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Read an account of an event that occurred during the Col's funeral













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The following is a after war account of an event that occurred at the Col's funeral. It was written by men of the 103rd Ohio Infantry, U.S. Volunteers.































 

JOURNAL - HISTORY

 

OF THE

 

HUNDRED & THIRD

 

OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY.

 

BY

PHILLP C. HAYES

Late Lieutenant-Colonel of the Regiment and Brevet

Brigadier-General

BRYAN, OHIO

1872.

 

 

 

 

Page 55

TO PAINTOWN AND BACK.

 

During all this time the rebel cavalry were busy all around us. One day we would hear a squad in one direction and the infantry would be started off immediately and in the most expeditious manner after them. The next day we would hear of a squad in an opposite direction, and we would be faced about at once and sent in search of them.

 

Thus we were kept moving about constantly, in a fruitless endeavor to surprise and "gobble up" these flying horsemen. Of course, the idea of hunting down cavalry with infantry is ludicrously absurd, but at that time there were some very unmilitary men in command of the Union forces in East Tennessee, and the consequence was that we were often obliged to do some very absurd things. One of the most absurd of all the absurd things, however, that we were ever called upon to do, was to make a march to Paintown in search of rebel cavalry.

 

Some "Wandering Jew" of a citizen came to Headquarters one morning with the information that a rebel Colonel had recently died, and that his remains, having been brought home, were to be interred that afternoon about six or eight miles from our camp, and there were to be present at the ceremonies five hundred rebel cavalry. Here was a grand chance for a brilliant display of generalship! These men would be so intent in performing the last sad rites over the remains of one of their leaders as to forget everything else, and could thus be "gobbled up" just as easily as not! And what a feather that would be in somebody's military cap! Five hundred rebels taken at once, and by such remarkable strategy! The man, who can plan such an expedition and secure such results, has the elements in him of a great leader and must be promoted at once! The opportunity of achieving greatness was too good to be lost, and so it was determined to send out a force and capture these unsuspecting and grief-stricken rebels.

 

Accordingly the Hundred and Third, with two companies from the Twelfth Kentucky and a couple of twelve pounders, were ordered to pile their knapsacks in their camp, put themselves in light marching order and undertake this little job, which promised to cover one and all with imperishable glory. We left camp about 10 o'clock, and after a very rapid march, arrived in the vicinity of Paintown. Here we ascertained that the funeral was to take place at the famous Washington College, some two or three miles further on. With this information we pushed rapidly forward, making as little noise as possible, and keeping as much concealed as we could by striking"cross lots" and following deserted roads and by-paths. After a vast deal of marching and counter-marching, and the execution of many very brilliant movements, we finally arrived at the place where the funeral was to be, and were we were to surprise and take captive five hundred of the bone and sinew of the rebel army. But, alas, our hopes of capturing this force and thus ending the rebellion were dashed to the ground at once, when we learned there were no rebel cavalry in that vicinity, nor had there been for weeks. The only rebel soldier we found was the one who was being buried, and the only mourners were a score or two of women and a few old men. It is needless to say that we started back to camp without any prisoners, where we arrived about sun-down, tied and foot-sore, having marched about fifteen miles - and accomplished nothing.

 

103rd Ohio account