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´╗┐Title: History of the Seventh Ohio Volunteer Cavalry
Author: Rankin, R. C.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Libraries.)



  HISTORY OF THE
  SEVENTH
  OHIO
  VOLUNTEER
  CAVALRY

  Written by
  CAPT. R. C. RANKIN.

  RIPLEY, OHIO:
  J. C. Newcomb, Printer.
  1881.



History of the Seventh Ohio Volunteer Cavalry.



It being suggested that a History of the Seventh Ohio Volunteer Cavalry be
written, the honor was conferred upon me. Not being a historian or even a
letter writer, I feel myself entirely incompetent to do justice to the
Regiment that has done so much good service. In writing a historical
account of the organization of this Regiment, I shall have to rely almost
exclusively on memory, owing to the fact that all the Regiment's notes and
papers have been captured, as will be seen before concluding this
narrative.

The Seventh Ohio Volunteer Cavalry was recruited on an order emanating
from the War Department, that Gov. Todd, of Ohio, would raise one Regiment
of Cavalry, for "Border Service," the Ohio River then being the boundary.

The organization of this Regiment was commenced and the duty of the
organization was conferred on Major Malcolm McDowell, Paymaster U. S. A.,
and I may add here, that there is no visitor more welcome at the camp of
the Seventh O. V. C., than the gallant old grandfather of the Reg't, as he
is styled here. The counties ordered to raise Companies were as follows:
Hamilton, three; Clermont, one; Brown, one; Adams, one; Scioto, one;
Lawrence, one; Gallia, one; Meigs, one; Washington, one; Monroe, one.
Lawrence and Monroe failing to raise the companies, their places were
supplied by raising two in Gallia and one in Athens. As soon as recruiting
was fairly under way, Major McDowell was retired and resumed his orignal
duties as Paymaster.

Recruiting was very lively, and the Companies were all filled by the first
week in September, and the Regiment was then organized as follows:

Colonel, Israel Garrard; Lieut. Colonel, George G. Minor; Majors, Wm. L.
Raney, ---- Norton, and James McIntire; Adjutant, T. F. Allen; Q. M., W.
M. R. Jackson; C. S., John McColgin; Surgeon, Isaac Train; Asst. Surgeons,
---- Tullis and ---- Barrett.

Non-Com., Field and Staff.--S. M., B. P. Stacy; Q. M. S., Geo. M. Ross; C.
S., B. F. Powers; H. S., James Saffron; Saddler, Serg't Albert G. Sells.

Captains--Wm. A. Simpson, A. S. Brownfield, Warren, Campbell, Solomon L.
Green, Lindsey, Ashburn, Higley, Wm. Lewis, R. C. Rankin, Eels, and John
Leaper.

First Lieutenants--A. Hall, Santemire, Sayers, Moore, W. D. Ketterman,
Copeland, Nichols, Tripp, Long, Shaw, Carr, McNight.

Second Lieutenants--A. N. Rich, Wm. Burton, Martin Shuler, Murphy, John V.
Srofe, O. H. Eyler, Trago, Smith, Chase, Wambledorf and Johnson.

The Companies rendezvoused in the counties in which they were raised and
received millitary instruction from their respective Commanders for
several weeks.

In the meantime, Co. E, Capt. R. C. Rankin's Company, quartered at Ripley,
Ohio, rendered valuable service to the city of Maysville, Ky., in
defending her against John Morgan's command, and on the night of September
20th, 1862, crossed the Ohio River and marched to Brookville, Ky., a
distance of twenty-five miles, and participated in the attack and the
driving from the place, the rebels under Basil Duke, who was engaged in
paroling the citizens carried away by him from Augusta, which place he had
captured and burned the day previous. Capt. R. C. Rankin, with Co. E and a
squad of mounted citizens from Ripley, Ohio, made a charge on the place,
capturing one rebel as they went in, and having one man killed by the
retreating rebels. The gallant Duke did not stand upon the order of his
going, but just "went." This may be recorded as the first blood the
Seventh saw in battle.

Ripley being connected with a large portion of Kentucky by turnpike roads,
was selected as the place for the Regiment to rendezvous and receive
instructions, which duty devolved principally on Lt. Col. Minor, who
proved himself fully competent to the task. Col. Garrard's time being
occupied in equipping the Regiment.

The first Battallion reached Ripley about the 1st of October, and on the
19th of October, this Battallion and twenty-five men of Co. E, under
command of Capt. R. C. Rankin, all being under Lt. Col. Minor, crossed the
Ohio River and made a scout to Falmouth, Ky., (in obedience to orders from
Gen. Wright, Commanding Dept. of Ohio,) reaching there on the third day,
and finding it occupied by Federal troops. Passing through four counties,
they returned to camp at Ripley, bringing with them three prisoners
captured by the advance--Capt. R. C. Rankin's twenty-five men of E Co.
being the advance.

The First Battallion crossed the river about the 1st of November, and took
up the line of march for Lexington, Ky., Major Rainey commanding, and
joined Gen. Carter in December, accompanying that officer on his raid into
East Tennessee, by the way of Pound Gap, and participated in the burning
of Carter's Station and the bridge across the Watauga River at
Zollicoffer, Tenn.; returning to Kentucky, with the loss of one man killed
and a few lost as prisoners, after an absence of three weeks.

Four companies broke camp and crossed the river at Maysville, Ky., on the
21st of December, and took up their march for Danville, Ky., reaching
there on the 24th, Lt. Colonel commanding.

In obedience to orders of Gen. Baird, commanding at Danville, Company E,
Capt. Rankin in command, was ordered to Harrodsburgh for the purpose of
sending scouting parties on the different roads leading from that place,
and rendered much valuable service to Gen. Baird, by keeping him posted as
to the movements of John Morgan, who had invaded the State and was
approaching that point.

They also captured many prisoners, with their equipments. The number
captured during their stay, would more than equal the entire command under
Capt. Rankin.

The duties became so ardorous, that Gen. Baird sent Company L, Capt.
Leaper, to assist.

The border now being on the Kentucky and Salt River hills, the remainder
of the Regiment, under Col. Garrard, were brought up to join the others at
Danville, Ky., reaching there about the 4th of January, 1863. The whole
Regiment, (Co. E excepted, which was still on duty at Harrodsburg,) after
a few weeks getting together at Danville, moved to Harrodsburg, where it
remained until about the latter part of February.

About this time, the rebel Col. Cluke invaded Eastern Kentucky, and the
Seventh was ordered out to assist in driving him from the State.

On reaching Crab Orchard, the Regiment was divided: part under Lt. Col.
Minor moved by the way of Richmond and Ervin to Hazel Green, and had a
skirmish with the enemy at that place, capturing twenty-five prisoners.
The remainder of the Regiment, under Col. Garrard, went to Mt. Sterling,
by the way of Richmond and Winchester, charging the town and driving the
rebels from it, but not in time, however, to save a portion of it from
flames.

The place had been surrendered a short time previous, by Col. Ratcleffe of
the 10th Kentucky Cavalry.

The enemy being hotly pursued on the Owensville road, made a stand on
State Creek, four miles out, but after a sharp engagement were driven from
their position, with a loss of eight killed.

About three weeks were occupied in traversing this mountainous country.
The rain and snow falling almost continuously, made the roads in places
impassable. The Regiment all got together at Lexington, about the first of
April.

Immediately on the arrival of the regiment at Lexington, an order was
issued by Gen. Gilmore, for Capt. Rankin to report with Company E to the
Provost Marshal of the District. Upon doing so, the duty assigned him was
to make a scout through Jessamine, Mercer, Woodford and Anderson counties,
and if possible, to arrest and bring to Lexington a rebel, Col. Alexander,
who had up to this time baffled all efforts made for his capture.

The scouting party returned, being successful in the capture of Col.
Alexander, together with a rebel recruiting officer, met on the highway,
who on being searched was found to have on his person a recruiting
officer's papers authorizing him to proceed from Beech Grove, Tenn., to
the counties above mentioned, to recruit for John Morgan's command,
stationed at Beech Grove; also, taking from the cliffs, bordering on the
Kentucky river, near Shakertown, a member of John Morgan's command
concealed there.

The day after their return, this Company was sent to Cynthiana and did
duty for some weeks with the 118th Ohio, in breaking up recruiting
station, Col. Mott commanding.

After having completed this service, Co. E, Capt. Rankin commanding, was
ordered first to Paris, thence to Carlisle, which place was reached about
midnight. Being aided by a small party of citizens, he continued his march
about six miles to a mill on the north-fork of Licking river where he
captured a picket-post of sixteen rebel soldiers, and then returned to
Paris on the following day.

In the meantime, the regiment bore a conspicuous part in the fight with
Pegram's force at Dutton Hill, and just as our line was beginning to
waver, a daring charge was made by the Seventh which turned the tide of
battle in our favor.

In this fight we captured four hundred prisoners and four pieces of
artillery.

The enemy fell back in great disorder. Among the trophies captured, the
Seventh claims three battle flags; one being captured by Lieut. Copeland,
who greatly distinguished himself on that occasion for coolness and
bravery.

Major Norton also deserves mention for the gallant style in which he led
his battalion in the charge. Major McIntire deserves especial mention. On
one occasion he penetrated the confused mass of rebels, and found himself
fired on from the rear. Turning upon his horse he found he was attacked by
three. The Major drew his revolver and shot one and the other two
surrendered.

Col. Garrard could be found at any point along the line where his presence
was most needed. This was the first fight the regiment was in as a body.

On returning to Lexington, the regiment was paid off and their faces were
again turned southward. Reaching Stanford, they went into camp for a few
days and then continued their march to Somerset, near the Cumberland river
which had now become the border.

On the evening of the 29th of April, three companies, under Captain Green,
joined two companies of the 2nd Ohio Cav., and one company of the 1st
Kentucky, all under command of Capt. Carter, of the 1st Ky., crossed the
Cumberland river at Smith's Ford, and after crossing a mountain, they
crossed the south fork of the Cumberland, two miles from its junction with
the main stream, now known as Burnside's Point, coming around in the rear
of the rebel pickets at Stigall's Ferry, thereby capturing the post, one
hundred and thirty in number.

After delivering the prisoners to our forces on the opposite bank at
Stigall's, we took the main road to Monticello, and after marching about
four miles, were attacked by a portion of the enemy's cavalry whom we soon
drove back, and then continued the march until we reached the farm known
as Capt. West's. Beyond this farm is a gap in the mountain, called
Scott's Gap. Here the enemy made a stand and quite a sharp little fight
ensued which lasted near one hour.

It now being dusk and the enemy being driven from their position, the
command went into camp for the night, Company E of the 7th, under Capt.
Rankin, being left to hold the Gap. The next morning, skirmishing between
the pickets commenced. The column was soon in motion moving on toward
Monticello, with occasional skirmishing on the advance, the enemy
gradually falling back toward the town; but a charge was made upon them
which quickly hurled them through the town and over the creek to the top
of a hill beyond, where they again made a stand.

In this charge, the first credit of entering the place, all chances being
equal, is due the Seventh, Company E, under Capt. Rankin, leaping the
fences, gaining the streets and crossing the creek, and mingled in a hand
to hand fight with the flying rebels half way up the hill on the other
side. The Adjutant of the 1st Kentucky, gained the head of the column and
ordered them back to the Monticello side, where the command was formed in
line of battle.

This gave the enemy time to reform, also. In this charge, the Seventh lost
one man killed and three wounded, besides several horses.

That part of the command which stopped to throw down fences, now coming to
our assistance, the enemy were soon driven to a point four miles beyond,
where they got large reinforcements, as well as ourselves and a fight was
made in which the enemy used considerable artillery.

In an hour our artillery came up and was put in position and a flank
movement being made on the enemy's right, they were soon to be found on
the retreat again.

In this engagement the rebels lost nine men killed, several wounded and
twelve prisoners.

Night coming on, the command retreated to Monticello where it remained for
two days, and then followed the retreating rebels across the Tennessee
line.

A part of the regiment under Col. Garrard, went to Frazersville, and a
detachment under Major McIntyre, went to Albany, capturing some prisoners
and returned to Somerset where they remained sometime.

Nothing of interest occurred except scouting occasionally to Mett's Spring
and across the river now and then, taking in the rebel pickets on the
opposite bank.

On the 7th day of June, the regiment again crossed the Cumberland river
and marched to Monticello where it had some fighting. On the 9th, when
returning, the Seventh, O. V. C., being the rear guard, was followed by
the enemy and attacked at West's farm, at which place a severe fight
ensued in which the Seventh lost several men in killed and wounded.

On the morning of the 10th, a detachment from the Seventh of 150 picked
men and officers as follows: Capt. R. C. Rankin, commanding the
detachment, Capt. Warren, Lts. Carr, Ketterman, Rich, Shuler, and Srofe,
left Somerset and joined Col. Sanders at Mt. Vernon. A day or two was
spent in making preparations for a raid. Everything being ready, on the
morning of the 18th we took up our line of march, crossing the Cumberland
river at Williamsburg, thence over Jelico mountains to Wartsburg where we
captured 105 prisoners, they being utterly surprised, having no knowledge
of our movements until we were upon them.

We also captured a supply train and destroyed a large amount of ordinance,
Q. M. and C. S. stores.

This being the point from which Gen. Pegram drew his supplies, he being
stationed at this time on the Cumberland river in front of Gen. Carter's
forces.

The prisoners being all paroled, their arms destroyed, we moved on toward
Kingston.

Considerable skirmishing occurred with the advance, when we made a sudden
move to the left, crossed the Clinch river and moved out toward Lenoir's
Station.

When within one mile of this place, we suddenly came upon a rebel camp at
daylight capturing their guns, a battery complete. The number of prisoners
captured there and at the Station were 132. We burned the depot which was
well filled with munitions of war of every kind and description.

Here I will relate an incident that took place: As the column moved by the
Station, owing to the bursting of shells and the explosion of powder in
the burning building, the command was compelled to take the fields to
avoid danger. Passing a man plowing corn with a fine mule, he said, "that
is one of your Yankee tricks, is it?" Yes, said a soldier with a worn out
horse, "and I will show you another." So dismounting, he put his saddle on
the mule and left him his jaded horse.

Being now on the Virginia and East Tennessee Railroad, we commenced the
destruction of it by tearing up the rails, burning all the culverts and
bridges.

Reaching Knoxville after night, we moved around to the north side of the
city and attacked the place in the morning.

In this engagement, Capt. Rankin received orders from Col. Sanders to send
50 of his men out on our right to skirmish, and to support the artillery
with the remainder of his command, which was one section of Battery D,
First Ohio.

We fought until 9 o'clock, A. M., capturing 40 prisoners and killed 9
rebels, among them a Capt. McClung.

Our loss was two killed and a few wounded.

Then falling back, we struck the railroad east of the place where we again
commenced tearing up the track.

We were saluted with the enemy's artillery until noon, shelling the woods
we had left.

Moving on to Strawberry Plains, we destroyed everything as we went and
reaching that place late in the evening, where considerable fighting took
place, which resulted in our occupying the town, capturing six pieces of
artillery and over 100 prisoners, with slight loss to us.

Here we burned the bridge that spans the Holston river, 1600 feet in
length, including trestle work, besides the depot and store houses well
filled with Q. M. and C. S. stores.

After resting a few hours, we moved out on the road toward New Market and
on to Mossy Creek, where we destroyed a confederate machine shop and a
large amount of grain, and burnt the bridge over Mossy Creek; in all, we
destroyed over 3000 feet of bridges and trestle work.

This being done and having destroyed 60 miles of railroad, the head of our
column was turned northward, crossing the Clinch river and moving toward
Cumberland Gap.

Skirmishing now commenced in our rear, the detachments of the Second and
Seventh being the rear guard.

The column kept pushing on, crossing Chinch mountain into Powill's Valley,
and on reaching the Knoxville and Cumberland Gap road, learned that the
enemy were in our front.

Not wishing to travel any further in that direction the column was turned
toward Knoxville.

After traveling a few miles in that direction, we came upon the enemy's
wagon train, which fell into our hands, they supposing it perfectly safe
on this road; no guards had been left with it.

After burning the train and paroling the prisoners, 32 in number, it now
being 12 o'clock at night, the column headed for Roger's Gap, which was
made in the afternoon of the next day.

Finding this Gap well guarded with artillery and infantry, the command
halted for a short time for consultation. The result of this was as
follows: A strong line of skirmishers were to be shown to the enemy, the
artillery to be put in position loaded with shell, spiked and wheels cut
down. The detachment of the Seventh being the rear guard was ordered to
remain in position one hour after the column moved, which movement was
made to the left and around a spur of the mountain out of sight, striking
the valley again, five miles further down at Childer's Gap, finding one
regiment of the enemy's cavalry, which made a hasty retreat down the
valley after receiving one volley from the First Tennessee mounted
Infantry, which accompanied our expedition.

The rear guard closing up and the way in our front being clear the command
commenced the descent, crossed the valley and ascended the mountain on the
other side.

When the rear guard had got one-third the way up the mountain, the enemy
could be seen moving in two columns.

The infantry and artillery finding that they had been foiled in their
efforts to capture our command, were coming down the valley, while their
cavalry were feeling their way up the valley.

Our rear guard were placed in a position to receive them in case any
attempt should be made to attack us in the rear.

As the approaching columns neared each other, it now being dark, and each
supposing the other to be the raiding "Yanks," at once engage each other.

Capt. Rankin, commanding the rear guard, not being interested in this
fight, nor caring which gained the day, ordered his command forward and
followed the main column, it having continued its march and being now out
of sight.

The night being very dark and no road, not even a path to follow nor any
mounted guide left to guide them, they worked their way over rocks and
timber in the direction they supposed the column had moved, and became
scattered.

And after climbing around over the rocks, amid the darkness of the night,
I found myself on the highest peak of the mountain, accompanied by one
man. I wandered about for some time to see if I could find any trace of
the column, and found no trace and heard no human voice save the tumult at
the foot of the mountain.

Inasmuch as the author did not join his command until reaching London,
Ky., and nothing of interest occurring except the leaving of three hundred
horses in the mountains by the command, he asks the privilege of narrating
his own adventures after he became separated from the command:

I struck out in what I supposed a northerly direction and after passing
over several high ridges and coming to a cliff that had to be descended,
and not thinking it safe to make the trial at night, we spread our blanket
down, tied our horses and went to sleep, being very much exhausted; and
upon waking in the morning found the sun high up and no noise to be heard
save the singing of the birds and the gnawing of my faithful horse on the
trees. I at once arose and set out to find some place to make my exit, but
finding no way to get my horse down this cliff other than southward, I was
compelled to abandon him, a thing that gave me considerable uneasiness of
mind; I hated to part with so valuable a servant that had carried me
safely through the campaign of '61, under Gen. Fremont, through Kentucky
and Tennessee to Corinth, Miss., back to Ohio and through all the
wanderings of the 7th O. V. C., including this masterly "raid," being yet
good in flesh and unbroken in spirit; to part with such a friend was no
light affair. But with all the horrors of Libby Prison on one hand and
life and liberty on the other, I was not long in making up my mind which
course to pursue.

I stripped my horse of everything and bid him adieu. Taking a strap from
the saddle, I buckled my blankets together, ran my saber through, threw it
over my shoulder and began the descent, and upon reaching the foot found
myself in a deep dell, surrounded by high peaks of craggy rocks. The
timber being undergrown with laurel through which ran a brook of clear
water.

After refreshing myself, I followed the course to the stream for about two
miles which brought me to a stream known as Clear Fork, which I followed
for a few miles, coming to a miserable old hut in which lived two old
people, who had passed their four score years, and in coming up to this
hovel I heard considerable talking.

I sent my companion close to the hut to eaves drop, and finding who were
its occupants, when he returned he reported "all right."

On entering the house I found ten or twelve of our own soldiers, among
them a grand son of the occupants of the house.

The old man was grinding corn on a hand mill, while the old lady was
baking bread and cakes for the hungry soldiers. I ate a few morsels, and
during the time I explained to them my situation and where my horse had
been left.

The old gentleman gave me some encouragement by saying he thought he
could get the horse. I told him he should have fifty dollars upon
delivering the horse to me, and he at once started in search of him, while
I went up on the side of the mountain; spread my blanket and went to
sleep.

The old man returned in the evening without the horse. I procured a guide
and set by a foot-path over the mountains, traveling all night, reaching
London, Ky., twenty-four hours in advance of the command. The column
coming up, we continued our march until reaching Lancaster, on the 1st day
of July, being twenty days out.

The men suffered greatly for want of sleep and from the swelling of their
limbs, caused by constant riding.

In two instances where men fell asleep in the center of the column,
everything in the rear of them was halted, and they also fell asleep and
remained so an hour or two.

The regiment during this time was actively engaged in picketing and
scouting the country along the Cumberland river, and on one or two
occasions went into Tennessee to divert General Pegram's attention from
the "raiders."

About this time, John Morgan invaded the State of Kentucky, on his grand
raid through Indiana and Ohio.

The regiment, under its Colonel, joined in the pursuit, following him to
the Ohio river at Brandenburg, crossing over into Indiana, and following
him in his circuitous route through the States of Indiana and Ohio, and
participating in the fight at Buffington's Island, July 20th, 1863.

In the meantime the detachment of the 7th that was on the Sander's raid,
were at Camp Nelson refitting.

Information being received that two companies of Morgan's command which
had been recruited in the vicinity of Harrodsburg, Ky., (numbering one
hundred and ten men) had been cut off from the main command and were
scattered about over the country, staying with their friends, and owing to
Capt. Rankin's knowledge of that part of the State, he was ordered to take
what men he could arm and equip and proceed there at once.

Taking twenty-six of his own company, they in a period of ten days,
captured eighty-four of that number, including two officers.

Great credit is due to the colored people for the information they gave.

Another detachment of the 7th joined Col. Sweeny's command of detachments
and took part in the fight with Scott's Cavalry at Richmond, Ky., July
28th, 1863, and made a brilliant saber charge against the same command at
Crab Orchard, (Capt. Leaper commanding detachment,) skirmishing with them
at Stanford, and following them on their retreat to the Cumberland river,
compelling them to drop one section of artillery, said to be the same we
abandoned in the mountains on the Sander's raid.

After the capture of John Morgan, the regiment was disbanded for fifteen
days and allowed to visit their homes.

At the expiration of that time, the regiment was got together at
Cincinnati and marched to Stanford, Ky., preparatory to their march to
Knoxville, Tenn., under Gen. Burnside.

The regiment broke camp about the 20th day of August, moving by the way
of Crab Orchard and London, crossing the Cumberland river at Williamsburg,
about the 25th.

Here, one batallion of the 7th, under Major McIntyre, was thrown out in
front as the advance of Gen. Burnside's command, and held that post of
honor during the whole march, until they reached the railroad at Lenoir
Station.

A considerable force of the enemy being at London, and some fighting going
on, the regiment was ordered to that point, and on reaching there found
the rebels gone and the bridge that spanned the Tennessee river, in
flames.

The regiment then counter-marched, reaching Knoxville the next day.
Resting two days, we took up our line of march for Cumberland Gap,
skirmishing with the enemy at Taswell and Powell's river, reaching the Gap
and beseiging that place three days.

At the end of that time, September 9th, that stronghold surrendered its
garrison, consisting of two thousand, six hundred men, under General
Frazier.

On the day previous to its surrender, a detail of officers penetrated the
rebel pickets lines, much to the chagrin of Gen. Frazier, they were taken
in headquarters, without being hoodwinked; of course they used their eyes
and saw just what they went to see, the condition of the enemy.

Gen. Frazier immediately ordered them out of his lines which order was
complied with.

That night they returned, not by the picket post however, and burned the
mill inside the rebel lines, thus cutting off their rations, which may
have had something to do with his sudden surrender.

They came back to camp unmolested and without the honor of a rebel escort.

On the next morning after the surrender, the 7th started back to
Knoxville, and on the third day reached that city and went into camp.
Remaining there only a few days they started eastward on the railroad, but
meeting with no resistance until reaching Johnson's Station, a distance of
one hundred miles.

The command moved on to Zollecoffer, and not being able to capture the
garrison there guarding the bridge across the Watauga river, they returned
to Jonesboro, remaining there one week, one batallion under Capt.
Copeland, doing the provost duty of town scouting and pressing horses.

The enemy attacked the command on the 28th of September and compelled it
to retreat down the railroad as far as Bull's Gap, where we stayed several
days.

On the 10th of October, we started eastward again and had a fight at Blue
Springs, losing several men killed and wounded, among them, Captain Higly,
a most valuable officer, who was commanding a battallion and was killed in
the thickest of the fight while encouraging and leading on his men.

The rebels held their ground until a detachment of the 9th army corps came
up, charging them and driving them from the field at dusk.

They retreated during the night, and our command pursued them in the
morning, following closely all the next day, and had a spirited skirmish
at Raytown in which several were lost on both sides. Night coming on, we
went into camp, continuing our pursuit in the morning as far as Jonesboro,
and on the following day we moved toward Bluntsville, camping for the
night, a few miles from town.

One battallion under Capt. Copeland, was ordered to make a scout to this
place, but meeting the rebel pickets, he returned to camp, losing one man
killed, James Barnes of Co. E.

The next day, October the 14th, the column moved on toward the town
driving the rebels from the place.

They continued their retreat through Zollecoffer and Bristol. We followed
and burnt the bridge at Zollecoffer, on our way and captured at Bristol
two locomotives and fifty cars, which were all destroyed, besides a
considerable amount of commissary store.

The men carrying away all the sugar they could manage.

The task being accomplished, the command fell back through Bluntsville and
Kingsport to Rogersville, pressing all the horses that could be found, and
remained there sometime, nothing particular occurring save the usual
scouting in an enemy's country.

About this time the regiment was deprived of its Colonel, he being placed
in command of a brigade, and Major McIntyre succeeded to the command.

About the 4th of November, Gen. Shackelford, commanding the Cavalry
Division, received information that a rebel force, 4000 strong, was
approaching Rogersville by the way of Jonesville, Va.

He therefore ordered Col. Garrard to send a scouting party to that place.

A detail of 50 men from the Seventh being made, Capt. Rankin was ordered
to take command. Before the scouts returned, the enemy made their
appearance by the way of Kingsport.

In order that you may fully understand the event which I am about to
describe, it is necessary that I should describe the country and the
locality, our camp and its approaches.

