These articles were printed in the
Southern Sentinel in the 1890's.
SOUTHERN SENTINEL, Ripley, Mississippi, June 28, 1894
The only fight of any consequences occurring in Ripley is denominated as above, although strictly speaking it was not a battle but a skirmish.
It occurred in June 1864.
The defeated army of Gen. Sturgis overwhelmed and routed at Cross Roads by Gen. Forrest's gallant troops, passed through Ripley on their hurried retreat, closely pursued by Forrest's men.
At the ford of King's Creek, about one mile south of Ripley and near the present residence of A. M. Gaillard, the rear guard of Sturgis was overhauled and the attack opened at once. The firing was very rapid, but the shooting was mostly done by the pursuing Confederates as the attention of the Federals was largely taken up in getting out of the way. Forrest pressed them without mercy, and just west of the public square, overhauled and captured the last piece of their artillery, the remnant of a fine battery with which they had started on the ill fated expedition.
There were 13 Federals killed, nearly all of whom were colored, and the number of wounded is not known. Not a single Confederate was slain but three or four were wounded, including a Col. Wilson, of Tennessee. Col. Wilson was carried to the residence of R. J. Thurmond, then standing west and opposite the present site of the Baptist Church. Here he was waited upon by Dr. J. Y. Murry and remained until restored to health. Mrs. Thurmond nursed the wounded man very faithfully.
Col. Alex Chalmers, a brother of Gen. J. R. Chalmers, of Memphis, commanded a regiment of Forrest's men that day. At Town Creek, one-half mile west of Ripley, the horse he was riding was shot from under him. Turning to a pale-faced, powder-smoked boy of his command, he told the boy to dismount, give up the horse for the Colonel's use and return to town. The boy did so, while Col. Chalmers mounted the horse and followed on in pursuit. He afterwards stated that his object was to save the boy's life who was thoroughly exhausted by the hard service through which he had gone, but whose valiant spirit was still undaunted.
Another incident of the fight was told by a citizen. A negro soldier had hidden under a house, first pitching his gun in the cedars in the yard. He was discovered and ran, but a bullet from a gun of one of Forrest's troopers out-traveled him, bringing him down at the distance of 100 yards, mortally wounded.
Twenty-five Federals were captured in the town and this number was largely added to during the day as the pursuit kept up, until not less then 200 prisoners were taken. These were all brought back to Ripley.
Another citizen, J. V. Shepherd, was in Col. Hovis' residence in time of the fight. A troop of Federal cavalry formed between this residence and the jail, which is the same building now used for jail purposes, and very near Col. Hovis' residence.
This troop of cavalry sent a volley or two in the direction of the Confederate line and then retreated up the street north. As soon as they started off, Mr. Shepherd, accompanied by Col. Hovis' little daughter, now Mrs. H. P. Tigret, came out on the brick pavement in front of the residence. The Yankee troopers were trotting up the street and were about the spot directly between where the residences of Capt. Spight and Dr. Carter now stand. Mr. Shepherd, looking sough saw a dismounted Confederate leap the fence into Mrs. C. E. Hines' yard and run behind a stubby cedar. Almost immediately a puff of smoke issued from this cedar and looking at the retreating Federals he saw one of their men reel and fall from his saddle. The Federal troopers soon reformed and sent a volley at Mr. Shepherd and his little companion, covering them with brick dust, when they retreated in the house.
The fight Mr. Shepherd examined the body of the dead soldier just referred to. He said the bullet of the sharpshooter had entered the seam of his coat, directly between the shoulders. He was a fine looking young man, this soldier whose life was thus suddenly cut short.
SOUTHERN SENTINEL, Ripley, Mississippi, July 5, 1894
BATTLE OF WHITTEN BRANCH
This engagement occurred on the 7 day of July, 1864, 3 ½ miles west of Ripley on the Ashland road.
Gen. A. J. Smith with a strong column of Federals had come out from Memphis, via Holly Springs, on their march toward Tupelo.
The 7th. Miss. Cavalry, commanded by Col. Hiams formed his men along the brow of the hill with the center resting on the Ashland road.
On the night preceding, Lieut. V. A. Grace with seven men had been left on vidette at our near the residence of James McDonald, 15 miles west of Whitten Branch where Ashland, the county site of Benton county, is now located. These videttes had sat their horses the entire night in hearing of the enemy, who camped near by. Next morning they fell back before the Federal column and reached the regiment a short time in advance of the Federal advance guard, bringing information as to the great strength of the enemy.
