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Personal War Record of Brigadier-General Richard Montgomery Gano, unpublished, 1910 (excerpts)
(page 30 et seq.)
One day when Dr. Gano was riding out on the prairie, looking after his stock, he saw a horseman coming galloping from the west, who exclaimed to him, "Oh, sir, get the neighbors together as quickly as you can and come to the frontier and help us drive back the Indians, for they are murdering our women and children." Gano rode leisurely home and commenced to prepare for a trip to the West. His wife, moved to tears, said to him, "You won't leave us here on the frontier so far from our kindred, and go out to fight the Indians?" He replied, "Mattie, it tries my soul to do this and nearly breaks my heart, but our lives and our property are protected by those frontier people, living west of us, and it behooves us to go to them while they are in jeopardy. I will leave you for a few days with the children, surrounded by good neighbors, friends and servants."
He started with a few of his neighbors to the frontier, and at Fort Worth, they found a lawyer on the stump lecturing an audience on the subject of frontier protection. With this lawyer, they mustered up twenty-six men and moved on westward.
Frank Gano, brother of Dr. Gano, reached home after his brother had left and he determined also to go, but he had nothing but a mule to ride. His sister-in-law, Mrs. Gano, provided him with some biscuits and meat and he put them in his saddle bags for the trip and started out to overtake his brother, who was some 30 miles ahead. But as soon as he got out on the prairie, his mule became alarmed at the rattling of the saddle bags and began to plunge and pitch, as only a Texas mule knows how. He kept it up until he had scattered all of Frank's biscuits and lunch over the prairie, and piled up Frank and his saddle bags in a lump, and ran away with his saddle, so that Frank never overtook the company of defendants.
The company of 26 men, after leaving Fort Worth, selected the lawyer, who made such a grand speech, as their captain.
General Jno. R. Baylor out with several hundred men to drive the Indians away. Before they reached General Baylor, they passed a house with only a little girl in it, the father and mother, grandfather and grandmother having been murdered by the Indians, and their dead bodies left in the cabin. The little girl who had hid in the bushes said that the Indians, after killing her parents and grandparents, had carried away her little brother on a horse, the little fellow crying at the top of his voice, "Oh! Father, grandfather save me!"
They reached Baylor's camp, which was then about four miles from the Indians and reported with their company to Baylor, for duty. Baylor told them to stake out their horses to grass, get some dinner, and they would soon be ready to move on the Redskins, and that we would teach them how to come in and murder our women and children. While preparing for dinner, the lawyer, the captain of our company, called Dr. Gano to the side and, seated on a log, inquired of him what he thought of this. Gano asked, "of what?" He replied, "Of putting up your body as a target to be shot at by the Indians." Gano replied, "That is not a pleasant thing to be talking about. Get your dinner, and when we get in action you won't have so much time to think about it." The captain said, "I can't fight; I am scared half to death right now; I am going home." Gano replied, "You can't go home. We have reported to Baylor for duty and I don't know what his rules are, but if you were to desert and start home, he would probably have you shot, so had just as well, or better, take your chances with us fighting the Indians." The Captain said, "What shall I do then? I can't fight." Gano said, "Go down there to Baylor's headquarters and tell him all about and see what he will say." He did so, and returned and called Gano out and told him that he had told Baylor that he was scared and couldn't fight and wanted to go home, and that Baylor had cursed him and told him to go, that he didn't want any of that sort in his command, and the captain said, "I am going." Gano replied, "You can't go home; don't you know that the Indians are now on the hilltops all around here watching us? If you were to start home, they would run you down and scalp you in less than six miles." "Well," he said, "what can I do?" Gano said, "The best thing for you to do, is to ride along behind our command and follow, but follow far enough behind to be out of danger if we were to get into a fight, but close enough that if we should e attacked in the rear, you could ride to the front." While they were talking an officer came along with several prisoners who had been selling whiskey to the Indians, and he was taking them back to Fort Worth . . . and needing some help getting them there; we gave him our captain. Gano then remarked to the company to select an old Baptist preacher, V.J. Hutton, who had a thick back head and whom he thought would fight, so we chose him as captain, and as we rode along in the evening in the direction of the Indians, some Indians from a hilltop fired upon us from the right, shooting one of our men through the breast. His name was Thomas J. Melton. Our captain dashed away like a wild man to the top of the hill, shouting to his men to charge them. The Indians ran away from the hills and disappeared into the timber. The company finding that our captain, though not afraid to fight, had no ability to command nor presence of mind to direct the company's movements, so when their captain came back he said, "Now boys, you see I have no sense to command a company, select some man who has sense enough to command a company and fight, besides." They selected Dr. Gano as their captain. They moved on, carrying their wounded man, Melton, with them to Marlin's Ranch. Baylor, with his men, stopped at the ranch house; Gano, with his men at the school house about 100 yards to the left. Gano got gown under the shade of a tree and was dressing Melton's wounds, when Melton remarked, "It is pitiful for a man to die way out here away from his wife and two little children." But Gano replied, "Melton, it is not every man that dies when shot through the lungs and we hope that you will recover, but if you should die, I will promise you one thing; your wife and two little children shall be cared for." While dressing the wounds of Melton, a terrific yell was raised from the Indians who were attacking us in the rear and numbering about twice as many as we. Gano was fighting at the school house on the inside, while some of his soldiers were outside, some behind the school house and some under cover of the oak trees on the east side. A man by the name of Washburn was in the school house with Gano and he told him that the Indians had murdered his mother and father, and he intended to spend his life killing them. While the firing was going on, Washburn stepped in front of the door to discharge his rifle and a bullet passed through his breast. He laid down on the floor and said, "Boys, I am a dead man." In less than twenty minutes he was dead. The Indians, feeling sure that they could take the school house away from us, charged down upon it, but we used our six shooters and drove them off. Two of our men, Melton and Washburn, were killed and several were wounded. About a dozen dead Indians were left upon the ground, and some were carried away on their horses by the retreating Indians. After the fight was over, Baylor was heard to say that he believed that the young doctor from Kentucky did the best fighting of any man on the ground, to which old major Whitten, who belonged to Gano's command said, "Baylor, if you say that, I will present him with a handsome sword." Baylor said, "I said it because I believe it." The command was called out on dress parade and Gano, who knew not what the movement meant, was asked to step out four paces in font of the line, then he was informed that Capt. Throckmorton, who was afterwards governor of the state, would make an address and deliver him a sword as a testimony of his valor in the fight. Gano, replying to Throckmorton, said, "I have no knowledge that I deserve any reward; there are old Indian fighters here, while I am but a novice, but I always try to do my best when I undertake anything, and there was no chance for anybody to surrender, even if he had been inclined to do so . . . it was simply a fight to the death." Mr. Throckmorton presented to Dr. Gano as a compliment of his valor in the fight the handsome sword, which was afterwards lost in the battle of Chicamauga. Mr. Whitten served under Gano during the Civil War.
They all returned to their homes. Gano with his command passing down, however, with two ranges of hills on either side of him. Some Indians looked down on them, and presently one of Gano's soldiers from Grapevine, a man by the name of Holland, rode up by the side of Captain Gano and said, "Captain, did you see those Indians on the hill look at us?" Gano said, "Yes." He said, "We will all be killed." Gano replied, "You fall back into your place, I don't see that you are in any great danger." Soon after, one of the soldiers rode up to Gano and asked, "Did you know that Holland has gone crazy?" Gano replied that he did not. "Well," the soldier said, "he is as crazy as a loon. He is riding along with a loaded gun." Gano rode down to the side of Holland and say that he was indeed mentally unbalanced. Gano asked Holland if he felt well. Holland replied, "I know that you are going to have me killed, but I haven't done anything worthy of death. Yet," he said, "I know you are going to have me killed." Gano had his gun taken away from him and two men placed as guards over him, so it required two men to take care of him. Holland, when he got in sight of home, recovered his mental balances immediately.
He and another man named Clark were left to guard an old man who had been arrested on the prairie one night, and they murdered him. Both of these men, Holland and Clark, died a violent death. The son of the murdered man killing Holland, and a man by the name of Morgan killing Clark at Witts Mill.
(Note: the lawyer in this account was probably Julian Smith, of Fort Worth. J.G.)
(page 38 et seq.)
In January 1862, Gano resigned his seat in the Legislature, receiving an order from General Albert Sidney Johnson to organize two companies of Texas Cavalry and bring them out and report to him for duty at Bowling Green, Ky. where he was then stationed. General Johnson had known Gano and his family in Kentucky, and, although, he knew that Gano had never had any military education, he believed he was the man he wanted to command his headquarters scouts.
Gano immediately set to work and organized two companies from Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and some of the adjoining counties. They numbered 180 men. Gano told them to select their officers. They selected him as captain of Company A, and senior captain commanding both companies. John R. Huffman as captain of Company B. The officers of the squadron in addition were E.R. Nicholson, adjt., E.M. Stackpole as quartermaster. The first lieutenant of Company A was Robt. Spears; second lieutenant, W.A. Kendall; third lieutenant, _____________. First lieutenant of Company B was _____________, second lieutenant, _____________, third lieutenant, _____________.
They were well mounted and equipped with guns and pistols when they started out to report to Gen. Albert Sidney Johnson, who in the meantime, had left Bowling Green and was moving in the direction of Fort Donalson. Gano moved with his command after a touching farewell to his dear wife and little boys. Crossing the Red River at Shreveport, La., they camped at Monroe, La. where a Frenchman by the name of Frank Pargoud came down from his plantation, having ordered and received from France several hundred very elegant sabres and made a present of 100 of these fine sabres to Gano's squadron., so that every soldier had buckled on his saddle, one of these fine sabres, and each fellow felt proud that he would be enabled to accomplish some violent work with his sabre, but strange to relate, no man was ever killed by one of those sabres as far as we remember. It night be true that some soldier got to use his sabre in some little hot contested fight, but it was never reported to Captain Gano, and after getting into a number of brush fights with the Federal Cavalry and finding the sabres a great encumbrance, they began to leave them, lose them and made away with them, until, finally, they were all gone.
Gano's method of fighting with his two companies was to charge down on the enemy, emptying their shot guns and then make a pistol fight, as his soldiers were much more capable with six-shooters than with sabres, and could do quicker fighting than if they had long range guns.
General Albert Sidney Johnson, having gone with his army to Shilo, Capt. Gano proceeded to try to meet him there, but the day before he reached Shilo, the famous battle of Shilo took place, and Albert Sidney Johnson was killed. He made the army retreat toward the river, and had he lived two hours longer, he could have captured Grant and his army.
