Brigham's War: Letters from the 27th Ohio Infantry Pt. III

In July 1861, a company was raised by Captain Milton Wells in southeastern Ohio and went to Camp Chase at Columbus to join a new regiment. The company called itself the Monroe and Noble Rangers, named for the two counties from which the men enlisted, and became Co. D of the 27th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. In its ranks, an unknown soldier who went by the pen name 'Brigham' wrote a series of letters to the Woodsfield Spirit of Democracy giving a detailed account of life in the first year of the Civil War, the last of which was published in February 1863. Billed as “A Soldier's Jottings,” Brigham's letters come to us as rather chatty descriptions of life in Uncle Sam's service in the western theater in the early years of the war. This blog post includes some of the highlights of this correspondence.

The 27th Ohio Infantry served in the western theater, initially going to Missouri and taking part in several successful operations along the Mississippi River. In April 1862, it sailed up the Tennessee River to join General Henry W. Halleck's army at Pittsburg Landing where it took part in the siege of Corinth. Following the Rebel abandonment of Corinth, the 27th Ohio remained in the area until late in the year and during that time took part in both the battles of Iuka and Corinth. On the last day of December 1862, the 27th Ohio clashed with Nathan Bedford Forrest's troopers at Parker's Crossroads, Tennessee which closes out “Brigham's War.”

Part 3 of this series focuses on the series of campaign fought in and around Corinth, Mississippi from May 1862 through the end of the year, including the battles of Iuka, Corinth, and Parker's Crossroads.

Siege of Corinth, Mississippi
May-June 1862

Whitelaw Reid: “The army being ordered to Pittsburg Landing, the 27th Ohio arrived at Hamburg (near Pittsburg Landing) about the 1st of May 1862 and moved on Corinth, forming the left of Halleck's army. During the advance, the regiment was frequently engaged in skirmishing and during the siege was repeatedly under fire, and in every instance behaved well.”

Farmington, Mississippi, May 13, 1862
“Since we landed here on the 22nd of April we have seen some nice little scouting and fighting. Of course we have not had any battle or what would be called one here; but many a fight, in which fewer balls flew, has been dignified by that appellation. On the 29th ult., we made the first forward movement, and although the rain came down in torrents most of the time, and the roads were most wretched, we had a nice time. The day before, the Secesh had made a demonstration on us and we had to get out to drive them back and no we were out to see if they were anywhere close in force. Away we went, four or five thousand strong, and saw nothing hostile, until we got close to the little town of Monterey which is about six miles from Corinth. Here our advanced guard fired a few shots and halting, skirmishers were ordered out and proceeding cautiously, we found the Rebels had skedaddled, leaving all their camp equipage, which we burnt. Four or five thousand had been quartered here and when we advanced they fell back behind a small battery, to which we advanced until we drew several shots from them. Our artillery was far behind, stuck in the mud, and as our orders took us no farther, we returned having captured 15 prisoners. Camp was reached again about 4 o’clock, all satisfied with our first trip after Rebels in Mississippi.”
Major General David S. Stanley

“May 8th, Generals Stanley and Paine made a reconnaissance in force toward Corinth. We advanced to within a half a mile of their fortifications, but made no demonstration against them. A deep creek would not permit the passage of artillery, even if that had been out intention. A few guns in a piece of timber opened on us and held us in check. Our skirmishers and sharpshooters slipped up close to them and kept the Rebels busy at the not very profitable business to them of firing heavy shot and shell at a line of skirmishers, one in a thousand of which perhaps might do injury. We dark came we retired and fell back to our camp where we arrived about 11 o’clock. We had none killed or seriously wounded, but the 27th suffered a serious loss in Surgeon Thrall who was taken prisoner. He understood his profession and at such a time as this his services were indispensable, and his place can hardly be filled by any other man in the army.”