Any one who has traveled this road will remember this high and somewhat precipitous hill. It was a fine position, but, of course, the small force stationed there could not hope to hold it long against the overwhelming numbers of Smith's command.
W. M. Horton who was a member of Lieut. Crook's company of the Seventh Cavalry, stated to writer that this company was detached to watch the Holly Springs road, which joins the Ashland road just in rear of where the skirmish was had. Mr. Horton said his company was in a position where he could watch the approach of the Federal column as the advance guard of cavalry came marching down the hill on the opposite side of the branch. Co. Haims' men reserved their fire until the front of the column began crossing the branch, pouring in a volley then that sent the skirmish line forward when a hot skirmish ensued, lasting two hours or more. During a lull in the firing, Col. Hiams withdrew his regiment, with the loss of one killed and two wounded, leaving a strong picket, and formed a line near the south corporation line of Ripley. Here they remained all night.
There is a sad story connected with the death of the gallant young Confederate who fell at Whitten Branch.
He was a Virginia soldier at home on wounded furlough. His wound had nearly healed when Smith's raid came in the vicinity of Holly Springs, where lived his father, who was a member of the 7th Miss. Cavalry and the young soldier, apprehending that hot work was ahead, induced his father to allow him to take his place. His father agreed and his noble young life went out in the first fight.
He was buried on the spot where fell, near the Ashland road, and his rude grave is still to be seen on the roadside, where the earth was sprinkled with the life blood welling forth from his brave heart.
The remains should be removed to the cemetery and a suitable slab erected to commemorate the heroism of one who laid down for his father.
The Federals evidently thought they had come in contact with Gen. Forrest's command for they also went into camp and waited for the entire command to come up.
Next morning they advanced in strong force. They brought the bodies of two of their soldiers killed in the preceding day's fight, and buried them in C. P. Miller's yard, now a vacant lot just north of Dr. Murry's residence.
The Federals then began a work of vandalism by applying the torch to nearly every unoccupied building in town.
The courthouse, first and then the Methodist church, Masonic Hall, Odd-Fellow's Hall, Dr. Murry's drug store, the Cumberland Presbyterian church, the residence of Dr. Carter, Col. Falkner, Richard Prince and R. F. Ford, besides many smaller buildings, became a prey to the devouring element. It was a brutal and useless destruction of property for which no excuse can be offered.
Having completed the work of destruction, they took up the line of march down the New Albany road. Col. Hiam's regiment had taken position on the Cotton Gin road expecting to skirmish with them during the day and retard their march, but were thus flanked and forced to make a night march in order to get in front. Soon after followed the bloody battle of Harrisburg.
Mr. I. H. Smith, who was a member of Co. C/ of the 7th Cavalry, participated in these skirmishes and also in the bloody unfortunate battle of Harrisburg which occurred near Tupelo a few days later. In this battle the 7th lost 10 men killed and 30 wounded. Mr. Smith was in a few steps of Lieut. Crook when the latter was killed. His body was picked up Sam Jumper, a member of C. C. who at first thought it was his brother. W. M. Cox, another citizen of Tippah and a member of Lt. Crook's company was also slain in the same engagement.
SOUTHERN SENTINEL, Ripley, Mississippi, June 12, 1894
THE FIGHT AT RUCKERSVILLE
Ten miles north of Ripley there stood before the war a village on the Pocahontas road called Ruckersville. Nothing now remains but one residence and dilapidated storehouse, the latter long unoccupied.
The place looks quite and sleepy enough now – the birds sing their melodies in the old plum thicket and the rabbits hop fearlessly along the fence rows.
But on the morning of the 6th of October, 1862, things wore a different aspect. On that day the embattled hosts of Price and Rosencrans met there in a brief conflict and those peaceful hills and vales resounded to the deep tones of artillery and the rattle of small arms.
In order to get a correct idea of this fight we must go back a little.
On the 3d. and 4th. Of October, 1862, the combined armies of Price and Van Dorn made their desperate attack on the entrenchments of Corinth, mantled by thousands of blue coats under the command of Gen Rosencrans. How the Confederates swept line after line of entrenchments ---how Gen. Villepigue's brigade entered the streets of Corinth—and how at last they were forced to retire, l3eaving the ground strewn with friend and foe, "in one red burial blent," these are matters of history with which the reading public are tolerably familiar.