The country here is alternately mountain and valley, running nearly
parallel east and west, with occasional narrow passes through the
mountains from one valley to another, these valleys losing themselves
every few miles in the main valley of the Holston river.

The brigade of which the Seventh formed a part was camped in the main
Holston Valley about three miles above Rogersville.

The hospital, commissary and quartermaster's department, with a provost
guard, occupied the town.

Great caution was used by Col. Garrard in guarding these approaches, and
for this purpose one company of the Tennesseeans was kept in Carter
Valley, five miles from the brigade camp. This Valley being the first one
north of the Holston, they sent scouting parties daily, over into Stanley
Valley and Hickory Cave, which are further north.

On the night of the 5th of November, scouts reported the enemy advancing
in force down the Holston Valley from Kingsport.

Lieut. Murphy was ordered to take two companies of the Seventh, on the
night of the 6th, which was very dark and the rain pouring down in
torrents, and make a scout up the Holston Valley.

After marching about six miles he met the enemy's advance and at once
engaged them, and notified the Colonel of their approach.

The enemy finding their advance resisted, threw a force across the
mountain into Carter Valley, which was estimated at 2000 strong, and upon
reaching the valley they dashed upon this Tennessee company capturing and
scattering them.

This Valley now being cleared, they continued down it about two miles to a
road crossing into Holston Valley, which road struck the Valley about the
center of our brigade camp.

Here their force was divided, one half going across the mountain, secreted
themselves under the cover of the night in a cedar grove, near the road
leading down the main valley to Rogersville.

The other part of their command continued down the valley to where it
comes into the Holston, one-half mile above Rogersville, where they again
divided their force, leaving a part here and sending the remainder around
a spur of the mountain, striking the valley one-half mile below the town.

They closed in on the place, capturing and scattering everything that was
there.

This part of their programme being successfully accomplished, they moved
up the valley on to the camp. In the meanwhile their main force was
passing slowly down the valley, compelling the small force in their front
to retire, and giving time for the force below to accomplish the task
assigned them, and attack the camp from that side.

As they approached the camp, Col. Garrard had the train on the road,
headed toward Rogersville, and the brigade drawn up in line, artillery
placed in position on an eminence, commanding the approach from Kingsport.

While in this position we were attacked in the rear by the force coming up
the valley.

At this instant, the force before mentioned as being secreted in the cedar
thicket, being in close proximity to our left flank, poured a volley into
the battallion of the Seventh, being not more than fifty yards distant,
and made a simultaneous charge upon the wagon train and capturing it.

They were seen in the thicket by our battallion, but were supposed to be
the Tennessee homeguards.

At the same time a charge was made front and rear.

Finding the command attacked on three sides, each force equaling our own
in numbers, there was no alternative but to make our way across the
Holston river at the nearest ford.

This being done, the regiment was formed in line on the opposite bank of
the river, but the Seventh had already lost over 100 men, and the Second
Tennessee over 500, and both sections of the artillery being captured, the
command fell back to Morristown, a distance of 30 miles.

In the meantime, the scouts who were sent out to Jonesville, returned to
within three miles of camp, and on hearing of the disaster, turned north,
passing Clinch Mountain, through Little War Gap, coming down Poor Valley
until they struck the Cumberland Gap and Morristown road, and joined the
regiment at Morristown the next day.

In this affair, the Seventh lost everything in the shape of books and
papers, camp and garrison equipage, all the train and everything but what
was carried away by the men on their horses.

Capt. Rankin having joined his regiment, as before stated, was ordered to
take two hundred men and reconnoiter as near Rogersville as he deemed
safe.

Finding nothing in his way, he entered the place, the rebels having
retreated immediately after paroling the sick and wounded, which the
Captain found in as good condition as circumstances would admit.

The regiment resting at Morristown two days, then moved eastward through
Russelsville and camped near that place a few days, and leaving this camp
they went on up the railroad, through Bull's Gap, and on toward
Greenville.

About this time, Longstreet beseiged Knoxville, and the rebel forces under
Jones and Williams moved down from Virginia, compelling us to fall back.

The command fell back by the way of Rogersville to Bean's Station and
thence over Clinch Mountain to Sycamore creek, where the Seventh camped a
few days, doing picket duty on the Clinch river and all the roads leading
eastward.

We lost several men on picket at Clinch river.

While stationed at this place, Serg'ts. Little and Davis carried
dispatches through the rebel lines to General Burnside, in Knoxville, at
different times.

From this, the Seventh went to Taswell, remained there a few days and
moved out on the Knoxville and Cumberland Gap road, crossing Clinch river
at Walker's Ford.

The siege now being raised at Knoxville, and the rebels moving up the
railroad eastward, our cavalry was engaged in annoying their flanks, up to
Beall's Station.

On the morning of the 12th of Dec., 1863, the Seventh O. V. C. and the
Ninth Michigan Cavalry, with one section of artillery, under command of
Col. Garrard, moved in the direction of Morristown, and when within one
and half miles of that town we met the enemy, and after some skirmishing,
the Seventh was dismounted and thrown forward to engage them, who were
strongly posted on a wooded hill, with artillery commanding the approach.

After an engagement with them, which lasted nearly an hour, our lines
moved forward gradually through open fields until within one hundred and
fifty yards of their lines.

Meanwhile, the Ninth Michigan Cavalry was moved down a ravine and around a
hill out of sight of the enemy, attacking them on their flank and rear,
compelling them to scatter in great confusion, leaving their dead and
wounded in our hands.

Our command passed on, driving the rebels beyond the town.

The enemy lost heavily in killed and wounded, and among them a Lieut.
Colonel.

Our loss was one man killed; Sergt. Newport, of Co. H, Seventh regiment,
with several wounded.

It now being quite dark and no support near, the command fell back to
Beall's Station.

On the morning of the 14th, Col. Garrard's brigade again advanced on
Morristown, but finding no enemy there, moved on toward Russelsville a few
miles, drove in the pickets and moved forward, and when near Russelville,
found a large force of the enemy drawn in line awaiting our approach.

The Second and Seventh O. V. C. were at once ordered forward to attack
them, the Ninth Michigan being held in reserve.

We fought them till near dark, and failing to accomplish anything and
losing several killed and wounded fell back to Beall's Station.

On the 16th, we fought Longstreet's force at Bean's Station, also on the
17th, and at Rutledge on the 18th.

Our troops falling back all the time toward Knoxville, the cavalry doing
the fighting, losing several men killed, wounded and captured.

We fell back to Stone Mills, camping there a few days.

Here the regiment was paid by Major McDowell.

Leaving this point, the command crossed the Holston river, struck the
railroad at New Market, and from there went south to Dandridge on the
French Broad river.

On the 24th, we had a spirited engagement with the enemy and was compelled
to fall back toward New Market, losing one man killed and several
captured.

On the 27th, we moved up the railroad to Mossy creek, and from this period
up to the 24th of January, had continual fighting and skirmishing, driving
the enemy a few miles toward Morristown and in turn being driven back by
them.

On the morning of the 14th of January we moved again to Dandridge, and on
the 16th moved out on the Morristown road, having sharp skirmishing,
losing near 50 men out of the Brigade. Fell back again to Dandridge.

On the following day a general engagement took place, which lasted from
nine o'clock a. m. until late in the night.

From causes unknown to the writer, (who had charge of the advance posts),
at 12 o'clock at night the 7th which was on the front line, received
orders to commence falling back in small detachments, when a retrograde
movement commenced, in which retreat our forces lost several hundred,
principally infantry, of which we had a large force which seemed to have
been there for some other purpose than fighting, as they were never
brought into action.

We crossed the Holston river and continued our retreat to Knoxville, the
enemy following to within a few miles of the city.

From here we crossed the river moving south-west through Seviersville, and
on up the south side of French Broad river, capturing two pieces of
artillery at Fair Garden, when we fell back through Mears and Tuchalechy
cove, to Little river, where we camped near one week, during which time a
detachment of the brigade were sent into North Carolina to capture
Thomas' Legion, which was made up mostly of Indians, (Thomas being
formerly an Indian agent.)

The expedition was successful, they brought back 50 prisoners, but not
without heavy loss on our own side.

In the meantime one battallion of the 7th was sent back through Mears to
Tuchlechy to create a diversion and hold the Gap while the expedition was
being made.

Our camp was then moved to Maryville where we remained a few days scouting
and skirmishing continually.

From here we moved back to Knoxville, making scouts occasionally on the
south side of the river toward Maryville and on the north side as far as
Strawberry Plains.

After remaining here about ten days the regiment moved out to Buffalo
creek a distance of forty miles.

As we had to subsist exclusively off of the country for forage and
provisions for men and the horses, and the supply becoming exhausted our
horses were reduced to skeletons and were no longer able to do duty.

Fifty of the strongest horses were selected from each Regiment accompanied
by Col. Garrard and moved east as far as Russelville, where they remained
two weeks scouting and skirmishing continually, having in some instances
hand to hand engagements.

