Kentucky Cavaliers in Dixie: The Reminiscences of a Confederate Cavalryman

By Geo. Dallas Mosgrove | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XLVI.
BATTLE OF MARION (Continued)--NO SUNDAY IN THE ARMY--A DESPERATE COMRAT--STONEMAN REPULSED--DUKE AND WITCHER DEMORALIZE THE "SMOKED YANKEES."

BY a singular fatality nearly all of our most desperately fought engagements occurred on Sundays. A soldier took little account of time and rarely knew the day of the week. There was no Sunday in the army.

During the small hours of the night a number of the enemy, probably seventy-five or one hundred, effected a lodgment within the bridge--a fatal movement to them. At the dawn of day they were quickly made to realize that they were in the "wrong box." They could not get out, and to stay within the trap was uncomfortable and dangerous. The lynx-eyed sharpshooters of the Fourth Kentucky were exultant and watched the point of exit from the bridge as closely and eagerly as a cat watches a rat-hole. The first Federal who emerged from the bridge and made a dash for his base bit the dust, riddled by bullets. Another attempted a "home run" and shared the same fate; then another and another. It was fun for the Kentuckians, but death to the gentlemen in blue. It was a case of "I'll be killed if I do, and I'll be killed if I don't." Again and again some bold soldier boy would undertake to make the dangerous run, only to be stopped by the unerring minie ball from a Kentuckian's Enfield rifle. In all, probably twenty attempted the hazardous flight, and all met a common fate. Warned by the fate of their comrades, the remaining Federals cowered in the bridge, and with fear and trembling awaited "coming events." When it became evident that there was not another bluecoat willing to become a target for the grim-humored Kentucky sharpshooters, a small piece of artillery was ordered to take position in the orchard within three hundred yards of the bridge, and shell the Federals out. But the shrieking, ricochetting, bursting bombs, awfully terrifying, failed to dislodge

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