Summer in Mississippi
June-July 1862

Camp eight miles south of Corinth, Mississippi, July 15, 1862
“We are pleasantly situated down here in a fine wood, abounding with any live animal you can name, from a sneaking invisible chigger to a live and flouncing alligator. Indeed the number of tormenting creatures that live here are unnameable and innumerable. The little insect above referred to is the most agonizing of them all. It can’t be seen by the naked eye, but in great numbers it infests the body, and inserting itself beneath the skin, causes a red spot to appear with intolerable itching, which after scratching produces a sore which will not heal for weeks. Men are covered with hundreds of these blotches which are indeed annoying in the extreme. Besides this torment wood ticks abound, and lizards, scorpions, snakes, vipers, are ever present. How men, women, and children can stand it to live here always I can’t imagine.”

“The health of the company is very good considering the climate and very few of the men are unfit for active duty. Only one thing seems to be necessary to make folks happy generally, barring the insects referred to, and that is a new suit of uniform. Why on earth we don’t get it now is more than can be seen. We are idle and stationary, and somebody must be to blame for the neglect. Months ago, away up in Missouri near Sedalia, we got clothes and since then nothing like a complete outfit has ever deigned to visit us. What few clothes the men have are too heavy for summer, and most of them have thrown away their jackets in disgust and go without any at all. Among the last but not the least change which has lately transpired with us is a change of arms and accouterments. Until this we had the Greenfield Rifle Musket [Greenwood] and old accouterments used by the three months’ troops. The arms we now have are a splendid article and the boys are greatly pleased with them. It is the Whitney Rifle with a sword bayonet complete, and having globe sights, shoots as true as a gun well can. The greatest trouble now is in keeping the boys from shooting all the time, for they can hit a squirrel in the tops of the highest trees.”

Battle of Iuka, Mississippi
September 19, 1862

Camp of the 27th Regiment Ohio Infantry, Jacinto, Mississippi, September 28, 1862
“On the morning of the 13th inst., General Sterling Price, our friend of Missouri memory, appeared before Iuka, a station on the Memphis & Charleston R.R. 25 miles from Corinth and, it being held by one brigade of our troops under Colonel Murphy of Wisconsin, the town was evacuated at short notice and he took peaceable possession of all left behind by our men which, I am sorry to say, amounted to considerable. Murphy failed to destroy anything in his undue haste to escape. One hundred thousand rations and a large amount of arms and ammunition fell into the enemy's hands by this unwise movement. Colonel Murphy is under arrest and it is hoped he will be made to answer for his conduct. General Price occupied the place with his army and our generals began to put things in motion to counteract the bold Rebel's movements and, if possible, defeat his plans and his army at the same time.”
Major General William S. Rosecrans

“General Rosecrans, in command of the Army of the Mississippi, and Major General Ord combined on the 10th and started from Corinth, leaving all baggage behind, and moved toward Iuka. General Ord followed the railroad to Burnsville, a small town seven miles from the enemy's lines and came to a halt. Here he formed his command in line of battle and rested on their arms. Rosecrans proceeded to Jacinto on Friday the 18th and bivouacked for the night, distant from Iuka 20 miles. By daylight Saturday morning, we (as the Ohio brigade is with Rosecrans) were under way and things went on as usual for about seven miles when the advance came up with a body of Secesh cavalry and routed them after a short skirmish, The Rebels throwing away their arms and accouterments in their haste to escape. After this, almost constant skirmishing was kept up till within about six miles of Iuka where the close proximity of a large force became evident, and dispositions for attack were accordingly made. The train was ordered to halt and remain, and only the ammunition wagons and ambulances were to proceed further. General Hamilton's division took the lead, closely followed and supported by General Stanley's, the only two divisions with Rosecrans and the only two engaged.”

“The enemy's skirmishers were forced back in splendid style, and at 5 o'clock the battle opened in earnest. The roar of arms was now continuous and the two contending forces wavered back and forth, and the most deadly charges were made and received by both sides without flinching. Our troops fought gloriously, the Rebels doing full as well, and short was the space either gained on the other. For 2 ½ hours, the battle raged and only ceased when darkness compelled it. The Rebels fell back out of range and our men occupied the field, now covered with dead and dying from both sides. When the morning dawned, our men were up and eager for the fray, and advancing in line, the 27th Ohio being thrown out as skirmishers, the battlefield was passed and on toward town the lines moved forward, the artillery throwing shot and shell all the time.”

