previous next

[65]

A cavalry affair on Sherman's rear.

Kingston, Ga., May 30, 1864.
We had an ugly little affair on the twenty-fifth instant, that cost the Eleventh Kentucky cavalry pretty dearly. The First and Eleventh Kentucky cavalry, commanded by Colonel Holman, a brave and daring officer, had advanced some ten miles beyond this place, which is a small county town on the Dalton and Atlanta railroad, thirty-eight miles from the former and about sixty from the latter place. Some of the enemy's cavalry had been discovered on our left flank, and had succeeded in capturing a few horses of the Eleventh Kentucky, who were out foraging.

On the morning of the twenty-third, our brigade, composed of said regiments, the former commanded by Colonel Adams, and the latter by Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander, and the whole under command of Colonel Holman, was ordered back to Cassville Station (a depot on said railroad about eight miles beyond this place, and about two miles south of Cassville, from which the station takes its name), to aid in protecting a train of wagons at that station. We reached that place towards noon, and in the afternoon we went into camp. On the next morning we were ordered to saddle up and be prepared to move at a moment's warning. In a short time our pickets came in, and reported they had been driven in by a superior force of the enemy's cavalry. Major Boyle, a brave young officer, took a few companies of the Eleventh Kentucky, and went in search of the enemy, but returned without succeeding in finding him. In a short time we heard brisk firing in front, and were ordered immediately to mount and advance towards the scene of action. We hastened forward, and soon learned that the enemy had attacked and burned our wagon train. The train comprised some thirty or forty wagons, which had been ordered back to this place.

The force to protect them, as I have been informed by some of the soldiers, was the Fourteenth Kentucky infantry, nine hundred and eighty-eight strong, and some two hundred of the One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Indiana infantry, with said brigade of cavalry, composed of six or seven hundred men. The wagons are said to have been ordered by General Schofield to move out in front. The infantry in their rear, and the cavalry again in the rear of them, General Schofield supposing that if any attack were made upon the train, it would come from the rear. And if the rebels had been accommodating enough to make the attack just at that point all would have been well, and they would have been handsomely repulsed, but the ill-bred, cowardly scamps waited until the head of the train had advanced about a mile and a half, and then attacked them about the centre, where there were no ugly guns to confront them, and succeeded in burning the greater portion of the train. The presumption is, when General Schofield gave such orders, he was not aware that the enemy's cavalry had been for some days hovering about our left flank, though in what numbers it was impossible to conjecture. Fortunately, our mule train containing our ammunition was in the rear of the wagons, and was all safe.

Had one regiment of the cavalry advanced in front, and the other in the rear, with the infantry on each side of the wagons, with skirmishers thrown out at some distance in every direction, to guard against a surprise, the result would have, doubtless, been very different. The loss of property, however, was very trifling.

After this disaster the small amount of forage at Cassville Station was burned, and our whole force, with the mule trains, advanced a short distance, when the trains and infantry were halted, and the cavalry advanced across a small stream, near to which was a heavy line of breast-works and rifle-pits, made by Johnston on his retreat, and thence across an open field, and attacked the enemy in a dense oak and pine forest, entirely beyond supporting distance of the infantry. The fire from the enemy concealed in the bush was so heavy and murderous that our brave boys were immediately driven back and hotly pursued by a heavy line of the enemy across the open field, nobly contesting the ground, as they retreated before a superior force; and to increase the difficulty, our brave fellows had to file away to the right to get round said breastworks and rifle-pits. The Eleventh Kentucky cavalry had five killed on the spot, one mortally wounded, who died the ensuing night, one slightly, and two badly, though not dangerously, wounded. The names of the killed are E. Colvin, Company D; James Kallaher, Company B; Alex. Knight, Company I; Samuel Kidwell, Company D; John Smithy, Company H, and John Martin, mortally wounded and since died, of Company K. Brave fellows, they died in a noble cause. All honor to their memories. They are buried near the hospital in the vicinity of Kingston. Boards, with their names rudely carved upon them, mark the places where they sleep their last sleep. Samson Braydon, of the Sixth Tennessee infantry, a wagoner, was also mortally wounded, and died on Wednesday night, the twenty-fifth instant. A board with his name carved upon it marks his resting-place beside the others.

The names of our wounded are, Francis Lewis and Valentine Her, Company K, and Augustus Foldon, Company H, Eleventh Kentucky cavalry. There are also missing upwards of thirty, one of whom, Captain Linthark, is known to have been taken prisoner. The others are doubtless prisoners. The First Kentucky cavalry had two men wounded: Timothy Lake, badly though not dangerously, of Company C, and Lewis Huddleston, slightly. They are all doing well. These are all the casualties in our brigade so far as I can learn.

The enemy did not accomplish all this mischief with impunity. The gallant Lieutenant Hall emptied one saddle, and the brave Lieutenant


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 Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Kingston, Ga. (Georgia, United States) (2)
Timothy Lake (Oregon, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
25th (2)
May 30th, 1864 AD (1)
23rd (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: