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BRILLIANT EXPLOIT OF LIEUTENANT TOMPKINS.
On Saturday morning, June 1, 1861, just at break of day, Lieutenant Tompkins and Second Lieutenant Gordon, with fifty-two men of Company B, United States cavalry, and two men of the New York 5th, and three officers, Adjutant Frank, Quartermaster Fearing, and Assistant Quartermaster Carey, having surprised the picket four miles from Fairfax Court House, dashed into the town, sounded the charge, and galloped through the principal streets, under a heavy fire from the city hall, post office, private houses, fences, streets, and sidewalks, from soldiers, some of whom were mounted; there being from 1,000 to 1,500 in the town—infantry, cavalry and artillery.
Five mounted men were captured in this charge, being seized by the neck and swept on with the troops. At the end of the street they turned, and, holding their prisoners with a firm grasp, charged again the whole length of the street; then, wheeling, charged through the third time, cutting, slashing and firing right and left upon all assailants.
The most of those they shot were in the streets, but wherever they saw a gun llash, in door or window, five or six shots answered it. One man cried “Halt !" “Wait a bit,” said Lieutenant Tompkins, and shot him instantly. A squadron of cavalry was drawn up across the street. A charge was sounded, and the line was broken, our men sweeping on. A company of infantry
next appeared, drawn up on a cross street. This was also charged and broken. A brass six-pounder now appearing at the end of a street, and the dragoons apparently surrounded, as a company of mounted riflemen was discovered guarding the only other exit from the street, they opened a fence and escaped across the fields to the road leading to Vienna, twenty-two miles distant, and thence home, having their prisoners strapped on behind them.
Lieutenant Tompkins had two horses shot under him in the affair, and Lieutenant Gordon one. Our loss in
was one killed, three wounded, and two taken prisoners. Of the rebels, twenty-seven were killed, including Captain Mar, and many wounded—number not ascertained. Our loss in horses, six.
Of the prisoners captured, Captain John B. Washington, of the Rebel infantry, was prominent in resisting our cavalry, until a trooper rode up, caught him by the hair, lifted him bodily upon the pommel of his saddle, and, thus holding him, charged twice through the town to the utter astonishment of the captain.
Altogether, the sally was a daring and brilliant affair. But successes, as well as reverses, do not always come single. Having got word during the night that the two dragoons, taken prisoners on Saturday, were to be hung the next morning, Company B was immediately summoned from their quarters, and mounting, rode to the scene of their late exploit, ascertained by some means the location of their imprisoned comrades, made a dash into the village, recovered the two men, and brought them back in triumph to the camp at day break.
GOVERNOR JOHNSON AND THE REBEL CHAPLAINS.
AMONG the secesh clergymen of Nashville sent to “safe quarters” by Governor Johnson, for refusing to take the oath of allegiance to the Union, was the Rev. W. H. Wharton, chaplain of the penitentiary.
Wharton, before our occupation of the city, had made a written report in favor of liberating certain convicts from prison, to join the Rebel army. When summoned before Johnson, he equivocated, and tried to shelter himself under his clerical garb, calling himself “a citizen of Heaven." His claim of a higher citizenship than of earth was rather damaged when the governor, producing his jail-delivery recommendation, sternly said: “Is that your report, sir, and your name? Do you call that the language of 'a citizen of Heaven,' to advise the turning loose of felons from the cells where justice has placed them, that they may join in the work of killing loyal men, and destroying the best Govern. ment in the world? I don't believe the Almighty approves of such teaching as that.”
Avaunt! base hypocrite! hug your damning sin,
PLAGIARISM. Others of the Rebel clergymen, among whom were Rev. Mr. Sehon and Mr. Elliott, being brought before Governor Johnson, the following dialogue ensued :
Gov. JOHNSON. “Well, gentlemen, what is your desire ?"
Mr. SEHON. “I speak but for myself. I do not know what the other gentlemen wish. My request is that I may have a few days to consider on the subject of signing this paper. I wish to gather my family together and talk over the subject : for this purpose, I desire about fourteen days."
Gov. Johnson. “It seems to me there should be but little hesitation about the matter. All that is required of you is to sign the oath of allegiance. If you are loyal citizens, you can have no reason to refuse to do so.
If you are disloyal, and working to obstruct the operations of the Government, it is my duty, as the representative of that Government, to see that you are placed in a position so that the least possible harm shall result from your proceedings. You certainly cannot reasonably refuse to renew your allegiance to the Government that is now protecting you and your families and property.”
Mr. ELLIOTT. “As a non-combatant, Governor, I considered that under the stipulations of the surrender of the city, I should be no further annoyed. As a noncombatant, I do not know that I have committed an act, since the Federals occupied the city, that would require me to take the oath required."
Gov. JOHNSON. “I believe, Mr. Elliott, you have two brothers in Ohio."
Mr. ELLIOTT. “Yes, Governor, I have two noble brothers there. They did not agree with me in the course I pursued in regard to Secession. But I have lived in Tennessee, so many years, that I have considered the State my home, and am willing to follow her fortunes. Tennessee is a good State."
Gov. JOHNSON. “I know Tennessee is a good State:
and I believe the best way to improve her fortunes is to remove those from her borders who prove disloyal and traitors to her interests, as they are traitors to the interest of that Government which has fostered and protected them. By your inflammatory remarks and conversation, and by your disloyal behavior. in weaning the young under your charge from their allegiance to the Government, you have won a name that will never be placed on the roll of patriots. A visit to the North may be of benefit to you."
Merrily, merrily off wego,
Slumber all forsaking,
Ere the day is breaking.
Consternation seize them all
Shrieking, groaning, dying !
Helter-skelter flying !
Swift, again, we face the breeze,
Nought of danger fearing-
O, but it is cheering!
Cheerily, cheerily prancing.
Haste away is making;
Ere the day is breaking.