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sent out a detachment, which burned a bridge and captured a telegraph operator, while with the main column he kept on to Pierceville, burning all the bridges on the road. Near Wiseburgh, he had a skirmish with the home-guards, and at New-Ulsas, a German settlement, his soldiers captured a wagon-load of lager beer, which they carried along to drink by the way. The same night in which the pursuing force encamped at Harrison, with their horses thoroughly jaded out, Morgan's bugles were sounding north of Cincinnati. On his way, he at Miamiville turned over a railroad train, and burned fifty Government wagons. On the afternoon of the 15th, he entered Winchester, and robbed the mail and stole thirty-five thousand dollars' worth of property and fifty horses, while the soldiers tore up all the flags they could find, and tied the fragments to the tails of mules, which they urove, with shcuts and laughter, through the streets.
Morgan now struck south-east, for the purpose of reaching the Ohio, and crossing into Virginia. The country, was thoroughly aroused, and troops were concentrating from various quarters to head him off and intercept his retreat. Burning the bridge at Jacktown, be kept on to Wheat Ridge, where his force separated-a part going through Mount Olive. Six miles from Jackson, the citizens blockaded the road, which detained him two hours. Here and there shooting down a man who showed hostile intentions, and pillaging and destroying like a band of savages, the force pressed forward towards the Ohio. Arriving at Jackson, Morgan sent part of his forces up to Berlin, where three thousand militia were posted, who were quickly scattered by a single shell thrown into their midst. At the little town of Linesville, the home-guards tore up a bridge and blockaded the road, by which Morgan was detained another two hours—à great gain to the pursuers, who were straining every nerve to overtake him.
MORGAN AT BAY.
In the meantime, General Judah, with a strong force, was moving up the Ohio from Portsmouth, a town a hundred and fifteen miles above Cincinnati, while gunboats patrolled the stream. It was evident that Morgan would strike for the first fordable place on the river, and try to cross into Virginia, as he was becoming sorely pressed-for, although he could supply fresh horses on the way, his men were getting worn out by their long and rapid march.
Buffington Island lies about twenty miles below Blennerbassett Island ; between them are a great many shoals, that make crossing comparatively easy. For this point, Morgan now struck, hoping to get across before his pursuers were up, or he was headed off by the force pressing up the river. On Friday night, the 17th, he was at Pomeroy, thirty-five miles below the island, and the next night encamped in Home corn-fields nearly opposite it. At this point, a road, coming over a range of hills two miles distant, strikes the river road nearly at right angles. Three hundred yards above the former road, was a private one, leading into the cora-fields where Morgan lay. Judah came down the pike, and, there being a dense fog, almost run upon the rebels before he was aware of their position. Morgan immediately fired on the advance column, throwing it into confusion, and was about to follow up his success with a charge, when the gunboat Moose, in the river, opened on him, and at the same time Hobson's force came up in the rear.
Our artillery was soon got in position, and the battle commenced. Finding himself between three fires, Morgan moved up-stream, to escape the shells of the gunboat; but she advanced, alsoclinging to him with a tenacity that soon convinced him that in reaching the river, instead of finding safety he had actually run into the lion's mouth. Seeing that it was hopeless to make a stand here, he divided his force into two columns, and a rush was made by one for the river, at a point about
À CURIOUS BATTLE-FIELD.
a mile and a half above the island. But the gunboat, coming up, sent shot and shell into the mass floundering in the water-killing some, and turning others back, so that only about twenty succeeded in getting over.
In the meantime, Basil Duke, back from the shore, was so hard pressed that the men broke in despair-some surrendering themselves prisoners-among them Duke himself—and others taking refuge in flight. A running fight now ensued; the main body of the enemy, aiming for a point up the river, opposite Belleville, Virginia, on reaching it, plunged into the water, and began to push for the other chore. But the Moose soon came looming through the fog, and, pouring her shrapnel into the advance party, killed some, and stopped the remainder from attempting to cross. About twenty more, however, got over here. The remaining rebels now pushed on up the river fourteen miles further, to Hawkinsport, and again made an effort to cross; but the omnipresent gunboat was there, and they had to keep on in their headlong flight.
