Eagerness of McCulloch
's troops for a fight — the late engagement of Gen. Jeff. Thompson
--the collision of forces at Greenville
, &, &c.
The following intelligence from the contending forces in Kentucky
we gather from our Southern exchanges:
— particulars of recent Engagements, &c.
An interesting letter appears in the Memphis Appeal
, of the 29th ult., dated ‘"Columbus, Ky.
, Oct. 26,"’ from which we extract the following:
The current of news has been almost stagnant here recently, though the waters were again "troubled" yesterday afternoon by the arrival at headquarters of a courier from Ben. McCulloch
and one from Gen. Jeff. Thompson
, the courier from McCulloch
, brings information that the command is now in Benton county
, on the Osage river
, some 430 miles from here, and in communication with Gen. Price
, though these two Generals
have not yet see fit to form a conjunction.--McCulloch
's troops were in good order, and eager for an opportunity to meet the enemy Gen. Price
had fallen back from Lexington
to a position higher out on the Osage
, and was only restrained from giving Fremont
battle by his want of ammunition, being entirely out of caps.
As soon as measures can be taken for the replenishing of his military stores, and a conjunction effected between the forces of Price
, Form out will be ground between these two commands like -fire in bark mill.
Things are drawing to a crisis with Fremont
, and one more signal defeat will be enough not only to disgrace him, but to shake the Federal
power in the State
to the very centre.
The courier from Gen. Jeff. Thompson
reports an engagement near Iron Mountain
on the 21th, between about eighteen hundred Confederates, under Jeff. Thompson
and between four and five thousand Federalists.--After burning a number of the bridges on the Iron Mountain Railroad, cutting off communication with St. Louis
, and making himself master of his situation, as he supposed, by means of scouting parties kept out in every direction, Gen. Thompson
was finally induced to make an attack upon the Federal
forces at Ironton
Marching upon that place with his little force of eighteen hundred men, he drove in their pickets, and choosing a position in an old field, awaited an attack.
Placing his little battery in position, his troops were distributed so as most effectually to command the ground the enemy would be forced to occupy in making the attack, being entrenched behind fences, logs, and everything that would protect them from the view is well us the aim of their adversaries.
Thus entrenched, he had not long to wait an attack, for the Federalists soon commenced pouring in upon him in unexpected numbers.
They steadily advanced under the fire from the battery until within good rifle range, when a simultaneous volley from Thompson
's concealed fines mowed own the whole front rank, causing the column to waver, without replying to the fire.
The period of this trepidation gave Thompson
's men opportunity to reload, and another volley decimated the ranks of the Federalists, but by this time their firing had discovered their position, and the Federalists were better prepared to direct their aim against the impromptu entrenchments of our soldiery.
In the meantime a force of cavalry made an attack upon a "masked battery" of riflemen, that according to my informant, emptied a third of their saddles on the first discharge.
The battery confined to play and the fight to rage between the concealed confederates and the exposed Federals, until Thompson
's ordnance stores gave out, and the battery was withdrawn from the field; in doing which, the horses attached to a twelve pounder took fright, and upsetting the carriage, the coupling came loose, and the hind wheels and the carriage were left upon the field.
My informant was not able to say how long the fight lasted; but General Thompson
finding himself likely to be outflanked by the superior force of the enemy, withdrew in good order, and fell back upon Greenville
, whence he dispatched for reinforcements.
The enemy had engaged on their side four infantry regiments, a battalion of cavalry and a heavy park of artillery.
Very little injury was done to our troops by the infantry or cavalry of the enemy, most of the damage being done by the throwing of shells from their Parrot guns into the exposed positions occupied by our troops.
The loss on our side was about thirty, among whom is Col. Lowe
and one Captain
of infantry, whose name I could not obtain.
It was the opinion of the courier, who was on the field throughout the battle, that the loss of the enemy could not be less than three or four hundred, and an indefinite number wounded.
There are cases in which victory is decidedly with the vanquished, and this is one of them.
The report that Mayfield
, the county site of Graves county
, some thirty miles from here, has been taken possession of by the Federals
, seems to want confirmation.
Some four hundred Federal cavalry remained in the town one day and night, and it is said that a regiment of infantry were within nine miles of the place, intending to occupy it, when word reached the place that a Mississippi regiment were marching upon it, and the cavalry incontinently fled, carrying the infantry back with them to Paducah
, so May field is still in our hands.
The following particulars of the movements of Gen. Jeff. Thompson
we find in the Memphis Appeal
of the 2th October. Our readers will find it interesting:
We have seen a private letter from Gen'l Thompson
, to a gentleman in this city, dated the 23d, in which he states that every day of the previous two weeks had its adventures and history.
Alluding to the affair of the 21st, he says: "We had a very pretty little fight on Monday, which will be magnified into a battle.
I allowed it to gratify the men, and try their pluck in an open field, and am more than pleased with their performance."
