Kentucky Cavaliers in Dixie: The Reminiscences of a Confederate Cavalryman

By Geo. Dallas Mosgrove | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIV.
EAST TENNESSEE CAMPAIGN (Coutinued)--BATTLE OF BIG CREEK, NOVEMBER 6, 1863.

"Each soldier's name
Shall shine untarnished on the roll of fame,
And stand the example of each distant age,
And add new luster to the historic page."

COLONEL HENRY L. GILTNER, now commanding the brigade, soon became restive and inclined to rebel against the iron rule of General Ransom. Always somewhat refractory, those of us who were nearest to him and knew him best were not surprised when he threatened to follow General Williams' example and resign, rather than obey the mandates of the grim martinet, Ransom. In fact a number of high-spirited Kentucky officers soon incurred the general's displeasure, and his edicts became more and more offensive. Finally, Colonel Tandy Pryor, commanding the Fourth Kentucky Cavalry, roundly and vehemently abused Major Branch, chief of Ransom's staff, and, of course, was ordered under arrest.

The brigade was again in Tennessee, General Ransom's headquarters being at Blountville. On the morning of November 4th the general, desiring a conference with Giltner, had to send for him two or three times before the dauntless colonel condescended to honor the summons. He was much mollified, however, when he found that the general was contemplating a forward movement, his plan involving the capture of a Federal force at Rogersville. It was known that Colonel Israel Garrard was at that place with the Seventh Ohio Cavalry, the Second Tennessee Mounted Infantry and a battery of artillery. The plan was for General Wm. E. Jones to march south of Holston River and gain the enemy's rear, while Giltner should attack in front.

On November 5th the brigade moved to a point below

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