Then ensted (sic) the retreat westward of Price's army, down the south side of the Memphis & Charleston railroad. It was the intention of "Old Pap," as his men familiarly termed the gallant old Missourian, to cross his army over Hatchie at Davis Bridge, near Old Matamoras, but when he neared this place he found the army of Federal Gen. Hurlbut, from Bolivar Tenn., already in position with a strong force and ready to dispute his passage. A heavy artillery battle at once began, lasting several hours on Sunday, but it was evident that a crossing at this point was impossible.
Scouts had in the meantime been dispatched up Hatchie for another crossing and soon returned with information that it was possible for the army to cross Hatchie at Crum's Mill, so thither by forced march the Confederates directed their course. The bridge had been fired, at one time and Gen. Price's scouts had arrived just in time to extinguish the fire and save it from complete destruction. Had this not been done, all the artillery and baggage of the Confederates must have been captured. But the force of trained workmen soon put the bridge in good condition and the crossing began.
Meantime the army of Gen. Rosencrans, following in pursuit, began to press the rear of the Confederates but the crossing was effected with comparatively small loss of men and material.
With the view of checking this too ardent pursuit, the cavalry brigade of Gen. McCullough was formed along the brow of the hill about one fourth of a mile from the village of Ruckersville on the Ripley & Pocahontas Rod, where Jas. Holcombe now lives. McCullough's brigade consisted at the time, according to the statement of H. Whollenben, now of Oxford, and a participant in the skirmish, of the 1st. 3d. 6th and 9th Missouri and 1st Miss.
The enemy approached with a strong skirmish line but in a careless manner as though expecting a small force, but they found out their mistake when McCullough's veterans opened on them at short range and drove the hill in disorder and with considerable loss. They returned a feeble and scattering fire after reaching the valley and a desultory skirmish continued for some time until McCullough withdrew his troops, having accomplished the purpose for which the stand was made.
Mr. Wohlleben related an amusing incident of the fight to the writer. He was on vidette in company with Eli Miller, both members of the 1st Miss. Cavalry, when a lone Yankee, who had evidently lost his reckoning came suddenly upon them.
They ordered him to throw down his gun and approach but he hesitated, looking over his shoulder at his comrades who were slowly approaching from the rear. Finally Wohlleben told him if he did not march promptly up he would blow out his brains, and then he came forward and was forced to mount behind one of the troopers and be carried back to the main column and into capability.
Having held the enemy in check for two hours, Gen. McCullough withdrew his brigade and followed on down the Salem road after the retreating Confederates.
The following incident is related by Mr. W. M. Horton whose father lived near the scene of the skirmish just narrated: The Federal army followed on after McCullough's brigade soon the latter retired from their position on the hill. Mr. Horton, than a boy of 16 and too young for the service, was sent by his father to see after the horses that had been hidden in the woods to prevent them falling into the hands of th3e Federal troops. He had gone about one fourth mile, or about half way to the place where the horses were concealed, when he saw a company of Yankee scouts coming into the old field. The scouts saw him about the same time and started in his direction.
Young Horton dashed into a brier thicket and, jumping into the branch run, crawled up under a shelving bank. The Yankees beat the brier thicket and then rode down the branch, passing directly over the spot where the boy lay crouched with beating heart. A hoof of one hose penetrated the overhanging bank and sent the dirt rattling on the fugitive's head. He felt sure he would now be discovered, but not so; the scouts passed on, but it was quite a good while before young Horton felt safe in crawling out from his hiding place.
The Federals returned from the pursuit of Price's men in about ten days. On their return they indulged in thieving and robbery of citizens to t large extent. They stole horses, killed cattle and hogs and robbed residences of bedding and wearing apparel.
Among other places visited was that of Reuben Ray. Mr. Ray had an old negro named Jerrry. Jerry had a lot of nice quilts and blankets in his cabin. Some of the Yankees spied these and started to carry them away, but Old Jerry clutched his precious bed-clothes and held them with a death grip. In vain did the Yankees draw their sabers and threatened to cut off the old negro's arm—nothing could induce Jerry to release his hold so they finally left him and his quilts behind.
Frank Ray was a son of Reuben Ray and at that time was a lad of 14. When he saw the Yankees coming he was sitting in the front gallery. He fled through the back door and took leg-bail for a mile through the field to a neighbor's, falling there exhausted. He heart beat so loudly that he imagined its thumps were the hoof beats of the approaching Yankee Cavalry. As he expressed it, he "was scared enough to last till the war was over."
