Doc. 25.-Skirmis on Green River Ky., February 1, 1862.The following is a private letter from Capt. Joe Presdee, of the Second cavalry, Forty-first regiment Indiana volunteers, fighting on Green River, near Bowling Green, Ky.
camp Wickliffe, Banks of Green River, Ky., Tuesday, February 4, 1862.my dear J----: Hurrah for Company H, of the Second cavalry, Forty-first regiment Indiana volunteers, commanded by the gallant Colonel Bridgland! I, together with my boys, on last Saturday, opened the ball with secesh for the Second Indiana cavalry, and made the rebels pay for the music, as we killed three and wounded two! with none hurt on our side — and now for the story. On Friday morning I was ordered out, with my company, for picket duty, with three days rations. I tell you the boys, when they heard the order, were tickled to death, and so was I, and off we started, and before night I had eight posts picked out, and my men placed at them, beside what I had at my headquarters. You may well believe that your uncle slept but little the first night, as I visited my pickets three times during the night, riding, as you may suppose, a good many miles — in fact, I spent the night in the saddle. Next day my forage came along to headquarters, and after taking off what I wanted there, I ordered the wagons to go on to the other posts, leaving enough for two feeds for each horse, and I mounted my horse to visit a post on a hill right on the river. I had scarcely got to the post when I heard a volley, and I knew in a minute that we were attacked in earnest. I rode down the road like lightning, firing off my revolver as I rode as an alarm, ordering the men at the posts, as I rode by, to mount, all but one, and follow me. I got to where the bridge once was (now burned down) in time, and, dismounting, sailed right in. (This is the life I think I was cut out for.) The rebels had fired on my men while unloading the corn, but they paid dear for it, as they left five on the field, and we drove the others from the position. I could scarcely keep my men from jumping into the river and going after them. I, of course, had sent to camp to say we were fighting, and Major Stewart came down to us, without bringing a man with him, saying, afterward: “Good gracious, Cap., I knew you and your fellows could take care of yourselves.” He arrived while we were fighting, and rode right in among us. I shouted for him to dismount, that they were firing up the gully, and he might get hit. “Let them fire and be d — d,” said he, dismounting and throwing down his coat and gloves. (I lost my gloves in the fight.) Said he, “Cap., give me one of them things.” I handed him my carbine, (good for five hundred yards,) at the same time taking one myself from one of the men, and at it we went. I found my men so keen that I could not keep them under cover, as when I ordered them under cover, they would lie down behind a stone about as big as an ink-bottle, supposing they were obeying orders, but I could not blame them, as I was as bad myself, as the Major reminded me as he sat on a rock, in full view of the rebels, with his carbine across his knee, waiting for a good chance. I got mad at the men, for exposing themselves so, and shouted to them; “Boys, the first man I see from cover, I shall certainly send back to headquarters.” (Severe punishment.) “Hold on, Cap.,” says the Major; “example would be good in this case — get into cover yourself.” “I will,” said I, “when you set the example!” This raised a shout from the boys, and a laugh from the Major and myself, and we took it for granted that the boys were under cover from that out. The Major has just left, saying, that when there is any fighting to be done, he wants Company H along — in fact, we have earned the name of the fighting company, and, if I am spared, we will retain it. I expect to be ordered out to-morrow, or next day, not to return to camp until the whole army crosses the river! I wish you could have seen me, when I got your letter, on Sunday. I was lying in a mud-hole, with a rock in front of me, waiting for a chance to crack at the secesh. We kept up our fire all day Sunday, at anything in the shape of a man that came near enough to risk the ammunition. I am, as every, yours,