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General Van Dorn's command, about eight miles south of Franklin, Tenn., toward the end of April. The fair proportion of successes achieved by the Union cavalry proved that that branch of service was rapidly acquiring the desired vigor. It gave further evidence of its improved efficiency in May and June, while the enemy's raiders, though still active, and meeting with an occasional success, became less enterprising. The death of General Van Dorn, who was killed by an indignant husband,” in revenge for a usurpation of his marital rights, was a great loss to the enemy, for he was well endowed with the enterprising and, perhaps, unscrupulous attributes of the successful guerrilla chief. A Union reconnoitring force under Colonel Streight, after reaching the rear of General Bragg's position and penetrating Georgia, was overtaken by General Forrest, one of the enemy's most enterprising cavalry officers, and captured. Forrest having, by a rapid movement from Spring Hill, Tenn., formed a junction with Colonel Roddy, attacked General Dodge at Tuscumbia, Ala., and after a skirmish of several hours, fell back to Courtland. In the mean time, Colonel Streight took the
• General Van Dorn was shot by a Dr. Peters, at Spring Hill, Tenn., on the 7th of May, 1863.
occasion to get to the rear of Forrest and move toward Georgia. The latter, upon discovering the movement, started in pursuit, and overtook Colonel Streight at Dayton's Gap, in Sand Mountains, where a skirmish ensued, with a loss to the Unionists of forty killed, wounded, and missing. “Six miles farther on,” according to the report of the enemy, which is our only available record, “another engagement took place, lasting an hour and a half, in which Streight was driven forward with the loss of two pieces of artillery.” Fifteen miles farther south, Streight was again attacked, and after the struggle having taken refuge in Huntsville, was driven out of the place with a loss of three killed and twelve wounded. Pursued to Gadsden, the fighting was resumed, and finally Colonel Streight, still flying before the resolute Forrest, was overtaken early in the month of May, within twenty-six miles of Rome, in Alabama, and compelled to surrender. It is useless to attempt to trace the movements in detail of the various cavalry detachments. Enough has been already recorded to illustrate the character of the warfare preliminary and subordinate to Rosecrans' important movement already related, which secured him possession of Middle Tennessee.
Kentucky no longer a Field of Battle.—Subject, however, to Incursions.—Her Routes of Travel exposed to Raids.-A Marauding Force under Pegram enters Kentucky.—Mount Sterling Captured and Burned.—Danville Captured.— Alarm at Lexington.—Burnside in command of the Department of the Ohio.—Vigorous Work to clear Kentucky of its Invaders.-Gillmore's Expedition to Somerset.—Its Success.-Pegram driven into Tennessee.—Burnside preparing for a Campaign into East Tennessee.—Preliminary Expedition of Saunders.-Its Results.-Another Raid into Kentucky by Morgan.—Alarm in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana.-Preparations for Defence.—Morgan in Indiana.His Successes.—The Damage to Railroads and other Property.—Course of Morgan through Indiana into Ohio.— Pursuit of Morgan.—His Unsuccessful Attempt to recross the Ohio.—Morgan at bay. —Morgan Captured and Imprisoned.—An attempted Diversion in his Favor.—Its Failure.—A Successful Raid upon Stamford, Ky.
Though Kentucky had ceased for the time to be a field for the opera'tions of large armies, its proximity to the scene of war in Virginia and Tennessee exposed it to frequent incursions of the enemy. The main routes of travel to the contiguous State of Tennessee were especially the objects of attack. Thus the Louisville and Nashville railroads, together with the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers, the chief channels of Rosecrans' communications with the North, were often visited by marauding parties which did great damage. These expeditions, being favored by the sympathies of some of the inhabitants of Kentucky, were not only able to elude the vigilance of the Union garrisons, and penetrate into the interior, but even traverse the State. In the month of March, a considerable force of the enemy, under General Pegram, entered Kentucky and began a series of depredations. On the 21st, a Colonel Clarke, one
of their cavalry raiders, surrounded
Mount Sterling, captured it after a street fight of four hours, and finally burned the town. Danville was subsequently occupied; and the inhabitants even of Lexington, exaggerating the numbers of the invading force, became alarmed for the safety of their city. In the mean time, General Burnside, after resigning the command of the Army of the Potomac, to be hereafter related, had assumed charge of the Department of the Ohio, and set to work at March once vigorously in clearing Ken- ** tucky of its invaders. General Gillmore was immediately dispatched to overtake the marauders, who had retired from Danville to Somerset, where it was “ascertained that there were some 2,400 rebels encamped.” “I attacked the enemy yesterday,” said Gillmore in his report, dated Somerset, Ky., March 31, 1863, “in a strong position of his own selection, defended by six cannon, near this town ; fought him for five hours, driving him from one position to another, and finally stormed his position, whipped him handsomely, and drove him in confusion toward the river. His loss is over 300 in killed, wounded, and prisoners. “The enemy outnumbered us two to one, and were commanded by General Pegram in person. Night stopped the pursuit, which will be renewed in the morning. “We captured two stand of colors. Our loss in killed and wounded and missing will not exceed thirty. Scott's famous rebel regiment was cut off from the rest and scattered.” To this statement General Gillmore subsequently added the following: “I underrated the enemy's force in my first report of yesterday's fight. They had over 2,600 men, outnumbering us more than two to one. During the night their troops recrossed the Cumberland in three places. We have retaken between 300 and 400 cattle. Pegram's loss will not fall short of 500 men.” The repulse of Pegram was an effectual blow, which drove him back across the Cumberland River into Tennessee, and momentarily checked further incursions. Relieved for a time from inquietude in regard to the cavalry raids of the enemy into Kentucky, General Burnside was enabled to prepare for a contemplated campaign to East Tennessee. Preliminary to this, he sent an expedition to that quarter, the results of which Colonel S. H. Saunders, its leader, thus reported : “I arrived here,” he wrote from Boston, Ky., June 23d, 1863, “with
my command at eleven o'clock this morning. I struck the railroad at Lenoir, destroyed the road up to Knoxville, and made a demonstration against Knoxville, so as to have the troops drawn from above. I then destroyed the railroad track and started for Strawberry Plains. I burned the State Creek bridge, 312 feet long, and the Strawberry Plains bridge, 1,600 feet long; also, the Mossy Creek bridge, 325 feet long. “I captured three pieces of artillery, some 200 boxes of artillery ammunition, over 500 prisoners, and 1,000 stand of al’Ins. “I destroyed a large amount of salt, sugar, flour, meal, saltpetre, and one saltpetre work and other stores. “My command are much fatigued. We have had but two nights' sleep since leaving Williamsburg. “The rebel force in East Tennessee is larger than I had supposed. “I did not attack Loudon Bridge.* * “At Mossy Creek I determined to return into the mountains. I had very great difficulties that were unexpected. I found the gap through which I intended to return, strongly guarded with artillery and infantry; a force was also following our rear. “I then determined to cross at Smith's Gap, which I did.” Kentucky, however, was not long left in repose. It was soon rumored that the enemy were contemplating another bold raid under the leadership of the noted Morgan, whose audacious exploits, hitherto so successful and destructive, were greatly dreaded. The anxiety spread through Kentucky to Indiana and Ohio, for it was feared that the daring guerrilla chief, unchecked in the first, would invade the latter States: Hasty preparations for defence were made not only in Kentucky, but in Ohio and Indiana. Large meetings were held in Lexington, Louisville, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and other places of the exposed States, for the purpose of evoking every means of resistance. Martial law was declared ; the militia was called out in full force; business was suspended, and the citizens enrolled themselves and built fortifications. The inquietude and the preparations for defence which it induced, proved to be not without cause. The adventurous Morgan, having secured a position at Somerset, in the southern part of Kentucky, started from that point with a cavalry force, and made rapidly for the Ohio River, which he crossed into Indiana. On his rôute through Kentucky, where he never failed to find sympathizers, he was enabled, through their collusion, to surprise and inflict great damage upon the lines of communication of the Union armies, and to supply his own needs at the expense of his enemies. The Nashville and Louisville railroads, so often the object of his attack, received a passing blow, and he gathered up from the Union dépôts throughout Kentucky the horses, arms, and ammunition he required. The Unionists of the State were forced to contribute to his wants, while the secessionists, many of whom
