chimneys, flocks of sheep, the fine bred horses and immense cattle browsing on the pastures or lying under the stately trees, the air of quiet and of order, the evidences of neat and substantial comfort and of wealth reminded us of pictures of English rural scenery.
“Where is your boasted blue-grass country” we had been asking the Kentuckians with us with some impatience, and at last not without doubt of its reality.
“Wait,” our friends replied, “you will be satisfied after a little.”
Divided almost by a line from the fertile but old and rather dilapidated region which succeeds the rugged mountains of south-east Kentucky
, and stretches from the foot of Big Hill around Richmond
and across the Kentucky river
to about the neighborhood of Mr. Todhunter
, where the lovely blue grass country burst upon our sight, we were astonished and enchanted — every expectation met and every fancy filled.
We were again among not only a civilized but a highly cultured people, and the most of those we met along the roads were friends.
And when we entered the town — not, indeed, in our tattered uniforms, with all the pomp and circumstances of war, but with a just pride in the achievements of our gallant chieftain and his brave army — the people collected in crowds in the streets and cheered us with enthusiasm.
But we could not fail to notice, even then, that the crowds gathered to greet us were composed for the most part of women and children.
The men, the bone and sinew of the land, the substantial property holders, even those who sincerely sympathized with the Confederate
cause, with a few honorable exceptions, held cautiously aloof, while the Union
men, the most violent of whom ran away at our approach, kept closely in their houses.
Our movement into the State
had clearly proved, as anticipated, a surprise to both parties, and allowed time to neither to determine exactly how to receive us. Mr. John Clay
, an Union man, calling at the house of his brother, the Hon. James B. Clay
, a Secessionist, on the afternoon of the day of the battle of Richmond
, the conversation turned upon Scott
's raid, and the fight then supposed to be going on in the neighborhood of Richmond
James B. Clay
, influenced more by his hopes and wishes, than by any facts on which to found such an opinion, expressed the conviction that it was no raid, but a grand movement of the Confederate forces to occupy and redeem the State of Kentucky
. Mr. John Clay
replied, that he had just come from Lexington
, where he had been in consultation with the Hon. J. J. Crittenden
and Govvernor Robinson
, and that he would lay a wager that it was nothing but a raid, and that Scott
was already defeated and driven beyond Big Hill.
This proves the completeness of the surprise.