This record is taken from a diary kept by Judge Orlando Davis. The record was published in THE SOUTHERN SENTINEL Sept. 31, 20, and 27, 1893; also in 1934.
1. June 27, 1862. The 2nd regiment, Michigan Cavalry, Col. Minty, came in at sunset. Remained all night and left for Salem the next morning. Took all the corn, fodder and meat they wanted.
2. June 29, 1862. (Sunday) 8,000 infantry, artillery and cavalry arrived under Gen. Rosecrans, Hamilton, Davis, Buford, Abbott and Granger. Remained until Tuesday July 1, when they evacuated, burning their tents and stores. Gen. Withers, with 2700 men was advancing from Tupelo and arrived on Wednesday and remained but three or four days. On this trip few citizens were molested.
3. July 28, 1862. Two regiments of cavalry arrived at 8 A M 7th Kansas Jayhawkers, under Col. Lee and 2nd Iowa under Col. P. H. Sheridan. The 2nd Iowa went out to Dr. Ellis’ farm, four miles west, and remained there two or three hours. The Jayhawkers remained in town. They robbed every store in town, also my office. They did not molest any private citizens on this visit. Mose Parker was with them, guiding them, and brought them to my house to have me arrested for being a dangerous man running at large. They arrested Judge Thompson and took him away, also Dick Ford.
(Editor's note: The 2nd Iowa was commanded by Col. P.H. Sheridan. His official report of this visit is dated July 29, 1862, and reads, "Our cavalry captured Ripley yesterday morning. Col. Hatch has just returned, bringing back Judge Thompson and two Confederate soldiers. Our party failed to secure 600 rebel soldiers encamped there, they having made their escape toward Salem. The enemy decamped just one hour before the arrival of Co. Lee, who was delayed by bad roads and darkness. Col. Lee has not yet returned. He may bring in some of them. All the male inhabitants of Ripley had fled, the stores and houses all closed. I am very sorry to say the soldiers of both regiments were, through carelessness of their officers, permitted to break into and pillage some of the stores and private homes. The whole country out here is much alarmed and stampeded.")
5. October 29, Wednesday, One company of the 7th Kansas came in at 4:30 P.M. Remained 30 minutes, doing but little damage.
6. Nov. 3, 1862. Monday. At 4 P.M. 80 of the 7th Kansas came in town, took $500.00 worth of Browns goods. No further damage. Remained in town for one hour. On this trip arrested Rev. W. A. Gray after shooting at him four times; then discharged him.
7. Thursday morning, daybreak, Nov. 20. 1862. Three regiments, 2nd Iowa, 3rd Michigan, 7th Kansas Jayhawkers, under Col. Lee visited Ripley from Davis’ Mill, reached town before day. Remained in streets all day, then searched every house for men and arms, arrested about 60 of Falkner's men and took them away prisoners. Lt. Col. Hovis captured, Capt. Counseille, Maj. Rogers, C. G. Harvey. They went to Brown's store to break up Falkner's regiment, organized there that day. They took every horse and mule they could find. They robbed me of every grain of corn, every blade of fodder and took all my potatoes. Col. Lee made my house his headquarters. Left Friday at 8 A.M.
8. Monday morning, Dec. 4, 1862. One company of the 7th Kansas came into Ripley at daylight, remained only 30 minutes. Came from and returned to Tuscumbia 4 miles west of Corinth. Committed no depredations, but stole forage and Bill Stricklin's horse, and took Wade Cowan and Gibbs prisoners.
9. Thursday, Dec. 25,1862. The Confederate General Van Dorn, after destroying Holly Springs (??), passed through Ripley on his return at 2 P. M. The Yankees came immediately on his rear and overtook his rear guard at Stricklin, where our men fired into the Yankees advance guard. The Yankees retreated in great confusion to the north of town. They, however, sent their artillery forward, which fired into Van Dorn's men from Stricklin's Mill. On this occasion they fired a cannonball through Rev. W. A. Gray's house. They followed Van Dorn to New Albany, where they stopped and pillaged the whole country, robbed women of their jewelry and clothes, and men of their money. On this trip but little damage was done by them in Ripley, as they remained but a short time. On this trip they shot at me and took my gray horse.
10. Thursday, Jan. 29, 1863. The 7th Illinois Cavalry came in at 9 A.M. 150 strong and remained 4 1/2 hours. They came from LaGrange and returned the Saulsbury road. No houses were pillaged, but all the horses and mules were stolen. They took away Col. Hovis, Cyrus Davis and T. Patton , prisoners. They were commanded by Major Blackburn.
11. Sunday, March 22, 1863. Col. Fielding Hurst's First Tenn. Cavalry came into Ripley at 10 A. M. and remained until sundown. They were about 100 strong, all Tennesseans and Mississippians. Two of his men Lt. Mooney and another murdered Col. John H. Miller after he had surrendered. Their trip seemed only for stealing horses and cotton. They stole my fine bay horse and two bales of cotton. Hurst himself superintended it. They took away as prisoners D.W. Rogers, Bob Smith, Charles McCarley, ----Dickson. They also stole several wagons to haul away cotton. They came from and returned to Pocahontas. (This raid was struck by Capt. Sol Street near Jonesborough on its return.)
(Editor's note: The Col. John H. Miller named above was a Presbyterian minister as well as a Colonel)
12. Monday, March 23, 1863. Col. Prince and Maj. Blackburn with the 7th Illinois Cavalry came in at 1 o’clock and remained 24 hours, 500 or 600 strong. They came from LaGrange and returned by Saulsbury. No portion of the Federal army that had visited Ripley was guilty of such barbarities. They burned the north side of the public square and Parson Dancy’s house. They fired my office in two places, but one of their officers put it out. They threw my law books out into the street in a heavy rain and broke every sash in my windows. Also broke up my furniture, burnt up my papers, etc. They broke up all the furniture in the stores and broke all the window glasses in the square. They took Jim Whitten’s family away in my wagon, stole my mule and harness, corn and fodder.
13. Thursday, March 26, 1863. Col. Hurst’s regiment of West Tennessee Cavalry reached town at 10 A.M. On this occasion they arrested me, held me for 4 hours at Spight’s Hotel, and then released me without oath or parole. They searched my house for money and ate up my beat and bread, but as they had robbed me of everything else before, they injured me no further. They took off no prisoners, but stole all the horses they could and left at 2 P.M.
14. Saturday, April 18, 1863. The celebrated Mississippi raid under Col. Grierson passed through Ripley at 8:30 A.M. They made no stop at Ripley, passed right on south. The 6th and 7th Iowa regiments and Col. Hatch, 2nd Iowa.
15. Tuesday, April 21. Col. Hatch, with 2nd Iowa passed on their return from Okolona at 9 A.M. Passed right on to LaGrange, much alarmed, Barteau and Inge after them.
16. Saturday, April 25, 1963. Two companies of Hatch’s command passed through going north in a hurry.
17. Wednesday, April 29, 1863. The 2nd Iowa, Col. Hatch, passed through at dark, camped at Judge Green's. Went to Mrs. Embry's and that neighborhood for mules and horses.
18. Thursday, May 4, 1863. 15 of Hatch’s men came in at 1 P.M. and stayed all evening in Dr. Murry's yard.
19. Friday, May 5, 1863 Col. Hatch's whole command passed through on their return from Pontotoc , each one leading a stolen horse or mule. Passed right on.
20. Same day, May 5. The 56th Ohio, Col. Smith, Mounted Infantry, came in from Salem. They visited Embry, Kinney, Palmer and C. P. Miller’s farm, stealing every horse and mule, and brought Mr. Miller prisoner. Stayed three hours and took Mr. Brown away with them.
21. Same day, Friday, May 5. At 5 P.M. A regiment of Infantry came in from Saulsbury, remained a short time, and went to Dr. Ellis' farm and camp, then went to LaGrange. Maddox went with them to LaGrange and they took his son and Hardin prisoners.
22. May 11, 1863. A mixed regiment came in at 3 P.M. While O.R. Miller’s funeral was going on. Stayed one hour and left. Went to Kinney's and camped all night. Forced Britt to guide.
23. May 12. Same. Returned, stayed a short time, and left.
24. May 15, 1863. One company came in at 12 noon. Confederates fired on them and they left in double-quick.
25. Wednesday, June 3, 1863. 50 or 60 of the 11th Illinois came in at 8 A.M., remained only fifteen minuets and left. Came Pocahontas road and left the same way.
26. Same day. At 1 P.M. two Yanks came to town, stopped at Wright's put up their horses and went to Spight’s, arrested Tom Spight and Bird Smith and took them off. Shot at Pete Burns.
