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Doc. 181.-fight at Monticello, Kentucky.

Monticello, Kentucky, Friday night, May 1.
A part of the division of General Carter crossed the Cumberland on Thursday. The day before, a boat had been brought down from above, and, early in the day, one that lay in a leaky condition on the opposite bank, was repaired and shoved out into the stream. At half-past 8 o'clock the infantry began to cross at Stigold's Ferry. First came the One Hundred and Third Ohio, next the Second East-Tennessee, followed by the Wilder battery and the Twenty-seventh New-Jersey. Captain Alexander, of the First Kentucky, had crossed above, the night before, with three hundred men, while the remainder of the First Kentucky, Second and Seventh Ohio cavalry, and the Forty-fifth Ohio and One Hundred and Twelfth Illinois regiments, mounted, and Law's mountain howitzer battery, were to cross at Mill Springs. The infantry had no trouble in crossing. At Mill Springs they had but one small boat. In this they were compelled to carry men, saddles, and artillery, while the horses were to swim. Only a part of the mounted force reached the infantry that night. The cavalry, under Captain Alexander, encountered about thirty rebel cavalry under Captain Mullen, at Weaver's Store, seven miles south of Stigold's Ferry, and drove them to Captain West's, a distance of four miles. Two rebels were wounded. About a hundred and fifty rebel cavalry now presented themselves, charging upon our pickets, who fell back upon the main body. Considerable firing continued for an hour, when the rebels, discovering that it would be scarcely safe to press matters, withdrew. Lieutenant Law, of the mountain howitzer battery, no sooner heard of skirmishing in front, than he placed one of his pieces in the boat, and hurrying across, soon had it in position.

Thus a part of the force sent out to relieve this part of Kentucky, was finally placed on this side the river, that seems to have been considered the boundary-line between Secessia and the real Government. After the commander was compelled to battle with the elements he could not control, a passage was finally effected, and the troops, in high glee, marched out at three o'clock, to find the enemy. Eleven miles were made in [576] four hours. A somewhat amusing incident occurred this morning this side the ferry. Captain Alexander, with a squad of men, having crossed the night before, came suddenly from the south upon Mr. Stigold, a man of rebel proclivities, who supposed that the rebel pickets had returned again to the river, and gave what he considered “his friends” a very warm reception. The old man was somewhat taken aback when he was walked off to Somerset under a guard. About eleven o'clock in the morning, Captain Mullen, of the rebel army, who afterward attacked our advance, came to Captain West to engage boarding for thirty rebel pickets for a few days, to begin the same evening, clearly indicating that they were not looking for us so soon. In the mean time “Uncle Abe's” boys dropped in and had the impudence to eat the supper the rebels had themselves expected to partake of. The infantry did not reach Captain West's till after dark. It was necessary to reach this point in order to cover both the road from the ferry and from Mill Springs. The night was a scene of bustle and activity incident to the arriving and disposing of troops.

At three o'clock this morning Colonel Wolford was to have moved with the entire cavalry force upon Monticello. At that hour he came to the General to tell him that the First Kentucky had been struggling all night to get over the river, and had lost a number of horses, that the Second and Seventh Ohio cavalry were yet on the other side at Mill Springs, and that a deep fog had settled down upon the ford. Next, word came that the one small boat that had been used had sunk. Plan after plan seemed to be overthrown, but not on account of the brave men, for they labored with a constancy that challenged the admiration of all. The danger of sending out a general with a body of men to cross an unfordable stream, upon the banks of which the rebel pickets watched for thirty miles, without providing it a pontoon-bridge upon which to effect a safe and speedy passage, now impressed every one with redoubled force.

General Carter received these unfavorable reports without a word of complaint against any one. Finally, said he: “Well, no doubt it is all for the best.” Thus the Christian soldier, after having done all that he can, calmly relies upon Him “who doeth all things well.”

