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Private Russell Cornett
Co B, 13th Cavalry, CSA

Russell Cornett was born in Kentucky 18 Oct, 1840, the son of John and Rachel Smith Kelly Cornett. He enrolled for three years in the 13th Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry with many of his kin, including his brother John Cornett, on September 7, 1862. The enrollment was administered by our cousin: Captain David Jesse Caudill. He was mustered with Company B of the 13th by another Cousin: Benjamin Everage Caudill, at Whitesburg. The 13th was known as Caudill's Army, and its Regimental Flag carried that name on a white cross in a field of light blue.

Russell appeared on the musters for September 9, 1862 - April 30, 1863. He was at the Battle of Leatherwood (Perry County) in October of 1862. He also participated in the Battle of Mill Cliff, Battle of Poor Fork and Battle of Whitesburg in the Fall of 1862. Russell was listed as "absent sick" on the muster ending August 31, 1863. Perhaps it was fortunate that he was: his company was captured at Gladsville that summer and several of our kin were taken as prisoners of war.

Russell served in Co. B. with John J. Amburgey, [the son of Ambrose and Elizabeth Johnson Amburgey] who was captured. Russell married John's sister, Ailey Amburgey.

Here is an account of the battle of Leatherwood by the Union soldier Clabe Jones. "In a few weeks the Rebels went from Whitesburg to the salt wells in Perry County. Captain Morgan and myself concluded to drive the Rebels out of Perry and on our way we met and engaged them in a battle on Leatherwood creek and surprised them while they were stealing a deaf and dumb man's watermelons. There was one man killed on each side. The Rebels were commanded by Captain Jesse Caudill, a brave man. He was on one side of the creek and I was on the other. He was standing behind a small tree. I was watching him closely and as he turned to give a command to his men, I gave him a Yankee pill from Shampee (Clabe's name for his gun) some where in his hind quarters. We had a hot time for a while. I was unusually mad, not because we had met the Rebels for we had defeated them, but I had gathered up an armful of ripe pawpaws and had to drop them when the fight began. We captured the watermelons also from the deaf man and all their grub. We got the biggest pone of corn bread I ever saw. It would have weighed more than fifty pounds. They had baked it in a salt kettle and were carring it in a coffee sack."

Mark's Great Grandfather

Source: Microfilm of the Consolidated Service Records of Volunteer Confederate Soldiers in Kentucky and family history.
Scalf, Henry, Kentucky's Last Frontier
Faron Sparkman, email 7 Jan 1999