Numbers 5. Report of Lieutenant Thomas W. Sullivan, Fourth U. S. Cavalry, of skirmish at Bardstown, Ky.
LOUISVILLE, KY., July 9, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report that, in pursuance of instructions received from directs headquarters, dated July 4, 1863, I started en route to Bardstown, Ky., at 7.30 p. m. same evening, with 25 men of the Fourth U. S. Cavalry. I traveled all that ninth, and struck the enemy's advance guard 6 miles this side of Bardstown at 6.30 a. m. next morning. Not being aware of the close proximity of the main body of Morgan's forces, I immediately dashed at this body of cavalry, judging from their numbers that they would stand and give me battle; but in this I was mistaken, for, after chasing them thought Bardstown, I was compelled to abandon the pursuit on account of the jaded state of my animals, two which dropped dead. On my arrival in town, I was informed by loyal citizens (Newman, Watts, and others) that the place was completely surrounded by from 300 to 400 mounted rebels . I immediately took possession of a large lively stable belonging to a notorious secession (Humphreys), and purchased provisions for my men, to last as long as their ammunition would hold out. I them erected a small breastwork of plank and manure within the stable to command the gate. I then threw out pickets ont he corners of the main streets, and awaited the attack, which soon came, the first being made at about 11.30 a. m., the enemy advancing in three columns and from three different directions. They were gallantly met and repulsed, with a loss of 2 killed. One of my gallant fellows (Private [Bartholomew] Burke, Company H, Fourth U. S. Cavalry) fell here, shouting to me as he fell "Lieutenant, did I fall like a soldier?" These were the last words he uttered. Immediately after this repulse, the enemy sent a flag of truce, demanding my immediate surrender, to which I replied that I hoped to gain the esteem of General Morgan by a gallant defense. The firing commenced ten minutes afterward, and continued all the evening and very all night, the enemy occupying every available spot in the vicinity of the stables, behind which they could find shelter from our fire. During the night succeeded in stretching ropes across the streets, to prevent our sallying out on horseback. They also attempted to fire the stable, but, after
losing 2 men and a negro in the attempt, gave up the project.
On the following morning (Monday) at daylight, general Morgan sent me a flag of truce by Captain [Ralph] Sheldon, C. S. Army, demanding my immediate surrender, telling me at the same time that it I refused he would:"below me to hell with his artillery." To this I replied that I was obliged to the general for his kind intentions, and felt sorry that it became my duty to trouble a little longer. Rapid firing commenced a few minutes afterward, and was kept up until the sentinel on top of the stable reported four pieces of artillery "in place." about 100 yards from the stable; that every street he could see was crowded with troops. Deeming it useless to resist any longer, I took a flag of truce and left the stable. When asked by Colonel R. C. Morgan what I wanted, I told him I accepted his terms of surrender, viz, to be treated as prisoners of war. To which he replied, "Go back; you have refused these terms twice; you have no right to demand them now;" at the same time ordering the guard to drive me back. On my way, while returning under a flag of truce, in the open street. I was fired upon several time, the