At an early hour, Colonel Carter was sent to Mill Springs, to superintend the crossing of the remainder of the cavalry, and rendered valuable assistance to those who were still on the other side of the river. At six o'clock a detachment of calvary, under command of Captain Carter, was ordered to advance cautiously in the direction of Monticello. This consisted of part of the First Kentucky, and Second and Seventh Ohio cavalry. Our advance came upon the rebels at Steubenville, five miles north of the town. From there till the rebels passed through Monticello and over the creek, there was constant skirmishing. For a distance of two miles north of this place, the rebels went as fast as their horses could take them, pursued by our cavalry, that dashed through the farms which spread from hill to hill. Just outside the town, one hundred and fifty rebels drew up in line, and charged upon our advance, but all to no purpose, for they were driven back, and passed through at full speed. Just at this time, James Smith, a bugler, of company G, Seventh Ohio cavalry, was killed. As the enemy rushed through town, Lieutenant Law hurried up with a section of his howitzer battery, and getting the pieces in position in a very short time, soon drove them from the position they had taken on the hill to the left of the Jamestown road. The force consisted of Chenault's regiment. They had passed through town going north, the morning before, and now made their way back on double-quick, leaving coats, haversacks, and arms on the way.

The Second East-Tennessee, One hundred and Third Ohio, and Twenty-seventh New-Jersey reached town about eleven o'clock, having made a splendid march, and in high spirits for a fight. The Wilder battery immediately followed them, and took position to watch the approach from the main road to Albany.

On our way we came to a family standing near their dwelling. The man was dressed in a suit of butternut, decorated with military buttons. Answering the General's questions unsatisfactorily, he was ordered under arrest. Then such a wail as went up from the unhappy wife and daughters. Following him, as he left his home, they would not allow their grief to be assuaged by the assurances that he would not be hurt.

Such is war! Who can tell of the broken hearts, the wails of sorrow, the tears, the widows' and orphans' cries, that have to be answered for by the authors of this unholy rebellion!

There are two roads leading to Albany, in Clinton County, one turning to the right, as we leave Monticello, and going direct; the other leading out, in the direction of Jamestown, four and a half miles, and then turning sharply to the right, by which the former would be reached about eight miles from this lace; the latter, three miles from Monticello, winds around through a deep, will gorge, at the bottom of which Beaver Creek rushes along over the rough rocks that form its bed. A few men here could hold an army at bay as long as they desired. The enemy, whether from choice or necessity, I do not know, took the Jamestown road — our troops skirmishing with them as they retired. Upon arriving at the pass to which I have alluded, they became more obstinate, but finally gave back, making a poor resistance, compared with their opportunities. Upon reaching the forks of the road at the top of the hill, they seemed not to know exactly what to do. If they turned off on the Albany road, they would run the risk of being caught between two fires. If they kept on to Jamestown, they would deprive themselves of the reeforcements they had sent for to Albany the night before. Instead of making off as rapidly as they might have done, they, from the considerations alluded to, fell back into the woods that lie off beyond the cleared land that is between the two [577] roads. We supposed, as the army halted at the top of the hill to rest the men and horses, that the rebels were making off as fast as their stolen steeds could take them. Directly the words, “They are coming back!” passed along the column, and every man was in his saddle and pressing forward. Sure enough, on the Albany road here they came in force. This proved to be reenforcements sent from Albany. Having failed to reach Chenault at Monticello, they took the other road, in hopes of rendering assistance on the Jamestown road. No one estimates them at less than one thousand five hundred, some as high as two thousand five hundred. They were mounted, and had one rifled gun and one or two small howitzers. They had not yet reached the Jamestown road, but were rapidly approaching, with an audacity that looked like superior numbers. General Carter riding forward, ordered Colonel Wolford, with the First Kentucky cavalry, two companies of the Second Ohio, and the same number of the Seventh Ohio cavalry, to engage them.

