Winter campaign of 1862 filled with adventures and incidents.
About December 1, 1862, we broke camp at Columbia
and took the Mt. Pleasant Road
and thence the road to Lawrenceburg
We there took the road to Clifton
, where we arrived on the 15th, but our brigade turned to the right and bivouacked in the bushes without fires for fear of attracting the gunboats, which we had learned were patrolling the Tennessee River
During the night we were moved close to the river bank, which was a bluff.
The river had a good boating tide, and was very swift and appeared to be rising.
A little beyond the middle of the river was an island, or large sandbar, on which were several men and horses and two or three big bright fires.
On our side they were pushing the horses off the bluff, about ten feet clear fall into the swift, icy cold water, the horses going out of sight.
When they came up the poor brutes would swim round in a circle until one would see the fire on the sandbar and strike out for it. Some would never see the fire at all, but exhausted themselves trying to climb the same bluff they were pushed off. We lost eight horses.
My company had taken off their saddles and tied them together with their blankets, overcoats and private belongings, in as small, compact bundles as possible, to be carried to the island in canoes.
We stood there in a cold drizzling rain until we were wet to the skin all over, and so numbed with cold we could barely stand.
After about two hours in this condition, order came for us to saddle up and move up the river and cross on a flat boat, two of which Forrest
's vanguard had built and hidden.
It was broad day when we got upon the opposite bank, where those who had preceded us had formed a temporary camp until the rest of the command came up. Then we took the Lexington Road