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[91]

All Right.

J. W. Ratcliffe.


Armed with this, he started again, and reached the pickets of the Fifth Kentucky Cavalry, who brought him into the city. It was nearly three o'clock in the morning when he arrived at the police office; but the colonel was still up, and immediately telegraphed his report to headquarters.

The next day, nothing daunted, he set out again, and went, as usual, first to Ratcliffe's, where he remained all night-thence the next morning travelled, by way of Hart's crossroads and Caney Springs, to Murfreesboro, reaching that place on the Saturday evening closing the week of battles at Stone river. Riding about the town, he observed that nearly every house in it was a hospital. Every thing was confusion and excitement. Immense crowds of straggling soldiers and citizens were gathered about the court house and depot. Commissary and quartermaster stores, artillery, ammunition, and camp equipage, were being loaded on the cars, and trains were starting as fast as loaded. An evacuation was evidently on hand, and that right speedily; and he determined to leave as soon, as possible. The only trouble was how to get out. After wandering around some time, seeking an opportunity, he came across a train of small wagons, with which the neighboring farmers had come to take home their wounded sons and brothers. Quick to embrace opportunities, he saw that now was his chance to escape. Dismounting from his horse, he led him by the bridle, and walked demurely behind one of these wagons, as though it was in his

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