Passing through the woods, they came at once upon the advancing columns of the enemy. A brisk musketry fire was opened immediately by both parties. Soon a section of Law's mountain howitzers, which had been sent forward under the gallant and efficient Lieutenant Law, made themselves heard. The enemy fell back across the open fields and again formed, our troops pressing them as much as their inferior numbers would render safe. Colonel Wolford having sent forward for support, the One Hundred and Twelfth Illinois, Colonel Henderson, was at once despatched to his assistance. The enemy were pressed back still further, and now retired a mile and a half. Thus matters stood on the right at four o'clock. A half-hour earlier, the enemy in considerable numbers had threatened our centre and left, evidently with the intention of rushing in and cutting off our communication with the reserve; but General Carter had already anticipated their intention, and had a section of Law's mountain howitzer battery placed in position on our centre. They now drew up in line of battle, when the Second Ohio cavalry, Colonel Kautz, was ordered to attack them. Major Gratz, Gen. Carter's Adjutant-General, begged permission to accompany them, when he, with Captain Pike, of company I), Second Ohio cavalry, followed by his splendid command, (the escort of the General,) and the remainder of the regiment, dashed off in splendid style. But the rebels would not stand. Our Colt's revolving rifles sent their little messengers whizzing about their ears, and away they went. The chase was kept up for five miles, the enemy carrying off their dead and wounded. The rebels, in this pursuit, disrobed themselves of their lousy overcoats, haversacks, canteens, etc., leaving their track marked by a shower of greasy butternut garments. The Second East-Tennessee, Colonel Carter, arriving, with a section of the Wilder battery, under Lieut. Ricketts, the Forty-fifth Ohio, Colonel Runkle, with one of the guns, was ordered to the support of Col. Wolford, who, with his short-range guns, had been unable to dislodge the enemy. They were hurried forward and the rifled gun placed in position. A few rounds from this caused the rebels to fall entirely away.

Evening was now drawing its shades over the scene of strife, and our forces having driven the enemy two miles, it was deemed proper to recall them and concentrate for the night, for they were already much separated and not in a condition to rest securely while threatened by an enemy of unknown strength. Our forces accordingly fell back to Monticello, where our reserve, under Col. Casement, of the One Hundred and Third Ohio, had been left to guard the other approach from Albany. It was nine o'clock when our men got into camp, where, after a day of rare excitement, of arduous duties, of noble stands, of gallant charges, they could prepare a hasty supper and throw themselves down upon the ground, under a moonlit sky, to rest their tired limbs and dream of an enemy baffled, driven, defeated, of a country disenthralled, and of the loved ones away, who, probably, little knew of the dangers to which their friends that day had been exposed.

I have heard of but one man killed. None were wounded seriously enough to mention. The enemy left nine dead upon the field; no doubt they carried as many off as they could get away, for they were seen to gather up bodies and throw them across horses in front of their men, to be borne away. How many were wounded we have no means of knowing, as they were nearly all removed.

We captured one Major, Lieutenant Terrell, of Chenault's cavalry, and made about twenty other prisoners, that we know of. This, no doubt, will be increased, as they are coming in every hour. It was rather a singular spectacle to see an East-Tennessee prisoner having numerous friends come up to give him a hearty shake of the hand. Poor fellow! he no doubt was an unwilling subject of Jeff Davis, for he was a conscript, and had been in the service but two months. Beside the prisoners, several horses, muskets, and carbines were taken.

I am satisfied that there is much destitution among Southern troops; for, having the curiosity to look into the haversack of a dead rebel, I found a piece of hard, musty bread, that looked as if it had been baked for months, and handled with dirty hands as long. I am sure a hog would have to be hungry to eat it.

I cannot speak too well of the behavior of our troops. During their tiresome march, and their almost superhuman efforts at the river, they bore all with patience; and when a day of continued fighting came, those who were engaged threw themselves against the enemy with a force that was resistless, while those left in reserve fretted for a chance to be led against the foe. General Carter managed his forces skilfully, penetrated the enemy's designs, and made his dispositions in such a way as to defeat the enemy at every point. The force of the enemy is variously estimated. None place it less than two thousand, [578] while many believe it to have been considerably more. The enemy pursued by the Second Ohio cavalry was composed of Chenault's, Cluke's, and Scott's cavalry. Some say, too, that Phipps's battalion was also there. All commanded by Colonel Chenault.

The force upon the right was evidently the command of Pegram, numbering one thousand eight hundred men.


