Jump to content
Shiloh Discussion Group
Sign in to follow this  
Ozzy

William Horsfall was there.

Recommended Posts

It is said that William Horsfall stowed away on a steamboat on the Ohio River, in order to join a Union regiment 'out west.' In December 1861, he was mustered into the 1st Kentucky Volunteer Infantry, Co G, as a musician. But, he soon traded his drum for a rifle; he became known as an outstanding marksman.

 

As part of Buell's Army of the Ohio, he marched with Bull Nelson's Division towards Savannah, Tennessee, and crossed the river to Pittsburg Landing at 5:30 on the afternoon of April 6th. Sleeping on the line overnight, at 4am his 22nd Brigade (Colonel Bruce) was ordered into line, near the extreme left end (only Ammen's Brigade was closer to the Tennessee River.) They moved forward about 6am, and despite fierce opposition, drove the Confederates from the field by late afternoon.

 

Following the victory at Shiloh, Drummer Horsfall participated in Halleck's agonizingly slow crawl towards Corinth, sometimes advancing only a few hundred yards before constructing new entrenchments. On May 21st, 1862, the 1st Kentucky attempted to advance across a ravine, but the Rebels waited in ambush at the top of the opposite side, and shot them down. Including the officer commanding Co. H, Captain James Williamson. As the Federals retreated to safety, it was realized that Captain Williamson had been left behind, in the ravine.

 

When the situation was brought to the attention of Drummer Horsfall, he 'leaned his rifle against a tree, and rushed forward 'in a stooping run' to the wounded officer's side. He succeeded in dragging him to safety.'

 

For his heroism and bravery, he was awarded the Medal of Honor. On May 21st, 1862, William Horsfall was 15 years old.

 

<militarytimes.com/citations-medals-awards>

<civilwarbummer.com/kentucky-drummer-boy>

 

Union Regiments of Kentucky, published under the auspices of the 'Union Soldiers and Sailors Monument Assn.' and including The Regimental Histories and Sketch of Military Campaigns, by Captain Thos. Speed; [etal]; Louisville, KY: Couker-Journal Job Printing Co., 1897. Volumes 1 and 2 available online <archive.org/stream/unionregimentso00unio>

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After posting the above information, discovered the following in the 'Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky,' page 462: 'After a skirmish near Graysville, Georgia on September 10th, 1863, Private Horsfall was taken prisoner. He was confined at Andersonville prison pen.'

 

The Andersonville records confirm Private Horsfall was held as prisoner until May 28, 1864. Record id 17815. :civilwarprisoners.com>

 

(Prisoners did not begin arriving at Andersonville until February 1864, so he must have been held someplace else, initially.)

 

Ozzy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×