passed the great river, we would be confronted by the angry and hostile North
--a vast and infuriated population, and a soldiery outnumbering us twenty to one.
We were throwing down the gauntlet to the “nation.”
We could expect no such sympathy as in Kentucky
often guided our movements, and rendered us valuable aid. But we knew that the whole people would rise in arms, and rush from all quarters against us. Our march would be incessantly harassed.
The omnipresent telegraph would constantly tell of our course.
Railroads would bring fresh assailants from every point of the compass, and we would have to undergo this ordeal-night and day, with no intermission, not an hour of safety — for nearly seven hundred miles.
After a contest of perhaps an hour, but which, to the impatient spectators, seemed interminable, the gunboat backed out and steamed up the river.
Whether she had sustained injury from our guns or had exhausted her ammunition, we never knew.
Without speculating about the cause of her withdrawal, we witnessed it with an exquisite sense of relief.
Both boats were immediately crowded with men and horses to their fullest capacity, and the crossing was resumed and hastened with all possible dispatch.
About five P. M. the gunboat returned, accompanied by a consort, causing us lively apprehension.
They hovered in sight until dark, and once came so near as to elicit a few shots from the Parrotts, by way of protest, but made no further effort to interrupt the ferriage.
Both brigades and the artillery were gotten over by midnight and encamped not far from the river.
The panic of the people was excessive.
Leaving their houses with doors unlocked and ajar, they fled into the woods, and concealed themselves so effectually that, thickly settled as was that portion of the State
, we did not see the face of one citizen, man, woman, or child, until after noon of the next day. At Corydon
, the first town through which our march conducted us, we encountered a spirited resistance from a considerable body of militia, who, selecting a position where the road ran between two rather abrupt hills, had erected a long barricade of timber, from which they opened a brisk fire upon the head of the column.
The advance guard charged this work on horseback, and as it was too high for the horses to leap, and too strong to be broken down by their rush, some sixteen or eighteen men were unnecessarily lost.
A demonstration up]on the flank, however, quickly dislodged the party, and we entered the town without further molestation.
On the following day, before we reached Salem
, we found parties of militia thick along the road, and at that place several hundred