June 16, 1863, "I saw no use in it, and so I fired none at all." Federal cavalryman's account of lazy skirmishing on the Alexandria Road
We left camp [near Murfreesboro] about five o'clock and marched all night reaching Lebanon at day light this morning. A rebel force had been here last night to attack which were sent out [sic]. But they had left in the night retreating down the Alexandria Road. We followed them about eight miles, coming up with their rear guard, skirmishing followed for about three miles, the Rebels retreating. Here we stopped and fed our horses in a meadow; and had some dinner (I.E. [sic] crackers and raw bacon) for ourselves. After awhile a party of rebels came up and attacked our pickets – who at once advanced to receive them. The rebels held off at a good distance but for some time the two parties were in plain view, from where we were bivouacked. It was the first skirmish of the kind I have seen where the two parties stood off quietly exchanging shots. After some time spent in this way another party of rebels commenced firing from a piece of timber [sic]. Cos. A. and C. of our Regt. were [sent] forward and the rebels fell back[.] [A]fter following them a couple miles we returned. The most we did was to waste ammunition firing at men seven or eight hundred yards off and the sun shining in our faces. I saw no use in it, and so I fired none at all.
In the evening the rebels again came on and attacked the pickets. There were four thousand (some said ten) of them four miles from us at Alexandria with a battery or two of artillery. But it was said our officers did not believe it and would advance on A. at daylight in the morning. About sundown the rebels opened on our pickets with shot and shell, thus showing they had cannon. This was enough, we had only about 1700 men composed of the 4 U. S. 3 Indiana, 4th Michigan and 5th Iowa – cavalry regts. – also the 7th Pennsylvania Cav. – Orders were given at once to fall in and we soon were in full retreat. The pickets did not fall back – but advanced on the enemy pouring volly [sic] after volly [sic] into him in quick succession. They said they could see several gunners fall. After we were under way the pickets were called in and we had another all night march of it, stopping for a couple of hours to rest at Baird's Mills. After I lay down it did not require rocking to get me to sleep.
June 16, 1864, A Case of disorderly conduct in the Nashville Recorder's Court
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Nancy Knight and Florence Jenkins were charged with disorderly conduct. Mrs. Prope said that Florence and another woman went to her house with a pin dress and a bottle of whisky on, and that about twenty men came piling after her at night. Both discharged.
Nashville Dispatch, June 16, 1864.
16, The Refugee Situation in the Knoxville Environs
This part of East Tennessee is now left to the mercy of the rebel bush-whackers and guerrillas--who are robbing the women and children of what little Longstreet's bands of thieves did not deprive them. Old gray-haired men are fleeing from their homes to the Union lines to seek protection; and such of the women and children as are able to stand the long, fatiguing journeys on foot--such things as horses or vehicles of conveyance of any kind having long since been appropriated by the rebel authorities--even to old blind horses. We saw and conversed with many refugees who arrived in Knoxville at or about the same time we did, whose description of affairs in these unprotected counties is of the most awful and heart-rending nature.
Nashville Daily Union, June 16, 1864.
Great stuff. I love the on-the-ground foot soldier's view of the war.
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