Fifty Years Ago


July 10, 1913

 

WALNUT GROVE

 

As this the fifth day of July is a memoriable day in the history of my life, I will tell some of the happenings.  Just fifty years ago today, though it was on Sunday, July 5th, 1863, at Lebanon, Ky., myself and something near 300 Yanky soldiers were completely gobbled up by the famous confederate raider, John Morgan.  After we surrendered they made us run at break neck speed for nine miles.  About the first half through dust, whoopee but it was hot.  The other half through mud and water knee deep in some places and a heavy down pour of rain, and starving for a drink and could not get a drop.  That may sound strange to some, but it is facts.  That night I like to have frozen to death, and it was as hot weather as it ever gets to be.  Little did I think that fifty years in the future would I be sitting at my desk, in my own little home, children all grown and me trying in my feebly way to describe to the public and the generation that was then unborn.  Only a small part of the happenings though it will remain fresh in my memory just as long as I stay above the sod, though nearly all of our dear old boys who took part in that day's struggle, have answered the lass roll call and passed over the border line.  I call them dear because of the fact after being with them and sharing the hardships of army life for over three years, we can't help but have a kind feeling for each and all of them while some of them were better men morally than some others while it is true enough, we were all bad enough.  So far as moral character goes, some may fault me for some of my sayings but I am simply stating facts.--H. M. Riley. [Henry Lewis Riley (1843-1916) Co. H 20th KY Inf.]

 

Source:  Crittenden Record-Press. (Marion, Ky.) 1909-191?, July 10, 1913, Image 8 - Chronicling America - The Library of Congress.

 

[My comments are in brackets.]