previous next

Official report of a Skirmish — Improbable statement of an Indiana Colonel.

The following report was received by Gen. Scott, at Washington, on the 28th ult. The veliant Colonel admits that it ‘"sounds like fiction,"’ and we think it is:

Cumberland, June 27.--To Gen. McClellan: I have been accustomed of sending my mounted pickets of thirteen men in all the different parts along the several approaches to Cumberland. Finding it next to impossible to get reliable information of the enemy, yesterday I mounted the thirteen and directed them, if possible, to get to Frankfort, a town midway between this place and Romney, to see if there were rebel troops there. They went within a quarter of a mile of the place, and found it full of cavalry.

Returning, they overtook a party of forty-one horsemen, and at once charged them, routing and driving them back more than a mile, killing eight of them and securing seventeen horses. Corporal Hayes, in command of my men, was desperately wounded with sabre cuts and bullets. In taking him back my men halted about an hour, and were then attacked by the enemy, who were reinforced to about seventy-five men.

The attack was so sudden that they abandoned the horses and crossed to a small island at the month of Patterson Creek. The charge of the rebels was bold and confident, yet twenty-three fell under the fire of my pickets, close about and on the island. My fellows were finally driven off, and scattering, each one for himself, they are all in camp now. One of them, Corporal Hayes, is wounded, but recovering. Another of the party, John C. Hollins Crook, is dead. He was taken prisoner and brutally murdered.

Three companies went to the ground this morning and recovered everything belonging to my picket, except a few of their horses.--The enemy were engaged all night in boxing up their dead. Two of their officers were killed, and they laid out twenty-three on the porch of a neighboring farm-house. I will bury my poor fellow to-morrow.

I have positive information, gained to-day, that there are four regiments of Confederates in and about Romney, under Col. McDonald. What their particular object is, I cannot learn. The two Pennsylvania regiments are encamped at the State line, nine miles from here, waiting further orders. They have not yet reported to me. They hesitate about invading Maryland.

The report of the skirmish sounds like fiction, but it is not exaggerated. The fight was really one of the most desperate on record, and abounds with instances of wonderful daring and coolness.

[Signed,] Lewis Wallace. Col. 11th Regiment Indiana Vol.

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.
Romney (West Virginia, United States) (2)
Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania, United States) (1)
Maryland (Maryland, United States) (1)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
James Hayes (2)
Lewis Wallace (1)
Scott (1)
McDonald (1)
McClellan (1)
John C. Hollins (1)
Crook (1)
Indiana Colonel (1)
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.
June 27th (1)
28th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: