mass, but a doubt as to whether it was composed of friends or foes reserved the fire until a flag of truce, a towel on a ramrod, was seen advancing. It came to the bridge, was blindfolded, and conducted to the Military Board, when, curse their impudence, it transpired that the rebels were anxious to secure an unconditional surrender of the town, in order to prevent the effusion of blood. A young man named Freeman, formerly of this city, was bearer of the flag. He was sent back with a polite reply that a surrender was not to be thought of. Again the flag came back with a renewed demand, and a threat to open on the town immediately. Governor Bramlette told them to go to the d — l. Colonel Monroe said if they sent any more of their “d — d white rags” he would fire on them. Everybody that could be reached — old and young, rebel and Union, citizen and stranger, (American citizens of African descent alone excepted)--was conscripted. Remonstrance, entreaty and disability were useless. A reluctant citizen of Hebrew extraction, although at the point of death from cramp colic, was led to the slaughter, set to work building a barricade of hay-bales. Rheumatism and diarrhoea and partial paralysis were compelled to shoulder a musket. Obstinacy was tried by some, and came nigh proving serious. A large party of young gentlemen and ladies, who had been attending an examination at Georgetown Seminary, were stopping at the Capitol Hotel, and indulged freely and musically in sedition Friday night, while the attack was being made on the fort. A young man, with a squad, was sent down to conscript the male portion. They ran, were fired on, and one of the party severely wounded; after which the remainder came up to the defence of their bleeding country with amazing alacrity. “You are wanted up at the arsenal,” was the remark of a sweet-voiced young gentleman, with a carbine in his hand, who tapped me lightly on the shoulder. “Am I? I was just going there.” “Well, fall in.” I fell in. Arrived at the arsenal, Adjutant-General Boyle loaned me an Austrian rifle, and presented me with forty rounds of cartridges; so I became, for a limited time, a soldier of the State of Kentucky. The idea was not pleasant. If I had a leg or two shot away, or lost an arm, to whom could I look for a pension? In the meantime, the fulfilment of the threat to open on the town was anxiously looked for. A force was stationed at the railroad and South Frankfort bridges, and the planks on the latter taken up. The rebels were seen manoeuvring about on Monroe's Hill, as if looking out a location for their battery, while a number of sharpshooters scattered among the trees on the hillside, and kept up a spiteful popping at the force stationed at the bridge; while one fellow, who seemed to have a gun of great range, occasionally dropped a bullet among the force around the gun at the arsenal, nearly a mile distant from his position on the hill-side. The fort threw shells and the little iron gun solid shot into the hill, but shelling a dozen sharpshooters with a twenty-four-pound gun proved to be a sinful waste of ammunition. The rebels did not open with their battery, and it soon became evident that they had no battery. Then an attack was looked for from the other side of the town, but it did not come. The fact became apparent that the demonstration of the rebels was mere bravado and they were not in force enough to make an attack. But they kept it up bravely, shooting Mr. John Todd, printer of the Commonwealth, in the little finger and thumb, a nigger in the heel, and just grazing Mr. Van Winkle, Secretary of State, in the side. As for us, we killed a horse that we know of, with a shell from the fort, and suspect that some of the rebels were wounded. But the rebels effected their damage at a much less pecuniary cost. While the ammunition expended from the fort was a matter of several thousand dollars, the sacrifice of the rebels in that respect was trifling. About twelve o'clock, becoming satisfied that the affair was not serious, I am afraid I skulked. I sat in a house during the balance of the day, conveniently near the arsenal, so that I could rush to my post, or run, as I thought proper or politic, in case of a real attack, and read “Hard Cash,” while my comrades were expending hard lead in firing at impossible ranges. Under the circumstances, I believe I shall claim nothing of the State for my services. If they will say nothing, I will engage to remain silent on the subject of pecuniary compensation. All day the rebels kept up the farce of besieging the town, sometimes appearing in one quarter, and sometimes in another, and at night disappeared, probably with enhanced ideas of the fighting qualities of the Frankfort militia. Altogether I do not think there could have been more than two hundred of them. Beyond stealing a few horses in the country about, their investment of Frankfort did not prove remunerative. Sunday evening the Ninth Pennsylvania came in, and the siege was over. Monday morning the militia were drawn up in front of the Capitol Hotel, addressed by General John M. Harlan, and dismissed. Governor Bramlette and his State officers, Colonel Monroe, and the citizen-soldiery of the town and county, deserve great credit for the pluck manifested in their willingness to fight for the city. They did not know whether they were to be attacked by two hundred or two thousand, but were equally resolved to fight. I understand that extensive contributions were levied on the flower-gardens about Frankfort, for the purpose of making a magnificent floral wreath with which to encircle the brows of John Morgan. The wreath was made, and was to be presented by the transient young ladies of the Capitol Hotel. The presentation speech was written, memorized and rehearsed,
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Table of Contents:
Doc . 16 . operations in Tennessee .
Doc . 19 . the siege of Suffolk, Virginia .
Doc . 36 . General Rousseau 's expedition.
Doc . 59 . battles of Spottsylvania , Va: battle of Sunday , May 8 , 1864 .
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