Reminiscences of the Civil War by William and Adelia Lyon.

To Mrs. Lyon.

Fort Henry, Tenn, 2 o’clock Thursday a. m., Oct. 30, 1862.—The celebrated guerilla chief, Morgan, is at Hopkinsville, Ky., about fifty miles north-east of us, with a force variously estimated at from 1,500 to 2,500. We expect to march in the morning in connection with forces from Fort Donelson and Paducah, under command of General Ransom, now in Paducah, to fight him, unless he runs away.

Colonel Lowe, the permanent commander here, who has been absent ever since I came, is between here and Paducah, and will be here tomorrow morning, or rather this morning, early; which will relieve me from the responsibility of commanding the expedition. I have, however, to make all the preliminary arrangements, and have been up all night issuing orders, telegraphing to Fort Donelson, Paducah and Columbus, and getting ready generally. The regiment knows nothing of the expedition yet, as I have not called them out. I am feeling first rate and in most excellent spirits. My only trouble is that my legs are rather weak and I can not ride much on horseback. I shall walk or ride in an ambulance mostly, and have no doubt but I shall stand the trip finely. We shall probably be gone a week. If we can clean out Morgan we break up guerilla operations in these parts and thus do the country and our sacred cause good service. It is time I called up my men, and must therefore close. Be a heroine, be calm, although danger may surround me, and trust in the kind Father of us all for safety and protection.

Thursday evening.—A variety of circumstances prevented us from getting off this morning, one of which was the failure of Colonel Lowe to return this morning. We have had an anxious day, fearing the boat was captured by the guerillas. We go in the morning down the Tennessee forty miles, and then across to the Cumberland, by land, of course, to Eddyville, thence to Hopkinsville. We meet General Ransom and the forces from below where we leave the river. The men are in high spirits, and so am I, in view of our expedition. We want to get these guerillas scattered before we feel quite willing to have our wives come to us. We hear this morning that Morgan has skedaddled. I celebrated my birthday by drilling my regiment in battalion drill for the first time.

Reminiscences of the Civil War, William and Adelia Lyon

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