Raiding with Morgan
by Byron A. Dunn
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Raiding with Morgan

The Young Kentuckians Series

Raiding with Morgan

BY Byron A. Dunn

Author of "General Nelson's Scout," "On General Thomas's Staff," "Battling for Atlanta," "From Atlanta to the Sea"

Chicago A. C. McClurg & Co. 1903





General John H. Morgan was one of the most picturesque figures in the Civil War, an officer without a peer in his chosen line. During the two years of his brilliant career he captured and paroled at least ten thousand Federal soldiers, and kept three times that number in the rear of the Federal army guarding communications. When we consider the millions of dollars' worth of property he destroyed, and how he paralyzed the movements of Buell, we do not wonder that he was considered the scourge of the Army of the Cumberland.

General Morgan was a true Kentucky gentleman, and possessed one of the kindest of hearts. The thousands of persons captured by him almost invariably speak of the good treatment accorded them. The following incident reveals more clearly than words his generous spirit. In reporting a scout, he says:

"Stopped at a house where there was a sick Lincoln soldier, who died that night. No men being in the neighborhood, his wife having no person to make a coffin or bury him, I detailed some men, who made a coffin."

The adventures of Calhoun as a secret agent of the "Knights of the Golden Circle" opens up a portion of the history of the Civil War which may be almost unknown to our younger readers. During the war the whole North was honeycombed with secret societies, whose members denounced Lincoln as a usurper and a bloody monster, and maintained that the government had no right to coerce the South. They resisted the draft, encouraged desertions, and embarrassed the Federal Government in every way possible. In secret many of the leaders plotted armed rebellion, the liberation of Confederate prisoners, and the burning of Northern cities. They held out inducements to the South to invade the North, and there is but little doubt that Morgan was lured to his destruction by their representations.

Shortly after the close of the war the author met a gentleman who had served on the staff of General Breckinridge. This officer affirmed that he carried a message from Breckinridge to Morgan, saying that the former had positive information that forty thousand armed "Knights" stood ready to assist Morgan if he would invade Indiana. Everything goes to show that Morgan relied on these reports, and it was this belief that induced him to disobey the orders of General Bragg.

It is an interesting question whether General Breckinridge was really privy to the plans of the "Knights," and whether he secretly encouraged Morgan to disobey orders, hoping that the appearance of a Confederate force in the North would lead to the overthrow of the Lincoln Government and the independence of the South. The author has taken the ground that Breckinridge was fully cognizant of Morgan's intended move.

This volume mentions only the greatest of the General's raids, and the author has tried to narrate them with historical accuracy as regards time, place, and circumstances. In stating the number of his men, his losses, and the damage he inflicted on the Federals, the General's own reports have been followed; these, as was to be expected, differ widely in many cases from those of the Federal officers.

The tale of the exploits of Calhoun is substantially true, though the hero himself is fictitious, for every one of his most notable feats was accomplished by one or other of Morgan's men. It was Lieutenant Eastin, of Morgan's command, who killed Colonel Halisy in single combat. Calhoun's achievements in the escape from the Ohio Penitentiary were actually performed by two different persons: a sharp dining-room boy furnished the knives with which the prisoners dug their way to liberty; Captain Thomas H. Hines planned and carried to a successful termination the daring and ingenious escape. Captain Hines fled with General Morgan; and every adventure which befell Calhoun in "The Flight to the South" actually befell Captain Hines. The Captain's marvellous story was published in the January number of "The Century," 1891, and to this narrative the author is indebted for the leading facts.

B. A. DUNN. August 1, 1903.




PAGE As he sat upon his horse and looked out upon the river Frontispiece He easily distanced all his pursuers 31 Sauntering into the depot they gazed curiously around 76 They silently crept down the gorge 101 He fired at Conway 120 The force of the blow threw the Colonel forward on 157 his saddle He cautiously crept up on the Sergeant 183 Into the darkness Calhoun dashed, following his guide 223 Escape of Morgan from prison 302 She held her breath and listened to catch the sound 319 of battle




The great battle of Shiloh had been fought, and victory had been snatched from the hands of the Confederates by the opportune arrival of Buell's army.

The Southerners had lost their beloved commander, slain; a third of their number had fallen. Although defeated they had not been conquered. They had set forth from Corinth in the highest hopes, fully expecting to drive Grant's army into the Tennessee River. This hope was almost realized, when it suddenly perished: twenty thousand fresh troops had arrived upon the field, and the Confederates were forced to retreat. But they had fallen back unmolested, for the Federal army had been too severely punished to think of pursuing. Both armies were willing to rest and have their decimated ranks filled with fresh troops.

Of all the Southern troops engaged at Shiloh none felt their defeat more keenly than the Kentucky brigade under the command of Colonel Trabue. They had fought as only brave men can fight; they left one-third of their number on the field, killed and wounded. Defeat could not demoralize them, and it fell to their lot to cover the retreat of Beauregard. They had stood like a wall of adamant between their fleeing army and the victorious Federals. No charge could pierce that line of heroes. With faces to the foe, they slowly fell back, contesting every inch of ground.

Fondly had they hoped that Grant would first be crushed, then Buell annihilated, and their march to Nashville would be unopposed. From Nashville it would be an easy matter to redeem their beloved Kentucky from the ruthless Northern invaders.

It was but a few days after the battle that there was a social gathering of Kentucky officers at the headquarters of General John C. Breckinridge. Conspicuous in that group of notable men was one whose insignia of office showed him to be only a captain. But he was already a marked man. He had greatly distinguished himself in Kentucky and Tennessee as a daring raider and scout, and at the battle of Shiloh he had rendered invaluable service at the head of a squadron of independent cavalry.

It was but natural that in such a gathering the situation would be freely discussed. "It looks to me," said Breckinridge, with a sigh, "that if we are forced to give up Corinth, our cause in the West will be lost. I am in favor of holding Corinth to the last man."

"What is your opinion, Morgan?" asked one of the officers, turning to the captain of whom we have spoken.

Thus addressed, John H. Morgan modestly answered: "The General will pardon me if I differ with him somewhat in his opinion. Corinth should be held, as long as that can be done with safety to the army. But Corinth itself is of little value to us, now that the railroad between here and Chattanooga is in the hands of the enemy. It is not worth the sacrifice of a hundred men."

"What! would you give up Corinth without a struggle?" asked the officer, in surprise.

"Not if a battle offered a reasonable hope of victory," replied Morgan. "What I mean is, that the place should not be held so long as to endanger the safety of the army. Corinth is nothing; the army is everything."

"Then you believe, Captain, that Corinth could be lost, and our cause not greatly suffer?"

"Certainly. The further the enemy advances into the South, the more vulnerable he becomes. Even now, give me a thousand men, and I can keep forty thousand of the enemy busy protecting their lines of communication."

"Morgan, you are joking!" exclaimed several of the officers.

"No joke about it. I expect to see old Kentucky before many days; and if I do, there will be consternation in the ranks of the Yankees."

"Do you think you can reach Kentucky with a thousand men?" asked Breckinridge, in a tone which showed his doubt.

"I shall make the attempt with less than half of that number," replied Morgan, coolly.

A murmur of surprise arose, and then Trabue asked: "Will Beauregard let you make the hazardous attempt?"

"Yes, with my own squadron, but he will risk no more men in the venture."

"Well, good-bye, John, if you try it," said one of the officers, laughing.

"Why good-bye, Colonel?"

"Because the Yankees will get you sure."

"Perhaps!" answered Morgan, dryly, as he arose to go.

"The whole South will ring with the praises of that man one of these days," remarked Breckinridge, after Morgan had made his exit.

"A perfect dare-devil. I am proud he is a Kentuckian," remarked Trabue.

Not knowing the flattering words spoken of him, Morgan wended his way to his headquarters, where he was informed by the orderly who took his horse that a young Confederate officer had been waiting for some time to see him.

"He said he must see you," continued the orderly, "and if necessary he would wait all night."

"All right, I will see what he wants," replied Morgan, as he turned and entered his headquarters. There he was greeted by a young man, not much more than a boy, who wore the uniform of a Confederate lieutenant.

Morgan gave him a swift glance, and then exclaimed: "Bless my heart! if this isn't Calhoun Pennington, son of my old friend Judge Pennington! I am more than glad to see you. I have heard of some of your exploits, and often wondered why you did not seek to take service with me. Let's see! You were on the staff of the late lamented Governor Johnson, were you not?"

"Yes," replied Calhoun; and his voice trembled, and tears came into his eyes in spite of himself, as he thought of the death of his beloved chief.

"A grand man, a brave man," said Morgan, gently. "Now that he has gone, what do you propose doing?"

"That is what I have come to see you about. General Beauregard has offered me a position on his staff, but I wanted to see you before I accepted."

"What! a position on the staff of General Beauregard! That is a rare honor for one so young as you are. Of course you are going to accept?"

"I do not know yet; I am to give him an answer in the morning, as I said I wanted to see you first. Great as the honor is which has been offered me, I feel it is a service which would not be agreeable to me. I much prefer the freer life of a scout and ranger. Perhaps you may know, I have done much of this kind of work. I have even performed more dangerous tasks than that of scouting, and I confess I rather like it."

Morgan mused for a moment, and then suddenly asked: "Are you not a cousin of Frederic Shackelford, son of the late Colonel Richard Shackelford of our army?"

Calhoun's brow clouded. "Yes," he answered; "but why do you say the late Colonel Shackelford? Uncle Dick is not dead."

"Is that so? I am rejoiced to hear it. It was reported he was among the slain."