“A mile or more and no foe could be found. Ha! The enemy has fled! 25,000 men running from 8,000! Wonderful but true. During the night, Price had collected his scattered legions and quietly retreated, leaving all his killed and most of his wounded where they fell. Our men took possession of the town, the Rebels having held it just six days, a rather short “forever,” as they having boastingly posted handbills to that effect at different places in town.”

“The battle, though a short one, was very severe as the losses will testify. The men fought hand to hand, and after dark the combat was so close that one would ask the other where he belonged before firing, and many instances are told of personal prowess during this part of the engagement. The 11th Missouri Federal regiment engaged the Rebel regiment of the same number and for an hour they fought only as Missouri troops can fight, and at last, the Rebels gave way leaving more than two-thirds of their men on the field. This regiment was Price's celebrated fighting regiment and the loss of it will be a serious matter to him. While the fight was at its height, the Rebels became impressed with the idea that part of their regiment was fighting against the remainder, and their cries to cease firing on them, that they were friends, were heart-rending in the extreme. But our men, who comprehended matters, continued to pour the most deadly volleys in among them being able to advance close to them by answering that they belonged to the 11th Missouri.”

“The 11th Ohio Battery was captured three times by the Rebels and as many times re-captured by our men. It was posted on the right on a small elevation and was supported by the 5th Iowa and 4th Minnesota regiments. It had hardly began to play on the enemy over in the field when three regiments arose as from the ground and yelling like savages, advanced on a charge. They were so close that but few shots could be fired on them before they were among the guns and fighting hand to hand with the support and the cannoneers. Such a contest could not last long and our men were beat back and the battery was in the hands of the foe. Their possession was of short duration. Our men being reinforced, the guns were retaken and from this until the close of the battle, a continual contest raged for ownership of the pieces which was finally decided in our favor. No less than seven distinct charges were made at this point by the enemy and sustained by our troops.”

“The loss of life was fearful. The 5th Iowa had 250 killed and wounded and the battery lost 60 men out of 140. All their horses were killed but 20. The ground was left covered with killed and wounded by the enemy, and it is supposed that full one-half of the three regiments that attacked will never fight again. Our men spiked three guns, the first time they fell into the Rebels' hands, but they can be unspiked with very little damage to the guns. The 5th Iowa and 4th Minnesota suffered the most of any of our regiments, although the 11th Missouri, 26th Missouri, and 16th Iowa show heavy lists of killed and wounded, and some other regiment lost a few men. The 5th Iowa and 11th Ohio Battery are the heroes of the fight.”

“The Rebels had choice of the ground to fight upon and their selection showed that they improved it. The battlefield is 1-1/2 miles south of Iuka on the road leading to Jacinto. An old neglected field grown up with bushes about ten or fifteen feet high covered their front while their flanks were protected by heavy timber among which runs deep ravines, well adapted to hide troops from view until an advance was right on them where they could burst forth in one of those headlong charges the Rebels are becoming so noted for. This is how the 11th Ohio Battery became beat so soon after opening. The enemy was hid in one of these ravines until the proper time when they rushed forth as from the ground. Our men had a swamp to cross and a hill to ascend in making the attack, and only on the road could any movement forward be made with any rapidity for the whole country was one vast thicket of little trees from the size of peach trees to that of a hundred feet in height. These alone were a great impediment to artillery movements and the gullies and ravines occupy every few yards, almost totally rendered this important arm of the service useless. After the 11th Ohio Battery was silenced, our guns could only get in a shot occasionally, and the Rebel artillery did even less work. Muskets were the sole reliance of both sides.”

