previous next

[576] four hours. A somewhat amusing incident occurred this morning this side the ferry. Captain Alexander, with a squad of men, having crossed the night before, came suddenly from the south upon Mr. Stigold, a man of rebel proclivities, who supposed that the rebel pickets had returned again to the river, and gave what he considered “his friends” a very warm reception. The old man was somewhat taken aback when he was walked off to Somerset under a guard. About eleven o'clock in the morning, Captain Mullen, of the rebel army, who afterward attacked our advance, came to Captain West to engage boarding for thirty rebel pickets for a few days, to begin the same evening, clearly indicating that they were not looking for us so soon. In the mean time “Uncle Abe's” boys dropped in and had the impudence to eat the supper the rebels had themselves expected to partake of. The infantry did not reach Captain West's till after dark. It was necessary to reach this point in order to cover both the road from the ferry and from Mill Springs. The night was a scene of bustle and activity incident to the arriving and disposing of troops.

At three o'clock this morning Colonel Wolford was to have moved with the entire cavalry force upon Monticello. At that hour he came to the General to tell him that the First Kentucky had been struggling all night to get over the river, and had lost a number of horses, that the Second and Seventh Ohio cavalry were yet on the other side at Mill Springs, and that a deep fog had settled down upon the ford. Next, word came that the one small boat that had been used had sunk. Plan after plan seemed to be overthrown, but not on account of the brave men, for they labored with a constancy that challenged the admiration of all. The danger of sending out a general with a body of men to cross an unfordable stream, upon the banks of which the rebel pickets watched for thirty miles, without providing it a pontoon-bridge upon which to effect a safe and speedy passage, now impressed every one with redoubled force.

General Carter received these unfavorable reports without a word of complaint against any one. Finally, said he: “Well, no doubt it is all for the best.” Thus the Christian soldier, after having done all that he can, calmly relies upon Him “who doeth all things well.”

At an early hour, Colonel Carter was sent to Mill Springs, to superintend the crossing of the remainder of the cavalry, and rendered valuable assistance to those who were still on the other side of the river. At six o'clock a detachment of calvary, under command of Captain Carter, was ordered to advance cautiously in the direction of Monticello. This consisted of part of the First Kentucky, and Second and Seventh Ohio cavalry. Our advance came upon the rebels at Steubenville, five miles north of the town. From there till the rebels passed through Monticello and over the creek, there was constant skirmishing. For a distance of two miles north of this place, the rebels went as fast as their horses could take them, pursued by our cavalry, that dashed through the farms which spread from hill to hill. Just outside the town, one hundred and fifty rebels drew up in line, and charged upon our advance, but all to no purpose, for they were driven back, and passed through at full speed. Just at this time, James Smith, a bugler, of company G, Seventh Ohio cavalry, was killed. As the enemy rushed through town, Lieutenant Law hurried up with a section of his howitzer battery, and getting the pieces in position in a very short time, soon drove them from the position they had taken on the hill to the left of the Jamestown road. The force consisted of Chenault's regiment. They had passed through town going north, the morning before, and now made their way back on double-quick, leaving coats, haversacks, and arms on the way.

The Second East-Tennessee, One hundred and Third Ohio, and Twenty-seventh New-Jersey reached town about eleven o'clock, having made a splendid march, and in high spirits for a fight. The Wilder battery immediately followed them, and took position to watch the approach from the main road to Albany.

On our way we came to a family standing near their dwelling. The man was dressed in a suit of butternut, decorated with military buttons. Answering the General's questions unsatisfactorily, he was ordered under arrest. Then such a wail as went up from the unhappy wife and daughters. Following him, as he left his home, they would not allow their grief to be assuaged by the assurances that he would not be hurt.

Such is war! Who can tell of the broken hearts, the wails of sorrow, the tears, the widows' and orphans' cries, that have to be answered for by the authors of this unholy rebellion!

There are two roads leading to Albany, in Clinton County, one turning to the right, as we leave Monticello, and going direct; the other leading out, in the direction of Jamestown, four and a half miles, and then turning sharply to the right, by which the former would be reached about eight miles from this lace; the latter, three miles from Monticello, winds around through a deep, will gorge, at the bottom of which Beaver Creek rushes along over the rough rocks that form its bed. A few men here could hold an army at bay as long as they desired. The enemy, whether from choice or necessity, I do not know, took the Jamestown road — our troops skirmishing with them as they retired. Upon arriving at the pass to which I have alluded, they became more obstinate, but finally gave back, making a poor resistance, compared with their opportunities. Upon reaching the forks of the road at the top of the hill, they seemed not to know exactly what to do. If they turned off on the Albany road, they would run the risk of being caught between two fires. If they kept on to Jamestown, they would deprive themselves of the reeforcements they had sent for to Albany the night before. Instead of making off as rapidly as they might have done, they, from the considerations alluded to, fell back into the woods that lie off beyond the cleared land that is between the two

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.
G. W. Carter (3)
West (2)
Wolford (1)
Stigold (1)
James Smith (1)
Bernard R. Mullen (1)
Chenault (1)
Alexander (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: