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[291] us. I ordered Captain Glass to put his gun in position to command the Millersburgh road, and give the enemy grape and canister, which was done with good effect. By this time my little band was engaged at every point. The fighting on both sides was terrific. The enemy, having possession of the streets, were pouring a galling fire upon us from the shelter of houses, fences, etc., and the artillery squad, being subject to a cross-fire, were compelled to abandon their piece.

My men at the bridge were, after a most desperate conflict, driven back by very superior numbers, and a cavalry charge made through the streets by Morgan's forces. At this time I rallied a part of my forces at the railroad depot, at which point our boys gave them a warm reception, emptying several saddles. I then again went for the purpose of rallying the artillery squad, so as to place it on the hill near the residence of M. L. Broadwell, from which position we could have commanded the town, and several roads leading to it, but was unable to find either men or gun, the streets in every direction being in possession of the rebels. My men were exhausted and out of ammunition, but I rallied them, and at the depot distributed it to them. The firing at the time having nearly ceased, I rode along the railroad to Rankins's Hotel to ascertain what position the enemy was taking, and from what direction they were coming in heaviest force. Here I met an officer of the rebel band, aid to Col. Morgan, (a son of the late Beverly L. Clark,) who demanded my surrender. I replied, “I never surrender,” and instantly discharged three shots at him, two of which took effect in his breast.

He fell from his horse, and I thought him dead, but he is still living, and will probably recover, notwithstanding two balls passed through his body. Captain Rogers also discharged a shot at him which took effect. I then rallied part of my force, about forty in number, and determined to make a charge upon the enemy at the Licking bridge, and take their battery, which had been brought to that point and was being used with fatal effect upon my little band of patriot heroes. The force, sustaining their artillery, outnumbered ours more than ten to one, and were all the while under cover of houses, etc. Besides this, a force of the rebels, at least three hundred strong, were pouring an incessant and deadly fire upon my little band from the rear, about a hundred and twenty-five yards distant.

It was here that Jacob Carver, company E, Eighteenth Kentucky, fell, severely wounded — as brave a man as ever pulled trigger — and I received a slight wound in the ankle. It was here, too, that the lamented Thomas Ware, United States Commissioner for this county, one of the oldest citizens of Cynthiana, was instantly killed, nobly and bravely doing his duty as a patriot. Here, too, was killed Jesse Current, young Thomas Rankins, Captain Lafe Wilson, young Hartburn of Cincinnati, and others; besides many, including F. L. St. Thomas, John Scott, Captain McClintock, John McClintock, Thomas Barry of Cincinnati, and Thos. J. Vimont, who fell severely wounded. In consequence of the terrific storm of balls, and as but few of my men were left, among whom were Wm. W. Trimble and J. S. Frizell, who was also wounded, of this place, others not remembered, I ordered a retreat.

In the mean time Major William O. Smith had command of the Seventh Kentucky cavalry, and was posted north of the town to hold the Claysville road, and prevent the enemy from gaining the streets from that direction, where he made a gallant resistance near the Episcopal Church, until overpowered by superior numbers, and forced to fall back toward the Reform Church, and thence to the Court-House, where he and his command were compelled to surrender. At this time more than three fourths of my men were killed, wounded and prisoners, and I determined to cut my way through the enemy and escape with the remainder, if possible. I rallied together from twenty to twenty-five of my men at the depot, and started in a south-east direction through Redmon's pasture, where we met a body of the enemy who had crossed from the Millersburgh road. They were secreted behind fences, trees and hay-cocks. We at once engaged them, and soon routed them. Upon turning round I discovered that the enemy had pursued us from town, and were on our rear, not more than forty paces distant. I ordered my handful of men to cross the hill-side, and fight them from behind the fences, which they did, and held them in check until nearly surrounded by a body of cavalry, at least ten times their number. I then ordered my men to retreat beyond a fence in a south-easterly direction, to avoid a cavalry charge. Here a part of the men became exhausted, some falling by the way-side to await their fate, their ammunition all expended, when I informed the little Spartan band we could do no more; to save themselves, and I would do likewise, if possible, and bade them good-by.

Each and every man of this noble little squad fought with desperation and the coolness of veterans. Among them were James F. Ware, Jno. R. Smith, Wm. Kimbrough, Lieutenant Wm. L. Dayton, company I, Eighteenth Kentucky; Lieutenant Sleet, company E, Eighteenth Kentucky; Silas Howe, company E, Eighteenth Kentucky; albert Roper, company I, Eighteenth Kentucky; Captain J. J. Wright of Cincinnati, and others, not now remembered, to any one of whom too much praise cannot be awarded. Captain Lafe Wilson fell near the depot and continued to discharge his revolver as long as life lasted. His last words were: “Never surrender, boys.”

Captain J. B. McClintock fell severely wounded while urging his men to the charge. Captain S. G. Rogers, Company I, Eighteenth Kentucky, was wounded while gallantly resisting the foe. I cannot particularize further; it is enough to say that all my men fought like heroes and veterans in the face of a greatly superior force, as is evidenced by the slaughter that ensued, having held them in check for nearly three hours, from a most galling fire, which was poured in upon us from

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