"He was desperately wounded," answered Calhoun, "but he did not die, and he is now a prisoner in the hands of the Yankees. Uncle Dick is a hero; but as for that traitor cousin of mine, I hate him!" and again Calhoun's brow grew dark.

"I have no reason to love him," laughed Morgan, "but I cannot help admiring him. He it was who discovered our well-laid plans, and forced me to flee from Lexington, as a thief in the night."

"Aye!" answered Calhoun, "but for him and that brute Nelson, Kentucky would now have been out of the Union. But that is not all. Had it not been for the same two traitors there would have been a different story to tell of Shiloh. Grant's army would now have been prisoners, Buell's in full flight, and our own pressing northward to redeem Kentucky. Had there been no Nelson, Buell's army would not have reached Grant in time to save him from destruction. If there had been no Fred Shackelford I should have borne the news to General Johnston that Buell would join Grant by the fifth, and Johnston would have made his attack a couple of days earlier. I was bearing the news to Johnston that Nelson would reach Savannah by the fifth when I was captured."

"Captured?" echoed Morgan, in surprise.

"Yes, captured, and by no less a personage than my cousin Fred Shackelford. But for this I would have reached Johnston by the second; as it was, I did not reach Shiloh until the morning of the last day of the battle."

"Then you escaped?" queried Morgan.

"No; my cousin let me go, after he had held me until he knew my information would be of no value. I was dressed in citizen's clothes. He could have had me hanged as a spy. I suppose I ought to be thankful to him, but I am not." And Calhoun shuddered when he thought how near he had been to death.(1)

"That was kind of him," said Morgan; "and you ought to be thankful to him, whether you are or not. To tell the truth, I took a great fancy to young Shackelford, and tried hard to get him to cast his lot with me. But as I failed to get him, I believe you would make a splendid substitute. You still think you had rather go with me than be on Beauregard's staff?"

"A thousand times, yes. I had rather go with you as a private than be a lieutenant on the General's staff," answered Calhoun, with vehemence.

Morgan's eyes sparkled. "That is the finest compliment I ever had paid me," he said, "but I cannot allow the son of my old friend Judge Pennington to serve in the ranks as a private soldier. Yet my companies are fully officered now. Let's see! How would you like to go back to Kentucky?"

"Go back to Kentucky?" asked Calhoun in surprise.

"Yes, to recruit for my command. Do you think you could dodge the Yankees?"

"I believe I could. I could at least try," answered Calhoun, his face aglow with the idea.

"The case is this," said Morgan: "I am going to make a raid in a few days, and am going to try to reach Kentucky. My present force is small—not much over four hundred. I do not look for much help from the Confederate Government. Those in authority do not regard with much favor independent organizations. To augment my force, I must in a great measure rely on my own efforts. I know there are hundreds of the flower of Kentucky youths eager to join me if they had the opportunity. You are just the person to send back to organize them. When can you start?"

"In the morning," answered Calhoun.

Morgan smiled. "Good!" he said. "You are made of the right material. We will make full arrangements to-morrow. Good night, now, for it is getting late."

Thus dismissed Calhoun went away with a light heart. He was to be one of Morgan's men. It was all he wished.

The next morning Calhoun informed General Beauregard that while sensible of the great honor which he would bestow on him by appointing him a member of his staff, yet he believed he could be of more service to the South by casting his fortune with Morgan, and he had concluded to do so.

"While I greatly regret to lose you," replied the General, "I believe you have chosen well. To one of your temperament service with Morgan will be much more congenial than the duties of a staff officer. In fact," continued the General, with a smile, "I think you resemble Morgan in being restive under orders, and prefer to have your own way and go where you please. A command or two of partisan rangers may do, but too many would be fatal to the discipline of an army. Morgan may do the enemy a great deal of mischief, but after all, the fate of the South must be decided by her great armies."

"True, General," replied Calhoun, "but if Morgan can keep thousands of the enemy in the rear guarding their communications, the great armies of the North will be depleted by that number."

"That is true also," answered Beauregard; "and for that reason Morgan will be given more or less of a free rein. I have recommended him for a colonelcy. Convey to him my regards, and tell him I heartily congratulate him upon his last recruit."

General Beauregard's kind words touched Calhoun deeply. "Thank you, General," he replied, with feeling. "I trust I shall never prove myself unworthy of your good opinion. May God bless you, and crown your efforts with victory!"

After parting with Beauregard, Calhoun lost no time in reporting to Morgan. He found his chief in command of about four hundred men, rough, daring fellows who would follow their leader wherever he went. A more superb body of rough-riders was never formed.

Calhoun was introduced to the officers of the squadron, and when it became known that he was going back to Kentucky to recruit for the command—although many of the officers wondered why their chief had selected one so young—they gave him a hearty welcome. But when it became known that he was the son of Judge Pennington, of Danville, that he had already won renown as a daring scout, and had been offered a position on the staff of General Beauregard, their welcome was doubly enthusiastic.

To this welcome there was one exception. One of Morgan's officers, Captain P. C. Conway, had applied to Morgan for permission to go back to Kentucky on this same duty, and had been refused. He was a short, thickset, red-faced man with a very pompous air. His weakness was liquor; yet he was a brave, efficient officer. What he considered an affront was never forgiven, for he was of a revengeful disposition. It was consistent with his character that he should become a mortal enemy of Calhoun.

When he was introduced to Calhoun he merely bowed, and did not offer to give his hand.

"I believe I have heard of Captain Conway," said Calhoun, with a smile. "I have heard a cousin of mine speak of him."

"Why, yes," spoke up Morgan, with a twinkle in his eye, "Captain, Lieutenant Pennington is a cousin of your particular friend, Captain Fred Shackelford, of the Yankee army."

Conway fairly turned purple with rage. "Lieutenant Pennington has no reason to be proud of his relationship to that sneak and spy," he snorted.

"I have no more reason to love my cousin than you," replied Calhoun, with some warmth. "He may have played the spy; so have I; but sneak he is not, and I would thank you not to use the term again, traitor though he is to the South and his native state."

Conway glared at him for a moment, but there was something in Calhoun's eye which told him that if he repeated the term it might cause trouble, so he snapped: "Well, spy and traitor, if those terms suit you better; but it may be of interest to you to know that I have sworn to see that precious cousin of yours hanged, and"—with a fearful oath—"I will see that he is."

With these words he turned on his heel and stalked away.

"Shackelford's name has the same effect on Conway that a red rag has on a mad bull," laughed Morgan. "He can never forget that trick your cousin played on him."

"Ah! I remember," said Calhoun; "Fred told me all about it. Conway may take a dislike to me simply because I am Fred's cousin. I noticed that he greeted me rather coldly."

"I reckon he will not carry his hatred so far as that," replied Morgan, "yet it may be best not to mention Shackelford's name to him."

But Morgan might have changed his mind if he had heard Conway talking to a brother officer.

"Just to think," he fumed, "that the Captain picked on that young upstart to go back to Kentucky to recruit instead of one of us. I volunteered to go yesterday, and he put me down. To my mind, Pennington is no better than that sneak of a cousin of his, and Morgan will find it out some day."

"Better keep a still tongue in your head, Conway," dryly replied the officer, a Captain Matthews, to whom Conway was complaining. "Morgan will give you hell if he finds you are trying to create dissatisfaction."

"I am not afraid of Morgan," muttered Conway, but he said no more.

In the mean time Calhoun was hurriedly making preparations for his journey. Many of the officers and men were engaged in writing letters to send back by him to the dear ones in Kentucky. Morgan intrusted to him several important communications to prominent Southern sympathizers.

Just as Calhoun was ready to start, Morgan gave him his secret instructions.

"What I now tell you," he said, "is too important to commit to writing. You may be captured. For hundreds of miles you must ride through a country swarming with Yankees. You will need discretion, as much or more than you will need courage. Much depends on your success. I intend to make a raid north about the first week in May. If possible (and I think it is), I shall try to reach Kentucky. My force when I start will not reach five hundred. If I could be joined by a thousand when I reach Kentucky, I believe I could sweep clear to the Ohio River. But with the short time at your disposal that will be impossible. But join me at Glasgow with all you can. I expect to be in Glasgow by the tenth of May at the latest."

"All right," replied Calhoun, "I will try to meet you there at that time, with at least one or two good companies."

Little did Morgan think at the time how badly he would need those companies.

At last all was ready, and amid shouts of "Good-bye" and "Success to you," Calhoun vaulted into the saddle and rode away eastward.



At the time Calhoun started for Kentucky, General Halleck was concentrating his immense army at Pittsburg Landing, preparatory to an attack on Corinth. Federal gunboats patrolled the Tennessee River as far up as Eastport. General Mitchell held the Memphis and Charleston Railroad between Decatur and Stevenson, but between Corinth and Decatur there was no large body of Federals, and the country was open to excursions of Confederate cavalry. In Middle Tennessee every important place was held by detachments of Federal troops. To attempt to ride through the lines was an exceedingly dangerous undertaking, but that is what Calhoun had to do to reach Kentucky. He expected to meet with little danger until he attempted to cross the lines of General Mitchell, which extended along the railroads that ran from Nashville southward. The country through which he had to pass was intensely Southern, and the Yankee cavalry did not venture far from the railroads.

When Calhoun left Corinth, he rode straight eastward, until he reached Tuscumbia, Alabama. Here he found little trouble in finding means to cross the Tennessee River. Once across the river he took a northeast course, which would take him through Rogersville. Now and then he met small squads of Confederate cavalry. They were scouting through the country, and did not seem to be under very strict military discipline, doing much as they pleased.

Now and then he came across a party of recruits making their way to the Confederate army at Corinth. They were mostly country boys, rough, uncouth, and with little or no education. They knew or cared little of the causes which had led up to the war; but they knew that the Southland had been invaded, that their homes were in danger, and they made soldiers whose bravery and devotion excited the admiration of the world.

In order to find out what General Mitchell was doing, and as nearly as he could, to ascertain the number of his forces, Calhoun resolved to ride as near the line of the Nashville and Decatur railroad as was prudent. As he approached Rogersville, he learned that the place had just been raided by a regiment of Yankee cavalry, and the country was in a panic.

Approaching the place cautiously, he was pleased to ascertain that the cavalry, after committing numerous depredations, had retreated to Athens. He now learned for the first time of the atrocities which had been committed on the defenceless inhabitants of Athens, and his blood boiled as he listened to the recital. No wonder the citizens of Rogersville were in a panic, fearing that their fate might be the same.

"The whelps and robbers!" he exclaimed; "how I should like to get at them! But their time will come. Never will the South lay down her arms until every Northern soldier is driven in or across the Ohio."

In Rogersville Calhoun met with a Doctor Jenkins, who was especially well informed as to the strength and positions of the Federal army, and as to the feelings of the citizens.

"At first," said he, "the result of the battle of Shiloh greatly discouraged us, and the slaughter was horrifying. But we are getting over that now, and every true son of the South is more determined than ever to fight the war to the bitter end, even if we see our homes in flames and the country laid waste. How is it that Kentucky does not join hands with her sister states?"

"She will, she must," cried Calhoun. "Already thousands of her sons are flocking to the Southern standard. It needs but a victory—a Confederate army to enter her territory, and the people will rise en masse. There are not enough traitors or Yankees in the state to keep them down."

"Do you think Beauregard can hold Corinth?" asked the Doctor.

"He can if any one can. He is a great general," answered Calhoun. "But Morgan thinks the loss of Corinth would not be fatal if the army were saved. 'Under no consideration,' says Morgan, 'should Beauregard allow himself to be cooped up in Corinth.' "

"I reckon he is right," sighed the Doctor; "but may the time never come when he will have to give it up."

"Amen to that!" answered Calhoun.

From Rogersville Calhoun made his way north. He ascertained that the railroad which Mitchell was engaged in repairing was not strongly guarded, and he believed that with five hundred men Morgan could break it almost anywhere between Athens and Columbia.

Near Mount Pleasant he met a Confederate officer with a party of recruits which he was taking south. He sent back by him a statement to Morgan of all he had learned, and added: "Taking everything into consideration, I believe that Pulaski will be the best place for you to strike. I have no fears but that you can capture it, even with your small force."

Calhoun met with his first serious adventure shortly after he had crossed the railroad, which he did a few miles south of Columbia. Thinking to make better time, he took the main road leading to Shelbyville. He was discovered by a squad of Federal cavalry, which immediately gave chase. But he was mounted on a splendid horse, one that he had brought with him from Kentucky. He easily distanced all his pursuers with the exception of three or four, and he was gradually drawing away from all of them, except a lieutenant in command of the squad, who seemed to be as well mounted as himself.

"Only one," muttered Calhoun, looking back, as a pistol-ball whistled by his head; "I can settle him," and he reached for a revolver in his holster. As he did so, his horse stepped into a hole and plunged heavily forward, throwing Calhoun over his head. For a moment he lay bruised and stunned, and then staggered to his feet, only to find the Federal officer upon him.

"Surrender, you Rebel!" cried the officer, but quick as a flash, Calhoun snatched a small revolver which he carried in his belt, and fired.

Instead of hitting the officer, the ball struck the horse fairly in the head, and the animal fell dead. Leaving the officer struggling to extricate himself from his fallen horse, Calhoun scrambled over a fence, and scurried across a small field, beyond which was a wood. A scattering volley was fired by the foremost of the pursuers, but it did no harm, and Calhoun was soon across the field. Mounting the fence on the other side, he stood on the top rail, and turning around, he uttered a shout of defiance, then jumping down, disappeared in the wood.

The foremost of the Federals, a tall, lanky sergeant named Latham, galloped to the side of his commander, who was still struggling to extricate himself from his fallen horse. Springing from his saddle, he helped him to his feet, and anxiously inquired, "Are you hurt, Lieutenant?"

"The Rebel, the Rebel, where is he? Did you get him?" asked the Lieutenant.

"Get him!" drawled the Sergeant, "I think not. He got across that field as if Old Nick was after him. But once across he had the cheek to stand on the fence and crow like a young rooster. I took a crack at him, but missed."

"Why didn't you pursue him?" demanded the officer, fiercely.

"What! in those woods? Might as well look for a needle in a haymow. But are you hurt, Lieutenant?"

"My leg is sprained," he groaned; "but the worst of it is, Jupiter is dead. Curse that Rebel! how I wish I had him! I would make him pay dearly for that horse."

"Here is the Rebel's horse. I caught him!" exclaimed one of the men, leading up Calhoun's horse, which he had captured. "He looks like a mighty fine horse, only he seems a little lame from his fall."

"That is a fine horse," said Latham, looking him over, "but he has been rode mighty hard. Wonder who that feller can be. I see no signs of any other Reb. He must have been alone. Say, he was a Jim-dandy whoever he was. I thought you had him sure, Lieutenant."

"So did I," answered the Lieutenant, with an oath. "When his horse threw him I had no idea he would try to get away, and ordered him to surrender. But quick as a flash he jerked a revolver from his belt, and fired."

"Better be thankful he hit the horse instead of you," said the Sergeant.

For answer the Lieutenant limped to a stone, and sitting down, said: "Examine that roll behind the saddle of the horse. Perhaps we can find out who the fellow was."

Sergeant Latham took the roll, which was securely strapped behind Calhoun's saddle, and began to unroll it as carefully as if he suspected it might be loaded.

"A fine rubber and a good woollen blanket," remarked the Sergeant. "Looks mighty like those goods once belonged to our good Uncle Samuel. Bet your life, they are a part of the plunder from Shiloh. Ah! here is a bundle of letters."

"Give them to me," said the Lieutenant.

The Sergeant handed them over, and the officer hastily glanced over them, reading the superscriptions.

"Why," he exclaimed, in surprise, "these letters are all addressed to persons in Kentucky. What could that fellow be doing with letters going to Kentucky? We will see." He tore open one of the letters.

He had read but a few lines when he exclaimed, with a strong expletive, "Boys, I would give a month's pay if we had captured that fellow!"

"Who was he? Who was he?" cried several soldiers in unison.

"He was—let me see—" and the Lieutenant tore open several more of the letters, and rapidly scanned them—"yes, these letters make it plain. He was a Lieutenant Calhoun Pennington, and he was from the Rebel army at Corinth. I take it he was on his way back to Kentucky to recruit for the command of a Captain John H. Morgan. Morgan—Morgan, I have heard of that fellow before. He played the deuce with us in Kentucky last winter: burned the railroad bridge over Bacon Creek, captured trains, tore up the railroad, and played smash generally. These letters all seem to be private ones written by the soldiers in Morgan's command to their relatives and friends back in Kentucky. But he may have carried important dispatches on his person. We let a rare prize slip through our fingers."

"Can't be helped now," dryly remarked Sergeant Latham. "If you had captured him it might have put one bar, if not two, on your shoulder-strap."

The Lieutenant scowled, but did not reply. All the letters were read and passed around. Three or four of them occasioned much merriment, for they were written by love-lorn swains whom the cruel hand of war had torn from their sweethearts.

"Golly! it's a wonder them letters hadn't melted from the sweetness they contained," remarked Sergeant Latham.

"Or took fire from their warmth," put in a boyish looking soldier.

"Not half as warm as the letter I caught you writing to Polly Jones the other day," laughed a comrade. "Boys, I looked over his shoulder and read some of it. I tell you it was hot stuff. 'My dearest Polly!' it commenced, 'I——' "

But he never finished the sentence, for the young soldier sprang and struck him a blow which rolled him in the dust.

"A fight! a fight!" shouted the men, and crowded around to see the fun.

"Stop that!" roared the Lieutenant, "or I will have you both bucked and gagged when we get to camp. Sergeant Latham, see that both of those men are put on extra duty to-night."

When things had quieted down, others of the letters were read; but some of them occasioned no merriment. Instead, one could see a rough blouse sleeve drawn across the eyes, and a gulping down as if something choked the wearer. These were letters written to the wives and mothers who were watching and waiting for their loved ones to return. These letters reminded them of their own wives and mothers in the Northland, waiting and praying for them.

Suddenly the Lieutenant spoke up: "Boys, we have been wasting time over those letters. That fellow was making his way back to Kentucky. He has no horse. What more natural than that he would try and obtain one at the first opportunity? That old Rebel Osborne lives not more than a mile ahead. You remember we visited him last week, and threatened to arrest him if the railroad was tampered with any more. It was thought he sheltered these wandering bands of Confederates who make it dangerous to step outside the camp. If we push on, we may catch our bird at Osborne's."

"If not, it will at least give you a chance to see the pretty daughter," remarked the Sergeant.

"Shut up, or I will have you reduced to the ranks," growled the Lieutenant.

The subject was rather a painful one to the Lieutenant, for during his visit to the Osbornes the week before, when he tried to make himself agreeable to the daughter, the lady told him in very plain words what she thought of Yankees.