27. Wednesday, June 8, 1863. At 6:30 P.M. the town was suddenly surrounded by 600 Federals under Col. Mix, or Mize, from Corinth. They came in all roads except Oxford and Beck's Springs. They shot at Ammons and Davis, but without effect, and took no prisoners. Remained in town all night, and left at 7 A.M. next day. They tried to break into my house at night, turned the stock out and ruined my Irish potatoes. The ruined Bill, calling him a “secesh negro.” (Editor's note: "secesh" meaning a secessionist.)
28. Monday, June 8. About 30 Dutch of the 11th Illinois came dashing in on Pontotoc road. They went about town and went back the same road. Did nothing but call on M. Young. They came in at 4 PM.
29. Tuesday, June 9, 1863. About 25 men came in at 5 AM on the Pontotoc road, remained a short time, and returned.
30. Same day. About 1000 men under Col. Hatch passed through town from N.A. (New Albany) about 4 PM. Took LaGrange road, made no stop in town. Had two wagons, three buggies, and five Negro women on mules. General family of negroes on wagons, and also many led horses or mules. This expedition was under the command of Col. Hatch, had come from Holly Springs, through by Hickory Flat, to H. Waldrop's, thence north through Ripley. Burnt 3 houses in Orizaba.
31. Saturday, June 13, 1863. At 8 a.m. about 300 Federals under Col. Phillips; 9th Illinois came in on Pocahontas road. With command was several companies or squads of Tories, Blunt, Harris, Jachinias, Waldrup and Obion May. They were by far the most inhuman and barbarous men and the most consummate rogues that ever visited the place. They searched every house for plunder, three or four times, taking everything valuable, such as jewelry clothing, blankets, cutlery, tools, etc. They said that they were making war on women and children and that they would burn all the houses in the country before they were done. They forced all stout able-bodied Negro men to go with them, saying they wanted them to stop bullets. They took Cole's Russ and Holcomb's George. They remained in town two hours and left going south. On their way they burned the balance of Orizaba, then went to N. A. (New Albany) and burned the whole town up.
32. June 13, 1863. At 5 p.m. 20 Yankees passed through as escorts to couriers going south to the others. They did nothing.
33. June 14, 1863. At 7 p.m. Col. Phillips command came from the south, going north in double quick. Stopped one hour. Searched my house for me and then went on. On this trip they burned four bales of cotton at Dr. Wilson's. They took off C. P. Bond and W. A. Boyd, captured a heavy mail at Mrs. Hughes.
34. Thursday, June 18. At 1 p.m. 360 men under Col. Phillips, 9th Ill. They consulted their friends, and after remaining one hour, left in double quick. Came and went Pocahontas road. They only returned to Ruckersville, where they were reinforced by Read's Waldrup's and May’s companies of Tories.
35. Friday, June 19, 1863. At 6 p.m. Col. Phillips with about 600 men passed through on their way south. They had two pieces of artillery, six wagons and two ambulances. They camped at Nesbit's that night, but hearing Barteau was about, they left in the direction of Oxford at 1 A.M. Saturday 20th. Barteau followed them, overtook them at Mud Creek, attacked them, killed 27 besides many wounded and prisoners, in all over 1200. Pursued them to Rocky Ford, captured all their artillery, cannons, wagons and ambulances, also many horses, mules and arms. Phillips with his broken columns returned through Hickory Flat by Beck Springs, etc. He camped at Mrs. Childers’ on Sunday night 21st, with 25 wounded soldiers.
36. Monday, June 23. About 3 p.m. 120 men under Maj. Funk, 11th Ill., came in and remained two hours. Left as they came on Saulsbury road. Fired Green's and Murry's offices but fire was extinguished.
37. Monday, June 30. 200 men under Lt. Col. Phillips came in at 7 p.m. and remained 30 minutes. Then they returned 3 miles NE on Purdy road and encamped for the night. On this trip they surprised and arrested me at my house. After remaining all night with them, I was released next morning at 10 o'clock on parole of honor, verbal, to report to Col. Phillips at any point required when notified. I was well treated while a prisoner.
38. Tuesday, July 21. About 8 or 10 of the foregoing command galloped through town and back at 7 A.M.
39. Wednesday, July 23, 1863. About 300 men under Col. Phillips and Maj. Funk of the 11th Ill., came in at 5 a.m. They remained in town two hours and returned north. They took Col. Holcombe off as a prisoner, also Reagan's Tom. The citizens were not otherwise distressed.
