Page images





On the 26th of June, 1861, Colonel Wallace, of the 11th Indiana Volunteers, dispatched his mounted pickets, thirteen in all, Corporal Hayes commanding, to Frankford, midway between Cumberland and Romney (West Virginia), to ascertain if there were any Rebel troops there.

They went within a quarter of a mile of the place, and found it full of cavalry. In returning they overtook forty horsemen, and at once charged on them, routing and driving them back more than a mile, killing eight of them and securing seven horses.

Corporal Hayes was severely wounded, with sabre cuts and bullets. Taking him back, they halted about an hour, and were then attacked by the enemy, who were reinforced to about seventy-five men. The attack was so sudden that our soldiers abandoned the horses and crossed to a small island at the mouth of Patterson's creek.

The charge of the Rebels was bold and confident, yet under the fire of our brave pickets, no less than twentythree of them, two of whom were officers, fell close about and on the island.

When flashing eyes and clashing arms,

In direful fury meet-
I tell you, then, 'tis life or death,

Or victory or defeat !
The pickets so greatly outnumbered, being unable to


continue the desperate conflict, retired from it, scattering, each man for himself, and all arrived safe in camp the same evening, excepting John C. Holdingbrook, who was taken prisoner in the fight, and afterwards brutally murdered.

Three companies went to the ground the next morning and recovered everything belonging to the pickets except a few horses. The enemy had been all night boxing up their dead. The report of the skirmish, says Colonel Wallace, sounds like fiction, but it is not exaggerated. The fight was really one of the most desperate on record, and abounds with instances of wonderful daring and courage.



HAVING been informed of the existence of a rebel organization at Potosi, Mo., General Lyon dispatched two companies of soldiers, under command of Captain Cole, to arrest the parties. The soldiers surrounded the town before daybreak, and captured one hundred and fifty Rebels, most of whom took the oath of allegiance and were released. Those who refused to take the oath' were taken to St. Louis.

The expedition also captured at Potosi and De Soto, forty horses, one thousand dollars worth of lead, some uniforms, &c., and at the latter place a Confederate flag, which was to have been raised at a Secession lovefeast held on that day.

Apprehensive of the safety of their flag, in the presence of the troops, they had secreted it, as they supposed, in a place least likely to be searched. The guard surrounded the house supposed to contain it, and Dr. Franklin and Sergeant Walker entered.

After searching in vain for some time the doctor thought he observed the lady of the house sitting in an uneasy position, and very politely asked her to rise. She at first hesitated to do so, but the doctor persisting, she slowly arose, and lo! the blood-red ensign appeared below the lady's hoops!

The doctor bowing a graceful “ beg pardon, madam,” stooped, and quietly catching hold of the gaudy color, carefully delivered the lady of a Secession flag thirty feet long by nine feet wide! The doctor bore off his prize in triumph to the camp.

The stars and stripes, being in better favor with the expedition. were soon run up on the pole prepared by the Secessionists for their pitiful imitation, and a guard left to protect it. The Union people were wild with delight for their deliverance, and manifested their gratification by providing breakfast and dinner for the troops, and bestowing bouquets and flags on the officers, and inviting them and their men to stay a month at the expense of the inhabitants. This the nature of the service compelled them to decline, and they returned to St. Louis by six P. M., greeted with shouts for Lyon, Blair, and the flag of our Union.



On the 27th of June, 1861, Captain James H. Ward, with the steamers Freeborn, Pawnee, Resolute and Reliance, made an expedition against the Rebels at Matthias' Point, who had for a long time been in the habit of firing upon vessels in the Potomac, from the concealment of brushwood thickets.

Landing about forty men, under cover of the guns of the squadron, for the purpose of cutting and burning the brushwood and erecting batteries, they were suddenly fired upon by some twelve or fourteen hundred Rebels, concealed in the thick wood. The Federal party were compelled to make a hasty retreat, several of the men jumping into the water and swimming to the Freeborn.

Lieutenant Chaplin, of the Pawnee, who commanded the party on shore, remained steady and cool, amidst a perfect hail of musketry, collected his men and made good his retreat, without leaving the enemy a trophy, beyond a few sand-bags and some axes and the muskets of the wounded men.

The last man left the shore with him, and not being able to swim to the boat with his musket, the lieutenant took him on his back, musket and all, and reached the boat in safety, without a scratch, save a bullet-hole through the top of his cap.

While protecting his men, as far as possible, with his guns, having fired from twelve to fifteen shots among the Rebels, Captain Ward was struck in the breast by a bullet, while, in the act of firing a gun, (the gunner being wounded,) and, in the course of an hour thereafter, died from internal hæmorrhage.

Captain Ward was a gentleman of excellent education. He entered the navy at the age of seventeen years. He had seen much active service, and had been a professor in the Naval School at Annapolis; also, for four years commander of the Receiving-ship North Carolina. He was fifty-five years of age, having been born at Hartford, Connecticut, in 1806.



On the 30th of June, 1861, the piratical, armed steamer Sumter, which it was well known had been long lying at the head of the Pass-à-l'Outre, waiting for an opportunity of escaping the blockade, effected her purpose in the following manner:

At day-break, the look-out discovered a vessel in the offing acting so suspiciously as to induce the belief of her intention, if possible, to run the blockade. The blockading ship, the Brooklyn, immediately went in pursuit of her.

As the vessel kept standing off, the Brooklyn was led a chase of some fifteen miles from her anchorage, when, overhauling her and finding her to be an English bark, in ballast, from some Spanish West India port, bound for New Orleans, she was warned not to attempt

to enter.

« PreviousContinue »