assaulted in so many different places and in so many different ways that memory can now scarcely compre- hend, much less retain it. We boarded a train at Knoxville and went to the Tennessee River. The bridge had been destroyed and the railroad was out of repair to Chattanooga. We camped by the river near Sheridan's division, then stationed there to protect the workmen, while they repaired the bridge. Our officers called on General Sheridan, and he told them that he had watched the campaign in East Tennessee with great satis- faction. It had confirmed him in his opinion as to what cavalry could do as an independent command, but in advancing his theory he had met with much opposition from his brother officers, who had gone so far as to call him a fanatic on the subject. 213 Four Years with Five Armies The next morning we began to cross the river. There was but one small boat, and we went into camp on the opposite side to stay all night. When crossing, the wind took what was left of my hat, the top and part of the brim having disappeared previously, and I had to continue the march bareheaded. Some of the boys, thinking it easier to ride than to walk, fixed up a raft to float down the river. We were compelled to lie at Chattanooga two or three days for them, owing to fog and other obstacles. I met an old neighbor, Peter Venable, of the One Hundred and Fifth Ohio, who had two hats, and he divided. We finally boarded cars, and moved out, and in crossing the canyon near the foot of Lookout Mountain the temporary bridge, commonly called the military trestle work, gave way, and settled about four inches on one side. The drive- wheels of the engine, with the exception of one, had passed on to the rail that rested on the ground. That one came up against the end and stopped. The train was jerked back and forth a few times, and when we found out the trouble, there was a panic in those box- cars. Talk about a battle, it is no comparison I We looked out of the side doors of the cars to see the bottom where we expected to be dashed at any second, and it was no less than two hundred feet below. I seized my blanket with the intention of fastening one end to the slide bar of the door, and by swinging down 214 The End of the Campaigns of '63 215 to the trestle try to make my escape that way. But before I could accomplish my design the train pulled out with a terrible jerk, as each set of trucks came to the break in the track. After a short stay in Bridgeport, Nashville, and Louisville, we finally arrived at Camp Chase, near Columbus, Ohio. After being paid, we were furloughed, with orders to rendezvous at Cleveland, Ohio, March 22, where we remained until March 24. Then we went to Cincinnati, and the ladies of the city furnished us with meals in the market- house. As there were plenty of open houses, and we had blankets with us, we found little trouble in finding a place to lie down. We had now many new men who had joined us to take the place of those lost during the year of i863. Grant had taken command of the army, and was concentrating his forces to make a vig- orous campaign in the East. He had ordered General Burnside to Annapolis, Maryland, with his Ninth Corps, to fit out a secret ex- pedition. The General had become very much attached to the Second Ohio. He had requested and received orders from the Sec- retary of War for us to remain in his corps. The boys hailed the news with enthusiasm. We had served in many different armies. That we were now to enter a new field met the wishes of all, and we were particularly glad that we were to go East, where the daily pa- 216 Four Years with Five Armies pers continued to say, " It is all quiet on the Potomac." We disembarked from the train at Camp Parole near Annapolis, Maryland. There we met the boys we had lost at Greenville, Tennessee, having recently been exchanged, and found them in a pitiable condition. We marched to camp, and were well pleased with our situation by the Ninth Corps, to which we had become attached during the former campaign, although our hopes were some- what blighted on our arrival at Annapolis; for we learned that there was no certainty as to the destination of Burnside's expedition, and that we were the only cavalry regiment to accompany it. We had prepared ourselves with cooking utensils, large enough for four men, at our own expense, and divided accordingly. Col- onel Kautz had made an effort to have this mess-kit furnished, but the Government had no such proviso, and it would require an order from the War Department, and would there- fore apply to the cavalry forces throughout the army. It met with strong opposition and had to be abandoned. The Second had found it too convenient to abolish it, and so we drew a few large kettles for boilers in which to heat water, etc., which kettles were turned in when we moved camp. CHAPTER XVI IN THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC O N our way to Annapolis there was another of those miraculous acci- dents. While traveling over the B. 0. road in box-cars, it was discov- ered that Logan Moore, who had been sleep- ing in front of the car door, was missing. Dur- ing the day a dispatch was received that he had been picked up unconscious under a bridge by the section hands. He had rolled against the door, which was not fastened at the bottom, and had fallen through the bridge, a distance of twenty feet. It was while in this camp that I had my second disagreement in the company. It was all about nothing, and I would not mention it, only that the next and last one proved of a serious nature. I want to illustrate how a simple matter may involve one who has not the slightest thought or intention of doing another an injury. I was engaged in a game of hop scotch in front of the tent, and Good- man, who had procured some tangle-foot, came by and pushed me over. When I re- proved him he was in for combat. Although there was no blow struck, it resulted in his arrest and confinement for several days. 217 218 Four Years with Five Armies We remained in that camp until April 21, I864, and marched to Camp Parole, and on the 22d embarked on a train for Washington, D. C. Here we were quartered in barracks for the night. That was our first view of the Capital, and we strolled about the city at will. We met many of our old schoolmates and relations of the Sixth Ohio Cavalry. On the 23d we moved to Camp Stoneman, located on the Potomac River, nearly opposite Alexan- dria. The ground was covered with large trees, but otherwise was as bare as a floor. It had been used for a camp for a long time, and the ground was worn low in places, which held the water from the rain then falling. A more desolate place could not have been found on the Staked Plains. When we set our dog- tents, we felt very solitary, although we were surrounded by hundreds of men and in sight of two large cities. There is something peculiarly sad about being placed on a bare spot of ground without a blade of grass to be seen. It is an unnatural condition, and there is nothing to occupy one's time and to make one's self comfortable. This condition did not last long. The horses began to arrive by company installments, and on the 26th our company drew theirs. They were tied in line, and the men fell in single file and marched in front of them. Each man had to accept the horse directly op- posite him. It was my lot to get a farm horse, In the Army of the Potomac pretty fair for everything, and not much good for anything in particular. On the 29th the horse equipments were dis- tributed, and I mounted my new horse and rode to Washington City. On the 30th we drew arms, and got a different and better car- bine than we had at any previous time. It was the Spencer breech-loading, with maga- zine that held seven fifty-calibre ready- primed metallic cartridges. On Sunday, May i, we took up the line of march through the City of Washington, marched up Pennsylvania Avenue, and thence to the Long Bridge, and over it into Virginia, to join in the memorable campaign with the Army of the Potomac, already on the move toward Richmond. The secret expedition had been abandoned, or had only been a ruse to cover the actual object for moving the Ninth Corps to the East. We joined and acted rear-guard for them. That night we camped at Bailey's Cross-Roads. The next day we moved to within seven miles of Warrenton Junction, and the next we moved to the Junction, and camped near General Burnside's headquarters. We were joined by three other cavalry regiments, which formed a brigade. A brief description of these regiments will not be out of place, as my story is more or less connected with them for several months. The Fifth New York Cavalry had seen much serv- 219 220 Four Years with Five Armies vice, but, like all the cavalry in the East, could boast of no decided victories. The Twenty-Second New York Cavalry was a new regiment, and had not yet been under fire. The Third New Jersey was an old regi- ment but had not seen active service. They had been on duty in the City of Wash- ington, and were known as the Hussars. They were all Germans, and uniformed in blue cloth, cut after the German cavalry uniform. When Grant moved he had no need for ornaments of this kind, and ordered them to the front. As Jersey was short in its quota of men, they were credited to that State, and were known as the Third New Jersey Cav- alry. The army had all crossed the Rappahan- nock, except the Ninth Corps. The infantry and artillery made a night march, and in the morning our brigade, the rear-guard, crossed. We were now thoroughly started, and in the enemy's country. The effect of the almost constant roar of cannon and musketry in front, that had been going on three days, was now in evidence on all sides, and the old soldiers of the Second Ohio Cavalry speculated on and discussed our peculiar situation. We were no longer in company with the " Old Reliable Brigade," but with two regiments that had not been under fire and had done no picket duty. Al- though the Fifth New York had met the enemy many times, so far as we could learn In the Army of the Potomac they did not know what a complete victory was. But the Fifth had the right stuff in them, as they afterward proved to the satis- faction of all that knew them. We were confronted by the enemy's cavalry guarding Lee's left flank. They were contin- ually reconnoitering for information, trying to keep track of Grant's movements, and look- ing for any gap that would afford them any advantage. We felt almost like strangers in a strange land. Everything was so different from what we had been used to. There were many young staff officers that appeared to want to do some- thing, but they did not appear to know what to do but to make some fuss. They would gal- lop about with an orderly behind them, giv- ing orders about anything and everything, and creating confusion among the raw troops. They rode a little flat saddle we called the terrapin shell. We were busy holding our part of the line with a heavy skirmish line, and carrying in the wounded who had been left by the troops in advance of us. They consisted of men from both sides, and we assisted the hospital corps all we could. As Grant moved right along, leaving the rear open for the enemy, many of the wounded were left to be taken in by Lee's army, which took advantage of the gap between the Ninth Corps and the Rappahannock. This was of no particular advantage to them, but threw 221 222 Four Years with Five armies I the burden on the rear-guard to hold them in check for the time being. On the morning of the 6th, before daylight, there were orders to move on rapidly, and a regular stampede was created by the rush orders. An effort was made to move the cavalry through the forest, as flankers for the infan- try, which must necessarily prove a failure. Officers were charging back and forth, shout- ing, " Hurry up; there is nothing in front of you; you will be cut off; the line is broken! " and all such nonsense, which caused the poor soldiers to abandon everything they had, and run for life. They would duck their heads, throw up their shoulders, and away would go their knapsacks, blankets, and, in fact, everything they had except gun and ammunition. The ground was literally covered with everything which could be used in camp by soldiers. The hospital corps had hatchets, and they cut holes in these things so as to render them useless to the enemy. Thousands had abandoned their fine toilets they had enjoyed in camp during the winter months. The jam was complete. The cavalry had to stop and look on, as there was no way to pass without riding over the sick or wounded, of whom there were many hundreds to be left to the mercy of the enemy. When the officers came about the Sec- ond Ohio Cavalry, cursing with their " whoop- em-up" orders, they were received with re- In the Army of the Potomac marks and looks of contempt. They soon became scarce in that locality, and we could now see why the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac had fallen into bad repute. They had no chance to show what they could do. They had been trammeled with incompetent officers, or, in other words, by infantry officers trying to handle the two distinct arms of the service together, to the disadvantage of all. The consequence was we were hooted and jeered at, and called all kinds of names at every turn. The worst feature that we had to contend with was a provost guard from Meade's headquarters, that kept in the rear of everything but the skirmish line. With drawn sabers they would drive the helpless sick and wounded in front of them, often striking them with their weapons, but the Second Ohio put a stop to that work in short order. Some threats were made by their officers as to what they would do with us for inter- fering with their orders, but it was not a good day for enforcing discipline, and they had to yield, and soon left us in complete control of that duty. On the 7th we came out on an open place, perhaps one mile square. The road ran across the center of it. The Fifth New York and the Second Ohio formed in line, and re- mained there for an hour, after all the other troops were out of sight. There was a heavy row of fallen trees along the west edge of the 223 Four Years with Five Armies open field, with the exception of a few rods at one corner, where the enemy's artillery was stationed, and trained on the open ground. The enemy's line lay behind the row of fallen trees, and remained quiet, with the usual taking of observations, and appeared surprised at the sudden disappearance of troops from in front of them. When the order came for us to move on we entered the woods, following the road south- ward, and saw the infantry of the Ninth Corps massed, lying down in the heavy timber to our left, with their right flank exposed, and not even a light skirmish line to protect them. We did not understand the move, and were as much mystified as the enemy appeared to be, but when we moved a little farther on the position revealed the facts to us. We were formed in close ranks, or, in fact, massed in a little open field, where the Third New Jersey and the Twenty-Second New York had pre- ceded us in front of General Meade's line, who had used his left for a pivot, and by left wheel had changed front. His line now ex- tended across the road, instead of parallel with it. The Ninth Corps was placed in front with line parallel with the road to receive the at- tack of the enemy, and to fall back to the east, in order to draw the enemy down in front of Meade's line. The cavalry was to move out and cut them off. The first sight of this posi- tion showed an experienced soldier that this was another of those plans that must prove 224 In the Army of the Potomac fatal to the cavalry, and also destroy the effective use of the infantry in their rear. It also explained the cause of the stampede, by changing front with General Meade's line, which was some three to four miles long, and left a gap of that distance between his line and the left flank of the Ninth Corps. The hurry orders sent out had been delivered in such a way as to cause a panic, and thousands had lost their blankets and clothing. The wily enemy did not see any advantage in advancing on the abandoned ground, and after waiting for an hour the Twenty-Second New York was ordered to move out to the open ground to decoy them. They had barely got into the open place when the front of the column began to form into line. Then the enemy opened fire with a six-gun battery, and the Twenty-Second broke and ran in con- fusion, throwing together all the strength and energy that could be gained by one thousand men and horses. The tumult was awful to hear. The shouts and yells and flying dust that rose above the trees enabled the enemy to keep the range, and the shells came screeching and crashing through the trees. Some of the shells burst in their ranks, or rather in the mass of men and horses, and this howling mass was hurled on to Meade's line, which gave way to let them pass. It so happened that General Meade's tents and hospital were on the road, and they were torn down by the fleeing 225 226 Four Years with Five Armies cavalry. About three acres of ground about Meade's headquarters were covered with wounded, and these wounded were run over- the most horrible feature of the stampede. The Ninth Corps then moved, and went into camp in the rear of Meade's line. As soon as the road was clear, Meade's corps began a forward movement. Troops passed until 4 P. M., when the Ninth Corps began to move out. It was late in the night when our brigade moved. From then until day- light we were passing troops-brigades, divi- sions, and corps-standing in line in every open strip of ground, waiting for a clear road in order to move on. It looked to us as if they were afraid to sit down and take a little rest while they had the opportunity. They were all General McClellan's old army, and they now firmly believed they were whipped and on the retreat. Little Mac was the watchword, and thousands of times we heard the shout, and, indeed, we needed Little Mac to pull us out of this scrape! " You Western men don't know how to re- treat." To this we would retort, "You are right; stay with Grant and he will take you to Richmond." The Second Ohio were the only men to raise their voice for Grant, and then they would ask what regiment, and to answer was to bring a shower of maledictions on Grant and Western men in general, with shouts In the Army of the Potomac from all quarters, " Five dollars for a dead cavalryman I " We told them we would show them yet that there was one cavalry regiment that knew as much about fighting as they did, and if they had the nerve to stick to Grant he would prove to them he had not studied the art of retreat. This war of words was kept up all night. By daylight we had passed every- thing that was able to move, but we were sur- rounded by the dead and wounded that had been left by the corps in front that had moved and left the field to its fate. There had been charges and countercharges, as the uniforms of the dead indicated, blue and gray being in- terspersed. We carried the wounded to the main road, where we halted. In one place was an old log-house, with a cleared field near it, that was covered with victims of the fierce strug- gle that had been going on there for the two previous days. In carrying the wounded we took them as we came to them, and carried them to the house that they might be protected from the sun. When they carried one Johnnie in he recognized his brother who had been brought in before him. They had fallen within a few yards of each other, but neither one knew that the other had been wounded. The ambulance corps was busy conveying away the wounded, but was altogether inade- quate for the occasion. Meade's corps flanked 227 228 Four Years with Five Armies this part of the road altogether, and in an en- gagement to our left the woods took fire, and the fire was consuming everything before it. The hot black smoke drove us out, and it was impossible to save the hundreds that were doomed to perish in its ravages. But the bul- let and fire were not the only messengers that called for men. I saw one man lying on his back, waving a piece of paper, and when I approached him he could not speak, but he smiled when he handed the paper to show that he had leave from his surgeon to be absent on account of sickness. At another place a boy not more than seven- teen had sat down on the log step of an empty cabin. He leaned back with his knapsack resting on the floor of the porch with his shoulders on it, and his hands folded across his breast with a peaceful look on his face, as if asleep, but he was cold and stiff. There was nothing to indicate the cause of death. We camped on the field of Chancellorsville, and during the afternoon a soldier in some of the infantry camps cut his throat with a razor. We lay on our arms that night on the ground where the first battle of Chancellors- ville had been fought. The ground was cov- ered with the bones of those that had fallen the year before, and the corpses of those that had just fallen. We threw out a skirmish line in the woods where Stonewall Jackson's brigade had massed, a spot designated by hun- dreds of graves marked " Stonewall's Bri- In the Army of the Potomac gade " on a rough board at the head of each grave. It was in a pine wood, and most all the trees were shattered or trimmed by shot, shell, and minies. The trunks of some of the large ones had been pierced, and the tops hung down. In passing through these woods to and from the vidette line in the dark and on rainy nights, horses would plunge into the half-filled graves, then full of a yellow look- ing water that would splash all over the rider. There were ten or twelve in every detail, some of whom staggered about from the time we entered the woods until we got out of it. The trooper would frequently be pulled from the saddle, or would lose his cap, blankets, or something else, by running under the hang- ing limbs. The cavalry was camped in front of the in- fantry, another one of those awkward posi- tions, and the Second Ohio had the weight of this responsibility. It was expected that the enemy would attempt to regain that strategic point, and in that case we also expected the cavalry would repeat the ridiculous perform- ance of two days before, for they could not remain between two lines of opposing in- fantry. It could be heard from all quarters that we must hold this ground or break through the enemy's line, and not have it said we had run through our own infantry. On the i3th the Ninth Corps moved out to Todd's Tavern and swung into the main line 229 Four Years with Five Armies on the right center, with Fraser's division of colored troops on the right flank of the Ninth Corps. We were placed in front of them, forming the front line of battle, and in close proximity to the enemy, so near that we could hear the challenge as they relieved their guards every two hours. We were under the immediate command of General Fraser, and he required us to report to him every two hours. This duty fell upon me. The colored division was camped in heavy timber, and, of course, it was very dark. No fires were al- lowed, and the guards were posted around the camp. When riding in to report, the guard would call " Haltl " and fire before I could answer him, and the whole line would repeat it. I reported to the General, and explained the situation to him. He said they were all raw troops, and it was hard for them to under- stand how to halt anyone without firing, and he would instruct the officer of the day, and see if it could not be done better. The Gen- eral was always up and dressed and ready for action, and I do not know whether he stayed up all the time, or arose when the guard fired the alarm. I told him I would just as soon report to the rebel general, and that I did not think I would be in any more danger. I thought it was all nonsense to report to him, for there was no chance to be surprised. He would not hear of an abandonment of the plan, and I had to continue until morning. The boys would ask me when I returned if I 230 In the Army of the Potomac 231 had repulsed the colored troops yet. When I would start out they would say, " Gause is going to charge the colored troops again." Fortunately, the Ninth Corps changed po- sition the next morning, and left a space of some miles between the cavalry and infantry. The enemy made an assault all along the line during the day. The cavalry on either flank fell back so far in trying to get favorable ground that our regiment was completely cut off for a short time, but with our Spencer car- bines we were able to hold our ground with but little loss until reinforcements came to our rescue. CHAPTER XVII SERVICE IN VIRGINIA T HE enemy being compelled to retire toward Richmond, owing to the movements on some other part of the line, we made a change in our posi- tion. After the engagement I was detailed, with others, to bring forage to the front, and we each brought a sack of oats a distance of seven miles. It was now sundown. When eating supper Lieutenant Newton said, " Gause, you go with those men. You need not take anything but your gun and ammu- nition, and take one of the men with you to bring the horse back, as you will not need it, and I will send it to you in the morn- ing." Wakefield volunteered. After finishing supper we mounted, and reported to the men in question, two strangers to us, one being an officer and the other dressed in citizen's clothes. After galloping for two miles or more, they came to a halt, and told Wakefield to return to camp with the horses. After dis- mounting we handed the reins to Wakefield, who turned and galloped away. The man in citizen's dress-apparently a 232 Service in Virginia 233 secret service employee-said, "You have been selected to watch this path. Spies are constantly coming into our lines and this is one of the paths used by them. We will de- pend on you to do your duty, as you are well recommended. And in case the line is driven in you must depend on yourself to make your escape. This end of the path will lead to a safe place, but it will be necessary to ap- proach the vidette line very cautiously. It is dangerous, as they are liable to think you one of the enemy. I warn you in time-you are liable to have a hand-to-hand conflict, for the men that travel this path are not the kind that surrender, and it would be well to go far enough from the road that anyone passing will not disturb you." After bidding me good-night they galloped away, and as the sound of the horses' hoofs died away, I began to look around. "Well," I thought,. " we passed this place to-day. It did not look dangerous, dreary, and lonely as it does now. A fellow that can't hide in this thicket, so that a rebel spy can- not find him, is no good." However, there was no good reason to evade my duty. I was there first, and, with the squatter's right and a good gun to back it, a newcomer would not be apt successfully to contest my claim to possession. A dense thicket was on the lower side of the road, that wound around a low ridge, and as- cended to the top of the slope at the place 234 Four Years with Five Armies where I then stood. The path in question was an ordinary hog-path that had grown over with briers and vines, and could only be trav- eled at that place by crawling on hands and knees, no doubt as many spies had done. I proceeded to do the same, and after going about one hundred yards, and choosing a po- sition about five feet from the path, I lay down flat on the ground with gun at hand. There was nothing to do but indulge in thought, and what passed through my mind would be hard to recall now. I only know that I was look- ing for a red-eyed, bow-necked spy to appear at any moment, and pounce right down on me. Rabbits and vermin of different kinds were playing hide and seek about me, but they were easy to distinguish from the mon- ster pictured in my mind. The gun lay at rest with the hammer set, so that it would make no noise to alarm the approaching spy, and on the slightest notice, could be used. Now and then I would go through the mo- tion of using it, to keep in practice. It ap- peared easy enough, and the long night wore slowly until about two o'clock, then, sud- denly, it appeared as if the fullest expectations were to be realized. There was something approaching from the front. It was evidently moving toward me, and my eyes had become so thoroughly used to the darkness that it was easy to see that the outline was the proper