Gano, not being able now, May 15, 1862, to report to General Johnson, desired to be placed on outpost duty, but General Beauregard now had assumed command of the army and resolved to put all the cavalry under General Beale of Arkansas. Gano, failing to secure outpost work, reported the fact to his soldiers that night and they were a sad-down-hearted body of men. Gano went up that night to General J.C. Brackenridge's headquarters, and had quite a lengthy chat with him, he being from the same congressional district in Kentucky, and personally acquainted with Captain Gano and his father's family. When Gano had related to General Brackenridge his disappointment of not being put on outpost duty, Brackenridge said, "Gano, when you get your breakfast in the morning, come down to headquarters and I will go with you over to Gen. Beauregard's headquarters, and see if we can't accomplish your wishes. So next morning they rode together down to General Beauregard's headquarters, passing by General Bragg's headquarters, where they tried to secure his assistance, but he declined to have anything to do with it. Gano thought that Bragg was wounded in feeling, because he had not been placed in command of Johnson's army instead of General Beauregard. They rode up to General Beauregard's headquarters and after the usual salutations, General Beauregard remarked, "General Brackenridge, what can I do for you?" Brackenridge replied, "I have a special request to make of you and you will confer a lasting favor by granting it. My young friend, Captain Gano, with his squad of cavalry, desires to be placed on outpost duty, and not be consolidated with the Grand Army cavalry, and if you will grant this request, I will be under great obligations to you." General Beauregard replied, "General Brackenridge, I would be greatly pleased to grant this favor, but I have determined to consolidate the cavalry under General Beale and will have to carry out my former intentions." General Brackenridge replied, "General Beauregard, Captain Gano, and his command are a___ Texas Cavalrymen and they are suited for outpost duty and can accomplish more good there than elsewhere; they don't mind marching or fighting, but they like to be cooped up in camp and I believe they can do more valuable service in the position Gano desires than in any other, and if you will grant this request, you will place me under lasting obligations to you, and Gano and his men will ever remember you with gratitude." Beauregard turning to Gano inquired, "Where do you wish to do?" Gano replied, "Anywhere we are most needed. We don't mind long marching; we don't object to fighting, and we will serve our country to the best of our ability; but we don't wish to be cooped up in the Grand Army of Cavalry." Beauregard inquired, "How would you like to report to J.H. Morgan for duty, who is now at Chattanooga?" Gano replied, "Very well, for I am personally acquainted with Morgan; we are both from Brackenridge district, the old Ashland district of Kentucky, and with him we can lead very active lives, such as we desire." Turning to his adjutant, General Beauregard said, "Write an order to Captain Gano to report to General Morgan at Chattanooga." Gano was afraid that Beauregard might rescind that order, so inside of 30 minutes, he and his men were out of Shilo on the march up the Tennessee River toward Chattanooga. He had the good fortune to fall in with Colonel Bazil Duke with a few of his men from Morgan's command, so they had his company. While marching along near the river, they discovered, in a little town over on the north side of the river, a lot of Federal cavalry marching up and down from a boat that they had prepared on the river. Gano concluded they intended to cross the river and march out a large public road in front of where he and his men were, so he hid his men down in a thicket between which it and the public road lay a cornfield. Gano took his position where he could view them when they moved out on the road. Sure enough, they came and marched out the public road, passing by the cornfield. As soon as they were out of sight, Gano galloped his men across the field, had them to take down the fence and took after the cavalry. Turning a bend of the road where they came in view of the cavalry they raised the Texas yell and charged down the road in pursuit of them. Instead of turning for a fight, they took to flight, so terrific was the yell of the Texans, they imagined that Gano's forces were superior in numbers. Down the road they went until coming to the forks of the road; the cavalry divided; a little over one-half of them taking the right hand road; the balance, the left. Gano pursued the right hand road and chased them into a wheat field where some little fighting occurred. The Federals fell down in the wheat. Gano's men rode through the wheat field and captured them, and Gano, himself, rode upon a tall man about six feet and six inches high with a tremendous tall stove pipe hat. When he rose up to surrender, he looked almost as tall standing on foot as Gano did on horse back. But he had an ague upon him and his knees were smote together. Gano said, "Don't be alarmed sir, you will be treated as a prisoner of war."
Stopping that day at cotton gin where several planters had gathered, one of them looked at Gano's tall fellow, remarked, "There is that rascal now." His knees shoot as they had done before. Gano asked what he had done. The men replied, "He insulted a young lady down here who lives with her mother, a plantress." Gano took this tall man and another one who looked as near like him as he had in his command and with two soldiers and the man who informed him of the tall man's conduct, they rode out to this lady's residence and called her out. She came out to the style block, and Capt. Gano inquired of her whether or not her daughter was at home. She replied that she was, and called her out. Gano asked if she had ever seen either of these men before. She said she had seen the one with the tall stove pipe hat. She said with tears in her eyes, "He came here one day with some other soldiers and insulted me at my mother's house." Gano returned to the cotton gin and the planters requested him to give them that man. Gano replied, "No, he is a prisoner of war and if punished for his crimes, it must be done by court martial. I will send my prisoner up to General Kirby Smith, and will send up any charges you write out against him." After Gano reached Morgan he sent his prisoners on up to Kirby Smith with the charges, but never heard what became of them afterwards.
Gano with the assistance of Duke and a few of his men, reached J.H. Morgan at Chattanooga, turning over the prisoners that he had captured on the way up. Morgan said, "Gano, you are a strange fellow to come up here with 180 soldiers and nearly twice as many prisoners." Gano replied, "I didn't capture them all in one fight."
(page 47 et seq.)
After staying around Chattanooga several days preparing for movement, General Morgan added two Tennessee companies to Gano's two Texas Companies. They moved out of Chattanooga in the middle of the evening, General Morgan ordering Gano, with a guide that knew the country, to take the road running to Thompkinsville, and he (Morgan) would precede along another road, for Gano to march all night and strike Thompkinsville on the east and he on the south, just at the break of day, as soon as it was light enough to see how to fire a gun, they would attack the Federal Calvary, who were in heavy force at that place.
After midnight, Gano's forces were passing a large brick residence on the right side of the road. The night was so dark the residence was scarcely visible, and just as the head of his companies were passing the residence, the door opened, it was brilliantly lighted inside, although the windows had all been shaded with blankets and comforts, so that no light could be seen until the door was opened. One of the ladies put her head out the door and said, "Go on boys, we are all in here praying for you," and the door closed. The words that she said were passed back down the line of men, and no doubt it helped many in the hard-fought battle the next morning. Gano, up to this time, had never been in a hard-fought battle, and knowing that they were to meet a superior force, he thought he would probably be killed the following morning, and finding that they were getting along too rapidly on the road, and would reach Thompkinsville before daylight, he stopped his men in the road and let them dismount and rest awhile, while he got over a pair of bars and walked down into an old orchard, running up against a wagon that had no bed on it; he walked in between the wheels and, kneeling down by the coupling pole, prayed to God, and especially if he should be called away the next morning to care for his wife and little children. Then they moved on and ran upon Federal pickets just about three-quarters of a mile from where a large wing of the Federal Cavalry was camped in an orchard north of Thompkinsville. The pickets fired and ran back into their command, so that when Gano reached the edge of the timber, the orchard and a small field of corn, he discovered the camp all in a stir. He dismounted his men and leaving the horses in the edge of the timber, he moved his men to the front. The Federals formed a line of battle on horseback and moved into the cornfield opposite Gano's lines and opened fire upon them. Gano's men returned the fire, although it was not light enough to see how to take aim well. The Federals continued to advance and fire, Gano returning the fire. Morgan and his men had not yet appeared and Gano was anxiously expecting them, when suddenly Morgan opened up with two pieces of artillery, and, looking off to the south we could see his men coming up over the turn of the hill. Gano and his men thought that the artillery was beautiful music and they were delighted to see Morgan's men coming. The Federals turned back to camp, and, with little more firing, beat a retreat, contrary to Gano's expectation, down the road toward Burksville, Kentucky.
Gano had purchased, just a few days before, a fine race horse, not knowing that he had been run on the track . . . when Gano and his men began running down the road in pursuit of the Federals towards Burksville, his horse ran away with him. Gano tried in vain to to stop his horse, cutting his mouth with the bits so that the blood flew back on his pants as he ran. There were no fences on either side of the road, but Gano didn't dare to run his horse in the woods, for the downwood and trees would endanger his life, so he kept right in the center of the road. Turning a bend suddenly in the road, he came in view of the rear guard commanded by Major Jordan of Pennsylvania; they stopped in the road to await his coming to surrender, but they didn't have time to turn their horses in the road before Captain Gano reached them. His horse, striking across the shoulders of a Federal Cavalryman's horse, knocked him down into a ditch and fell on top of the rider, who called for help. They demanded of Gano to surrender. He told them he would not. They began to shoot at him with pistols; every shot endangering the lives of their own men as they entirely surrounded Gano. Major Jordan, seeing this, said, "Cease firing, you are killing our own men! Kill him with your sabres!" They began to draw their sabres out of their metallic scabbards, which was a rather harsh sound for a man who was to be carved up. Gano, with his pistols, was firing to keep the sabre men off, when suddenly about 100 guns were turned loose and bullets rained down the road. Gano's men had come in sight and turned loose upon them. Jordan with his command of 75 men retreated down the road rapidly except six or seven who had been killed in the attempt to kill Gano. The first man of Gano's command that came up by his side was Joe Nall from Plano, Texas. Gano said, "Now Joe, we will take all those fellows in," and away Gano and his men dashed in pursuit of the Federals. Gano ran up by the side of Major Jordan, presented his pistol and demanded him to surrender. Jordan said, "Yes! Yes! I'll surrender, don't shoot!" Gano and his men captured the whole posse, and riding back down the road by the side of Major Jordan, Major Jordan remarked, "What command are you?" Gano said, "We are Texas Rangers." Jordan said, "I thought so, for you can outrun the devil." When they had got back where they had shot at Gano in the road, among the dead on the ground was a Federal Captain from Pennsylvania. He was resting upon his elbow, with his head upon his hand. Gano dismounted, and asked if he could do anything for him. He said, "Yes, I want some water." Gano raised his head and gave him some water. Then he asked him his name. He opened his mouth to speak, but sank back down and died without another word. One of his men, riding up, said, "That was my Captain from Pennsylvania, and he is engaged to be married; that is his engagement ring on his finger." Gano stooped down and took the heavy gold ring off his finger, and on the inside of it was the name of the young lady who was to marry him. Gano said, "Do you know that young lady?" The soldier replied, "Yes, sir." "Will you take this note and ring to her if I will parole you?" The soldier replied, "Yes sir," appearing very glad to get off so light. Gano wrote a note stating that the captain was killed on the Thompkinsville and Burkesville road, giving the date and stating how he was killed, and that the ring was taken off his finger after he was dead, and then sealed the note up, putting the ring on the inside. He then paroled the soldier, and sent the note to the young lady in care of him. Gano never heard of the soldier again, so never knew whether or not the note was delivered to the young lady, as he wasn't keeping a diary at the time, and didn't remember the young lady's name.
They moved on into Thompkinsville, July 9, 1862, where the ladies, and some of the old men who were not in the army, asked Major Gano to give them Major Jordan. The day previous, while Major Jordan was in the town, he old the women standing the doors to go to work and cook plenty of provisions for his men and have it ready in one hour. Some of the ladies, bolder than the rest, replied, "Our pantries and meat houses are open, cook your own provisions, we are not in the habit of cooking for soldiers." Gano told them that he couldn't give them Major Jordan . . . that he was a prisoner of war and if punished for his doings it would have to be done by court martial, that he would send him up to General Kirby Smith, and if they had any charges to make against him that he would send them up and let them try him by court martial. Jordan assured Gano, however, that he only intended to scare them into cooking provisions, which he did, and that he didn't intend to harm them.
(page 54 et seq.)
Moving on from Thompkinsville in the direction of Harrodsburg, Kentucky, they came to the town of Lebanon, July 10. Gano's horse became so lame that he didn't dare ride him and was compelled to get another, so he told Morgan to ride on with his command and he would overtake him. He went out to a farmer nearby, who let him have a horse, and traded for his lame one, but he had to have him shod before he could proceed. By the time he got his horse shod, it was getting late, but Gano pushed on, trying to overtake Morgan's command, knowing that they were going through the town of Perryville, ten miles this side of Harrodsburg. Gano fell in with a countryman who was going in pursuit of Morgan's command to try to recover a horse that had been taken from his farm by some of the soldiers, and was taking a good serviceable horse to exchange for the one they had taken, which he prized very highly. Gano told the man who he was, and promises to assist him in recovering his horse and they rode on together. Gano had never before been in a land of bush-whackers. Suddenly in the dark they heard guns cock and a man said, "Halt! Who goes there?" The farmer replied, "I, a farmer living near Lebanon, going down to Morgan's command to try to recover a horse they have taken from me." The bush-whackers inquired, "Who is that with you?" "This is a man going with me to help me recover my horse," the farmer replied. They allowed them to pass on. Again, in the darkness of night, some miles further on, the same thing occurred, and the same answers were given. They were again allowed to pass on. By daylight in the morning they had reached Perryville and Gano was still alive, all due to the fact that he had fallen in with that countryman, and it was so dark that they couldn't see his uniform. Gano never stayed behind in the night to get his horse shod again. Morgan called Gano to him and said, "Major, we are not within 10 miles of Harrodsburg, and will take dinner there today. I want you to take your four companies and try to beat us there an hour or more and tell the people there to prepare dinner for us on the Graham Grounds, the noted watering place." Gano proceeded with his men, capturing a few bush-whackers and getting several recruits. He crossed Salt River about one mile from Harrodsburg. When about halfway between Salt River and Harrodsburg he met two gentlemen. It was Sunday morning and they begged him not to go into Harrodsburg with his command, because the Federals were in possession of the town, and had the houses all along the street, that they had every advantage and swore that they would fight till the streets ran with blood before they would give up the town. Gano thanked these men for their kindness, but told them that he and Morgan's men were going to dine there that day and moved on, until, when less than a quarter of a mile from town, there was a sudden bend in the road which brought them in sight of the town; there they met two other gentlemen, both known by Major Gano. One was Dr. Smedley, a Union man, and the other was a confederate; both of them were begging and requesting Gano not to go into the town, that the Federals had the advantage and declared that they would fight to the bitter end, and that they thought that he would suffer considerably if he should go. Gano thanked them for their kindness, but told them that he was going to go on into town, and moved on knowing that the troops were of the home guard type, and not well-trained soldiers. He marched into the town July 12, 1862, at about 11:30, while the people were assembling at the churches, rode down in front of the Burton Hotel just across the street on the south side of the Court House, and not a gun was fired. The people had come from out of the churches into the court house yard until there was a large crowd. Gano stood up in his saddle and made them a speech, telling them that they were not going to trouble citizens whatever their political views might be, unless they took up arms against them. He inquired, "Where are those brave men who were going to fight me until the streets ran with blood?" Some one said, "When they heard that you were in one half mile of here they took to their heels and ran out of town across the fields and gardens eight miles away to the Kentucky River. There is no one here to fight you." Gano said, "We are going to take dinner on the Graham Spring Grounds and we want you all, Federal Men and Southern Men to get up plenty of provisions and take it down to the grounds," to which they all consented and started for home, and a more plentiful dinner was scarcely ever prepared and partaken of with greater relish by soldiers. One lady, while Gano was seated on his horse in front of the hotel, caught hold of his stirrup leather, weeping as if her heart would break, and said, "They sent my husband off north to prison. (She was a Mrs. Line). Oh! if you could drive them all out of the state I would be so glad."
(page 56 et seq.)
After enjoying their dinner, and being greeted by 100 ladies and the Southern men of the country, they decided to move to Lexington. Morgan said, "Gano, take your command and move on so as to tap the Cincinnati and Lexington Railroad between Cynthiana and Paris. A train heavily laden with infantry is coming up that road early tomorrow night to reinforce Lexington, and I want you to capture them." Gano moved out on the road toward Lexington. Some men in Harrodsburg filled one of the soldier's canteen with whiskey and he got drunk, so some of the soldiers found it out and reported it to Major Gano. Major Gano, thinking that some of the others might have whiskey, had his men dressed out in line along the side of the turnpike road and then sent an officer down the line to empty every canteen in the line, telling them that if they only had water in their canteens he would refill them at the next spring they came to. When the officer came to the man who had the whiskey in his canteen, he said, "What are you going to do?" The officer replied, "We are going to empty your canteen." "Why man," he said, "You are pouring out some of the finest Bourbon you ever saw," and he tried to put his mouth under the stream while the officer was pouring it in the road. Gano had no drunken man in his command that day. About ten o'clock the next day, they landed at the farm of John F. Payne, July 13, three miles from Georgetown. Gano camped his men in Payne's woods, who was a Southern man, and proceeded to the house where a colored woman, the cook, informed him that Mr. Payne was in Georgetown, and that Mrs. Payne was visiting a nearby neighbor by the name of West. Mr. Gano sent a message to Mrs. Payne to come home. In the meantime, the colored woman sent word to her that the Federals were camped in the woods. Mrs. Payne immediately sent word to her husband at Georgetown to come home at once that the Federal Cavalry was camped in the woods. When Mrs. Payne arrived and saw that it was the Confederates under Major Gano, she said, "Oh, Mr. Gano, what shall I do?" "I sent word to my husband that the Federals were camped in the woods near here." Gano replied, "That is all right, I would just as soon you had sent that message as any other." In the meantime, Stoddars Johnson, Jr., Payne, Mr. Kelly and several others, all true Southern men, called in at Mr. Payne's residence to meet Major Gano. Major Gano intended that no one should know that he knew which was a Southern man or which was a Northern man, so he took them all as prisoners and put them in the parlor. In the meantime, John Payne, having heard that the Cavalry had camped at his house, had a Provost Marshall to ride out in his buggy and protect his premises. The Provost Marshall was Alec Long, an old school-mate of Gano's, but a Union man. Mr. Payne took the Major to one side and asked him not to trouble Long in any way, that he came here to protect the premises. Gano said, "I will not, but you and Long come into the parlor, I have quite a number of prisoners in there." Just then a young man by the name of Oliver Gaines, the son of Old Oliver Gaines, the livery stable man of Georgetown, came driving up the house in a fine buggy and pair of horses. He also had been a school-mate of Major Gano's and Gano knew him well. He drove right up in front of Major Gano without looking up and asked, "Who commands this cavalry?" Major Gano replied, "I do, sir." Gaines said, "I have a written order here for you." Major stepped up and took the order from him and read it. It said, "Officer commanding the cavalry camped at John Payne's residence will proceed with his command down to where the turnpike joins the Frankfort Turnpike, one mile from Georgetown and intercept J.H. Morgan who will bring his command up that road. We will meet him there with all the forces we can muster from Georgetown to help him drive back Morgan." This order was signed by Stephen F. Gano, Major Gano's uncle. Oliver Gaines, with a startled expression on his face, said, "Why this is Dr. Gano, from Texas." Gano replied, "It was Dr. Gano, but Major Gano now." "Well," said Gaines, "how does it happen that you are commanding Federal Cavalry?" Gano replied, "We are nor Federals; we are what you call rebels." By this time Gaines' eyes looked about double size and he exclaimed, "What shall I do?" Gano said, "Hitch your horses to that rack and go into the parlor, you will find plenty of company." Gaines said, "Well, if I must, I must," and hitched his horses and went into the parlor. Gano then went into the parlor and said to the room nearly full of men, "You must all take an oath or go with me as prisoners of war." They replied, "What oath do you require of us?" "I require that you shall swear that you will not tell who I am, what kind of troops I am commanding, what number of troops I am commanding, or anything about me." They all said, "We will take the oath." Gano made them all stand up in a row in the room and swore them, then told them that they could go. Alec Long and Oliver Gaines went out in the yard and while they were out there Alec Long said, "Oliver, let me ride back to town with you." Oliver said, "Did he say we could go back to town?" and went back to the house and asked Major Gano whether he said that they could go back to town or not. Gano replied, "Yes, you can go anywhere you want to." "And can I take my buggy and horses?" Gano replied, "Yes, take anything you have except that note." They got into the buggy and rode off at once, and at the toll gate on the Frankfurt turnpike they met a body of men who were coming out to reinforce the supposed Federal Calvary at Payne's residence commanded by Dr. Stephen Gano, an uncle of Major Gano, and Captain Jackson. When Oliver Gaines drove up to the command at the tollgate, Dr. Gano inquired, "Who commands the cavalry at John Payne's residence?" Oliver never opened his mouth, but tried to drive through the command at the gate. Captain Jackson said, "Didn't you hear what Dr. Gano said to you? He said, 'Who commands the calvary camped at John Payne's residence.' Why don't you answer him?" Oliver never spoke one word, still trying to drive through the command, when someone said, "You had just as well let Oliver Gaines alone, he is under oath."
