Number 2

No Date Given

I now speak of the battle at Brice's Crossroads, June 10 1864. [Note that McNeely has already recounted his experiences in the July 1864 battle of Tupelo in his first letter, and is now skipping back in time.] I cannot tell half of what was done that day. We rode about twenty miles by noon. We then dismounted and formed line of battle near the crossroads. General Forrest and several of his field officers held a council and General Forrest remarked to General Buford, "We will hold him until tomorrow". Buford said, "Fight him now or he will whip you tomorrow". Forrest then said to Buford, "If that is it, get to work with your artillery". General Buford then ordered Captain Morton to put in a few two-second fuses, and feel of him. After shelling him for awhile he [Buford] called his brigade to attention and said, "Forward men!". Then the shot and shell both large and small fell in earnest. Major Hale commanded the Seventh Kentucky in this charge. The Yankees had ten thousand and four hundred men, while we had only four thousand. This was the hottest fight I was ever in. General Buford said, "Forward Men!", at about on o'clock pm and the battle continued for about six or seven hours, or the pursuit or the retreat. Sad was the scene! The Yankees shot the lower band off my rifle, shivering the stock in my hand, knocking the skin off my face in five places, and one on my arm, and made nine holes in my jacket sleeve. All this was done as quick as you could snap your finger. You may say that is a big one you have told. General Forrest stampeded the whole Yankee army. While chasing them I drank a good drink of water out of a hog wallow. We chased them until thick dusk, and when we were halted the only men present in Kentucky Seventh, Co. E were 2nd Lieut. Cochran, J.A., and J.B. McNeely. The rest of Company E had got too hot and fell by the way. We did not want negro quality on the 10th day of June 1864.

On the 11th I was at the hospital. They had a long table on which to cut off limbs, and dress wounds of both Yankees and Confederates. A boy carried the amputated limbs away and threw them in a pile which was then about waist high to me. Oh! sad, sad, to me to see the dead men and their horses lying in their blood. You cannot tell a white man from a negro, except by his hair. If I was ever at a place that smell bad it was there June11, 1864. You may ask who buried the dead. I don't know. Oh! sad. I don't know how many dead there were, but a great many. I cannot write half what was done in that fight. You may ask, what did the mortally wounded men say, some said, "Lord have mercy on me". Some fell without a word, others would give up a deep groan, but why I cannot tell. I have seen and heard many things that I do not want to write about.

I have written a few things which happened over fifty years ago, I am trying to be thankful to the All Wise for past blessings. I was 81 years old March 17, 1915. You may ask, do I think that God had anything to do with that battle? Yes I do. I think that the Powers that be are ordained of God. There is no power but of God. I believed it on the battle field and I trust I believe it now.


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