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April 23.


This morning a party of rebels attacked the National pickets at Nickajack Trace, and after compelling them to surrender, committed the most flagrant outrages upon them. A correspondent at Chattanooga, Tenn., gives the following particulars of the affair:

Sixty-four men, detailed from the Ninety-second Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel D. F. Sheets, commanding, were doing picket-duty near Lyle's farm, under command of Lieutenant Horace C. Scoville, company K. Eighteen of the men were placed in reserve near the farm, the rest were distributed at seven different posts.

The supposition is, that a regiment of rebel infantry crossed Taylor's Ridge during the night, about five miles from Ringgold, and formed a line, extending from the base of the ridge to the Alabama road. This line faced south, being in the rear of our pickets. Another regiment crossed the ridge higher up the valley, and faced west. A body of cavalry (probably two companies) came on our pickets from the south, and a smaller body advanced from the direction of Leet's farm. Thus were our men nearly surrounded by the wily enemy, before the attack commenced, and the assault was made simultaneously upon all the posts. The enemy's cavalry first assailed our videttes, who retired, fighting desperately, until reenforced from the reserve, when the rebels were temporarily repulsed. Advancing again in still larger numbers, they forced our men to fall back. But the latter soon found their retreat cut off by the infantry which had [71] formed in their rear, and barricaded the road. Such was the disposition of the rebel force, that the reserve at Lyle's house, now reduced to nine men, were cut off from the remainder. Consequently, there was nothing left for our brave fellows but to surrender, or cut their way out, each man fighting for himself. They resolved to attempt the latter. Some desperate hand-to-hand contests ensued, and some chivalric daring was displayed, which the historian will never record. Of the sixty-four men, thirty-four escaped death or capture; and with heroic determination not to return to camp until relieved, they reoccupied the ground from which they had been driven, although they knew not at what moment the enemy might return to the attack, and kill or capture the remainder of them. Of that heroic band not a man came to camp without orders. Five were killed, four mortally wounded, three severely wounded, and eighteen missing. Lieutenant Scoville was wounded and captured. The rebel loss in killed and wounded must at least have equalled our own, and we took one prisoner.

The men speak in high terms of Lieutenant Scoville's conduct until he was wounded; and I am informed that Colonel Sheets speaks highly of Sergeant Strock, of company C, and Sergeant Hine, of company E, who saved most of their men, and commanded the party who reoccupied the field.

From the statements of wounded soldiers, and of citizens living near the roads along which the enemy retired, I gather the following facts, and offer no comment.

A citizen saw a rebel officer shoot down one of our men, after he had surrendered and marched some distance with his captors. The only excuse for the vile outrage was, that the poor fellow could not keep up with the fiends who had taken him prisoner. After the officer had shot the man, the citizen heard one of the rebel scoundrels say: “That's right, cap, give it to him again!”

William Chattannach, or Chattnach, a private in company B, after surrendering, was marched off with several others upon the double-quick, until totally unable to go further. A rebel lieutenant then came up to him, and shot him twice, the first time inflicting a slight, the second a mortal wound. He then left him, supposing le had killed him. Shortly after, two rebels came up to him and robbed him of his pocketbook and boots. One of them said, “Let's scalp the----Yankee!” but did not execute the proposition. This statement was taken from poor Chattannach's dying lips.

Reginald O'Connor, company B, was shot for the same reason, after being captured.

George A. Springer and John Craddock, company E; George Marle, company F ; and William Reynolds, company I, all make similar statements with regard to themselves.

William Hills, company K, was found dead a mile from the post where he had stood on picket during the night. A lady living near where he was posted, declared, that she saw him pursued by some rebel cavalrymen. On being overtaken, he at once handed over his gun to one of the savages, who immediately fired the contents of the same into Hill's body, killing him instantly.

In the case of O'Connor, three soldiers who saw the murder, declare, upon oath, that it was also committed by a rebel officer.

Such are some of the details of this stupendous crime, whose atrocity is perhaps unsurpassed even by the bloody murders recently committed by these rebel miscreants in West-Tennessee and Kentucky.

The following list of killed and wounded is nearly complete. Killed: Garner McKeel, company E; William Hills, company K; John Douns, company B; William Gifford, company H.

Wounded: Reginald O'Connor, company B. fatally; William Chattannach, company B, fatally; G. A. Springer, company E, fatally; John Craddock, company E, severely, not dangerously; George Marle, company F, fatally; D. W. Butler, company A, dangerously; James Rhoades and William Reynolds, company I, both fatally.

Of these killed and wounded, two had not surrendered when shot; seven were either killed or wounded (all but one, mortally) after they had surrendered to the enemy as prisoners of war; the circumstances connected with the shooting of the other three have not been definitely ascertained. Of the facts connected with these horrid outrages, there is no room to doubt. They are taken mostly from the affidavits of dying men — the surest testimony in the world.

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