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[492] of the ground. This charge was made simultaneously by Runkle, and the Forty-fourth and Forty-fifth Ohio on the left, Wolford on the right, and Major Norton with two battalions of the Seventh Ohio cavalry in the centre. The rebels fled, pursued by Norton to within half a mile of Somerset. This charge and pursuit revealed the fact that the rebel guns and a large part of their force had previously been detached, and before the rear of the Seventh cavalry, heretofore supporting the batteries, had reached the hill, about one hundred and fifty of Scott's cavalry swept down a ravine on our left rear at full speed, passed the ground but ten minutes before occupied by our batteries, pressed hotly upon Colonel Garrard, whose splendid horse and skilful horsemanship alone prevented his capture, and upon the order for the Seventh to right about and fire the enemy turned and went out as they came in. Had this rebel charge taken place thirty minutes sooner, as Pegram ordered and had intended, with our troops in position, they would doubtless have captured our batteries and materially changed the result of the action. Their plan was detected, however, almost at the moment of the success of our charge upon the hill, and Wolford was despatched by Gen. Carter to the wood on the left rear, to counteract it. Upon engaging the enemy he discovered that instead of the one hundred and fifty who had made the dash he was met by a largely superior force, and sent for reenforcements. Major McIntire, with two companies of the Seventh, was promptly ordered to his relief. Upon the arrival of Major McIntire the enemy gave way and commenced the retreat. Wolford and his men had performed feats of individual valor worthy of the days of knight errantry, and held the rebels in check. Wolford himself had pursued the rebel leader Colonel Scott so closely, that when within thirty paces of him with levelled pistol he called upon him to die or surrender. At the moment Wolford's horse was shot, and fell, and Scott escaped, when McIntire arrived. The Mountain Wolf was cheering his men forward on, foot. The rebels broke in confusion, and fled. Wolford halted for want of ammunition, and McIntire with seventy-two men yelling like a thousand, followed across an open field and into the woods, and here commenced the most extraordinary flight and pursuit, I venture to assert, that has been recorded during the war.

The rebel force, under Scott and Ashby, is estimated variously from six hundred to eight hundred. Major McIntire's command at this time was but seventy-two, and yet the rebel panic increased with every rod passed over in their terrific flight over hill and valley, brook and rock, tangled brush and fallen timber. Any one to review the field to-day, would pronounce such a race over such ground impossible. At the base of a precipitous hill and embarrassed by the contracting valley, high fences, and a complication of lanes, the rebels were evidently about to turn at bay in very desperation, when additional reenforcements of four companies of the Seventh cavalry, under Colonel Sanders, appeared dashing along at their left. This completed their consternation and utter discomfiture. They again broke, every man for himself. All attempts at organization were abandoned from that moment, and each rebel sought only to save himself as best he could. Those who made the Stanford road passed through Somerset without hats or guns, using their sabres as whips, in very desperation of terror. The distance from the first wood, where Major McIntire engaged them, to the end of the pursuit, is about six miles. A part of the rebel force crossed the Crab Orchard road about midnight, and the Cumberland about twenty miles above Somerset, others at Mill Springs. Those who passed through Somerset were pursued by Col. Sanders, and the Colonel fired his last shot through the rearmost rebel's head and abandoned the chase within two miles of town. Lieut. Copeland maintained tile pursuit without other ammunition than yells for over two miles. The green flag of Scott's First Louisiana cavalry, made by the fair hands of the daughter of Humphrey Marshall, was captured by Lieut. Copeland. The flag of Carter's Tennessee cavalry was also captured.

On the Stanford road Major McIntire encountered three rebels, shot one and captured two, in a clump of cedars near the lane where the final flight began. Lieut. Daniels, of the First Louisiana cavalry, lies buried where he fell, with an oak shingle at his head, on which is inscribed in pencil, his name and rank. To which some one has added the epitaph--“Thus perish all enemies of Uncle Sam.”

The flight for six miles is marked by torn brush, scarred trees and dead horses. Nineteen rebels were killed, six wounded, and sixty-seven prisoners taken. In the valley several women of the neighborhood had fled for safety and concealment, and when they found themselves surrounded by conflicting armies after the arrival of Sanders, their terror and piteous shrieks may be imagined but not described. It was ludicrous, even amid the terrible realities being enacted around them. Our boys ceased firing, and let them pass to the rear. Their screams for a few moments fairly drowned the roar of musketry and shouts of our men.

After the rebs were fairly routed, Runkle pursued them three miles below Somerset, where, in a very strong position, evidently prepared beforehand, on a semicircular range of hills commanding all approaches, they made another stand. As night had come, and doubtful of their strength, he abandoned the chase. It has been since ascertained that they really would have made no defence, and had our forces continued the pursuit to the river, they would have surrendered. It is easier to know these things after than before, or during a battle. It is enough now to know that our boys fought bravely against overwhelming odds in numbers, and fairly whipped the braggarts; and still better to know that they anxiously await but the opportunity to repeat the experience.

S. S.


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