size of a man on all fours. I was looking for spies, and of course I could see nothing but Service in Virginia 235 spies. A man was surely crawling on his hands and knees stealthily toward me. Hav- ing chosen a position so close to the path that he could not pass me, an encounter must there- fore take place, and the night appeared to have turned suddenly cold. In fact, it was cold to the freezing point, and I could feel the blood freeze in my veins when I attempted to pick up the gun. It was now close to me, the creeping thing, coming very slowly but surely. I could al- most reach it with the gun, and it looked as big as a house. A reaction was necessary, for with a moment more of this suspense I would not be able to move at all. Besides, I must know the result of my first shot in time to have equal chance in the struggle that must surely take place if the shot did not prove fatal. I was able to cast off the spell. Slowly I raised the gun, only -raising my hands, letting my elbows rest on the ground. I was just placing my finger on the trigger when the object in question gave a low grunt that revealed its identity, and turned around and ran away. It no doubt retreated to the deep hidden forest which had so long pro- tected it from slaughter by the hungry soldier. My relief was inexpressible, and lying there in quiet and ease I enjoyed the satisfaction of feeling that I had at least stood the test, and, had it been really a spy, the victory must have resulted in my favor. In my soliloquy I argued the circumstances Four Years with Five Armies and position from all sides. I had heard and read of the adventures of men who had dis- guised themselves with bear and wolf skins, and I admitted, for the sake of argument, that it was possible to do the same with a hog skin, but it was not likely that a spy in such disguise would have discovered me and dis- appeared in so short a time. I was satisfied that all danger was now at an end from the fact that, if it were a spy, he would not return again, and, if it were what it appeared to be, a hog, any spy coming there would meet it and turn it back, and that would warn me in time. In that peace- ful mood my mind turned to a different chan- nel. After thinking over the daring ad- ventures of Daniel Boone, and many other adventures, and all the novel and ghost stories, I passed to my own ghost experience. The first one was in my schoolboy days, while on my way from some night gathering at the schoolhouse. It so happened that there was no one going that way. The distance was two miles, and it was a very dark night. The road was familiar to me, as I had passed it twice each day for several months in succes- sion, and had not seen anything that looked frightful or out of place. When I stepped on a bridge that was located at the junction of two roads a horrible object appeared a few yards from the bridge, and near the place where the path left the road. I advanced cautiously, as there was no other place to cross 236 Service in Virginia 237 the creek, and the nearer I approached it the more horrible it became. It looked as though it was a giant with outstretched arms, stand- ing ready to crush me. When I got to the end of the bridge, with a desperate lunge I took the right-hand road, until I was some distance from the monster, and then I cir- cled around through the woods at a sate dis- tance, until I reached the path, was out of breath and compelled to walk. The next time I came that way in daylight, and to my surprise there was nothing but brush and fence, but when it was shrouded in dark- ness it presented the horrible appearance, as I observed the next time we passed the place at night. I thought on and on, recounting one after another the apparitions down to within a few nights before, and not very far from the place where we were now on duty. I was on the vidette line in the edge of heavy timber skirting an old field, now grown up with small pines, and a creek with heavy brush ran a few yards in front of us, and behind it was the enemy's line. We could hear them change guards every two hours. A light breeze was blowing, and all at once I discovered what looked like a man with a musket at right-shoulder shift. I raised my gun to be ready, for it was absolutely necessary that the alarm should be given as soon as the enemy made his appearance. They were liable to advance at any moment, 238 Four Years with Five Armies as the constant roar of cannon and musketry to our left indicated. The second look con- firmed my first convictions. The man ap- peared to be standing still, and I thought he was waiting orders to advance, or was waiting a chance to catch me off my guard and slip past me. The more I looked at it, the more convinced I became that I was right. I had not been on post long when this apparition ap- peared, and my suspense became unbearable. I gently let my gun slip down by the horse, until the full weight hung on the sling, and drawing my revolver I dashed the spurs into the horse, which lunged forward, and then drew rein by the side of a small pine with my revolver in the limbs of the tree instead of in the face of a bold enemy. " Gause, what is the matter " the sentinel to my left called out in a low tone. " This d horse thought he saw some- thing," I said, and returned to my post. I have not seen a ghost from that night to this. After pursuing these thoughts so long, my mind had become so detached from my actual mission that it was wrapped in perfect secur- ity, and I came near going to sleep; but for- tunately light was breaking, and on hearing the sound of horses' feet as they approached, I crawled out to the road and met Wakefield, who had come with my horse. We rode into camp and found them preparing to move. It had been rumored some days before that Gen- eral Sheridan had been given command of Service in Virginia 239 the cavalry, and had now defeated J. E. B. Stuart's cavalry. We moved out, and the brigade all went into camp except our battalion. We were ordered to picket the right wing of Fraser's division, and on the i6th our company stood picket, the rest of the battalion being held in reserve. On the I7th we were relieved at noon, and before dismounting a staff offi- cer came out, talked with Lieutenant Newton a few moments, and rode away. " Gause," said the Lieutenant, " you take what men you want, follow this road, and learn what is going on in front of the Ninth Corps. The enemy is doing something down there, and they cannot make it out at head- quarters. Return as soon as possible and re- port your observations." I rode out and called for volunteers. Of course, plenty of men wanted to go, but I thought four of us were enough. From the little knowledge we had of the enemy's posi- tion it was pretty sure we would have a tight run to make it. The enemy was in evidence, and had kept up a desultory firing all the time. The picket line ran diagonally across the road that entered the ravine a short distance be- low. The Ninth Corps occupied the ridge on one side, and the enemy the other. It was impossible to know anything about their num- ber, for we could only catch a glimpse of them as they passed back and forth through the open places. We passed the picket line, Four Years with Five Armies and down the hill into the ravine. This at- tracted the attention of the enemy, who would ride out on the ridge to see if we were making an advance. Our number would indicate the advance-guard of a column of cavalry, and appeared to puzzle them, as they loped about on the ridge. We thought sure they would attempt to cut us off as soon as they discovered that we were not to be reinforced. We were now in easy range of the enemy, and of the colored division of the Ninth Corps. In fact, we were within easy speaking distance of the advance line of either side. My experience of a few nights before caused me to be cau- tious in front of them, and I instructed the boys, as we rode along, if the enemy closed in on us, we must make a run for life, and the safest way would be to keep straight on the road, until we had passed Fraser's division, then wheel to the left, raise a white flag, and enter our lines in front of the white troops. We found the place designated in our in- structions, but there was only one man there and he was wounded. He had crawled out of his blanket and down to the spring for a drink. He said there had been a hospital there, and they were falling back, and had been moving the wounded all day. We asked him if he would like to go into our lines. He said no, they would come after him, and that would suit him better. On our return we rode quietly along to all 240 Service in Virginia 241 appearances as if there were no one else in the neighborhood, but we realized the fact that the slightest thing would precipitate a shower of lead. We returned and reported without any accident, and I lay down to take a good rest. The enemy withdrew that night. The Ninth Corps moved near White House Land- ing, and we joined our regiment, where they were camped, guarding the Ninth Corps train, and taking a few days' rest prior to our transfer to the cavalry corps. We drew ammunition, as the hundred rounds issued in Camp Stoneman were now exhausted. None of the ammunition had been wasted, but had all been used in engagements. The Second Ohio had long since learned to husband their cartridges, and very few were lost or thrown away, as it was of as much importance to have cartridges as it was to have rations and forage. If a trooper went to the hospital he did not carry his cart- ridges, but distributed them in the company, and we frequently picked up those left by other troops. On the i9th I was sent out on the main road with a small squad to reconnoiter the position of the enemy's cavalry, but learned they had withdrawn toward Richmond, and on the 20th I was sent out to patrol the Na- tional road for several miles, and returned without any discoveries. During the after- noon I paid a visit to my friends in the Sixth 242 Four Years with Five Armies Ohio Volunteer Cavalry. On the morning of the 21St our company was detailed to take a position at the junction of the by-road on which the brigade was camped and the main road. On our arrival at the place where the main reserve was to remain, a sergeant with ten men went to the National road to remain un- til the next night. The videttes were sta- tioned around the main reserve. The object of these outposts was to give an early alarm in case the enemy's cavalry should swing around the right flank. The duty at first sight did not appear hazardous or arduous under the existing con- ditions, but it proved to be both. In the evening of the 22d, Sergt. George A. Wil- kins left the main reserve with Corporal WVise and ten men to relieve the detachment on post at the National road. I was favored by not being in that detachment, being in charge of a relief already on duty at the main reserve; but the three men of the mess to which I belonged went with the detachment. They left about sundown. There was noth- ing unusual about it, and their departure would never have recurred to my mind if something unusual hadn't happened after- ward. I had my supper with the mess before they started, and kept rations enough to last while they were gone. My relief was off duty,. and I lay down to get some sleep before my turn came again. I had barely got to sleep, G;iORGE .A. WVILKINS Scrgeaiit, Co. F, Second Ohio Volunteer Cavalry PACtWG 242 This page in the original text is blank. Service in Virginia 243 when someone said, " Here come the boys; there is something wrong!" The clatter of horses' hoofs, and equip- ments, was heard, and everyone was running to his horse. I was on my feet in an instant, and heard someone say, " I don't know how many are killed." I ran to the road to see if it was my bunky, and there stood his and Foley's horses with empty saddles. Hoffmeier and Corporal Wise came in mounted and Thatcher dismounted. They said Dick Baird, my bunky, fell from his horse while trying to jump the fence, but they did not know whether he was shot or not. Corporal Wise, who was riding in advance by the sergeant, said when the volley was fired, which was a surprise to all, the horses jumped in all directions. Some attempted to go over the fence. He turned and fired one shot, as the most of them did, including Wil- kins, who then disappeared, and he ran for camp. Kelly and Platt kept the main road, and joined the detachment on picket at the junction of the National road, who aban- doned the post and came in by a circuitous route. Before morning all but four had re- ported. At daylight next morning Lieutenant New- ton took half of the company and went to investigate. About one and a half miles from camp, Lute's and Thatcher's horses were found dead, with equipments stripped off and carried away. Sergeant Wilkins's revolver Four Years with Five Armies lay in the road with one empty chamber. His horse stood in the brush, fifty yards beyond the place where the ambuscade was located. The saddle was covered with blood, which was evidence that he had been wounded, but search failed to show the direction he had gone. He was not in that vicinity. The party had captured Lute and crossed an open field, scattering the leaves of his diary as they went. After the situation had been thoroughly gone over, the lieutenant told me to take ten men, to patrol the National road, and to re- establish the post at the junction, while he would make further search. We moved out, and after traveling the Na- tional road some four or five miles, we returned, passing the junction, and went in the direction of White House Landing, until we were halted by the pickets in front of Fraser's division of the Ninth Corps. After explaining our mission to the officer of the guard, and asking him to keep a lookout for Sergeant Wilkins and to render him any as- sistance they could, we returned and dis- mounted at the junction. We were all feeling very blue after the cowardly assault that had deprived us of our most esteemed comrades, and were discussing the question of making a farther search in the thicket for Wilkins, when a courier ar- rived with orders to abandon the post and report to the regiment. 244 Service in Virginia 245 When we reported to the regiment it was late in the evening, and they were all ready and moved out, and Lieutenant Newton got leave to remain with a part of the company to make further search for Sergeant Wilkins, as he had detected no evidence that he had been taken with the others, who were without doubt prisoners. The regiment moved to Bowling Green, and lay in line until two o'clock the next morning. The next day Lieutenant Newton joined us near Hamilton's Station, but had gained no intelligence concerning the missing boys. The first news we received from them was that Wilkins was in the hospital at White House Landing, having been taken in at the picket post of the Ninth Corps about five hun- dred yards from where we had talked to them on the 23d. We had actually passed within fifty yards of where he lay in the woods, both going to and coming from the post. The next time I saw him he told me that he saw us but did not know whether we we're friends or foes, and was so faint he did not care, but revived afterward and crawled to the road and hailed the picket, who came for him after he had been lying there for three nights with- out food or water. During the first night he had gone so far from his horse that search failed to find him. He was wounded in the left shoulder. The ball lodged in his breast and made a wound from which he was al- 246 Four Years with Five Armies ways a sufferer, and which at last was the cause of his death. We learned afterward that the act was per- petrated by some of the enemy's dismounted cavalry, who had adopted that plan to re- mount themselves. CHAPTER XVIII ROUGH TIMES IN THE OLD DOMINION T HE brigade, now detached from the infantry, was on the march to re- port to General Wilson, command- ing the Third Division of the Cav- alry Corps. For the first time we were out of hearing of the roar of cannon and the rattle of musketry since crossing the Rappa- hannock, excepting at short intervals of four and five hours when the troops were chang- ing position. Camp was pitched in an orchard. The ad- joining plantation was well supplied with forage, which was a treat to the horses, as they had had no fodder since leaving Washing- ton. Smokehouses full of meat, and poultry yards with quantities of fowls were other rarities after marching through an army- ridden country. Of this branch the Second Ohio made a specialty, owing to former edu- cation, and the other troops having had but little experience, being under orders not to forage, we had a monopoly. On May 27 the brigade camped at Newton, leaving Company E to do picket duty on the north side of town. After the first relief re- ported to the reserve, 0. D. Bannon, who had 247 Four Years with Five Armies occupied the post on the main road, informed the lieutenant that he had, by questioning a young man, learned of the whereabouts of a supply train that had been cut off by our en- tering the town. The lieutenant reported the fact at headquarters and received orders to take his company and capture it. After traveling a short distance we turned in to a side road, and soon came onto the trail of the train and followed it to a farm gate, down behind a strip of woods, where we discovered the wagons, and charged them from the word go. It proved to be a bloodless charge, as there was not a living thing there but the mules, which were tied in their places, eating corn. The harness was thrown onto them, and the train of six wagons moved out to town. They were loaded with salt pork, hams, fish, sugar, and beans. On the morning of the 28th, being detailed to take charge of a squad to capture some horses that were being recruited on a farm near by for the use of the army, we moved out, and after traveling some miles arrived at the place to find them gone, those in charge of them having taken warning before our ar- rival. In the evening of the 29th Company E was on picket, with the exception of a small squad left to guard the captured train. We drove them to camp, and kept them until morning, when Lieutenant Newton received orders to let his company plunder and set fire to them. 248 Rough Times in the Old Dominion 249 Our company made a protest against the destruction of good provisions, when there were hundreds of men who did not get enough to eat from one week's end to the other. While it is to be admitted that plundering may be detrimental and cause demoralization when there are spoils of vast quantity and duty has to be abandoned to carry them away, yet to destroy provisions before the eyes of half-fed men is still worse. Especially so, when there is not enough to go around. For my individual use I was allowed to take a saddle horse that had been taken from a farm- yard near the train and was supposed to be- long to the trainmaster. Our mess took one mule and loaded it with hams, beans, fish, and sugar. There were many refugees, as usual, and we engaged a yellow boy about fourteen years old to take care of the pack and my extra horse. On the 29th the brigade camped on the Pamunkey River, and on the loth officially joined the division, although the two bodies of troops did not meet until the 2d of June. The Third Brigade of the Third Division of the cavalry corps of the Army of the Poto- mac moved out to make a feint on the forces at Hanover Court House. It was said that it was to attract the attention of the enemy until General Wilson would burn the bridge on the South Anna. We soon met the enemy in force. We dis- mounted, and advanced in line through the 250 Four Years with Five Armies woods, with thick underbrush to contend with. The artillery followed the road to the left of the line until, having arrived at a suitable po- sition in an open field, that chanced to be beyond the enemy's right flank far enough away to have room to load and fire, they opened the ball before we were able to pene- trate the brush. Being on the advance line I was one of the first to climb the fence that brought us within a few rods and in plain view of the enemy's advance line, who were changing their posi- tion rapidly as they squatted about in the long grass, taking deliberate aim at the gun- ners. They were unaware of our approach, and the Indian yell almost in their ears caused them to change their position in another di- rection, as we were advancing in double- quick time. The trumpet sounded halt, with orders to lie down and wait for the main line to get out of the brush and form on open ground. The grass was several inches high and, being on the ground that sloped toward them, we appeared to make a pretty good showing, judging from the shower of lead that was continually passing over us. Unfortu- nately I was wearing a straw hat at the time, and as it showed pretty plain it was es- sential that it be pressed very close to the ground, regardless of the disfigurement of the hat. A Johnnie dropped down just ahead of me, and calling to the lieutenant to know if I should go after him, and receiving no Rough Times in the Old Dominion 2S1 answer, I concluded to make an effort any- way. On rising to my knees I found it was too much like attacking a nest of hornets. With the shower of lead falling about, I experienced a sudden change of mind, and concluded that we did not want any Johnnies. It was not long until the Indian yell behind us told that the Second was in line and on the charge. We were soon on our feet, and se- cured the Johnnie in less time than it takes to tell it. We picked up several more before arriving at the woods, where a strong line was lying behind the fallen trees. They poured out a continual volley, and made it appear as if we would not be able to dislodge them. But they finally gave way before the galling fire from the Spencer carbines and the battery, which had a fine range on them. We crossed the road and were in the tim- ber before they were all out of it. On the opposite side of the strip of woods we could see them filing into the timber to the right and in the ravine to the left. In front there was a level field that broke into a ravine on the other side of which stands Hanover Sta- tion and Court House. There were a bat- tery and troops enough to support it near the station and in full view. Our appearance created a stir among them and they opened on us. We thought we would intercept some of them who were filing into the ravine to our left, and so we kept on, and I was so near those in the rear that the Four Years with Five Armies fire from both sides was directed at me. I stopped and waved my hat to some of our men, who ceased firing, and then I ran to the edge of the ravine and headed off two John- nies and made them throw down their guns. I then took refuge behind the bank, though it did not protect me, for the firing was di- rected by those that were also behind the bank, and as I did not want to be shot by my friends, I stood up behind the telegraph pole on the enemy's side. Presuming that I was one of their men, they ceased firing. The trumpets sounded assembly, and we returned to the strip of woods, reformed, and marched back near the battery, where we met our horses. Here our mess was inconven- ienced by finding that the pack mule had not come to the front. After making coffee, we mounted and moved forward to the road, then into the woods to the right, and dismounted. This move was supposed to be on the quiet under cover of the timber, but the enemy caught on and shelled the woods to a finish. The horses were sent back and the line moved forward through the open woods, until we came to a ravine, about one fourth of a mile wide, with a few small bunches of brush on the border of a ditch that ran through the center of it. It was about sundown, and the brigade had maintained a very good line. The Second Ohio was on the left with the extreme left opposite to the railroad depot, with our com- 252 Rough Times in the Old Dominion 253 pany on the right center of the regiment. When we came to the ravine, with the enemy in full view on the opposite side, they opened fire on us. The Second Ohio raised the yell, ran down the bank, and across the ravine, firing as they ran. The enemy gave way in front of us. I had already crossed the ditch when the trumpet sounded retreat. I turned back, and to my surprise saw the line in con- fusion, a confusion which had been caused by the misconstruction of the object of the General. He saw the mistake, and the trumpet sounded forward. We were now under fire from right to left. This confusion was all caused by the different methods of the dif- ferent troops. It was the custom of our regi- ment, being the only one in the brigade that had much experience, to dash forward as soon as we got under fire, and dislodge the enemy or retreat to a safe distance. When General McIntosh saw us strung out all over the valley he thought to rally us by sounding retreat. Many of the officers in the other regiments thought it applied to the whole line and ordered retreat, which left the line with gaps in it, some going back and some advancing. I had recrossed the ditch when the trumpet sounded forward, and waited a moment to see what was going to be done. All this would have given the enemy a big advantage had not the first line already given way except Four Years with Five Armies a few who were still lying in small pits with hand grenades. When I saw our line was coming on all right, and someone was getting close range on me, I crossed the ditch and ran for the opposite bank of the ravine, then an old stock-field. When going up the bank some fellow tossed a hand grenade up in front of me, and there were several more all along the bank; but they were ineffectual, as those who threw them did not have the strength to cast them far enough. When we came to the top of the bank, we were met with a fresh volley reserved for our reception, but fired too soon to do any dam- age. Only two of us were at the top of the bank, neither of whom was hit. The others were on low ground. The shower went over them like a swarm of bees, but it brought out the order to lie down. We dropped flat be- tween the rows of dead corn-stalks, and they had a woeful sound when struck by bullets. It was now dark, and Hays, who lay near me, said, "I am going to get back under the bank." " Lie still," I said, " we are safer here." But he went, and I was left, the only rep- resentative on the high ground, and the boys were now calling to me to come back. But I hugged the ground the tighter, and was covered with dirt kicked up by the spatter of bullets. It appeared to me as if every corn- stalk in that field was hit. The fight was now general from one end of the line to the other, 254 Rough Times in the Old Dominion 255 and to the left the roar and shouts and yells of every description filled the air and indi- cated that something decisive must soon take place. In a few moments the din of battle ceased, and everything was as quiet as a May morning for a moment, then a cheer arose from the left of the line and passed to the right, telling us that the victory was ours. The enemy had abandoned the field, leav- ing dead and wounded behind them. A des- perate hand-to-hand conflict took place be- tween the enemy's right, in possession of the railroad depot, and one battalion of the Sec- ond Ohio, who had closed in so close that shooting was abandoned, and guns were used as clubs on both sides. Our men gained a position that compelled their whole line to retire. We moved on to the ground they abandoned. Many dead and wounded were lying about, uncared for. About eleven o'clock our horses came up. Our mess had to borrow some rations to get a little supper. A detail was sent to the pack- train, and brought some rations, which were issued about two o'clock with orders to get breakfast. I did not have much rest that night. A wounded Johnnie lay in front of us who kept calling for water, and I made three different trips to supply him. "Where did you Yanks come from" he said. "We never heard anybody yell like that, and thought it was an infantry charge." Four Years with Five Armies "We learned it from the Indians," I said. The first charge we made in the morning deceived our own brigade, who could not see us, and the yell caused them to think they were flanked by the rebel infantry. It was said that some of them broke and ran. We moved out a few minutes after two o'clock in the direction of the enemy. Our mess ate hard tack and