“The loss on both sides is very heavy, the Rebels' loss exceeding ours considerably. We had less than 100 killed on the battlefield, and our men buried 261 Rebels. Upwards of 200 of their wounded have died in our hospitals since the fight, making their loss in killed up to 500. But few of our men have died of their wounds, round balls and buckshot not being as fatal as Minie balls. We have full 500 wounded remaining in the hospitals and the Rebels have about the same number. We lost 91 men taken prisoner and our Generals have already paroled 1,200 of the enemy, and are not yet through, as they are coming and being brought in by squads of ten to twenty all of the time. We had two Colonels wounded: the colonel of the 26th Missouri and the colonel of the 16th Iowa. The Rebels lost General Little killed and the loss of other officers on their side was very heavy, but no means are at hand to ascertain how many were killed. To recapitulate, we had 100 killed and 500 wounded; the Rebels have 500 killed or have since died and 500 wounded. We lost 91 prisoners and they 1,200. We enjoy the glory of a victory, they suffering the demoralization of a defeat.”
Graves of the cannoneers of the 11th Ohio Battery at Iuka

“The pursuit did not amount to much from some cause, and Price is now somewhere south of here, some say 15 and some 20 miles distant and my opinion is that nobody knows. We are ready to move at a moment's notice and the pursuit may be resumed at any time. Your readers may wish to know what General Ord did after he drew his men up in line of battle near Burnsville but seven miles from the enemy. That question I have heard asked 101 times since the battle and no one seems wise enough to answer it. I will venture to say on my own responsibility that he is not drawn up then in line of battle yet, but all that he has done, as far as heard from, has been to march back to Corinth. If he has attacked the enemy's right or rear, either of which no one acquainted with the country will deny was practicable, Price's army today would be among the things that were.”

“Company D under the charge of Captain Brock, who is a general favorite with the boys, is enjoying splendid health and is anxious for a knock with the enemy. Our brigade was held in reserve during the late fight and was not permitted to take an active part in any way more than yelling, which they had done up with such a vengeance that prisoners have told me that they thought we were being reinforced all the time.”

For more on the Battle of Iuka, please read my post entitled "Music of the Spheres: The 11th Ohio Battery at the Battle of Iuka," click here

Dead Confederates strewn upon the ground in front of Battery Robinette at Corinth in October 1862

Battle of Corinth, Mississippi
October 3-4, 1862

Corinth, Mississippi, October 13, 1862
“On the 29th ult., we marched from Jacinto to Rienzi and on the 30th in the afternoon started on a reconnaissance toward Ripley. We marched until night came on when we halted ten miles from camp and laid on our arms until 10 o'clock at night. We then returned without meeting anything suspicious except four or five Rebels who were on a visit from Price's army to their friends who we kindly took in charge and reported to headquarters. About 12 o'clock our camp was reached and tired and hungry we turned into our blankets and having snoozed away some two hours, an orderly came along and rudely aroused us with the order to cook two days' rations and be ready to move immediately. Perhaps some words were uttered which would shock ears polite if we dared record them, but all such wouldn't change the stern order and up at the preparations aforesaid was all we could do.”

“Hurrah for Ripley, hurrah for Corinth, and a dozen other places was sung out along the line as we rounded our way in long and glistening streams toward the west. Some knew where we were going and some did not, but we guess few had any correct ideas of our real destination. The march was a weary one and after many windings and changings of directions, the small town of Kossuth, 9 miles from Corinth, hove in sight, and entering the dilapidated place, arms were stacked and a short rest proclaimed the order of the hour. Water was wanted by all, and water there was not nearer than three miles which made things look rather discouraging to all but old soldiers who are used to such situations. Carts, wagons, and barrels were brought into requisition and away they rattled to the creek and soon all smiled with replenished canteens and haversacks, for we found the 21st Missouri stationed here and they entertained us to the best they had. May the abundant blessings of abundant rations ever go with them!”

“An hour's rest terminated our stay in Kossuth and taking up our line of march, we preceded on the road towards Corinth four miles which brought us to the Tuscumbia River and of course plenty of water. Here we camped for the night, having marched 16 miles over a country nearly destitute of water since morning and 36 miles without rest. Way-worn and weary, we sank to the ground with the broad blue sky for a covering and slept a “sleep which knew no waking” until the sun shone full in our faces the next morning. October 2nd was spent in camp and in confiscating pigs, chickens, and sweet potatoes to our heart's content, and the sorrow of the various old Secesh covies who winced under our “contributions” but who dare not mutter for fear of the guard house or something worse.”

