Kentucky Cavaliers in Dixie: The Reminiscences of a Confederate Cavalryman

By Geo. Dallas Mosgrove | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXV. .
THE SECOND BATTLE AT MT. STERLING

"At the sound of the bugle,
Each comrade shall spring
Like an arrow released
From the strain of the string."

AT the dawning of daylight, June 9th, the enemy, unannounced, charged into our camp. The morning was rainy and somewhat stormy. My own experience was similar to that of others. I was sleeping soundly and did not hear "war's alarm" until Campbell Ross, of the Fourth Kentucky, hurriedly passing my tent called to me, saying, the camp was full of Yankees. Poor fellow! he was killed shortly afterward. The bullets were whizzing through my tent, and sooner than I can tell it, I was on my horse, riding like the wind toward a line being formed by Colonel Pryor, who was galloping hither and thither, his clarion voice giving sharp, decisive commands. The charging enemy, only a few rods distant, kept up such a lively fusillade that I was admonished to lie flat down on my horse, in that way hoping to escape to Colonel Pryor's line. A number of the boys had already been captured, some of them before being able to mount their horses. Brainerd Bayless was among the captured; also Thos. J. McElrath and Frank Darling. Nearly all of us lost our "baggage," which, however, did not amount to much.

General Burbridge, hearing that we were in Kentucky, had countermarched at Prestonburg and, making a forced march with about three thousand men, was closely following Lieutenant-Colonel Brent, who commanded our division rear guard. Strange to say, Colonel Brent was unaware of the fact. He encamped his men within three hundred yards of the dismounted men and posted pickets on foot, not more than two hundred yards in the rear.

Burbridge, taking advantage of our fancied security and the rain, charged into Colonel Martin's camp, killing and

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