bridge, and that the guard there had fired on the enemy, driving them back. Col. Johnston ordered a soldier, whose name I forgot, and Mr. Hastings, with Lieut. Fidler, who had volunteered as aid to Col. Johnston, to go to New-Market, see what was being done, and report immediately. These gentlemen hurried forward, and, on going up a hill near New-Market, suddenly met the advance of Morgan's brigade, were ordered to halt, and, upon failure to do this, were fired upon. Some twenty shots were fired, but fortunately neither of the gentlemen were injured. Lieut. Fidler, being on a slow horse, was taken prisoner; his horse, saddle, and bridle, with a splendid navy-pistol, were taken from him. Hastings reported to the officer in command that Morgan was advancing with overwhelming numbers. The Lieut.-Colonel gave orders for no firing to be done, if the enemy was so much our superior in numbers. When Morgan's advance reached our pickets it was fired on, and immediately a sharp little skirmish began, which the whole body of soldiers soon participated in — the pickets having been compelled to fall back on the main body. Our soldiers were soon compelled to skedaddle by overwhelming numbers, and they fled in every direction, leaving two men on the field dead. Whether the enemy suffered any loss or not I cannot say. I saw several of their wounded who were badly hurt. The men killed on our side were Moses Rickets, an excellent citizen, honest, upright, well thought of by every one, a grocery-keeper; indeed, one of Lebanon's best citizens; and Mr. Dyke, a peaceable, quiet, kind, upright, respected man. Lebanon laments their loss very much. How terrible is war — the desolator of homes, and the great enemy of happiness! Lieut. Col. Johnston and eighteen privates of the Twenty-eighth Kentucky were taken prisoners, and some eight or nine citizens connected with the Home Guards. Morgan took possession of Lebanon, which he found almost depopulated, the citizens having fled to the country for protection. He gave orders that private property should be respected, and threatened any one with death who should disobey orders. His men quartered themselves where they best liked, ate when they pleased, and fed their horses on the corn and grain of all. They were not guilty of proffering pay for any thing. I believe I did see them offer confederate scrip when there was a possibility of getting good money in change. When day came, Morgan proclaimed that he was going to divide United States commissary stores here among the poor of the town, and destroy only the ordnance in store. But when he promised this he is suspected of having told a big bully, devilish-looking blackguard, whisky bloat, unmerciful, degenerated puppy — an Englishman, named Col. St. Leger Grenville, the same immaculate personage who desired to hang all Unionists, burn down the commodious depot here, and set on fire our court-house, insuring the entire destruction of our town — to burn down the depots for United States goods. I notice that only prominent rebels were so fortunate as to get any of the spoils. Our soldiers are compelling these fellows to disgorge. In the Government depots were sugar, coffee, flour, bread, etc., etc., and the destruction was immense; guns were bent double by hard licks over rocks, powder, cartridges, and caps were thrown into the creek. It is estimated that the Government lost near one hundred thousand dollars--perhaps more. The commodious hospital near town, with sick soldiers' clothing, was burned to the ground, and the sick turned out of doors. Fortunately their number was few. The wagon-yard, wagons, ambulances, etc., were destroyed. Morgan took possession of the town near three o'clock in the morning. He was detained at New-Market bridge nearly two hours by thirty men, and failed to force his way across the bridge until he brought his artillery to bear upon it. During the engagement he got two bullet-holes through the top of his hat. He awarded great praise to Lieut. Catlin and men for their daring and accuracy in shooting. The Lieutenant and men made good their escape, and lay out in the woods until Sunday last. When Morgan took possession of Lebanon he declared that he would respect private property. But his men failed to do it, and he failed to make them do it when his attention was called to their misdemeanors. The soldiery stole horses by the wholesale. It is a low estimate to say that Marion County had two hundred and fifty horses stolen. They wanted shoes, and took one hundred and fifty dollars' worth from Edmonds and Bro. Indeed, whenever they wanted any thing they went and took it — sometimes proffering confederate scrip as pay. They took the express-wagon and pressed Uncle Ben. Spalding's buggy into service. Indeed, they did any thing but respect private property. His men were respectful to ladies, and not generally insulting to citizens. They seemed to be of that class to which we apply the term “sporting gentlemen.” Although the men profess to be Kentuckians, I found that they had men from all the Southern States with them. A vast minority of them were Kentuckians. He at first refused to parole the citizen and Home Guard prisoners, denouncing them as guerrillas, and deserving death. A bright idea, that Home Guards, regularly authorized by law, meeting for the defence of their homes, are guerrillas! He was, I understand, particularly tight on Lieut. J. M. Fidler, who has lately resigned, telling him he ought to be shot, and threatening to carry him off to be tried by drum-head court-martial. He released him only on the personal application of the Southern Rights men of the town. The privates insisted on shooting Fidler. He says he feared them while in their charge. Morgan himself severely misused Mr. Hastings, after he captured him, sticking his spear into him in half a dozen places, from the effects of which he has not yet recovered. He afterwards begged his pardon for it. While the majority of the gang were as kind as could be expected, conversed freely with citizens
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.