“The morning of October 3rd found us on the road and headed toward Corinth distance five miles. As we marched, now and then, the boom of distant cannon could be heard and we knew that work was ahead and we pursued on eager to have a hand in the fray if not more. The old line of fortifications was behind us by 8 o'clock and going some distance further a halt was sounded and we rested in the shade of some venerable trees drawn up in column of divisions. The boom of cannon, ever and anon, still sounded from the north and we knew by the frequent arrival of orderlies and other well-known signs that fight was ahead and we were doomed to take an active part in it. Again and again the cannon spoke afar; had then there was a long silence unbroken save by the clatter of horses' hooves as messages came and went to and from our commanders in the hands of all-important looking and acting aides.”

“Again the cannon boomed the bugle sounded 'fall in' as the boys call the 'assembly' and we 'fell in' accordingly and formed line of battle on the extreme left of our line behind the abatis of fallen trees with which Corinth is surrounded. The fighting was now on our right and now getting pretty close as we could hear the sharp rattle of musketry when, for a moment, the cannon ceased to roar. Our position was changed again and again toward the night, but the fighting ceased for the night without us coming close enough to the enemy to take an active part in it. The Rebels fell back out of range and our men did not follow.”

“It was now certain that Price, Van Dorn, Villepigue, and Company had formed a junction and intended to capture the place the next day if possible and we had to make preparations accordingly. What other commands did, I cannot say and can only speak of our brigade knowingly. We were marched from the extreme left to the right about sundown and drawn up in line of battle to the right of town facing to the north. Here we were suffered to remain until about 10 o'clock at night, when we were moved to the center behind the abatis, supporting a redoubt of our pieces and a field battery, our position being covered by a large fort of heavy guns in our rear on a small hill south of the Memphis & Charleston R.R. We were ordered to lay down and keep close, which we did, and soon were asleep on the ground which ere another day's sun should cast long shadows over it in settling was doomed to drenched with blood. No alarm was raised during the night, and the solemn silence reigning around was a contrast with the din and turmoil of raging battle witnessed a few short hours afterward.”

“Day had not yet streaked the east with coming light when a sudden volley from the pickets around us, the echo of which had hardly died away, when whining through the air like all the demons of the lower regions, a shell from the enemy's guns flew over our heads and burst in the air close to the depot. Another and another followed in quick succession, two of which penetrated the Tishomingo House, which now was occupied as a hospital, bursting and killing a wounded soldier. Our guns soon opened at close range and the roar of cannon welcomed in the day- a day made glorious by one of the most magnificent and complete victories achieved by our arms during this war.”

“Light opened things to view and the Rebel battery was soon silenced when fair range could be had of it, and the butternuts ran and left one piece and two or three caissons in position, the horses all being killed from them. All was silent now for two hours or more and the rumor was circulated that the enemy was retreating but such was not the case. They were silently massing troops for the desperate assault. The skirmishers were soon driven in and the heavy line of advancing foes became visible emerging from the woods and crowding forward at quick time as if they would annihilate all before them. The huge cannon from three forts opened on them and the sharper crack of a dozen field batteries added to the din, and all was soon wrapped in smoke and cannon tumults were hushed into silence by the wild deafening uproar. Shells for a while hissed through the air and burst among the Rebels, scattering death wholesale around but they, regardless of the iron hail, came on until the distance between them and the guns was not more than 200 yards. Grape and canister now was poured forth with a lavish hand, added to which 10,000 muskets dealt out their leaden entrails continually. On and on they came up, and over the fallen trees and our line on the right gave back, back until the foes again trod the streets of Corinth. The times were desperate and something had to be done or the day and our all was lost. Leaping forward, General Rosecrans threw himself among his flying legions and, as if by magic, his presence and unequalled bravery restored order out of chaos and shouting, wild and long, they again faced the fore and dealt him blows thick and fast and in turn the enemy was forced back, and all that he had gained was lost.”

