Kentucky Cavaliers in Dixie: The Reminiscences of a Confederate Cavalryman

By Geo. Dallas Mosgrove | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXVIII.
THE FIRST BATTLE AT CYNTHIANA --THE FEDERAL COMMANDER KLLED--DEFEAT AND CAPTURE OF THE ENEMY--THE BURNING OF THE TOWN.

"And if to-day in blinding mist
The Southland's tears are shed,
It is not that her cause was lost,
But that her sons are dead."

AT the dawn of the long summer day, Saturday, June 11th, we arrived at the forks of the road, probably within three or four miles of Cynthiana.

General Morgan promptly made dispositions for battle, planning especially for the capture of the Federals in the town. He sent the Second Brigade by the right-hand road to cross the river above Cynthiana, in order to gain the enemy's rear. Giltner's brigade was ordered to move directly upon the town.

When we had reached the hill overlooking the town on the west side, we saw that the enemy had received an intimation of our coming and were prepared to receive us. They were formed behind a stone fence, a most excellent fortification. Hearing the guns of the Second Brigade, the signal for attack, we flanked the fence and, after a brief skirmish, fought principally by Lieutenant H. H. Adcock, commanding Company E, Fourth Kentucky, the enemy fled precipitately across the bridge, seeking shelter in the town. We captured about seventy-five of them before they reached the bridge, and then charged into the town. When a town is attacked under such circumstances there is no time for dilatory tactics. Whatever is to be done, if well done, must be done quickly. The Federals made a spirited resistance, but they were soon driven into the depot buildings, where a hot fight was waged until their commander, Colonel Berry, was killed. They also sought refuge in the court-house and other buildings, but the Confederates charged into the strongholds, firing rapidly and all the while "yelling the infernal rebel yell." The Federals

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