Gano moved down the road to a place called Domereil on the Georgetown and Lexington road. At Domereil he met Henry Moore, an old school teacher to whom he had gone to school when a boy. Moore inquired, "Why Gano, what are you doing here?" Gano replied, "I am commanding some Confederate cavalry." Mr. Moore said, "Do you know that your uncle and Captain Jackson are raising all the soldiers they can get in Georgetown to come out here and capture you?" Gano said, "Yes, and here they come now up the turnpike from Georgetown." They concluded that we were following the Lexington and Georgetown road, not dreaming that our forces had moved over to Domereil. Gano said to Henry Moore, "I have a message to leave with you for my uncle." Moore said, "I will deliver it verbatim." "You tell him when he gets here at Domereil, who I am and that I am commanding some Texas Calvary, that I am not hunting a fight with him, and for him to turn around and go to his home in Georgetown and stay there, and that if he follows me 100 years from Domereil, and where I am, we will have a battle. Tell him that I will be over here in the Herndon Woods looking at him." When they reached Domereil, Gano was over in the Herndon Woods. Henry Moore delivered the message to Dr. Gano, telling him who commanded the Confederate Cavalry, and that if they followed him he would ship them, that he was up in the Herndon Woods watching them. Dr. Gano said, "Captain Jackson, what do you say about it?" Captain Jackson replied, "If they are Texas troops, they know how to fight; they have good horses and good arms. Our forces are mostly home guards, badly mounted, badly armed. If they attack our men, half of them will be killed running through these stake and rider fences, so I think we had better go back," so they turned back to their homes. Major Gano proceeded through the woods from Herndon's place to Old Dr. Robert Brackenridge's farm, a strong Union Man, the father of Colonel W.C.P. Brackenridge, who afterwards joined the Southern Army. At Dr. Brackenridge's front yard, between his house and the turnpike was a large fine spring. Gano told his men to dismount and go to the spring and get a drink of water. While they were getting a drink, Gano was sitting on his horse on the turnpike with several soldiers. Three ladies started from the house and were coming down to the spring to see whether the soldiers were Federals or Confederates. One was Mrs. Brackenridge, wife of W.C.P. Brackenridge, and the other two were daughters of old Dr. Brackenridge. Gano remarked to Lieutenant Murchinson, "Those ladies will recognize me unless I keep my face from them, so I will sit with my face to the opposite side of the road and you do the talking." So when the ladies came, Mrs. Will Brackenridge, formerly a Desha, walked up near the soldiers, rested her arms on the fence, and said, "What soldiers are these?" Mr. Murchinson replied, "They are our soldiers." "Which side are you on?" "Our side." "Which is your side?" "The right side." She laughed and said, "I believe you are on the right side." She was intensively Southern and the other ladies reported, when they went back to the house, that Mrs. Brackenridge and the soldiers had some secret signs by which they made known that they were Confederates. But there was no truth in this, as she only guessed it.
Gano then proceeded with his command down the turnpike road toward Newton until they came to a toll-gate where an Irish woman dashed out and said, "You can't go through here until you pay your toll!" Gano said, "I will pay you with what money I have." She said, "You must give me good money or you can't go through this gate." Gano said, "Don't multiply words, but open the gate! We are going through!" She dashed off into the house. Gano said, "Boys, throw open the gate!" Two of the soldiers jumped down and broke the padlock that fastened the pole to the gate, twisting the pole around and splitting the block to which the pole rested, and threw the pole down by the side of the fence in the road. The old toll-gate woman dashed out of the house with a key in her hand, saying, "Why did you break my gate down? Didn't you know I went into the house to get a key?" Gano said, "You should have told me!" During all this conversation there was a man sitting in his buggy at the side of the road, by the name of James Offutt, who was a director of that turnpike road, and a Union Man. One word from him would have passed the soldiers through the gate, but he never opened his mouth. Gano told two of his soldiers to go and take that man as a prisoner. He said, "Put him right behind the command and tell him to follow on, and if he asks where we are going to take him, tell him that you reckon your commander will take him South. Don't let him come up to me, but keep him right behind the command." In the town of Newton there is a turnpike turning off to the left, which leads to Offutt's home. When you get there, tell him that Major Gano says he may go." When they got there they gave him the message, and he went up the turnpike in a hurry.
Gano moved on about three miles further with his command and stopped in at his father's residence, ordering his men to camp at the big spring where Major Gano got his first drink after he was born. Seated in the yard at Gano's father's residence was his father, grandfather, Dr. Hopson, a minister of the gospel, and Thomas M. All, a minister and a strong Union Man. The others were all Southern men. Mr. Hopson had been threatened with arrest by the Federals, and when they saw Major Gano riding down toward the house with his soldiers, Dr. Hopson said, "They are coming to arrest me." Allen said, "Don't you do any talking, let me do all of it." When Major Gano got up in calling distance, he said, "How are you?" His grandfather, the blindest one in the crowd, recognized his voice first and said, "It is Richard." Major Gano took supper with them, and when about to leave, his mother said, "My son, the Federals are in Georgetown on the west, in Lexington on the south, in Paris on the east and in Cynthiana on the north. You have no chance of escaping; let me hide you away." "Mother," he said, "don't distress yourself, I came here with my men and I can go out; we can whip any cavalry command our size and under, and any great big force we can ride around. So have no fears. I didn't come here to hide, and expect to be seen here on many occasions."
Major Gano was about to proceed down to the Keyser Depot to capture the train as directed by Morgan when a neighbor by the name of Andy Carrol, a stammerer and an intense Southerner, rode up to Major Gano and asked, "Wha wha-t, what can I do for you?" Gano said, "Andy, I want some spirits of turpentine." Andy said, "Y- y- shall have it." Gano said, "Meet me with it on the road to Keyser Station." Andy departed. Gano proceeded with his command and when about half-way to Keyser Station, Andy Carrol rode out from under a mulberry tree in the night and said, "H- h- here it is," and delivered two large jugs of spirits of turpentine. Gano proceeded down to the Keyser Station and got there about an hour and half ahead of the train, had the turpentine poured upon the railroad bridge and set fire to it. The bridge was across an immensely deep ravine. Down in the bottom of the ravine was Keyser's distillery, about 50 yards from the bridge, containing a great many barrels of fine old whiskey. There was a west wind blowing, which blew some of the fire over onto the distillery, and when the fire reached the whiskey, there was a fire indeed, flames seeming to reach 150 feet into the air. Gano then sent two men with a crow bar down the railroad far enough so that when the train passed they could tear up some of the rails of the road so that the train couldn't back. When the train, loaded up with soldiers, stopped at the bridge, Gano demanded a surrender. They had about 400 infantry on the train. One of the officers stuck his head out of the car window and asked, "Whose command is this?" Major Gano replied, "J.H. Morgan's." He heard the officer say to his men, "Johnnie Morgan has got us at last." The engineer tried to back up his train, when Gano told them to surrender. Gano said, "Don't do that; the track is torn up; you will [ . . . the section stops here]
(page 64 et seq.)
Gano than moved on with his command toward Georgetown, through the neighborhood where he was born, meeting quite a lot of his Southern friends. They reached the woodland of Dr. Elliot about noon July 15th and camped in Elliot's pasture. A poor man from Denton County, Texas, whose mother, when he joined Gano's command had sais, "Captain, be sure and bring my boy back," was with them. Gano had replied to his mother, "Mrs. Tannehill, (his name was Robert Tannehill) I won't promise to do that; we are going into dangers where life is uncertain, but this I will promise you: If he gets sick or wounded, we will do the very best we can for him." In Elliot's woods Tannehill had staked his horse out to grass and stood his gun up by the tree and lay down on his blanket to rest. The horse, eating grass, knocked his gun down with his nose. The hammer struck the root of the tree and one barrel of the double barrel gun went off, twelve buckshot passing through Tannehill's lungs. He raised up on his elbow and said, "Oh, God!" and died. Gano sat down beside him on the grass, not able to speak a word of comfort nor to lend him any assistance, and with tears in his eyes, thought over all the dear mother had said to him. He was buried in the Elliot's Woods. After the war was over, several Confederate soldiers were gathered up from the neighborhood around and were buried in the Confederate Burial Grounds in the Georgetown Cemetery. A large crowd had assembled and Coloner W.C.P. Brackenridge was to deliver an address that day, but he didn't get there. General R.M. Gano was elected to deliver the address and did so, paying a beautiful tribute to his friends and soldiers and Bob Tannehill.
The neighbors all around Dr. Elliot's place, together with his family brought food that day, ample provisions to feed all of Gano's men.
In the meantime, Dr. Stephen Gano, Major Gano's uncle, and Captain Jackson made up their minds to disband their troops and let them go home. Dr. Gano had not informed his men of his and Captain Jackson's intentions not to fight, but ordered them to form a line on the streets of Georgetown near the court house. The men hung back from lining up and said, "Dr. Gano, we are not able to fight these men." Dr. Gano replied, "I have determined not to fight and I am going to disband you, but form a line and make a showing." The men formed and then were disbanded. Dr. Stephen Gano retreated to Lexington on horseback. Most of the soldiers struck down the Cincinnati Pike toward Eagle Creek where most of them lived. Some of the Confederates reached Georgetown in time to give pursuit about a mile in the rear down the Cincinnati Pike. The Federal men, not having enough horses to go around, some had to ride behind, making two on one horse and when the Confederates began to chase them some of them fell off, the Confederates thereby capturing several.
J.H. Morgan was coming up the Frankfort pike to Georgetown with his command, and Gano was coming in from Elliot's farm to meet him. Gano got there first.
As the Southern soldiers passed the Birch residence about two miles from Georgetown, a little boy named Milton Birch was sitting upon the front yard fence and when he saw the Confederates pursuing the Federals, he shouted to them, "Go on boys, you will catch tyhem every one."
That night Major Gano camped with his men on the farm of his uncle, Dr. Stephen F. Gano for the purpose of giving the family better protection than they would have otherwise had. And he slept that night in his uncle's house at the request of his aunt, Mrs. Gano. Before Gano reached the house, some of the soldiers had got around the house and asked for some sugar. Mrs. Gano was giving them sugar out of a barrel in the pantry which was about half full, but hoping to get rid of them, as she had another barrel which had never been opened, she said with a liberal air, "Roll the barrel out here and let them have it all." Just then an old soldier saw through the pantry door another barrel that hadn't been opened, and remarked, "There is another barrel full of sugar in there." Mrs. Gano thought then that all of her sugar was gone, but just then protection came and she was not troubled any more.
The next morning, General J.H. Morgan asked Colonel Gano, as he knew well all the country around Georgetown, if he didn't think he could capture Sam Thompson, a Federal officer who had been in command of the soldiers at Georgetown, and had given the Southern sympathizers considerable trouble. Colonel Gano told him that he thought he could, so he took some soldiers and went in pursuit of him. He was acquainted with Mr. Thompson and his wife. She and Colonel Gano were members of the same church. He also knew Thompson's two cousins, Press and Sam Thompson, both of whom were good Southern men, living about one mile from Georgetoen. Colonel Gano supposed that the commander, Sam Thompson, would flee to the house of his cousins and ask protection of them, hoping that he wouldn't be found there. The colonel rode up to the house of Press Thompson and, after greeting him, said, "Press, I have a question to ask of you. Is Sam Thompson in your house? If you say yes, I will let you bring him out to me, and I will take him as a prisoner of war, but if you say no, I will search your house and every room and closet in it." Press Thompson replied, "He is here." "Bring him out," said Colonel Gano. Which he did, and turned him over as a prisoner. Col. Gano took him to town and put him under guard of two of his Texas soldiers. The next morning, his wife, Mrs. Thompson, said with tears in her eyes, "Brother Gano, I have a request to make of you. You have placed my husband under some Texas soldiers; I am afraid they will kill him, and I want you to take him away from them and put him under some Kentucky soldiers. Colonel Gano replied, "I can't grant your request, and if you knew what you were asking, you would not want me to. The Texas soldiers have no prejudice against your husband and will treat him just as directed. The Kentuckians have been persecuted by him and would probably like some excuse to shoot him." She said, "Let the Texas soldiers keep him then."
