ally full of intoxicating liquors. At one store-house I discovered fourteen barrels of whisky which belonged to the Confederate Army.
As a result of this unfortunate profusion of strong drinks, many soldiers, who had neither supper nor breakfast, and laid on the ground without shelter, through a night of pelting storm, were induced to drink, and as a consequence I suddenly discovered that many were intoxicated.
Here occurred a melancholy incident. At the southern border of the town, Company B, of the Seventh Kansas, Captain Fred. Swoyer, had been stationed as a picket.
The captain had discovered a quantity of commissary stores in a building near, and stationed a guard at the entrance. The captain himself had visited a house near by to obtain a breakfast, and there drank to such an extent as to become somewhat exhilarated. During his absence, a couple of men of his company persisted in an endeavor to pass into the store-house mentioned, but were prevented by the guard. On his return to his company the case was reported.
He directed the company to fall in, and the men alluded to deliver their arms and go in arrest. His tone was harsh and peremptory in the extreme. One of the men demurred, and attempted to explain. He commanded him to desist and remove his arms, drawing his pistol, and telling him he would shoot him if he said another word. The man again spoke, when the captain fired, the ball passing into the body of the man. Instantly one of the company fired at the captain, but did not wound him. The captain rode toward him and the man ran. The captain soon overtook him, both riding rapidly, and shot him through the head, killing him instantly. At the same moment the man fired, and his ball passed through the body of the captain. The company was in confusion, and many shots were fired at the captain, who rode rapidly into town. He was taken into a house and died the following day.
During this occurrence I was at the court-house, a half mile from its scene. I immediately dispatched the commanding officer of the regiment with a company to quell the mutiny. It was readily quieted, though the men remained much excited.
The state of my command and the inclemency of the weather convinced me that it would be unwise to continue a further search for the enemy, especially as we were burdened with many led animals. I immediately withdrew the main portion of my command from the town, leaving Lieutenant-Colonel Wallace, of the Fourth Illinois Cavalry, in charge of a detachment of the Seventh Kansas, to await the return of parties sent out. The main body proceeded some distance, there fed their horses, halting till all came up.
That night we bivouacked south of Wolf River, near Moscow, and next morning reached our camp, bringing with us nearly 300 head of captured mules and horses.
At Somerville two or three stores were opened and some plundering effected by drunken men. From complaints made and proven to me, I have no doubt, too, that robbery and outrages were committed by drunken men. No plunder of goods, however, was made to any considerable extent, as nothing that could be seen was carried by soldiers from town.
The officers of the command were sober, and did all in their power to enforce order among the men. My personal staff especially risked their lives in quelling insubordination of drunken men.
Arriving at camp, I directed regimental courts-martial, to try all men who had become intoxicated. This was done, and the next day the