Page 5  Autobiography  Benjamin Lafayette Smith
placed in command of Gen. Charles Clarke of Bolivar County. On the 30th July, the 14th
 and 15th Miss regiments were ordered to Union City Tenn., and remained there until the
 14th August, when we were ordered to Russelville Tenn. On the 14th September we were
 ordered to Russelville KY, and upon reaching there cooked three days rations, and started on
 a march through the country to Hopkinsville. We marched by there and turned back towards
 towards the R.R. at Tate Station. During the march the troops were under the command of
 Gen. S. B. Buckner. We were on the march nine days. It was supposed that we made this
 march to stir up some enthusiasm in the country and get some recruits. About the sixth day
 of the march, I contracted the mumps and rode in a wagon to the R.R. When I reached
 there I was given a furlough to go home and recuperate and by the time I reached there, was
 beginning to improve. I remained until the 25th October and returned to my regiment at
 Bowlingreen KY. A good many troops had been assembled there under the command of
 Albert Sidney Johnson. The troops drilled and worked on the fortifications nearly all winter.
Capt. Ware took sick in the summer and went home, and remained there and did not
 improve much, so he resigned on the 14th November. On the 25th November, while Dr.
 Lieut. Crigler was at home on furlough, an election was held to fill the vacancy caused by
 the resignation of Capt. Ware. It resulted as follows,--Lieut. Crigler was elected Captain
 and, Lieut. Tabb was elected 1st Lieut. K. W. Doss was elected 2nd Lieut. and Dr. Outlaw
 remained 3rd Lieut.
 The winter was mild as long as we remained at Bowling Green, not any colder than
 the mild winters of Lowndes county Mississippi. We had little else to eat, but a plenty of
 Blue Grass beef and flour and enough lard to make up biscuit with. I gained in flesh all the
 winter. Drilled enough to give me good breathing exercise. I weighed as high as 177
 pounds, the most I ever weighed in my life. Gen Buckners brigade, to which our regiment
 belonged, was ordered to Fort Donaldson. A good many other troops were ordered there at
 the same time. We reached there about the 10th of February. It began to turn very cold on
 Thursday night the 12th, and a six inch snow fell. We remained in the trenches all the time,
 some parts of our army engaged the enemy, but our brigade was not in any battle until
 Saturday morning the 14th, when our whole army was ordered over the breastworks, and
 attempted to cut our way out. It was a little after sunup. The weather was very cold and
 clear and the ground was covered six inches in snow as none had melted. We failed in our
 effort to make our way out and were forced to retreat to our breastworks. In the retreat, my
 arm was badly shattered near the shoulder, by a round ball. I made my way to the landing
 on the river, and late at night on a boat with others, and was carried to Clarksville Tenn.
 We reached there a little before daylight Sunday morning and remained on the boat until
 daylight, and then went to the female school building there. Up to this time no attention
 whatever had been paid to my wound by a physician or any one else. A beautiful school girl
 about 16 years of age brought me a piece of light bread and slice of ham, apologizing for
 bringing it in her fingers, as she had no dish to bring it in. It was soon reported that our
 whole army at Fort Donaldson had surrendered to the enemy. We at first refused to listen at
 such a report, but we soon found it to be a sad fact. All the wounded that that were able
 began to try to get to Nashville. It was reported that no boat would go there. Dreading to
 be captured and carried to prison, I started on foot in the direction of Nashville about on
 noon by sun. After walking about three miles, 1 was overtaken by a poor but kind man, who
 put me in his horse, and carried me to his home and took care of me all night. He had but