Morgan with his entire command moved off toward Cynthiana for the purpose of attacking the Federals at that place. Some young men in the neighborhood, Gaines, Hill, Roswell and others had started out to join Colonel Gano's command, but, not knowing where the Federal Lines were, they ran upon a picket named Smith. He ordered them to halt, and they, thinking that he was a Federal picket, charged him and while firing at him they killed his horse. Smith fought with desperation, and one of the boys, young Roswell, took to his heels and ran back home. The other boysm finding out that Smith was a Confederate, went with him into Morgan's command and joined them and went on into the Cynthiana fight with them, not being attached with Gano's men, but moving along with Morgan's command. When they were within a mile and a half of Cynthiana, Morgan said to Colonel Gano, "Take your command and go up the Licking River to the ford and cross there, one mile and a half above the town, and attack Cynthiana on the east, while I will go down on the Lexington Road, cross the bridge just at the edge of Cynthiana, and attack the Federals on the south." The Federals had their artillery stationed at the court house. Colonel Gano went around as directed, crossed the river at the ford, capturing half a dozen pickets that were stationed out there, moved over onto the Millersburg pike, and entered Cynthiana on the east. Just as he got to the edge of town on the top of a high place in the street which overlooked the street from there to the courthouse, nearly half a mile distant, the firing commenced. Colonel Grenfell, an adjutant of General Morgan's, came dashing through the city to Gano to bring some orders. Gano received the orders and noticed some blood on the back of Grenfell's neck. Gano said, "Colonel, you are wounded on the back of the neck." He put his hand up and rubbed the blood off on his hand and remarked, "It's only a scratch," and went on back to his commander. Colonel Gano was fighting down the main street in the direction of the court house when he saw a command with its officers waving white handkerchiefs at him. He began to think that he had been firing at his own men. Firing ceased and the men with white handkerchiefs ran rapidly up the street to Gano. He waited until they were within 75 yards of him, when the officer said, "You are firing on our own men." Gano said, "Which side are you on?" He replied, "We are Federals." Gano said, "We are Confederates; lay down your guns! Surrender!" Instead of surrendering they threw their guns down and beat a hasty retreat to their command. They laid down their arms, but didn't lay them down in good style. Gano and his command continued firing as they were scampering down the street as fast as they could go. We will let Ben Huffman, who was a schoolmate of Col. Gano's and a warn Southerner, describe the fight. Ben happened to be in town on business, when the Federal authority issued a command that every man in the town should take up arms and help defend the city. Ben said to himself, "I will never fire on Southern men," but they put a gun in his hands and told him to take it and use it. Ben ran into a hardware store and went upstairs where he could watch the fight. About this time the artillery at the court house opened fire upon Gano and his men to drive them back. Ben said, after the fight was over and he went home, that those Texican Derangers could do the best fighting of any men in the country. He said as they went down the main street in Cynthiana, while he was sitting in the window upstairs in the hardware store, that every time the Federals would fire the cannons at Gano's men, they would divide and let the balls pass, and then close up and got to fight again. Ben Huffman said, "I didn't know that a Texas fellow that went to school with me could ever put up such a fight as that."
The Confederates captured so many men that they filled the court house to overflowing with prisoners, captured all their artillery and horses. Colonel Gano saw a Federal Colonel dash down the street in a southeasterly direction toward Paris. He gave pursuit and chased the Federal officer out to the edge of town where he saw that his horse could outrun the Colonel's, and was sure that he would capture him, but coming to a fence at the edge of the field, the Colonel's horse leaped the fence, and Gano's horse wouldn't try to jump it, but stopped. Gano fired his pistol at the colonel and saw him throw up his right hand as if the ball had struck him, but continued running, making his escape. Gano went on back to town. Gano had a cousin living in Cynthiana, a man of considerable influence, but a Union man. His name was Thomas Ware. He was taking no part in the war, but when they ordered every man in town to take up arms and defend the city, Ware took his gun and went down to the railriad depot, went upstairs where some other Federal soldiers were stationed to fire throught the windows when the Confederates came through that part of town. Several Confederate soldiers hid behind some cars close to the depot and were fired at by the men in the secons story window of the depot. The Confederates fired up at the men in the windows and a ball hit Thomas Ware, fracturing his jaw and going up through his brain and out the top of his head, which killed him. Ware was carried up to his home and laid out in the parlor. Gano went up to his residence and saw his wife and four daughters. He told them how much he regretted that his cousin had been killed. They said he had no business taking a gun; he was not a soldier. Gano told them that he was not in that part of the town when he was killed and that a husband and a father had no business going into the fight that he was not in the difficulty. They said, "We know that you were not to blame." Thomas Ware had a son-in-law in the city who was a lawyer, and was captured in the fight and locked up in the court house. Gano went down to the court house, it was densely packed, and called loudly, "Mr. Ward." Ward answered over in the dense crowd. Colonel Gano said, "Press through the crowd and come to the door." He did so. Gano told him that his father-in-law had been killed and that the family needed his assistance. "I am going to parole you and let you go home and protect the family," which Gano did, and he also placed several soldiers around their home to keep anyone from molesting them in their sorrow.
Before the town was captured, while Morgan and his men were pressing across the bridge in the face of the heacy firing, Gaines, Hill, and some of the new recruits got in an old blacksmith smop in the street and were firing throuth the windows. J.H. Morgan rode up to the door of the blacksmith shop and said angrily, "Come out of there every one of you, and press on toward the court house." They all came out and fought their way. Gaines said afterwards that he didn't know which was going to kill him Morgan or the Yankees. The following day, Morgan and his command moved on toward Paris, the county seat of Bourbon County, Kentucky.
Note - June 19th
Morgan and his men moved on from Paris to Winchester.
There were some Confederate prisoners in the second story of the court house, one of them was Will Webb, a young lawyer, and he was guarded by another lawyer, who was a Union man. Webb saw through the court house windows the Confederates coming in, and he said to the lawyer who held him prisoner, "You had better give me that gun and let me guard you awhile." The man on guard had not seen the Confederates, so he said, "What do you mean?" Webb replied, "The Confederates are in town and I want your gun." The man looked out the window, and, seeing the Confederates coming, he handed the prisoner his gun and said, "Now, Webb, I want you to take me and take care of me; you know I have treated you kindly."
(page 71 et seq.)
Then to Danville Gano and his men moved out on the Harrodsburg Road over in the direction of Perryville to participate in the Perryville Battle. At a two-story residence several miles from the said pike they came upon a pretty heavy force of Federal Cavalry, and gave chase, for they had no fight. The Federals retreated in the direction of Perryville, until they came upon a heavier force of their Cavalry, where they formed a line of battle and withstood Morgan and his men. Gano, with his brigade, formed across the main road leading up toward Perryville. Colonel Chenault with his regiment on the right of the road. Colonel Cluke on the Left. They had some pretty brisk fighting, Gano losing quite a number of his men, and his horse was killed also, which reared and fell back, Gano jumping off unhurt, but his saddle was broken all to pieces. A horse in the Federal lines which had had his rider shot off came galloping down the road toward the Southern lines, which Gano mounted and rode through the rest of the fight. The horse's ears were cropped off and the saddle was not at all suitable to Gano's notion, but still they pressed on, driving the Federal Cavalry back up to their infantry. The fight was ended for the day and Morgan, with his command, withdrew over the Harrodsburg Pike. Gano with his brigade formed along the side of the pike, expecting to fight again within an hour or two. Colonel Gano rode over to a house about half mile distant, belonging to a man by the name of McLain, a well-to-do farmer who was known to have furnished some horses to a Federal Calvary to go against Morgan on one occasion. Gano called him out and asked him if he could furnish him a horse to ride that evening. That he would either buy his horse or ride him during the fight in the evening and return him to him the next day, as he had another horse back in the wagon train that would be up by that time. Mclain said, "I have no horse." Gano told a negro man to go over the fence and see if there was a horse in the barn. Gano said, "Get over in the yard and look in that carriage house." The negro did so and said, "Yes sir, there is a fine grey horse." Gano ordered him to bring him out and put his saddle on him. Which he did. McLain said, "That is my wife's horse; you can't take him." Gano said, "Mr. McLain, I will ride your horse this evening and if he is not killed, I will return him to you tomorrow, or, if you prefer, I will pay you for him now. If he should get shot, I will pay for him tomorrow." McLain said, "You can't take that horse." Gano said, "I have already got him and I am going to do just as I told you." Major Dunlap, a grandson of McLain, and a Southern soldier in Gano's command rode up at this moment and said, "Grandfather, this is General Gano, and whenever he tells you he will do a certain thing, he will do it." McLain said, "Get out of my sight, I disinherit you forever!" Dunlap said, "Grandfather, I was only here to do you a favor and let you know you could depend upon every word General Gano tells you. I am not here asking any interest in your estate and I don't care for any." Gano rode the horse up to his command. McLain went to Morgan's headquarters and said, "General Morgan, one of your soldiers has taken my horse and insulted me." Morgan said, "Who was it?" McLain said it was General Gano. Morgan replied, "Now I know you have told me a lie." General Gano is a Christian gentleman and never abuses anybody, and would never ride a horse that was pressed; he always purchases his horses." McLain said, "Well, he had got my horse." Morgan said, "Well, go get your horse." McLain said, I can't get my horse; I am not armed and Gano is." Morgan said, "Here, I will load you a pistol." McLain replied, "I don't want your pistol; I don't want to fight, but I want my horse." Morgan said, "Well, don't pester me anymore you have already told me a falsehood." McLain came down to where Gano was on his horse, walked up to the horse's head, and took hold of the bridle bits and said, "Morgan said for me to come and get my horse." General Gano said, "Have you a written order from General Morgan for this horse?" He said, "No sir, I haven't, but he told me to come and get my horse." Gano said, "Well, you can't get him without a written order, so go back and get one." But McLain held to the horse's bits. Gano said, "You let go those bits and leave here." McLain still held to the bits. Gano said, "Cal, (Cal Crozier from Dallas, Texas) take this old man a prisoner and take him up there in the woods in the shade of the trees and keep him until he gets in his right mind. You will know when he comes to himself by the fact that he will want to go home, then turn him loose and let him go home." Cal rode forward, took the old man by the breast of his coat and said, "Come with me." McLain said, "You let me alone, I will go home right now." Gano couldn't return the next day to the neighborhood of McLain's but offered to turn the horse over to a nephew of McLain's who was a strong Union man. But he wouldn't receive the horse, for he said if the Union men found that it had been left there by a Confederate they would take him away from him. Gano then turned the horse over to McLain's grandson, who was in the brigade, and told him if he got an opportunity to turn the horse over to his grandfather, and if he didn't get an opportunity he reckoned his grandson had just as well ride him as anyone else.
