Chapter XXXV. SKIRMISH AT LIBERTY, TENN.
<NN>My detachment left without supper or blankets, and, excepting a few crackers, were without food for nearly twenty-four hours, during which interval they faithfully guarded provisions of all kinds, including delicacies, a fact which speaks favorably for their discipline.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. M. JUDAH,
Captain A. C. SEMPLE,
Assistant Adjutant-General, District of Western Kentucky.
Numbers 4. Report of Major Isaac R. Sherwood, One hundred and eleventh Ohio Infantry.
HDQRS. 111TH Regiment OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY,
Bowling Green, Ky., March 21, 1863.
SIR: On the evening of the 19th instant, I was placed in command of a detachment of 200 men from this regiment (One hundred and eleventh Ohio), with orders from Brigadier-General Judah to proceed immediately by railroad to a point on the Louisville and Nashville road, about 9 miles south of Franklin, between Mitchellville and Richland, where, it was said, the rebels had possession of a passenger train of cars. We reached the spot about 8 p. m.; found the rebels gone, and the train guarded by about 100 men of the One hundred and twenty-ninth Illinois, under command of a lieutenant. The spot where the train was thrown from the track is about 1 1/4 miles distant from the camp and stockade of a portion of Colonel Smith's (One hundred and twenty-ninth Illinois Regiment) command. The soldiers in camp were only notified of the outrage by hearing the crash of the falling engine, as it was precipitated over the embankment, and the discharge of musketry, as the rebels fired into the train.
About 10 p. m. the lieutenant in command of the men of the One hundred and twenty-ninth Illinois drew in his men and left for camp. I immediately threw out guards, and, upon learning that the express goods and baggage were left unguarded, sent men to protect it. We finished relaying the track at 11 a. m. the next day, and loaded the express goods and baggage on the freight train which went forward to Nashville, when I returned to Bowling Green with my command, arriving at 4.20 p. m. The major and adjutant of the One hundred and twenty-ninth Illinois visited the wreck about 9 a. m., the day after they outrage.
From the best information I could gather, the outrage was committed by from 60 to 75 men, under command of a Captain Jones, from Shelbyville, Ky. (formerly of John Morgan's cavalry). An obstruction was placed on the track at a short curve in the road, which threw the engine and two cars from the track. As soon as the train was stopped, the guerrillas fired into it. The passengers (women, civilians, and officers), numbering in all some 200, commenced scattering in all directions, leaving the rebels in quiet possession of the train. Plundering was immediately commenced. They cut open the mail bag and robbed the mail; broke open the express safe and took out the money, and were just on the point of paroling the officers captured, when the men from the camp of the One hundred and twenty-ninth Illinois made their appearance and drove them from the train. In their flight they dropped
PAG150 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. [CHAP.XXXV.
the largest portion of the money captured and a part of the mail. The men of the One hundred and twenty-ninth Illinois succeeded in capturing 6 men and 4 horses, and severely wounding 1 man. Not a soldier on our side, or a passenger, was injured. The money dropped by the rebels was found; also a part of the mail. Captain [T. C.] Norris, who commanded a scouting party from my command, found six guns and a small a portion of the lost mail. The guns (two Enfield and two Springfield rifles) I hold subject to your orders; the mail I have forwarded. I was unable to learn from the express messenger the amount of money carried away. But little of the express goods were damaged, and only a small portion missing.
I also learned that the rebels were piloted to the spot by a man living 1 1/2 miles distant (name not known), and that two of the men captured had passes from Colonel Smith, of the One hundred and twenty-ninth Illinois.
I am, sir, your most obedient servant,
I. R. SHERWOOD,
Major One hundred and eleventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Captain R. C. KISE,
MARCH 19, 1863.-Skirmish at Spring Hill, Tenn.
Numbers 1.-Major General Gordon Granger, U. S. Army.
Numbers 2.-Colonel Thomas J. Jordan, Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry.
Numbers 1. Report of Major General Gordon Granger, U. S. Army.
FRANKLIN, March 19, 1863-9.20 p. m.
GENERAL: Cosby's division of Van Dorn's forces reached Spring Hill last night. To-day our cavalry drove them back across Rutherford Creek, with loss of 2 men. The pontoon bridge at Columbia is reported finished. I urgently beg that General Crook be restored to this command. My recruits are not receiving that instruction and drill which they require, by reason of working in the trenches and doing double work of this kind.
Numbers 2. Report of Colonel Thomas J. Jordan, Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS NINTH PENNSYLVANIA CAVALRY,
Franklin, Tenn., March 20, 1863.
SIR: I beg leave to report that, agreeably to orders, I moved on the morning of the 19th with 330 men, detachments from the Ninth Pennsylvania, Second Michigan, and Fourth and Seventh Kentucky Cavalry, toward Spring Hill, on the Columbia turnpike, at which place I was to
Chapter XXXV. SKIRMISH AT LIBERTY, TENN.