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Battle of Tazewell, Tennessee
August 6, 1862
As Described by A Soldier in Company H, Possibly Pvt. David C. Curry
Web Author's Notes:
The 16th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, as part of Col. John F. DeCourcey's 26th Brigade, marched south from their stronghold at Cumberland Gap toward the small town of Tazewell, Tennessee, on August 2, 1862. The purpose of their expedition was to find and acquire forage and supplies for the Federal garrison holding Cumberland Gap. During several days of foraging and extended trips further south of Tazewell, some periodic skirmishes with Rebel cavalry were encountered but the troops were successful in filling their wagons with much needed food and hay for their animals. Col. DeCourcey knew a large Confederate force was camped south of the Clinch River, not too distant from Tazewell, however, did not anticipate any major engagement would take place. On the Wednesday morning of August 6, however, DeCourcey would be confronted by a vastly superior Rebel force.

There exists a number of detailed accounts of the Battle of Tazewell. As with all such events, the accounts differ, somewhat, and certain facts told by each are inconsistent. However, by reading each account one can eventually gain a rather clear picture of the actions and movements that occurred that warm summer day, 15 miles south of Cumberland Gap.

The following is a brief account of the Battle of Tazewell as told by a soldier in Capt. Addison McClure's Company H, temporarily assigned to Company C, 16th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, part of DeCourcey's brigade at Tazewell, as published by the Wooster Republican, August 21, 1862:

....a letter from a member of Capt. McClure's company who went from this office. The letter is dated on the 10th inst., and the extract is as follows:

You have no doubt heard of our fight at Tazewell. Our regiment was pretty badly cut up, as all the fighting on our side was done by the 16th. Our company was divided, and attached to other companies, in order to equalize them. I was with Capt. Botsford's company and had a severe time of it. When the rebels made the attack our company was held back as reserve. As soon as they made a charge we were ordered to support the artillery which we did in handsome style, keeping the enemy in check and our artillery made good their retreat; we then fell back gradually to our main support. When I came to myself again, I found that I was minus my knapsack and haversack, but with them the secesh received about forty rounds of cartridges, which to some of them I think wasn't very agreeable. As you will get a better description of the engagement than I can give, I will leave the rest to them. Our killed, wounded and missing will amount to about 75. We buried Capt. Edgar last night. His body was procured by a flag of truce. Dave

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