"It's nearly noon, too," continued the Lieutenant, after the interruption, "and that spring near the house is a splendid place to rest our horses and eat our dinners; so fall in." The Lieutenant slowly mounted Calhoun's horse, for his fall had made him sore, and in none the best of humor, he gave the command, "Forward!"

The plantation of Mr. Osborne was soon reached. It was a beautiful place. The country had not yet been devastated by the cruel hand of war, and the landscape, rich with the growing crops, lay glowing under the bright April sky. The mansion house stood back from the road in a grove of noble native trees, and the whole surroundings betokened a home of wealth and refinement.

From underneath a rock near the house gushed forth a spring, whose waters, clear as crystal, ran away in a rippling stream. It was near this spring that Lieutenant Haines, for that was the officer's name, halted his troops.

"Better throw a guard around the house," he said to Sergeant Latham, "for if that Rebel has found his way here, he may make a sneak out the back way. After you get the guard posted, we will search the house."

As the Sergeant was executing his orders, Mr. Osborne came out of the house, and approaching the troop, to Lieutenant Haines's surprise, gave him a cordial greeting.

"I cannot say I am rejoiced to see you again," he exclaimed, with a smile, "except you come in peace. I trust that the telegraph wire has not been cut, or the railroad torn up again."

"Nothing of the kind has happened," answered the Lieutenant.

"Then I reckon I am in no danger of arrest, and I trust you will take dinner with us. It is nearly ready."

The invitation nearly took away the Lieutenant's breath, but he accepted it gladly. As they were going toward the house, Mr. Osborne remarked, carelessly, "I see you have thrown a guard around the house. Are you afraid of an attack? I know of no body of Confederates in the vicinity."

"The truth is," replied Haines, "we ran into a lone Confederate about a mile from here. We captured his horse, but he succeeded in escaping to the woods, after killing my horse. I did not know but he might have found refuge here; and, excuse me, Mr. Osborne, but I may be under the necessity of searching your house."

"Do as you please," replied Mr. Osborne, coldly; "I have seen no such Confederate; but if I had, I should have concealed him if I could. But do not let this circumstance spoil our good nature, or our dinner."

Just then they met Sergeant Latham returning from posting the guard. "Sergeant, you may withdraw the guard," said the Lieutenant; "Mr. Osborne informs me he has not seen our runaway Confederate."

The Sergeant turned back to carry out the order, muttering, "Confederate! Confederate! The Lieutenant is getting mighty nice; he generally says 'Rebel.' "

If Lieutenant Haines was surprised at the cordial greeting he had received from Mr. Osborne, he was more than surprised at the reception he met from Mrs. Osborne, and especially the daughter, Miss Clara.

Miss Osborne was a most beautiful girl, about twenty years of age. No wonder Lieutenant Haines felt his heart beat faster when he looked upon her. When he met her the week before, she treated him with the utmost disdain; now she greeted him with a smile, and said, "I trust you have not come to carry papa away in captivity. If not, you are welcome."

"Nothing of the sort this time, I am happy to say," exclaimed the Lieutenant, with a bow, "and I hope I shall never be called upon to perform that disagreeable duty."

"Thank you," she answered, with a smile. "Now, you must stay and take dinner with us while your men rest."

"The Lieutenant tells me he met with quite a little adventure, about a mile below here," said Mr. Osborne.

Miss Osborne looked up inquiringly. Before more could be said Mrs. Osborne announced that dinner was ready, and the Lieutenant sat down to a most sumptuous repast.

"What was Lieutenant Haines's adventure you spoke of?" at length asked Miss Osborne of her father.

"Better let the Lieutenant tell the story, for I know nothing of it," answered Mr. Osborne; "but he spoke of searching the house for a supposed concealed Confederate."

As Mr. Osborne said this, Miss Osborne gave a little gasp and turned pale, but quickly recovering herself, she turned a pair of inquiring eyes on the Lieutenant—eyes that emitted flames of angry light and seemed to look him through and through.

Lieutenant Haines turned very red. "Forgive me if I thought of such a thing," he replied, humbly. "Your father has assured me he has neither seen nor concealed any Confederate officer, and his word is good with me. Make yourself easy. I shall not insult you by searching the house."

A look as of relief came over the face of Miss Osborne as she answered: "I thank you very much. I shall never say again there are no gentlemen among the Yankees. But tell us of your adventure. I thought I heard firing about an hour ago. Was there any one hurt?"

"Only my poor horse; he was killed," answered Haines.

"Ah! in the days of knighthood to be unhorsed was to be defeated," exclaimed Miss Osborne, gayly. "You must admit yourself vanquished!"

Haines laughingly replied: "I am sorry to disappoint you; but as I captured my enemy's horse and he fled on foot, I cannot admit defeat."

"Then your enemy was a solitary knight?" queried Miss Osborne.

"Yes, but to all appearances a most gallant one."

"Strange," she mused, "who he could be, and what he could be doing in this section. The place for true knights, at this time, is at Corinth."

"From letters captured with his horse, I take it he was from Corinth," said Haines. "From those letters we learned that his name was Calhoun Pennington, that he was a lieutenant in the command of Captain John H. Morgan, a gentleman who has given us considerable trouble, and may give us more, and that he was on his way back to Kentucky to recruit for Morgan's command."

"You say you captured letters?" queried the girl.

"Yes, a whole package of them. They were from members of Morgan's command to their friends back in Kentucky. The boys are having rare fun reading them."

"I suppose it is according to military usages to read all communications captured from the enemy," remarked Miss Osborne with a slight tinge of sarcasm in her tone, "but it seems sacrilege that these private letters should fall into profane hands."

"Some of them were rich," laughed Haines; "they were written by loving swains to their girls. There were others written to wives and mothers, which almost brought tears to our eyes, they were so full of yearnings for home."

"Lieutenant, there was nothing in those letters of value to you from a military standpoint, was there?" suddenly asked Miss Osborne.


"Then I have a great boon to ask. Will you not give them to me?"

"Why, Miss Osborne, what can you do with them?" asked Haines, in surprise.

"I can at least keep them sacred. Perhaps I can find means of getting them to those for whom they are intended. Think of those wives and mothers watching, waiting for letters which will never come. Oh! give them to me, Lieutenant Haines, and you will sleep the sweeter to-night."

"Your request is a strange one," said the Lieutenant; "yet I can see no harm in granting it. You can have the letters, but the boys may have destroyed some of them by this time."

"Thank you! Oh, thank you! You will never regret your kindness. I shall remember it."

"I only ask you to think better of Yankees, Miss Osborne; we are not all monsters."

Dinner was now over, and Sergeant Latham came to report that the hour for the halt was up, and to ask what were the Lieutenant's orders.

"Have the troop ready, and we will return to camp. I see nothing more we can accomplish here," answered the Lieutenant.

The Sergeant saluted and turned to go, when the officer stopped him with, "Say, Sergeant, you can gather up all those letters we captured and send them up here with my horse."

"Very well," said the Sergeant, but he muttered to himself, as he returned, "Now, I would like to know what the Lieutenant wants of those letters. I bet he has let that girl pull the wool over his eyes."

In a few moments a soldier appeared leading the Lieutenant's horse.

The family had accompanied Lieutenant Haines to the porch. Stepping down to where his horse was, he said to the soldier, "You may return and tell Sergeant Latham to move the troop. I will catch up with you in a few moments. Did you bring the letters?"

"Yes, sir," answered the soldier, saluting, and handing the package to his commander.

"Very well, you may go now."

Lieutenant Haines stood and watched the soldiers while his order was being obeyed, for he did not wish to have any of his men see him give the package to Miss Osborne.

After his troop had moved off, Haines placed the bridle of his horse in the hands of a waiting colored boy, and returning to the porch where Mr. Osborne and the ladies still stood, said: "That is the horse I captured from my foe. He is a beauty, isn't he? Jupiter was a splendid horse, but I do not think I lost anything by the exchange. Here are the letters, Miss Osborne; you see I have kept my promise," and he reached out the package to her.

But before she could take them they were snatched from Haines's hand, and a stern voice said, "I will take the letters, please."

Had a bombshell exploded at Lieutenant Haines's feet he would not have been more surprised, and his surprise changed to consternation when he found himself looking into the muzzle of a revolver. Lieutenant Haines was no coward, but he was unarmed save his sword, and there was no mistaking the look in Calhoun's eye. It meant death if he attempted to draw his sword.

As for Mr. Osborne, he seemed as much surprised as Lieutenant Haines. Miss Osborne gave a little shriek, and then cried. "Oh, how could you betray us!" and stood with clasped hands, and with face as pale as death.

Mr. Osborne was the first to recover from his surprise. "I know not who you are," he said, "but Lieutenant Haines is my guest, and I will have no violence. Lower that weapon!"

Without doing so, Calhoun answered, "If I have done anything contrary to the wishes of those who have so kindly befriended me, I am sorry; but I could not withstand the temptation to claim my own. As it is, I will bid you good day."

Thus saying, he dashed past them, and snatching the bridle of his horse from the negro boy, he vaulted into the saddle and was away at full speed.

For a moment not a word was spoken, and then Lieutenant Haines turned on Mr. Osborne and said, bitterly, "I congratulate you on the success of your plot. I will not be fool enough again to take the word of a Southern gentleman."

Mr. Osborne flushed deeply, but before he could reply, his daughter sprang in front of him, and faced Lieutenant Haines with flashing eye.