joined his ranks, volunteered their services. On reaching the Ohio, Morgan captured a number of steamers, and by their means crossed the river at July Brandenburg with his whole force, 8. estimated at 4,600 men, and ten pieces of artillery. Corydon, a small place in Indiana, on the border of Kentucky, fell an easy prey to the invaders. Thence taking an easterly direction along the line of the Ohio River, but diverging occasionally to burn a railroad bridge or destroy a track, they reached Vienna, on the Jeffersonville Railroad, July 11th. On the same day they made their appearance at Vernon, on the Madison and Indianapolis Railroad, and demanded the surrender of the town. Colonel Burkham, the Union commander, refused compliance, and on moving out to meet the invaders, found that they had made off, but succeeded in overtaking and capturing nineteen of them. As they moved on, they did considerable damage to the Ohio and Mississippi and Indianapolis and Cincinnati railroads, and arrived at Versailles on the 12th of July. On the next day they crossed the borders of Indiana, and reached Harrison, in Hamilton County, Ohio. Thence they continued their course for a time eastward, toward Hamilton, through Columbia, Batavia, and Williamsburg. In the mean time, such preparations had been made in Indiana and Ohio to capture Morgan and his invaders, that, evidently becoming anxious for their safety, they suddenly turned in a southerly direction to the Ohio River, which they continued to hug close, with the view, apparently, of attempting to recross it into Kentucky. Their purpose, if such it were, was, however, thwarted by some Union gun-boats, and they moved toward the Virginian border, passing through Ripley, Piketon, and Chester. With the States of Indiana and Ohio now fully aroused, and the regular troops at command in those States and in Kentucky in close pursuit, Morgan and his men had little chance of escape. A cavalry force, under General Hobson, had followed on their track from Somerset, in Kentucky, and continued to pursue them through Indiana and Ohio. General Judah had started with an expedition from Cincinnati, and White and Runkle had moved from another quarter, while the gun-boats were guarding the river. The local militia at the same time were on the watch. Morgan, thus beset on all sides, was driven at bay, and forced into several desperate encounters, in which he met with great loss. Having reached Chester, on the Ohio River, on the 19th of July, he found himself surrounded by the Union forces. Hobson had closed in upon him from the east, Judah from the south, and White and Runkle from the north and west. The militia of the neighborhood, moreover, were out in full force. The roads were barricaded, and the fords of the Ohio were guarded by gun-boats, artillery, and sharpshooters. “Morgan, finding himself in close quarters,” reports a chronicler, “sent
out scouts to find a crossing near Buffington, as this was the only ford left him that he could possibly reach. On learning that the ford was guarded by the gun-boats, and that we had a strong force of sharpshooters on the island, Morgan broke up his band and they separated, each squad to take care of itself.
“One squad broke for the crossing at Buffington, followed by the battery of six pieces which Morgan brought with him. As soon as the rebels approached the river, they were opened upon by the gun-boats, and 150 were killed or drowned. Our cavalry made a dash upon the force in charge of the battery and captured the whole six pieces, and killed a number of the rebels. In this skirmish we understand we lost six or seven killed. The rest of this force was repulsed and driven back.
“The main force now fell back toward Belpre, and then scattered and took to the hills in squads, in the direction of Coolsville.”
o The following is the official report of the part taken by the gun-boats: “ U. S. STEAMER Moose, Above BUFFINGTON IsLAND, } Ohio River, July 19. “Hon. GideoN WELLEs, Secretary of the Navy: “After chasing Morgan nearly 500 miles, I at last met him on the river at this point, and engaged and drove him back, capturing two of his pieces of artillery. He abandoned the rest to General Judah. The enemy broke in confusion from the banks, and left his wagon train and many horses and small-arms in my possession. “Since writing the above, I followed farther up the river; met another portion of Morgan's force, fording fourteen miles above, shelled and drove most of theo back. Several were killed, twenty-five or thirty wounded, and twenty horses captured. Have but two men wounded slightly. Our shell and shrapnel created great confus" in the rebel ranks, killing and wounding many. * Lenox Fitch, Lieutenant-Commander."