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A thrilling incident.--A. Z. Reeve, of the Iowa army, gives the following thrilling incident in a letter to his brother:

Germantown, Tenn., March 12, 1863.
We have been here about six weeks, protecting the railroad. Colonel Richardson, a rebel guerrilla, has been hovering in the vicinity for some time, capturing forage parties and tearing up the road whenever opportunity offered. When pursued, he retreats to the swamps, and his command, dispersing in small squads, generally evade all attempts to discover them. To make the matter worse, they frequently dress in Federal uniform.

On the morning of the ninth of this month, our regiment and the Fourth Illinois cavalry started out with a guide for the retreat of the guerrillas. Before we reached the rebel camp, the Sixth Illinois cavalry, with flying artillery attached, attacked the rebels from the opposite side, killed twenty-five of them, took some prisoners, and burned the camp and garrison equipage. In their headlong stampede, the rebels came well-nigh running into our hands. While in hot pursuit, we came to the residence of one Robert C. Forbes, who, intrenching himself in the house, commenced firing on our flankers as they approached. The flankers then charged on the house, effected an entrance, and discovered that Forbes had taken shelter in an upper chamber. The desperate man was called upon to surrender, but refused. He had already killed one member of the Fourth Illinois cavalry, and had wounded another. He also had received a wound in the right arm, which disabled him to such an extent that he could not load his gun. His wound was received by a shot fired up through the floor. Still the desperate man refused to yield. As a last resort the house was set on fire. This compelled the man to come down, but he still obstinately refused to surrender. He was immediately surrounded by the exasperated soldiers, who refrained from shooting him on account of the certainty of shooting their comrades. Meanwhile the old man clubbed his gun, and although his arm was badly lacerated and bleeding, he ferociously kept the soldiers at bay. At length one of the officers ordered the soldiers opposite to him to get away, and give him a chance “to shoot the old secession scoundrel!”

At these words the gun dropped from the old man's hands, and he earnestly inquired:

“Is it possible? Have I been fighting Union soldiers all this time?”

“Of course, we are Union men,” replied the officer.

“My God! Why didn't I know this before?” said the old man in a voice of agony; “I am a Union man, too. I thought I was fighting Richardson's guerrillas!”

The soldiers did not believe him at first, but in brief time he proved to them beyond all dispute that there was no counterfeit Unionism about him. He had been an incorruptible patriot during the war. At the outbreak of the rebellion, he had been arrested by confederate authority and placed in chains. His crime consisted in telling the rebels that they were traitors and deserved hanging. When General Hurlburt passed through this part of the country, the old man joined him, but came back occasionally to see his family. He was on a brief furlough from the Federal army when the raid was made on his house. Richardson had sworn vengeance against him, and he had resolved never to be taken alive. Owing to the fact that the guerrillas were in the habit of prowling about in Federal uniform, the old man was led to mistake our soldiers for rebels.

The explanation came too late to save the house. It was consumed with all its contents. There was not a quilt left to defend the mother and children from the cold. They had fled from the burning building just in time to save their lives. It was a sad spectacle. The old man begged to be taken along with us. [38] He told his wife to get to the Federal lines as soon as possible. A braver and a truer man to his country does not exist than Robert C. Forbes. I gave the mother and children ten dollars in greenbacks and my blankets. The other soldiers contributed to relieve the distresses of the family. Many sympathizing tears were shed by us all. I have not witnessed a scene so affecting since my enlistment.--Iowa State Register.

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