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[131]

Keller or Killdare, one of the scouts of the Army of the Cumberland.

Keller, or as he was usually called in the Army of the Cumberland, Killdare, was of German, and perhaps Jewish extraction, and during the first eighteen months of the war had been concerned with Besthoff, and three Jews by the names of Friedenburg, in smuggling goods into rebeldom, but being arrested in connection with them, it appeared that he had not been as guilty as the others, and that what he had done had been rather to support his family than from a desire to aid the rebels. He was therefore released, and being offered an appointment as scout in the Union service, he accepted it and was of great service to the Union cause.

In March 1863, he left Nashville on horseback, with a small stock of goods, not exceeding one hundred dollars in value, with the intention of making his way into and through a certain portion of the Confederacy. Swimming his horse across Harpeth creek, and crossing with his goods in a canoe, he journeyed on, and passed the night at a house about six miles beyond Columbia, having previously fallen in with some of Forrest's men going to Columbia. The next morning he started for Shelbyville, where he arrived in due season. The occurrences there and in the subsequent portions of the trip are best related in his own words:

When I arrived, I could find stabling but no feed for my horse. I put the animal in the kitchen of a house, and gave a boy five dollars to get me a half bushel of corn, there being none in the town. I sold

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