Monday, January 16, 2017

Diary of Luman Harris Tenney: Saturday, November 8, 1862

Still southwest to Rhea's Mills ten miles and then breakfast — fresh beef and no salt. Col. Philips here two nights before, two of his Indians shot. Two girls wounded severely by rebels firing into a house. After breakfast went to my own men with Capt. Gave Capt. Lucas detachment —the advance. Direction southeast. Rode 7 or 8 miles to Cane Hill — Boonsboro — hilly country. Pickets fired upon at Cane Hill. Captured a secesh saddle and equipments. Went into town. Col. made inquiries and moved on. Col. always with the advance. Went a couple of miles and bang, bang, went guns. Soon 60 or 70 men showed themselves in the woods on a hill half a mile to our left. Sharp's rifles and carbines came into play — no effect — distance too great. Howitzers came up, cavalry fell back into the woods and shell went whizzing over the cornfield. They skedaddled. One fellow whom 8 or 10 men started for, ran forward and threw down the fence and then ran back behind a tree. Blue overcoat. Did not take him. Bold fellow. They took two or three prisoners. After some delay, Col. learned that the rebels, 400 or 500, were one mile farther on. Went on a mile, saw pickets on a distant hill. Sharpshooters advanced, and then command moved forward. Found camp just vacated — fires still burning. Went over the Boston mountains. Over the mountains at the foot, our extreme advance came in sight of rear guard of the enemy. A charge was ordered and away we flew with loose reins and set spurs, up hill and down hill, across and back again Cove Creek, a very rough road. After three miles we began to see stirrups, blankets, corn and a thousand things strewn along the road. The Col. was up with us. He commenced yelling, which was kept up by all the men. More things scattered along. After ten miles in the midst of excitement, back came a volley of shot and bullets from the bush at a point a little elevated just ahead of us. The extreme advance fell back a few rods. Up we rode upon a charge into the bush as we were ordered. We rode up and fired away. Still farther up into the road we were ordered. We hurried up and formed along the road facing the bush. The bullets whistled merrily for a season. Not over 20 or 25 were up. We fired all our rounds, then a sabre charge was ordered. We had our sabres drawn and ready for a charge, when Capt. Lucas' horse was shot and the rebels were running by a byroad. The color-bearer was shot through the head and colors captured, 13 stars — two others were reported killed. Waited for signs of the enemy, but in vain. Went down and helped about unloading wagons and burned them. None of us harmed. Started back. Returned 4 or 5 miles and camped. All the boys got some little trap — baggage and equipments of Mo. Provost Guard commanded by Provost Gen. McDonald. Private correspondence of Col. Sevier of Marseilles, Mo. One excellent letter from his Aunt Phil on the war.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 42-3

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