"I will not have my father accused of deception and falsehood," she cried. "He knew nothing of that Confederate being concealed in the house. I alone am to blame, and I told you nothing. I strove to entertain you and keep you from searching the house, and I accomplished my purpose."

"And you got those letters from me to give to him?"


Lieutenant Haines groaned. "It may be some satisfaction to you," he said, "to know that this may mean my undoing, disgrace, a dishonorable dismissal from the service."

"I shall take no pleasure in your dishonor," she exclaimed, the color slowly mounting to her cheeks. "I did not intend that Lieutenant Pennington should show himself. It was his rashness that has brought all this trouble."

"How can I return to camp without arms, without a horse? It would have been a kindness to me if your friend Lieutenant Pennington had put a bullet through my brain."

Mr. Osborne now spoke. "Lieutenant Haines," he said, "my daughter speaks the truth when she says I knew nothing of the Confederate officer being in my house. Had I known it, I should have tried to conceal him, to protect him; but I should not have invited you to be my guest. As my guest, you are entitled to my protection, and I shall make what reparation is in my power." Then turning to the colored boy who had stood by with mouth and eyes wide open, he said, "Tom, go and saddle and bridle Starlight, and bring him around for this gentleman."

"Surely you do not intend to give me a horse, Mr. Osborne," said Haines.

"As my guest, I can do no less," replied Mr. Osborne. "If Lieutenant Pennington had not taken his, I should have let him have one to continue on his way to Kentucky. So you see, after all, I am out nothing."

Just then they were aroused by the sound of horses' feet, and looking up they saw Sergeant Latham accompanied by two soldiers coming on a gallop. Riding up, the Sergeant saluted, and casting his sharp eyes around, said, "Lieutenant, excuse me, but you were so long in joining us that I feared something—an accident—had befallen you, so I came back to see. Where in the world is your horse, Lieutenant?"

"Coming," answered his superior, briskly, for he had no notion of explaining just then what had happened.

When the colored boy came leading an entirely strange horse with citizen saddle and bridle on, the Sergeant exchanged meaning glances with his companions, but said nothing.

Mounting, Lieutenant Haines bade the family good day, and rode moodily away. No sooner were they out of hearing than the Sergeant, forgetting military discipline, exclaimed, "What in blazes is up, Lieutenant? I suspected something was wrong all the time."

"That is what made you come back, is it?" asked the Lieutenant.

"Yes; I did not march the command far before I halted and waited for you. Pretty soon we heard the sound of a galloping horse, and thought you were coming. But when you didn't appear, I became alarmed and concluded to ride back and see what was the matter."

"Thank you, Sergeant, for your watchfulness. I shall remember it."

Then as they rode along, the Lieutenant told Latham his story.

"And that pesky Reb was concealed in the house all the time, was he?" asked Latham.

"Yes; the girl worked it fine."

The Sergeant laughed long and loud. "And she coaxed the letters from you too. Oh, my! Oh, my!" And he nearly bent double.

"Shut up, you fool you!" growled Haines. "Say, you must help me out of this scrape."

"Trust me, Lieutenant; I will tell how brave you were, and how you run the Rebel down, and how you would have captured him if he hadn't shot your horse. But look out after this how you let Southern girls fool you."

The Lieutenant sighed. "She is the most beautiful creature I ever saw," he murmured. "Gods! I shall never forget how she looked when she sprang in between me and that Pennington when he had his revolver levelled at my head."

"Forget her," was the sage advice of the Sergeant; but the Lieutenant did not take it.



It did not take Calhoun long after he had plunged into the wood to ascertain that he was not pursued; so he slackened his headlong pace, then stopped that he might catch his breath.

"Whew!" he panted, "here is a go. Horse gone—arms, except this small revolver, gone—baggage gone—letters gone. Thank God the dispatches are safe," and he tapped his breast, where they lay hidden. "That is about as tight a place as I care to be in," he continued, as he began to work his way through the woods. "I call this blamed tough luck. Here I am nearly three hundred miles from my destination. A horse I must and will have, and that quickly. Surely the planters in this section are too loyal to the South not to let me have a horse when they know the predicament I am in. I will try my luck at the very first opportunity. If worse come to worst, I will steal one; that is, I will confiscate one."

With this resolve he pushed rapidly on, and after going a half mile or more, he came out of the woods, and beyond lay a fine plantation. "I wonder if those pesky Yankees will trouble me if I try to make that house," he thought. "I will risk it anyway, for if I can reach it, it means a horse."

Making his way cautiously he soon reached the road in safety. He listened intently, but could hear nothing of the enemy; but from the opposite direction there came the measured beat of a horse's hoofs. Looking up he saw, not a Yankee, but a lady approaching, at a swift gallop. Calhoun's heart gave a great bound, for he knew that no Southern woman would betray him, and he stepped out from his place of concealment and stood in plain view by the side of the road.

When the rider saw him she gave a start of surprise, and then reined in her horse with such ease and grace as to charm him. He saw at a glance she was young and exceedingly beautiful.

"Pardon me," he exclaimed, reaching for his hat, and then he remembered he had none, having lost it when his horse fell. "Excuse my appearance," he laughed. "I find I have no hat to take off. Probably some Yankee has it as a trophy by this time. I am a Confederate officer in distress, and as a daughter of the South, I know I can appeal to you, and not in vain."

"You can," she replied, quickly. "I thought I heard firing and I rode down to see what it meant, as I knew of no party of Confederates in the vicinity."

"A company of Federal cavalry were firing at me," answered Calhoun. "My horse fell, and I had to run, or be captured."

"Were you all alone?" she queried.

"Yes, all alone."

"Then I forgive you for running," she answered, with a ringing laugh, "otherwise I should not. But how came you here, and all alone?"

In a few words Calhoun told her who he was and his business.

"Come with me," she cried, quickly. "Let us gain the house before the Yankees come, as no doubt they will. Father will let you have a horse. If no other be forthcoming, I will give you my Firefly here, although it would almost break my heart to part with him," and she lovingly patted the neck of her gallant steed.

"I sincerely hope such a sacrifice will never be called for," replied Calhoun.

"No sacrifice is too great to aid our beloved cause," she answered; "but come, we are losing time, the Yankees may be here any moment."

If Lieutenant Haines had not stopped to read the captured letters, Calhoun and his fair guide would not have reached the house undiscovered. As it was, they had hardly entered it when the Federals hove in sight.

"There is that Yankee officer riding my horse!" exclaimed Calhoun. "How I should like to meet him alone."

"They are going to stop," gasped the girl. "They may search the house, but they will not if I can outwit them. Mother," she said, to an elderly lady who had just entered and was gazing at Calhoun in surprise, "take this officer upstairs and conceal him. There is now no time for explanations. The Yankees are in the yard."

The mother, without a word, motioned Calhoun to follow her, and led him upstairs. Hardly had they disappeared when her father entered.

"There is that Lieutenant Haines and his company visiting us again," he said, with some anxiety. "I wonder what they want."

"Father," said the girl, "go and meet Lieutenant Haines, use him nicely. Invite him to dinner."

Mr. Osborne looked at his daughter in surprise. "I never expected to see the time you would want me to invite a Yankee officer to dinner," he said.

"Never mind now, I will explain afterwards. Go quick, for I see he is throwing a guard around the house," was her answer.

Mr. Osborne went, wondering what had come over his daughter, and was entirely successful in carrying out her scheme, although it was unknown to him. Before his return, Mrs. Osborne came downstairs, her face denoting her anxiety.

"Mother," said the girl, "do not let father know we have any one concealed. It will enable him to say truly he knows of no Confederate around. And, mother, I have told him to invite the Federal commander—it's that odious Lieutenant Haines—to dinner. Be nice to him. Use him like a welcome, honored guest. We must disarm all suspicion, and keep them from searching the house, if possible."

We have seen how well her plan worked, and how completely Lieutenant Haines was thrown off his guard. Little did he think that while he was enjoying his dinner downstairs, the Confederate officer who had escaped him was feasting like a king upstairs.

It soon became evident to Calhoun that there was no danger of the house being searched, and from a window he observed all that was passing without. When he saw the troop ride away, and his own horse led up to the house for the Federal commander, that spirit of recklessness for which he was noted came over him, and without thinking of what the effect might be on those who had, at great risk, so kindly befriended him, he resolved to try to capture his own. With satisfaction he saw the last Yankee depart, leaving the commander behind.

"Now is my time!" he exclaimed, exultingly, and looking to see that his revolver was in perfect condition, he crept softly downstairs, and as has been noted, was perfectly successful. So sudden was his appearance, so swift were his movements, that the little company could only gaze after him in astonishment until he had disappeared.

For a few minutes Calhoun was hilarious over the success of his bold dash; then came to him the thought that he had cruelly wronged the Osbornes in what he had done. He suddenly checked his horse, and then turned as if he would ride back, hesitated, then turned once more, and rode on his way, but more slowly.

"It is too late now," he sighed, to himself, "to undo the wrong I may have done. To think I may have brought trouble on the head of that glorious girl, who even would give me her own horse! It's the meanest trick you ever did, Calhoun Pennington, and it would serve you right if the Yankees captured you."

It was in no enviable frame of mind that Calhoun continued his journey. It was not long before he noticed that his horse was lame. The fall that he had had, had evidently strained his shoulder. Calhoun more bitterly than ever regretted that he had not restrained himself. If he had, he might now have been riding a good fresh horse, given him by Mr. Osborne.

"Serves me right," he groaned. "Oh, what a fool, and not only a fool, but a brute, I have been. That girl! I can't help thinking that I may have got her into serious trouble."

A few miles more and his horse became so lame that Calhoun had to come down to a walk. He dismounted with a ruthful face.

"It's no use," he said; "I shall have to leave him. Where can I get another horse?"

The opportunity came sooner than he expected. He had dismounted in a wood, a thick growth of cedars screening him from the observation of any one passing along the road. Hearing the sound of an approaching horseman, he crept to the side of the road, and to his surprise saw a Federal officer approaching unattended. He was riding leisurely along unsuspicious of danger, and whistling merrily. With Calhoun to think was to act.

"Halt! Surrender!" were the words which saluted the startled officer, as Calhoun sprang into the road by his side, and levelled a revolver at his breast.

The officer was a brave man, and he reached for his revolver.

"Touch that weapon, and you are a dead man," said Calhoun, in a low, firm voice. "Fool, don't you see I have the drop on you?"

The set features of the Federal relaxed, he even smiled as he replied: "I guess you are right. No use kicking. What is your pleasure?"

"Dismount. No, on this side."

The officer did as he was bidden. Calhoun took hold of the horse's bridle, still keeping the man covered with his revolver.

"Now," continued Calhoun, "your name, rank, and regiment."

"Mark Crawford, Captain Company B, —th Ohio Cavalry," was the answer.

"Captain Crawford, I am very happy to have met you. As it may be a little inconvenient for you and me to travel together, I ask you to give me your parole of honor that you will not bear arms against the Southern Confederacy until regularly exchanged."

"May I be permitted to ask," replied the Captain, with a peculiar smile, "who it is that makes this demand?"

"Lieutenant Calhoun Pennington of Morgan's cavalry."

"Well, Lieutenant Calhoun Pennington of Morgan's cavalry, you may go to the devil, before I will give you my parole."

Calhoun was astounded at the reply. "I am afraid I shall have to shoot you," he said.

"Shoot an unarmed prisoner if you will," was the fearless reply; "it would be an act worthy of a Rebel and traitor. Lieutenant Pennington, I am well aware you are alone, that you cannot take me with you. It would be an act of cowardice in me to give you my parole."

As Captain Crawford said this, he folded his arms across his breast and looked Calhoun in the face without the quiver of a muscle.

Calhoun was filled with admiration at the bravery of the man. "Captain, you are too brave a man to die a dog's death, neither would I think of shooting a defenceless man. I shall let you go, but shall be under the necessity of borrowing your horse. You will find mine in the bushes there badly crippled. Good-bye. May we meet again." Thus saying, Calhoun sprang on the Captain's horse, and dashed away.

Captain Crawford stood looking after him until he was out of sight. "May you have your wish, my fine fellow!" he exclaimed; "I would ask nothing better than that we should meet again."

Both had their wish; they met again, not once, but several times.

"A brave fellow, that," said Calhoun to himself, as he galloped away. "I would as soon have thought of shooting my brother. He didn't bluff worth a cent."

The horse which Calhoun had captured was a good one, and he rode him for many a day. We will not follow Calhoun in all his adventures in his journey toward his destination in Kentucky. Suffice it to say, he met with numerous perils and made some narrow escapes, but at last found himself near Danville. There resided a few miles from Danville a rich planter named Ormsby. Calhoun knew him as an ardent friend of the South, one well versed in all secret attempts to take Kentucky out of the Union, and one who kept well posted in everything which pertained to the welfare of the Confederacy; and at Ormsby's he resolved to stop and lay his plans for the future.

He was received with open arms. "So you are from John Morgan," said Mr. Ormsby, "and wish to recruit for his command. You have come at an opportune time. To-morrow there is a secret meeting of prominent Confederates near Harrodsburg. I am to attend. You will meet a number there for whom you have letters. Of course you will go with me?"

Tired as he was, Calhoun rode that night with Mr. Ormsby to be present at the meeting. If he was to meet Morgan at Glasgow during the first days of May, his time was short, very short, and what he should do had to be done quickly.

When he was introduced to those present as from Morgan, and just from Corinth, their enthusiasm knew no bounds. He had to tell the story of Shiloh, of the tragic death of Governor Johnson, of the retreat, but how the spirit of the Southern army was unbroken, and that the South would not, and could not, be conquered.

To his delight, Calhoun found that two companies of cavalry were nearly ready to take the field, and it was unanimously agreed that they should cast their fortune with Morgan.

"I believe that Morgan with a thousand men can ride clear to the Ohio River," declared Calhoun. "It only remains for Kentuckians to rally to his standard, and give him the support that he desires."

It was agreed that the companies should be filled as soon as possible, and should go whenever Calhoun said the word.

Calhoun returned with Mr. Ormsby, as he wished to enter Danville to visit his parents. Disguised as a country boy with produce to sell, he had no trouble in passing the pickets into town. With a basket of eggs on his arm, he knocked at the back door of his father's residence. It was opened by Chloe, the cook.

"Want eny good fresh eggs?" asked Calhoun.

"No; go way wid ye, yo' po' white trash," snapped the old negro woman, as she attempted to shut the door in his face.


The dish which she held in her hand went clattering to the floor. "Fo' de land's sake!" she cried, "if it isn't Massa Calhoun. De Lawd bress yo', chile! De Lawd bress you!" And she seized him and fairly dragged him into the house.

"Hush, Chloe, not so loud. Don't tell father I am here yet. And, Chloe, don't whisper I am here to a soul. If the Yankees found out I was here, they might hang me."

"Oh, Lawd! Oh, Lawd! hang youn' Massa?" she cried. "Ole Chloe tell no one."

"That's right, Aunt Chloe. Now bake those biscuits I see you are making, in a hurry. And make my favorite pie. I want to eat one more meal of your cooking. No one can cook like Aunt Chloe."

"Yo' shell hev a meal fit fo' de king!" cried the old negress, her face all aglow.

"You must hurry, Chloe, for I can't stay long. Now I will go and surprise father." And surprise him he did. The old Judge could hardly believe the seeming country boy was his son.

"Where in the world did you come from?" he asked.

"From Corinth," answered Calhoun. "I am now back to recruit for Morgan."

"So you have joined Morgan, have you?"

"Yes. Now that Governor Johnson is killed, I know of no service I would like as well as to ride with Morgan."

"You could have come home, my son."

"Father! what do you mean? Come home while the South is bleeding at every pore? Come home like a craven while the contest is yet undecided?"

"I am wrong, my son; but it is so hard for you, my only child, to be in the army. Oh! that dreadful battle of Shiloh! The agony, the sleepless nights it has caused me! Thank God you are yet safe."

"Yes, father, and I trust that the hand of a kind Providence will still protect me. But here is a letter from Morgan."

The Judge adjusted his spectacles, and read the letter with much interest. "My son," he said, after he had finished it, "it is well you were not captured with such letters on your person. It might have cost you your life. Even now I tremble for your safety. Does any one know you are in Danville?"

"Only Aunt Chloe, and she is as true as steel."

"Yet there is danger. I know the house is under the closest surveillance. The Federal authorities know I am an ardent friend of the South, and they watch me continually. Morgan says in his letter that he hopes it will not be long before he will be in Kentucky."

"And mark my word," cried Calhoun, "it will not be! Before many weeks the name of Morgan will be on every tongue. He will be the scourge of the Yankee army. But, father, what of Uncle Dick and Fred?"

"Colonel Shackelford is at home minus a leg. The Federal authorities have paroled him. Fred is at home nursing him. Your uncle won imperishable honors on the field of Shiloh. What a pity he has such a son as Fred!"

Calhoun's face clouded. The remembrance of his last meeting with Fred still rankled in his breast. "I never want to see him again," he said.

The Judge sighed, "Oh, this war! this war!" he exclaimed; "how it disrupts families! You and Fred used to be the same as brothers. I thought nothing could come in between you and him. Calhoun, he is a noble boy, notwithstanding he is a traitor to his state and the South. They say he is going to resign from the army for the sake of his father. Won't you go and see him?"

"No," brusquely answered Calhoun, yet he felt in his heart he was wronging his cousin by his action.

Dinner was now announced by Aunt Chloe, and it did her honest old heart good to see the way that Calhoun ate.

"I jes' believe dat air chile hab had nuthin' to eat fo' a week," she declared.

"I reckon I shall have to go now," said Calhoun, rising reluctantly from the table. "I have already made too long a visit for a country boy with eggs to sell. I declare, Aunt Chloe, I do believe I should kill myself eating if I stayed any longer."

"No danger of dat, chile," replied Aunt Chloe, grinning.

The words of parting were few. "Do be careful, my son," said Judge Pennington, his voice trembling with emotion. "God only knows whether I shall ever see you again or not."

As Calhoun started to leave, a pair of sharp eyes was watching him. Those eyes belonged to a pretty girl named Jennie Freeman. The Freemans were Judge Pennington's nearest neighbors, but Mr. Freeman was as strong a Union man as the Judge was a Secessionist. Once the best of friends, a coldness had sprung up between them since the opening of the war.

Jennie was two years older than Calhoun, but they had been playmates from babyhood, and were great friends. Jennie called him her knight-errant. More than once he had carried a pair of black eyes in fighting her battles when some of the larger boys had teased her.

Jennie had seen the supposed country boy enter the kitchen of Judge Pennington, and there was something in his walk and manner which attracted her attention. "If that isn't Cal Pennington I am a sinner!" she exclaimed to herself.

She was on the watch for him, and when he remained so long she became more than ever convinced that her suspicions were correct. At length the boy came out with his basket on his arm.

