Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/50

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Southern Historical Society Papers.

made a stand, having received some reinforcements of cavalry, and with Terrell's Battery and a section of Freman's Battery. The command was posted on the east side of Town creek, between the ford and railroad bridge. Here an artillery duel was kept up with the Federal host on the west side, which lasted nearly a whole day. During the day it seemed that the Yankees were trying to cross the creek at the ford, the creek being considerably swollen from recent rains. Gen. Forrest ordered the writer to take one of the guns of Ferrell's Battery and go down and drive the enemy from the ford. I took a twelve-pounder field-howitzer, and went down near the ford and scattered them effectually, and drove them back to their main lines, following them up with my shells as they retreated. For this service I was complimented by Gen. Forrest, who declared we did "the best shooting he ever saw."

About the time I ceased firing it seemed that all the Yankee batteries had concentrated their fire on my little party, but fortunately they could not depress their guns sufficiently to harm us. Their shot and shells passed over our heads.

Just before night our command moved back to Courtland. Big Nance creek being very high, the drivers swam their horses across at the ford and the cannoneers passed the pieces over the railroad bridge by hand. We remained in the streets of Courtland during the night. It seems that Colonel Straight left the main command while we were engaged in the artillery duel the day before, and General Forrest had "caught on" to it, for we left Courtland early the next morning, and went up the mountain leaving a portion of General Roddy's command under Major Moreland in the valley. Here we first heard of the raiding party under Colonel Streight and got on his track. I remember General Forrest telling us that "they, the Yankees, were taking the rings off the gals fingers," and that "we would take them back when we caught them," after a rest of about an hour, the command moved forward at a lively gait as the trail was a warm one. We continued the pursuit in a southeasterly direction. We found that the Yankees had taken or destroyed everything in the way of food or forage as they passed. The flour and meal that they did not use was thrown into the road and well mixed with dirt and sand so as to be useless to us.

In crossing a bad mud hole with "corduroy" made of poles and fence rails where some one had broken his wagon and left it in the mire, the cannoneers being afoot, passed over on some logs lying by the fence when one spied some bacon sides lying just over the fence