bacon without coffee. The column moved very slowly, and the ad- vance had to feel their way through the pine woods. The Second occupied the position of left center, and were followed by one regi- ment and the pack-train. When the advance arrived at Ashland Sta- tion an order was sent back to patrol the by- road that led out into the timber on either side of the main road, and I was sent out on one of those roads with three men. We had traveled but a few hundred yards when two men stepped from behind trees and fired at us. They were some distance away, and we ran toward them; but the forest was heavy and swampy, and it was our duty to return and report as soon as possible. I told the lieutenant we had run against two bushwhackers, who were in reality the videttes of a heavy force that had withdrawn from the road in order to let the column pass into their lines. Another party had been sent out on the other side on a similar road, and Ed. Kelley, one of the party, had captured one of the videttes, and brought him in. 256 Rough Times in the Old Dominion 257 When Kelley found himself encumbered with a prisoner he asked the lieutenant what to do with the man. The answer was: " Keep watch over him, or take him to the rear- guard." Kelley did not want to watch him, and started back to the rear. The boys who were taken prisoners that day tell a good joke about him, but he denies it in part. As they started, Kelley said, " Now, Johnnie, I see you have a watch there. The other fellows will take it, so you might as well give it to me." When he had the watch, he said, " Now, Johnnie, I don't want to impose on you, just because you are a pris- oner; but necessity requires that we make pretty good time." The prisoner double- quicked along by the First Connecticut for a short distance, then took a by-road, and met the head of the enemy's column as they closed in on our column. There was a platoon of twenty with drawn revolvers and they de- manded the surrender of Kelley. The guard became the prisoner, and the Johnnie then said, "Yank, I see you have some valuables there. These other fellows will take them from you, so you might as well give them to me." He relieved Kelley of two watches, revolver, carbine, money, horse and equip- ments, with blankets and clothing, and was better fitted out than he had ever been be- fore. The First Connecticut rushed past us on both sides, carrying everything that came in 258 Four Years with Five Armies their way, until they landed in town. This was the proper thing to do, for they could do nothing, attacked on both flanks. They could not protect themselves, and to ride slowly would have blocked the way so that the Second could do nothing. As soon as the First was out of our way, the Second turned into the woods on the left of the road, and wheeled about into line. The Third New Jersey and the Fifth New York did the same on the right of the road, and the battle began in earnest. Our com- pany was deployed as advance line in front of our battalion and D company to our left in front of their battalion. The artillery had faced about in town to command the road. The enemy was now coming down on us in solid column of platoons that filled the road from one side to the other. The battery was pouring shell into them at a rapid rate, but it did not check them. We were confronted by dismounted cavalry, while a heavy line of infantry fell against the Third New Jersey and Fifth New York, and they were com- pelled to break. Things looked bad for us, and the trumpet sounded the charge. Great gaps were torn through the enemy. The battery was now throwing grape into the solid column and it was almost annihilated. The air was now thick with smoke, flying leaves, limbs, bark, and other missiles. By the time I had passed the enemy's advance line the trumpet sounded Rough Times in the Old Dominion 259 retreat, and I said to a foe in front of me, " If I get out of this mess I will want some- thing to show that I have been here." Then I turned my horse around him, making a com- plete about face, placed the muzzle of the gun at his right shoulder and demanded his revolver; but I was compelled to repeat the demand the third time, when he drew it from the scabbard and handed it to me, hilt first. As he handed it up I noticed that it was of a different pattern from any I had ever seen, and shoving it under my belt I gave the order forward. As we passed through his line, two of his men rose up from behind the bush and fired, leaving powder buried in my face. When we had advanced a little farther, Dixie met us, and called out, " You got one, did you, Gause " " Yes, take him to the rear, will you" "All right," he replied; "but the Fifth New York has gone to h l" On turning I noticed Company D go en masse up the road toward the front, which proved there was a desperate struggle on. When Dixie left me, thinking I would give the enemy another shot, I rode behind a large pine tree for protection and to rest the gun, and when about to pull the trigger, down went my horse. The collapse was so sudden that there was not time to get my balance, and he rolled over on my leg. With a desperate effort, I was able to get out by leaving my 260 Four Years with Five Armies boot. My only thought when we went down was to save the gun and ammunition, and without changing my mind I went ske- daddling on all fours. After putting a little brush between the enemy and me, I rose up, and with a few bounds I was with the company. They were startled to see me, for when I went down, Keiper, who had been looking through an open place, supposed I was killed, and had made the remark, "Gause is gone." The word had been repeated and they took it for granted. They said some of the boys had been wounded and I could go and get one of their horses. There was no time to be lost, and I was off with a bound, and as I arrived on the open ground an officer with drawn saber shouted, " Go back into the brush! " " I am going for a horse," I replied, and paid no more attention to him. At the same time I noticed they were sending the men from the broken ranks to the thicket I had just emerged from. The staff officers were riding about shouting, " Colonel Purrington is in com- mand, and you are ordered to rally on the Second Ohio." On reaching the hospital where they were carrying the wounded, the first man I met was Tommy Rees. His clothes were all stripped off except the shirt, and he was hold- ing that up to keep it from rubbing a wound on his left hip. When he saw me coming the tears came to his eyes, and he said, " Give Rough Times in the Old Dominion 26i me a chew of tobacco and I can live as long as anybody." I divided my tobacco with him, and left him, and went on with my search for a horse. Poor Tommie was left, and remained a pris- oner, but after many months he escaped and succeeded in reaching some of our vessels on the North Carolina coast. While searching for a horse I came to a group of prisoners, and among them I found the man that surrendered to me. He said he was Lieutenant William McGalley of the Ninth Virginia Cavalry, and had command of a battalion that was engaged from where he surrendered to the road. Dixie was one of the guards. The firing had now ceased, so I perched myself on the fence and entered into conversa- tion with Lieutenant McGalley. He said that he did not intend to surrender at first, but he noticed the third time I challenged I brought the gun a little closer to my face, and he thought it time to act. It was not long until the brush began to snap behind us in the dense thicket, and the prisoners' looks indicated that they knew what it meant, for they appeared very much pleased, and evidently thought we would all have to surrender in a short time. But they had yet to learn the ways of the wily Western cavalry. I was either too much engaged, or too stupid to take the hint, although I looked over my shoulder two or three times. It was 262 Four Years with Five Armies not long until a musket exploded behind me, and something that sounded like a yellow jacket on the wing went by my ear. It was followed by several more, but we had taken the hint and were on the run. Dozens of wounded horses were near bv with saddles lying about. I threw a saddle on the best-looking one and mounted, but he could not go. The missiles were flying pretty thick. The prisoners had disappeared from sight, and alone, in my shirt sleeves, with no hat and only one boot, I struck out in the same direction they had gone. I passed by the village and up the railroad track, when a man came dashing by with a led-horse. I reached out and caught the halter and said, " You have too many horses for one man when others are walking." He let go with- out a word, and by the time I was mounted he was out of sight. The ambulance and the caissons had al- ready begun to move down the railroad track, and it was evident that someone had been doing something while the Johnnies were clos- ing in on us from all sides. The time had been improved by Colonel Purrington in making preparations for a lively retreat, and leaving the Johnnies to hold the bag with a few wounded in it. The story goes in this way: When General McIntosh ordered D company to charge, it was a last ditch move, as it had to charge against a solid column of infantry un- Rough Times in the Old Dominion 263 der the fire of our own grape and canister. It nearly annihilated the company, but hoping to check their advance in this way, he called a council with the field officers, and Colonel Purrington was the last to respond. As he approached the assembled officers, some staff officer said, " General, hadn't we better make some terms " " You need make no terms for me. I be- long to the cavalry," replied Colonel Pur- rington. On hearing this remark, General McIntosh said: " Colonel Purrington, take command of the brigade. Here is my staff. The ad- jutant-general will see that your orders are carried into effect." The staff officers assembled about Colonel Purrington, and he told them to send all the disorganized men into that thicket. They asked what they would do there. " There are plenty of generals there to tell you what to do," was the reply. They rushed about frantically to carry the order into effect. The Colonel then sent word to the officers of the Second Ohio to put in line all the men that came into the brush, and to dismount and send the horses to the rear. The most of the Fifth New York had returned and reformed their line as soon as they saw that the Second Ohio had not broken. The horses were moved back by the rail- road, and formed in an open field. It was 264 Four Years with Five Armies there the man was going from whom I got the horse. I was quietly riding along, hop- ing not to meet the man again, and I came to the led-horses, and a sergeant from the Fifth New York rode out and inquired where I had gotten the horse. I related the facts to him, and he replied that it belonged to his brother who was missing; for all he knew, killed. He said if I would wait there until the regiment came, and his brother did not ap- pear with them, I might keep the horse. The offer was a generous one, but after con- sidering my position, we thought it better to be advance-guard than rear in case we should be deprived of the horse. I slipped down and gave him the halter and hobbled away by the side of the railroad track. The ambulances were bouncing along on the ties, tossing the wounded men, who screamed and called for mercy. There was no ballast between the ties, and it was a won- der the ambulances did not all turn over. We finally came to a road that crossed the track, and turned on to it. The column had mounted, and were now passing those on foot, but the ambulance corps kept out of their way. Our regiment came last. When our company passed me they said they had ad- vanced, dismounted, to where my horse lay, and had gotten my coat and blankets, but did not get the boot, hat, and rations that were under the horse. When Captain Nettleton's company was Rough Times in the Old Dominion 265 passing there was one pack-horse, and I said to the boy, "You have too many horses for one, when there are some that have none." " How am I to lead the horse, and you rid- ing it " he whined. " I am a pretty good rider," I said, "and can get along without a leader." I mounted without taking the halter from him and without halting the horse, and I sat upon the pack like a toad on a harrow all night, and took a doze now and then. When we arrived at the railroad bridge, the one it was said General Wilson should have burned, it served us a good purpose. There was some lumber near by, and the men set to work and laid a floor as far as the lum- ber would reach, and then built fires all the way across on each side to make it light, and led the horses across, and they stepped from tie to tie with nearly as much precision as the men. Only one now and then missed his footing and plunged about for a moment. As soon as we were all across, the loose lumber was piled on the fires and the bridge was soon in flames. Every time a trooper of the Fifth New York passed us, he would apologize by say- ing, " We ran and left you once, but we will never do it again as long as there is a man of us left to represent the Fifth." We wound our way through a hot-bed that night. We were in the rear of the right wing of General Lee's army, and scouting parties 266 Four Years with Five Armies rode into our column at different times, and, when they found out who we were they would run away. This could easily be done from the fact that they would inquire what regi- ment, which was a common question in the dark, and the reply would set them right at once, and they would turn and disappear in the darkness. CHAPTER XIX THE FORTUNES AND MISFORTUNES OF WAR A S we moved along I soliloquized on the ,A fortunes and misfortunes of war. Twenty-four hours before I had been pretty well fixed, with almost new high top-boots, two horses and saddles, a pack- mule, rations enough for four men and a cook for fifteen days, and now I was not only a de- pendent, but a usurper, sitting on top of a pack that was so high that my feet could not reach the stirrups. At daybreak we halted until we could investigate our position. Our mess was invited out to breakfast, which we accepted graciously under the cir- cumstances. We had had no coffee since the night of the 3ist at Hanover Court House, and but little hard tack and bacon. Early in the morning patrols were dis- patched to scour the country, and they re- turned with the information that Wilson had not passed that way. With the Second Ohio in advance, we marched to the wagon-train near Hanover Court House, where we ar- rived about II A. M. I was soon fitted out as good as new. One had an extra hat, another a pair of boots, and 267 268 Four Years with Five Armies Billy Pigeon was sick and had to go to the hospital. That left a horse for me; and as for rations, we always got something when the others cooked, until regular ration day arrived. A very significant question was asked all over the camp. They wanted to know the whereabouts of General Wilson, a man whom we had never heard of until the 3oth of May, and whom we had not yet seen. It was the all-absorbing question with the Second Ohio, for he was now our commander. Scouting parties were sent out, and on their return reported one brigade camped about five miles from us. At four o'clock there were orders to be ready to march at five o'clock, and at the appointed hour the two brigades with General Wilson made their ap- pearance, and we moved out. By inquiring we learned that they had been camped not far apart, and about five miles from the wagon-train, doing nothing but patrolling the roads for their own security, and had sent out the new or Third Brigade to do what the whole division should have done, to drive in General Lee's right. They did not expect us to do any more than fire a volley and run like Turks, and General Wil- son would then have two brigades to cover him when he skedaddled. General Sheridan says in his " Memoirs," in relating the account of the distribution of the cavalry corps after his first raid: Fortunes and Misfortunes of War 269 After the 26th to the 3oth, these duties kept Wilson constantly occupied, and also necessitated a considerable disposition of his force; but by the 3ist he was enabled to get all his division together, and crossing to the south side of the Pamunkey, at Newcastle Ferry, he advanced toward Hanover Court House, near Dr. Price's house. He encountered a division of the enemy's cavalry under W. H. F. Lee, and drove it back across Mechanics Creek, there opening communication with the right of our infantry resting at Phillip's Mills. Just as this had been done, a little before dark, Wilson received an order from Gen- eral Meade, directing him to push on toward Richmond, until he encountered the Confederates in such strength that he could no longer successfully contend against them. In compliance with this order he occupied Hanover Court House that same day, resuming his march at daylight. On June I he went ahead on the Ashland road, while sending Chapman's brigade up the South Anna to destroy the bridge on that stream. Chapman suc- ceeded in this work. Wilson reunited his whole force, and en- deavored to hold Ashland, but finding the Confederate cavalry and infantry here in strong force, he was obliged to withdraw to Dr. Pierce's house. W hile there can be no misrepresentation on the part of General Sheridan, for his mem- ory serves him from the report he received from the Third Division (he not being pres- ent), yet the only conclusion an eyewitness can come to is that General Wilson attempted to hold Ashland at long range, say twelve or fourteen miles; but this usually fails where there is an active and determined enemy oc- cupying the place. If any troops of the Third Division of cav- alry except the Third Brigade fired a shot or did any marching on the 3ist of May or the Ist of June, the most diligent inquiry failed to bring out the facts. Had it not been for the timely arrival of Colonel Purrington, the Third Brigade would have been a total loss to the Union Army, and would not have 270 Four Years with Five Armies had much to do with the future operations of the cavalry in the Army of the Potomac. We were not even allowed one night's rest after the desperate struggle at Ashland. By marching with the knowledge already gained, and reinforced by two brigades, Colonel Pur- rington, had he been in command, could have taken Ashland and completely cut off General Lee's railroad communication from Rich- mond. As it was, the Second was proud of the record it had made; and although it cost us dearly, nothing less would have illustrated the difference between the methods of the Eastern and Western cavalry. It proved to them that they did not have to withdraw or surrender when they confronted the enemy. We moved out to Howe's shop on the morn- ing of the 3d of June. The Second Brigade confronted the enemy, and the Second Ohio was detached to support them. It was claimed that this was done to give us sufficient recognition for gallantry. This was accepted as a jest with the Second, for the boys said they did not see any honor in being recog- nized by a man who was willing to sacrifice them to save his own scalp. The fact is, however, there was a new order of things in the Army of the Potomac, and all their efforts to sacrifice the Western men had failed. Grant had not proved his wonderful tactics in conducting glorious retreat. Sheridan had proved himself a cavalry officer of no mean Fortunes and Misfortunes of War 27r ability, and the Second Ohio, the only repre- sentative of that branch of the service from the West, had introduced new methods, and the Eastern officers saw that they must take advantage of the new order of things or be lost in the shuffle. In the Army of the Potomac the men that had been spoken of with contempt were now emerging from their lurking obscurity to be the heroes of victory, and were now striking terror to the hearts of their foes. Our reward for gallantry was lying in line all day and night with Company A deployed as videttes. The enemy advanced, and Com- pany E was ordered out to support the videttes, and gave Wilson and his troops a fine exhibi- tion, with genuine skirmish firing and falling back in front of superior numbers. The enemy soon withdrew, however, there being only a small brigade that had followed Wilson from Dr. Price's house. On the 2d the First Division of the cavalry corps relieved the Third, and with all the troops under his command General Wilson did not relieve the Second Ohio from duty to get even twelve hours' rest. On June 6 the division moved behind the main line to take a few days' rest preparatory to going on a raid into southern Virginia. We had staked the horses out to graze, and were getting nicely fixed to rest, when the pickets were fired on and the trumpet sounded. After saddling we moved out, 272 Four Years cilhl Five Armies apparently going to some other locality; but after traveling a few miles, we turned back, and at 9 P. M. camped at the same place. The next day Company E went on picket, and on June 8 went to Darrow Creek to do picket duty with the Third New Jersey, where we remained until the ioth. At dark the picket was fired on. We turned out and lay in line all night, and on the iith the Sec- ond Ohio made a reconnaissance, assaulting a heavy force, apparently General Lee's right wing, then confronting General Grant's left. After returning to camp we rested until 9 P. M. on the 12th, and then moved to- ward Harrison's Landing. It was a dark night, and it was not long until the experi- enced soldier pronounced the commander in- capable of moving a division. There were strict orders that no one should fall out of the ranks, not even to swing to one side to tighten up the girth. When the column was standing still the Second Ohio boys said they did not wonder the cavalry in that army was no good. " We will soon be no good, either, if we are to be domineered over in this way," they said. Staff officers were riding back and forth, busying themselves with small details, pre- venting the very things that must be done to make the trooper efficient and ready for any emergency. On the i3th the division crossed the Chick- ahominy, lay in line all night, then marched I.V RtikixoRT F4:0" Ow This page in the original text is blank. Fortunes and Misfortunes of War 273 until 2 P. M., and went into camp. On the i14th we marched at 6 A. M. to Charles City Court House, and camped for dinner, after which we took the back track, met a scouting party, and a short skirmish ensued at St. Mary's Church. On the next morning the division marched at seven o'clock, traveled a short distance, when the advance met the enemy, the Second Ohio being ordered to the front, and by orders from headquarters held at long range and in the woods and brush, with the exception of our battalion, which chanced to form in an open field. The enemy, being behind a row of fallen timber, had a superior advantage, and had we not kept up a continual firing that kept them down and obscured us in a cloud of smoke we would have been a splendid tar- get for them. Our loss was comparatively few. Company E lost one man and three or four horses. We finally withdrew, and built a temporary works, and named it for the officer in charge of construction, Captain Pike. It was com- pleted on the i6th, and as soon as it was dark in the evening we moved out, and at two o'clock on the morning of the 17th struck camp for a short rest, then resumed the march later in the day and camped four miles from Petersburg. We resumed the march in the morning and camped at Prince George Court House, where we remained for a short rest preparatory to the raid into southern Virginia. 274 Four Years with Five Armies The division moved behind General Grant's line on June 6 for a rest in order to be in good condition for the raid, but the want of a little experience and courage at head- quarters, and the firing on the pickets by a few irregulars that were attempting to get sup- plies and mount themselves, kept us in the saddle or on the aimless march until the i6th. CHAPTER XX THE WILSON RAID B EFORE daylight on the morning of June 22d, the command, under Major- General J. H. Wilson, moved out on the memorable raid that proved so dis- astrous to friend and foe, and no conclusion has yet been reached as to who suffered the greater loss. The troops consisted of three brigades with four regiments and one battery of artillery each, comprising the Third Division and one brigade of the Second Division of four regi- ments, and one battery under the command of General A. V. Kautz. Kautz's brigade moved out in advance, struck the left flank of Lee's army at Ream's Station, and went through in column. There was more or less firing that appeared to cause consternation at division headquarters. The staff, of which there appeared to be a super- abundance, were charging back and forth shouting unessential orders, with raving enough to create a panic in the coolest and bravest ranks. When the column moved they would shout, "Close up, close up!" thus keeping the column in a cramped position until General Kautz was several miles beyond 275 Four Years with Five Armies the enemy's line. The want of experience amongst the staff also caused a breach of dis- cipline. The Second did not care to be sub- jected to foolish orders from officers who did not know their business, and began hooting at them as they rode back and forth. The commissary stores at Ream's Station were set on fire, and some of the men under- took to carry a ham with them, but they were ordered to leave it, and the adjutant-general, a near-sighted man who wore glasses, took a position by a gate-post to detect those who at- tempted to carry anything with them. When the Second was passing, someone who saw him make a soldier throw down a ham called out, " Here's the man that's got the ham; it is on the other side of the saddle." This cry was kept up until he rode away, and complaint was made to the officers of the Second about the want of respect to superiors; but they were given to understand that they were not even equals, and if the officers would mind their own business and not interfere with the Second they need have no trouble with them. By the time these officers learned that Kautz was out of sight they were frightened, and rush orders were flying, and they would gallop up with a jam that would necessarily cripple man and horse, and it was evident that incompetency would necessarily defeat the command even if it had no greater enemy to confront. Little of this work was done by us, and we 276 The Wilson Raid paid no more attention to the orders. We took a steady gait, and the men would shout to the staff as they galloped by, "You had better save your horse; you will need him before you get back." Before June 30 they realized the truth of this advice. When we reached Lynchburg railroad, the Third Brigade was assigned to the duty of protecting the rear, and the de- struction of the road was assigned to other troops, but their progress was slow. As no enemy had appeared, we were brought up to assist. We received positive orders from the staff as to how the work should be done, but it was evident that they had no experience in that line. They had adopted the same way that all new beginners do, and in which we had taken our first lessons in Kentucky and Tennessee. We carried out orders for a short time, but it was too tedious, and was soon abandoned for a more expeditious method. We made such fine headway that our method was adopted by the other troops, and the work of destruction was soon completed. While the work was going on a few shots were fired between the pickets and the enemy, which caused some commotion. I was or- dered to go to the horses and have them moved near the regiment at work. After delivering the order, on my return, as I was passing the horses of another brigade, an officer who charged up also for the purpose of having 277 Four Years with Five Armies them moved near the men, gave the order, "Fours rightl " The first set of fours was being held by a boy, and the led-horses swung around in front of him, and the officer drew a saber and began striking the boy. It was nothing more than might have happened to anyone, but, more than likely, if the officer had given the order in a cool manner, it would not have occurred in that particular case. When he was raising his saber to strike the third time, I called, " Halt! " and