Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/57

This page needs to be proofread.


//< i'"' i" . 53

( iciicr.il Forrest had brni ordered to go at once to Tennessee and take V m Dorn's |>lace. We remained in Rome about thirty-six hours, wln-n I was ordered with tin- liijht section to accompany Col- cuiel Bittle with his regiment of cavalry to Tennessee. We left and made forced marches day and night, recrossed the mountains, and -ed the Tennessee river at Decatur and went down on the north- east side of the river. At Savannah I stopped and camped in the Fair Grounds with my section, and Colonel Biffle went on to the village and became engaged with a command of the Yankees on the opposite side of the river. After considerable firing, and he being unable to dislodge the enemy who were posted in a long row of cribs, stables and other log houses, he sent for the battery. We went down and sent a few shells crashing through the houses, and the enemy vacated the same and made tracks for the woods beyond the low grounds. I followed them \vith my shells until they reached the timber, when I ceased firing. A charge, however, was left in one of the pieces when the order to cease firing was given; pretty soon a man on horseback came out from the timber and waving his hat at us galloped down along the skirt of woods across in front of us in a very defiant manner. I caught hold of the trail handspike of the loaded gun and followed him. Then moved to where I supposed he would be by the time my shell would reach the point, and gave the order "fire." The man pulled the lanyard, and the shell, which had been cut to four seconds, was seen to explode in a direct line for him, and about thirty or forty yards short. I never saw him again. The dust and the smoke seemed to envelop him. The aim had been perfect, and a shout went up from our lines at this shot on the wing. After the Yankees had been run oflf, the cavalrymen procured a bat- teau from the opposite side of the river and went over and got all their horses and equipments and provisions, among which was a nice lot of hams, of which Colonel Biffle sent me a liberal share.

After leaving Savannah (where poor "Coon" Herndon of Ter- rell's battery had been mortally wounded on a former occasion) we went down the river on a "still hunt" for gunboats. We did not find any boats, but we did come across a nice party of Yankees on the opposite side of the river engaged in eating, bathing and playing cards. We came up behind a high lot fence, and peeping one of my little howitzers around the corner of the fence I opened on them with shell which exploded in their midst, they were taken completely by surprise and stampeded immediately leaving their grub, cards and clothing behind. As no boat of any sort could be found we had