"Hi, there, boy! come here," she called. "What have you to sell?"

Calhoun paid no attention to her call, but hurried on the faster.

"I tell you, boy, you had better come here if you know when you are well off!" she called, in a threatening voice, "Oh, I know you!"

Calhoun saw that he was discovered, and that his best way was to try to make peace with her. "What do yer want?" he growled, as he walked toward her. "I hev nuthin' to sell; all sold out."

"Well, I never!" said the girl as Calhoun came up. "Do you think I don't know you, Cal Pennington? A pretty figure you cut in those old clothes, and with that basket. What in the world are you doing here?"

"Hush, Jennie, not so loud. If discovered, I might be hanged," said Calhoun, in a low voice.

"Yankees don't hang traitors; they ought to," replied the girl, with a toss of her head.

"But don't you see I am in disguise? I might be taken as a spy."

"What are you but one? I ought to inform on you at once."

"Jennie, you wouldn't do that. I am only here to see father and mother. I had to come in disguise, or I might be taken prisoner by the Yankees."

"And you are not here to spy? You know there are many rumors afloat?" asked the girl.

"Just here to visit father and mother. Can you blame me, Jennie?" As Calhoun said this his heart smote him, for while it was true he was in Danville for the purpose of visiting his parents, his mission to Kentucky was for an entirely different object.

"Now, Jennie, you won't tell on me, will you?" he continued, in a coaxing tone.

"No, if you behave yourself; but don't let me hear of any of your capers," answered the girl.

"You won't, Jennie. Good-bye. I may be able to do you a good turn one of these days."

Jennie stood looking after him until he disappeared, then shaking her head, she went into the house, saying: "I couldn't inform on him, if he is a Rebel."

The next few days were busy ones for Calhoun. He visited Nicholasville, Lexington, Harrodsburg; had interviews with a large number of prominent Secessionists; found out, as near as possible, the number of Federal troops garrisoning the different towns; in fact, gathered information of the utmost value to Morgan if he should ever raid Kentucky.

But all these things could not be done without rumors reaching the Federal authorities. It was known that the Southern element was extremely active; that recruiting for the Confederate army was going on; and at last, the name of Calhoun Pennington was mentioned. Some one who knew him well declared that he had seen him, and it was common report he was back recruiting for Morgan's command. The Federal commander at Danville was ordered to keep a close watch on the house of Judge Pennington to see if it was not visited by his son.

It was on the evening of May 2d, and Calhoun was in Lexington when he was startled by hearing the news-boys crying, "Pulaski, Tennessee, captured by John Morgan!" "He is headed north, closely pursued by the Federal forces!"

Then Morgan had commenced his raid. There was no time to be lost. That night, the next day, and the next night horsemen could be seen galloping furiously along unfrequented roads, throughout central Kentucky. The word was, "Meet at the rendezvous near Harrodsburg." Three days afterwards, two hundred of the best, the bravest, and the noblest youths of Kentucky were ready to march to join Morgan. Each one of them had provided his own outfit. They asked no pay to fight for their beloved South.

Before going, Calhoun determined to pay his father one more visit, although he knew it was dangerous to do so. Concealing his horse in a thicket outside the limits of the city, he waited until dark, then stole across fields, and through alleys home.

No sooner did the Judge see him than he cried, "Calhoun! Calhoun! what have you done! Do you know they are on the watch for you?"

"I had to see you once more before I went," answered Calhoun. "I was careful, and I do not think any one saw me come. I have some things of importance to tell you."

Father and son talked together for some five minutes in low, confidential tones, when they were interrupted by Jennie Freeman bursting unannounced into the room and crying, "Run, Cal, run! the soldiers are coming! They are most here!" And before either could say a word, she was out again like a flash.

"Who would have thought it, of that Abolitionist Freeman's daughter," gasped the Judge. "Fly, my boy, fly! and may God protect you."

Calhoun knew his danger. Grasping his trusty revolver, he cried, "Good-bye, all," and ran through the house to pass out by the back way. Just as he reached the door, it was opened, and he fairly rushed into the arms of a soldier who was entering. So surprised were both that they could only stare at each other for a brief second; but Calhoun recovered himself first, and dealt the soldier a terrific blow over the head with the butt of his revolver. The soldier sank down with a moan, and Calhoun sprang out over his prostrate body, only to meet and overturn another soldier who was just ascending the steps. The force of the collision threw him headlong, but he was up again in a twinkling, and disappeared in the darkness, followed by a few ineffectual shots by the baffled Federals.

Judge Pennington heard the firing and groaned, "My son, oh, my son!"

The firing had alarmed the neighborhood, and there were many pale faces, for the people knew not what it meant.

A short time afterwards a Federal officer arrested Judge Pennington, and he was dragged off to jail. But he did not think of himself. "My son," he asked, "was he captured? was he hurt?"

"I think the devil protected his own," roughly replied the officer, "but we will attend to you for harboring Rebels."

Judge Pennington lay in jail among criminals, not only that night, but for nearly a week. There was talk of sending him to a Northern prison as a dangerous man. But Fred Shackelford heard of his arrest and his probable fate, and came in and had a stormy interview with the Federal commander. He showed that Judge Pennington had committed no overt act; that his son, who was a Confederate soldier, had simply come to visit him, and had resisted capture, as any soldier had a right to do. As Fred threatened to report the case to the commander of the Department, the Judge was released.

Jennie Freeman had many qualms of conscience over what she had done. But Judge Pennington kept her secret well, telling only Fred; and when he congratulated Jennie over her act, she felt relieved; for young Shackelford was not only known as a favorite of General Nelson, but as one of the most daring and successful of Union scouts.

Calhoun met with no more adventures. He had no trouble in finding his way to his horse, and he lost no time in joining his comrades.

"Boys, John Morgan told me to meet him at Glasgow," he cried, and two hundred voices answered with a loud "Hurrah! we will do it!"

Little did Calhoun or they think that at that very time John Morgan, his forces defeated and scattered, was fleeing before the enemy. But like them, he had set his face toward Glasgow.



All through the month of April General Halleck had been concentrating the mighty armies of almost the entire West for the purpose of crushing Beauregard at Corinth. For a month the two armies lay but a few miles apart, almost daily skirmishes taking place between the outposts.

During the month General O. M. Mitchell had overrun Middle Tennessee, and was holding the Memphis and Charleston railroad from Decatur to Bridgeport, Alabama. Two railroads led south from Nashville, Tennessee, both connecting with the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, one at Decatur, and the other at Stevenson, Alabama. Both of these roads were of vital importance to General Mitchell, for on them he depended for transportation for the sustenance of his army.

These roads had been badly damaged by the Confederate army when it retreated from Nashville, and General Mitchell was busily engaged in repairing them. If repaired and held, it meant that Chattanooga must fall, and the Confederate army be driven still farther south.

John H. Morgan, now promoted to a colonelcy, believed that with a small force the rear of the Federal army could be raided, the railroads cut, bridges burned, and their communications so destroyed that they would be forced to fall back. General Beauregard was not so sanguine. While great damage might be done, and the Federal army subjected to much inconvenience, the contest, after all, would have to be decided by the great armies. Then he needed every man, as Halleck was about to move.

At last he gave Morgan permission to make his raid, but with a force not to exceed five hundred.

It was in the last days of April that Morgan started with his little force, on what seemed to many certain destruction. But every man in the command was full of enthusiasm. They had unlimited faith in their leader, and where he went they would follow.

Following almost the exact route taken by Calhoun, Morgan's first blow fell on Pulaski, Tennessee. So swift and unexpected had been his movements that the Federals were taken completely by surprise. The place was surrendered without a struggle.

Moving rapidly north, the command attacked and, without any loss, captured a wagon-train en route from Columbia to Athens. Thus at the very commencement of his raid, Morgan captured Pulaski, with all its military stores, a wagon-train, and some two hundred and seventy prisoners, and this without the loss of a man. Among the prisoners captured were a son of General O. M. Mitchell, and our old acquaintance, Lieutenant Haines.

The prisoners were all paroled, and were astonished at the kind treatment they received. Both Captain Jumper, who was in charge of the wagon-train, and the son of General Mitchell were loud in their praise of the way they were used by Morgan.

After destroying all the Federal property captured, and damaging the railroad as much as possible, the command continued on their raid, their route taking them by the plantation of Mr. Osborne. The welcome they received there was a royal one. Colonel Morgan stopped and took dinner with the family.

Here he heard of the adventure of Calhoun, and he laughed long and heartily over the way Calhoun had recovered his horse.

"Tell him," said Miss Osborne, "that I forgive him his abrupt leaving, as no harm came to father. By the way, Lieutenant Haines has become quite friendly, coming out to see us two or three times."

"No one can blame him, even if you give him but a moment of your company," replied Morgan, gallantly. "But Miss Osborne, I am sorry to say we took your friend prisoner. He was paroled, and no doubt is now on his way North."

Miss Osborne blushed, and then said, "A good riddance; I trust I shall never see him again. But he was kind to papa. He even returned the horse; would not keep him."

"That is lucky," responded Morgan, "for if he hadn't been returned, one of my men would be riding him now, and your chance of getting him would be small."

From Pulaski Morgan pushed northeast, avoiding Shelbyville and Murfreesboro, both of these places being too strongly garrisoned for him to attack with his small force. He crossed the Nashville and Chattanooga railroad ten miles north of Murfreesboro, burned the depot, and destroyed as much of the track as his limited time would admit. From there he rode straight for Lebanon, Tennessee, which place he reached just at nightfall. The inhabitants received him with the wildest demonstration of joy. But trouble was in store for him. His men, wearied with their long ride, and elated over their continued success, became careless. They knew they were among friends, and thought that no harm could come to them, so they slept without fear.