In the meanwhile the regiment returned to the vicinity of Knoxville and
from there went out Clinch river to Wallace's road, remaining there a few
days it returned to Knoxville, being joined by the 50 men above mentioned.

We left on the 24th of March, 1864.

It is conceded by all parties that the campaign in East Tennessee, under
Gen. Burnside was the hardest campaign that has been experienced since the
commencement of this great struggle for the perpetuity of our nation.

The regiment reached Paris, Ky., April the 5th, camping in that vicinity a
few days, and then moving to Nicholasville where the work of refitting was
commenced.

Major Gen. Stoneman commanding the cavalry in this department.

Nothing of interest occurred here except that of sending companies into
different counties to protect the Provost Marshals, while they were
enrolling the negroes.

About the 10th of June it was ascertained that John Morgan was moving
toward Lexington. Gen. Stoneman having started with two brigades two weeks
previous to Georgia, Col. Garrard's brigade was all that were left in that
immediate vicinity.

On the 10th Col. Garrard moved his command to Lexington reaching there a
few hours after Morgan had left, who had entered the place in the morning,
robbed the banks and many of the stores of their valuables before he
departed.

After resting a few hours we continued our march to Paris reaching there
about daylight the following morning.

Here 200 men were sent out under Capt. Rankin to make a reconoisance
toward Georgetown, after moving in that direction about 16 miles, he met
a part of Morgan's command, routed and drove them two miles in the
direction of Cynthiana, returned and reported the same to Gen. Burbridge.

That night Gen. Burbridge moved for Cynthiana, Col. Garrard's brigade
being in the rear.

At day-light skirmishing commenced a mile or two from that place.

Gen. Burbridge soon had his whole force engaging the rebels.

Col. Garrard's brigade composed of the 7th O. V. C., 9th Mich. V. C., and
one battallion of the 15th Kentucky cavalry were formed in columns of
battallions in the rear of the lines, being held in reserve.

The fighting now became general, and the center of the line began to
waver, seeing this Col. Garrard ordered the 9th Mich. to move around
Burbridge's right flank and charge the enemy, mounted. The battallion of
Kentucky cavalry was dismounted and formed on the extreme left of our
line. The 7th O. V. C. was ordered to move around our left flank and
charge the enemy, mounted.

The fences were quickly thrown down and the 7th had moved scarcely 600
yards, when they were met by Humphrey Marshal's brigade, making a flank
movement on the left of our line and in the rear, when a gallant charge
was made by Co. H, commanded by Capt. Hall, resulting in the capture of
thirty-six rebels.

A second charge was made immediately by the First battallion, under Capt.
Greene with a similar result, but was exposed to a heavy fire from behind
a stone fence. Immediately after this a third charge was made under Capt.
Rankin, which was the final rout of the enemy, driving them over a bluff
on the Licking river, to where they had left their horses. Mounting their
horses they moved down the railroad through Cynthiana, hotly pursued by
our troops, driving them through the streets and into the river, killing,
wounding and drowning many.

In this affair our loss did not exceed fifty in killed and wounded. Among
the killed was Lt. McKnight, a brave and gallant officer.

The enemy's loss in killed, wounded and prisoners, was near seven hundred.
Many of their wounded bore marks of the saber. During the fight there were
many daring deeds of personal bravery, which deserves personal mention.

Col. Garrard was in the thickest of the fight, often in advance of the
lines giving personal direction during the fight. Lt. Col. Minor was also
on hand doing his part nobly.

Capt. Allen, of Col. Garrard's staff, and Adj't Mitchell, both deserve
mention for coolness and bravery.

Capt. Allen, personally distinguished himself, for which he received the
rank Brevet Lt. Col. at the close of the war.

Capt. Rankin deserves particular mention for entering the rebel column and
cutting off forty-seven men in the following manner:

Upon reaching the bluff and seeing the rebels mounting their horses and
moving down the railroad, wheeled his horse to the right, passed through a
gate, then to the left down a lane near the railroad ordering his men to
follow; Finding himself alone he halted for a few moments to wait for his
men, and on seeing there was some impediment in the way of the rebels
caused by a cattle dyke, which they were compelled to pass over or swim
the Licking river, he drew his saber and entered the columns cutting it in
two, using his saber right and left as he passed up the track to the dyke,
the enemy passing on either side, and thereby he cut off and held all that
had yet to cross the dyke, which proved to be forty-seven in number
together with their horses.

They did not however throw down their arms and surrender until four or
five men came to the Captain's assistance.

The above facts are verified by the affidavits of three reliable men.

Arrangements being made to take them to the rear, the Captain followed on
after the flying enemy--and nearing the town, crossed the Licking bridge
and passing down about six hundred yards on the opposite side of the
river.

Five rebels ran out of town, and taking refuge behind a shop which stood
on the bank of the river. On seeing them the Captain drew his revolver and
ordered them dismount and throw down their arms, which they did.

He then ordered them to the water's edge and to sit down, which they also
obeyed, where he guarded them until one of our men, who had been taking
prisoners to the rear came up when the Captain ordered him to take them to
the rear. (This making fifty-two men.) How are you "southern chivalry,"
with your "five to one."

This statement is also verified by the affidavit of James Thomas, at
present of Caldwell, Kansas, a justice of the peace.

There are others who are willing to file their affidavit to the above
statements but as the mouth of two witnesses establish one point further
proof is not deemed necessary, nor would I even asked this were it not for
the fact that there are always a few officers and men just bold enough to
follow far enough in the rear to be out of harm's way, and to gather up
trophies on the battle-field; which had been passed over by the actual
fighting men of the command, who would not stop to gather trophies so long
as they could deal a blow on the enemy.

They are first to criticize the acts of those who are in the first ranks;
and raise the question, "where are your trophies?" There is not a true
soldier in our army but will bear me out in my statement.

The enemy were here scattered; some going out through Owen county, while
Morgan himself took the pike toward the Ohio river through Claysville,
crossing the Maysville and Lexington pike at Mayslick, and on through Mt.
Sterling. Col Garrard's brigade following in his trail picking up
stragglers until we lost him in the mountains of eastern Kentucky in his
retreat to Pound Gap.

Thence we returned by way of Lexington to Nicholasville where we camped
for a short time recuperating our men and horses.

Moving to Camp Nelson, we were paid on the 3rd of July, to June 30th 1864.

On the following morning, July 4th, we set out on our long march to
Atlanta, Ga., crossing the Tennessee river at Kingston, passing through
Athens, Cleveland and all the towns between that place and Atlanta,
reaching the works around that place July 24th, and reporting to Gen.
Stoneman to whose command we then belonged.

We were ordered to join him on his expedition to Macon, Ga., which
expedition was to move at 9 o'clock on the following morning.

Lt. Col. Minor, on his return to the regiment after dark, missed his way
and did not join us until about 12 o'clock, thereby the regiment was saved
the dishonor of being made prisoner before Macon, on Gen. Stoneman's
surrender. Company D, however, being his escort, was surrendered with him.

The regiment was immediately put on picket on the left flank of our army.

On the 26th, Col. Garrard's brigade was dismounted and put in the
trenches, the Seventh occupying the extreme left of our army, which
position they held while the terrible engagement of that day took place.

This being the same ground that was so desperately fought over during the
22nd,--the day the gallant McPherson fell.

The next day, we were moved to the right, the Seventh being on the extreme
right during the fierce fight of the 28th,--the rebels making seven
different bayonet charges, and were repulsed each time, by Gen. Howard's
command.

When the grand flank movement commenced on the right, which ultimately
gave us possession of Atlanta, Col. Garrard's brigade bore a conspicuous
part, for there was scarcely a position gained that was not first gained
by Col. Garrard's cavalry, and in many instances we fought the enemy in
front, until the infantry came up and intrenched themselves in our rear.

This being done, they would send a brigade to relieve us, and we would be
placed further out on the flank.

On the first of September, near Rough and Ready Station, which is south of
Atlanta, on the road leading to Macon, Capt. Rankin commanding a battalion
of the Seventh, was the first to find the works evacuated at this point.

On reporting the same to Gen. Thomas, he was ordered to return and go
through the works and gain a high ridge road, about a mile and a half
beyond the intrenchments, and on gaining the road, to take the end leading
toward Atlanta and go as far as he deemed practicable.

On returning to the works, he found it occupied by Gen. Cooper's division
of infantry, with a line of skirmishers in front skirmishing with the
enemy.

Upon reaching this line, the Captain dismounted his battalion, leaving
number four to hold horses, deployed as skirmishers and moved them
directly through the infantry lines, through woods to fields and fields to
woods until they gained the road above mentioned.

This being done, the horses were ordered to be brought forward. The
infantry also came forward and moved along the road leading to the
Station, which was less than one mile off.

Upon the arrival of the horses, the battalion mounted and moved toward
Atlanta.