After the fight the infantry encamped at Indian Ford
and Bloom field.
The cavalry were moved to a new field of labor, under General Thompson
's personal command.
Of course, any statement made as to their destination would be injudicious.
T. considers his little campaign one of complete success, although in consequence of unavoidable accidents, all was not accomplished that was originally contemplated.--The Big River Bridge
was burned — thus cutting off communication by rail between two important positions held by the enemy — Cape Girardeau
and Pilot Knob
The cavalry performed a march of two hundred and seventy-five miles within the ten days, and the infantry over on hundred and eighty--distances unprecedented in the history of the movements of armies.
This energy shows what can be accomplished by men fighting for privileges they are determined to secure.
The enemy had become alarmed at the rapid movements of Gen.
T.'s command, and brought out 7,000 men to overwhelm him.--Referring to the fight, he says: "We met them with twelve hundred men, and after fighting them two hours, retired in good order.
We ambushed them at every turn of the road, cornfield and thicket, and are here (at Greenville, Mo.
,) with more men than we started with, and the whole force in one thousand per cent, better spirits than when the campaign commenced."
Sympathy for the South on the increase in Kentucky.
A correspondent, writing from Hopkinsville, Ky.
, under date of October 23, says:
When Gen. Alcorn
marched his troops to this place it was in the possession of one of Abe's servants, Captain Jackson
, who had under his command six or seven hundred troops; but on the approach of our gallant little band of Mississippians, amounting to some 500, they made good their escape, and are now far up in the inferior of the State
This brigade is composed of the first and third Mississippi regiments, one Kentucky
regiment, and some 300 cavalry, mostly Kentuckians.
Within the last week there has been quite a turn-out of Kentucky volunteers.
To-day two companies came into camp, numbering near a hundred each.
They are quite an acquisition to our numbers.-- They presence of our troops here has done great service to our cause.
Many who have hitherto held a neutral position, now shoulder their muskets and march into camp.--The spirit of true patriotism exhibited by these noble sons of Kentucky
will inspire others to follow their good example, and in a few weeks we will have an army of Kentuckians that can defy all the Lincoln
troops that can be raised in the State
for the next twelve months. Southern Kentucky
is showing to the world that the fire of Independence still burns on her altars, and the same patriotic spirit that has hitherto moved her people in time of war, now impels them, with an additional motive, that of self-defence.
An incident at the battle of Predenicktown.
When the battalion under the command of Major Tom Brown
found a troop of cavalry huddled all together, within point blank distance, so near indeed that they could almost lay their hands upon them, the Major
gave the word do fire.
To his utter amazement no
report followed the order.
, astonished at the failure of this men to obey the order, looked along the line and found every man firmly in his place — gun to shoulder and finger to the trigger.
Fire! God d — n you, fire!
exclaimed the Major
In an instant two hundred guns belched forth, hurling the fatal missiles among the devoted troopers.
When asked afterwards by the Major
why they hesitated to long, the boys said that the foe was to close, and they had so dead a thing on them that it looked like a shame to take that advantage of them.
A Yankee Scoundrel
A letter from Louisville, Ky.
, to the Cincinnati Gazette
contains the following atrociously and infamously false statements:
There are desperadoes in Buckner
's camp uttering the most horrible threats against the women
I declare what I know,
and he who dares to deny it should be looked on as a conspirator to the same end. I know further, beyond doubt, that, in Nashville
, the convicts in the State
prison are being drilled daily, to make war upon the women and children of Kentucky
It there is any manhood in the freemen of the West
, this should make every muscle of their bodies quiver with just and irresistible ire. Let the watchword of every able-bodied man who respects his mother, his wife, or his sister, be "To arms!"
The ‘"Rifle cannon Brigade"’ a failure.
The Louisville (Bowling Green
For some months past the Yankees
about Richmond, Ia.
, have boasted prodigiously of a "rifle cannon brigade" of 500 men organized there, and which was to accomplish wonders in "cleaning out" the rebels.
The cannons were manufactured at Richmond
, and were of such light weight as to be capable of being carried on the shoulders of the men. Last week the new and "improved" weapon that was to accomplish such wonders was publicly tested and proved a dead failure.
The Storming of camp Wildcat — severe suffering on the march — incidents.
An interesting letter is published in the Nashville (Tenn.) Banner,
from its correspondent at Cumberland Ford, Oct. 27th, in relation to the march and attack on Camp Wildcat.
We extract the following:
It very soon became quite dark, and the sappers ahead were sent forward to clear away a blockade to the ford over Little Rock Castle river — the bridge having been destroyed and the enemy having blockaded the ford road by cutting trees across to prevent the approach of our cavalry.
The camp, according to information received from one of the prisoners, was situated between the two Rock Castle
rivers, and protected by immense natural fortifications on each side.
We afterwards found it to be a perfect labyrinth, even without the harassing bullets of the concealed foe to make it more difficult of access.
