previous next

[491] been recaptured. Their force has been greatly exaggerated, as well as the amount of plunder taken by them.

I have this morning received a second despatch from General Gillmore, dated this morning, from Slagal's Ferry, on the Cumberland River, as follows:

I underrated the enemy's force in my first report of yesterday's fight. They have over two thousand six hundred men, outnumbering us two to one.

During the night their troops recrossed the Cumberland in three places. We have retaken between three hundred and four hundred cattle. Pegram's loss will not fall short of five hundred men.

Gillmore, Brigadier-General.
The alacrity with which the troops were concentrated, and the vigor and gallantry of the attack, are highly commendable.

A. E. Burnside, Major-General Commanding.

Cincinnati Gazette account.

Lexington, Ky., April 2.
Gen. Gillmore and staff returned from the front last night, leaving Cols. Runkle and Wolford to pick up prisoners and bring up the rear. Gen. Pegram's long-planned and boasted invasion of Kentucky has ended in a destructive and disagreeable defeat.

General Gilmore assumed the command in person, and left here with the determination to recapture the earnings of the rebel expedition, and punish the audacity of the brigands.

Perceiving that they had converted a retreat into a precipitate flight, he left the infantry and pushed on with his mounted force, consisting of the First Kentucky cavalry, Colonel Wolford's; Forty-fifth O. V.I., mounted, Colonel Runkle; a detachment of the Forty-fourth Ohio, mounted, under Major Mitchell; and the Seventh O. V. cavalry, Colonel Garrard--in all one thousand two hundred men. Such was the dashing energy of the pursuit, that, notwithstanding the rebels had thirty-six hours the start, they were overtaken four miles north of Somerset.

General Carter, in command of eight hundred mounted men, had reached Buck Creek, twelve miles from Somerset, when Gen. Gillmore reached him with his body-guard and the Seventh Ohio cavalry, increasing the number to one thousand two hundred, with which they double-quicked until within reach of the enemy's rear-guard. The skirmishing then commenced, Gens. Gillmore and Carter with Wolford and the body-guard in the advance. As often as the rebels made a stand they were dislodged with shell. Within twelve miles of Somerset, at Dutton's Hill, in a very strong position, the rebels drew up in force and planted their batteries; and here, about twelve o'clock, commenced the real battle. Our line of battle was drawn up, with the batteries in the centre, supported by the Seventh cavalry, (Runkle,) with a detachment of the Forty-fourth and Forty-fifth on the left, and Wolford's on the right. The preliminary artillery fight lasted one and a half hours, and resulted in the dismounting of three of their guns.

The wings were then ordered to advance. Wolford did so, wounded. Runkle dismounted and found it too hot, but when the enemy found him out and commenced shelling, he threw aside all hesitation, and at the head of his men, gallantly charged up the hill. The rebels moved out to meet him. For an instant his line wavered, with batteries playing directly upon them, shot and shell booming over them, and leaden rain playing with deadly music around them. They paused, however, only to take breath, and with one intent and a single shout, they hurled their column upon the advancing foe. Col. Runkle and his command behaved like heroes and veterans.

At the same time Wolford, on the right, and Col. Garrard, in the centre, charged, and the enemy broke in disorder to their horses, under cover of the wooded hill, and fled pell-mell through the town. Captain Stowe, with a detachment of the Forty-fourth, was ordered forward to reconnoitre. A body of Scott's and Ashby's rebel cavalry were here detected in a flank movement on Wolford. Colonel Sanders hastened to reinforce, and after a short, sharp, and decisive conflict, captured sixty prisoners, and put them to rout. A detachment of Scott's men were seen flying into the road to cut off Capt. Stowe, when Gen. Gillmore, at the head of his body-guard, charged down upon them like a whirlwind, and they turned off another road. Gen. Gillmore and guard entered the town, and held it until the Forty-fourth and Forty-fifth came up.

The enemy made another stand three miles below Somerset, and were again routed.

Night now came on, and our boys were exhausted. In the morning it was found the rebels had crossed the river during the night in great confusion. More than one hundred, it is said, were drowned. They planted a battery on the river, which was quickly demolished. We recovered four hundred cattle at the river. Their loss in killed and captured is nearly five hundred, of whom fifty were killed. The loss on our side is but thirty-five killed, wounded and missing.

The shot mostly passed over the heads of our men. The whole affair was brilliant and dashing, one thousand two hundred to two thousand five hundred, led by the Generals in person. A surgeon, under a flag of truce, was searching for Gen. Pegram after the battle.

Another account.

Somerset, April 27, 1868.
The details of the battle of Somerset, so much as refers to the engagement at Dutton's Hill, have been published; but the more interesting and brilliant history of the charge upon Scott's and Ashby's cavalry, and their subsequent rout and utter defeat, have not.

I gave you an account of the previous skirmishing and rebel stand at the hill, together with the Federal plan of attack, and the charge, resulting in the retreat of the rebels, and our possession

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Wolford (7)
Gillmore (7)
Runkle (5)
Lyman Scott (3)
Pegram (3)
Stowe (2)
T. T. Garrard (2)
G. W. Carter (2)
Ashby (2)
James Sanders (1)
D. Mitchell (1)
G. W. Gilmore (1)
A. E. Burnside (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
April 27th, 1868 AD (1)
April 2nd (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: