Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 12.djvu/402
392 Southern historical Society Papers.
this morning, and crossing a mountain before daylight, we find our- selves invading the grand old Commonwealth of Kentucky. We have marched twenty miles to-day, and the troops are worn out with the extraordinary exertions of the past two days; but a detail has been ordered for picket duty, and, alas, for my hopes of a good night's rest — my name is among the unfortunates. But we are in the face of the enemy and must guard against a night surprise. I feel unequal to the duty, but others are as tired as I am and the wants of nature must yield to the safety of the camp. The detail from our regiment is sixty men. We expected to meet with some resistance at this place, but the Yankees fled before our approach, in great haste, leaving their tents standing, several wagons, a fine ambulance (which they will need), cooking utensils, beds, and a large quantity of commissary stores, on which we regaled ourselves with thanks to the "blue coats" for their hospitable entertainment. It far exceeded our most sanguine expectations, but not our necessities, as some of the boys had been out of provisions for two days. I ate and gave away my last biscuit this morning. We halted at 12 o'clock on the banks of the Cumber- land River for dinner, but alas, every haversack was empty. For- tunately there was a corn-field near at hand, which supplied us with an ear of corn each, and with one biscuit, which Captain Cole kindly gave me, I managed to stop the clamoring of my most unreasonable stomach. After dinner we crossed the Cumberland River and moving forward rapidly, occupied this place without opposition. We were re- ceived with no demonstrations of joy ; on the contrary, the good peo- ple look sad and downcast, and I feel as if we were really in the ene- my's country.
August ig. — Picket guard was relieved this morning, and I have spent the day bathing in the Cumberland River, walking about the town, and sleeping. Had no dinner, save one solitary cracker and a piece of ham left from breakfast. We have captured several fine wagons and teams to-day and some prisoners. It is the general im- pression in camp that we will either move on to Lexington from here or surround Cumberland Gap and compel the capitulation of the Federal General Morgan. It is said that we are waiting for Marshall and Heth.
August 20. — Spent the morning reading Northern papers kindly left by the Yankees in camp for our entertainment. I fear that we have taxed their hospitality too heavily, as the commissary stores have fallen short. No rations issued, and we have subsisted to-day on green corn and apples. We need a more substantial diet, but as