A CORPORAL'S JOURNEY TO FT. KERNEY NEBRASKA BY CPL. ROBERT H. MILNER This my report back from the encounter at a place called Ft. Kerney somewhere in the Nebraska territory. Having been given my orders from Cpt. Carstensen, "Take two men from the Legion and check out this Fort Kerney" the Capt. said. So on Friday the 3rd of July Myself and two other members of the Legion (Pvt. R. Burchart and Pvt. G. Towle) headed for the fort. Leaving at dawn we rode out. We figured on a 6 to 8 hour trip. Once into the Nebraska territory we rode our horses hard for fear of being seen by roveing bans of lose yankee units in the area. By the grace of God we passed though to the fort without even a smell of those dasterly fellows of the north. However that quickly changed. We arrived at Kerney in the early afternoon to find some yankee units had already set up their camp inside the fort. We also discovered another Confederate unit was at the site. The 9th Texas had sent a small detachment to the fort to free some women and children being held by the yanks for being loyal to the southern cause. We joined up with the Texas boys and set up camp just out of sight of the fort. There after a good meal of beans and rice we went to bed resting up for the next day. We rose at about 5:30am just as the sun was rising. Sneaking up on the fort from the south we saw that the yanks there were only of two units the 3rd dismounted cavlery and three cannons from the 3rd U.S. And a company chaplin of the 3rd as well. I don't know why a man of the cloth would be in yankee blue because we all know that god is on the side of the Confederacy. We went back to camp and planned our attack, as luck would have it the yanks were having a big party for the 4th of July. This was a great break because we could sneak up on them during the height of the event without being heard or seen. Our goal was to first take the cannon out then make a lighting dash in the style of Stonewall Jackson into the fort taking the dismounted cav. boys before they could reach their horses and those damned Sharps carbines. So that afternoon we marched out towards Ft. Kerney. When we topped the hill what we saw next was a dream come true. The blue- bellys were having such a good time at the party they left their cannon unguarded! No one not even a sentry! These were 12lb mountain Howtiers. The only other gun was the big 45lber inside. 9th Texas's Lt. didn't waste any time he quickly had us come up behind some fallen trees less than 50yds from the Fort doors. After a few moments we suddenly were spotted by a sentry from the guard tower who sounded the alarm. Quickly we rushed up and was able to capture two of the cannon. The dismounted cav came out of the fort with their sharps and revolvers. We however were ready and got of the first shot. One of them went down wounded behind a tree. Three of them started advancing up from the tree line. Our next volley brought down another man and then they began to retreat back towards the woods. The Lt. called us forward. With a rush we captured one of them. The others kept backing up, then it hit me! They were drawing us into an ambush! There was only a handful of them in front of us. The Lt. ordered the attack broken off and 5 of us myself included turned around and ran to defend our rear flank, leaving four others to keep the yanks busy. We ran up to the edge of the fort and waited for the yanks to come around from the rear. Sure enough they turned the corner of the fort and right into our waiting guns. Even with their fancy guns they could not change the outcome. Our rifles rang out and yanks had no choice but to give up the fight. We entered the fort to find that it was empty the rest of their unit must have ran for it during the battle. Only the school teacher and her son remained. The fort was ours! We had won the day! The next day after sunday services we packed up our tents and rode out back to the rest of the Legion and a well and most needed rest. It was a glorious adventure I told the Captain. All I can says is God bless the southern Confederacy and God bless Thomas' Legion.
Standing guard on the steps of Jefferson Davis's home in Bolix Mississippi.
CAPT. CARSTENSEN, LT. BULLINGTON, AND MYSELF WITH THE COLORS!