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Doc. 193.-the fight near Danville, Ky.


Cincinnati Commercial account.

Danville, Ky., August 26, 1862.
our usually quiet village has been to-day all ablaze with excitement. Last evening, about six o'clock, intelligence was received that a large party of recruits for the confederate army, gathered from adjacent counties, principally from Nelson, was within ten miles of our town, on their way towards Somerset, to join the rebel forces now invading Kentucky. The party was variously estimated at from three hundred to six hundred. Later in the evening more definite word was brought as to their position and probable route, though their numbers could not be ascertained.

About nine o'clock P. M. a body of home guards from Danville, about fifty in number, partly on horseback and partly in wagons, proceeded, under the command of Capt. Chiles, some six miles out on the Hustonville road, and came upon the rebels, who had taken violent possession of the house and premises of John Shelby, Esq. It was a complete surprise. The small force under his command was skilfully handled by Capt. Chiles; and though comparatively an undisciplined body, but recently organized, his men conducted themselves admirably. It was a necessary result of the time, the place, and the circumstances, that the fighting on both sides should be somewhat promiscuous, and a good deal of it from under cover of trees, fences, etc.

Soon after the engagement was commenced, a body of men were heard advancing upon the rear of our forces. This was generally believed to be a party of rebels, endeavoring to surround us, and our guards withdrew to a safer position. The advancing body proved to be some fifty home guards from Harrodsburgh, who had gallantly pushed forward to take part in the fray. They soon engaged the enemy, but finding themselves outnumbered greatly, were compelled gradually to retire.

It was impossible, in the darkness, to effect a junction of the Union forces, and therefore all was not accomplished that might have been obtained [596] under more favorable circumstances. Still the skirmish was a decided success. The results foot up as follows: On the side of the rebels, killed, three; wounded, twelve, of whom five are believed to be mortally wounded; prisoners, thirty-six; in all, fifty-one. The number of horses taken is variously stated from twenty to forty.

On the Union side, one man was killed, and two slightly wounded. The Union man was shot by one of our own pickets, but no censure is attached to the man who shot him. Under the circumstances, as reported, he could have done nothing else.

Throughout the affair, there was no little danger of the two home guard companies firing upon each other. Had there been a union of forces and concerted action, the prisoners taken freely admit that the whole rebel command, which they state to have been two hundred and fifty in number, might have been captured.

Whilst there is room for regret that more was not effected, the due meed of praise should not be denied to the officers and men who so gallantly and successfully encountered a largely superior force.

The prisoners were taken at once to Lexington.

Union.

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John Shelby (1)
William Nelson (1)
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