War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0494 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

Search Civil War Official Records

mounted and tolerably armed. It is made up of deserters from rebel army, citizens, and a few regular cavalry of Tennessee and Alabama regiments. With the exception of ill-treating and robbing a few Union citizens, no damage was done by them. I also ascertained that Captain Davenport with his company of Dade County Home Guards were at Gadsden, where he makes his headquarters, and that six of his men were in the neighborhood of Sulphur Springs, visiting relatives and attending the camp-meeting. I proposed capturing or killing these men, giving the men in the command their choice if they met with them. While remaining concealed in the woods, about 9 a. m., James Longley, private, Company C, First Ohio Volunteer Infantry, was sent back to a house 250 yards in rear in charge of a wagon load of citizens going to camp meeting. I gave him particular instructions to return at once, which he failed to do, and was captured by four of this party of home guards. This was the first intimation they had we were near there. They came across from the main Gadsden road by a lane on their way to the meeting. After capturing Longley they left by same route, having their prisoner mounted behind one of them; fifteen minutes afterward, I was apprised of his capture, and about the same time was informed by a woman that they had passed her on the Gadsden road at full speed, having their prisoner with them. Having no way of pursuing, I waited some time longer before proceeding to the meeting. Had Longley behaved as a soldier should, eh could have escaped before they reached the house or successfully defended himself. Without going into details, he acted the coward, and, as I am informed his reputation as a soldier is bad, the service loses but little in his loss. At 10 a. m. I divided my force into three squads and surrounded the meeting, but found none but citizens attending. The appearance of the soldiers at the meeting was the first intimation they had we were near. As the men who captured Longley were from that neighborhood and harbored by the citizens thereabouts, I concluded to arrest six of the most prominent citizens of rebel sympathies as hostages for Longley. I accordingly arrested Henry Smith, John Stewart, S. B. Austin, Benjamin F. Cooke, Levi Lowery, and Daniel Clark. The last named is the father of one of the men who captured Longley. Stewart and Austin have taken the oath of allegiance. None of them will deny that they sympathize with the rebel cause. Stewart and Lowery proposed to me their parole of honor they would immediately start after the prisoner and return him, if possible, otherwise they were to report at Whiteside's. I agreed to the proposition and released them, giving them one week to report. I feel very confident the prisoner will be returned. The remaining citizens I brought to camp with me. I left Lieutenant Hawkins and thirteen men of the home guards to remain in that section of the country for a few days. Being all natives of the place, I did not give them any instructions.

The crops in the valley are better than every before known, and all will have enough to subsist during the winter; in some instances, farmers will have corn to sell to the Government.

I returned to camp Monday, September 5, 1864.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, &c.,

A. T. SNODGRASS,

Captain Company I, First Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

Colonel BASSETT LANGDON,

First Ohio Volunteers, Commanding Post Whiteside's.