40. Wednesday, August 5. 48 of Shelton's men from Chewalla, mostly Tories, came in on Saulsbury Road at___AM just after sunrise. They rode through town to Female Academy, saw fresh sign of Confederate Cavalry, and returned whence they came at double quick. Never dismounted, citizens not disturbed, no prisoners taken. May, Dosset and Matthew Spencer were along.
41. Wednesday, Sept. 9. 1863. 200 men of the 7th Kansas came in town and immediately searched my house for William McGee. Didn't find him. They came by way of Ruckersville from Corinth. They had camped at Ruckersville the night before. Soon after they came in they pitched a camp. About 200 Federals, members of the 11th Ill., and Hawkin's West Tenn. Cavalry regiment, came in on the Saulsbury road. The two parties mistook each other for the enemy and fired on each other. However, no one was hurt. The 7th Kansas left in about one hour, half of them went the Rienzi road, the others by Duncan's Mill. The 11th Ill., and Hankin's men left at 11 A M on the Oxford read to Parker's, returned at 3 PM., stayed an hour, and then left on the Saulsbury road. The 7th Kansas on this trip captured and carried off George Holcombe. They also took my mules and a man from Ruckersville.
42. Saturday, Sept. 12. About 30 of the 9th Ill. Came in at 7 AM and remained 20 minutes. Left as they came over the Pocahontas road.
43. Monday, Sept. 14. At sunrise about 75 men of Street, who had passed through 10 hours before with 5 Yankee prisoners.
44. Wednesday, Sept. 23. 100 of the 9th Illinois under Capt. Crips, came in at sunrise, remained 3 hours and left as they came, on the Pocahontas road, in double-quick.
45. Monday, Sept. 28. Col. Phillips and the 9th Ill. With 300 men came in Ripley at 6 AM from the direction of Pocahontas. Remained one hour and left on the N. A. Road. (New Albany) Went 15 miles south, burned Stewart's tan yard in Orizaba, and Dr. Cook's stable.
46. Same command returned at 5 PM, remained 3 hours and left, going back to Pocahontas. Camped that night at Tom Grace's. Took all Stricklin's horses and Mrs. O. R. Miller's Joe.
47. Wednesday, Oct. 7. Col. Phillips with 500 men, 9th Ill., came in on Pocahontas road at 8 AM. Remained until 10 o'clock, and left on the Saulsbury road. Tried to take my carriage, took off Payne.
48. Thursday, Oct. 22. Two companies, aggregating about 50 men of the 6th West Tenn. cavalry and 3rd Michigan, under Capt. Parker, came in at 9 AM. Remained about 2 hours and left without doing any damage.
49. Sunday, Nov. 29. At 6 PM 20 Federals came in on the Pontotoc road, going as couriers from the Federals Forces camped at Orizaba to Pocahontas. The command at Orizaba consisted of 3rd Michigan, 7th Kansas, and 2nd Alabama (Tory) Regiments. Had left Corinth on Thursday 26th and camped Saturday night at Mr. Lewellen's spending Sunday at, or near, Orizaba. Monday morning at 4 AM this command came in large force to Ripley. Arriving there about 9 AM. They were about 550 men in ranks. They passed through going north, leaving a picket of 65 men in town. Took Moses a prisoner at his own house. Tuesday, Dec. 1, the town and all roads still picketed by Yankees, and the main body in line of battle at the fairground. At 2 PM Gen. Lee's cavalry, under Ferguson, Morphis in front, charged into town, driving out the Yankees helter-skelter on Pocahontas road, and pursued them some seven miles.
50. Friday, Dec. 4. Same command as above came in at daybreak on Pocahontas road and returned the same way. Took away three prisoners. These men were guarding wagons at Maddox's.
51. January 22, 1864. On Friday, 112 of the 7th Ill. came in on the LaGrange road at 11:30 AM. They were commanded by Capt. Reynolds of Co. D. Remained 3 hours in town and returned, taking away as prisoners Jim Bennet and M. Saunders.
52. Saturday, May 6. About 75 Federals of the (4?)th Iowa came into Ripley from the direction of Saulsbury and remained 20 minutes. They then returned in the same direction. They captured in town one Confederate soldier and Mayo the miller.
53. Saturday, May 7. 30 men of the 2nd New Jersey came in at 6 AM on Saulsbury road. Remained 30 minutes and went back carrying Worsham's mule and wounding Solde.
