Captain Boight of Company H, Twenty-Third Kentucky Regiment, related the following anecdote of the war.
During the retreat of the army of Kirby Smith from Cumberland Gap, the regiment to which he belonged was in the van of the Federal army.
One morning, when the regiment was about twenty-six miles east of the Wild Cat Mountains, they were surprised to see a file of ten men, all of them secesh, marching toward their lines, and a woman marching in their rear with a musket in her hands; on their coming within the Federal lines she coolly gave them up to the officer commanding as prisoners. In accounting for their capture, she said that her husband had joined a military company in the Federal service, and had left her alone to take care of the house, which lay between the two armies. Eleven secessionists had come into the house that morning and proceeded to make themselves perfectly at home, first killing all her chickens, and setting them to roast by the fire. They then proceeded to dispose of the things around the house, taking up the carpets, and constructing horse blankets out of them.
They next perpetrated other atrocities of a destructive and objectionable character, which had the effect of making the lady of the house "furiously wild," as the captain expressed it, and she determined that such outrageous conduct should not go unpunished. She accordingly carried away their muskets to a place of safety, reserving two for her own use, and then going to the room in which they were regaling themselves on her defunct chickens, she informed them that they were her prisoners. One of them jumped up to seize her, when she levelled her gun at him and fired, causing him to bite the dust, which lay thickly strewed on the carpetless floor. Throwing away the now useless gun, she took the other in her hand and ordered the remaining ten to march toward the Union camp threatening to shoot the first who attempted to run away. Having a wholesome fear of sharing a similar fate to that of their companion, they went quietly along, and were accordingly handed over to the military authorities. On being laughed at for being taken prisoner by a woman, they said they had been wanting to get captured for some time past, and were heartily glad that they were prisoners at last. They were entirely sick of the war, they said, and did not care how, so that they got out of it.
visitors since 04/04/2004
Page updated 08/12/2004.