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Doc. 109.-battle of McMinnville, Tenn: fought March 26, 1862.

A correspondent of the Cincinnati Gazette, writing from Nashville, Tenn., under date of April second, says:

Feeling greatly alarmed lest an insurrection of the whites should occur in portions of the country around McMinnville, certain conservators of “Southern rights” despatched messengers, not long since, to Decatur, praying for confederate aid. In answer to their entreaties, Capts. McHenry and Bledsoe were sent up with two companies of Tennessee cavalry, to dragoon the threatening populace into submission. About the time they reached McMinnville, last Wednesday, Capt. Hastings was within four miles of the place, with fifty Ohio cavalry, giving some attention to the railroad between McMinnville and Murfreesboro. Capt. McHenry, who commanded the confederates, will be remembered as Governor Harris's Adjutant, in command at this city last summer and fall. Capt. Hastings, who directed our little band, was a refugee from this place, and is in the quartermaster's department, I believe.

When Capt. Hastings's presence was known among the leading secesh at McMinnville, they conceived the brilliant idea of bagging his entire command. Hon. Andrew Ewing, the invincible pike-man, Judge Ridley, and Judge Marchbanks, engineered the plot, and Andrew Ewing, who has determined, I suppose, like Gov. Harris, to “take the field,” actually got on the outside of a horse, with a single-barrelled shot-gun for his weapon, and personally went with the expedition. They were confident of surrounding the unguarded Hastings, and conveying into captivity all his force they did not slaughter. The attack was to be made in the night.

But our boys had timely intimation of the fell intent, and prepared to have a little sport of their own. Capt. Hastings ordered his men to build their camp-fires as if they anticipated no danger, but instead of placing themselves by them, as usual, to take position under cover of a thick clump of cedars, and there await the enemy.

On came the confederates, with Mr. Ewing in their midst. When they had advanced to the point at which they formed their line of battle, the valiant Nestor harangued them in his happiest style, filling their hearts with the ardor of his own dauntless soul. They were within a mile or two of complete victory, and he would have them strike till the last armed foe expired, or till all surrendered.

When they had surrounded the unfortified camp-fires, and were in a position to see no armed enemy, and to be well seen themselves, Captain Hastings gave the word to fire, and a volley was poured upon them from the carbines of his men, which threw them into hopeless confusion. Then the Yankees drew their repeaters, and began a peppering which sent them off in a frightful panic. Sabres, guns, and whatever else impeded the stampede, were scattered along the various paths of their flight. Mr. Ewing's shot-gun was found in a creek, hard by the scene of his great achievement, the barrel separated from the stock by the furious manner in which he threw it away. When he arrived in McMinnville his valor was all gone. Making but a brief stay, to recruit his broken wind, he disappeared, and has not been heard of since. The confederate cavalry who shared his glory on the field, were last seen in Franklin County, on their way back to Decatur by forced marches.

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Hastings (10)
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