After proceeding a mile and a half they received a volley from the enemy,
secreted in the woods, whereupon a fight took place which lasted till
dark, resulting in our driving the enemy about a mile and a half further,
after which the Captain returned to his picket post which he had occupied
the night previous, at the crossings of the Atlanta, Jonesboro, Shoal
creek and McDonald roads.

Atlanta was evacuated the following day, and a general engagement took
place at Jonesboro, twenty miles south of Atlanta, resulting in a heavy
loss to both sides.

In the night, the enemy fell back, the cavalry followed to Lovejoy's
Station, six miles further south, being on the left of our army, occupying
the McDonald and Fayetteville road, nine miles south-east of Jonesboro. We
remained at this point on picket one week, where we saw fighting more or
less every day.

Leaving this point, we moved back and went into camp near Decatur, which
is six miles east of Atlanta on the railroad leading to Augusta.

During our campaign in Georgia, we subsisted chiefly upon the country,
which was gathered in by foraging parties, detached for that purpose, and
under the command of an officer.

As a general thing, some of the parties would be skirmishing with the
enemy while the remainder would be gathering forage.

Skirmishing, while in Georgia, was more of an every day business than
otherwise.

When General Hood set his flank machine in operation and was followed by a
portion of General Sherman's command, the Seventh remained at Atlanta with
the 23rd corps, and was engaged in those mammoth foraging expeditions of
which you have read the newspaper accounts.

We continued in this business until Gen. Sherman returned to Atlanta and
commenced his "masterly retreat" on Richmond, via Savanna, Ga., Charleston
and Columbia, S. C., when we turned over our horses and arms to complete
the mounting and arming of Gen. Kilpatrick's cavalry, and returned to
Nashville, arriving there on the 15th of November, 1864.

On the 25th, Col. Garrard was put in command of two regiments, the Seventh
O. V. C. and Tenth Tennessee.

The brigade formerly commanded by Col. Garrard, the Seventh excepted, it
having been assigned to Gen. Kirkpatrick's command prior to our leaving
Atlanta, and accompanied him on the Sherman expedition.

Lt. Col. Minor was put in command of a dismounted cavalry camp near
Nashville, and Capt. Rankin in command of the regiment, by order of Gen.
Wilson, commanding cavalry corps, C. C. M. D. M.

The regiment was mounted, armed and equipped, under the superintendent of
Captain Rankin, and started for Columbia, Tenn.

On reaching Spring Hill, it was ordered to take the left-hand road to
Hardison's Ford, on Duck river, to support Col. Capron, and on reaching
there, found him engaging the enemy at the ford.

The Seventh was formed in columns of squadrons in the rear of two
brigades.

Company A, Captain Ketterman, was sent to watch a crossing a little down
ways the river from where we were.

Companies B and C were ordered to make a scout of three miles on the road
leading to Columbia, under Lieuts. Burton and Shuler.

Company E was ordered to make a scout up the river five miles, under
Lieut. Srofe.

Soon after this, the brigade train was ordered to move out on the road
leading to Franklin, with a guard of one company.

The train had not more than straightened on the road, when Companies B and
C found a strong force of the enemy in their front.

Company E was cut off, the enemy having got between it and the command,
and about the same time the head of the wagon train was attacked which
created a stampede in the train.

Capt. Rankin wheeled two companies into position and moved out to meet the
enemy, ordering Adj't. Mitchell to bring out the remainder as soon as the
wagon train could be got into our rear.

A volley was poured into the enemy by the two companies already in
position and a saber charge was immediately made, the remainder of the
regiment coming into position in time, thereby driving the enemy from the
road and held them in check until the train and the brigade that was
fighting at the river could be got out.

This fighting continued until 9 o'clock, P. M., when Col. Garrard, who had
joined us, ordered the command to fall back.

In this affair the timely action of the Seventh saved the entire brigade
and train from capture, but with the loss of near one hundred men killed,
wounded and captured, including Capt. Ketterman, and the whole of Co. A,
also our regimental colors, for which the enemy had no credit, as it was
captured in the following manner: It being quite dark and everything
having passed the road, the Colonel wished to fall back and asked some one
to go and notify Capt. Rankin, who was a short distance off, of his
movement.

The Color Serg't tendered his services and immediately started on his
mission.

The fighting men at this point were not more than thirty yards apart, and
the Serg't rode directly into the rebel lines and was captured.

The Captain brought off his command and fell back, about six miles across
Flat creek, leaving our dead and wounded on the field.

In this fight, much honor and credit are due to the officers and men of
the Seventh for the bold manner in which they struck the enemy. It was
this that gave us success, for we were far inferior in point of numbers.

Private John Turner of Co. E, deserves especial mention in this, that he
was bearing the guidon of his company, and while running the gauntlet of
the enemy was thrown from his horse, but held fast to his colors and
joined his command, after remaining six days in the enemy's lines,
bringing his colors with him.

On the following day, the most desperate engagement perhaps of the war,
all things considering, of Franklin took place.

The Seventh O. V. C. occupied the left flank of the 23rd A. C., as they
faced the enemy.

We continued our operations on the flank of Gen. Thomas' army until it
reached the fortifications around Nashville.

About the 1st of December, the regiment crossed the Cumberland river and
was engaged in guarding ferries below Nashville, patrolling the country
as far as Harpeth Shoals, and pressing in horses until the 13th, when we
moved to Edgefield opposite Nashville.

Here the cavalry command was reorganized.

The Seventh was assigned to the First Brigade, Sixth Division, Brig-Gen.
Johnson, commanding. Col. Garrard having been returned to his command of
the Seventh, and Col. Harrison, of Indiana, commanding the brigade.

On the 14th, all the cavalry was brought from the north to the south side
of the Cumberland river, and on the following morning, the 15th, at an
early hour, everything was in motion.

Our division occupied the extreme right of our army.

As soon as the fog was sufficiently cleared away we marched through our
breastworks, the Seventh being placed in the reserve.

Soon fighting commenced in the front along the river below the city. (I
should have mentioned that the Sixth Div. had but one brigade in it
mounted and that was the First.)

The rebels were soon driven from their first line of works and contested
every inch of ground with artillery and musketry, but they were steadily
driven back by the two regiments in front of the Seventh.

Up to this time the Seventh had not been engaged.

At two o'clock, P. M., the Seventh was ordered forward and formed on the
right of the road in a cornfield, near the river, and moved forward in
line of battle.

In this field the ground was very wet and soft and there were many ditches
several feet deep, which made it impossible to preserve a correct line,
but we did the best we could under the circumstances, and by the time we
reached the woodland the enemy were in full retreat down the pike.

On seeing this, Col. Garrard ordered a charge by squadrons or companies in
columns of fours, and ordered Captain Rankin's battalion to charge down
the pike and out to the enemy's left.

A universal shout went up from the regiment and at them they went, the
woods being open and favorable for a charge.

This chase was for one and a half miles, and to within one hundred and
fifty yards of a battery which opened on us and compelled us to fall back
near one-fourth of a mile.

The regiment was soon formed and commenced skirmishing with the Johnnies.

Col. Garrard not being satisfied with anything short of the battery which
had caused us such trouble, (it being the battery that had blockaded the
Cumberland river and captured our transports, among them the Prima Donna,
commanded by Capt. Joe. Scott, formerly of Ripley, and had withstood the
combined efforts of our gun-boats and iron-clads to dislodge them,) the
order to have the regiment formed in readiness to make the charge.

The order was first given to Captain Rankin to form his battalion on the
slope of a hill in front of the battery, at a distance of about six
hundred yards.

Co. E, Lt. Srofe, on the right, near the pike; then Co. F, Lt. Boggs, Co.
B, Lt. Burton, Co. C, Lt. Archer, and Co. A, Lt. Derstine.

These companies were formed in fair musket range, and their battery was
cutting the timber all around us, yet the men stood firm and unflinching.

The order of charge was by squadrons in columns of fours.

This battallion was to charge the center and to move first, Capt. Eylar
was to charge down the pike with two companies, I and M, Capt. Hall was to
cross the creek at its mouth and charge on the right with three companies,
H, K and L.

Everything being in readiness, the word "forward!" was given.

The center battalion moved first at a walk then at a trot.

By this time the storm of leaden hail from musketry and iron missiles from
the battery began to come thick and fast about us.

A shout went up and off the boys went at full speed through the fences,
down steep banks and across the creek, over a narrow ridge and another
creek and up to within fifty yards of the battery, when suddenly a large
force of the rebel infantry raised from behind a barricade of rails and
poured a deadly fire into our columns.

Captain Eylar was repulsed on the bridge, and Capt. Hall failed to cross
the creek at its mouth, therefore Captain Rankin was compelled to fall
back to his former position.

We dismounted and went at them again on foot. Their musketry was too high,
their grape and cannister too low, creating however, considerable
mortality among the horses.

Capt. Rankin was sent to signal the gunboats to come down, which they did.

Our own battery, the 4th U. S., opened on them with twelve pounders and
compelled them to leave their position, the gunboats sending a few shots
up the ravine after them, added speed to their flight.

