, while another was bottled up in a half-starved state, and that Grant
's forces alone achieved anything but disaster until they were placed under one head the following November.
For this fortunate escape of the Confederacy
from a stunning blow, that government was indebted, first, to the divided councils of their enemies, and, second, to General John H. Morgan
's dash, enterprise, and courage.
About the middle of June, Morgan
appeared in the Cumberland river
valley, on the south bank, at the head of a picked division of cavalry and a battery, aggregating about two thousand five hundred men. He maneuvred, or rather marched along the river, up and down, now approaching the stream, and now disappearing in some back valley.
The last week in June he kept out of sight of the river, and was so profoundly quiet that the Federal
commanders, who had been watching him closely for ten days, concluded he had returned to Bragg
's main column near Tullahona.
They were sure, then, that their first surmise, that he had come into the valley to recruit his stock on its fine pastures, was correct.
All vigilance north of the river was slackened.
Videttes along the bank were recalled and sent to their several commands.
The cavalry, under Hobson
, was permitted to scatter about the country, the better to enable men and horses to be fed. The force nearest the river was at Tompkinsville
, twenty miles from Burksville
, the county town of Cumberland County, Kentucky
, a few miles south of which Morgan
lay, holding his command very still and watching a chance to make a crossing.
He waited until the 2d of July.
The river had been swollen of late by heavy rains.
It was out of its banks, a broad, swift, muddy torrent, over which the Confederate
chieftain put his command on rafts made of log canoes, overlaid with fence rails.
It was one of the boldest undertakings of the war, and the skill with which it was executed was equaled by the pluck which conceived and carried it through.
had nearly finished his crossing, one of Hobson
's regiments, by mere accident, ambled within reach of his strong outposts, a mile from the ferry, which provoked a lively skirmish, the Federals
being soundly whipped.
And now, when the raiders were at full speed on their northward journey, our commanders began to have an inkling that these fellows had come into the valley of the Cumberland
for something else than grass.
On the evening of the 3d, the rebels struck Woolford
,. with the First Kentucky Cavalry, and scattered him to the right and left near the village of Columbia
On the 4th, they made an unsuccessful attempt to capture Colonel O. M. Moore
, of the Twenty-fifth