but was met instead with unexpected good treatment and kindness. It seemed to be the policy of Morgan to treat his prisoners with conciliation and forbearance. Some few of his men who were rough with their captives, were sharply reprimanded by their officers, and in no case did I hear of any ill-treatment of prisoners. One of their orderlies, McMullen by name, was especially attentive to our wounded, and refused any compensation. The prisoners were gradually collected, marched into town, and lodged in the upper room of the Court-House. Our parole was made out, and we signed it that night. The next morning, supperless and breakfastless, we were marched on the road to Falmouth, about six miles. Our guards here left us, and we made the best of our way to that place, twenty-one miles distant. We arrived, in straggling parties, that night and the next morning. Here we found most of our bridge-guards, who, hearing we were there, left their bridges and came there to meet us. We got a train at ten o'clock Saturday night, and arrived at Cincinnati next morning at four. The young men of my company, though inexperienced and untried in this kind of thing — some of them having their first drill and their first battle in the same hour — yet fought with a courage and determination that could not be surpassed. In many instances separated from their officers, and from each other, each one fought desperately on his own account, until overpowered by numbers. The two lieutenants collected about eighteen men at the depot, threw themselves in a brick house, which they defended to the last extremity. There was not an instance of flinching or cowardice in any boy in the company. When we left Covington we were informed by the authorities that sent us, that ample provision would be forwarded for our company; also serviceable arms supplied us. Instead of this, what little sleep our boys had was taken on the bare ground, without shelter or even a blanket to cover them. As for food, they had none, only what they bought or begged. On our arrival at Cynthiana, we were well cared for by Col. Landrum, Acting Commissary Ware, and the citizens generally, who all seemed anxious to show kindness to Cincinnati men. The guns we took with us proved to be nearly worthless. This difficulty was also remedied by Col. Landrum, who gave us some twenty good muskets. These, of course, fell into Morgan's possession, together with our equipments and private baggage. Although these private possessions might not be very valuable, still some of their owners could ill stand their loss. Some thirty odd of our number were required to give their parole. We would respectfully ask of this committee, that these paroled men be placed at once on a proper footing with the Government, as, if they should be drafted and again be taken, they would be liable to be hung at once. And surely the Government has no right to send a man out to fight with a rope round his neck. We would also respectfully ask of this Committee, to whom we are to look for payment of our services. Yours respectfully,
John J. Wright, Captain.
Major W. O. Smiths letter.
Cynthiana, July 28.Having been left by Colonel Leonidas Metcalfe in command of his camp, near this place, as Major of the First Battalion, and having been present and in command of his men at the fight on the seventeenth, I deem it proper to make a brief statement of facts over my own signature, in regard to the battle. At about two o'clock P. M., on the seventeenth, an order was made for one hundred cavalry to proceed to Leesburgh and remain all night, reporting any facts regarding the approach of the enemy, and to return next morning to this place. The order was scarcely made before the men were formed to start, when Colonel Landrum sent an aid to me, countermanding the order, and requiring my immediate presence at his headquarters. He informed me that reliable information had come to him, that Morgan was coming on us that evening in large force, and to dismiss my men, with orders to rest on their arms, and to be prompt in assembling at the beating of the long roll. I executed his order, and in less than an hour afterward, our pickets from the McGee road came dashing in, giving the alarm that they had been fired on, and one was missing from them. The long roll was beaten, and lines of companies formed as well as possible, and about four hundred infantry and raw recruits of Metcalfe's cavalry formed and were posted along the river bank above and below the bridge on the south side of tho river. I was ordered by Colonel Landrum to post a company above the bridge, one or two companies at discretion — and from consultation with Captain W. B. Dunn of the Second Kentucky, who was present and acting as an aid to myself, I ordered a company of Home Guards to proceed to the top of McGee's hill and engage the enemy, which they did, and repulsed them with severe loss. In the mean time I ordered the remaining company to proceed at double-quick to the Williamsburgh pike, as an alarm came that Morgan's cavalry were coming down that way. This company was ordered by myself to check that approach, but owing to the fact that Glass's gun was playing on them from Main street, it became too hazardous for them to go up the hill, and I ordered those mounted men to cross the street in the face of the fire and go with me, and more dismounted to fall back and sustain the company that was returning from McGee's Hill. I then proceeded to the south part of the town, where I found about sixty mounted men of the Seventh Kentucky in a state of confusion. I formed them with those brought forward, and made an attack on the rebels that were stationed at the Episcopal Church, but they being in superior force and hid behind fences, our raw men could not stand the fire, and were compelled to fall back to the Reformed Church.