War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0035 Chapter LI. MORGAN'S RAID INTO Kentucky.

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taken from the train, and taking one company of One hundred and seventy-first Ohio National Guard and some convalescent men of FIFTY-second Kentucky, who had accompanied us, threw out a line of skirmishers, and attacked the rebels in the field, and drove them until they were re-enforced and had sheltered themselves in the woods. Our line was re-enforced and skirmishing kept up for and hour more, when the town was seen to be on fire and the firing ceased in Cynthiana. The shouts of the rebel led us to believe that the detachment of the One hundred and sixty-eight Ohio in town and surrendered. Immediately afterward the rebel cavalry were seen moving to the right of us, and a heavy force of dismounted men advanced upon our front. Our line of skirmishers was slowly pressed back on the main force, and the detachment of Forty-seventh Kentucky, about thirty strong under Captain Wilson, who was ordered to hold a small eminence under the protection of a fence, was driven from its ground after a few rounds, and with very slight resistance. Captain Wilson was slightly wounded on the side of the neck, and left the field. The One hundred and seventy-first Ohio National Guard had never been under fire as a regiment and with the exception of two companies, the regiment was moved to the rear and formed on a small hill in two woods, for the purpose of better protection, and to prevent being flanked by a force still moving on our right. This last position was stubbornly defended for five hours, until we were completely surrounded by a largely superior force, and General Morgan sent in two flags of truce and demanded our surrender. Colonel Asper met the flags and reported to me that the terms were that we should surrender as prisoners of war. I called my staff and the field officers of One hundred and seventy- first Ohio together, and after learning the number of men left, and knowing of no change of being re-enforced, and the troops in town having surrendered, and the train having been captured, and knowing of no good to be accomplished by a further loss of life, being completely surrounded by about 2,500 rebels, while my small force left was but from 275 to 300 effective, I thought it useless to attempt to repulse the enemy, as my men were entirely exhausted, and a great many not even able to reach the river to procure water to quench their thirst. When General Morgan came up to our position he modified the terms, and allowed officers to retain their side arms and private property, and the men to keep their haversacks, private property, and blankets, in consideration of our stubborn fighting.

I am happy to report that the conduct of Colonel J. F. Asper, Lieutenant Colonel H. R. Harmon, Major M. A. Fowler, Captain Hatch, and all the officers of the One hundred and seventy-first Ohio National Guard, with a few exceptions, deserve the highest praise; and had the men ever been under fire before they would have been equal to veterans. General Morgan soon after the surrender moved all the prisoners, except myself and staff and field officers of the One hundred and seventy-first Ohio, about two miles from the field, and it appears from the preparation that the officers kept were to be sent off at once with a strong guard to prevent out escape or recapture. General Morgan then suggested to me that I should select such officers as I thought proper and proceed to the nearest point of communication and attempt an exchange for the men captured by him in Kentucky for some of his men who were in the hands of Federal authorities. He proposed that we should sign such an agreement to return to him in case I could not effect an exchange. I refused to sign such an agreement for three reasons: First. I thought that if General Burbridge was informed of Morgan's movements he