MARCH 29, 1864.-Affair at Caperton's Ferry, Ala.
Reports of Colonel David Ireland, One hundred and thirty-seventh New York Infantry.
March 29, 1864.
SIR: While a party of Sixty-sixth Ohio Volunteers were assisting refugees to cross Tennessee River at Caperton's Ferry this afternoon, they were attacked by a party of mounted guerrillas, who fired on them, wounding 2 officers. Three of our men were on the south side of the river, and are supposed to have been captured. Nothing else of importance.
Colonel, Commanding Post.
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Stevenson, Ala., March 31, 1864.
CAPTAIN: In reply to your communication of this date calling for a more explicit report of the wounding of 2 officers and the capture of 3 men of my command on the 29th instant, I have the honor to submit the following:
A detachment of four companies from the Sixty-sixth Regiment Ohio volunteers are stationed at Caperton's Ferry, on the Tennessee River, about 4 miles from this post, at which point refugees from the south are continually crossing.
About 1 p. m. yesterday, as Captain Morgan and Lieutenant Organ, with 4 men, were on the south bank of the river assisting a refugee to ferry himself and his household goods over the river, they were fired upon by a party of mounted guerrillas, numbering about 20, who demanded their surrender. The two officers threw themselves into the bottom of the boat and pushed it into the steam, when they were again fired upon, Captain Morgan being severely wounded in the thigh and Lieutenant Organ slightly in the hand. They drifted out into the steam and escaped to the opposite bank of the river. The 4 men were a short distance above where the boat was lying, and were unable to reach it. Three of them were captured, 1 effecting his escape by hiding under the river bank, where he was found by a force of our men who were immediately thrown over the river.
Captain Dye, Sixty-sixth Ohio Volunteers, immediately crossed with 40 men and pursued the rebels for 3 or 4 miles, but was unable to come up with them.
The band of guerrillas was commanded by Captain Sam. Norwood, who is well known in these parts as a bushwhacker and negro thief. In addition to the 3 Federal soldiers they captured the refugee whom our men were assisting to cross and a man by the name of Barnes, who had made himself obnoxious to them by frequently bringing information to the Union troops stationed at this ferry.