Scattering in detached bodies, the rebels now wandered hither and thither, striving in vain to break through the toils with which they were surrounded. Some two hundred succeeded in crossing at Readsville, while Morgan, with one portion, struck into Columbiana County, where his force surrendered to Colonel Shacklefora.
Over two thousand were captured or killed, and all their guns, accouterments and plunder seized.
The battle-field, and line of retreat, presented one of the most curious spectacles ever seen in war.
The ground was strewed, not only with guns, cartridge-boxes, &c., but with all sorts of hardware and dry-goods, and household articles, such as forks, spoons, calicoes, ribbons, and women's apparel, together with buggies, carriages, market-wagons, circus. wagons, and even quite a quantity of stationery. Such
extraordinary spoils never before fell into the hands of warriors. It seemed as if a den of thieves, where their plunder was stored, had been broken up, and not that a reputed band of heroes were retreating, under the leadership of a noted captain. Altogether, this was one of the most remarkable raids of the war, though distinguished for nothing but foolhardiness.
Morgan crossed the Ohio a hundred and seventy miles below Cincinnati, and, passing clear around that city, attempted to recross the river about a hundred and seventy miles above it. For ten days, he marched through the heart of Ohio, plundering and destroying, with apparently no other object in view than simple retaliation. He must have moved, during this time, at the rate of at least fifty miles a day, and yet did not destroy property to the amount of more than fifty thousand dollars.
War, from its very nature, is cruel, but in later days, among civilized nations, it has seldom been disgraced by such atrocities as the massacres at Lawrence and Fort Pillow. Men, fitted by nature to be leaders of banditti, took advantage of the war to follow the vocation for which they seemed designed, and, gathering around them a band of men, lawless and desperate as themselves, plundered and murdered, under the pretext of carrying on a war for independence. There were degrees of crime among even this abandoned class—some leaders having more control over their followers, and being more humane than others. Over all, however, Quantrell stands pre-eminent for his barbarities and depravity. His whole career during the war, was marked by crime and violence; but in the massacre at Lawrence, Kansas, he acquired a reputation that will make his name infamous to the end of time.
During the Summer, reports of intended raids on various
towns, constantly agitated the frontiers of Missouri and Kansas; but General Ewing, who commanded there, garrisoned the threatened places, and Quantrell's force, numbering some three hundred, was kept at bay. If disappointed in their intended attack on a particular place, they would break up into small predatory bands, and wreak their vengeance on'isolated families or parties. Ewing scattered his force, which, in separate detachments, dogged these marauders from one haunt and locality to another. Missouri finally getting too hot for him, Quantrell determined, in August, to make a dash into Kansas. Selecting Blackwater, some fifty miles from the Kansas line, as the place of rendezvous, he, on the 19th, moved off with his mounted force, and passing through Chapel Hill, where he was joined by fifty more outlaws, pressed straight for Kansas.
Captain Pike, commanding two companies at Aubrey, forty-five miles from Lawrence, heard, on the evening of the 20th, that Quantrell had just passed five miles to the south of him; but instead of pushing on after him, he forwarded the information up and down the line, and to Ewing's headquarters. The latter at once sent forward a hundred men to Aubrey, thirty-five miles distant, with orders for the combined force to start at once in pursuit. At midnight, they mounted, and pressed rapidly forward. But Quantrell had struck across the open prairie, making it difficult to keep his track, so that they gained but little on him all night. With the start of several hours, he, by riding rapidly, reached Lawrence a little after daylight, and the tramp of his horses through the streets, and shouts of his men, aroused the terrified inhabitants to the sudden disaster that had overtaken them. The news spread like lightning through the town, and a few seized their guns and rushed forth to fight, but were shot down by the desperadoes, who had complete control of the place. Then commenced a scene of pillage