As we moved slowly down the mountain to the creek, I heard the General order Colonel Brazenlton
to dash across the creek, and right into the camps, to find out where they were.
, heading his battalion, made a rapid dash in the direction, made a rapid dash in the direction, and was fired upon with rifles.
When they returned, Col. McNairy
's cavalry were ordered forward.--The Colonel
made a splendid charge across the creek,, and I could hear the tinkling bells on his saddle-skirts, above the clatter of a thousand hoofs, growing fainter in the distance, and I hardly expected to see him return alive.
Away they went, dashing through the leaves and corn-stalks, and crack!
crack went a dozen rifle right amongst them.
Our boys gave an answering cheer and charged after them madly, even dismounting from their horses and firing their guns and revolvers in to the bushes that skirted the road.
I thought we were "in" for a battle then, sure.
I could hear distinctly the enemy's drums sounding the alarm in the distance, and I knew the abolitionists were rallying behind their breastworks.
At this juncture, one of our guides, and noisy, talkative fellow, deserted us, and, I believe, went over to the enemy.
It was the most exciting period, to me, of the whole expedition.
ordered our regiment, which headed the column, to charge forward.
We went ahead at a double-quick, dashing through the creek nearly waist deep, and it caused an involuntary shudder as the chilling element filled our boots and saturated our clothing, so that we moved forward with difficulty, charging we knew not where, and anticipating a shower of bullets from some direction every moment.
We were halted in the road, and a consultation was held, the result of which was that we were ordered back across the creek.
Then we were ordered to return, (making three trips through the water,) to guard a cornfield while the cavalry got forage for their horses.
Then we were thrown out as skirmishers on the very hill from which the enemy fired on our cavalry and there I think I spent the most wretchedly uncomfortable night of my life.
I shall certainly never forget it. Until far into the night, with tattered garments and scratched and bleeding hands, we were skirmishing through that hill, falling sometimes, and rolling over sword, gun and all, for ten or twelve feet--The entire battalion was afterwards stationed along the top of this ridge, and the men, wet cold, and shivering, "piled in" like pigs in a fence corner, and were so fatigued that many of them actually slept while their feet were nearly freezing.
Before day we were ordered down into the road, and proceeded on to Wildcat
, which some of us, from long watching, began to believe was a myth.
We made a halt in the road for daylight, and did remember seeing, with no little envious feeling, my friends Doctor
C. and Col. Rains
, retire to their virtuous blankets in a cabbage patch, while mine were back in the wagons, several miles behind.
Later in the morning I learned, from General Z.'s directions to some of his Colonels
, that his object was not to storm the enemy's camps, but to make a feint and find out the position of their fortifications.
We proceeded cautiously up the road, Powell
's East Tennessee Regiment moving along the top of the ridge on our right, and the Fifteenth Mississippi Regiment on the ridge on the left.
The advance guard came up with a man on the roadside with a gun in his hand, and , fearing lest it might be a man from our flanking regiments, they gave him the signal.
He replied, by asking. "Are you an Indiana man?" "No, by G — d!" was the reply of the guard, as he threw his rifle to his shoulder, "I am a Tennessean." The abolitionist dodged the shot, threw away his gun and took to his heels.
The column was again stopped by another blockade, immediately underneath the fortifications of the enemy, and while the men were engaged in clearing it away they were frequently fired upon.
An old hag, living at the bottom of the hill, was asked if the enemy had any cannon: "Yes," she replied; "and if you go up there they'll give you hell."
Estimated loss on both sides at camp Wildcat.
The Knoxville Register
, of Thursday, says, we learn that our total loss killed in the engagement with the Lincolnites, at Camp Wildcat, Kentucky, and who have since died of their wounds, is 13.
A reliable officer, just from Gen. Zollicoffer
's command, states that a Kentucky lady (who came into camp to visit her husband, who is a prisoner) reports the number of the Lincolnites killed and wounded at 130.
She is said to be an intelligent and well-informed woman, and her statement is believed to be correct.
Thus, with the prisoners in Gen
's hands, (about 40,) the arms and munitions captured, and the killed and wounded of the enemy, the engagement near Rockcastle seems to have been as brilliant a victory as many that have crowned the Confederate
arms, and have been more talked of.
Captain Wm. H. Donelson
, of Louisville
, cashier of the Commercial Bank
, of that city, died a few days since.
, of Lebanon, Ky.
, has been imprisoned in Louisville
, charged with treason to the Lincoln Government
, J. A. Leskey
, and J. Cochran
, arrested some time since at Henderson, Ky.
, and sent to Louisville
to jail, have been released on bail.
Among a lot of old guns brought to Bowling Green
, a few days ago, for repairs, was an old English musket made in the year 1761.
The report of a fight between the Flemingsburg Home Guards and a company of Confederates from Nicholas county
, is said to be incorrect.
The coin in the Bank of Ashland, Ky.
, has been removed, to prevent its coming into the possession of the Confederates