put my gun in a threatening position. " Who are you " he said. " If you strike that boy again, you will find out," was the reply. He galloped toward headquarters, mutter- ing something about finding out who I was. After helping the boy to get started I went back to work. On the 24th our company received orders to report to General Kautz. He told Lieu- tenant Newton that he had sent one regiment on a mission, and they were to meet the col- umn at a specified place, but, owing to the change of General Wilson's plan, the column would not go to that place, and the regiment must be notified of the change. General Kautz had selected Lieutenant Newton to carry out the plan, and had borrowed us from General Wilson. After giving the Lieutenant the orders and directions, we moved out to put them in oper- ation. We saw a few home guards and a small 278 The Wilson Raid squad of Confederate cavalry, but they gave us the road and no trouble. Without accident we reached the desig- nated point, but the regiment had not arrived. By inquiry we learned that they were within a mile of us, and we soon found them. Our mission performed, we went into camp, fed, and cooked coffee, fell in column with the regiment, and joined the command. We marched, or at least were on the road in column, all night of the 24th, and at daylight we saw a country store-keeper, with the assistance of some blacks, moving his goods into the woods to hide them. Some of the boys relieved them of what firearms they possessed. We camped about 7 A. M. to get rest and breakfast. After breakfast I was ordered to take two men, leave the main road, take all the horses we could find to replace the artillery horses that had given out, and join the column at Clover, about twenty-five miles in advance. Math Park and John Will Reed volun- teered to go with me. We left the main road at once, and were soon in close proximity to the advance of the enemy's cavalry. We passed ourselves for W. H. F. Lee's scouts, and by that means were enabled to get information freely. The people had hidden their valuables, and run their stock several miles from the main road, as they were all advised of the approach of the Yanks. It is useless to say we got the best there was to eat 279 280 Four Years with Five Armies and drink. We learned where the stock was and it was freely offered, but as we were sail- ing under a false flag we knew we would be detected before we could get them, as the home guards were near by. We concluded to go to another place about ten miles away, where our chance would be better. After traveling five or six miles we met a man from Roanoke, and we inquired if there had been any Yanks there. He said no, but he had heard that there had been some near. It was apparent that there was something wrong, for the original plan was not being carried out. We had left the column only six miles from Roanoke, on the direct road to Clover. After making inquiry we learned that we were now only two miles from Roanoke and five miles off the main road. By the route we would have to travel it was evident that we must either go to Clover or return to the Roanoke road. We kept on asking questions, and learned that there were many home guards and a regiment of regular troops at Clover, and some at Roanoke, and several horses hid out near the village of Bonsacks. After getting the news, we rode away, tak- ing the Bonsacks road. We decided to aban- don the horse hunt, and when within a mile of the village of Giffraff we saw a schoolhouse or country church with an open yard full of tents, and we could not tell whether there were any troops there or not. We de- The Wilson Raid 281 cided to put our horses at full speed and dash by, but before we had checked their speed a guard posted over a low hill in front of us fired and fled toward the village, and we after him. He had a start of us and he kept it. He was leaving town when we entered it, and the rest of his companions were following his ex- ample. Some went across fields and orchards, and some horses broke loose and ran away riderless. Once in full possession of the town, we began to inquire about the Yankees, but no one knew anything- except that they had been expecting them all day, and that the home guards had been there, but had just left a few moments before we arrived. We did not con- sider it worth while to dismount, for the home guards might come back for their hats, and there would be an unpleasant meeting. We started out to hunt the command, and at the edge of the village one of the boys said, " This is the place where the horses are." We turned in, and found a servant, but he could not show us the horses. One of the boys produced the customary argument used on such occasions, and he went into the stables for the halters. The horses were a mile or more back in the woods, and, as it was now late in the afternoon, it was time to be look- ing for the command. We left at once, aban- doning the horse hunt, and traveled about a mile, and met the advance-guard of the Fifth New York. We turned back with them. 282 Four Years with Five Armies After reporting, we received no more orders. We went to a house and got our sup- pers. By the time we returned to the street the command was looting the storehouses of the Confederacy. A part of the column was on the move down the river. We took the same road with the column. We discussed the dilemma we would have been in if we had followed our instructions. We soon came to the railroad crossing at the end of the Roanoke bridge. Kautz's bri- gade had formed in line, and the battery was throwing shells into the village across the river. The artillerymen wondered why they did not turn the force loose to destroy the bridge. We turned off from the main road, and just at sundown stopped at a house and inquired for horses. They told us the horses had been driven away, but there was a mule at the barn, a half mile below. The boys did not think it worth while to bother with a mule, and I told them I would go down and see if it was any good. As I had no revolver then, I borrowed Park's. I went to the barn and found nothing there. I returned to the house to find my com- panion gone. It was getting dark, and I took the back track to the main road, and was now in the rear of the column. I did not catch up until late in the night. We went into camp about The Wilson Raid 283 three o'clock in the morning and remained until eight. Park and Reed did not report, and I was not well satisfied with the previous day's work. The Lieutenant was in the same f rame of mind, for he said, " Gause, you will remain with the company to-day." At the same time he called for volunteers to go in search of a vehicle to haul Sergeant Weeks, who was not able to ride. The column moved out, and the party that went to find a vehicle were soon driven in by the enemy, and the project was abandoned. About i i A. M. I took some canteens to fill with water at a spring about three hun- dred yards from the road, a common custom, and met Ralph Miller of our company. We rode away together, and before we arrived at the road we came up with Corporal Sherman, who was taking care of Sergeant Weeks. We told them of the failure to get a vehicle, and Weeks thought he could not ride another day. We rode on, and talked the situation over. Miller said he did not want to see Weeks left in the enemy's country. I told him I had been ordered to stay with the company, but we could remain behind, and if we got a vehicle they would overlook everything, and if we failed they would know nothing about it. The first by-road we came to we turned out, and learned that there were two carriages standing in the woods about a mile from there. We soon found what we were in search of, Four Years with Five Armies with harness all in good order. We stripped off the saddles, threw them in the box, re- placed the saddles with silver-mounted har- ness, mounted the box, and drove out in fine style. When we drove into the main road, the rear-guard had passed and were out of sight, and the enemy's advance was in sight behind us. We drove at full speed, and were soon in- side our lines. We were halted by the provost guard. They wanted us to haul a sick soldier and a refugee. We insisted that we had the carriage for a special purpose, and attempted to drive on; but a guard was placed in front of the team, and we were obliged to wait. They brought the refugee and said the soldier was dead. We drove rapidly with a guard over us, and turned out to pass the train and artillery that occupied the road. Driving through the woods the hub struck the trees, and limbs pulled the lamps off and tore the top; but we kept on over rail fences that had been partly thrown down by the cavalry, not checking until we were in the road in front of the trains. A large number of sick men appeared all at once. The train was full, and the wagons were pressed wherever they could be found. The first one we picked up was Noble Thorn of our company, who was sitting by the roadside. We had not driven far un- til we found Lanterman, also of our company. Miller took his horse, and left us to join the company. 284 The Wilson Raid We had many applicants for the remaining vacant seats. Some of the applicants were of- ficers, but we had procured the carriage at our own risk for the express purpose of conveying Weeks to a safe place in our lines, and we were determined to reserve room for him if possible. It was dark when the command went into camp. Miller had reported to the company, and notified them that I was in the train with a carriage. A search was instigated for Weeks, whom they found and brought along with another sick man to be cared for and hauled. The seats were now all occupied by sick from our company, and I told the refugees to find another place to ride. In the morning Lieutenant Newton came to see us, and brought a man to get supplies for the men and horses. With a pretty good breakfast, and feed for the horses, we were in good shape, with the exception of the lack of confidence that prevailed throughout the whole command. We moved along until noon, and our attend- ant had failed to get anything but water for us. We were now in a locality where there was nothing to get in the way of supplies, the country having been stripped by Lee's army. The column came to a halt. The advance had confronted the enemy in force at Stony Creek, and at three o'clock the sound of battle indi- cated that the contest was no ordinary skir- mish, but a battle in which victory or defeat must be the verdict, with odds against us. 285 CHAPTER XXI GENERAL KAUTZ IN HIS ELEMENT W ITH the enemy in front and rear, a challenge of this character could scarcely result otherwise. We, as intruders, and already encumbered with such disabilities as sick, wounded, and spoils, with three thousand black refugees, en- cumbered with their baggage, could now only hope to protect ourselves and make our escape. The challenge was accepted after due delib- eration. The commander had held a council with the field officers, and it was said that General Kautz advised that the enemy's line could be successfully severed there by form- ing one regiment of light cavalry in front to charge in column to open a gap, and followed by those armed with magazine guns to widen it, and thus make room for the trains. But the commander chose open battle, and arrayed his force in line, leaving the non-combatants to take care of themselves. The train was to move in the rear of the line of battle in the woods, exposed to the enemy's artillery, which kept up a constant fire. It was dark by the time we entered the woods, and the progress was very slow, owing to the jam from thousands of men and animals 286 General Kautz in His Element 287 rushing to a safe retreat. The roadside was lined with wounded men and officers, pleading for a place to ride. Among them we heard a familiar voice, and I inquired, " Is that you, Captain Pike" "Yes, I am wounded," he said. We stopped and took him on the box by me. This stopped the train behind us, for the road was so narrow that teams could not pass. Everyone in reach was furious at the delay. The crash of timber, as the shells ex- ploded, and the yells of distress were deafen- ing. As soon as he was seated we hastened to close up the gap caused by our halt, and just as the horses were checking their speed the pack-animals crowded them from the road. One wheel struck a stump and broke a hame and one horse went out of the harness. I jumped down, and by guiding the pole, was able to pull the carriage from the road with one horse. I told some of them to bring my belt that lay in the bottom of the carriage, to fix the harness with, but Weeks said no one was there but him and that Lanterman had taken the belt and revolver that lay in the cab. He also said he thought he could ride a horse now, as he felt a little better. Taking all things into consideration, we concluded to abandon the vehicle, and I sad- dled the horses. Weeks mounted Miller's horse, and we set out to follow the crowd that was still rushing frantically by, but we soon pulled to one side, and Weeks lay down until they passed. We then fell in the rear of them. 288 Four Years with Five Armies General Kautz, in the meantime, had been detached, and by a flank movement had en- countered the enemy at Ream's Station. It was in the rear of this small force that the fleeing non-combatants were rendezvous- ing. We went into a strip of open woods where General Kautz had established the hos- pital and they were already carrying the wounded. It was perhaps io o'clock A. M. when we dismounted. We had not tasted a drop of coffee or eaten a mouthful since break- fast the day before. Weeks being sick did not, perhaps, feel the need of it as much as I, for he said he could not eat if we had anything. I began to cast about, and the first men I approached upon the subject told me they were all out of supplies long ago, and were almost famished, from the fact that their of- ficers did not allow them to forage. General Kautz had his headquarters in open ground with the artillery in position near by. The battle line was in front of it, perhaps a mile, and parallel with the railroad, in front of Ream's Station. The enemy's line was also visible, and there was a constant firing from end to end of the line. The number of wounded that were brought back told of its effective work. We knew there were plenty of provisions with the Second Ohio, but we did not know where they were, and we felt homesick, and vowed we would never leave Company E again as long as we were able to stick to a General Kautz in His Element 289 horse. Time dragged slowly, but at length the train appeared in sight and filed into the woods, and began to unload the sick and wounded, a half mile in rear of Kautz's hos- pital. Weeks said they were preparing to abandon them. My reply was that it looked like offer- ing our brothers for sacrifice on the altar of incompetency. The refugees also poured in, and occupied the swampy ground opposite the hospital, but no cavalry made their appear- ance for some time. General Kautz frequently rode into the woods to look at the wounded. It was easy to see how delay preyed on his mind, as it was slowly but surely thinning his faithful ranks, but he made no demonstration and spoke not a word. The constant pacing back and forth, the pallor that overspread his countenance, told the experienced soldier of the pent-up feeling that was imprisoned there. He knew that ev- ery life laid down, every wound inflicted must be placed at the door of incompetence, and there was none to appreciate it more fully than he. He kept close watch of the road where the head of Wilson's column must appear. At last they emerged and turned to the left, and to our great joy it was the Second Ohio and Fifth New York, and the direction they went caused us to think they were going to strike the enemy at Kautz's left and open up the gap and go through. They formed in line on a low ridge between the two strips of wood. 290 Four Years with Five Armies Weeks was very weak, and I had to wait for him, but we joined the company as soon as possible, and learned that they were tied down by a tyrannical order to remain there mounted, until further orders from Wilson. General Kautz communicated with Colonel Purrington. There was but one conclusion to be drawn from the surroundings, and the only consolation was that those who were able to run the gauntlet would escape capture. I went to my bunky for something to eat. He gave me some hard tack and a small piece of raw ham. The wagons were set on fire by order of General Wilson, and the explosion of ammu- nition, the smoke and fire caused a panic among the non-combatants, and principally the refugees. Our anxiety began to increase, and every eye was turned to the road where Wilson should appear at any moment. Time passed as slowly as if Joshua was on the field of battle and had commanded the sun to stand still, and his command had been obeyed. It was late in the afternoon when the enemy had completed their plans, and were rapidly closing in on us from three different directions. A line of infantry was advancing on our right and one in the rear, and the cav- alry that had followed us from Stony Creek were charging in on the road where Wilson should have come. They used their revolvers freely on the refugees, and the infantry made General Kautz in His Element 291 short work of the hospital, completely an- nihilating it. The fire was then all directed on us, the leaden hail coming from three di- rections. Kautz turned his battery on them and did some excellent work, but it could not check the advance, which was slow and steady. We broke and fled, leaving dead and wounded. The heavy line behind us com- pelled us to seek shelter, which could only be done by passing far enough in front of the battery so that we could pass under the storm of shell. We then turned to the left, dashed into the swamp, and came out near Kautz's battery. We halted near General Kautz's headquar- ters, and found him in his element. He was a changed man from the last time we had seen him. Instead of the marble pallor, a radiant glow was on his face. He was active, and his voice rang clear as he gave orders to the cap- tain of the battery to use grape until the last spoke was cut off, spike the guns, mount the horses, and follow the column. There was something in the last part of the order that reassured every true soldier. There was still hope. Apparently he had not noticed us un- til now. A smile played over his face when he turned to look at a mob of several hundred men, among whom there were captains, majors, and lieutenant-colonels. He shook hands with some of the officers of the Second Ohio, and when the last gun had been cut down and spiked he said, " Lieutenant New- 292 Four Years with Five Armies ton, take the advance and go that course," pointing at the same time in the direction to the right of his line, " and cross the railroad about two miles from the station, and when you get to the second road, turn to the left and join my column on the main road. The Sec- ond Ohio men and Fifth New York men follow Lieutenant Newton, and ride down everything you come in contact with." He then gave some directions about mount- ing his men, and we were on the move in an unorganized condition. A narrow neck of timber extended out in front of us, and as we passed through it we discovered the enemy in front, lined up by a ditch. The Lieutenant ordered a charge, and everyone went. It was a tumult that men cannot successfully withstand on open ground. When they gave way it gave us the advantage. The men on the outside were keeping up a reg- ular fire that held them at bay or running for shelter. There was no halt in the speed for ditches, fences, and thickets, all of which had more or less of the enemy by them. At one place we came to a road with high fence on the side next to us, and a line of infantry standing in the road facing us; but they were no ob- stacle in our way. The fence went down as if by magic, and the enemy ran to right and left. It was the same thing at every ditch we came to. The enemy suffered severely at every turn. There is something about a charge of this kind perhaps not easily understood by General Kautz in His Element 293 those that have not witnessed it. There was a seething mass of men and horses rushing on like an avalanche, with a constant fusillade from its borders that must sweep everything in front of it. The bravest men cannot withstand it, for the advance cannot check it if they wish to, and those who fall in front of it are most surely doomed; yet it is possible for a miraculous escape. We had one man who fell with his horse into a ditch, and, after being run over by the cavalcade, was able to walk into our lines. Many others never rose again. Few men can understand the demoralizing ef- fects of such a charge, and had General Wil- son understood it as well as Sheridan, Custer, and Kautz, he would have passed the enemy at Stony Creek, and would not have accepted his doom at Ream's Station. We encountered the enemy at least a half dozen times after leaving General Kautz, and before reaching the designated road. When we did reach it Lieutenant Newton turned into it, and he gave orders for the men to fall into columns of fours, without regard to rank, regi- ment, or company. Up to this time I had managed to keep close to Lieutenant Newton, as I'had heard every word of General Kautz's instructions, and made up my mind if the Lieutenant fell I would not be at a loss to know what to do. Now I could do a little hustling for my- self, as we thought we were out of the enemy's line. When we joined the company a few 294 Four Years with Five Armies hours before, my partner, who had plenty of ham and hard tack, gave me one hard tack and a little piece of ham with the promise to give me more after a while. He said I had better not eat much at first, and now I reined to one side of the road and waited for him to come along. Most of our company had done like myself, and were now in the advance of the column. We were near enough to the station to see the top of the building. A swamp was on the opposite side of the road from where I had halted, and behind was a pasture covered with small pines. Suddenly the warning " HaltI " came from hundreds of voices in the pasture. The Lieu- tenant checked to see whom it came from, when an officer in gray uniform rode in an open spot and demanded surrender, but two shots, one from Woodruff's and one from Miller's gun, brought him from the horse. With the cry, "They are rebs," as they rose to fire, we went in a body into the swamp, where we floundered about for a hundred yards, now in water side deep to the horse, again on tussocks, and down into the water again, with bullets spatting against the trees, making a horrible din. The swamp did not extend far, and only the advance was compelled to take to the water. The others crossed the road, and were fast disappearing through the woods when we got on solid land, and what had been the ad- vance was now in the rear. General Kautz in His Element 295 This was a magical change of front, and with all the misery or danger it was laughable, as I am bound to testify, not only from my own feelings, but we noticed several others who actually laughed outright as we wheeled into the trail strewn with guns, revolvers, hams, sacks of corn, coats, blankets, etc. I was going to pick up a ham, but when I thought of the poor horse that would have to carry it with nothing for him to eat, I left it, and took a sack with about thirty pounds of corn, and tied it on the saddle. The first road we came to ran around a farm with a short curve at the point where we inter- cepted it. At every cross-road we met picket posts, but the few shots they fired made no impression on our advance, and some of them were shot down as we ran by. After making several turns, and with the speed checked a little, between sundown and dark we spied a column to our left, on a road running almost parallel with the one on which we were traveling. This created a little panic at first. They were moving at a rapid walk, a gait that can be maintained by but few. The Second boys recognized our former leader in the gait, and said that we should not run, for it was Kautz's column. This opinion was con- firmed when we got close enough to see the Stars and Stripes. How grand they looked as their successive waves moved with every step of the horse, with none in advance of it but General Kautz! He moved majestically on, Four Years with Five Armies not appearing to notice us, while the air was rent with shouts and hurrahs for the leader and for his column that moved in as good order as if on an ordinary march in a peaceful country. It was indeed balm to the Second Ohio, who for the first time had become a disorganized mob. We moved on until we arrived at the Jerusalem Plank Road, and turned toward Petersburg. On the morning of July i, about two o'clock, we entered our lines. As soon as we passed the vidette my bunky and I reined to one side, tied our horses, unsaddled, opened the sack of corn, and my horse got the first mouthful he had had for forty-five hours. We had had no sleep for the same length of time, and stretched out, and were awakened after sunrise by the guards who came to see who we were. We saddled up and went to the reserve picket. They cooked breakfast, but my appetite having entirely left me, I was unable to eat. After drinking some coffee we mounted and went in search of the regiment. General Sheridan, having adopted the method used in the army in Tennessee, the wagon-train was left in a safe place near Lighthouse Point, where we joined the com- pany. The camp was located on a high piece of tableland, with our company camped near the bluff, at the foot of which there was a nice grove. We were resting on the Fourth of July 296 General Kautz in His Element 297 when it was announced that Major-General Wilson had just arrived at the head of his cavalry from a raid ir southern Virginia. The victory was not of such a nature as to elicit any response from me, but the most of the boys turned out to see them march in. Hundreds of refugees and stragglers who had been left in the enemy's line from various causes were arriving every hour for several days. Among them were three from our com- pany. One was W. L. Moore, whose horse had fallen into a ditch after we had left Kautz at the station. The horse was trampled to death, but his rider by some means escaped, and with the enemy's hurry to right and left he escaped them all, and that night, while traveling on the main road toward Petersburg, the enemy crowded him so close that he took to the swamp and curled up on a tussock, and heard them sounding the horns they had picked up, having a regular jubilee over their victory. The two others were J. W. Reed and Math Park. The squad that I had lost sev- eral days previous was also mixed up with that throng, and came into camp, unarmed, afoot, and nearly barefooted, and otherwise the worse from their rough treatment. They had been compelled to abandon their horses, owing to the close and persistent pursuit of those that had discovered their identity, and they had lost their arms in crossing a river in sight of the enemy's pickets under the cover of night. CHAPTER XXII REORGANIZING AND HUSTLING O N the 5th, the division camp being laid out by the engineers, the com- mand was moved to it. The first thing to arrive in the way of sup- plies was an order that all non-commissioned officers must wear their chevrons, and to em- phasize it, the yellow stripes were delivered to the quartermaster-sergeant. When ranks were broken, the dirty, ragged, and bare- footed men walked out to the tent to look at the beautiful things, and they remarked that it would be better to buy shoes and under- clothes for barefooted and naked men than decorate them with those stripes. The regiment being detailed for picket duty moved out on the 7th, taking the effec- tive men, and at the expiration of three days returned and remained for six days' rest. During this stay in camp the order announc- ing the promotions, amongst them that of your humble servant, was announced-the eighth corporal. The order read for gallantry in ac- tion, June i, i864. There was no one more surprised than the recipient of this distin- guished honor, and I said, " And must I wear 298 Reorganizing and Hustling those beautiful yellow stripes " As it did not appear reasonable to me that they could afford to deck a fellow out that way for riding into the enemy's line and afterward sneaking away hatless, no coat, and only one boot, I declined the rich reward. My resignation was not ac- cepted. Although performing the duty, I did not wear the yellow stripes. The regiment then took another three days' turn on picket, and I occupied the same posi- tion as before. The main reserve consisted of the company camp, each company keeping a line in its immediate front. E Company, occupying the right, was situated in the woods with an open field in front, with thick brush to the right, through which a ziz-zag opening had been cut to form a line of works that ran for miles in front of General Lee's line, be- hind which the enemy then was. Post No. i was situated one-half mile to the right of the reserve and within hailing dis- tance of the left of the Fifth Corps, and fol- lowed the line of works. Our vidette line was about one and a half miles long, and consisted of thirteen posts, eight of which were dis- mounted when on duty. Six of the posts could be reached by following paths that had previously been cleared out through the brush for that purpose. The paths had been used a great deal and were perfectly smooth. There were some barefooted men that volunteered to do duty from the fact that the company was much 299 Four Years with Five Armies reduced and the duty very heavy. They chose to stand dismounted for the reason that they could follow the paths unobserved by the enemy and not snag their feet. When a relief was called out each one went directly to his post. In that way no friction would have occurred had the company been numbered so as to be even with the number of posts; but it happened otherwise, and that brought trouble on my head. The cor- poral in charge of the relief would go with No. i and then follow the line to see that the men had all been properly relieved, and re- port the fact to the sergeant. The uneven numbers made a slight change in the relief by putting a fresh man on each one, who prop- erly would be No. i3; but no attention was given to it, and in the evening of the third day, when making my round as usual, I ar- rived at post No. 7, and found there were two men-J. W. Reed, having occupied the place on my relief, and Lanterman, who had occu- pied it on some other relief. Lanterman had arrived first and claimed preference. I ex- plained that Reed, being barefooted, did not have to do duty unless he chose to do so, and he having good boots could get to the reserve in case of an attack as quickly as Reed, al- though the route was not so good. When ar- gument proved of no avail, I ordered him to go. But he raised his gun in a threatening manner and said he would stay there or no place on the line. The conversation became 300 Reorganizing and Hustling unreserved, and no doubt the enemy heard everything that was said. I was now placed in a position that no one in our company had ever been in. It was a case in which by law I would be justified in taking the life of one of my companions in arms. Had there been nothing to consider but the act it would have been easy enough to throw him off guard and shoot him, but after a little reflection I concluded to let it go for the present. When I arrived at No. 8, who had now been standing twenty minutes over time, I found him a little out of humor, and he wanted to know what it all meant, as this was such an unusual occurrence. When I was giving the necessary explanation Reed came and offered to take his place, to which I at first objected. But as he insisted he was allowed to remain. After finishing my round I returned to the reserve. The news had preceded me by the man from No. 9. Sergeant Wilcox listened to what was said, and went to Captain New- ton, who was sleeping, and waked him up. He told the Sergeant to detail a man to fill out the relief and to take Lanterman's arms away from him. It was accordingly done, and this afterward brought reproach on my head. Lanterman was lying about camp with a fat horse and no duty, under arrest. When the duty was hard I listened to the boys say, " Gause ought to do his duty for not shooting him in his tracks." 301 Four Years with Five Armies To this challenge there could be no reply. The duty on this part of the line was very important, and we were liable to be attacked at any time. It was the point where if the enemy should advance in force they would flank the infantry, and our orders, which were strictly adhered to with the one exception, were to make no noise and to conceal our movements and position as much as possible. We were liable to be shot at any time we rode the line, and the post Lanterman refused to go to was the first point of attack, owing to being on the road that led through the line of works. The other boys said that was the reason he would not go there. We had picked him up on the Wilson raid and hauled him in a carriage, and there was not a man in the company who believed there was anything the matter with him but fear. The next time we went on picket we occu- pied a different position in the same line farther to the left. The reserve camped in the woods with open pasture beside them about a mile wide, and sloping gradually up to about the center, with lanes running each way through it. It was level from that place to the timber along the edge, at which the enemy's line was posted. Our advance line was stationed along the fence that ran at the terminus of the slope. The posts lay about two hundred yards apart. I was in charge of one relief, as usual, and our orders were to with- draw at the first sign of an advance of the 302 WARNER NxWToN captail Co. 1K. St4md Ohioy vAtuatctr eCtavlry This page in the original text is blank. Reorganizing and Hustling enemy, and to reform in the edge of the tim- ber. A thick brush was along the edge of the timber in which the enemy was posted, and we could not see them often, as they appeared to try to conceal their whereabouts. Everything went all right until the third day. One of our men, Wakefield, caught sight of one of them, and the following conversation ensued: " Ho, there, you Johnnie! What do you belong to " " Kershaw's brigade. What command do you'ns belong to" " The Second Ohio Cavalry." " I thought you'ns were in Tennessee." " We were, but we are up here now." " Are you'ns followin' we'ns 'round " "Yes, we are the only ones can hold you down." They recognized by this talk that trading could be done, as had been done with us be- fore. Another one to the left of where I was stand- ing spoke up and asked: "Have you'ns got any coffee over there" "Plenty of it," I replied. " Have you any tobacco over there " " Dead loads of it," was the reply. I told him to meet me on half-way ground with tobacco and a newspaper, and I would bring coffee and one of our papers. He said they were not allowed to let us have the paper, and the trading could not be done there, but 303 304 Four Years with Five Armies farther down in front of the tree. The tree was near the right of our line, and near Wake- field's post. We told him to meet us there, and I rode along and gathered the coffee. All the boys wished to contribute some, and I took a news- paper. While riding down the line, more heads peeped out of the brush than we had seen in the two days previous, all anxious to know how much coffee they were going to get. After strapping the arms to the saddle, and leaving the horse with Wakefield, we could see the man at the edge of the brush. We knew he was disobeying orders in that negoti- ation, and we wanted to give him all the chance we could. I started first. He watched me for a moment, and when he saw me coming in good faith he started at a double-quick gait. About a quart of coffee was tied up in a hand- kerchief, and he scarcely looked at me, but kept his eye on the prize. We shook hands like two old friends, and made the exchange. "What keeps you so quiet over there" I queried. " You had better look out; we'ns are look- ing for orders to advance." A shrill whistle was heard from the point where he started. He said, " Something is up; look out now! " and started back at full speed. I walked quickly to my horse, handed the tobacco, of which there was at least five pounds, to Wakefield, adjusted my arms, mounted, and had hardly straightened in the Reorganizing and Hustling saddle, when we heard the exclamation, "Here they come!" The man with his coffee was just entering the brush when a heavy skir- mish line made its appearance and moved at a quick pace across the pasture. We dropped back to the edge of the timber in compliance with our orders, and were rein- forced by the reserve, making a heavy skir- mish line. They advanced in two lines. The advance only came near where our vidette line had been, where they reconnoitered for about an hour, and the position did not appear to suit them. They withdrew to their original position, and we reestablished our vidette line without exchanging a shot. We were relieved that evening, and after resting a few days we were supplied with clothing, etc. We went on picket in the same place, and were on duty there at the time the mine was sprung in front of Petersburg, July 30. We could see the de- bris and human bodies high up in the air. 305 CHAPTER XXIII CAPTURE OF THE EIGHTH SOUTH CAROLINA INFANTRY OA N August ist General Sheridan was assigned to command the Middle Military Division, and moved the cavalry corps on transports up the Potomac River. The customary privations, such as no wood to cook with, had to be en- dured, the men living on raw bacon and hard tack, with the exception of a few that were able to intrude on the good-natured fireman and make coffee in the boiler-room. The weather was hot and the horses were crowded into the hold with no fresh water to drink. The perspiration poured out of them, and when they were taken out on the wharf at Washington, D. C., they were very much drawn, and as wet as if they had been in the river. They were saddled, however, and we moved up Pennsylvania Avenue, crossed the Long Bridge into Virginia, and camped at Bailey's Cross-roads. When the division had all arrived it marched by the way of Manassas Gap to Win- chester. The army there was falling back to Opequon Creek, and the tired troops were then holding General Early's forces in check 306 Capture of Eighth S. C. Infantry 307 just south of town. It was late in the evening when the Third Division moved out and formed in their rear to relieve them. When the enemy's line approached they could only be detected through the darkness by the flash of their guns, and as there were but few missiles flying, we did not know but there were yet some of our men in front of us. But one of our company, John Will Reed, who had closely observed all the movements, be- gan firing. The Captain rode out in front and called out, " Don't fire into our men ! " " Our men, hell and damnation! " was the reply. "Look at the fire from those guns!" The Captain then ordered fire, and the engagement began in earnest all along the line. When Reed had fired twenty-one shots a ball passed through his lung and he was taken to the rear. John R. Johnson fell a few moments later, instantly killed. We moved gradually, contesting every foot of ground. The Second Ohio, being in the center of the line, fell back through the streets of Winchester. Our being new arrivals, the people were anxious to know to what com- mand we belonged. When they put their heads out of the windows to inquire, they would invariably get the following answer: "Tell the Johnnies the Second Ohio passed them in to town." When we formed on a cross-street they would mass on the next one, and when the sig- nal was given to charge, we rallied on the ones Four Years with Five Armies running parallel with the line of retreat. Then they would pour out a volley, the most of which took effect in the houses, as the smash- ing of glass indicated. They halted at the north side of town and we went into camp. As soon as the infantry crossed Opequon Creek, the Third Division vas detached and went on a tour of observa- tion into Maryland, General Early's cavalry then being on that side of the Potomac. After passing through Frederick City, we arrived at Perry's Ford, and engaged the enemy on the Maryland side until night, then went into camp, Company E having lost two men. The enemy withdrew during the night, and we crossed over to Virginia unmolested in the morning. But an engagement followed before night, and continued daily until we passed Charles Town. One of these engagements is impressed on my mind more than the others, from the fact that it caused a change in my mount. The horse I was then riding was a blue roan, twelve and a half hands high, pony built, and as tough as a pine knot, but very difficult to shoot from. In that particular engagement, being on mounted skirmish line, deployed in an open- ing between two strips of woods, the firing con- tinued for more than an hour, very much like sharpshooting. Whenever the gun was raised the horse would dodge, and often turn entirely around. The enemy's line being dismounted in the woods, they had the advantage, as there 308 Capture of Eighth S. C. Infantry 309 was nothing in sight but the smoke from the gun; but with all these difficulties I was en- abled to stop the firing from one of them, who had such close range on me that the air moved briskly about my head every time his gun was discharged. I then turned my attention to one that was causing a great deal of annoyance to Wakefield. We soon received orders to fall back on the main line, and the column moved out toward Charles Town. After that day's work I concluded to accept a proposal from Pidgeon, who had recently returned to the company from the hospital. He wanted the horse I was riding, in memory of our esteemed comrade, Sergeant Wilkins, who was wounded when riding him in the Wilderness. The horse he turned over to me was a sorrel with a star in the forehead, snip on the nose, fifteen hands high, thin in flesh, and, in fact, almost no horse at all. On August 28 the Third Division moved and camped near Berryville, and extended General Sheridan's line, then occupying a position on the east side of Opequon Creek. On the I2th of September the Second Ohio Cavalry went on picket duty for the second time from that camp, and occupied the same position each time. The regiment was distributed in reserve camps, making a line in front of it as usual. Company E was on the right with Post No. i in hailing distance from the left man on the line of the Fifth Corps. I had charge of one 3IO Four Years with Five Armies relief, and on the i3th Captain Newton or- dered me to draw my men in on the Pike. And when this order was complied with, the regiment had concentrated and the First Bri- gade in column was approaching. The trum- pet sounded forward, and without further orders or instructions we moved toward Ope- quon Creek. We knew nothing about the posi- tion of the enemy, except that their videttes were on the summit of the hill on the east side of the creek, and we moved on the walk until the alarm shot was fired by the enemy, and then we galloped after him. I had eight men, all experienced soldiers, equal to their number on any ground or in any country, and dashing down the steep grade that curves around the hill and terminates at the creek crossing, we arrived at a log house, where we rode into their cavalry reserve be- fore they were able to mount, and, of course, they surrendered. We had gained a long dis- tance on the head of the column led by Captain Newton, who was rapidly closing up on us, so I ordered my men to let the prisoners go and follow me. At this point the road bears to the left up a gradual grade that terminates at the top of a ridge running parallel with the creek. On the ridge the enemy's infantry line was de- ployed, and we were within easy range, and they were making good use of their oppor- tunity. But our rapid movement put them to a disadvantage and they broke, making easy Capture of Eighth S. C. Infantry 31I prey for my men, who deployed at will, and picked them up. At this point there is a small grove, rectangular in shape, between the pike and a deep ravine. The eastern side skirts the top of the main ridge and slopes toward Winchester, and the western edge skirts the first ravine. Granville Reed and I followed the pike and picked up two prisoners, who told us that the Eighth South Carolina Infantry was in the woods to our left. Reed went back with the prisoners and I rode beyond the woods and turned out on a low ridge beyond the ravine for the purpose of making observations, pre- suming that the column would follow; but was surprised when they opened fire on the south side of the ravine. At the same time a volley from the woods caused me to think a swarm of bees was passing my ears. To protect myself I turned into the ravine and kept close to the woods until I arrived at the pike, just in time to see General McIntosh with staff and Third New Jersey escort halt on the ridge recently occupied by the enemy. I galloped directly to him and reported the result of my observation, and remarked, " We can capture them." He said, " Will you go " " Certainly," was my reply. He turned to someone and ordered a squadron of the Third New Jersey to follow me. I galloped back over the route I had come, and when on the low ridge a volley was fired at me, and another in quick succession in a Four Years with Five Armies different direction. That caused me to look around, and I discovered the Third New Jer- sey squadron fleeing in confusion. Company E, Second Ohio, had now ad- vanced to a high point on the south side of the ravine, and, thinking I was one of the enemy, was directing their fire at me. I waved my cap and motioned them to cease firing. I then galloped after the broken squadron, hoping to rally them; but most of them had fled over the main ridge, and further effort on my part to rally them was abandoned. I had been wishing for one of the butterfly capes worn by the Third, and rode up to a wounded horse abandoned with full outfit on him. I cut the saddle strap and threw the cape across my saddle and galloped toward headquarters. The enemy, who had kept up a constant fusillade at me, suddenly ceased firing. I slackened the pace of the horse to a walk and said to myself, " The dog is dead," meaning that the enemy would now take advantage of the opportunity to make their escape by going down the ravine, the banks being suffi- ciently high to hide them from view until they were under cover of the next line, consist- ing of a cavalry brigade about three-fourths of a mile in the rear. I arrived at headquarters at the same time General Wilson did, he having come from the opposite direction. The same old air of excite- ment and timorousness that always prevailed 31I2 Capture of Eighth S. C. Infantry 3i3 at his headquarters came with him, and he said: " General McIntosh, you had better get your men out of here as quick as possible." In reply General McIntosh said: "There is a regiment in the woods; we want to capture them. Captain Houghton, send a squadron from the Second Ohio to follow this man." Major Nettleton chanced to be near with part of two companies, about thirty men, and Captain Houghton delivered the order to him, and I placed myself in advance and urged them to a gallop, and also to keep farther down toward the enemy's cavalry in order to follow the second shallow ravine. We arrived at the creek just in time to intercept them, and plac- ing my carbine in position to shoot, I de- manded surrender. They turned by fours left about, and were soon under cover, the bank being high at that point. Our men wheeled fours into line and charged toward the woods, and when we ar- rived at the summit of the ridge we were met by a volley that sent the line back into the ravine. With my eye on the foe, I did not notice the men falling back until a ball struck my carbine, knocking it from my left hand. When I looked around I discovered but one man near me. It was Miller, of Company G, and I said to him, " Miller, I guess we are alone." He replied by saying, "They will come again; they are reforming." We turned and went toward them, and as we approached someone said, " We will never get them," in a Four Years with Five Armies tone that would indicate no desire to make further effort in that direction. On hearing this I shouted, " For God's sake, men, do not let them get away, now we have them sur- rounded and they must surrender! " A firm voice shouted, " Gause, we will follow you! " I answered, " Come on, then! " and we went, only to meet another volley on the same ridge. But the line did not falter, and before they could reload we were in the ravine, shouting, " Stack your arms I Surrender! " I then dis- mounted, ran into the woods, took the flag, and marched the prisoners out. The prisoners were marched up the ra- vine, and when they turned over the ridge I reined to one side and passed them. The Col- onel saluted his flag and the men said, "We have followed it many times." " Under very different circumstances," was my reply. Soon after passing the prisoners, one of General Wilson's staff officers met me and ordered me to follow him, then he turned and rode away at full speed. My horse, being jaded, was not able to travel at such a gait, but jogged along in that direction, until the officer returned, twitted me for disobedience of orders, and told me to turn the flag over to his orderly. I then went to my company, who had witnessed the whole transaction, and all ap- peared to agree that I should have refused to part with my captured trophy. We then moved rapidly across Opequon Creek and passed General Wilson's headquar- 31I4 Capture of Eighth S. C. Infantry 315 ters, then taking observations of the enemy's movements. We also got a glimpse of it, a beautiful panorama-General Early's army on the move, coming out to meet what they supposed to be a general attack from Sheridan. We also saw the flag at headquarters, and some of the boys proposed that I should ride up and demand it, and if refused they would assist and take it by force; but I considered that preposterous, telling them it amounted to nothing, and that it would come out all right in the course of time. As a reward for that audacious act we were relieved from picket duty, and I was further rewarded by being allowed to turn in the jaded horse and take Lanterman's, a fine fellow that had had nothing to do but eat forage since the arrest at Petersburg. An hour had passed, with everything as usual, and I was attending to the camp duties, such as cooking, feeding, and so on, without the slightest suspicion that my chance for the credit was in the slightest danger, when Lieu- tenant-Colonel Purrington called on me, and I soon learned that there was a regular clamor at headquarters as to who should have the credit. Though there had been thousands of witnesses, none appeared to know anything about it. One man from the Fifth New York claimed that I had taken the flag from him. That all appeared strange to me at the time, but I soon learned that it was a profession, and oftentimes is more profitable than stealing 316 Four Years with Five Armies real property. I treated the whole matter as a joke, and told the Colonel that I did not know the Fifth wore gray uniforms, and as the man that surrendered the flag was dressed in gray I thought him a Johnnie. Even some of the staff officers that had been charging about, so rattled they did not know whether they were going or coming, were now making some pretensions. I have often won- dered that the commander of the Third New Jersey allowed favorable mention of his regi- ment by the General. The Second Ohio was not allowed to enjoy their respite very long, for we were sent out to do picket duty on the extreme left of the line, about ten miles from camp. After post- ing my relief on the evening of the U7th, I rode to the reserve, and Captain Newton informed me that he had received orders for me to re- port to General McIntosh at once. Immediately after eating supper I mounted, and arrived at headquarters about eight o'clock. General McIntosh told me to report at five o'clock in the morning to Captain Beau- mont of General Wilson's staff. Not having had an opportunity to draw clothing for a long time, I looked very shabby, and the Gen- eral gave me an order on the quartermaster at Harper's Ferry for a new suit, and also offered to give me an order on the paymaster for money. I had ten dollars and my bunky had ten more that I could get by asking for it, so that offer was declined. He said that I should Capture of Eighth S. C. Infantry 317 be prompt in the morning, as there were many officers going to Harper's Ferry with an es- cort, and they would start on time. He told me to turn my horse and arms over at Harper's Ferry. I went to the company and made my ar- rangements to be gone some time. My bunky gave me the ten dollars with instructions to bring him two dollars' worth of fine-cut to- bacco. Bidding them good-by, I rode to bri- gade camp, pulled the saddle from the horse, and put it on the jaded one, thinking he was good enough to turn in, and the other one better for the company. After taking a little rest, I cooked breakfast and reported on time at General Wilson's headquarters. Captain Beaumont was still in bed, but proceeded to give some crusty orders to a servant about blackening boots, breakfast, saddling up, etc. At length the horse was brought out by an orderly, who held the stirrup in position to put his foot in. He mounted, and without saying a word dashed out of sight. I inquired how long he would be gone. They said he was go- ing to Washington and would not be back for several days. I mounted and followed the road in the woods, not knowing whether it was right or wrong. Soon he came dashing back and said, " If you are going with me, you had better come on." " And if you are going with me, you had bet- ter slacken your pace," was the reply. He was gone again, and after galloping 318 Four Years with Five Armies along for half a mile I came up to him wait- ing for me to hold his horse. I took the rein, and he went to General Sheridan's tent, brought out the flag, and handed it to me. I handed him the rein, and could see that he was disgusted because I did not act as orderly and hold the stirrup for him. I paid no at- tention, but mounted, thinking if that was his notion, he was off for once anyway. When we arrived at the appointed place the party was assembled, and moved out to Har- per's Ferry, where we arrived at two o'clock and waited for the train. After disposing of the horses and equipments I showed the Captain the order for my clothing, but he said that he had no time for that. We went to the depot, where he left me, he going to dine with the other officers, and I remaining there, an object of curiosity for the crowd for two hours. Many officers and soldiers told me that they had seen the Eighth South Carolina when they went through Harper's Ferry on their way to a Northern prison. Captain Beaumont arrived in time for the train, and it was evident he did not want to be recognized as one of my crowd; but he changed his mind when he saw that the flag drew the attention of so many people. There was a crowd about me all the time until we arrived at the Relay House, and they did not appear to notice my worn and dusty clothes. While waiting for a train at Relay I bought a pair of boots to help out my appearance, Capture of Eighth S. C. Infantry 3I9 and when the train arrived the Captain con- descended to take a seat by me. The Captain registered at the Ebbitt House, where we left the flag until nine o'clock the next morning, when we were to go to the War Department. When almost there he asked for a statement of the particulars of its capture that he might properly state it to the Secretary of War. I supposed he had written a statement, and I was so disconcerted that I could not explain it to him. We were met by a crowd on the steps at the War Department, and it was with diffi- culty that we were able to pass through the corridors. The people asked all kinds of odd questions. We were finally ushered into the public reception-room, and left to ourselves for a few minutes until Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War, entered the room. He threw the door open and the crowd filled the room. He went behind the desk and told me to unfurl the flag, which was accordingly done. He then asked me to explain how I had captured it. Hardly having thought of the affair, and not being used to making ex- planations, I just said, " I went up and took it."1 " Where did you go for it " he said. " In the woods, down in Virginia." He made a nice little speech, and said he thanked me and the country thanked me, but he could do nothing for me in the Second Ohio, as promotions were all made by the Gov- ernor of the State. He told me if I under- Four Years with Five Armies stood army tactics and how to make out army papers, he would put me in the Regular Army. I told him I could not do it. He said that my branch of the service had been cavalry, and he had issued an order to enlist a regiment to be called the First Kentucky Colored Cavalry. Then he asked: " What position would you like in that" " None," I said. " What excuse have you to offer " he re- plied, his face becoming scarlet. " We have been with the Ninth Corps, and my observation is that the officers are on duty all the time, while the soldiers have relief." "Other men have made the same excuse, but official report states they make good sol- diers," he said, " and as I can do nothing for vou I will look for your officers to do what they can, and you will report to the Adjutant- General, who will give you a furlough to stay in Washington as long as you wish. You will also be awarded a medal of honor, which he will give you." He then left the room, and we were con- ducted to the Adjutant-General's office and introduced. Captain Beaumont signed the register and left, and that was the last I saw of him. After receiving a furlough for four days, with orders to report the next day for the medal, which, in the meantime, would have to be engraved, I left the office. The demand made upon me for the flag and its delivery to one of General Wilson's staff 320 Capture of Eighth S. C. Infantry 321 had much significance. It was an infraction of General Sheridan's notions of propriety in the treatment of men who performed com- mendable deeds. The discussion revealed to him the strained relations that existed be- tween General Wilson and the members of the Second Ohio Cavalry, who always hooted as the General passed near them, from the 22d of June until he left the command. On the march or in camp, when Wilson ap- peared in sight, the shout was set up, " Here is the man with the ham; here he goes; catch him! " and many other things that were un- pleasant for him to hear. It was done with a sense of shame and pity, but of contempt for a man who persisted in holding a position over thousands, of whom hundreds were his superi- ors in ability and courage. The act of hold- ing the office itself made him superior to none, and the temptation was such that they could not resist joining in the tumult. On learning this, General Wilson was as- signed to the Western Department, where, it is said, he gained fame. When my furlough expired, I reported at Sandy Hook, Maryland, to the commander of the camp for remount. In the course of four or five days a party was sent to the front. The horse assigned to me at this time was a freak. He was about sixteen hands high, bay with black mane and tail, and of an un- gainly proportion, wind broken and with a mouth so hard one man could not hold him. Four Years with Five Armies In fact, the harder one pulled on the rein, the faster he would try to go. We were escort or guard for a supply-train from the depot to the front. We traveled the mountain road up the Valley, and nothing of importance occurred except the burning of a barn that contained thousands of guns and cartridges. A fusillade was kept up from the explosion of the cartridges for an hour or more. On the afternoon of the 6th of October we arrived at the camp of the Third Division, now commanded by Major-General G. A. Custer. A great change had taken place in the division during my absence. General Mc- Intosh had lost a leg, and Lieutenant-Colonel Purrington was in command of the brigade by special request of General McIntosh. Major Nettleton was in command of the Sec- ond Ohio, being the ranking officer now with the regiment. M1v bunky, William Wiggins, was a prisoner in the hands of the enemy, and as I did not chew tobacco, I distributed the fine cut brought for him among the other boys. It was about three o'clock when we reported to the company for duty. After eating some dinner Captain Newton told me that Major Nettleton wanted to see me, and I reported to him immediately. After relating to him briefly the incidents of the ceremony at the War De- partment, he asked, " What did the Secretary say about me" The question was such a surprise to me that it completely upset me, 322 Capture of Eighth S. C. Infantry 323 for it had not been mentioned at all, and I re- plied that the Secretary had given him all the credit due him. He said they were under orders to move. I reported to the company, the trumpet sounded, we led into line, and soon moved out. The Fifth New York and the Second Ohio relieved the line in front of General Early's line of battle at Waynesboro, and the balance of the division began the march to what was known as the back road on the opposite side of the Shenandoah Valley. The order from General Custer was to fall back in case of an advance of the enemy, and as soon as the enemy saw the cavalry moving out, they began a flank movement. just at dark the main line advanced in front of us. We fell back gradually until the information reached us that retreat was cut off by the enemy's flanking party. The shout could be heard from every quarter, " Go through them!" and with shouts and yells the whole crowd went. We had to pass a line that lay behind the fence parallel with the line of re- treat. It was now dark and the blaze from the muskets made a red glare that put the horses to their utmost speed, and we passed in two columns. A horse went down in front of me. I was then pulling the reins with all my strength to steady the horse on the hard pike and down the hill. The rider of the horse that had fallen cried out, "Let me ride!" caught the reins, and with a whirl he went headlong. His weight added to mine made Four Years with Five Armies no impression on the speed of the hard- mouthed animal, for, with mouth wide open and the sound, " Ha, ha, ha! " at every jump, that could be heard for a long distance, he dashed ahead. As soon as the two regiments overtook the rear of the column, they came to a halt, and we lay down in a fence corner and went to sleep. At last we moved out, and after march- ing about a mile John Z. Johnson reported to the captain that his bunky, Logan Moore, was missing, and that he knew Moore was with the company when it halted. The Captain said, " Gause, you take two men and go back and find Logan." Two of the boys volunteered, and we went back. We passed the rear-guard after explain- ing our mission. Soon we heard voices of men coming in on a side road. We recognized one of them and called out, " Is that you, Pol- hemus " At the challenge my horse turned and started to run. It was impossible to hold him, so I turned him into the fence. He hit it pretty hard, and by holding the spurs to his side I was enabled to remain there until the squad had passed. It was Sergeant Polhemus, who had been dispatched on patrol to guard against a flank attack. We had not gone far before we heard horses' hoofs as thev pounded the hard pike. When we challenged my horse went through the same performance as at the last challenge. The lone horseman came to 324 Capture of Eighth S. C. Infantry 325 a halt, and we called to him, " Logan, is that you" He answered, "Yes," with a voice that indicated an uncertainty of his position. We told him to come on, and he approached and said he was sure he was going into the enemy's line and had tried to force the horse to go in the opposite direction. But his horse, he said, would back up and endeavor to turn around, and he finally gave up and let him go the way he chose. We camped at the back road for a rest, and at twelve o'clock moved out. The enemy's cavalry was now up with the rear-guard and thought to surprise us. They ran two batter- ies, twelve guns in all, out in an open field and opened fire. Our artillery, already in posi- tion, answered the challenge, and the sound of their guns was recognized by Sergeant Polhemus as the ones abandoned by General Wilson on the raid, June 3oth. He shouted, " Battery B and M, charge I " dashed the spurs to his horse, and went straight to the artillery. Men and officers followed him, drove away the gunners, and brought back every piece but one that was crippled by a shell from Custer's battery. A New York regiment, coming out to support the Second Ohio, saw the gun standing on the field, and five of them went for it. About the same number of the enemy's cavalry met them at the gun, and they fought as handsome a duel as was ever fought with sabers. The victory was in favor of the New York boys, who started with the crippled gun, 326 Four Years with Five Armies but finally abandoned it owing to its useless condition. We then withdrew, as it was our orders to move farther up the Valley, to take all the stock, and to destroy all the supplies on the back road. The next day the Second Ohio was sent back to support the rear-guard, con- sisting of a regiment from some other brigade that was hard pushed by Rosser's cavalry. My new horse displayed his peculiarities to the queen's taste. The engagement was one of those genuine skirmishes in which the reced- ing line fires until hard pressed, and then falls back. The country was rough and inter- spersed with woods and fields. We deployed in an open field and the enemy appeared at the edge of the woods. The horse stood, not appearing to mind the noise or motion of the gun as it was leisurely fired; but when the trumpet sounded retreat and the rein was moved, he turned and ran with all the strength he could muster. When we stopped we were three hundred yards in the rear of the re- formed line. The boys gave me the laugh as we returned to our place. This was repeated three times. The last time was down a steep hill with a rail fence running along the side and about forty feet from the creek that ran at the foot of the hill. By great effort we steered to a place where the trumpeter had thrown the rider from the fence, and he and the Captain were just going over. My horse jumped and hit the ground about Capture of Eighth S. C. Infantry 327 half-way between the fence and the creek, and at the next leap he landed in it. As the Cap- tain was going up the steep bank on the op- posite side a ball, presumably aimed at me, went over my head and hit the Captain's horse in the hip. I saw the ball hit the horse and saw the smoke fly, and his horse gave a shriek that sent a shiver all through me. My horse did not wait for them to get out of the path, but jumped up the bank, which was about three feet high, and after repeated efforts we got to our place in the line. The Captain told me to go to the rear, and the next day he gave me a new horse. The march was continued down the Valley for several days, and the smoke from the burn- ing stacks and barns could be seen all the way across the Valley. The troops on the other two roads kept about even, forming a continuous line from the Blue Ridge road to the back road. There were some exhibitions of what men will do to save their property. One man stood on a hay stack and fired into a marching col- umn, and it is needless to say he fell riddled with bullets. Another man stood in his barn door and shot the soldier that was ordered to set the barn on fire. He was tried by court martial. Rosser's cavalry pressed our rear- guard until we arrived at Rapid Rushing Creek, where the command halted. The next morning Custer turned on them, and sent them out of the country in a demoralized condition. 328 Four Years with Five Armies We then moved back to the neighborhood of Cedar Creek, and went into camp for re- organization. The Captain told me one day he felt as if he owed me a favor, and asked me what he could do for me. I replied that I would like to go home for forty days. He wrote out a furlough with a recommendation setting forth the capture of the flag as a sufficient reason to grant it. When the paper reached headquar- ters Major Nettleton signed it, and recom- mended one for himself and forwarded them to brigade headquarters. About this time Major Seward arrived and took command of the regiment. A court was organized to try the offenders of the past few months. One day the Captain said that Major Seward wanted to see me, and I went up to headquarters where the court was convened. The Major met me outside, and asked me what I wanted to do with Lanter- man's case. He said charges had been pre- ferred against him for mutiny in front of the enemy and that the lightest sentence was Dry Tortugas for life. He said I was the main witness and if it suited me he would withdraw the charges. I said that I did not want to in- flict punishment on anyone, and as Lanter- man was a recruit, and as he was prompted to do what he did by thinking he was imposed upon, we had better let him off this time. I went to my tent, and in about an hour Lanter- man came in with tears streaming down his Capture of Eighth S. C. Infantry 329 cheeks. He grasped my hands in both of his, and he was so overcome with emotion that he could not speak. I told him I understood him, and he went to his tent. That night he went on duty. He left camp in a few days and was taken prisoner by the enemy. The following, copied from the Official Records of the Rebellion, is of interest to close this chapter: HEADQUARTERS, MIDDLE MILITARY DIVISION. September 13, 1864. This morning I sent General Getty, division of the Sixth Corps, with two brigades of cavalry to the crossing of the sum- mit point and Winchester road over Opequon Creek, to develop the force of the enemy in that vicinity. Rhodes, Ramsure, Gor- don, and Wharton's divisions were found on the west bank. At the same time General Wilson, with General McIntosh's brigade of cavalry, dashed up the Winchester pike, drove the rebel cavalry at a run, came in contact with Kershaw's division, charged them, and captured the Eighth South Carolina Regi- ment, sixteen officers, one hundred and forty-five men, its battle flag, and Colonel Henigan, commanding brigade, with a loss of four men. (Two killed and two wounded.) Great credit is due General Wilson, General McIntosh, the Third New Jersey and Second Ohio. The charge was a gallant one. A portion of the Second Massachusetts reserve brigade made a charge on the right of our line, and captured one officer and eleven men of Gordon's division of infantry. Our loss in the reconnaissance was very light. (Signed) MAJ. GEN. SHERIDAN. In his general report of the maneuvers of the troops in the Valley, General Sheridan refers to that charge in the following lan- guage: Although the main force remained without change of position from September 3d until the x9th, still the cavalry was employed every day in harassing the enemy. Its opponents being princi- pally infantry. In these skirmishes the cavalry was being educated to attack infantry lines. On the i3th one of these handsome dashes was made by General McIntosh, of Wilson's division, capturing the Eighth South Carolina infantry. CHAPTER XXIV BATTLE OF CEDAR CREEK O N October i6th we were in the saddle at daylight, and moved across the Val- ley to the Shenandoah River on the pike leading to Washington by the way of Snicker's Gap. The command com- prising the cavalry corps rendezvoused there in light marching order, ostensibly for the purpose of making a raid to some other lo- cality. General Sheridan, with headquarters in the saddle on the north bank of the river, remained for two hours. The Second Ohio Cavalry, by order from General Sheridan, moved out in column and halted with the ad- vance near the ford of the river. After some deliberation Captain Newton was ordered to report to Colonel Forsythe, adjutant-general at that time on Sheridan's staff. He subsequently ordered the Captain to move his company across the river. When we moved out the General and his staff fell in the rear of the company. Advance- and rear- guard were accordingly detached and moved at proper intervals. We marched up the long winding slope to the gap that leads through the Blue Ridge. We had not moved far when 330 Battle of Cedar Creek it was evident that no other troops were on the march. In discussing the situation we con- cluded the movement of the corps was a feint to deceive the enemy. I did not know the facts until I read Sheridan's " Memoirs." He makes the statement that he sent all the cav- alry back but one regiment. The fact is it was all sent back but one company, and it is doubt- ful if the company numbered more than sixty men, all told. The General is excusable for not retaining such small affairs in his mind, for he was then dealing with a department and armies consisting of divisions and corps. With me it is different. I dealt with squads and minor details, the limit of which did not go beyond my sight. I can now see the party marching up the slope and the General giving instructions to Captain Newton on the plat- form at the depot as plainly as if the pic- ture were before me, and, therefore, venture the assertion and an apology for my state- ment. While going up the slope my pipe fell to the ground. After slipping from the saddle and waiting for the last set of fours to pass, it lay directly in front of the General's horse, which he checked until I picked it up. I had the medal in my pocket, and when running to catch the horse, thought of showing it to him, but changed my mind. After going through the pass we halted for a short rest, then resumed the march to the terminus of the railroad. We went into camp 331 Four Years with Five Armies with orders to remain there until the General returned from Washington. About five o'clock he was on the platform at the depot, where he met Captain Newton and gave him a dispatch with orders to return and deliver the dispatch the next day. He said he had received important information and did not consider it safe to send less than a full company. Nothing of importance occurred until one o'clock in the morning of October i9th. The Second Ohio was on picket. The booming of cannon as they appeared to be leisurely fired in the distance did not disturb the Third Di- vision where they lay in camp, and we con- tinued to change reliefs as usual until about four, when the roar from a heavy volley of musketry, accompanied by shouts and yells, told the sad tale of a surprise by the enemy. The attack was on the right flank of the in- fantry line and to our left. We got into the saddle and in line as soon as possible. On making observations, General Custer learned that the infantry line had been completely swept away, and that his left flank was ex- posed. He proceeded to close up the gap at once. The enemy after making the first as- sault, withdrew from the point of attack. We moved across the ground that the night before had been the camp of the living but was now the camp of the dead. Many tents were still standing, and the ground was so thickly strewn with bodies that the column was compelled to 332 Battle of Cedar Creek deploy and march at will. The dead men were all in their underclothes, having been shot before they had time to dress. We moved to the pike and passed through a neck of woods. Nearly every tree was the support of a wounded soldier or the rest for the guns of those who did not intend to re- treat farther without showing stubborn resist- ance. They were unorganized, but they said they were willing to fight it out on that line. We crossed the pike and formed by regiments, with the Second Ohio in' the front. The loca- tion was a valley bordered by a gentle ridge, with our battalion on the right and the first squadron in front. We threw a light dismounted line to lie near the top of the ridge to observe the move- ment of the enemy, and the boys crawled near enough to the top of the ridge to observe the enemy concentrating in front of them. We dismounted and lay down in open ranks. General Custer with two brigades formed be- hind another ridge. Officers were continually riding from our brigade to headquarters, and brought the news of the situation. Many of the demoralized corps had taken refuge behind a stone wall about three-fourths of a mile in the rear and on the opposite side of the pike. The corps that had occupied the line in front of where we now were lay in line to our left and rear, in as good order as they ever were, with the exception that they had 333 Four Years with Five Armies abandoned their camp and supplies, and with the support of the cavalry were in good shape for a conflict. The first and second divisions of cavalry were getting into position on the opposite flank of the infantry. The sun was well up, and the enemy, on the alert, detected our position by the passing of officers across the ridge, and opened on us with a section of artillery. It so happened that they got the range on our battalion, and we were ordered to mount and move to the right. When I placed my foot in the stirrup I noticed that Billy Pidgeon was on the right side of his horse. Just as my weight was thrown on the stirrup, Pidgeon came down on my back and set me on the ground again. A shell had passed through his horse, cutting the left stirrup and the saddle girth. The shell exploded in Company I and wounded two men. Had he been in his proper position the shell would have taken his left foot off at the ankle. We moved, and left a gap the length of the squadron, on which the enemy wasted many shells. We had dismounted when we heard faint cheering a long way to the rear. It was no doubt the stragglers from the broken corps who were cheering, but we could not under- stand what caused them to cheer. Had they changed their minds and were they coming back Some said they were reinforcements, but that could not be, for no troops were in 334 Battle of Cedar Creek the Valley except those at the front, which dispelled that suggestion. It was evident that the cheering was rapidly nearing us, and that the enemy had discovered our ruse and were fast getting range on us. The cheering increased and was now very audible. Men's voices could separately be distinguished from one another. In a moment more, with a sudden burst, a cheer arose from the stone wall which apparently made the air tremble. It was as if the very trees had been given voices to join in the tumult. As we lay flat on the ground we were ordered to mount, and when we rose up we saw a cloud of dust at the end of the stone wall. By the time we were in the saddle someone said that it was Sheridan. He was now com- ing down the slope about five hundred yards from us. The most skeptical could not fail to believe it now. I, for one, was loath to ac- knowledge it, knowing he had gone to Wash- ington by the other route and presumed he would return the same way. There was only one thing that gave an excuse for a difference of opinion and that was that Sheridan had not been seen riding a white horse before; but the white proved to be only foam from his black horse. Sheridan had not noticed the cavalry, and was speeding by when we called out not to go any farther, that the enemy was over the hill. He wheeled to the left and exclaimed, " What is this cavalry doing here Move right out of 335 336 Four Years with Five Airmies thisl Send General Custer to mel" Then he struck the spurs to the horse, and with a des- perate leap that threw the dirt across the pike he dashed away. The enemy must also have been moved by the cheering, for the guns ceased firing at that time. We moved out over the same ground we had come in the morning, and crossed the creek near where we had been on picket. We kept to the right of the ridge. General Custer was hurrying the artillery, and they passed us on the gallop. When he arrived at the top of the ridge in full view of the enemy's cavalry he came back and had the guns turned just far enough from the top of the hill that the enemy could not see them. They were un- limbered, loaded, and a company of cavalry dismounted to help to run them up. The cav- alry was ordered to charge as soon as the guns were discharged. The order was carried out, and before they could reload we were on the low ground on the other side of the ridge, driving the first line in. The shelling was done over our heads. This was a surprise to our adversaries. We were moving forward to flank the army and they fled. We reformed the line and charged again. This process was kept up until we had made seven charges. An hour passed at one time between charges, when it was said that Custer had gone to see Sheridan and report in person the advantage he had gained over the enemy. Battle of Cedar Creek3 During that time the battle was raging at its highest pitch. We were in a position to see the infantry line from the creek to the neck of woods previously spoken of, and they were moving at a quickstep across the field where the troops had been surprised in the morning. The enemy's artillery was plowing gaps through them with grape. To judge from the number that were dropping the musketry must have been as disastrous as the artillery fire. We were to the right of them, with a wide gap between their right and the cavalry's left. The ground was controlled by us from the fact that we had long-range guns and could move quickly. By the time that line passed out of sight behind the woods that skirted the creek, Custer made his appearance, and the trumpet sounded. We advanced until we crossed the pike in front of Early's wagon- train. When the teamsters saw us coming up the slope they began to turn around. Some of them upset their wagons, but we were right on them, and the panic was there also. Early's right wing had been hurled back on the pike by the cavalry of the other division, and when they saw Custer's long column com- ing up the slope, they hoisted the white flag. General Custer led that charge, and when he crossed the pike, he turned down the line of wagons and appeared to forget his position. He was giving orders to the teamsters to get off their mules. 