Kentucky Cavaliers in Dixie: The Reminiscences of a Confederate Cavalryman

By Geo. Dallas Mosgrove | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV.
COLONEL HENRY LITER GILTNER.

"To horse! to horse! the standard flies;
The bugles sound the call."

COLONEL GILTNER entered the Confederate army at Munfordville, Ky., in September, 1861, joining the Buckner Guards as a private soldier. Within a short time he was ordered to report to General Humphrey Marshall, who assigned him to duty as aid-de-camp on his staff.

In July, 1862, with M. T. Pryor, Nathan Parker, Peter Everett and sixteen other Kentuckians, he started upon the hazardous service of recruiting in Kentucky. The State was full of Federal troops, and before the party reached the bluegrass region, all except Giltner, Pryor, Parker and Everett concluded that the enterprise was fraught with too many dangers, and declined to go any further. Captain Everett stopped in Montgomery, his home, while the others, after many narrow escapes, losing their horses and clothes, walking through fields and forests by night, and hiding during the day, finally reached the border counties, in which they intended to operate.

At that time Colonel Giltner was a lithe, graceful man, of dignified mien, slightly above medium height, symmetrically proportioned, dark complexion, hair and beard black as the raven's wing, gray eyes, and about thirty-three years old. He was neatly attired, and when he became colonel of the Fourth Kentucky always wore the full and handsome uniform of his rank, and rode a magnificent dapple-gray charger--his old war horse "Billy." Cool, collected, absolutely impervious to excitement, he was a man of dauntless bravery and wonderful fortitude. A strict disciplinarian, yet kind of heart; never effusive nor demonstrative in affection, he nevertheless concerned himself more for the comfort of his troops than any other commander I ever knew. Belong-

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