Saturday, February 04, 2006
Civil War Grave
Here's the site creator's summary of the turning point in the battle:
By late afternoon, two of [Union Brigadier General] McCook's brigade commanders were missing in action and his men were running out of ammunition. Calling his subordinate officers together, McCook declared the situation was hopeless. He was going to surrender.
"Gentlemen," replied Colonel James P. Brownlow of the 1st Tennessee Cavalry, "you can all surrender and be damned. I'm going out with my regiment."
When other officers echoed these sentiments, McCook relented and agreed Colonels Brownlow and Croxton could try to cut their way through the Confederate lines.
Abandoning dozens of dead and wounded, and all their artillery and ambulances, McCook's men quickly mounted their horses and headed south. As they crossed Sandy Creek, near Brown's Mill, McCook mustered up enough mettle to issue a final command. "This retreat must be protected," he ordered Colonel Joseph Dorr.
While McCook's column disappeared in the distance, Colonel Dorr's 8th Iowa Cavalry remained behind and continued fighting until the Confederates cut off their escape, compelling the entire regiment to surrender.