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Doc. 113. fight at Woodbury, Ky., October 29, 1861.

A correspondent of the Louisville Journal gives the subjoined account of this affair:

Owensboro, Ky., Nov. 6, 1861.
Our arms have recently won a victory at Woodbury, Butler County, decided in its character, and significant in the fact that it was a contest between Kentuckians and the invaders. On Saturday night, the 26th ultimo, Colonel Burbridge, of the infantry at Camp Silas Miller, (Colonel Jackson being absent,) received a despatch from Colonel McHenry, at Hartford, stating that he anticipated an attack upon that point, and asking for reinforcements.

Colonel Burbridge, with one hundred and twenty-five of his infantry, one hundred of Jackson's cavalry, and two six-pounders and one artillery squad under Captain Somerby, left here Sunday morning at nine o'clock, and encamped at Hartford that night. Next morning, being joined by eighty men of Colonel McHenry's command, under Captain Morton, they took up the line of march for Bora's Ferry, on Green River, which they reached before night, and sent out scouts to ascertain the strength and position of the enemy on the other side of the river, who returned about one o'clock with the desired information. Captain Morton, of McHenry's regiment, and Lieutenant Ashford, of Jackson's cavalry, were ordered across the river, it then being the intention to throw the whole force over and attack the enemy in the rear; but, the facilities for crossing being so limited, it was discovered this could not be done with sufficient despatch. So this project was abandoned, and the main force, under Colonel Burbridge, proceeded to Woodbury, on this side the river, by a circuitous and mountainous route, on nothing but a cracker breakfast.

Colonel McHenry, with one hundred and twenty-five men, learning, there was a scouting party in the vicinity of Morgantown for the purpose of committing depredations on the property of Union men, advanced and engaged and routed them near Morgantown, with a loss of one of his men. Captain Netter, with twenty men of Colonel B.'s regiment, came down for the support of McHenry, and a short distance beyond Morgantown engaged a body of the enemy, sixty or seventy strong, who were returning to renew the attack on McHenry, and completely routed them, killing six, and losing not a man of his brave little band. Colonel McH., hearing the engagement, hastened to his support. This occurred on the south side of the river — on the enemy's side.

In the mean time Colonel B. was advancing to Woodbury, on this side of the river, and, reaching a point opposite the town, detailed Lieutenants Roberts and Ashford, of Jackson's cavalry, with ten men, as an advance guard. They appeared in view of the enemy's pickets, who were in possession of the ferry on the opposite side of the river. These were fired upon, many of them killed, the balance routed, and the ferry captured. The main body by this time came up, and saw the enemy formed in line of battle on a hill on the south side of the river — a position that commanded all the surrounding country. They were engaged by our sharpshooters, armed with Colt's revolving rifles, and at the same time one of our six-pounders, under Captain Somerby, was brought to bear upon them, sending destruction into their ranks, while Captain Belt, with eighty-five infantry, Lieutenant Crosby, with twenty, supported by Captain Porter, of Butler County, with twenty-five gallant Home Guards, were ordered over the river with one piece. of artillery to take the enemy's position by storm.

This crossing was effected with one small boat, under the fire of the enemy. They charged up the hill in a most gallant and soldierly style, completely routing the enemy, destroyed their camp and equipage, (for the want of transportation to bring them away,) blew up their magazines, burned their wagons, and brought away various trophies in the way of fine pistols, guns, &c. The enemy lost between fifty and seventy killed, without a man lost on our side. The enemy fled precipitately in the direction of Bowling Green. At this juncture a messenger arrived from McHenry's camp, stating he was about to be surrounded by a superior force, when Colonel Burbridge's forces, infantry, artillery, and cavalry, took up their line of march on the other side, at double quick, after having marched [248] fifty miles with nothing to eat, and fell back upon Colonel McHenry's forces near Morgantown. Hearing their approach in the night, and thinking them the enemy, he fell back a short distance and took a position for battle; but the mistake was soon explained. The force that had not crossed the river at Woodbury, consisting of cavalry under Captain Breathitt, were ordered back by the route they came, and joined the main force near Cromwell.

