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[592] At that moment our boys let slip a well-aimed shot of canister from our six-pounder,1 which broke their column, killing eight of their men, so they reported to our patrol, who were taken prisoners. But, notwithstanding this check, they dashed across the ravine and up the hill, and a portion of them up Main street, north of our position, which brought them in range of our musketry, when a terrible fire was opened on them by our boys, unhorsing a number, killing and wounding a number of horses and men. It was during this heavy musketry that Col. Woodward's horse fell dead under him, struck by three bullets. The chivalrous Colonel did some fine crawling for about twenty feet to escape the shots directed toward him. A bullet broke the skin slightly on the side of his head. Notwithstanding their leader was down, on dashed those of the charging column yet in their saddles till they reached Spring street, when they wheeled to the left at right angles, still coming at a furious speed and receiving our fire at every opening between the houses till they reached College street, down which they essayed to make a charge directly upon our earthworks, but the second platoon of company B, Capt. McConnell's, poured into them such a galling fire that they were again repulsed and scattered in the wildest confusion. I saw more than a score of riderless horses careering over the hills and through the ravines.

Just as the attack was made a number of buildings were fired to prevent the rebels from sheltering themselves in them and behind them In the height of the engagement thick volumes of smoke were ascending from the houses and the red tongues of flame were leaping from the windows and darting through the roofs. The sharp crack of rifled muskets, the heavy booming of our nine-inch* howitzer and six-pounder, the wild shouts of the combatants, and the roar of the consuming flames, made a scene of terrific sublimity. Seventeen houses were burned, and among them the court-house. Every commissioned officer did his whole duty truly and nobly. I ask leave to mention their names: Company A, Capt. Carlin and Lieuts. Williams and Simmons; company B, Capt. McConnell and Lieuts. Toms and Branden; company G, Capt. Moody and Lieut. Nichols; company H, Captain Le Blond, (Lieut. Gable, being very sick at the time, was not in the engagement.) What I have said of the commissioned officers is equally true of all the non-commissioned officers, and all the privates except four. Captain Moody, Lieuts. Toms, Branden, and Nichols, took guns and fought like soldiers in the ranks. Major Hart, commanding the forces, behaved with coolness and gallantry. Capt. McConnell handled his men excellently, and behaved himself with marked bravery. Capts. Carlin and Le Blond were at their posts and bore themselves like true soldiers as they are. Sergt.-Major McConnell, acting Adjutant, seized a musket and fought nobly. The sutler, George Steele, fired nine rounds. Mr. Pelton, his clerk, was in manfully. W. G. Nichols, Quartermaster's Sergeant, and William S. Wilson, Quartermaster's Clerk, with Enfield rifles in hand, did excellent service. And so did Geo. B. Frye, regimental post-master, and Ben. Hamilton, Adjutant's Clerk, using their Enfields with steadiness and accuracy. I name these gentlemen because they are regarded in the army as non-combatants, and yet in the hour of need were not found wanting. Our entire number in ranks during the engagement was one hundred and fifty-five, against seven hundred and eighty-five, according to Col. Woodward's own statement. From the time the enemy made the attack till he was repulsed and entirely driven off, was about one hour, though the sharp firing did not continue more than thirty minutes. The rebel loss, from all that we can gather, as information is constantly coming in, will not fall short of thirty killed and wounded. We took no prisoners, as it was imprudent for any of our troops to leave the earth-works, as our force was too small. Not a man among us was hurt. This is accounted for in the security of our intrenchment. The rebel bullets at one time fell uncomfortably thick in our camp, some of them grazing the top of our breast-works, and others striking very close to some of the officers. As soon as the rebels were known to be in force in our immediate vicinity, a telegram was sent to Col. W. W. Lowe, commanding the post at Fort Henry and Hindman, and to whose command we are temporarily attached, informing him of the danger, and asking reinforcements. He promptly responded to our call by immediately marching at the head of six companies of cavalry and one field-piece. They arrived here at about half-past 6 o'clock P. M. The enemy had been routed and were retreating up the river. At daylight next morning (twenty-sixth) Col. Lowe, at the head of four companies — being less than one hundred and thirty men — of Fifth Iowa cavalry, started in pursuit of the enemy, overtaking them at Cumberland Iron Works, about seven miles from here. A sharp engagement followed. The rebels, about five hundred or six hundred strong, were posted in a deep ravine bordering on the road, along a cornfield-fence and behind houses. Their position was one of great natural strength. The enemy's battery became annoying, and Col. Lowe ordered Lieut. Summers, with his company (B) to charge it. The order was obeyed in gallant style. He, at the head of his company, charged through a terrible fire of the concealed foe, scattering the rebel cavalry, upsetting and breaking the cannon, so as to render it useless. The charge of the cavalry was most daring and heroic. At least a score of horses went down with it. From fifteen to twenty of our men were killed


The six-pounder we used in the fight was left by the rebels at the surrender of Fort Donelson in March last. Its trunnions were broken off, and it was supposed to be useless. But our boys had it and the howitzer, which had also been demolished, hauled fully a mile and a half. They hollowed a log, put the six-pounder into it, fastened it there, mounted it on trucks and placed it in position; the howitzer they remounted on its own wheels, and manufactured ammunition for both out of musket cartridges, except a few canister shots, minus the powder for the small gun, which the boys picked up. And this was our artillery. The men who worked the guns managed admirably for inexperienced hands.

A. L. M.

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