HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Stevenson, Ala., March 31, 1864.
CAPTAIN: In reply to your communication of this date calling
for a more explicit report of the wounding of 2 officers and the
capture of 3 men of my command on the 29th instant, I have the
honor to submit the following:
A detachment of four companies from the Sixty-sixth Regiment
Ohio Volunteers are stationed at Caperton's Ferry, on the Tennessee
River, about 4 miles from this post, at which point refugees from
the south are continually crossing.
About 1 p. m. yesterday, as Captain Morgan and Lieutenant
Organ, with 4 men, were on the south bank of the river assisting a
refugee to ferry himself and his household goods over the river,
they were fired upon by a party of mounted guerrillas, numbering
about 20, who demanded their surrender. The two officers threw
themselves into the bottom of the boat and pushed it into the stream,
when they were again fired upon, Captain Morgan being severely
wounded in the thigh and Lieutenant Organ slightly in the hand.
They drifted out into the stream and escaped to the opposite bank
of the river. The 4 men were a short distance above where the
boat was lying, and were unable to reach it. Three of them were
captured, 1 effecting his escape by hiding under the river bank,
where he was found by a force of our men who were immediately
thrown over the river.
Captain Dye, Sixty-sixth Ohio Volunteers, immediately crossed
with 40 men and pursued the rebels for 3 or 4 miles, but was unable
to come up with them.
The band of guerrillas was commanded by Capt. Sam. Norwood,
who is well known in these parts as a bushwhacker and negro thief.
In addition to the 3 Federal soldiers they captured the refugee
whom our men were assisting to cross and a man by the name
of Barnes, who had made himself obnoxious to them by frequently
bringing information to the Union troops stationed at this ferry.
No permission was given for Captain Morgan to cross the river,
but it is usual to render all possible assistance to deserters and refugees
desiring to escape from the rebel lines.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Post.
Capt. R. H. WILBUR, A. A. A. G.
Source: Official Records, Series 1, Volume 32, Part 1.
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