November 21, 1864
In the fall of 1864, Col. James W. Weatherford's 13th Kentucky Cavalry force, USA, which guarded Campbellsville's citizens from rebel activity, was reduced from 60 to 20 men.
Just before a heavy November snowfall, Henry C. Magruder's rebel guerrilla band, about seventeen in number, came to the small settlement of Colesby in northern Taylor County. They captured and killed Cpl. Samuel Williams of Company L, 13th Kentucky Cavalry, who was visiting his uncle and then "pressed" a slave to guide them to Campbellsville.
They rode into town around sunset and shot two cavalrymen who were patrolling the streets, mortally wounding Pvt. James C. Blankenship and seriously wounding the other.
Up and down Main Street, the guerrillas fired their weapons, aiming at startled citizens, the Louisville Journal reported:
They broke into the stores of Messrs. Gowdy, Turner & Co., and Chandler and Mourning, obtaining $75 in money from the former and nothing from the latter. Every citizen they met was relieved of pocketbooks and watches. In an incredibly short space of time, they robbed the citizens of at least $2,000 in money, watches, etc. Mr. [Ferdinand] Hiestand was robbed of $1,485, mostly Kentucky bank notes. James Blandford [saddler] lost a valuable gold watch and overcoat;
Marker is on the right.Jeter & Haskins, $100; E.[Edward] Rice, $100; Frank Hackley, $15; Billy Marr, $15; John H. Chandler, gold watch, and $40 in money. Several other citizens were robbed....
News of the siege spread quickly to the residents of upper Main Street where a large stagecoach was pulling in from Lebanon. Unfortunately for the guerrillas, several discharged Federal artillerymen were among its passengers. When told of what was happening down the street, the discharged soldiers took cover in a house on this block, gathered some weapons, and prepared to protect the coach from the guerrillas.
Magruder's men worked their way up the street, robbing citizens and stores. They surrounded the empty stagecoach and its valuable horses. The Federal soldiers opened fire, injuring one of the guerrillas. The rebels skedaddled. Later, they passed through Saloma on the old Lexington-Nashville Road, eating dinner and camping on the farm of southern sympathizer, Daniel Williams, who lived just over the Taylor County line in Green County.