On what was known in Morgan
's command as the “Christmas raid” into Kentucky
, from the fact of its having taken place during Christmas
week of 1862, it became necessary for us to leave the State
rather precipitately, because of our being pressed by a large Federal cavalry force in our rear.
It also became necessary, on our retreat from the State
, for us to flank the town of Lebanon, Kentucky
, which lay in our most direct road south, from the fact that the garrison there had been heavily reinforced, and the town occupied by a large force of the enemy.
This necessitated our leaving the turnpike road at Springfield
on the evening of December 30th, 1862; and on that bitter night, which will be long remembered by every member of the command, we made the famous all-night march around Lebanon
, and owing mainly to the almost impassable condition of the mud roads, found ourselves at day-light the next morning only about ten miles distant from the point we had left the evening before.
Thus compelled to leave the main highway, we struggled along, making slow progress over mud roads, in which our horses sank in many places to their knees, trying to get the artillery over these difficulties, and aiming to strike the turnpike running from Lebanon
During the day Captain Alexander Tribble
, of Chenault
's regiment, who was afterwards killed during the attack on Green River Bridge stockade, proposed to me that we should get permission from General Morgan
to go ahead of the advance guard to a little town called New Market
, for the purpose of getting some boots and shoes for some of the men in our respective companies.
We had the impression that the command was to pass through New Market
that afternoon; in which, however, we afterwards found ourselves mistaken.
Acting on Tribble
's suggestion, I went with him to General Morgan
, and without difficulty we obtained his permission to pass on in front of the advance guard for the purpose mentioned, which we accordingly did. After going several miles, we learned by inquiring of a farmer, that New Market was about three miles off to the left of the road we were then traveling, and by his direction we left that road by the first lane leading to the left.
This lane led us, after traveling over it for about a mile, into another main country road, where we had been directed to turn to the right; and following these directions we came to the junction of this road with the