“The center now was assailed with unexampled fury and, as on the right, grape and canister would not check them and they were soon within 50 feet of the ditch around the fort. The Ohio Brigade was posted here and well they held their ground, not giving an inch, but standing manfully to their work dealing death to the Rebels with a lavish hand. Still the enemy advanced and General Stanley seeing the great danger, ordered the 27th Ohio and 11th Missouri forward on a charge. The sight was glorious. These two veteran regiments had not far to go to meet the foe. Together back and forth they swayed, but only for a few moments. Flesh and blood could not standing such charging and the enemy was routed, and ran pell mell never again to return. By noon they were in full retreat and the day was ours-gloriously ours. The loss was heavy on both sides and the number can only now be guessed at. They left not less than 2,000 dead and wounded on the field. Company D suffered two killed, two wounded, and one missing. Captain Brock, commanding the company, displayed great coolness and courage, and the boys are enthusiastic in his praise. Lieutenant George W. Young was hit by the pieces of an exploded shell and got several bruises, the principal of which was on the left hand, injuring a finger so that amputation was necessary. His company lost 19 men- one officer killed and the other two wounded, full half its number being disabled.”

“We have been in pursuit and after just one week of hard marching, we have returned to Corinth worn out and have settled down, perhaps for a short rest, which we greatly need. 1,500 miles we have marched on foot since we came into the service, many of which was after Price and never until now did we have fair chance to thresh him, and the chance was improved and Price is so threshed that he will remain so for some time to come.”

For more on the Battle of Corinth, check out my blog post entitled "Our Kirby: Colonel Joseph L. Kirby Smith and the 43rd Ohio at the Battle of Corinth" or my interview with Brad Quinlin that includes another battle account of Corinth written by Surgeon Pierre Starr of the 39th Ohio Infantry

General Nathan Bedford Forrest

Battle of Parker's Crossroads, Tennessee
December 31, 1862

Corinth, Mississippi, January 18, 1863
“We were camped near Oxford, Mississippi on December 18th, dreaming of winter quarters or something akin and little thinking of making a sudden rush to any one point we knew of, and with very diminutive inclinations to visit any locality except perhaps old Monroe. The days came and went regularly, as did the roll calls, drill calls, meal calls, etc., and we fancied we were doing the soldier business according to West Point, which we were, and would have been doing yet, if our friends, the Rebels, had not been such big fools and acted as they did: they went a-raiding. Somewhere between Columbus and Jackson, they came down on our bridge guards like the day of judgment- rather unexpectedly, capturing guards, bridge, and all, paroling one and burning the other. General Sullivan at Jackson, like an old woman, got into an awful fight, sending to Grant for reinforcements, saying Bragg was advancing on him with he did not know how many men. This application caused our General to awake us from our pleasant dreams and start us by railroad to the rear at breakneck speed. Our brigade was all that was ordered back at this time, knowing that Grant put very little confidence in the story of Bragg.”

“All the way from Oxford to Jackson, Tennessee, dame rumor had been at work and if we had not been old soldiers, we might have been surprised when we arrived at the latter town to find it in possession of our forces, which we were not I assure you, for we were aware that the Rebels were after booty, nearly as much as bridges, neither of which would have rewarded them for capturing Jackson. We found, however, a batch of 'little the worst skeered' soldiers out, for we must say in justice, three weeks or at most three months would cover their time in the field and nothing better could be expected of them. The evening of our arrival we made a few observations, which satisfied us that no force amounting to anything was vicinity, and marching four miles out of town, we bivouacked for the night, sleeping as soundly and sweetly as if we were at home, a hundred miles from the clash of arms.”

“Daylight found us in line and soon after the troops began moving toward Lexington, a town on the Memphis & Louisville R.R. Our brigade was now broken, two regiments (the 43rd and 63rd) having not arrived, but the 27th Ohio and 39th Ohio were present and about 8 o'clock we took up our line of march. The advance was very tedious owing to excessive caution, and all day was spent in going 18 miles and, of course, catching no guerillas, as they were on horseback and we were on foot. When nighttime came, we again bivouacked and rested undisturbed until morning. During the night or sometime else, our commander, whoever he was, concluded to return and in the middle of the afternoon we wound around through Jackson to an open field south of town, where we camped, a very easy operation as we had not a tent in the regiment.”
Colonel John Fuller, 27th O.V.I.

