in this part of the country, from the dream that “the Yankees
” would be easily discouraged and overcome.
The whole affair was extremely humiliating to the Confederates
Not only was their army defeated, but utterly routed and broken up, and its commander killed.
's death was tragic.
At first, the action seemed favorable to the Southern
troops, and Zollicoffer
advanced at the head of his men. He was in advance, and came upon a Kentucky (Federal) regiment in a piece of woods.
The commander of this regiment, Colonel Fry
, shot Zollicoffer
dead, and his body fell into their hands.
This victory was the first considerable Union victory of the war. After that, the magnitude of the conflict dawned upon the people of the western portion of the Confederacy
It was “an eye-opener,” and dispelled the delusions they had been cherishing.
A month after, Fort Donelson
fell, and the Confederate
plans of campaign in the West
were all broken up. General John B. Floyd
(Secretary of War
), who had escaped from Donelson
, came through our neighborhood in retreat.
The soldiers were much dispirited, and Floyd
himself was rather melancholy.
He camped near us two or three days, resting his men on their long retreat.
Hearing that there were many Union men in the neighborhood, he sent word for them to come in; that his soldiers should not molest them.
Nor did they.
The General made a speech to the citizens, explaining how it was that he escaped from Donelson
“I shall never be captured in this war,” said he, “for I have a long account to settle with the Yankees
, and they can settle it in hell!”
The General did not lose heart in the success of the Confederacy
; but it was plain, from his remarks, which I heard, that the magnitude of the conflict had dawned upon him at Donelson
as it never had before.
Some of the Union
men would not hear his speech out, but left the room.
was very unpopular among this class of citizens, owing to the wide belief that he had been active in precipitating the Southern States
It was about the 1st of March that Floyd
came through on his way to Chattanooga
In two months-May 1st, 1862-the first “Yankees” appeared in our neighborhood.
It was a company of the Tenth Ohio Infantry.
A few of them had impressed horses, and came into town as though shot out of a gun. The others followed on foot, in close order.
The more ultra of the Southern
people ran away.
The Union people were delighted.
But their delight was brief, for the soldiers set about indiscriminate robbery.
One Union citizen was knocked down in his own house, in the presence of his family, and robbed of four thousand dollars. By