They left four pieces of artillery in the woods, which we have the credit
of capturing.

On the morning of the 16th, at 4 o'clock, everything was in readiness for
a forward move.

We continued our pursuit on the Charlotte pike for a few miles to where
the enemy had camped. At this point the enemy had left the pike and took a
dirt road.

We followed this road about seven miles, and found several wagons and one
piece of artillery stuck in the mud.

Here a halt was made, and Captain Rankin was ordered with his battalion to
move across the country, through the fields or otherwise and endeavor to
reach the Harding pike. This being accomplished, the Captain sent the
following dispatch to Col. Garrard:

"COLONEL--I hold the Harding pike at the brick church and where the
Franklin road crosses the said pike. Gen. Chalmer's division passed this
point, taking the Franklin road, this A. M. They left some wagons here. As
soon as the command could be brought up, our pursuit was continued, the
Fifth Iowa Cavalry being in the advance. Skirmishing soon commenced but
nothing of importance occurred on this day's march, except taking a few
prisoners, twelve being the largest number at any one time."

Night coming on, we went into camp. The next morning, the 17th, our
regiment took the advance, Capt. Eylar having the right of the regiment.

The pursuit was vigorously prosecuted, so much so that orderlies were sent
forward several times to request Col. Garrard not to move so fast, but all
to no purpose, for skirmishing had already commenced, and it is an utter
impossibility to hold the Colonel back when a fight is in progress.

On we went, crossing the big Harpeth river below Franklin.

Skirmishing became quite lively, as we neared the town, but we steadily
pressed them back until we arrived in full view of the town.

Capt. Rankin was ordered to take his battalion and move to the right and
occupy some buildings in the suburbs.

Here the enemy was discovered, drawn up in three lines of battle, but
manifesting no disposition to fight save by artillery which threw a few
shells at us.

The enemy seeing our advance taking position in so close proximity to
them, about faced and commenced moving off.

Col. Garrard on seeing this movement of the enemy ordered a charge.

Capt. Rankin's battalion was on the extreme right and Company E on the
right of the battalion.

Now for the charge. The order was given to forward, and as soon as we
crossed a small stream, it was increased to full speed.

Some columns passed through the principal streets, while others passed to
the right and left of the town, and on reaching the first line of works
beyond the town we captured a great many of the enemy who had taken
position there.

At four hundred yards distant from their works, the enemy had planted a
battery, and as soon as the confused mass we were driving could be got
away, they opened up on us, but to no purpose, for we were now behind our
outer line of works.

The works were also thrown up by our men on the retreat from Columbia, but
were not so formidable as the first near the town.

In this position we fought the enemy more than one hour without receiving
aid from any quarter whatever.

So rapid were the movements of the 7th and so far were they in advance of
our own brigade that our battery moved to the point first held by Captain
Rankin's battalion and mistaking us for the enemy commenced shelling us.

The shells fell in close proximity to the battallion which had been sent
out to watch and guard against any movements of the enemy to flank our
position.

The firing was kept up until Captain Rankin's battalion had to be removed,
and had scarcely been placed in position on the left of the pike, when a
battery belonging to Gen. Hatch's division opened on us from a fort on the
opposite side of the river.

At this, Col. Garrard ordered the regiment to form in close column of
squadrons in a low piece of ground to get out of their range, but the
first being on very high ground, our position was a very hazardous one.

We were quickly deployed into line, took up our former position behind our
works and again engaged the enemy.

A fire was kept up by our battery until a courier could be sent to stop
it.

Thus did the 7th stand for more than an hour, firm and unshaken, with the
enemy's battery playing on their front at four hundred yards distant, and
two of our own playing on their rear.

By this time, Gen. Hatch's Division moved up and flanked the Johnnies on
our left and they lit out again, losing their artillery and many
prisoners.

Here Col. Harrison commanding our brigade, congratulated Colonel Garrard
on the success of the 7th, and remarked, "you have done enough for one
day, I will throw the 5th Iowa in advance and you can fall in the
reserve."

We moved out two miles and went into camp on a road to the right of the
Columbia road.

The 5th Iowa was sent on further with orders to go across the country to
intercept the enemy and if possible to capture their battery, while
Hatch's Division pressed their rear.

A stand was made by the enemy between 6 and 7 o'clock p. m., in which they
lost one thousand prisoners besides their killed and wounded and four
pieces of artillery. Thus ended the third day's operation.

On the 17th of December nothing of interest occurred except the usual
amount of skirmishing and gathering in of stragglers from a retreating
army until the 25th of December, (Christmas day), our brigade had the
advance and the 5th Iowa the advance of the brigade.

Skirmishing commenced but we drove the rebels back, and through Pulaski.

Just beyond the place is a large stream called Richland creek, spanned by
a large covered bridge.

A charge was made by a portion of the 5th Iowa, but they were repulsed.

The enemy ran six pieces of artillery into the creek without even spiking
them. They also run three pieces into Duck river. They fired the bridge in
several places.

Capt. Rankin was ordered to move forward with his battalion and if
possible put the fire out.

The battallion set out at a brisk trot until near the bridge when they
dismounted and made a rush for it, gathering from the houses along the
road tubs, buckets, pans and everything else available, for carrying and
throwing water on the flames, which had already penetrated to the roof in
several places.

By the timely arrival of this battalion the bridge was saved with but
little damage except to the roof.

In passing through the town we found several places where amunition had
been piled and burnt.

On the railroad near the bridge were several cars laden with amunition,
and loaded muskets, all surrounded by fire, and the discharge of these
muskets was a matter of considerable annoyance to our men while working at
the bridge.

Our advance soon crossed to the opposite side of the stream, even before
the flames were extinguished.

Captain Rankin was left to complete the work.

The enemy had made a halt a short distance beyond and in plain view of the
bridge seeing that they had been foiled in their attempt to burn the
bridge, now commenced firing their amunition in heaps all along their line
and their main column began to move leaving a few skirmishers in the rear,
but not however, without receiving a few shots from the 4th regular
battery which was attached to our brigade.

The fire being put out on the bridge and every thing being in readiness,
we moved on, the 5th Iowa being deployed as skirmishers.

They soon struck the enemy's rear driving them before them.

A mile further we came to two abandoned wagons loaded with amunition.

We passed to the right of them and when opposite the explosion took place
and thousands of blue blazes could be seen shooting heavenward. It was a
magnificent sight. A few hundred yards further on were two wagons of the
same kind and the same scene occurred.

Now the country became mountainous and the valleys were reduced to narrow
passes between hills, and the enemy became more stubborn and resentful
taking possession of every available position to plant their batteries,
and impede our progress, and in short when they reached the broken country
they did not drive worth a cent.

But by moving through the woods, thickets and underbrush and over the
hills and rocks, and tearing our clothes almost at every step we succeeded
in driving them about six miles beyond Pulaski.

At this point they made a bold stand upon a high hill, and behind
barricades of logs and rails.

Some time was spent in skirmishing and getting the brigade into position.
The 7th was on the right and not finding anything formidable in our front
we mounted and moved by file down a very steep hill. On the opposite side
of the valley, two-thirds of the way up met a few skirmishers.

The regiment was then thrown into columns of squadrons, preparatory to
fighting on foot.

Capt. Rankin's battalion being in advance moved out by the right and at
once engaged the enemy's skirmishers which were not more than thirty yards
in advance of his line, and finding that the enemy's line extended far
beyond his right, reported the same to Col. Garrard.

Here the Col. ordered him to take company F in order to extend his line
further out.

This company had hardly been put in position when our line gave way on the
left and center and a grand rush was made by the enemy on our right
causing us to drop back. Now the driving was all on the other side.

We had found out for the first time that our line was not more than thirty
yards from their main line, and our led horses two hundred and fifty yards
from their battery which had all been concealed up to this time. This
battery opened fire cutting the timber over our horses and at the same
time a charge was made upon us.

The enemy proved to be eight brigades of infantry as we learned from a
prisoner who was a little more daring than his comrades and followed a
little too close on our retreating line. Upon noticing him, one of the
boys 'bout faced and took the chap in.

He also said that Forrest's cavalry had refused to fight any more and
these brigades of infantry were ordered to hold us until they could get
their trains out of our reach.

We fell back about four hundred yards and reformed.

In this affair, I am most happy to state we did not lose a single man. Our
losses in horses was twenty-eight.

The rebels captured the 4th U. S. battery which belonged to our brigade.

This battery was situated on our left about a mile and supported by the
4th U. S. cavalry.

After the capture of our artillery the enemy at once commenced their
retreat, as was ascertained by throwing forward Hatch's Division, leaving
their dead and wounded on the field.

This finished Christmas day's work, a Christmas long to be remembered by
the 7th O. V. C.

This was the last sight our brigade got of the rebels, except a few
wounded ones lying along the road, and a few stragglers picked up, but a
severe fight occurred at Sugar creek on the 26th between our advance and
their rear.