Morgan with his men rode over to Lancaster and joined Bragg's army, which was moving in the direction of Crab Orchard, followed by Buell's Army. Morgan's men were formed on the southeast side of Lexington running along the brow of the hill, with Gano's command in the front of the center of Buell's Army and extending down to the Baptist church on the right. Bragg sent word to this Cavalry command to hold their position at all hazards till night fell. Gano had a brother, Frank Gano, who had just joined (14) his command a few days before with a young friend, Turpin, from near Covington. They believed that in order to hold their position most of the Cavalry would get killed. Frank Gano, thinking that he would certainly be killed, said to Turpin, "I shall not live through this fight, but when you see father and mother tell them that I loved them till the last, and that I loved my country and was willing to die for it." Turpin said, "Frank, don't leave your message with me, I am going to be killed, but if you live through this battle, tell my father and mother everything that you have been telling me." An old Confederate soldier lying on the grass holding his old grey mare by the bridle and disposed to make fun of the boys said, "Boys, if I get killed, just kill my old grey mare and lay my head on her side and leave me there." The boys got mad at the old man's sprot and discussed the subject of death no longer. Gano with his surgeon and son rode down to the old Baptist Church to take a view of his army from that position. Buell's army, seeing them there, fired a piece of artillery at them. It struck a plank fence around the church near where they were sitting on their horses, scattering splinters about in all directions. The doctor's horse wheeling around, came very near throwing him off, as he was sitting sideways, and he said hurriedly, "General Gano, we are doing no fighting here, suppose we ride back just over the brow of the hill." Buell's army, seeing this long line of men on foot, which was of course the cavalry dismounted and all over the hill, supposed that Bragg's army was there and they didn't advance upon them that night. Next morning, as Bragg's army had gone on to Crab Orchard, ten miles away, Morgan had a permit to return to Lexington with his soldiers. As General Morgan and General Gano were standing around a fire, parching some corn in the ashes, the Federals fired a piece of artillery at them, which sent a ball in the fire between them, scattering ashes and coals about. Gano and Morgan, losing their appetite for parched corn, mounted their horses and rode off in the direction of Lexington, Morgan telling Gano to remain behind as his rear guard with about 100 men and then follow on down the Lexington pike. Gano stationed his hundred men in a cornfield near the pike, the corn was high enough to hide the men when dismounted, and he sent a true man named George Whitton from Tarrant County, Texas, back in Lancaster with instructions to see what the enemy were doing, and if they should give pursuit fir him to proceed down this pike close to this cornfield so as to bring them within range of Gano's guns. Some of the Federal Calvary, seeing Whitten up in the edge of town, pursued him. They were about eight abreast when they came galloping down the pike. He would wheel into a fence corner, fire into them and turn out into the road, gallop down a piece further and repeat this method of fighting. When he got down to the cavalry which was stationed in the cornfield, the Federals seemed to suspect a trap, for they turned their horses and rode back into Lancaster. Gano asked Whitton why he used that method of firing on the Federals when there were so many of them firing on one. He said, "I had the advantage of them; they had only one to shoot at, but when I fired up the road, there were so many, I was sure to hit somebody."
Gano with his men followed from Lancaster in the rear of Morgan's command in the direction of Lexington, overtaking him on the road, Morgan telling Gano to take his men down one turn-pike in Lexington and he would take his men down another. The Federal Cavalry had camped on the Fair-Grounds, just in the city of Lexington. Morgan got there first and when Gano and his men reached Lexington,coming from the opposite side, Morgan and the Federals were fighting. Some of the Federals fired upon Gano; he returned the fire, killing and wounding some of the Federals. Several of his men were wounded also. The Federals had surrendered to General Morgan just about the time General Gano had fired upon them. There would have been no need of Gano's firing if they hadn't fired first. George Morgan from Tennessee was shot in this fight, the ball entering his mouth and passing out the back of the neck . . . he died from the effects of the wound. A large mulatto negro among the Yankees, riding a fine grey horse, concluded that he wouldn't surrender and dashed across the fair grounds to the turnpike road, and through the gate leading down to the city of Lexington. Some of Gano's men fired at him and he fell dead in the road off his horse. A man by the name 0f Columbus Estes in Gano's command, a brave soldier who lived in Collin County, Texas, was shot in the jaw bone, the ball passing out the back of his neck, not striking the spine. The command thought that he was mortally wounded and wanted to leave him for treatment, but he wouldn't submit to that, but got a buggy and one horse and followed behind the command every day, driving his own horse, having his wound dressed every night by the surgeon, and when they reached Tennessee, they sent him back to his home in Collin County. He recovered, and when the war was over and Gano became a minister, General Gano baptized him and his sister at Brackenridge in Collin County, Texas.
General Gano's father and grandfather were living at their home together in Bourbon County, Kentucky. They owned a large yellow negro named Ike, who ran away and joined the Federal Army, taking two good mules belonging to William Conn, grandfather of General Gano, which he turned over to the Yankee Army. The negro left his wife at William Conn's residence and ventured through there one day to visit her, armed with a six-shooter. Mr. Conn, hearing that he was at the cabin, went down there to drive him off the place. On entering the cabin, he said, "What do you mean by coming back to this place, sir?" "I came back to see my wife," he said. "Well, you had better get off this place as quickly as you can and never put your foot on it again, and if you can get Colonel Metcalfe to haul your wife into town, you can have her," Mr. Conn replied. The negro said, "I will come to see my wife as often as I want to." Mr. Conn, being unarmed, picked up a fire poker near the fireplace, and the negro, fearing to draw his six-shooter, jumped out the back window into the orchard. Mr. John Allen Gano, fearing some trouble might arise at the cabin, took a double barrelled shotgun and walked down there, reaching the cabin at about the same time the negro jumped out the window and fled across the orchard. Colonel Metcalfe, a Federal officer, was in command of Paris. The negro went to Paris and reported to Colonel Metcalfe that Mr. Conn had struck him with an iron poker, for no other reason than that he belonged to the Union Army. Mr. Conn didn't strike the negro with an iron poker, but struck at him as he went out the window, the poker hitting the window facing. Colonel Metcalfe, the Federal commander in Paris, sent a Dutch captain with a company of cavalry out to Mr. Conn's residence to arrest him and bring him to Paris. Mr. Conn and John Allen Gano and his wife, who was formerly Miss Conn, were sitting in their room at the residence, when the house was surrounded by the cavalry. The Dutch captain went to the door of the room where they were sitting and asked if Mr. William Conn was present. Mr. Conn replied, "That is my name, sir." The Dutchman said, "I am sent out here to arrest you and bring you back to Paris." Mr. Conn said, "Who sent you to arrest me?" "Colonel Metcalfe." Mr. Conn said, You tell Colonel that if he has any business with me he can come out here and see me, I am not going in there to see him." The captain replied, "I have orders to take you to him dead or alive, and I am here to take you there so there is no use in your resisting." Mr. Conn replied, "I suppose you have enough men to kill me, but you haven't enough men to take me alive. I am not going to surrender." Mr. Conn was a very determined man though about 80 years of age. Mr. Gano took his father-in-law, Mr. Conn, into an adjoining room and said, "Mr. Conn, I don't blame you for not surrendering to that old Dutchman, but we can avoid that without your forcing them to shoot. I will just give these fellows plenty of bacon and cabbage . . . give them a good dinner . . . and then hitch up my buggy and horse and take you with me into Paris. We will go to Metcalfe's office, but you will not be taken a prisoner. The Dutchman can follow along behind, if they want to." Mr. Gano then proposed to the captain to give them their dinner, and he and Mr. Conn would go into town with them. They ate very heartily of the bacon and cabbage, and Mr. Gano took his horse and buggy, and he and Mr. Conn started to town, the company following on behind. Mr. Gano said to Mr. Conn, "Now, I am going to have some fun; these Dutchmen are so full of bacon and cabbage that they can't stand very much trotting." Mr. Gano let his horse out at a tolerable brisk trot, the company trotting on behind, trying to keep up, until their faces turned red and the captain said, "Halt!" Gano reined up his horse and the captain said, "What makes you drive so fast?" "I will drive a little slower." They rode on in a very slow trot for some time, then he said to Mr. Conn, "New, we will have some more fun." And he let his horse out a little faster and faster by degrees, until they all got jolted up again, and the captain yelled out again, "Halt!" and came up and said, "What in the devil makes you go so fast? You will trot us to death I tell you!" Gano said, "My horse moves briskly; I will drive slow again." He drove slow again, and then said, "Well, we will give them another jolt; and they did so and were called down again in the same manner. They then reached Paris and drove up to Metcalfe's office on the court house square. Metcalfe's regiment was camped just below the town across a stream called Stony, and the Southern men about Paris had heard that Metcalfe had sent out men to arrest Mr. Conn and Mr. Gano, so they organized over 200 men armed with shotguns and pistols who had gone into Paris on different roads, and some of them were living there. They elected a man by the name of William Rogers as their captain, and were stationed around in all the stores. When they saw a buggy come in with Mr. Gano and Mr. Conn escorted by the Dutch company, Rogers sent orders around to his men that whenever they saw any Federal officer start with Gano and Conn to the jail, a company of six men located near Metcalfe's regiment would charge up the pike and the men from all the stores and houses would pour in their shot from their double barrel shotguns, and they would slay them all. Metcalfe and his men knew nothing of this arrangement. When Gano and his father-in-law walked into his office, the negro who caused all this trouble was there to be used as witness. Metcalfe asked, "Is Mr. William Conn present?" Conn said, "That is my name, sir." "Well," said Metcalfe, "You are accused of striking one of our men with an iron poker; is it true?" Conn replied, "I struck that negro there." Metcalfe replied, "I will have to fine you $500.00." Mr. Conn replied, "I wouldn't pay you a dollar to save your life." Metcalfe said, "Mr. Conn, you will have to pay this $500.00 or go to Northern prisons." Mr. Conn replied, "I suppose you have force enough to take me to Northern prisons, but you can't rob me like you have been robbing these other men around here; I won't pay you a dollar." Mr. Gano, who had baptized Metcalfe's wife and mother, supposed that he might reach him by some measure, so he took him in an adjoining room and said, "Colonel Metcalfe, my father-in-law is an old man, and has only one child in the world, and that is my wife. If he were to be sent to prison, she would go also, and so would I." Metcalfe replied, "Well, he will have to go or pay that $500.00." Mr. Gano said, "If you will never let him know anything about it, I will pay you that $500.00, but he means just what he says and he would pay it to save his life." Metcalfe replied, "I will never let him know anything about it." Gano gave him a check for $500.00. Metcalfe went into the other room where Mr. Conn was sitting and said, "Mr. Conn, you are an old man and if you were to be sent to Northern prisons it would kill you; I am going to turn you loose and let you go home." Mr. Conn replied, "I told you that you would never get a dollar of my money." When Gano and Conn got into their buggy and returned home there was no such slaughter in Paris that day as was expected.