The Federal authorities had become thoroughly alarmed over his progress. Strong bodies of troops were in swift pursuit, from Shelbyville, from Murfreesboro, and from Nashville.

Just before daylight the Federals charged into the little city with whoop and hurrah. Taken entirely by surprise, Morgan's men thought only of flight. Two companies under the command of Colonel Robert C. Wood being cut off from their horses, threw themselves into a college building in the outskirts of the city, and for three hours defended themselves with desperation. At last being out of ammunition they were forced to surrender.

In this unfortunate affair Morgan lost nearly two hundred of his best troops. The rest were more or less scattered. He himself was chased for eighteen miles, and the pursuit ceased only when he, with the remnant of his troops, had crossed the Cumberland.

The Federals thought they had thoroughly whipped Morgan, and he would give them no more trouble. But they did not know the man. He had started for Kentucky, and to Kentucky he would go. After crossing the Cumberland, he halted, gathered his scattered command together, and then with less than three hundred men, started for Glasgow.

"Lieutenant Pennington will meet us at Glasgow with reinforcements," he told his men.

But there were some of his officers who had misgivings. Chief among these was Captain Conway. Speaking to another officer, a Captain Mathews, Conway said: "It's strange that the Colonel has such confidence in that young upstart. As for me, I look for no reinforcements. The best thing we can do is to get back as soon as possible."

"Captain, what is the matter?" asked Mathews. "What has that young fellow done that you have taken such a dislike to him?"

"Nothing; but the idea of sending a mere boy on such an important mission! Why did he not send some one back with influence?"

"Pennington is well connected; you know his father is Judge Pennington of Danville."

"That makes little difference. His mission will be a failure; see if it isn't. We shall see no reinforcements at Glasgow."

Just then Morgan came riding along, and seeing Conway said, "Captain, I want to thank you for the gallant manner in which you held back the enemy while the command crossed the Cumberland. You did nobly."

This praise so pleased Conway that for a time he forgot his supposed grievance.

Without further trouble from the Federals, the little command reached Glasgow, where they were received with open arms by the inhabitants. Houses were thrown open to them and food provided in abundance. But nothing had been heard of any reinforcements.

"What did I tell you?" said Conway to Mathews.

"Wait," was the answer.

The night was an anxious one. Morning came, but still nothing was heard of any reinforcements.

"We will wait another day," said Morgan.

About noon cheering was heard, and Morgan's men nearly went wild with enthusiasm, as nearly two hundred splendidly mounted men came galloping into camp.

When the captain in command reported, Morgan thanked him in the warmest terms, and then looking eagerly around, said: "Where is Lieutenant Pennington? I do not see him."

"Lieutenant Pennington," answered the Captain, "asked leave to take twenty men and scout toward Cave City. I gave him permission to do so. He has an idea that the railroad might be reached and broken at that point."

"Ah! I have thought so myself," replied Morgan. "I shall wait for his report with interest."

The arrival of the two fresh companies had raised the command to as large, or larger, than it was when it started from Corinth, and every man was eager to go on. It was nearly night when Calhoun reported with his little company. He was jubilant over what he had discovered.

"Colonel," he said, "we can easily capture Cave City, and thus sever the connection between Louisville and Nashville. The place is lightly guarded."

"Oh! If we could only take the place, and capture the train on which my gallant men taken prisoners at Lebanon are being taken North, I should be supremely happy," said Morgan, with much feeling.

"Perhaps we can," replied Calhoun, with enthusiasm.

"How about going farther north than Cave City?" asked Morgan.

Calhoun shook his head. "It will not do," he replied; "all the towns are too strongly held for your small force to cope with."

"At least we can try Cave City," answered Morgan, and orders were given for the command to be ready to march at sundown. The vicinity of Cave City was reached about two o'clock in the morning. The column was halted and the men were ordered to rest until daylight.

As soon as it was light, Calhoun, with a soldier named Emory, was sent in advance to the place. They were disguised as countrymen, and were to linger around the depot, and when the charge came they were to prevent the telegraph operator from sending warning of the raid.

Dressed in homespun clothes, and riding sorry steeds, Calhoun and Emory played their part to perfection. Their entrance into the little place caused no comment, and excited no suspicion. Sauntering into the depot, they gazed curiously around.

"What's that?" asked Calhoun, pointing at the clicking telegraph instrument.

"That, my boy," said the operator, patronizingly, "is a telegraphic instrument. Did you never see one before?"

"No. What makes it tick?"

"Lightning, my son, lightning; that's a lightning-catcher."

Calhoun opened his eyes in wonder. "Jes' heah that," he said to Emory. "What is it fer?" he continued, turning his attention to the operator once more.

"To send messages," replied the operator, amused at the ignorance displayed. "With this little instrument, I can talk with any one at Louisville or Nashville."

"What's yo-uns givin' we-uns," drawled Calhoun. "Do yo' take we-uns fo' a fule?"

A guard who stood idly by laughed long and loud. "A fine specimen of Southern chivalry," he chuckled.

Just then there came the sound of cheering, pistol shots, and the clatter of horses' hoofs, mingled with affrighted cries.

"By heavens! the town is being raided," shouted the operator, as he sprang to his instrument.

"Stop!" thundered Calhoun. "Touch that instrument and you are a dead man."

The operator looked up amazed, only to find himself covered with a revolver.

The guard at the same time was looking into the muzzle of a weapon held by Emory.

"Drop that gun," said Emory to the trembling man.

The gun went clanging to the floor.

"You two stand there in the corner with your hands above your heads," commanded Calhoun.

The operator and the guard obeyed with alacrity. "Keep them covered with your revolver, Emory," continued Calhoun, "while I see what I can find. Think I will pocket these dispatches first; they may be of use."

Just then he glanced out of the window and saw four or five soldiers running toward the depot. There might be more following. Giving the telegraphic instrument a kick which sent it flying, he started to leave in a hurry. Then noticing the blanched faces of the soldiers, as they came rushing into the depot, he called out, "No use running, Emory, we can take the whole crowd prisoners, green as we look."

And they did. There was no fight in the frightened men.

When the excitement was over Calhoun looked over the dispatches which he had captured, and found that a passenger train was due from the south in half an hour, and that it had orders to wait at Cave City for a freight train to pass, coming from the north. This was good news, and Morgan's men waited, in glee, for the approaching trains.

At the appointed time the passenger train came rolling in. The reception it received astonished every one on board. To Colonel Morgan's great disappointment his men captured at Lebanon were not on the train; but there were a great many Federal soldiers, principally officers, aboard on their way North. A few of these at first made some show of resistance; but when they saw how hopeless their case was, they sullenly submitted to their fate.

It was not long before the freight train came slowly puffing in. It was an immense train of forty-five cars, heavily loaded with rations, clothing, and munitions of war for Buell's army. Morgan's men freely helped themselves from the rich stores to everything that they needed and could carry, and then the work of destruction began.

The torch was applied, and soon the two trains were wrapped in flames. The prisoners, who had gloomily watched the work of destruction, were now lined up, and told that they would be released upon their giving their parole. This they gladly consented to do.

It fell to Calhoun to take a list of their names, with rank and regiment.

"Don't see why I should be asked to give another parole," growled a lieutenant. "I gave you fellows one at Pulaski, a short time since, and was on my way home now, to stay until I am exchanged. How often do you want to take a fellow prisoner, anyway?"

Calhoun glanced up much amused. The officer started, stared at him a moment, and then abruptly asked, "Is your name Pennington?"

"It is, Lieutenant Pennington, if you please."

"You and I have met before."

"Ah! I know you now. I wish to thank you, for I am told you did not visit your wrath on the Osbornes on account of my abrupt leave-taking."

"No, the girl had concealed you in the house unbeknown to the old gentleman, and as he had assured me there were no Confederates about, he felt real cut up about it. He actually proffered me another horse in the place of the one you took. Said I was his guest, and should not suffer."

"Just like an old-fashioned Southern gentleman, the very personification of honesty," replied Calhoun. "It may interest you, Lieutenant, to know that recovering my horse did me little good, for he went so lame I had to leave him."

"And took mine in his place," spoke up a fine-looking Federal officer who stood near, and whose name Calhoun had not yet taken.

"Captain Crawford, as I live," exclaimed Calhoun, extending his hand. "Captain, I want to give you my sincere thanks. That was a fine horse you loaned me. Must have Kentucky blood in him. I am riding him yet. How about your parole, Captain? You know you absolutely refused to give it to me."

"I have changed my mind."

"Ah! that is good. If you refused this time we might be obliged to take you along with us, and that might not be agreeable to you."

As the Captain gave his parole, he said, "This is the second time we have met. There may be a third meeting, and it may be my time."

"Au revoir," gayly replied Calhoun.

Little did he think then of their next meeting, and what it would mean to him.

The prisoners all being paroled, and the work of destruction complete, Morgan's command returned to Glasgow, loaded with booty.

The capture of the trains and the breaking of the railroad at Cave City caused the greatest excitement throughout the Federal army. It showed the Federal authorities how weak their line of communication was. Although so much depended on Morgan's capture, he was left for some days almost unmolested. He made a demonstration toward Lebanon, captured a number of prisoners, and then, when the combination against him grew too strong to be resisted, he withdrew at his leisure and at length found rest for his command at Chattanooga.

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