Saturday, July 15, 2017

Diary of Sergeant Major Luman Harris Tenney: June 9, 1863

Awakened at three A. M. Got coffee for breakfast, baked potatoes, but didn't get done in time. Marched on at daylight. Met the 2nd Tenn. at Capt. West's,1 they had crossed and captured 7 or 8 pickets on Mills Springs road. Co. H in advance. Soon came upon the pickets and kept skirmishing for two or three miles. Drake, Thede and I followed Co. H. Soon body of rebs was seen to the left. Fences thrown down and boys went into the field. Georgia Regt. gave L Co. a volley with no effect and soon fell back. As we were advancing, a regt. 10th Confederate from Georgia, Florida and Alabama came out into a field on the hill with flying colors and gave battle. D and I were near K Co. in a little valley, but bullets whistled lively — horse and man wounded near by. Soon howitzers came up and before long started these. Rebels made several stands before reaching Monticello. Fought well. Several killed and wounded, Corp. Laundon. Last stand near town behind a wall, determined. Aggravating to see their colors. Charged after them through town. Quaker gun in courthouse window. Went out without carbine. Got but one good shot with revolver. Picked up a musket and carried it. Advance ordered back. 45th and 7th with section of howitzers went on and drove the Rebs through the gorge. Went along. Soon drove them and turned back. Rested awhile in town. Destroyed arms and ammunition, then commenced the retreat — H, two companies of 45th, two of 7th rear guard. Went on and saw the wounded. Interesting conversation, intelligent prisoners from Georgia. One man killed whose father worth several millions of property. At Capt. West's, halted awhile, made tea, drank, when firing was heard. Col. Kautz heard enemy or force were following and overpowering the rear guard. All troops gone by but two companies of the 45th. Col. turned back with them. We went with him. Got to the woods and rear guard came up hurriedly, some boys running away. Dismounted the men and got into the woods in time to give the rebels a telling round as they charged up the road with a yell. Several of them killed and wounded. Rebs stood and gave fierce volleys. Very near a panic. Finally efforts succeeded. Kept up firing and drove Rebs a mile through the woods. Lt. Case severely wounded and other H Co. boys before. H boys did splendidly. Noble fellows. Few exceptions. Just at edge of woods rebs got behind stone wall and poured murderous volleys into the woods. All troops ordered up, and howitzers. Failed to come for half an hour. Boys had to stand and take it and be unable to do harm in return. Brush and woods too thick to see ahead far, and stone wall. Col. had good plans and had the Battery come up and everything gone off as he expected, we would have won a splendid victory. Our own boys fired some at one another — sad to see. Finally Howitzers came up and silenced the rebs and started them. Dark and too late to follow — also report that rebs were flanking us. Retreated to three miles up river. Command six miles. Brought off all wounded but Case and Chapman. Dr. Smith remained, John Devlin missing.

1 In the official records this fight near Capt. West's is called Rocky Gap, Ky.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 72

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