54. Sunday, June 5. At midnight one regiment, 2nd N. J. under Col. Karge passed through town, coming in on Salem and leaving on the Rienzi road. They remained only long enough to pass through, searching Dr. Whitlow's house.
55. Tuesday, June 7. At 2 PM 10,000 men under Gen. Sturgis and Grierson arrived on Saulsbury road. Col. McMillan of the 95th Ohio established headquarters at my house. There were two regiments of negroes in this command. They committed many outrages. They beat Randolph with a wagon whip, struck Mrs. Doxey, robbed all houses where there was no guard, killed stock, and took corn, meat, etc. These the first Negro troops ever seen in Ripley. They had Dick Sexton and John Lindsey as prisoners. The whole command remained in town 24 hours and then left on the Cotton Gin Road. They camped at Stricklin, Ragan's, and Grays until Thursday morning, when 250 men, with 50 wagons, returned and passed through Ripley going the Salem road.
56. Saturday, June 11, at 4 A. M. Gen. Sturgis' army reached Ripley on their retreat from Brice's Cross Roads. They were the worst demoralized set ever seen in these parts. They rested here until after breakfast, when at 7 A. M. They were attacked by Forrest's pursuing cavalry and the fight raged in and around the town for two hours. The Yanks were again defeated and left, scattering in every direction through the woods. They abandoned a portion of their Artillery train in the northwest part of town, in Miller's field, to-wit 1 cannon, 3 caissons, 2 ambulances. Over 200 dead Yankees killed in the fight buried here, besides about 100 wounded were left behind. Every wagon, ambulance and cannon was captured, 21 in all.
(Editor's note: The fighting in Ripley on this occasion is known as the Battle of Ripley. Although only a rear guard action, it is important because it completed the work started at Brice's Cross Roads; that is, the complete route of Sturgis Army. After passing through Ripley, the Federals were so demoralized and scattered that Forrest pursued them no further.)
57. July 9, 1864. At 7 A. M. the Federal army under Gen. A. J. Smith commenced arriving on the LaGrange road, and were until 3 P. M. passing through Ripley. The scenes of this visitation were the most terrible we have ever experienced in Ripley. The Yankees were infuriated because of their former defeat here and came swearing vengeance on the town. Thirty-five stores, dwellings and church, including the courthouse were burned. The south side of the square was fired by the cavalry in the morning, the rest by negroes in the evening. Mrs. Price's, Col. Falkner's and Mrs. Ford's dwellings were burned. The courthouse, Cumberland Presbyterian Church, the Methodist Church and the Female Academy shared the same fate. My own dwelling was saved by the exertions by a guard left by Col. McMillen.
(Editor's note: Smith's army was marching toward Tupelo, in another effort to defeat Forrest. The day before his column reached Ripley, it was attacked by the 7th Mississippi Cavalry, under Lt. Col. Hyams, at Whitten Branch, 3 ½ miles west of Ripley on the old Ashland road. Hyams was driven back, with however, only a small loss. This skirmish is known as the battle at Whitten Branch).
58. Monday, July 18. At 10 P. M. 60 men of the 12th Mo. came in on Saulsbury road, remained 1 hour at Wright's. Did nothing. Came to inquire after Smith, who was retreating by way of N. A. and Salem. Returned toward Salem.
59. Dec. 24, 1864. About 3000 men under Gen. Grierson, constituting the famous Grierson raid, came in on Salem road at 6:30 A M and were until 6:30 passing through town, going south on the cotton gin road. Moses was their guide. They robbed Cole of 19 hams and stripped my bed of blankets.
60. Monday, March 1, 1865. At 4 P M 3000 men under command of Col. Shanks, 7th Iowa, came in on Salem road, dashed to Spight's hotel and captured several citizens attending police court, and many horses. Camped in my grove west of my grocery and in Brougher's field. Remained 3 days, guarding all the houses but pillaging everything else. Burned 571 panels in my fence, took all my corn, 25 bushels, also hay and fodder. Killed 12 of my hogs - all I had - took my only horse, took away Ralph, stole nearly all the horses, mules, meat and corn and pillaged all the houses within 12 miles of Ripley. Did more damage than any former raid. Left Thursday 9 A M. on the Saulsbury road and captured Mr. Hammond near Mrs. Hind's. My damages, in gold, were not less than $350.00. THE END