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Gladeville Raid

Several of my kin were captured in the Union raid on Gladesville to include Lt. John J. Amburgey the brother of my Great Grandmother Ailey Amburgey, Colonel Benjamin E. Caudill, cousin to my Great Great Grandmother, Elizabeth Caudill May. The following is an account of P.M Redding of Ashland, Ohio concerning the raid executed by companies A & B of McLaughlin Squadron - Ohio, and two companies of the 10th Kentucky Cavalry (US) on the Confederate headquarters at Gladeville, Wise County, Virginia on July 7 1863.

On July 2 we moved out of Beaver Creek, but only marched ten miles…The 4th of July found us near Pikeville, sitting on our horses and the rain pouring down in torrents. The Sandy River was rising and we had to swim our horses to get across. We moved on until dark when we went into camp and got a few hours rest. The next morning we were up and moving before daylight.

On the night of the 6th we marched almost continuously, passing through Pound Gap and reached a point a few miles north of Gladeville where we waited for daylight…Finally the dawn came and with it the order to charge, and charge we did, right into the village and the Confederate camp, capturing everything in sight. It was all over in a few minutes. We counted eleven slightly wounded, but none were killed. Of the other side’s loss, I do not know. When we rushed into camp we captured some in their tents before the had got up. Some of them barricaded themselves in the Court House and offered resistance, but some of our men were prepared to set fire to the building and before they would lose their courthouse they surrendered and the building was left unmolested.

After the skirmish was over we got our prisoners together and found we had taken 123, and out of the number about 20 were commissioned officers. The night before, so we were told, there had been a ball in the village and the officers had all attended, staying all night in the homes of the people where our boys had found and rounded them up. This accounts for there being so many officers taken. With the fight over we gathered up our wounded and placed them in their spring wagons and started back for Louisa. The hauling to Pikeville was almost like murdering them, but on and on we went regardless of their shrieks until we landed them safely at Pikeville, where they were placed on a coal barge and floated down the river to Catlettsburg [sic], and across to Ashland to the hospital.

On the trip back we carried our prisoners. Just across the sate line, in Kentucky, we went into camp, expecting to stay for the night. We built a pen about ten feet high to keep the Confederates in. Guards were placed around the pen to keep them from escaping. In a short time after the rail pen was finished and them inside, I settled down when the bugle sounded, "fall in, fall in." The order to march was given A regiment of cavalry from Saltville, Virginia, was on our trail. So it was all hurry for us to get out of there.

We placed our prisoners on our horses and walked by there sides to prevent them getting away. In this way we marched all night. We did not lose a prisoner. The next day, when we could keep our eyes on them, we made them walk and we took the saddles. After riding all day and part of the next night we reached Pikeville and rested for a day. My horse having played out under the forced marching. I went on the barge with the wounded while the rest of our squadron followed down the river with the prisoners until we reached our old camp at Louisa. On arriving in camp we dispatched the prisoners to Camp Chase, near Columbus, Ohio.

The Confederates were under the command of Colonel Caudell and after the battle one of our boys yelled, "Who ever heard of Colonel Caudell?" The cry was taken up by all. So it was all the way back to Louisa and for a long time afterward that we would hear the query: ‘Who ever heard of Colonel Caudell?’

The above excerpts were taken from the book, Kentucky’s Last Frontier by Henry P. Scalf, pages 321-323 and 523.