Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/204

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

ble, but in any event to dash into the city by the nearest route to the Gayoso Hotel, where it was known a number of federal officers were quartered. Colonel Neely was ordered to charge into the camps of the hundred-day men with the Second Missouri, Fourteenth Tennessee and the Eighteenth Mississippi, while Colonel Logwood, with the Twelfth and Fifteenth Tennessee, followed Captain Forrest to the Gayoso Hotel.

Colonel Jesse Forrest charged through Lauderdale street to Union, with special orders to capture General Washburne, while the Second Tennessee and Russell's regients and the parrot guns were left in the rear to cover the retreat. Every man was told to keep perfectly quiet.

Captain Forrest moved slowly and almost noiselessly. He rode about 50 yards ahead of his company with ten picked men, when suddenly a picket called out: "Who comes there?" It was about 3:30, and as dark as could be. Captain Forrest very coolly and deliberately answered: "A detachment with rebel prisoners." The answer was, "Advance one." Captain Forrest whispered to his men to follow closely behind him. He then met the federal picket, mounted and in the middle of the road. As soon as he was in reach, he struck the picket a deadly blow with his pistol, which sent him to the ground. At the same instant his men dismounted and captured the other pickets, who were sent to the rear. About a quarter of a mile further on he encountered another guard, who fled and ran.

By this time General Forrest was close behind the advance, and knowing the alarm would be given, ordered the men to dash forward. Away they went, forgetting the orders to keep quiet, yelling like wild people. Forrest called on Gans to sound the charge, and all the other buglers took it up. The sharp, shrill notes reverberated along the line, and cheer after cheer burst forth as the men swept forward in the impetuous charge. Neely dashed into the infantry camp; Captain Forrest rode into an artillery camp, shooting down about twenty of the gunners and driving the rest away. Captain Forrest did not halt until he reached the Gayoso and rode into the office. His men, quickly dismounting, ran through the halls, bursting open doors, searching for General Hurlbut. They created the greatest panic. Some of the federal officers, disturbed by the noise and confusion,