Kirby Smith was then in Lexington, Kentucky, commanding a division of the Southern Army that had whipped the Federals out at Richmond, Kentucky, in which fight Colonel Metcalfe's regiment participated, but getting whipped, they fled out of Lexington down the Cynthiana pike and an old man by the name of Sidemer, living near the pike road and between Lexington and Cynthiana, was standing in the toll gate and saw Metcalfe's Calvary fleeing, but seeing no one after them, he said, "The wicked fleeth when no man pursueth." General Smith asked General Gano if he couldn't proceed down to Maysville on the Ohio River and capture that town: there were more than 400 men there that wanted to join the Southern Army but could not get out on account of the Federals. Gano said he could, so he took his brigade and moved down to Maysville. When he got to within ten miles of Maysville, he passed through a little town called Mayslick, where the people told him that the soldiers in Maysville had all the advantage, that they were in possession of the entire town and would fire on him from the houses, but Gano moved on with his command, until within four miles of Maysville; here he came onto the little town of Washington, where the Federal Pickets were stationed. He charged them and captured several, some escaping to Maysville, giving the alarm, and when in about two miles of Maysville, some friends informed him, who were Southern sympathizers, that the Federals were in there with pretty strong forces, had possession of the houses and would fire upon him from the windows and doors and asked him not to go to Maysville. Gano thanked them for their information, but informed them then that he had come to take Maysville and he was going to do it. He rode with his command down into Maysville and turned up main street, but he saw no armed man, so he inquired, "Where is an officer to surrender the city to me?" A citizen replied, "When the pickets brought the news that you were coming to take the town the soldiers fled across the Ohio River into Aberdeen, a little town across the river. Gano and his men could see them planting their artillery in the little town of Aberdeen as if they were going to shell Maysville. Gano said if they do fire any artillery into this town, we will go up the river here two miles to a ford, cross the river and take an Ohio Town . . . but they never fired a gun. Gano said to the citizens, "Somebody has to surrender this town to me; where is your manor?" They showed him up to the mayor's office and he very nicely surrendered the city, asking protection for the citizens. Gano marched out of the town with about 400 recruits for the Southern Army and a few Federal Prisoners. They slept that night not far from Maysville, and the next day moved on through Mayslick and on to the Blue Lick neighborhood, gaining recruits from Mayslick and all along the road, and in the evening before sunset, they came to the residence of Colonel Metcalfe, a stone house with some outhouses, one a warehouse, and a farm of several hundred acres, belonging to the said Colonel Leondis Metcalfe. Gano said, "This is a good place to camp, remembering the five hundred dollars he had taken away from his father. Mrs. Metcalfe invited Gano and his staff to stay in the house that night. She prepared them a good supper, night's lodging and breakfast. But before night, a soldier came into the house and said, "General Gano, did you know there was a barrel of whiskey out here in the warehouse and the men have found it out, and if you are not careful there will be some drunken men in our company tonight." Gano went out to the warehouse, had the barrel of whiskey rolled out into the road, kicked the head of the barrel in, and let the contents run down the wagon tracks by a number of horse tracks. An old Confederate Soldier, standing by, remarked with a twinkle in his eye, "General Gano, would you have any objections to an old Confederate Soldier filling his canteen out of these horse tracks"? That night Gano fed over 2500 head of horses out of the oats and corn belonging to Colonel Metcalfe, and in the morning, before they left, they took several of Metcalfe's best horses and left their old sore backs and lame ones in exchange. So you must rest assured that Gano got back more than his grandfather's fine. Gano returned safely from the captured city on the Ohio River without the loss of any of his men. Colonel Wadsworth, who was a Kentucky Congressman in company with Metcalfe, was in command of those forces in Maysville that fled across the Ohio River. General Gano marched on into Lexington and turned his prisoners over to General Smith.
(page 84 et seq.)
While Kirby SMith invaded Kentucky he passed with his army on the way to Richmond, Kentucky, through a place known as the Big Hill. General Bull Nelson, commanding the Federals, was sent with his command into Richmond to meet Kirby Smith, and drive his calvary back, not permitting them to enter Richmond. General Gano had a friend and old Kentucky schoolmate by the name of Wharton Moore, who lived with his sister-in-law, Mrs. Billy Moore, near Russel's Cave. Wharton was not in the army, not taking any part in the war, but was known as a determined Union man. His sister-in-law and family, with whom he lived, were resolute Confederates. Wharton Moore was in the city of Lexington when the Federals passed by Mrs. Moore's residence, and they, knowing her to be a Southern woman, took her carriage horses, moving on in the direction of Richmond. When Wharton Moore came home and found that they had taken his sister-in-law's horses, he determined to recover them. He went to Lexington and got letters from Old Dr. Robert Grackenridge and Colonel Goodlow, men of high authority among the Federals, to General Nelson, asking him to return to Mr. Moore his sister-in-law's horses. Reaching Geveral Nelson in the town of Richmond, he presented his letters, and got an order from General Nelson for the horses to be returned to him. The next day, he had his sister-in-law's horses down at General Nelson's headquarters, and was about to return home, but learning that General Kirby Smith was coming over the hill and that General Nelson was going out to meet him and capture him and his army, he asked General Nelson to allow him to go as an aid to his staff, as he had never been in a battle and desired very much to witness one. Nelson gave him his permission.
There was an old preacher living in the valley just below the Big Hill and some of Kirby Smith's advancing cavalry passed his house and became engaged in fighting the Federal Cavalry just about a quarter of a mile below. The fighting was very brisk. Some more of Smith's Cavalry, passing by this old preacher's house asked him if he had any milk they could drink. He replied, "Yes, there is a churn full of buttermilk just churned," and while they with their cups were emptying the churn, the Old Preacher, who was a Southern Sympathizer, said, with tears in his eyes, "Boys, how can you stand drinking buttermilk and listening to the rattling of guns down the road, knowing that your men are being killed?" Some of the boys laughed, "Ha! Ha!" and said, "That's just the cavalry, wait till the infantry gets here and you will hear some shooting." The old preacher told this story to General Gano himself, after the war was over, and he said, "Judging by the firing, I thought all the men on both sides were killed."
Smith's men moved on down the valley toward Richmond till all the forces were engaged, and Nelson's men, retreating, were driven from the field, leaving many dead upon the ground, whom the Federals buried. When Nelson's forces were driven from the field, Wharton Moore fled in terror, and in such haste that he never could get back to his sister-in-law's horses, neither could he flee down to the turnpike road leading to the Kentucky River, for the Southerners had them cut off from the pike, so Wharton left his own saddle horse and fled on foot down to the cliff by the brink of the river, and swimming across the river he climbed up the cliff
After the battle of Richmond, while Gano was riding through the city of Lexington with his command, there being a great crowd from the city and country on the street rejoicing over the great Confederate victory, Mrs. Billy Moore of near Russell;s Cave, was in the crowd with her daughter, Mary, and having known Gano from his childhood, being members of the same church, she said when she saw him riding at the head of his command, "Why there is brother Gano; if he was down here I would kiss him." Gano dismounted from his horse, handed his bridle reins to Lieutenant Wall, his aid, telling him to lead on, and he turned through the crowd to greet his many friends, kissing Mrs. Moore and her daughter Mary, and all the ladies in the crowd thought that they must treat his likewise, and it has never been known how many women he kissed, but Gano took a pain in the back of his neck from so much stooping, and when he returned to his command Lieutenant Wall said to him, 'You had too big a job on hand, you ought to have commissioned me to have helped you out.' Gano replied, 'For the first time in My life I got tired of kissing and took a pain in the back of my Neck.' This remark was repeated to Miss Mary Moore, as General Gano had moved his command out on her farm and camped near her residenc. The next morning she said to General Gano, 'Never mind sir, I heard what you said.' Gano said, 'What could it have been Miss Mary? I certainly said nothing to hurt you.' She said, 'You said you got tired of kissing the ladies and I was one of them.' But Just then General Gano's father, mother, sister, and many cousins and friends in the neighborhood came up to see him. Gano and his command was drilling on the ground which the crowd was viewing when a messenger on horseback from Lexington came with an order from General Smith to General Gano ,telling his to move with his command out to Eastern Kentucky to intercept George Morgan, who was coming through from Cumberland Gap. General Gano ordered his command to break up camp and get ready to move
Russell's Cave near Mrs. Moore's residence was quite a noted place, and barbecues, public speeches, and political discussions were frequently held there. It was at this place that Casis M. Clay and Sam Brown, two noted men of Kentucky had their fight and Clay cut Brown so badly with his Bowie knife.
(Page 94 et seq)
"When the Confederates were about to evacuate Lexington, one of Gano's soldiers was sick with typhoid fever in the hospital; being too sick to move him, they had to leave him in the hospital
(page 82 et seq)
"George Morgan, a Federal Officer stationed at Cumberland Gap, in command of the Federal Forces, when he found that the Confederates were about the invade Kentucky with full forces , determined to evacuate Cumberland Gap and cross with his forces over the Ohio River, General Kirby Smith ordered General J. H. Morgan to proceed out to East Kentucky and in front of George Morgan and hinder and delay him all he could until General Humphrey Marshall could reach them and then they would have forces sufficient to whip his army. Gano with his command took possession of one of the roads along which George Morgan's army was proceeding , while J.H. Morgan would get a nearby position and make as strong a stand as he could. The Federals would comeup into shooting distance and they would fire on them and continue firing until they brought up sufficient force to drive them away, then they would fall back to another position and fire on them in the same way,. Every one of the skirmishes would delay George Morgan's command which was the object of Gano's fighting. But they had a number of heavy bush fights with some losses to the Federals, But Gano's losses were light, because he would always get in a strong position and would have cover. They were formed to retreat one day, and one of his men, being hungry, Requested Gano to let him have permission to stop in at a little house on the roadside and have some bread cooked. Gano have him permission but told him to keep his eye open and not stay too far behind. While the good woman was cooking him some bread, he saw some Federals coming up the road some distance from the house. He hurried the woman all he could, and when she gave him the bread, the Federals had got within shooting distance. He pocketed his bread, mounted his horse and dashed down the road. The Federals sent some bullets after him, but neither he nor his horse was struck. He said he acted a fool to stay so long, but he was awful hungry.