“Time passed various ways, among which was the time for Christmas and on the 26th orders came to be ready to move at a minute's notice. We were then ready as we ever could be, as our tents did not amount to much, as likewise our rations, meet and beef being the sum total of our commissary stores. The minute notice came next morning and we marched down to the depot. The rain began to fall heavily and persisted in coming down unmercifully nearly all day, while the wind blew raw and chilly enough. The hours passed slowly away and noon came and went, but still we moved not. Thus in the most unpleasant condition imaginable, we passed the day or nearly so as it was dark when we arrived at Ironton, only 28 miles distant. Here we left the cars and bivouacked for the night, fully aware that another chase was planned. The troops consisted of two brigades, one under the command of Colonel John Fuller and the other by Colonel Dunham, all conducted by General Sullivan in person.”

“Two days' march brought us to Washington, a Union town, where we remained until the 30th and were feted by the inhabitants, a rare thing indeed, so rare that the like never occurred to us before. Dunham moved out ten miles and on the 31st at Parker's Crossroads, intercepted the Rebels, 7,000 strong under Forrest. The Rebels opened the ball with their artillery and for three hours the fight raged with the utmost fury. Inch by inch our men were drawn back and chances for victory were running slim when the Ohio Brigade came in sight, and it came in the nick of time, for negotiations were going on for the surrender of our defeated men, The Rebels thought the fight ended and were huddling around Dunham's men, eager to see their prize, totally off guard, when we came up over a hill in their rear in full view. They seemed thunderstruck and unable to do anything towards defending themselves against our unexpected assault. On and on we came, our bayonets gleaming in the sun, like the sword of the death angel, and in vain the enemy endeavored to form his disorganized lines. Nothing could withstand the leaden hail rained upon them, and escape was all they seemed capable of performing. Hither and thither they ran like men distracted, until finally an officer rallied a few of them, and made a show to use their artillery against us. The General saw their intention in a moment, and he ordered out company forward to prevent them from executing the design. Captain Brock did forward his Monroe boys in fine style, routing the butternuts at the double quick, and capturing two guns and caissons. This unexpected manner upset their calculations completely and they took to flight along the whole line, leaving their horses and everything else which, in any way, impeded their retreat. In fifteen minutes after our arrival, we had possession of the field to the great delight of our Dunham friends, who had concluded, so the Rebels say, to take the parole which, however, is doubted among themselves.”

“We captured 400 prisoners, 500 horses, six pieces of artillery with caissons, a good sized train, and any quantity of small arms consisting of rifles, muskets, shot guns, carbines, pistols, swords, and sabers. A large quantity of stolen goods of every conceivable kind also fell in our hands including hats, caps, pants, coats, shirts, shoes, boots, clothes, calicoes, muslins, tinware, hardware, glassware, and queensware, all were scattered everywhere as thrown aside by the Rebels in their hasty departure. The loss on our side was comparatively light, not being a hundred killed and wounded, mostly in Dunham's brigade. The Rebels confess 1,000 killed, wounded, and missing, probably much more. The Ohio Brigade did not suffer any of the consequence owing to the confusion of the enemy. The 27th Ohio had two men wounded, one seriously. The 122nd Illinois of Dunham's command lost more than all the rest of the regiments together. It seems they got into close quarters and before they could extricate themselves, the Rebels punished them severely.”

“The pursuit was kept up to the Tennessee River, when it was discovered that the Rebels had made their escape across at Clifton by the means of a couple of old flatboats, which they had moved there for the purpose. We had no way of getting over, even if we had been inclined to continue the chase and the pursuit here ended. When we came down on the bank, they opened on us from the other side with cannon and small arms, the river being narrow. The cannon did no harm other thank knocking the wheels off our ammunition wagin and a detail of sharpshooters from the 27th Ohio soon 'dried up their small arms' if not a few of the butternuts holding them. They came over with a flag of truce and attempted to exchange some prisoners with Colonel Fuller but could not come to terms. Fuller promised them a reply in the morning, but before morning we were far on our way toward this place, and doubtless the Rebels were away full as fast as we. So ended the Rebel raid in which Forrest said he did everything he wanted to do and more, too: he fought the Ohio Brigade!”


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