We made such good speed that by dark we had destroyed at least a mile of trestle, some of it fully fifteen feet high.
The weather had turned bitter cold and the trestle was covered with sleet and ice.
Leaving a strong rear guard, the command started north along the railroad, burning every bridge and capturing every blockhouse as far as Union City
, save the one at Forked Deer River
There I saw a force of Confederates trying to capture the blockhouse, and, thinking it my regiment, I stopped after passing the blockhouse, hitched my horse and went to join them, when I found it was Dibrell
's regiment, and also learned that Starnes
's regiment had pushed on to capture Humboldt
Mounting, I made the best speed my horse was capable of, but I heard cannonading when about four miles distant. From the increasing fire of artillery, I judged my regiment had ‘cut off more than it could masticate,’ but when I arrived on the scene I found that Starnes
had captured the garrison, set fire to the depot, bridge and a house containing a large amount of ordnance stores, and it was the shells exploding that I had taken for a heavy cannonade.
It was a magnificent daylight fireworks display.
The explosions were incessant; pieces of shells, of the warehouse, chunks of fire and clouds of smoke and ashes were flying in all directions. . . .
A few days later we took the road to Dresden
, which had been cut up by wagons and horses and was now hard frozen, and offered the worst travel I had ever experienced.
Our horses were half dead with starvation and exposure, but we arrived at Dresden
The enemy was closing in on us from all directions.
Our various commands, which had been very much scattered, were now concentrating in the direction of Clifton
, which was the only possible route by which we could get out of West Tennessee
Next morning we took a road leading south and halted at noon at a crossroad leading from Huntington
After feeding our horses the men dropped down wherever