--Cincinnati Commercial.

Rebel account of the battle.

Early on the morning of the first instant, Colonel Morrison, then commanding our brigade at Albany, Kentucky, received despatches from Colonel Chenault, at Monticello, to the effect that he was holding the enemy in check, that their force consisted of only three regiments of infantry and one of cavalry, including four pieces of artillery, and if he, Colonel Morrison, would come to their assistance, they could capture the entire command, or run them into the river. Colonel Morrison immediately ordered the brigade in the direction of Monticello in quick-time. Though Chenault had long since retreated from every position he held, from Monticello back to where the Albany road leaves the Jamestown road, had fallen back nine miles, thus cutting off all communication with Colonel Morrison and the force on the Jamestown road. Captain Day's battalion was the advance. He, true to the instincts of a cautious commander, ordered two advance-guards. Lieutenant Gibson, commanding the first, was cut off and made his way to Chenault. The second was fired into, when the battalion was about-faced, and, whilst forming in a field adjacent that one in which they were marching, the Yankees made an attempt to charge their line, which was responded to by a volley of Minie-balls, when the order was given by the valiant and chivalrous Day to charge their advancing column, which they did in magnificent style. If ever blue-bellies took to their heels, they did. They never stopped until they got to a woodland one mile distant.

Colonel Morrison ordered back to the left Day's battalion and moved forward the artillery, Hincel's battery. The lines of the enemy were then within four hundred yards of our lines. Lieutenant Ramsey opened on them with deadly effect — every shot penetrated their lines. They soon left the field, followed by bombs of cool and intrepid Ramsey.

The artillery in connection with Day's battalion forced the enemy back on their right and from our left, when they attempted to turn our right flank. Major Cobb had been sent to protect our right, but found the enemy occupying the hills commanding the road, and was forced to take position some distance from the road. The enemy coming up on our centre, Major Cobb was ordered to hold his position, as that was considered the only safe way to take out our artillery. But before the despatch was received by the Major, he was forced from his position with the enemy following him. Colonel Morrison was then completely flanked, though he was prepared to drive back the enemy on the centre, should they continue to advance. The battery occupied an eminence commanding the road for some distance. The First Georgia, Major Davis, was in front; Colonel Carter was ordered up, but did not have time to take his position; Day's battalion was on the extreme left. Colonel Morrison, under the circumstances, was ordered to fill back in the direction of Travisville, as the enemy were crossing the river at Greary Creek, only a few miles below, with two regiments of infantry, two of cavalry, and a heavy battery of artillery.

During the evening, Chenault sent a despatch to Colonel Morrison, requesting reenforcements, as the enemy were pressing him. Colonel Carter was detached and ordered to his relief. He came to Travisville, and lo! Chenault had sent Major Coff's command and the First Louisiana to that point, whilst he and Cluke struck a “bee line” in the direction of Middle Tennessee--without notifying Colonel Morrison or the reenforcements of his having left the position he had been holding that evening.

Our brigade came through from the Albany road to Travisville unmolested but not whipped, for we had maintained our position and forced the enemy from theirs. Stragglers who were prejudiced against Colonel Morrison, and were too cowardly to remain in the field, skulked off to East-Tennessee to tell the tales of disaster and scandal.

Our loss was two killed, nine wounded, and three prisoners. The loss of the enemy must have been from fifteen to twenty killed, aside from many wounded. Though the enemy shelled the brigade with four pieces of artillery for near an hour, they never forced back the brigade. Their entire force must have consisted of six or seven thousand, mostly mounted infantry, as there was a heavy force on both roads.

At Hernden's we met the long looked for Pegram, who would have been greeted with many cheers but for the timidity of the men. All hearts seemed buoyed up by his arrival.

He carries with him confidence wherever he goes. His appearance inspires his command with a feeling of confidence and success. He don't aspire for a commander of superior skill and ability. He has just returned from an arduous trip to Richmond, where he has been procuring arms and ammunition for his brigade. He will soon have his command the best armed of any in the confederate army.

--Memphis Appeal.

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