A Dangerous place to live around.
The vicinity of Memphis, Tenn.
, seems to be rather unhealthy for the advanced emigrants of civilization, who are engaged in the charitable work of enlightening the benighted South
A correspondent of the Mobile News
, who writes from a company of Confederate cavalry which a few days since went to the environs of the city, says of the "excursion:"
In the evening we retraced our steps, informing the citizens on the road that "our errand had proved fruitless, and we were going back home;" but we didn't do any such foolish thing, for after coming out some twelve or fifteen miles, feeding and resting our wearied horses, the command, "Saddle up," was again heard, and Thursday night found us a little nearer Memphis
on the same road.
Just before sunrise on Thursday morning, as we were silently lying in ambush, each one eager for the fray, we heard them coming.
They were in great glee over something, laughing and hallooing as they came, and we afterwards found out they were making themselves merry over a picture of the "Fort Pillow
massacre" in an illustrated paper gotten up by Mr. Frank Leslie
On they came, poor fools, little suspecting the fate that awaited them.
When within about thirty yards of us, their leader about opposite the left of our company, the signal was given, and — well, nine fell dead and one wounded, while clear and distinct above the roar of our arms rang out the clarion voice of Capt. Floyd
, "Charge'em, boys" which was done in handsome style, I assure you. There were nineteen Yanks
in the squad--nine were killed outright, one wounded, and three captured unhurt, while six made their escape, some of whom were wounded and afterwards died.
As a matter of course we secured the horses--one, a fined dapple gray, is especially appropriated to the use of your correspondent.
The captain than deemed it prudent to retire, and started in the direction of Dixie.
We came on about twenty miles south, turned east, and bivouacked for the night.
The next morning, as a matter of course, we all expected to move on south, but strange to say, we lay in camp all day, in three miles of the main Hernan
to and Memphis road. I forgot to mention that on our return on Thursday, we captured a couple of the "Memphis
melish"--two young men by the name of Robertson
— both raised near the north boundary line of Mississippi
, in the neighborhood of "old man Farrar
's." These scamps had passes which read thus: "No.
1308--has leave of absence to go to the country," etc.
This plan is adopted to hide their infamy, to secrete their names, and prevent their arrests as soldiers of the United States
These worthies denied being soldiers but when Capt. Floyd
informed them that they would be sent south and put in Bragg
's infantry as conscripts, they sheepishly admitted their connection with the "melish" of Memphis
, but said they were forced into such a position.--They went to Memphis
to keep McCoy
's men from conscribing them, and went into the melish as a matter of preference over our army.
My opinion is, all such chaps should be hung by the privates when first captured, and not let the officers he accountable for it.
Well, to go back.
We remained in camp till Saturday morning, when we took the Hollyford road and started north again.
About noon we reached Mr.--'s, seven miles south of Memphis
, where two Yankees were getting their dinner without intending to pay for it. We secured them both, with two fine horses and two Colt
Presently we came to Nenconnah Creek, five miles from Gayoso house, just on the hill the other side.
We were drawn up in line, and the Captain
said: "Boys, we must break up this plantation in the edge of the city, and let no men stop to secure any plunder till we get all the horses and negroes." So on we went at a fast gallop for two miles, when the command "charge" was given; and right then and there, Mr. Editor
, that Yankee farm went up. Away went the mules, negroes, and horses; but finally we made a clean sweep, securing every mule and horse, and over half the negroes alive.
Some died with fright, I reckon, and some got in the bushes.
They lost about twenty-seven head of horses and mules in all. It is within three miles of the heart of the city, and known as "Ball's Place"--a notorious rendezvous for blockade runners, as it is just outside of the picket post.
This farm is going to be cultivated this year by one Esquire Roberts
, of Illinois
, who is to pay Mr. Ball
$7 per acre rent.
He has 450 acres in cotton, pays the contrabands $12 per month, out of which sum comes their clothing, medicine, and bacon; besides, the least damage done a plough or hoe is charged against them.
They were a lousy, dirty, ragged set, you may rest assured.
The horse lot
and main house are protected by fortifications, and three.
Yankees were on guard duty when we rode up; but two of them left, and the other one is there, or thereabouts yet. He looked very much like a dead man the last time I saw him.
We got the "Manager" (!)--a low flung, red-eyed scoundrel, who used to oversee in Tunica county
, in this State, before the war commenced.
His name is Ferguson Securing our booty as quickly as possible, we turned south, expecting to be pursued by a superior force, but, strange to say, not a Yankee followed us. They were afraid of another ambuscade.