Peter S. Traphagan
Private, United States Army
of Col. Edward Prince, Seventh Illinois Cavalry.
LA GRANGE, TENN., March 12, 1863.
SIR: I report that, in pursuance of orders
of the brigade commander commanding, I moved, in command of this regiment,
the first day advance of the brigade, starting from La Grange, Tenn., at
9.30 a. m., March 8, 1863. The rest of the time the regiment marched in
rear of the Sixth Regt. Illinois Volunteer Cavalry, and consequently participated
but little in the gallant engagement with the enemy. By order of the colonel
commanding the brigade, Company H, of this regiment, destroyed the camp
and garrison equipage of Col. Richardson, First Regt. Tennessee Guerrillas,
consisting, in part, of fifty tents, ammunition, quartermaster's and commissary
stores, and the entire regimental property at the camp near Covington,
Tenn. On approaching Somerville, I sent forward Company A, of this regiment,
to make a feint, and, meeting with a squad of rebel cavalry, they captured
1 in a charge upon the town. In leaving the camp of Richardson, near Covington,
Maj. Nelson, commanding the First Battalion, this regiment, detached a
squad of men for the purpose of ascertaining the truth of a report that
a Federal horse and saddle was some 2 miles from camp. They proceeded,
and, 8 in number, encountered 26 of the rebels, under the command of Capt.
Cushman, who had cut them off entirely from the main body. The gallant
little squad charged the rebels, severely wounded the captain in the arm,
killed 1 lieutenant ([Thos. J.] Ray), and captured and brought off a prisoner.
I desire to mention the names of the party for their gallant conduct, as
follows: Sergt. Charles C. Hays, Corpl. David B. Spencer, Privates [Peter
S.] Traphagen, [Joseph D.] Brown, Neff, [Edward W.] Tift, [William P.]
handily, and [William] Potter, all of Company K, this regiment.
Michael Robert Patterson
Photos Courtesy of Holly, May 2008