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arose visions of those fleshless skeletons which, seven days before, they had for the second time committed to mother earth.
Eight months and thirteen days had elapsed since this awful tragedy at Raisin had been enacted, but the two visits that these charging men had made to that dreadful spot and the scenes they had there witnessed (for many in the command had been at the Raisin) burned into their brains and created in their minds images which nerved every arm, thrilled every soul, and inspired every heart with the desire to punish and to destroy those who had been responsible for that awful catastrophe.
As the cry of these Kentuckians resounded through the forests, it fell upon the ears of the British regulars, who themselves had been at the battle of the Raisin, and whose officers had connived at, or at least permitted, the slaughter of Allen, Graves, Hickman, Woolfolk, Simpson, and their noble commands.
The galloping columns caused the earth to shake and the great beeches to vibrate as men and horses, maddened with the excitement of battle, crowded, shouted, and rushed to the conflict. The very boughs and leaves of the overshadowing trees swayed and trembled as if keeping time to the cadence of war's weird, strange, and frenzied notes.
In the fierce charge there was but one cry, oft repeated, but rising each time in sharper and sterner tones, '' Remember the Raisin! Remember the Raisin!"
These avenging warriors, catching the enthusiasm and delirium of combat, rose high in their stirrups and plunging their spurs into the flanks of their chargers, as they approached the enemy still more furiously, waved their guns aloft and with their voices made stronger and stronger by the excitement of their impetuosity, cried the more vehemently, '' Remember the Raisin! Remember the Raisin!"
No human power could resist such an assault. Cowering on the earth, or taking refuge behind the trees in their line, the red-coats of the Forty-first British gave way. The second line, one hundred yards behind, fared no better than the first. As well attempt to resist the cyclone or ward off the lightning as to stay this onslaught. The Kentucky horsemen were invincible. No sooner had they passed the second line than, wheeling about, they sprang to the ground, and with deadliest aim poured their fire into the fear-stricken infantry, who in their terror begged for a mercy and implored a pity which at Raisin and Meigs they had denied the friends and brothers of the men who had now defeated them, and before whom they knelt as suppliants for mercy.
No act of cruelty marked the conduct of these scrupulously brave heroes. They accepted the surrender of men who had acquiesced in and permitted the murder of their fellow-Kentuckians only a few months before. Civilization and humanity controlled their embittered and justly indignant hearts, and not a single excess detracted from the splendor of their victory or the grandeur of their achievement.
A quarter of a mile away at the rear, in the edge of the forest, along the trail, was the commander of the British regulars, General Henry A. Proctor, who was responsible for the revolting butchery and brutality at Raisin and Meigs. He came to Canada as the colonel of a British regiment, and his atrocities had never been reproved by his government. For his conduct at Raisin he had been promoted to a brigadier-general.
His ear was quick to detect danger. He knew his fate if the Kentuckians (many of whom had sworn that he should not be taken alive) should capture him.
He distinctly heard the tramp of Johnson's mounted men, and his ear caught that portentous and to him fateful cry, "Remember the Raisin!" Dismayed, he watched and waited for the result. He saw one line brushed out of the path of the horsemen or rush in confusion upon the second line. He beheld this last line disappear and the black hunting-shirts and gray breeches of the Kentuckians as they dismounted and turned in furious onslaught upon his stricken and helpless grenadiers, and then, with his cowardly conscience impelling him, he turned his horse's head eastward and accompanied by a small guard of horsemen precipitately fled toward Burlington. Hard pressed by Major DeVall Payne, he abandoned his baggage and followers and fled through the forest to escape capture. His ignominious conduct brought upon him the contempt of his associates. He was tried by court-martial, disgraced, and deprived of pay for six months, and was publicly reprimanded by his superiors by order of his government.
A sterner conflict and more sanguinary fate awaited the second battalion, under the immediate command of Colonel Johnson and Major David Thompson. This battalion consisted of the companies of Captain James Coleman, Captain William M. Rice, Captain S. R. Combs, Captain James Davidson, Captain Jacob Stucker, and Captain Robert Berry. On the right of this battalion was the gallant Colonel Richard M. Johnson, on the left Major Thompson.
This second battalion was formed in two columns, on horseback, while one company was dismounted, and on foot placed in front of the right column, which was led by Colonel Johnson. The front of each column was something