337 338 Four Years with Five Armies I saw the enemy, and when he turned around I told him they had surrendered, and pointed to the white flag. It was now sun- down and the smoke made things look dark. I could see the enemy leaving their ranks with their guns and running toward the creek. I turned to the left and cut them off. The lead- ers were scattering, but grew numerous as they extended back to the ranks. They were leaving by dozens, but when they saw the leaders throw down their guns they did like- wise, returned to their ranks, and were counted with the prisoners. The interception of so many brave men by one man would ap- pear not only dangerous but fatal under ordi- nary conditions, but in this case there was not much risk. The fleeing men were under truce, and to fire one shot, as they were aware, would be a violation of the truce. Although it might kill the lone man, it would also be fatal to them and their comrades, as it would be re- opening hostilities. When Custer saw the white flag he ordered one regiment to file in rear of the prisoners, and the first brigade, which was ours, to go into camp and unsaddle. With one regiment he rode down the pike, taking possession of the captured train as far back as the bridge at the foot of Fisher's Hill. There was no wood to be had to make coffee. It is quoted in the " History of Ohio in the War " that the Second Ohio Cavalry went into camp that night without their supper. This Battle of Cedar Creek narrative will tell you that the whole division went into camp without breakfast, dinner, or supper. Had the Third Division been com- manded by a man of less prowess than Custer the troops that surrendered, with all night be- fore them, would have joined Early at Fish- er's Hill, and escaped. The division moved to wood and water early next morning, and after breakfast en- gaged the enemy's cavalry, driving them a few miles up the Valley, and then returned to the old camp. On the 2Ist the Second Ohio went on picket on the same ground we occupied on the morn- ing of the 19th. On the morning of the 22d, after my relief had come into the reserve from the vidette line, at four o'clock, I lay down, and had just gone to sleep, when someone called me and told me to get up, that my fur- lough had come. No time was lost in report- ing to the Captain, who told me to get ready and report to Major Nettleton, and go with him to Martinsburg, where we would take the train for home. One of the boys had a revolver he wanted to send home. Another had a carbine he had picked up on the battlefield, which he gave me, and I turned mine over to the quarter- master-sergeant, and reported to the Major as soon as possible. He was at his quarters in the brigade camp, busy preparing for the journey. While wait- ing, I examined my furlough, which was 339 Four Years with Five Armies signed by Major Nettleton, Lieutenant-Col- onel Purrington, General Custer, General Talbot, and General Sheridan, who had cut it down to thirty days. A few days later a gen- eral order, issued by the Secretary of War, was read to the army, that anyone capturing a flag would be awarded a medal and given thirty days' furlough. When the Major left his tent he had several men to see, but he did not have to go to the picket line, for the men he talked to were con- spicuous for their absence from the front. I was too thick-headed to note the significance of these calls, only that it was a peculiar coin- cidence that the Major who had recently been in command of the regiment was so intimate and had special business with so many men that could neither acquire nor hold up the standing or reputation of the regiment. We stopped for the night at Winchester, and called on another of his friends, who was quartered there with a double-walled tent, by what privilege or authority I am unable to say, but to our way of thinking it was not in accordance with the true soldier at the front. The Major and his friend occupied one room and I the other. The orderly slept in the stable. The next night, we stopped at a hotel in Martinsburg. The travel at that time was enormous and a bed was not to be had in town. The clerk said they had one lounge unoc- cupied, and the Major engaged that. I lay 340 Battle of Cedar Creek on the floor with a half-dozen more late ar- rivals. Our train departed at two o'clock. We boarded it and went on our way homeward. As I sat in the easy seat I said to myself: " You are very fortunate in getting a furlough. That is the third one since the order has been issued from the War Department that no furloughs be given. Thousands of men have not had even one leave to see their home and friends." Then my mind reverted to the toils and priva- tions we had undergone. I thought of the day on which I applied for that leave, and follow- ing the time along I counted six skirmishes and one heavy, decisive battle in which I had participated, before the furlough was prop- erly granted that would permit one humble soldier to leave his post of duty at the front. Then the conversation of the night before passed like a vision before me, and I was sound asleep. After staying at home thirty days I returned to Martinsburg. The snow was boot-top deep. I attempted to find the commanding officer, and was directed from one place to another, but I failed to overtake him. I tramped about until I was tired, and then I fell in with a com- pany of soldiers on their way to Harper's Ferry. With no blankets I lay down in the box car during the bitter cold night. In the morn- ing I climbed over snow banks to Sandy Hook, and reported to the commanding officer of Camp Remount. 341 Four Years with Five Armies He directed me to the line of tents occupied by the dismounted men of the Third Division, where some of our company boys were. I bunked with them. Tramping through the snow with wet feet, and lying in the cold had brought on a severe toothache, and by the ad- vice of my bunky I took my first chew of tobacco to relieve it, and became an inveterate chewer from that time on. After remaining there a few days we were mounted, equipped, marched to the front, and reported to the regiment on December i9th. We learned to our surprise and disgust that the former Major Nettleton was now lieutenant- colonel, and all the men he had called on the day we left the front had been promoted to commissioned officers. There was much dis- satisfaction throughout the regiment on ac- count of such methods. Men and officers from all parts of the regi- ment called on me to express their opinions. They all told me they had expected to see me return with a commission. This frank expres- sion appeared odd to me, as the matter had never occurred to me in that light. The men and officers were unreserved, and many were bitter in their denunciation of Nettleton, and one captain who was noted for faithful duty and gallantry in action, advised me to go into no more actions with the regiment, declaring he had performed his last duty unless some unexpected change took place. As I was a 342 Battle of Cedar Creek 343 soldier from a sense of duty rather than choice, I Considered the proposition as un- worthy the notice of the citizen-soldier, al- though I regarded with contempt those who sought and gained undue advantage over their comrades in arms. CHAPTER XXV CUSTER'S RAID T HE division was then under march- ing orders, and on the morning of the 20th moved out up the Valley, and on the 22d camped at Lacy's Springs. Our brigade passed the house, a wayside inn, where General Custer had established his headquarters. Two brigades, the artillery, and wagon-train, camped without passing the house, but our brigade passed and turned into an open field. It was a beautiful evening, but turned cold during the night and snowed about eight inches, on top of which a crust froze strong enough to bear a horse's weight. The trumpets sounded at three o'clock. We broke the crust from over our heads, and turned the saddles over on top of the crust, which gave room to crawl out without break- ing it over the bed, leaving the bed in pretty good condition to crawl into after putting the saddles on the horses. A number of rails were near by, and some of the men built fires, and stood around them; but the wind was blowing a gale and the snow was melting around the fires, so they could not get much benefit from them. We had 344 Custer's Raid crawled into bed and were asleep when the sound of musketry startled the camp. We came out in a hurry, threw our blankets loose across the saddle, put on the bridle, and were ready in a few minutes, but not before General Custer was up at full speed on a bare- backed steed, calling for the Second Ohio. He was answered by hundreds of voices, Here, here I" " Charge to the pike! They're coming that way," he ordered. We were in line by battalions. The right of each rested at the top of the sloping ground. We wheeled by fours, each of the three columns facing the pike and going at full speed. The movement was made in great haste, for we could now hear the clatter of horses com- ing down the icy pike at full speed. There was slipping and sliding, but the horses kept their balance all right until we neared the fence that separated the pike and field. There some attempted to check the speed of the horses, and then there was tumbling in all directions. On seeing the danger some con- cluded to take their chances for all or nothing, and go over the fence without checking their speed. The enemy was now passing, and when we lit in the pike we cut them into two parts. Those on our right turned back and the advance kept on. My horse cleared the fence, and when he hit the ice he slid across the pike into the other 345 Four Years with Five Armies fence with force enough to wreck it. It doubled him in a heap, but soon he scrambled to his feet. The clatter that was sounding in the battalion to our right told the tale of saber strokes. When my horse had straightened out the enemy had gone out of sight. But few shots had been fired in this last en- counter and there had been but few casualties. We went into camp and picked up the scat- tered things, then cooked coffee, and after breakfast, with our brigade in advance, we marched out on the back track, leaving one brigade to bury the dead and move out later in the day. The attack had been made on the wagon- train. The enemy had evaded the pickets dur- ing the snow storm, crossed the woods and fields, and the first alarm was the volley fired into the train, killing some teamsters. Their command divided, part driving away some stock, and the others went to capture General Custer. He was not napping, and when they captured his sentinel he heard the demand, ran out the back way, mounted his horse, and by going out the back gate evaded them and was able to join his command. Having failed in their purpose they were endeavoring to es- cape up the pike. It turned bitter cold during the day, and as we passed over Fisher's Hill it appeared as if the wind was not checked by our clothing but passed right through. It was impossible to hold one's head up and face the gale. We 346 Custer's Raid 347 walked and led, keeping close to the horses to break the wind from our faces. Forty men were disabled in our regiment by freezing. It was said that a greater number was frozen in every other regiment in the division. CHAPTER XXVI WINTER QUARTERS W E arrived near Winchester on De- cember 24th, with orders to build winter quarters. Among the squads from Camp Remount and hospitals were several men, most of whom had been with the wagon-train during the last raid, and joined the company during the day, and who, as old partners, now came together and broke up the temporary messes. I had no partner, but had been sleeping with Woodburn while on the raid. He now joined his regular partner, Sergeant Sawyer, who had bunked temporarily with Pidgeon, both having just joined the company. That put Pidgeon and me without regular partners, and we joined together. A full mess was made, but we were without any cooking utensils or tools to work with. We borrowed a coffee-pot and frying-pan after the others were through, and did likewise for breakfast in the morning. We sat down on our saddles to eat our Christ- mas breakfast, which was disposed of without a word spoken. Each was wrapped in his own thoughts. When Pidgeon picked up the cof- fee-pot to return it to the owner the silence was broken by Woodburn, who said that the pros- pect was rather blue, as everyone would be 348 Winter Quarters using his ax and hatchet, and there would be no chance to borrow. I replied that it was so much the better, as it would throw us on our own resources and we would have to hustle to get tools of our own. Commissary-Sergeant Sawyer being excused from all such duty, the other three of us saddled up and started out in search of something to work with. We rode together for a mile, discussing our odd situation, and then separated. When we reported to camp, Woodburn had an ax, Pid- geon had an iron kettle, and I had an iron plate for the back of the fireplace, with a bar for the arch and a chain to drag the logs with, which I secured from an old chimney stand- ing where there had once been a house. We bought a coffee-pot and frying-pan, borrowed a collar from a teamster, and we were now the best fitted out of any mess in the company. After dinner we began our task. Pidgeon and Woodburn cut logs, while I rigged up a harness on my new horse. The horse was a light cream color, sixteen hands high, and he had a rat tail, and a mane only an inch and a half long. We called him Claybank. We hauled logs before night, and on the morning of January i, i865, we moved into our finished quarters, the first mess housed in the camp. We then had an ax to lend to those that had none. The next day Sergeant Sawyer received a Christmas box from home, containing turkey, cake, jelly, and delicacies too numerous to 349 Four Years with Five Armies mention. We lived high for a week, and realized that with all the misfortunes there was also some small good fortune in war. Our winter quarters were laid off fronting on a straight line, with cabins 8 x 12, and walls six feet high, with chimney and door in front gable and two bunks across the back end. Our tents formed the roofs. A large oak tree was on the line of the walls of our cabin. In selecting lots this lot had been left on account of the tree. Our mess was unorganized at the time of the assignment, and had to take Hobson's choice, but this proved an advantage rather than a detriment. We cut a notch in the tree for the top log or plate, and hung the door on the tree, which gave us a side entrance with full width of the gable for a fireplace by pinning the end of the other logs to the other side of the tree. Our duty during our stay in winter quarters was light. General Sheridan was fitting out the cavalry corps as but few knew how. The horses were kept well shod, with plenty of forage, and had good care. The pickets were stationed from six to ten miles out, in details of fifty men, on the main road, where they remained three days. I was entrusted with this duty twice during the eighty days. On one of these turns I committed a blunder. We were on the Valley pike with one reserve in the woods, a half mile away, with a vidette line half a mile in front, out of sight from the reserve, and also hid from any- 35 Winter Quarters one passing along the pike by a strip of woods that skirted the points of hills divided by small ravines. A vidette was stationed on each point. It was my custom to inspect the line twice a day. On going out in the evening I missed Wakefield, who had been stationed on the point nearest the pike. This point hid the pike from view directly opposite. I heard loud talk and the rumbling of wheels. At first thought my mind was made up that he had been captured and the enemy was making off with him. This mistake arose from the fact that I was not informed about the position of the enemy in the Valley. I wheeled about without second thought, got the men in line, sent a message into headquar- ters, and sent a corporal with a squad to in- vestigate. When thev went to the point they found Wakefield on duty. He explained that he saw the wagons coming from Winchester with women and children in them, and he left the post and went to talk with them. It was ration dav and they had been to town to draw rations. The Government was then feeding the inhabitants of the Valley. His absence was a breach of orders, for we had no order to demand passes from anvone. But nothing was said about it, for Wakefield was never known to shirk a duty and was always in the front line; but he could not re- sist the temptation of a conversation whenever he saw a sunbonnet. It was a lesson, and we guarded against similar trouble in future. 35I CHAPTER XXVII JAMES RIVER CANAL RAID A T retreat the Captain notified the com- pany that all men unable to march on a long raid should report their dis- ability at once, and that all those with disabled horses would change with the dis- abled men, who would turn the horses in and go to division hospital. Those able for duty were to be ready to march at seven o'clock in the morning. That notice was all sufficient, for we would now move better with an hour's notice than we could have moved with ten days' notice in i86i. We knew just what we could carry, and how to pack it to carry it well. Every- thing was ready, and at the appointed time we marched out of the woods and left the cabins that had sheltered us for the winter. We formed with the brigade on an open field near Winchester, where the Third Di- vision rendezvoused. The snow was yet on the ground in sheltered spots, but had disap- peared with the frost on the open ground. The horses sank half-way to their knees in mud. The unserviceable and surplus equi- page and trains were left to be taken care of by officers assigned to that duty. 352 James River Canal Raid With General Custer as advance, our delay was short, and we moved out on the Valley pike, where the traveling was good. When the column arrived at the Shenan- doah River we found it very much swollen and very swift. It was difficult to cross. Pon- toons had to be laid to cross the artillery and train. Owing to the width and one sloping bank, it was necessary to lay it some distance from the ford, which made it neces- sary to leave the pike with the train. In many places the wagons went down to the axles in the soft ground, and the wheels went very deep at all places. The column was delayed very much and would move up a few rods and halt. This was repeated time after time, which was evidence that some obstacles had to be overcome. At last our brigade, which had been march- ing in the rear, formed by regiments on a hill overlooking the ford, and witnessed men and horses floating down the river and struggling for life. Few were able to extricate them- selves. We detected at once that they were endeavoring to do something they had no ex- perience in. Not more than a dozen had ef- fected a landing, and as many men and horses had found a watery grave. The arms in the East had no experience in this line. Our boys said when they had seen them turn around and come back two or three times, that they would have to get the Second Ohio to show them how to swim. 35 Four Years with Five Armies The staff officers told General Pennington, the brigade commander, that the Second Ohio could cross. He replied that if the Second Ohio could cross any other regiment could cross. After several unsuccessful attempts he gave it up and said he would wait for the pontoons, and reported his decision to General Custer, who took exception to this delay, and ordered him to cross his brigade at the ford. He was now compelled to call on the Second Ohio. Captain Newton was ordered to advance with his company. There was not a company in the regiment that would not have been proud to have the distinction, but they all knew the ability of our captain, and had no fear or doubts as to our success. The banks of the river were crowded with officers and men on the side where we entered, and the few that had landed on the other side, a part of whom were trying to rescue a struggling man that was floating down near the bank. We were acquainted with the ford, having crossed it at low-water mark. A bar or riffle ran in a circuitous course from above the ford on the side we entered, and was cut off on the other side by the current below the landing. The riffle was now covered with swimming water most of the way. The current was deep and running against a perpendicular bank, ex- cept a space wide enough for a wagon. This space had been graded up the bank. To miss that narrow landing was to drift down to take 354 James River Canal Raid desperate chances for one's self and sure death to the horse, for there was no place for his escape. Our captain uttered but one sentence: "Keep closed up, boys; and support me." The landing being high up the river, it was necessary to gain not only that distance but what we would lose in drifting with the cur- rent after reaching swimming water. The Captain turned up stream, as soon as the horse entered the water, and with spurs at the horses' sides we closed on each side with shoulder to his horse to support him. He forced his way against water so rapid that it threw white caps as it whirled about the horses' necks and shoulders. At this move the crowd went wild. They thought they saw our fatal mistake. Thou- sands of voices broke forth with shouts, wav- ing hands and hats: " Turn down, turn down I " Such a tumult would have turned the head of a less considerate man than Captain New- ton. He did not take his eye from his course. They were almost in reach of us. We pushed on. There was not a break as we crowded against the almost irresistible force of the cur- rent, but experience had taught us that to break that current was the secret to success. It was easy for those to travel on the lower side if those on the upper side were able to advance; and, gradually turning into the stream, we were soon afloat. Every man 355 356 Four Years with Five Armies turned his horse's head up stream as soon as the water took him from his feet. This was no experiment with the old members of the regiment, of whom there were enough to con- trol the movements of the new ones. As soon as the horse is lifted from his feet he begins to swim and is safe to tie to; but as soon as he touches bottom, in his efforts to walk, he plunges and rears up. This is the critical time for his rider. We gained enough by fording against the current to land safely, and the regiment crossed in an unbroken column, with but one accident caused by an unruly horse. The horse was determined not to take the water, left the column, and by plunging about suc- ceeded in dismounting the trooper in shallow water. The division crossed and the march con- tinued. Nothing of importance occurred un- til we approached Waynesboro. We were marching near the rear of the column, and heard the cannonading some dis- tance in front that told us the advance had encountered something more than a crib of corn or a haystack. We moved up and formed in rear of the troops already engaged, and judged from what little we could see that the opposing forces were in close proximity to each other. General Custer's headquarters were on the same ground on which the Fifth New York and Second Ohio had been surrounded in Oc- James River Canal Raid tober, I864. Three regiments, the Second Ohio, First Connecticut, and Fifth New York, were detached from the main command and moved off to the right. After traveling or rather plunging through the soft mud a mile and a half, we dismounted and the horses were sent back to the brigade. We were then in a wide ravine that extended to South River. It was bordered with timber except in one place, the mouth of another swale that entered from our left and skirted by a low ridge on which the enemy's line was deployed. When we came in front of that open place, the enemy, secreted in the timber, who had not yet been discovered by us, opened fire. With the customary yell we went directly for the point or junction of the two open places. Where the enemy was the ridge was covered with trees and large boulders. We fired as we ran, until half-way up the side of the ridge, which was so steep we were compelled to halt and rest after our run through the mud. The enemy was loath to leave that position, pro- tected by boulders and trees. They kept up a desultory firing, which was answered by our carbines. When the order was given to advance we sprang to our feet, and their line gave way in front of us. The firing and calls from us to surrender compelled most of them to take shelter behind trees and to throw down their guns. When we were out of the timber in the open ground to our left we could see the smoke 357 Four Years with Five Armies of the guns as they fired from the left of Early's earthworks. We realized that we were now in the rear of Early's army. Had we been mounted not one would have been able to make his escape. An open field was in front of us, about five hundred yards wide, with a fence the end which terminated near Early's line and ran toward the river and parallel with the street of Waynesboro, and about three hundred yards in the rear of the village. A man was running down by the fence to my left. I called halt several times, but he would not halt. I fired and he dropped down. As I came near him he said, " My God, you have shot me! " There was no assurance that he was wounded, and as I did not intend he should wound me, I replied, " I know it, and don't raise your hand or you will get another." I asked him why he had not halted in time, and picked up his gun and raised it up to break it. He told me not to do that. I asked him why, and he said, " Take it and use it, we do." With a crash it came to the ground, breaking the stock. I tossed it over the fence. Patting my gun, I said we had something bet- ter, and started to intercept some men that were now running from the village toward the river. He begged me not to leave him, saying they would kill him. I told him they would send an ambulance and take care of him. "You seem a clever sort of fellow," 358 James River Canal Raid he said. After assuring him that they were all like me, I left him. A few rods from that place was a jog in the fence, with a pair of bars that opened into a lane. When I arrived at the bars, two men that had hid in the fence corner rose up and stepped to the middle of the lane. Their looks showed that they had no intention of giving up; but I had the drop on them with my gun over the bars. I demanded their sur- render, but they repeatedly made motions to bring their guns into position. They were greeted each time with an injunction not to do it. I also told them to throw down their guns and step ten paces in front of them. They made a move to run, but I insisted that they obey orders, which they finally did. Here I concluded to do something that I had never done before and which I had always dis- couraged in others whenever talked about. I had recently heard of some depredations of the kind perpetrated by the enemy, and I felt like retaliating. I told them to disgorge, and got one pocket- knife, a leather pocket-book with two twenty- dollar Confederate bills, some Southern poetry, and a ring which they said was made of a Yankee's bone. By that time one of the boys had come up. We told the prisoners to go to where the wounded man was. A crowd was then gath- ered about him. We started on, and my com- panion said he had seen two men enter a black- smith shop that stood by the lane. We went 359 Four Years with Five Armies in and pulled two men from under the bel- lows. One was an Irishman, the first Irish Johnnie we had ever seen. After breaking the guns we kept down the lane on the run. The crowd came on behind us. The fence on the left did not extend to the river, but the one on the right did. A cabin stood near the end of the lane. The ground to the left was open, and men scattered all over it, running and en- tering the brush that skirted the river. We were calling halt to them, and opposite me was one with a fine flag. I called out to drop that flag, and the flag went to the ground, but the man kept running. We did not shoot, for we thought they must ultimately sur- render. To shoot would slacken our pace, and to hit them would be the wanton taking of life. WAhen I arrived at the bank some were jumping into the river and some were climb- ing out on the other side. In front of us was a boy about seventeen years old, on an island not much larger than an army wagon, situated in the middle of the river. He was dressed in a new uniform of fine gray cloth and nicely trimmed with black silk braid. When I appeared on the river bank he threw his musket into the water and was about to follow it. A demand not to go caused him to halt, but he continued to assume the posture of one about to plunge, with his weight thrown on his left foot, which was in advance of the right, with arms stretched up- wards. Leaning over the water I requested 360 James River Canal Raid him to return. I made repeated entreaties, and was compelled to threaten to shoot him every time he moved. A half dozen of his comrades stood on the opposite bank watching every motion. He said he had nearly drowned in his effort to get away and would not take the same chance to surrender, but if compelled to take any chances it would be to escape. While I had no intention of shooting, I was compelled to keep up appearances. Several of the boys had now assembled on the bank, and among them was one mounted man. I asked him if he would come back if we sent him a horse. He said yes. The trooper heard this, and before anyone could speak he plunged into the water, swim- ming out to him, and the boy got on behind the trooper. We then returned, picking up the prisoners that had hid in the brush. When we were even with the place where the flag lay I told them there was a flag over there and I would go and get it while they took the prisoners with them. As I turned I saw a mounted man riding at a gallop across the field, and after taking about fifty steps saw him dis- mount, pick up the flag, and return to the rear with it. I then returned, being tired with the long chase. At the cabin near the end of the lane I exchanged one of the twenty-dollar bills for a dozen biscuits and the other for a quart coffee-pot. 36i Four Years with Five Armies We soon arrived at the place where we had left the wounded man. Our regiment with many prisoners had assembled there, where we remained until the horses arrived. It is a pity that while I relate my own ex- perience I am not able to tell of others or what they were doing at the same time. My at- tention at such times was riveted on what I was doing, and there is no time to record even those acts of others which I remember. About the time we entered the timber by the river there were many exploits that would be interesting to relate. We had a glimpse of one occurrence and afterward learned the result. Between Waynesboro and the river there is a