Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/234

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200
SAWDUST AND SPANGLES

the result was a terrific hand-to-hand encounter in which we came off victorious.

At Lickskillet, another place on our line, the principal building was a log tavern. We put up our tents, but shortly afterward noticed several old men with long-bladed knives cutting slits in the canvas. The canvasmen, on seeing the tent walls slashed, vigorously protested. At once bullets began to fly from the corner of the tavern. One of our men was killed at the outset of this mêlée.

Previous to this episode our men had become pretty well discouraged and would gladly have had peace, but this last outrage seemed to arouse them to a perfect frenzy. Instead of shooting they went for the gang of roughs with clubs, stakes and every other kind of weapon they could find. The encounter was a terrific one. Our men knocked the desperadoes senseless and seized their guns, and in a very few minutes we were much better prepared to defend ourselves. I think during the battle our men seized fully thirty rifles. Shotguns were seldom used in this section of the country. Most unexpectedly we succeeded in getting some recruits. A few Northern men who had come into the place to settle permanently offered their services for our protection.