Captain Belt, Captain Breathitt, Captain Somerby, Lieutenant Crosby, Lieutenant Roberts, Lieutenants Ashford and Porter, acted with courage and coolness during the entire engagement. It is due to all the soldiers and officers to state that they acted the part of veterans.

Colonel Pegram, of Owensboro, and a near relative of the distinguished Confederate officer of the same name, voluntarily tendered his services as aid to Colonel Burbridge, and rendered most efficient service in the attack upon the pickets, in capturing the ferry, crossing the men and artillery over, and charging up the hill to the enemy's encampment. He was constantly exposed to the greatest danger, evinced the skill and coolness of an experienced general; and I am happy to say his services are most highly appreciated by the officers in command.


Louisville Democrat account.

On Sunday last, (Oct. 27,) Col. Burbridge, who is in command at Owensboro, received a call from Colonel McHenry, at or near Morgantown, for help, as he anticipated an attack by a heavy force of the enemy. That same evening, Col. Burbridge left Owensboro with two hundred and fifty or three hundred men, and two cannon — about one hundred of his men being cavalry from Colonel Jackson's regiment; the rest was infantry, with their supplies in their knapsacks. This little band made a forced march to the bank of the river opposite Woodbury, which they reached Tuesday afternoon.

The ferryboat was on the Woodbury side, in charge of two rebel sentries and a black man. The sentries were picked off by rifle shots across the river, a distance of nearly three hundred yards, and Col. Burbridge then ordered the negro to take the boat across. Into the boat he put one of his cannon and a portion of his forces, while the balance of his rifles and the second gun protected his advance against the rebels, who had formed on the river bank. Making a landing with his squad, he charged upon the enemy, driving them back into the town. Meanwhile the balance of his forces were crossing as rapidly as possible. They were all over before it became dusk, and they made a charge through the town, driving the enemy before them. On the way through, they were fired upon with several shots from houses, which they instantly riddled. Unfortunately, and to the regret of all our men, a woman thrust her head out of one of the windows, and, in the dusk of the evening, was not distinguished as a woman. She was shot in the forehead and killed. The surgeon who attended the expedition, reported six or seven killed in the houses.

The enemy retreated to his camp in the rear of the town, which Col. Burbridge immediately attacked, utterly routing the entire force, some four or five hundred in number; he took possession of the camp with equipage for five hundred men, and all their camp utensils; but as he had no means of transportation, the entire camp was burned. Two prisoners were taken, named Ives and Lewis, and brought to this city this morning; one of them from Alabama, one from Mississippi. One of them is reported to be a captain, the other a private. About the same time, Col. McHenry, with some two hundred men, made an attack on a camp of the enemy at or near Morgantown, and took five or six prisoners--how many were killed and wounded we did not learn. Col. McHenry lost one man, but drove the enemy off. About the same time, Capt. Neerer, who is stationed with a party of twenty men at Rochester, his men all armed with Colt's revolving rifles, had a skirmish with a largely superior force of the enemy in the vicinity of Rochester, but with what result we have not yet learned. Col. Burbridge, in his attack, had one man wounded, but lost none. We believe these particulars to be entirely reliable, and think that further reports will only confirm last Tuesday's work as a day of glorious achievements. The marching, as Col. Burbridge did, with about three hundred men from Owensboro to Woodbury, a distance of sixty or seventy miles, in two days--attacking and utterly routing a force of five hundred of the enemy within less than eighteen miles of Buckner's Headquarters at Bowling Green, where he is reported to have a very heavy force, destroying the entire camp and camp equipage, driving the enemy off with a loss of fifty or sixty in killed, an unknown number in wounded, and recrossing the river in safety, with only one of his own men wounded and none killed; and doing all this, too, with raw troops who had never smelled powder before, is one of the most brilliant exploits of the entire campaign.

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Burbridge (11)
McHenry (8)
Somerby (3)
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Woodbury (2)
T. L. Roberts (2)
Porter (2)
J. S. Morton (2)
Claiborne Feger Jackson (2)
Cole Crosby (2)
Colt (2)
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Belt (2)
Robert B. Pegram (1)
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October 29th, 1861 AD (1)
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