Saturday, December 28, 2013


Neither Col. Dorsey nor any other confederate officer published an of- ficial account of the Mount Zion fight, otherwise it would be given here. But an intelligent gentleman, who was one of his command, and who was present during the engagement, informs us that on December 24, 1861, Col. Dorsey left Pike County, and on the 27th, at Grandview, in Boone County, which is near and west of the church, organized his forces, consisting of six companies, of about 350 men, not all armed. The officers in command were Col. Caleb Dorsey, Lieut. Col. Cole Kent, Maj. Thomas Breckinridge and E. W. Herndon, (now a citizen of Columbia), Surgeon. About 2 o'clock, P. M., of the 27th, this force took up the line of march, intending to camp at Mount Zion church. About a half a mile northeast of the church, the Federals came up and fired on their rear guard, wounding two of Dorsey's men, and then fell back. Dorsey pursued them, and three miles from the church overtook the retreat- ing force, and fired upon them. A ten minutes' skirmish ensued, in which one Federal was mortally wounded, and Capt. Howland (Fed- eral), was wounded in the thigh, and taken prisoner. Dorsey's sur- geon, Dr. Herndon, extracted the ball. None of Dorsey's men were killed or wounded. On the morning of the 28th, 'the engagement was renewed, the force under Dorsey being about 100 yards east of the church, in the brush and timber. The Federal charge upon them was with both infantry and cavalry, but was repulsed. They again charged, and were again repulsed, after which they made a third charge. The ammunition of Dorsey's command being exhausted, he determined to fall back to his wagons. The Federals advanced upon him, and took some ten pris- oners. They then marched on to the church, and seeing soldiers in the building, fired on it, whereupon two of the prisoners who were in the church, ran out and said: " There are no fighting men here; this is a hospital;" hearing which the Federal fire ceased