bank about ten feet high, built up for the railroad track, and opposite where the man threw down the flag. Soon afterward a train was pulling out on the bank, and a trooper gal- loped by the side of the engine and drove the engineer from the lever by firing his revolver into the cab. He caught hold, swung into the cab, stopped the engine, and captured a train- load of rebel supplies. When we mounted, and crossed the railroad track near the village, we followed on the trail of General Early. The few mounted men who had escaped had taken time by the fore- lock. They left by the time we charged through the timber early in the engagement. After crossing the river we wound along the steep grade that led us to the top of the Blue 362 James River Canal Raid Ridge. We passed empty wagons from which the teams had been taken by Early's party, who were then fleeing toward Charlottesville. When we approached Charlottesville the advance was frequently checked by the enemy's cavalry, which had concentrated to prevent our entering the town. Flanking columns moved out right and left, and we marched in, and the destruction of Confeder- ate stores began at once. We camped one night in the suburbs of the town. The next morning the Second Ohio was detached with orders to destroy railroad tracks. When we counted off, my number happened to be odd, and I had to stay with the horses. My feet had not been dry since leaving Winchester, except for a few minutes at a time when dried by the fire. Walking through the thick mud had worn out my boots, and I was now wearing a pair of plantation shoes with wooden soles, manufactured. at that place for the field-hands. After dinner we moved below the town, and lay in line until three o'clock, when we were again detached to destroy the iron bridge across the Ravenna River. We learned that two different regiments had worked on it dur- ing the day and had given it up. Custer was determined it should be finished, and had been waiting since noon for the purpose. We gathered all the telegraph wire, includ- ing coils found at the depot and what there 363 Four Years with Five Armies was strung on the poles, twisted it into cables, and ran rails through with two men at each end of the rail. When the word heave was given, everyone pulled, and in one hour and a half we had pulled five spans from the piers, and tumbled them into the river about twenty- five feet below. There was a light skirmish line on the op- posite side of the river that kept firing a shot now and then. Our horses were massed on a hill near by. I went to get some matches from the saddle pockets. While there, General Custer, who had started everything except our brigade on the road, came up to see how the work was progressing. His staff and escort, with all the flags cap- tured at Waynesboro, and his headquarters flags, were quite a gorgeous array, and at- tracted the enemy's fire. The balls passed over our horses, and they sounded rather sharp in the evening air. One staff officer who was blustering about called out, "We had better move from here, had we not, General " There was no reply to the sally, but a withering look from the General sent the officer to the rear in short order. It was dark when we moved out, and we marched all night. We soon came into the richest valley of Virginia, where the Confed- erates drew a large amount of supplies for their army. The destruction of these supplies was almost complete along the route we 364 James River Canal Raid 365 traveled, and with plenty of forage most of the stock did well on the latter end of the raid. The James River Canal was cut, and locks, boats, and cargoes were destroyed when we got through with the raid. There had been some skirmishing with some part of the command at almost every hour of daylight since we met them near Charlottesville, but no engagement worthy of note until we arrived at Ashland, about eleven miles from Richmond. We were marching into the center, and the advance brigade was driving the stubborn enemy in front of them. As we passed near where my horse had fallen under me on June i, and over the ground where Company D had charged the sound of the guns in the distance, the cold chills ran up my back as I thought of the brave boys who fell there in what might be properly called the White Horse charge, Company D all being mounted on white horses. At dark we had completely flanked the enemy, and moved to White House Landing, where Custer's division joined Sheridan, who had come on the raid, but by a different route. CHAPTER XXVIII THE LAST BATTLES A REORGANIZATION was now or- dered by General Sheridan. The un- 121 serviceable horses and property were condemned and turned in. My horse had a saddle bruise and I was compelled to part with him. Claybank was otherwise in fine condition. The plans were changed, and we moved to the Army of the Potomac before the clothing and the fresh horses arrived. The dismounted men had to walk. There was no enemy to contend with, and the march was slow and easy. We proceeded to Hancock's Station on the 27th of March. On the 28th we drew horses. My mount was a sorrel pony, less than fourteen hands high. On the 29th we moved to the left of Grant's line. The rain was falling constantly, and the horses were plunging about in mud and water. It was impossible to keep in the column, and we had to help the supply-train along, which was a discouraging task. The logs that had been put in for corduroy road were in many instances floating, and they were an obstacle instead of a benefit. The battle was raging within hearing dis- 366 The Last Battles tance, and the continual roar of cannon and musketry added to the dreary situation. The front line was lonesome without Custer, and he was ordered up. We made the best time possible, leaving the train to fall to any fate that might overtake it. On the route we passed hundreds of dead and wounded that lay in the mud or sat braced up by trees. Some had arms in slings an', with their clothes cut open to bind up their wounds, and their faces and hands besmeared with blood and powder smoke, they made a pitiful-looking sight as they hobbled or crawled toward the station at the end of the military railroad. After traveling two or three hours we came to the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac, among them the Sixth Ohio Cavalry. When we passed I rode over and shook hands with some of my old schoolmates. Our journey was near an end, for the Sixth was then drawing in its skirmish line in order to be out of Custer's way. We moved on a half mile, and while the cavalry dis- mounted, the artillery, which had been kept well to the front, opened on Pickett's troops at about eight hundred yards. We charged in a mass as soon as we could get together, in little or no order, driving all light lines before us. Hayes, who was run- ning by me, went down with the first volley from the main line. I kept on firing at every step until the magazine was empty, and re- loaded while running. I jumped a ditch 367 368 Four Years with Five Armies about five feet wide, when a minie ball struck my left ankle. General Custer, with his flag bearer, dashed by just at that time. The horses sank to their knees at every jump. After running thirty steps or more I thought it best to see how bad my wound was, and I went back to the ditch and sat behind a stump and pulled off my boot, which was full of blood. I concluded it did not amount to much, and started on again. I think at least one dozen balls struck the stump while I was there. When I arrived at the place from which I had turned back I was well in the rear of our men, who were lying flat on the brow of a little rise of ground in front. A storm of lead was flying, and the enemy charged and we broke. The ground we had come over was sloping and there was such a storm of lead I thought it best to follow up the swale, for the rise of ground would have a tendency to carry the balls high over my head. My clothes were cut in several places, however, before I reached shelter. When the enemy had arrived at the highest point I was in the woods and in another bri- gade, which was also falling back at will. A high rail fence was in front of us, and I shouted, " Here is a good place to make a stand! Rally on this fence!" A lieutenant-colonel was in front of me. He drew his saber, halted, and ordered his men to form there. The lead was spatting The Last Battles on the trees, one of which I managed to keep between the enemy and me until I could catch my breath, for I was winded by my long run. When most of the men had dropped over the fence I walked up, climbed over, walked leisurely to the right, fell in with our regi- ment, and nearly the first man I met was Cap- tain Newton. He told me to tell Sergeant Grist to rally the men on that ground. It was now getting dark. I did not tell the Cap- tain I was wounded, and when a little farther back called for Sergeant Grist and was an- swered, " Here! " Before I saw him I was repeating the Captain's orders, and I received the curt reply that he was then being carried back by two men with a bullet through his lung. I apologized, of course, although I had committed no offence, not knowing he was wounded. The men were soon in order and they made the second charge. My ankle began to feel heavy, and pained me so I went with the horses to the rear. During the first charge we noticed something we had not seen before. The work of the battery was fearful. The ground in front of it sloped gently down to the junction of two draws or swales, divided by a point that sloped back to the right. The second draw was partly hid by the point that covered all of the enemy's line except the right, which rested on the railroad. Every time the guns were discharged the grape swept 369 370 Four Years with Five Armies that part of the line completely away, and the line would wheel into column and fill up the gap just vacated, only to meet the same fate. There was nothing to prevent the artillery from recharging and firing, and therefore each man knowingly stepped into a dead man's shoes. It was an act of suicide, actuated by a determined bravado to keep up an appear- ance from the fact that they were experienced officers, and that the men had engaged in all the important battles of the war. At their right there was a railroad embankment which would have given them ample protection and which would have enabled them to control the same ground had they chosen to take refuge behind it. A small detachment of sharp- shooters could have compelled Custer's artil- lery to abandon its position. When once more in the saddle I laid my foot across the horse's neck, cut the top of the boot away, and tied up the wound with a handkerchief. In the morning, with a com- panion to bring the horse back, I went to the hospital at Dinwiddie Court House. So many were there so much worse than I, and who needed all the attention of the force of surgeons and attendants, that I told them to give me a pan and bandage and I could take care of myself. "That is the kind of talk we like to hear. We are overrun with work," the doctor said. By the time the wound was bandaged, they brought in Captain Newton. He had been The Last Battles wounded in the leg during the last charge and had lain out all night between the lines. The enemy abandoned their position during the night. About noon those able to walk to the am- bulance were ordered to get in and go to Hancock's Station. I had placed my overcoat under Captain Newton to brace him up against the wall of the court-house. My medal was in the pocket, and I went away and left it rather than disturb him. My ankle was now swollen and somewhat painful. I hobbled about, and we arrived at the station a little before dark. The Women's Relief Corps was here in force, administering to the sick and wounded who were arriving by thousands from all along the line, from Petersburg to Dinwiddie Court House. We were loaded into box- and flat-cars, crowded to the utmost limit, and run over a military railroad, a track laid on top of the ground without grading, to City Point. The method of braking at that time was crude, and as we went up and down hill the train would jerk and crash together with such force that the men would slide together on the bottom of the cars. At daylight we arrived at our destination and were placed in tents. The Captain was brought in the next day, with his leg ampu- tated, and in a dying condition. This was sad news to me. He had been the central figure of our company, always at his post, intelligent, 371 Four Years with Five Armies reliable at all times and under all conditions, patient with toil and privation, and now he must die with victory in view. The authorities were moving the men as fast as they were able, and in a few days we were loaded on transports and landed at Washing- ton, D. C., where we were placed in Glenwood Hospital. Although I dressed my wound twice each day, the doctor insisted on the amputation of my foot, and only by appealing to the chief surgeon was I able to save it. In a few days we were shipped to Philadelphia and placed in Chestnut Hill Hospital, where I remained until the wound was healed. The sojourn at Chestnut Hill was comfortable under the ex- isting conditions. We read the daily news about the closing events, and received letters from men of our company who participated for the remaining nine days that brought the struggle to a close between the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Vir- ginia. With letters from home with small remittances, and calls from relatives and friends from the city, the time passed off pleasantly until after the grand review, in which the Second Ohio marched with their old division and went into camp near Alex- andria, expecting to be mustered out of serv- ice soon. That news made me anxious to go, and in the month of June, i86S, I made appli- cation to be released and was booked to go with the first squad. When everything was 372 The Last Battles ready they placed an armed guard around us with fixed bayonets, marched us into cars, locked the doors, and stationed a guard on each platform. When we arrived in the city we were marched to a large building with grated iron doors and windows, and locked in. It being the first time I was a real prisoner it made me feel as if there should be some way to escape, and I applied for leave to visit my friends in the city, but was promptly refused, although I promised to be on time for the train that would depart in the evening. The same treatment was continued, and on our arrival at Washington, D. C., we were turned into a large detention building with iron gratings near the B. . 0. Depot. There we were kept during the night without a blanket, being compelled to lie down on the filthy floor, which looked as if it had never been cleaned and which was alive with ver- min. We were without one mouthful to eat, and only river water to drink, of which there was an abundance to be procured at a hydrant placed there for that purpose. This treatment caused me to feel bitter toward the perpetrators of such a crime. On inquiry as to the cause of the treatment, some officers would walk away without answering, while others would reply, " To keep you from getting away." The snobbishness of the officers caused me to regret that I had ever taken up arms to tear down one set of aristo- 373 Four Years with Five Armies crats who domineered over the blacks, to build another class to domineer over the whites, which might be regarded as a forecast of the political future of the Republic. The same method of treatment was continued for several hours after our arrival at Alexandria. When we arrived in Alexandria we learned that the regiment, having been dismounted, was then in St. Louis, Missouri. A small squad of the Second Ohio men having reported at Alexandria from various hospitals, we were released and permitted to go to quarters with them, and forwarded to the regiment. On our arrival in St. Louis we learned that an effort had been made to take the regiment with Hunter's expedition up the Red River for the purpose of seizing contraband cotton. The war having terminated, the men consid- ered their contract fulfilled, and raised a pro- test, the result of which was a riot that drove Colonel Nettleton from the regiment and landed the men in Benton Barracks, Missouri, where we joined them. 374 CHAPTER XXIX MUSTERED OUT O N the first day of July the regiment was marched to the depot and sent on cars to Raleigh, the terminus of the railroad then being built to Spring- field, Missouri. After marching on foot for two days, we went into camp and lay over the 4th. There was no demonstration to denote that it was Independence Day except the halt to rest. On our arrival at Springfield we pitched camp in a pleasant open grove. There was no apparent reason for this movement, and when those who should know were approached with the question, they would reply that there was an unsettled condition somewhere in the South but that they did not know exactly where. The reply only intensified the already exas- perated questioner, who could reach no other conclusion than that it was to raise the grade of the officers, many of whom had filched what they already had. The former worthy officers having been killed, wounded, or having re- signed on account of bad treatment, the record of the regiment began to change after leaving Washington, as the men considered their con- 375 Four Years with Five Armies tract fulfilled and claimed the right to go home. The mud-and-water class of officers now be- ing in control, and the arch conspirator hav- ing gone to gloat over his ill-gotten gains, the true soldier burned with indignation when put off with evasive answers. So, taking into consideration the reward given for faithful duty, they threw off all responsibility and did not pretend to do anything as it should be done. When horses and equipments were issued the regiment separated by battalions, the one to which Company E belonged remaining at Springfield to do duty at that place. The last horse assigned me, and the seventeenth one ridden in the regular line of mount, was an iron-gray, well built, and sixteen hands high. Before leaving this place, I was informed of two things of importance to me. One day G. A. Richardson of Company A came into our quarters and told me that he had the re- volver I had taken from the officer in the en- gagement at Ashland. He was with the ad- vance of the dismounted line that moved out and took possession of our original line. He was the first to the dead horse, and picked the revolver up from in front of the saddle where it fell when he went down. He asked me if I would know it, and I replied that it was different from any I had ever seen, the cylin- der being fluted. He said it was, and pro- 376 Mustered Out duced it. He offered it to me, but, as he had come into possession of it by fair means, his offer was refused. At another time, a man from Company B, whom I was not acquainted with, said, " You thought you shot that man at Waynesboro." I told him that I thought so. He said, " You did not shoot him; you fired and the man fell, but you missed him. Polhemus was to the right and rear of you and his shot brought the man down." This news was thankfully received, for I had no inclination to retain the thought of hav- ing been directly the cause of any man's death or misery. As this claim was made for the man that had the reputation of being the best long-range marksman in the regiment, I will- ingly waived my judgment in the case. Headquarters and quartermaster and com- missary stores were in town. The guards were detailed with a sergeant in command, who marched to town and remained for three days. This duty, as sergeant of the guard, fell to my lot several times during our stay. The county jail and the stockade for military prisoners were entrusted to us and, under the conditions and with the frame of mind the men were in, the way we performed the duty would be no credit to our record, so I will omit it. Only two incidents occurred while we were here that are worthy of note. One was the killing of a man by the name of Tutt by Bill Hickok, better known as Wild Bill. They fell out over a game of cards and separated. 377 Four Years with Five Armies The next time they met, both drew and fired about the same time, and Tutt fell dead. They were companion scouts, and were as- signed to duty at Springfield, where Tutt's mother lived. Bill was placed in jail and the sheriff told me to take him out when he wanted to go, as he had no authority to do so himself. When on duty we walked about together, and he told me the adventures of his life, which were substantially the same as quoted in the book entitled " The Life of Wild Bill." He was acquitted by a jury, afterward, and went to Kansas. Time wore away slowly, and repeated ef- forts failed to get the proper influence to bear on the Governor of Ohio to order the regiment home to be mustered out of service. Assured by letters from the other battalions that they would support us in any stringent measures we might employ, we held a council and elected delegates to wait on the Colonel. The delegates elected at the meeting previously spoken of chose a spokesman, marched to headquarters, and talked with Colonel Seward, who told them they were get- ting themselves into trouble; but he was promptly warned by the spokesman that we would be in the saddle at sunrise the next morning and would march to the railroad, and that if he made a protest he would not follow us but would remain to decorate a shade tree in Springfield. He suddenly came to terms, and offered to bring in the other battalions 378 Mustered Out and march one week from the next morn- ing. The delegation reported the result of their mission, and we accepted the terms. One week found us on our way to St. Louis, where we went into quarters at Benton Barracks. We turned in our horses, arms, and equipments, and were mustered out of service September II), i865. We went to Columbus, Ohio, where we were paid off and disbanded. At the completion of the Second Ohio's regimental organization, October i0, i86i, it mustered, according to its daily report, 1,177 men. This enrollment was subsequently swollen to a total of i,240 men. The official roster, published at Columbus, shows that by casualties, deaths, transfers, promotions, etc., 2,504 names were, during its time of service, carried on its rolls, and that when finally mus- tered out, September I I, i86S, it numbered 757, almost 200 of whom were recruits of less than six months' service; showing an actual loss from all causes, during its term of service, of i,749 men, or S6i more than the whole number enrolled within its ranks October io, i86i. It is stated in the " History of Ohio in the War," that the Second Ohio fought under the following general officers: Buell, Wright, Hunter, Denver, Sturges, Blunt, Soloman, Curtis, Schofield, Burnside, Custer, Gillmore, Shackelford, Foster, Kautz, Sedgwick, Wil- 379 380 Four Years with Five Armies son, McIntosh, Talbot, Carter, Sheridan, Meade and Grant. Its horses drank from, and the troopers have bathed in, the waters of the Arkansas, Caw, Osage, Cygene, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Scioto, Miami, Cumberland, Tennessee, Hols- ton, Potomac, Shenandoah, Rappahannock, Rapidan, Bull Run, Mattaponi, Pamunkey, Chickahominy, James, Appomattox, Black Water, Nottoway, and Chesapeake. It has campaigned in thirteen States and one Territory: Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Illi- nois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, and Indian Territory. It has traveled, as a regiment, on foot and on horseback, by railroad and steamboat, on land, by river, and on the ocean. It has marched an aggregate of twenty-seven thousand miles. It has fought in ninety-seven battles and engage- ments. It has served in five different armies: The Army of the Frontier, of the Missouri, of the Potomac, of Ohio, and of the Shenan- doah, forming a continuous line of armies from the headwaters of the Arkansas to the mouth of the James. Its dead sleep where they fell from a vidette line half across the continent, a chain of pros- trate sentinels two thousand miles long. Even in their graves may not their prostrate dead still guard the glory and integrity of the Republic for which they fell CHAPTER XXX POLITICAL AND MILITARY EFFECT OF MORGAN'S RAID T THE advent of the Morgan raid in July, i863, although eclipsed by the extensive military movements of the armies of the Potomac and the Miss- issippi, was very important as to its final result. It silenced the clamor for the recog- nition of State's rights by the pretender, distributed the intelligence of the inferior resources of the South, and compelled them to abandon all hope of substantial assistance from the North. It was a complete destruction of the right arm of Bragg's army, a succession of strategic movements, an extreme test of the endurance of man and beast. Its development enabled the Army of the Ohio to cross the Cumberland range, and to seize and maintain a stronghold in the heart of the enemy's country. It re- sulted in the assignment of competent officers to the cavalry bureau, whose recommendations placed that branch of the service in its proper standing, which is sufficiently attested by of- ficial records, and by the history of General R. E. Lee, who frequently refers to the ef- 38I 382 Four Years with Five Armies ficiency of Sheridan's cavalry in the closing days of the dying struggle. Among the pioneers of this adventure was Colonel, afterward General, A. V. Kautz, a soldier by nature and education, a philoso- pher, a man who solved a problem at a glance, a man of indomitable courage, loyal to his country, and proud of his profession. Lim- ited to an unimportant command, a great mili- tary genius was buried in obscurity for the want of an opportunity. CHAPTER XXXI THE ARMY HORSE IT has been asserted that the horse has no reasoning powers, and lacks discretion; but my experience teaches me that he is in possession of both, and in many cases to a marked degree. There are some very dull horses and an occasional desperado that has to be subjugated; a process which usually breaks his constitution to an extent that ren- ders him worthless. Like men, the average and superior horse soon learns the trumpet calls, is at home with his associates, and adapts himself to the vicis- situdes of army life. He apparently under- stands if he is to make a long journey or a short dash, and gauges his actions accordingly. Stationed on the vidette line in a lonesome place on a dark night, he feels his position keenly, and will express his gratitude at relief as much as his rider. He is a good sentinel; and by watching his ears closely one will never be deceived by an unexpected approach. He never steps on a dead, wounded, or sleeping trooper, although he may pass di- rectly over him. When on a rapid retreat, though hungry, thirsty, and tired, he will exert every energy to keep up with the throng. In battle he partakes of the hopes and fears 383 384 Four Years with Five Armies incidental to the occasion. On the skirmish line he will mope back and forth, with his head hanging down and ears lopped, is if very tired. At the sound of the trumpet he will move rapidly to the front or rear at the will of the trooper. When heavy battles are rag- ing, if standing in line, he becomes nervous with the suspense, and will tremble and sweat and grow apprehensive. At any sound that indicates a move, the rider can feel him work- ing the bit with his tongue. As he moves out he seeks to go faster, and when restrained shows his disapproval by feigning to bolt. He will then grasp the bit afresh, and dash ahead as if to brave the worst and have it over as quickly as possible. A horse's actions when wounded depend on the nature of the wound. If shot through the lungs, he will cough one hard choking cough, the blood flowing out of his mouth and nostrils. He will mope away for a short dis- tance and stand with head down. If the wound is a painful one, such as a broken leg, he will utter one piercing shriek or hysterical scream that resembles the cry of the wild panther, and that causes a shudder to run through the frame of the bravest soldier. If a ball passes through his heart, he will make ten or twelve leaps with even more vigor than at any time during health, and then fall heav- ily, being dead before falling. If shot through the brain all support is gone, and he falls a dead weight, and straightens out without another move.