We followed the enemy to near Florence where they crossed the Tennessee
river.

After remaining two days in camp we marched to Mooresville with the
Huntsville and Stevenson railroad sixteen miles distant, where we rested
from our labors ten days, and then marched to Gravelly Springs, Ala.,
reaching there January 14th, 1865.

Here the 7th was ordered to build winter quarters and stabling for their
horses. This was something new for the 7th being the first time in her
history that she went into winter quarters.

Here we remained for some time. By order of Gen. Wilson we changed our
drill from the single to the double rank formation, and while this was
going on a refitting and reorganization was perfected.

In this organization the 7th was placed in the 2nd Brigade 4th Div. C. C.
M. D. M. Gen. Upton commanding Division; Gen. Alexander the Brigade.

Here we remained until about the 20th of March. Capt. Rankin was placed in
command of the dismounted men of his regiment, then of his brigade, and
subsequently of the division, numbering over five hundred men, and led out
thirty six hours in advance, with the wagon train.

On the morning of March 22nd, the whole column was in motion, crossed the
Tennessee river and moved southward through the Tuscumbia Valley and then
into the mountain regions of Alabama. We met with no opposition until
about the 26th, when we were met by Rhoddy's Cavalry, which did not stay
long enough to give us a second shot, but lit out at the sound of the
first gun, leaving one dead.

We met and defeated the enemy at Monticello, capturing one hundred
prisoners.

The next day, we routed the combined forces of Forest, Buford and Rhoddy,
in their chosen position at Ebenezer church, capturing two guns, three
hundred prisoners, and many killed and wounded. Our loss was 44 killed and
150 wounded.

We followed on, reaching Selma late in the afternoon. Around Selma was an
intrenchment reaching from the Alabama river above the city, to the river
below, with palisades of pine timber set in the ground and sharp at the
upper end. The approach to Selma was through open ground with no
protection whatever to our men.

The plan of attack was as follows:

The First Brigade, Fourth Division, composed of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Iowa,
was put in position on the left of the road, and what is known as the
Wilder Brigade, was placed on the right of the road. The Second Brigade,
Fourth Division, composed of the 1st and 7th O. V. C. and the 5th Iowa V.
C. were retained, mounted in columns, on the road, and when the two first
mentioned brigades got fairly engaged in a hand to hand encounter within
the enemy's parapets, the Second Brigade charged down the road mounted and
into their works, killing and wounding over four hundred and capturing
eleven hundred prisoners, five battle flags and thirteen pieces of
artillery.

The 7th followed the flying enemy several miles beyond the city and in the
darkness of the night, captured a battery, complete, including caseons,
horses and harness.

Selma was taken within one hour from the time our lines were formed. In
this short space of time, one of the most important places in Confederacy
fell, it being situated in the midst of their iron regions, was of itself
a solid machine shop, where a large portion of their ordnance was made,
together with their niter works. Some of the most formidable iron works on
the continent were in this region, which also fell into our hands and were
destroyed.

We remained at Selma eight days, during which time we erected scaffolding
out into the Alabama river and ran their unfinished ordnance from their
works and dumped them into the river until they lay in heaps above the
water.

During our stay here, we sent a flag of truce to Forrest, to know if he
would honor or parole, and received word that he would if we could hold
them. Having faith in our ability to do so, and at the expiration of eight
days, we applied the torch to all Confederate property, and crossed the
river on pontoons, taking the prisoners with us, we marched on to
Montgomery, the capital of the State. On reaching there, they surrendered
without a fight, after they had burnt a large amount of cotton.

Here the stars and bars that waved over the first rebel Congress that ever
assembled on this Continent, meekly bowed its head at the first sight of a
Federal soldier with arms in his possession, without even waiting for a
salute, and up went the "old flag of the Union," which in its stead, waved
triumphantly over the dome of the house where Jeff. Davis called together
his first Congress, amid the shouts and songs of the brave men who so
proudly bore it there.

After remaining here three days, we took up our line of march for
Columbus, Ga. The 7th going by the way of Andersonville for the purpose of
releasing our prisoners held there. When within four miles of the place,
they were met by a flag of truce, evidently to gain time. This was not
recognized by the 7th, who charged the place, but only in time to see the
train moving out with the mass of skeletons caused by starvation. Some
eighty-four of our men which beggered all description, not being able to
be removed, were left in the prison pen.

The 7th joined the command in time to participate in the fight at
Columbus, which was reached about the middle of the afternoon, when 1st O.
V. C. charged a bridge which had previously been strewed with cotton
saturated with turpentine, and on reaching the bridge the enemy applied
the torch and the whole thing was in a blaze, which caused their return,
when skirmishing and an artillery duel continued until after dark.

On the west side of Columbus runs the Chatahucha river, it was spanned by
the bridges; one was destroyed, as above stated, and the others were
defended by forts, garrisoned by infantry and artillery.

A portion of the First Brigade, composed of the three Iowa regiments, were
dismounted for the purpose of storming these forts.

The Second Brigade was retained, mounted. At 9 o'clock, P. M., a move was
made. The Iowa men cleared the enemy's works on their third assault, when
the Second Brigade charged, mounted, over the bridge into the city.

In this, the enemy lost over three hundred killed and wounded, one
thousand and five hundred prisoners, twenty-four guns, eight battle flags
and a vast amount of munitions of war. We remained here over the next day,
and the next morning set fire to all the buildings containing army stores,
and taking up our march for Macon, Ga., amid the bursting of shell and the
explosion of amunition, causing the roofs and timbers to ascend
heavenward, and the mass of bricks and mortar to fall inward. Caused by
the vacuam from the explosion from within. The atmospheric pressure pushed
them inward.

Columbus, Ga., may be set down as the last battle of the war for the
preservation of the Union.

We continued our march towards Macon and when within twelve miles of that
place, we were met by Gen. Howel Cobb, bearing a flag of truce, requesting
us to go into camp where we were; that Lee had surrendered, Richmond was
captured, and that Sherman and Johnson had agreed upon an armistice of
ninety days. But Gen. Wilson refused to recognize it, and told Gen. Cobb
that he would march on to Macon, and that he, Cobb, could fight or
surrender.

We reached Macon, April 21st, 1865, when Cobb surrendered the city and his
forces without a struggle.

Here we received a telegram from Gen. Grant, to cease hostility. That Lee
had surrendered, Richmond had fallen, Johnson was surrounded, with Sherman
in his rear and Sheridan in front, and would have to surrender or be
captured.

We remained at Macon a few days, when we received orders to send out
scouts in every direction to apprehend Jeff. Davis who was trying to make
his way into Texas, whereupon our brigade, under Gen. Alexander, moved
north to Atlanta, Ga. From this point we sent out a scouting party under
Lt. Yoman, of the 1st O. V. C., and all disguised in the rebel uniform.
This party got in company with Davis' escort, at Greenville, South
Carolina, and while riding together on the road, the rebels suspecting all
was not right, drew their revolvers and opened fire on our scouts. None of
the 7th were injured except John Gates, of Co. E, he being shot through
the head, below the eye, from which he recovered.

In the meantime, Jeff. Davis was captured by the detachment of the First
Wisconsin and the Second Michigan and brought to Atlanta, Ga. The 7th O.
V. C. took charge of him and guarded him to Augusta, Ga. From here we
marched to Chattanooga, Tenn., from thence to Nashville, and went into
camp at Edgefield, where our horses and equipments were duly turned over,
and the last company of the regiment was mustered out July the 4th, and
paid to the 7th, 1865, when we returned home by the way of Louisville,
Ky., to Cincinnati.

In writing this history, I have endeavored to do exact justice to all, so
far as I knew, and if there is any errors in this narrative, it is that of
omission, having had to write exclusively from memory, and in all
probability there are omissions.

While we would not deprive any regiment of her laurals, we believe the 7th
O. V. C., for the services rendered and the number of times she was under
fire, stands second to no regiment from Maine to California.


THE END.



Transcriber's Notes:

The following misprints have been corrected:
  "orginization" corrected to "organization" (page 1)
  "juuction" corrected to "junction" (page 4)
 "Cumburland" corrected to "Cumberland" (page 7)
  "carring" corrected to "caring" (page 7)
  "bregade" corrected to "brigade" (page 12)
  "Dandredge" corrected to "Dandridge" (page 14)
  "days days" corrected to "days" (page 20)
  "flghting" corrected to "fighting" (page 21)
  "rive" corrected to "river" (page 21)
  "withstoou" corrected to "withstood" (page 21)
  "suddently" corrected to "suddenly" (page 22)
  "the" corrected to "they" (page 25)
  "skimishers" corrected to "skirmishers" (page 25)
  "Brgade" corrected to "Brigade" (page 26)
  "Monticelo" corrected to "Monticello" (page 26)
  "drys" corrected to "days" (page 27)
  "Main" corrected to "Maine" (page 31)

Other than the corrections listed above, inconsistencies in spelling and
hyphenation usage have been retained.





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