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Bugle Blasts Read before the Ohio Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States   By:

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BY COMPANION WILLIAM E. CRANE, Late Captain 4th O. V. C. and A. A. Adjt. Gen.

NOVEMBER 5, 1884.



To one who occupied a very small space in the War of the Rebellion one who filled but a modest position among those who sought to protect the Nation's honor and life it is a matter of difficulty, if not hazard, to attempt to enlighten, or even entertain, such a body as that to whom this paper is addressed. Certainly no attempt will be made, in this case, to enlighten . If any thing new is furnished that shall also prove interesting, the end will be subserved. There are those among us, members of Ohio Commandery, who contributed largely to the grandeur, the magnificence, the glory of that army of the Union from which this Order sprang. There are those among us who made pages, aye, chapters, of history where great deeds are emphasized in blood; deeds that "throbbed the Nation's heart." And this history is not for a day; not for our time alone. It will go on down the ages to be read by grand children and their grand children, who will point with pride to the illustrious achievements and say: "These were my ancestors who fought in that great war and did these glorious things!" What richer legacy can you hand down? This is fame ! This is glory ! And do not these come of honest ambition? But there are incidents, episodes, deeds that come under the observation only of the few sometimes of the individual which, little in themselves and seemingly inconsequential, help to make up the grand story. It is an old, old story now, but the story has become history. A full and true history of the late war has never been written never will be. But little links can be picked up even as we pick up battered bullets on old battle fields and these may be welded together to make a completer chain. And this is, perhaps, our duty, the duty of those who are permitted to enjoy the present. Let us also make it a pleasure.

I call this paper "Bugle Blasts" simply because that seems as appropriate as anything. It refers to some incidents and experiences in the cavalry; exciting and sometimes thrilling to those engaged, if not interesting to him who hears the tale told.

Late in the winter of '62, when the movement on Fort Donelson was begun, Buell began his movement on Bowling Green. The Third Division had the advance and was commanded by General O. M. Mitchell, or "Star Mitchell" as he was called in those days. February 10th Mitchell broke camp at Bacon Creek, Kentucky, made a forced march to Bowling Green, driving the rebel Hindman before him, and on February 22d started for Nashville. The Fourth Ohio Cavalry, his advance regiment, was before Nashville on the evening of the 23d, and received from the Mayor the surrender of the city. The Third Division went into camp and the Fourth Ohio Cavalry was placed eight miles in the front, at the outposts, on the Murfreesboro pike.

The cavalry of Buell's army had not received that attention requisite for the most efficient service, and the Fourth Ohio was no exception. There were no carbines in the regiment only sabers and some unreliable revolvers. One company, however (that of the writer's), was armed with Colt's revolving rifles. These had been secured, some weeks before, while the company was on special duty at Upton, Ky., by requisition on Louisville, accompanied by considerable diplomacy, etc. the "etc" to be literally translated, and not given too liberal a construction. I say the company was armed with this formidable weapon. Perhaps it were better to say loaded . The horse certainly was loaded when the trooper mounted with this instrument slung on his back, clanking saber at his side, and pistol in holster. It was cruelty to add the canteen and haversack! But in those days we had no "S... Continue reading book >>

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