Every day, while these skirmishes were going on for the purpose of delaying George Morgan, the Southern forced were necessarily awaiting the arrival of Marshall, but he never got there. Gano sent runners to him several times asking him to hurry up, but all the reply was, 'Check the enemy all you can until I get there,' His command didn't seem to move any faster then Morgan's and he never was able to get in front of him. H.H. Morgan's men got up a little song on the strength of that raid. The chorus to which was, 'If you don't want to fight just jin the infantry.' And the infantry boys retaliated by changing the chorus, which was, 'If you don't want to fight just jin the cavalry.' But we had a very lively time playing in front of George Morgan's Command, and no doubt he concluded that we were doing the fighting for the fun of it, so we had to let Georg Morgan go to the Ohio River."
(Page 95 et seq)
"Just after Billy Brackenridge's command was moved out in Eastern Kentucky, they met a large force of Federal Cavalry and engaged a very warm fight, Brackenridge's regiment, not being accustomed to it, never having been in a battle before, were in danger of giving away. Gano rode out in front of Brackenridge's regiment, crossing his legs over his mare's neck, saying, "Give it to them, boys, they can't stand it long.' 'These bullets won't hurt much.' Some man was heard to remark, who had seen men falling on his right and left... 'No, they don't hurt, they go through and through.' Gano went to eating his pawpaws and the men, all thinking that Gano saw victory just ahead, stood their ground, and the Confederates won the fight, capturing some of the Federals and driving the rest back. Some soldiers asked Gano how he could stand to eat pawpaws under such heavy firing; he replied, 'I did it just to keep those men in line so we could win the victory.'
"Brackenridge in that fight was struck in the abdomen by a spent ball. The ball didn't enter hisbody, but made a large blue place. Brackenridge asked Gano what he thought about it. He being a physician of eight years practice, replied, 'It is not likely to injure you seriously, but be careful, make some applications to remove the soreness, for sometimes a ball that doesn't enter the body will kill a man by the inflammation brought about by the bruise.' Presently Brackenridge, lying on the grass, remarked, 'I wish you hadn't told me that, for I feel my wound is mortal now.'
Jerome Kirby of Dallas, Texas, one of Gano's boys, was cut off from the army, and, to avoid being captured, he taught school, putting on fine citizens clothing. He had some pretty well grown boys in his school; some very fine students. Kirby says, 'I never had to study so hard in my life as I did to keep ahead of those boys."
(Page 88 et seq)
"Gano, with Morgan's entire command, was camped near a church in Tennessee on a hill not many miles from Snow's Hill. Gano was writing in his tent when one of his soldiers came to the tent and remarked, "General, come out here; here is a man from Grigsby's regiment who has best Holsell jumping, and we don't want him to go back and brag that he had beat our regiment. Gano replied, 'I am busy now.' Holsell said, 'Please come and make just one jump.' Gano laid down his pen and went out and made one jump, jumping about threw inches over Grigsby's man, and he jumped and jumped, but never could get up to Gano's jump. One of Gano's men remarked to Grigsby's man, 'You need not jump yourself to death; if you were to jump over Gano's Jump, he would just come out here and beat you again.' The man inquired, 'How far can Gano jump?' They replied, 'We don't know, but he can jump about two or three inches over any other man.'
Morgan went out to meet a heavy force of Federal Cavalry in Tennessee not far from Snow's Hill. The Federal Cavalry dismounted and formed along a line of Worm Fences. Morgan ordered Gano with his men to attack the Federals' right on our left, who were lying behind a stake and rider fence. Gano charged upon the hill toward the fence, bullets firing in the thicket in the front while Morgan was moving upon the side of the hill to attack the Federals on their left. As Gano's men moved up the hill, a little rabbit jumped up out of the grass and ran into a thicket. One of Gano's officers remarked, 'Run cottontail, if I hadn't any more reputation at stake than you have, I would run too.' Before they reached the fence a bullet passed through they head of Stephen Gano, a cousin of General Gano, who was visited by General Gano after the thing was over, but was stiff and cold in death. Gano drove the Federals from the stake and rider fence, and his men were clamoring over the fence to capture them when a tremendous yell arose from the Federals. Reinforcements from the woods about a quarter of a mile back, composed of infantry, cavalry, and artillery, had arrived. Just then an order came up the line from General Morgan to General Gano to fall back immediately, which they did having won the fight as far as it went, but had lost several men. The Federals' loss was heavier then the Confederates, not withstanding the protection they had from the fence most of the time. It was a terrific though brief fight.
(Page 89 et seq)
"While Morgan and Duke were both absent from the command, Gano was in command of the entire cavalry. They were camped on the south part of Snow's Hill. The Federals sent their cavalry up to drive the Confederates from the hill, which they failed to do, for Gano, after a brisk fight, drove them back. The Federal Cavalry, reinforced with artillery, came up again on the hill to drive the Confederates off. They stationed their artillery on three elevated positions and the shelled the Confederates while the cavalry was fighting. One battery aimed its artillery at position where Gano was standing and succeeded in throwing dirt at him. Gano had only two small pieces of artillery and it looked for a while as if the Federals would be successful in driving them off, but they drove them from the hill again. The Federals reinforced and once more charged them with infantry, artillery, and cavalry. They placed their artillery on some hills, confronted Gano's line of cavalry with infantry and endeavored to flank his command on both sides of his cavalry. Gano saw that he wouldn't hold his position long, but hated to fall back, having whipped them twice, but he fought a little longer then he should have done, and when he ordered his men to fall back, the Federal Cavalry had flanked them enough to give them an infilading fire, which got Gano's command into a stampede. Gano's brother, Frank, was cut off in the charge and, when dashing across the field, one of Gano's soldiers, running on foot, named Billy Right, jumped the horse over the fence, thinking by this time there was no chance for Frank Gano, left him and dashed off on his horse. Frank offered to surrender to the Federals, but they wouldn't take his surrender, but shot at him. He ran a few steps to the head of a gully, jumped into it and ran down it. The Cavalry pursuing him lost sight of him. He continued to run down this steep gully until he came in sight of a regiment dressed in blue. They demanded his surrender. He replied, 'Yes, I am willing to surrender, but I offered to surrender back there, but your soldiers wouldn't acknowledge my surrender, now, if you intend to kill me, so say, and we will fight it out to the best of our ability.' They asked, 'What command do you belong to?' He said, 'Gano's Brigade'. Gano moved forward, looking down to the ground, not knowing what minute they would shoot him down. When he got up pretty close to the head of the cavalry, they laughed, 'Ha! Ha!'. On looking up he saw it was a regiment of Duke's men. They were dressed in blue overcoats captured from the Yankees. Frank Gano said, 'I am a good mind to shoot you every one. But Frank got out safely, got another horse and joined his command the next day, after his friends had been hunting him all day over the battlefield, thinking he was dead.
The Federal Cavalry Pursued Gano's command along Snow's Hill, passing Beckwith's Tavern, and Gano seeing that they had gotten away from their artillery and infantry, knew he could whip the cavalry back if he could just rally his men. He sent two different orders to the front to form and protect the rear, but Colonel Brackenridge, who was in command of the front, said 'No such order ever reached the front; the only order I had was 'Double quick and go faster.' Gano, determined to rally his men, so ran his horse through a gap at the lower end, cutting off a number of his cavalrymen, whom he appealed to as Kentuckians to rally and make a stand. A soldier in the battle who was a Kentuckian said to a man by the name of Clark Farris, who was also a Kentuckian, and was running by his side, 'General Gano appeals to us as Kentuckians to rally and fight.' Clark Farris, seeing nothing but destruction if they turned around, replied, as he whipped up his little horse, 'I am a Tennesseean.' Gano succeeded in rallying 25 men. There were fences on either side of the road, and the woods on either side were densely overgrown with underbrush. Gano formed his men across the road from one side to the other in a line. When the regiment of the Federal Cavalry, 640 in number, were coming rapidly down the road, he ordered his men not to fire a gun until he told them, and they said they wouldn't. The Federals reached the 25 men formed in the road and lined up not more then 75 yards distant. There were eight men abreast and the eight men in front fired into Gano's men, but Gano's men sat as cool as a May morning, and never returned the fire. This frightened the Federals who thought that they must have all of Morgan's men there in the woods. The leader ordered a halt, and the men, being frightened, got terribly tangled up in the road. Gano, seeing that this was his time, stood up in his stirrups and yelled across the woods to the right, 'Forward Charge!' Then, turning to the left, he repeated the command. The Federal regiment t en ordered a retreat, and Gano ordered his 25 men to charge them. Gano's men continued to pursue them and shoot at them until they passed Beckwith's Tavern, and in the road above Beckwith's Tavern was a terrible mudhole. Gano and his men ran the Federals into this mudhole,
'Colonel W. C. P. Brackenridge wrote out a description of Gano's Charge on Snow's Hill after the war. He said: 'Gano, with a little squad of 25 men, charged an entire regiment. Riding this thoroughbred blue-grass horse, his hat in his hand, his hair and whiskers flowing back in the breeze, charging about thirty times his number, he drove them clear off the hill, and if I should live to be a hundred years old I would never forget that brilliant charge of General Gano on Snow's Hill.'
(page 92 et seq.)
"Gano with his command was ordered down to McMinnville, and there engaged the enemy several miles out of McMinnville in the woods. It was a very hot battle, fighting behind trees and protecting themselves as well as they could. This fight was so close that in several instances they grabbed each others' guns, and in one case a Federal got a Confederate's gun and the Confederate got the Federal's gun. One of Gano's soldiers, Lieutenant Wilson, was wounded in that fight. General Gano, learning that he was dangerously wounded, went down to the college, which was used as a hospital, to see him. Lieutenant Wilson had never made a profession of religion, but his father and mother were both Christians. Wilson knew that he was speedily dying. His face was pale, almost as white as his pillow. His hair curled gently back from his forehead. He was indeed a handsome young man. He said, 'Tell father and mother when you see them that I loved them till the last. I send my love to them by you. Tell them that I loved my country and gave my life for it. But don't tell them one word about my future.' When Gano met them after the war and delivered Wilson's message to them, the weeping mother said, 'General Gano, what did he say about the future?' Gano couldn't tell her one word. He said he was not willing to tell her about what he had said about the future. Wilson did say that he regretted that he hadn't done his duty, but that would have been too sad to have told her.
"Just before Gano left McMinnville, a gentleman came to him and asked to buy his saddle mare. Gano said, 'I haven't any use for her; I have all the horses I need on hand.' 'General,' he said, 'The Federals will take her away from me when they come here, and I will lose her; Please, got on her and ride her just 100 yards.' Gano did so and can truthfully say that he never sat on a better saddle animal. He purchased her at $150.00. Later he was offered $500 for her, and after that $1000, after that $2000 and then $2500, then $3000, after that $4000 and finally he was offered $5000 for her; he could have purchased with it a nice little farm in Texas. This, of course, was in declining Confederate money. He rode that little mare in many battles, and she was completely deafened by the artillery. She died in a Blue-grass pasture in Kentucky after the close of the way; the General's children having learned to ride upon her, Old Bird.